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Best Master’s in Computer Science in 2020 (Online & On-Campus)

March 13, 2021 | Staff Writers

Best Masters in Computer Science
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Earning a master’s in computer science degree allows program graduates to embark on a path that can lead to many successful career options. The coursework in a master’s in computer science program expands on the knowledge earned in an undergraduate program. A master’s degree program provides the advanced skills and knowledge necessary for an individual to excel in their chosen career, and allows graduates to work across a variety of industries.

What Can I Do with A Master’s in Computer Science Degree?

There are a variety of career options available for a graduate of a master’s in computer science program. An individual is not limited to working at a well-known software company just to have a career as a computer scientist.

Some jobs and careers for a person to consider when they complete a master’s program in computer science include:

  • Computer and information systems manager
  • Software developer or software developer engineer
  • Network and computer systems administrator
  • Web developer
  • Computer network architect

Some industries outside of the traditional high-tech industries that computer scientists with a master’s degree work include healthcare, insurance, federal and state government, and the finance industry. The graduate of a master’s in computer science program has the advantage of being able to work across a variety of industries because of the ability to apply the knowledge, theories, and concepts of computer science in various industries.

Learn to design and build communication networks, analyze the entire computer network of an organization and discover how to make it work more efficiently on a daily basis. Some people work as information security analysts, which requires knowing how to plan and carry out the security measures to protect computer networks and systems. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) explains that computer scientists perform work that simplifies algorithms, including complex algorithms. The BLS also points out that the work of computer scientists sometimes leads to technological advances. Some computer scientists enjoy working with robots and collaborating with engineers to improve their function.

The BLS also indicates that the demand for computer and information research scientists is expected to grow considerably as the demand for new and improved technology continues to growThe BLS indicates that the job outlook for computer scientists is expected to grow ‘much faster than average’ through at least 2029. Prospective master’s in computer science students likely want to consider the salary of computer scientists. The BLS lists the 2019 median hourly wages of a computer scientist at $59.06 per hour, and the median annual pay at $122,840 per year.

These master’s in computer science programs are all offered in online format. The cost of tuition listed for each school is the resident tuition. Schools sometimes charge a higher or lower rate for online students. The tuition cost does not include required fees and does not include the cost of books or materials.

RankSchoolLocation
1East Carolina UniversityGreenville, North Carolina
2North Carolina State UniversityRaleigh, North Carolina
3Columbus State UniversityColumbus, Georgia
4Campbellsville UniversityCampbellsville, Kentucky
5University of Texas at AustinAustin, Texas

25 Best Master’s in Computer Science (Online & On-Campus)

1

East Carolina University

  • Greenville, North Carolina
  • Graduation Rate: 60%
east-carolina-university

East Carolina University provides the same rigorous instruction for all students in its master of science in computer science program whether the student completes courses online or in the classroom.

Students in the online program learn to solve real-world problems through the use of computer hardware and software. Students gain the knowledge and skills that will propel them to the future of computing, and to solve complex problems across a variety of professions.

School Overview

Tuition: $249.26 per credit hour
Program length: est. 18-24 months
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2

North Carolina State University

  • Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Graduation Rate: 77%

The online Master of Science in Computer Science degree offered by North Carolina State University is considered a terminal degree program primarily designed for current working professionals.

The program, which serves students across the U.S., and military members serving abroad, consists only of coursework. Some examples of courses include computational applied logic, architecture of parallel computers, and artificial intelligence.

There is no required thesis or required comprehensive exam, and no required on-campus residency.

School Overview

Tuition: $446 per credit hour
Program length: est. 12-16 months
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3

Columbus State University

  • Columbus, Georgia
  • Graduation Rate: 29%

Students that pursue the Master of Science in Applied Computer Science degree at Columbus State University choose their preferred track from four concentrations. Students choose either a traditional path, or choose a cybersecurity, software development, or artificial intelligence track. Students also complete the Graduate Exit Examination, which consists of an exit survey and a comprehensive exam.

Students learn to design efficient algorithms, identify cybersecurity threats and related vulnerabilities in computer information systems and learn to mitigate them, and learn skills that are crucial for their specific concentration.

School Overview

Tuition: $329 per credit hour
Program length: 18-24 months
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4

Campbellsville University

  • Campbellsville, Kentucky
  • Graduation Rate: 34%

Campbellsville University offers a master’s degree in computer science that focuses on theory and practice to meet the growing demand for qualified specialists in the field. The program is offered in an accelerated online format that presents the opportunity for students to become employed in the field faster than if completing a similar program at some other schools. The school indicates that it has a generous credit transfer policy.

Students complete courses in software engineering, advanced operating systems, advanced database, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity. Other courses that likely interest prospective students include current and emerging technologies, and disaster recovery planning.

School Overview

Tuition: $525 per credit hour
Program length: 12-24 months
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5

University of Texas at Austin

  • Austin, Texas
  • Graduation Rate: 81%

The Master of Computer Science Online program at the University of Texas at Austin offers a flexible learning format for busy students that cannot complete the degree in a traditional on-campus setting. The curriculum focuses on expanding the current knowledge and skills that students gained in their undergraduate work or while working in their chosen field.

Accelerate your career opportunities as you engage with professors while completing program requirements, and gain expertise in areas such as artificial intelligence, advanced systems design, and machine learning.

School Overview

Tuition: $333 per credit hour
Program length: 18 months
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6

Georgia Tech

  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Graduation Rate: 86%

Georgia Tech, also known as the Georgia Institute of Technology, first launched its online master of science in computer science degree in 2014 for students that prefer to learn in the ‘massively online’ format. The purpose of creating the program was to educate graduates to become highly-qualified in the computer science profession. Today, students complete the same rigorous curriculum as students that pursue the degree on-campus.

There are four specializations, including some unique options. The specializations include computing systems, computational perception and robotics, interactive intelligence or machine learning.

School Overview

Tuition: $180 per credit hour
Program length: 24-36 months
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7

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

  • Illinois
  • Graduation Rate: 85%

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign offers an online master of science in computer science degree that includes courses in core computer science courses. Students also complete courses in areas such as artificial intelligence, applied machine learning, software engineering, human-computer interactions, and databases.

The school’s computer science department does not require submission of GRE scores.

School Overview

Tuition: $670 per credit hour
Program length: 12 months
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8

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

  • Lafayette, Louisiana
  • Graduation Rate: 44%

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette offers its master of science in computer science program for busy professionals that are not able to complete degree requirements in the traditional classroom. Students receive the same high level of instruction from the same faculty members that deliver the courses in the classroom.

The accelerated program is likely an ideal option for students that want to gain a competitive edge for leadership positions in their field and that want to increase their potential to earn a better salary.

The school offers flat-rate tuition, which means that all students pay the same tuition cost.

School Overview

Tuition: $480 per credit hour
Program length: est. 16 months
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9

Georgia Southwestern State University

  • Americus, Georgia
  • Graduation Rate: 31%

The online Master of Science in Computer Science degree offered by Georgia Southwestern State University focuses on providing students with the knowledge and skills related to the latest technology to meet current industry demands. Students with busy work schedules or other responsibilities take the same courses and receive the same support as students pursuing the degree in the traditional classroom.

Some courses include topics in information security, decision support systems, and advanced database design.

School Overview

Tuition: $257 per credit hour
Program length: 24 months
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10

Arizona State University

  • Tempe, Arizona
  • Graduation Rate: 67%

The Arizona State University Master of Computer Science program provides the option for students to choose a concentration in cybersecurity or big data. Program curriculum places emphasis on both theory and practical applications and expanding the existing skills of each student. Study block chain, big data, artificial intelligence and more when you choose this online degree.

The program requires no textbooks, no additional fees, and no thesis.

School Overview

Tuition: $500 per credit hour
Program length: 18 months
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11

Dakota State University

  • Madison, South Dakota
  • Graduation Rate: 38%

Dakota State University offers an online master of science in computer science degree program that the school considers ‘worlds away’ from the traditional computer science program. Students refine their current skills and take their knowledge and skills to the elite level.

Students take core courses and then choose five electives in their particular area of interest to complete this comprehensive program. Some students choose to follow the cyber operations specialization to meet the needs for expertise in select fields such as those in federal or state government.

School Overview

Tuition: $329.95 per credit hour
Program length: 24 months
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12

Nova Southeastern University

  • Florida
  • Graduation Rate: 62%

Nova Southeastern University features six concentrations in its master of science in computer science program. Consider choosing a concentration in software engineering, real-world computing, information assurance and cybersecurity or three other options. The school points out that the security concentration is fully recognized U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Applications are accepted on a rolling admissions basis.

School Overview

Tuition: $849 per credit hour
Program length: est. 12-16 months
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13

Fitchburg State University

  • Fitchburg, Massachusetts
  • Graduation Rate: 53%

Fitchburg State University offers its Master of Science in Computer Science program for students that want to broaden their education, and expand their career opportunities and earnings potential. Students learn about database systems, networks, object-oriented systems development, and other specialized areas of study.

Students complete required courses and choose electives based on their interests as they prepare to work in advanced positions in computer science. Students choose their electives in areas such as web programming, algorithms, computer hardware, and networking. Completing a thesis is optional for students in this program.

School Overview

Tuition: $334 per credit hour
Program length: 24 months
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14

University of Michigan – Flint

  • Flint, Michigan
  • Graduation Rate: 50%

The University of Michigan – Flint offers an online Master of Computer Science & Information Systems program that gives students the option of following the concentrations in computer science or in information systems. Students that choose computer science follow the same rigorous curriculum that students follow in the traditional learning environment.

The school offers a unique option in that it offers its ‘Fast Track’ program for students that do not have a computer science undergraduate degree. Students focus on competencies that include networking, databases, architecture and algorithms.

School Overview

Tuition: $659 per credit hour
Program length: est. 18 months
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15

University of West Florida

  • Pensacola, Florida
  • Graduation Rate: 65%

The University of West Florida Master of Science in Computer Science degree prepares students to graduate with the skills that helps them stay competitive and to become a leader in their profession. The online degree blends foundational skills with modern skills and advanced topics. Students choose the software engineering or the data analytics concentration.

Study at your own pace and receive the same personalized attention provided to students attending on-campus classes.

School Overview

Tuition: $425 per credit hour
Program length: est. 36 months
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16

Franklin University

  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Graduation Rate: 33%

The online master’s in computer science degree at Franklin University prepares graduates to meet the need for the expertise and specialized skills required of computer scientists. The school recognizes the demand for qualified graduates to combine their specialized technical skills with the interpersonal skills needed to succeed as a computer scientist.

The program focusses on learning skills such as systems architecture, algorithm analysis, database design and administration and other specialized skills. The program also prepares students for enrolling in a doctoral degree program.

Current service members receive a tuition discount.

School Overview

Tuition: $670 per credit hour
Program length: 20 months
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17

Purdue University

  • West Lafayette, Indiana
  • Graduation Rate: 76%

Purdue University offers its master of science in computer science degree with both a thesis and non-thesis option. Students enrolled in the online program receive the same expert instruction that the school delivers to students learning in the classroom.

The program focus is primarily on computer science and computational topics and technical knowledge. Students create a Plan of Study (POS) with an academic advisor, and have the option of whether to add a concentration. If students add a concentration, they must then meet the degree requirements for the master of computer science program and their concentration.

School Overview

Tuition: $1,382 per credit hour
Program length: est. 12-18 months
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18

Fontbonne University

  • St. Louis, Missouri
  • Graduation Rate: 63%

Fontbonne University explains that earning a Master of Science in Computer Science at the school provides students with the theoretical and the practical tools that students need to succeed and to advance in their career. The program features three specializations, which includes software engineering, cybersecurity, or data science. It is appropriate for students with an undergraduate technology-related degree and for those that do not have a technology-related degree.

School Overview

Tuition: $775 per credit hour
Program length: est. 18-24 months
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19

Vanderbilt University

  • Nashville, Tennessee
  • Graduation Rate: 92%

Vanderbilt University invites prospective to become innovative problem solvers in today’s tech industry. The program curriculum, designed by the school’s expert faculty members, emphasizes the application of computer science with software engineering concepts.

Students also learn to develop cross-disciplinary skills, which provides students the opportunity to push their ideas into new directions. Some subjects that students possibly explore include cyber-physical systems, distributed real-time and embedded middleware, and human-systems integration.

School Overview

Tuition: $2,087 per credit hour
Program length: 12 months
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20

University of Bridgeport

  • Bridgeport, Connecticut
  • Graduation Rate: 29%

The University of Bridgeport Master of Science in Computer Science degree features an engaging and supportive environment, including for students pursuing the degree in an online format. There are three components to the program, including completing core courses, 15 credit hours of elective courses, and completing a capstone project.

Prepare for your future in computer science when you take courses in topics such as networking, network security, data mining, web-based application development, and computer architecture.

School Overview

Tuition: $700 per credit hour
Program length: 24-36 months
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21

Colorado State University

  • Fort Collins, Colorado
  • Graduation Rate: 67%

The Colorado State University Master of Science in Computer Science degree program focuses on the knowledge that today’s high-tech-dependent world has vast opportunities for those individuals that have expertise in computer science knowledge and skills. Students gain that expertise through focusing on areas such as networking and security, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and systems software. Applicants to the program are expected to be fluent in an object-oriented language.

Students take courses in object-oriented design, parallel programming, fault-tolerant computing, advanced networking and several other areas related to the profession.

School Overview

Tuition: $715 per credit hour
Program length: 24 months
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22

DePaul University

  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Graduation Rate: 73%

The DePaul University College of Computing and Digital Media offers an online Master of Science in Computer Science program that the school refers to as a ‘premier training ground for computing professionals.’

The program curriculum includes courses in data structures, systems, object-oriented software, discrete structures for computer science, and other areas related to the profession.

School Overview

Tuition: $865 per credit hour
Program length: est. 36 months
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23

Baylor University

  • Waco, Texas
  • Graduation Rate: 74%

The online Masters in Computer Science program at Baylor University prepares students to graduate with the skills and expertise to work in the in-demand roles in data science, cybersecurity and software engineering. The curriculum focuses on critical and innovative thinking skills, technical proficiency, and ethics. Students also focus on trends that shape technology and science on a global level.

Students choose either a software engineering, data science or cybersecurity track.

School Overview

Tuition: $1,300 per credit hour
Program length: est. 24 months
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24

Stanford University

  • Stanford, California
  • Graduation Rate: 94%

The Stanford University Master of Science in Computer Science degree is intended as a terminal degree and does not lead to the Ph.D. The school indicates that prospective students that are interested in earning the Ph.D. should apply directly to that program.

The online master’s degree in computer science program offers nine specialization areas, including biocomputation, artificial intelligence, information management and analytics, and software theory. Some courses include theory of probability, data management and data systems, software design studio, convolutional neural networks for visual recognition, and program analysis and optimizations.

School Overview

Tuition: $1,352 per credit hour
Program length: 24-36 months
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25

Stevens Institute of Technology

  • Hoboken, New Jersey
  • Graduation Rate: 83%

The Stevens Institute of Technology master’s in computer science program is ‘highly customizable,’ and offers students the opportunity to choose from an impressive list of 10 focus areas. Some of those concentrations include cloud computing databases, secure systems, gaming and simulation, machine learning and mobile systems.

School Overview

Tuition: $1,686 per credit hour
Program length: est. 18-24 months
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Methodology

We manually researched the top master’s degree in computer science programs, and obtained information directly from the website of each school. Each program included on our list is an accredited computer science program. We assigned a unique score for select criteria, including tuition and the program length, and then ranked schools according to these factors. When a tie occurred, the school with the lower tuition rate received the higher ranking.

We strive to do our best to be honest, fair and accurate in our rankings. All information is correct at the time of this publication. No school can pay us to receive a higher ranking. Sponsored schools are listed separately from the ranked schools and programs, and are clearly labeled as SPONSORED schools.

Please contact us if you would like for us to include your school in our rankings, or if you would like to update the information for your school.

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