30 Most Affordable Online Master’s Degrees in Computer Science 2021

By: CSDH Staff
December 2020

Master's Degrees in Computer Science

Whether you’re hoping to advance to a new role, or begin a new career, now is the perfect time to pursue that master’s degree in computer science. After all, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the uber-competitive computer science industry will grow by a whopping 11% between now and 2029.

Of course, completing an entire degree isn’t as simple as simply wanting it. For those aiming for a master’s whilst also working full-time and/or raising a family, there are online degree programs. Dozens of accredited colleges and universities offer full master’s computer science degrees entirely online. We know, because we researched most of them during our search to find the most affordable online master’s degrees in computer science.

Methodology

We began by scouring sites like the National Center for Education Statistics’ College Navigator, U.S. News & World Report, and The Princeton Review to find any and all universities offering a master’s degree in computer science. As we compiled our list, we limited our entries to only those degrees which could be earned 100% online, and to only those programs which are accredited by a legitimate accrediting body. Once we felt we had created an exhaustive list, we researched each and every program to determine the estimated program cost (the number of credits needed to complete the degree, multiplied by the current per-credit tuition rate for an out-of-state student). Finally, we ordered the master’s degrees programs from “most” to “least” affordable. Below are the 30 most affordable online master’s degrees in computer science. 

1. Georgia Institute of Technology
Georgia Tech-Top Computer Science Bachelor's DegreesOnline Master of Science in Computer Science

Atlanta, Georgia
Estimated Program Cost:
 $7,000

The Atlanta-based Georgia Institute of Technology offers an M.S. in Computer Science which can be completed entirely online. Georgia Tech, as it’s better known, is currently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the 8th best graduate school in the country for computer science. Its online degree program offer students four specializations from which they can choose: Computing Systems, Machine Learning, Interactive Intelligence, and Computational Perception and Robotics. 

2. Georgia Southwestern State University
Online Master of Science in Computer Science

Americus, Georgia
Estimated Program Cost: $7,710

Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) is a public university in Americus, Georgia. The school is part of the University System of Georgia. The online M.S. in Computer Science from GSW consists of 30 credit hours. Students take six core classes and four elective classes. Also, students can choose the thesis option, which accounts for six credit hours. The core curriculum covers topics including information security, web applications, database design, and distributed operating systems. Elective courses include Data Mining, Advanced Computer Graphics, and Decision Support Systems. Through partnerships with EMC, IBM, Microsoft, VMWare, students have access to cutting-edge software programs to prepare them for the workforce.

3. Georgia Southern University
Online Master of Science in Computer Science 

Statesboro, Georgia
Estimated Program Cost:
$10,740

Established in 1906, Georgia Southern University is a public research university in Statesboro, Georgia. Georgia Southern’s online Master of Science in Computer Science is a 30-credit hour program that is typically completed in five semesters. The program offers two concentrations in high-demand fields: Data Mining and Data Warehousing. To gain admission, applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree in computer science, or a related field like computer engineering, information systems, or software engineering. 

4. Columbus State University
Online Master of Science in Applied Computer Science 

Columbus, Georgia
Estimated Program Cost: $11,844

Columbus State University is a public university located in Columbus, Georgia. The school is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university offers an online M.S. in Applied Computer Science, the core curriculum of which consists of 12 credits, or four courses, about modeling, algorithms, object-oriented development, and information systems assurance. Students can choose from four concentrations: Cybersecurity, Modeling and Simulation, Software Development, and a traditional track. Also, both thesis and non-thesis options are available for this program. Thirty-six semester hours are required to graduate. CSU is an approved institution of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements. This organization provides distance education oversight for most of the states in the nation.

5. University of West Florida
Online Master of Science in Computer Science

Pensacola, Florida 
Estimated Program Cost: $12,750

The University of West Florida (UWF) is a public research university in Pensacola, Florida. UWF’s online Master of Science in Computer Science is a 30-credit hour program with two concentrations: Data Analytics and Software Engineering. Required coursework includes classes on advanced algorithms and parallel and distributed programming. A thesis and project are also required to complete the degree.  

6. Dakota State University
dakota-state-universityOnline Master of Science in Computer Science 

Madison, South Dakota
Estimated Program Cost: $13,262

Founded in 1881, Dakota State University (DSU) is a state university located in Madison, South Dakota. DSU’s online Master of Science in Computer Science focuses on using computer science in practical ways. To graduate, students must complete five core courses and five elective courses. The core curriculum includes classes about algorithms, the theory of computation, and operating systems. Also, students have the option of earning a cyber operations specialization by taking five classes in the subject area instead of the elective coursework. The specialization is one of DSU’s strengths as the school is recognized by the NSA as a leader in online security. 

7. Southern Arkansas University
Online Master of Science in Computer Science 

Magnolia, Arkansas
Estimated Program Cost: $15,795

Southern Arkansas University is a public university located in Magnolia, Arkansas. The university is active in developing programs that match trends in the workplace. The online Master of Science in Computer Science is no exception. It requires 30 semester hours to complete. The core coursework comprises 12 hours, and covers programming, web technology, and database management. To finish the remaining 18 hours, students choose from 14 different elective courses including The UNIX Operating System and Software Engineering. Students may take four elective courses on security topics to earn a specialization in Cyber Security and Information Assurance.

8. University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth
Online Master of Science in Computer Science 

North Dartmouth, Massachusetts
Estimated Program Cost: $16,590

Located in North Dartmouth, Massachusetts, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (UMassD) is a public research institution. UMassD’s online Master of Science in Computer Science emphasizes the development of software as a core objective. Students can take courses about paradigmatic software development, software systems design, and machine learning. For students with bachelor’s degrees outside the field of computer science, UMassD offers a one-year online preparatory program of four classes to learn the fundamentals of computer science.

9. Old Dominion University
Online Master of Science in Computer Science 

Norfolk, Virginia
Estimated Program Cost: $18,445

Old Dominion University (ODU) is a public research university located in Norfolk, Virginia. ODU has conferred more than 11,000 degrees through its distance learning programs. The university offers an online Master of Science in Computer Science with three options for completion: courses only, project, and thesis. The program emphasizes cyber security with five of the courses covering security topics. The Princeton Review has named ODU one of the top schools in the Southeast. 

10. University of West Georgia
Online Master of Science in Applied Computer Science 

Carollton, Georgia
Estimated Program Cost: $18,612

The University of West Georgia (UWG) is a public university affiliated with the University System of Georgia. The online Master of Science in Applied Computer Science at UWG teaches students about relevant subjects such as:

  • software development
  • network administration
  • database systems

Also, the program includes two project-based courses where students apply what they learned in a team setting. UWG has been included on U.S. News and World Report’s rankings of online graduate information technology programs. The university has also been named one of the best schools in the Southeast in the education rankings of The Princeton Review.

11. Capitol Technology University
Online Master of Science in Computer Science 

Laurel, Maryland
Estimated Program Cost: $18,900

Capitol Technology University is a nonprofit, private institution. The school specializes in providing degree programs in:

  • business
  • computer science
  • engineering
  • information technology

Capitol’s online graduate courses are offered in short, eight-week terms throughout the year. The online Master of Science in Computer Science is a 10-course program with specialization options in Data Science and Software Engineering. Core classes include:

  • Object-Oriented Programming
  • Data Structures
  • Multithreaded and Distributed Programming

Capitol’s online graduate degree courses are delivered live on weekday evenings and Saturdays. Online students may ask the professor questions during the class. Capitol was designated as a Center of Academic Excellence in the fields of cyber defense and information assurance by the NSA and U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

12. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Online Master of Computer Science 

Urbana, Illinois
Estimated Tuition:
$21,440

The University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, also known as Illinois, is the flagship institution of the University of Illinois system. The university is classified by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education in the category, Doctoral Universities: Highest Research ActivityIllinois’s online Master of Computer Science is a non-research, non-thesis program that requires 32 semester hours to complete. The program has a breadth requirement where students must complete four courses, each in a different subject area. Students can learn about:

  • artificial intelligence
  • graphics
  • scientific computing

The university was included in The Princeton Review’s lists of The Best 381 Colleges, Best Midwestern Colleges, and Colleges That Pay You Back.

13. University of Illinois at Springfield
Online Master of Science in Computer Science 

Springfield, Illinois
Estimated Program Cost: $21,824

The University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS) is a public school.  UIS is a member institution of the University of Illinois systemFor students who want to customize their graduate education, UIS offers an online Master of Science in Computer Science where students choose most of their courses. The program requires eight courses to graduate. Seven of those courses are electives. The program’s primary focus is on the development of software programs. Also, students can enroll in classes about information assurance and security. 

14. University of Louisville
Online Master of Science in Computer Science 

Louisville, Kentucky
Estimated Program Cost: $22,110

The University of Louisville, or UofL, is a public research university. UofL’s online Master of Science in Computer Science can be completed entirely online. Students in the program learn about:

  • computer networks
  • artificial intelligence
  • internet applications, among other things.

15. Franklin University
Online Master of Science in Computer Science 

Columbus, Ohio
Estimated Program Cost: $24,120

Franklin University is a nonprofit private school. The University emphasizes serving adult learners with degree programs that meet their unique educational needs. The average student in Franklin’s program is in their early 30s. All of the school’s degrees are available online. Franklin’s online Master of Science in Computer Science teaches students about:

  • system architecture
  • project management for information systems
  • testing

Also, students learn about designing databases by using Oracle and SQL Server. The program’s curriculum is regularly reviewed by a board of advisors, many of whom are employed by Fortune 500 companies. Thirty-six semester hours are required for graduation. The GMAT and GRE are not required for admission for applicants with a regionally accredited bachelor’s degree and a GPA above 2.75.

16. Purdue University 
Purdue University-Top Computer Science Bachelor's DegreesOnline Master of Science in Information Technology

West Lafayette, Indiana
Estimated Tuition:
$25,200

Purdue University is a public university with a major focus in research. The school is classified in the category, Doctoral Universities: Highest Research Activity, by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Purdue Global offers an online M.S. in Information Technology, along with an online M.S. in Cybersecurity.. Purdue is considered one of the top schools in the nation by The Princeton Review’s school rankings. Also, the university was rated 9th in the category, Most Innovative Schools – National Universities, in U.S. News and World Report’s education rankings. 

17. Colorado State University
Online Master of Computer Science 

Fort Collins, Colorado
Estimated Program Cost: $25,760

As the flagship university of the Colorado State University System, Colorado State University conducts research in various fields and over 200 degree programs. In the online Master of Computer Science program at Colorado State, students can take courses in:

  • parallel programming
  • distributed systems
  • advanced networking

The program is self-paced and can be finished in two years. Thirty-five credit hours are required to graduate, 20 of which must be comprised of 500-level courses or above. 

18. National University
Online Master of Science in Computer Science 

La Jolla and various, California
Estimated Program Cost: $25,857

Established in 1971, National University is a private, nonprofit school with campuses throughout California. The university’s programs are designed for adult students. National offers over 70 degrees online, including a Master of Science in Computer Science. The degree includes three specializations to choose from:

  • Advanced Computing
  • Database Engineering
  • Software Engineering

Core coursework includes classes about:

  • software architecture
  • database design
  • cloud computing

Also, students build an original project using software development concepts. To gain admission, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field. Applicants without this degree can fulfill the requirement by taking prerequisite courses or passing a challenge exam.

19. Lewis University
Online Master of Science in Computer Science 

Romeoville, Illinois
Estimated Program Cost: $25,920

Lewis University is a private Roman Catholic institution. Lewis’s online Master of Science in Computer Science is a 32-credit hour program with five optional concentrations:

  • Cyber Security
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Enterprise and Cloud Computing
  • Digital Forensics
  • Software Engineering

Core topics include:

  • statistical programming
  • object-oriented design
  • digital forensics

The program culminates with a capstone course in which students conduct research or build a project. 

20. University of Advancing Technology
Online Master of Science in Technology Innovation 

Tempe, Arizona
Estimated Tuition:
$26,000

The University of Advancing Technology, or UAT, is a private for-profit school.  Its focus is on delivering higher education and research in technological subject areas. The university offers degrees in exciting fields such as:

  • virtual reality
  • artificial life programming
  • human-computer interaction

 The online Master of Science in Technology Innovation from UAT is a 36-semester credit program. Uniquely, students choose and complete four modules to satisfy the degree. Students also complete an advanced programming project or an internship at the end of the program. The program is designed to be completed in 1-2 years.

21. Nova Southeastern University
nova-southeastern-universityOnline Master of Science in Computer Science 

Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Estimated Program Cost: $26,220

Nova Southeastern University is a nonprofit private institution. The university is classified as a doctoral university with higher research activity by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The online Master of Science in Computer Science consists of 10 courses (30 credit hours), and covers subject areas including:

  • programming languages
  • algorithms
  • software engineering

Students choose from five concentrations:

  • Computer Systems
  • Data Science
  • Software Engineering
  • Information Assurance and Cybersecurity
  • Real-World Computing

The program has been certified by the Southern Regional Education Board’s Electronic Campus as fulfilling the Principles of Good Practice set by SREB for distance learning higher education.

22. East Carolina University
Online Master of Science in Computer Science 

Greenville, North Carolina
Estimated Program Cost: $26,321

East Carolina University is a public research university.  The university’s online Master of Science in Computer Science teaches students both the theory and practical application of software development and hardware construction. Coursework covers topics such as:

  • programming languages
  • hardware
  • database environments, among other things

To complete the degree, students must complete 30-38 credits.

23. Colorado Technical University
Online Master of Science in Computer Science 

Colorado Springs and Aurora, Colorado
Estimated Program Cost: $29,280

Colorado Technical University, or CTU, is a for-profit institution.  The school offers over 110 degree programs online. CTU has an award-winning mobile app that enables students to make progress on their degrees with their smartphones. The online Master of Science in Computer Science consists of 48 quarter hours. Twenty-four hours are core courses, 20 hours are concentration courses, and the program culminates in a four-hour capstone course. Core courses include:

  • Design and Analysis of Algorithms
  • Computer Systems Security Foundations
  • Systems Engineering Methods

Students can choose from four concentrations:

  • Software Engineering
  • Data Science
  • Database Systems
  • Computer Systems Security

CTU tied for 38th in U.S. News and World Report’s rankings of online graduate information technology programs.

24. University of Michigan – Flint
Online Master of Science in Computer Science & Information Systems 

Flint, Michigan
Estimated Program Cost: $29,580

The University of Michigan – Flint is a public institution. The University is one of the two satellite campuses of the University of Michigan. UM-Flint is one of the best schools in the Midwest, according to the school rankings by The Princeton Review. The online Master of Science in Computer Science and Information Systems from UM-Flint emphasizes building projects with other students. This team-based approach to learning prepares students to make a significant impact in the workplace as a team member and leader. 

25. University of Michigan – Dearborn
Online Master of Science in Computer and Information Science

Dearborn, Michigan
Estimated Tuition:
$30,360

The University of Michigan – Dearborn, or UM-Dearborn, is a public university and a satellite campus of University of Michigan. UM-Dearborn offers 19 online master’s degrees designed for working adults. UM-Dearborn provides an online Master of Science in Computer and Information Science with project and thesis options. Students can take classes on mobile technologies, network security, and compiler design. According to the school rankings by U.S. News and World Report, UM-Dearborn is one of the top public regional universities in the Midwest. 

26. Auburn University
Online Master of Software Engineering in Computer Science and Software Engineering

Auburn, Alabama
Estimated Tuition: $31,956

With over 1,200 faculty members and an enrollment of 28,290 students in the academic year, Auburn University is a public flagship university in Alabama. The school is classified in the category, Doctoral Universities: Higher Research Activity, by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The online Master of Software Engineering in Computer Science and Software Engineering is a non-thesis program. It requires completion of a research project. Students can enroll in courses such as:

  • Fundamentals of Computer Graphics
  • Software Process
  • High-Speed Networks

U.S. News & World Report has also rated Auburn as a top 30 school in its list of best online graduate programs in information technology.

27. University of Bridgeport
Online Master of Science in Computer Science 

Bridgeport, Connecticut
Estimated Tuition:
$34,510

Founded in 1927, the University of Bridgeport (UB) is a private institution based in Connecticut. The school’s graduate students make up 49% of the student body. UB’s online Master of Science in Computer Science is one of the top online programs in the nation, according to U.S. News and World Report. Throughout the 34-credit program, students learn about object-oriented programming with C++, a popular programming language in the workplace. Also, students can take elective courses on relevant topics including:

  • smartphone app development
  • data mining
  • Web-based application development
  • network security.

28. Missouri University of Science and Technology
Online Master of Science in Computer Science 

Rolla, Missouri
Estimated Tuition:
$37,200

Missouri University of Science and Technology, or Missouri S&T, is a public university and a member of the University of Missouri System. The school is categorized as a doctoral university with higher research activity by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher EducationMissouri S&T’s online Master of Science in Computer Science is a 31-credit hour program with thesis and non-thesis options. Students can specialize in critical infrastructure protection or software engineering. The Princeton Review rated Missouri S&T favorably by including the university in its lists of:

  • The Best 381 Colleges
  • Colleges That Pay You Back
  • Best Schools for Internships. 

29. North Carolina State University
Online Master of Computer Science 

Raleigh, North Carolina
Estimated Program Cost: $40,610

North Carolina State University is a member institution of the University of North Carolina system. The school is classified in the category Doctoral Universities: Highest Research Activity by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. NC State offers over 30 master’s degrees online. NC State’s online Master of Computer Science is a non-thesis, 31-credit hour program. Students can enroll in courses in:

  • computational applied logic
  • parallel computers
  • numerical analysis. 

30. Hofstra University
Online Master of Science in Computer Science 

Hempstead, New York
Estimated Tuition:
$43,620

Located 25 miles east of New York City in Hempstead, Long Island, Hofstra University is a nonprofit private institution with moderate research activity according to the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The online Master of Science in Computer Science from Hofstra consists of 30 semester hours. The core curriculum covers:

  • algorithm design
  • programming language concepts
  • advanced operating systems design

To finish the degree, students can choose between completing a thesis or a comprehensive project. Hofstra was named one of the best schools in The Princeton Review’s book, The Best 381 Colleges. 

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