Top 10 Best Online Master’s in Computer Science Degree Programs

Online Masters in Computer ScienceAn online master’s in computer science degree consists of graduate-level coursework relating to computer programming, software design, computer theory and related concepts. The degree program is for students with a strong mathematical and computer science background, who want to pursue careers in artificial intelligence, modeling and simulation, software development, research or teaching. A master’s degree is also the beginning of graduate study for students who want to pursue a doctorate in their field.

Students who choose to pursue computer science at the graduate level, should have an undergraduate degree in computer science or related fields such as mathematics, statistics or engineering. Students interested in related career fields, such as information technology, may have obtained an undergraduate degree in any area, but must have obtained enough education in information technology to pursue graduate coursework.

Many colleges and universities offer purely online accredited degree programs, some with distinct rankings by U.S. News and World Report and other notable publications. In contrast to traditional brick-and-mortar programs, online degrees are more applied and often do not require a thesis.

Top 10 Best Online Master’s in Computer Science Degree Programs

The following colleges and universities offer online master’s in computer science degree programs, or closely related programs. Unless noted, tuition rates are for the 2012-2013 academic year.

Western Governors University

Executive Summary: MGU’s program in information technology, prepares students to effectively work in the profession of network management. In addition to coursework relevant to information technology, students also learn the skills necessary to be effective leaders in their profession. WGU is acknowledged by Fast Company as one of the most innovative companies for their contributions to the online learning environment.
Tuition: $2,890 per term.
Concentrations: Information Technology.

Minot State University

Executive Summary: MSU offers a graduate degree program in information systems, which prepares students for a wide array of career choices that include software development, networking and consulting. Students also learn the business aspect of information systems, which increases their preparedness for the job market, and qualifies them for diverse job opportunities.
Tuition: $259.16 per credit hour.
Concentrations: Information Systems.

Colorado State University

Executive Summary: Students can choose to enroll in computer science at CSU by taking some or all classes online. The program offers a well-rounded education in various areas of computer science. Students who desire a graduate program that is geared toward applied professions may find this non-thesis program suits their career goals.
Tuition: $466.20 per credit hour for residents; $1,142.90 per credit hour for non-residents. $4,195.80 flat-rate for residents enrolled in nine or more credits; $10,285.90 flat-rate for non-residents enrolled in nine or more credits.
Concentrations: Computer Science.

Drexel University

Executive Summary: Drexel’s M.S. in Computer Science program educates students in fundamental and advanced applications of computer theory, programming, software development and modeling. Students also learn necessary problem-solving skills that take them from theory, to solving problems in society. Electives can be taken in other departments that offer online coursework, to further sculpt the program to each student’s personal goals and expand their career opportunities.
Tuition: $1,045 per credit hour.
Concentrations: Computer Science.

Kaplan University

Executive Summary: KU’s graduate program, in information systems, trains students in both theoretical and practical applications of information systems, problem solving and management skills. Students have the option of pursuing a non-specialized track, or pursuing one of four concentration areas if they have specific career goals.
Tuition: $441.00 per quarter credit hour.
Concentrations: Business Intelligence; Entrepreneurship; Information Security and Assurance; Project Management.

Brandeis University

Executive Summary: BU has a variety of master’s programs including information technology management, information security and software development, to prepare students for professional careers in technology-related fields. BU is considered to be one of the best national universities by U.S. News and World Report.
Tuition: $2,953 per three-credit course.
Concentrations: Information Technology Management; Information Security; Software Development.

North Carolina State University

Executive Summary: NCSU offers a terminal degree for students in computer science. The master’s degree consists of a variety of courses in computer programming and theory. Students may select elective courses in mathematics, engineering, statistics or other approved departments. Students who are interested in teaching computer science may be especially interested in this program. The opportunity to take electives in various departments will expand the subjects they are qualified to teach.
Tuition: $352 resident per credit hour; $704 non-resident per credit hour (2013-2014).
Concentrations: Computer Science.

Virginia Tech University

Executive Summary: VT’s information technology program is geared toward students who want to become knowledgeable in various aspects of information technology, and to be prepared for numerous career opportunities. In addition to completing foundation courses, students complete courses in multiple modules that include software development, healthcare information technology and networking. These modules prepare students to obtain employment in a variety of job settings which implement information technology, by requiring them to enroll in courses that tackle various focus areas within the field of study.
Tuition: $656.75 resident, per credit hour; $1,246.50 non-resident, per credit hour.
Concentrations: Information Technology.

East Carolina University

Executive Summary: ECU offers numerous online master’s degree programs for students interested in computers or technology. Students can choose from degrees in network technology or software engineering. The network technology degree program offers numerous specialization areas. Students with various interests and career goals can find a degree program and specialization that is best suited for their needs.
Tuition: $212 resident, per semester hour; $792 non-resident, per semester hour.
Concentrations: Software Engineering. Network Technology: Computer Network Management; Digital Communications; Information Security; Web Technology.

Notre Dame de Namur University

Executive Summary: The computer and information science program at NDNU provides graduate students with the opportunity to enroll in foundation courses which cover software development, programming and testing. Students can select electives that help meet their career objectives and prepare students for new developments in technology such as web programming, mobile devices or cloud computing. Courses focusing on mobile technology may be especially interesting for students who are interested in application development, and its usage in various industries.
Tuition: $814 per credit hour (2013-2014).
Concentrations: Computer and Information Science.

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