These days, computers and computing systems are everywhere. Online activity, both for business and pleasure is at an all-time high. This has created an incredible demand for all things cyber: Hardware, software, computer design, programming, and cyber development. Earning a degree in a computer-related field such as computer programming can lead to an excellent, well-paying career. An undergraduate computer programming degree can provide many benefits:
- Access to a broad spectrum of in-demand job opportunities
- Personal financial stability in these volatile economic times
- The possibility to work on cutting-edge applications and projects.
Indeed, a bachelor’s degree in computer programming can lead to jobs as software developers, hardware designers, and systems analysis and testing. In addition, some computer programmers work in the tech support and cyber-security fields. What’s also neat about computer programming is that the job market exists not only in private industry but also in government, military, and educational settings.
If you are in the market for an undergraduate degree in computer science, you will be glad to know that there are plenty of options both on physical college campuses and via online learning.
Of course, students today are also aware of the high cost of a college education. They not only want to find the best schools, but also the best value for their money. They are focused on keeping their college costs as low as possible. The average tuition for an undergraduate degree from a private college in the United States is over $30,000 per year. Most students take 4 years to earn their degree. Few of today’s students can afford such high costs.
That’s why we’ve assembled a list of the top 15 schools for an undergraduate degree in computer programming from a value-oriented approach. Our ranking includes large globally recognized institutions as well as much smaller colleges, online versus on-campus educational opportunities, and a range of private, public, and for-profit schools.
The Top 15 Schools for a Computer Programming Degree
1. Stanford University, Stanford, CA
Stanford University is a world-renowned private research university. Computer programming is offered through its Computer Science Department. Computer science is the most popular major on campus. The program focuses on the mathematical foundations of computing and emphasizes the analytical aspects of software systems. As an elite school, Stanford is tough to get into: Only 4% of applicants are admitted. Sixty-eight percent of those lucky enough to make the cut are aided with generous financial aid, averaging $51,838 per year, keeping the real net cost quite low.
- Average Cost: $17,271
- Undergraduate Enrollment: 7,087
2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
Commonly referred to as “MIT”, this prestigious private institution is noted for its rigor in teaching and for its excellence in the sciences. Its programming courses emphasize computational approaches used to design and build robust computing systems. MIT is proud of its diverse student body and the school is built on the idea that good ideas and talent can come from anywhere. All prospective students apply through the MIT Office of Undergraduate Admissions. MIT graduates are the second highest-earning workers in the country, with early-career salaries of about $83,600 on average. MIT is highly competitive, with only 7% of applicants offered admission.
- Average Cost: $18,971
- Undergraduate Enrollment: 4,557
3. Yale University, New Haven, CT
One of the most famous universities in America, Yale traces it beginning back to 1701. These days, its Department of Computer Science features a strong program with an inter-disciplinary focus. Coursework includes systems programming and computer architecture, and algorithm analysis and design. Joint majors with economics, psychology, electrical engineering, and mathematics are offered. Yale is firmly committed to affordability: 60% of students receive financial aid, and this averages out at a whopping $52,542 per year.
- Average Cost: $18,748
- Undergraduate Enrollment: 5,939
4. SUNY Plattsburg, Plattsburg, NY
The State University of New York (SUNY) at Plattsburg is a public college located in northernmost New York near the Quebec border. Computer programming coursework is conducted through the Computer Science Departments, which is one of the strengths at SUNY Plattsburg. In addition to programming, robotics and computer security are popular studies as well. Admissions are fairly rigorous, with 54% of undergraduate applicants accepted. Once admitted, the school is fairly generous with aid, offing financial assistance to 95% of its students.
- Average Cost: $13,614
- Undergraduate Enrollment: 4,853
5. Santa Fe College, Gainesville FL
Santa Fe College is an affordable, mid-sized, public college located in Gainesville, FL. The college is known for its diverse student body. If you want to pursue a degree in computer programming at Santa Fe College, you’re in luck: The school accepts 100% of those that apply. Sixty-eight percent receive some form of financial aid. Eighty-seven percent of undergraduates report having been employed within 2 years of graduation.
- Average Cost: $11,244
- Undergraduate Enrollment: 6,035
6. American Public University System, Charles Town, WV
APUS is an accredited for-profit school that offers all of its classes online. It has an acceptance rate of 100%, so you’re sure to get an opportunity here. Additionally, the school is especially tuned into the needs of US veterans. The Center for Cyber Defense at APUS’ School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, is one area where computer programming skills can be obtained and immediately used upon graduation. Financial aid is received by 97% of APUS students.
- Average Cost: $10,366
- Undergraduate Enrollment: 2,324
7. Grantham University, Lenexa, KS
This for-profit, online university has the lowest net cost of all the computer programming choices on our ranked list. Not only does it represent value, but also you are sure to be admitted: Grantham University has a 100% acceptance rate. Computer and Information Systems Security and Computer Science are two popular degree programs here. Additionally, over 90% of students receive some form of financial assistance. Students appreciate the flexibility of being able to work at their own pace and in accord with their own personal schedules.
- Average Cost: $8,961
- Undergraduate Enrollment: 3,009
8. Davenport University, Grand Rapids, MI
Davenport University, founded in 1866, is a small private institution that offers flexible, career-based programs of study. Their focus is “On preparing you with the skills and knowledge that set you apart in the job market”. Computer systems networking and telecommunications is one of the most popular programs at Davenport. The school realizes that not all students are in a position to pay in full for their education, so it generously awards financial assistance to 97% of those admitted. Because of its small enrollment, it boasts a student-to-faculty ratio of 15:1.
- Average Cost: $17,169
- Undergraduate Enrollment: 2,557
9. American Business & Technology University, St Joseph, MO
American Business and Technology is a small, online, for-profit university with a strong program in computer science and related fields, including the study of computer programming. All who apply are accepted. Unlike some online schools with large enrollments, the small student body benefits from a student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1. Financial aid is awarded to approximately 64% of ABTU students. The school prides itself as being “An online teaching institution focused on real-life”.
- Average Cost: $21,610
- Undergraduate Enrollment: 369
10. Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburg, PA
Carnegie Mellon is a globally recognized private institute of higher learning. Computer programming is handled within its School of Computer Science. Admission is quite competitive, with 17% of applicants granted acceptance. Those admitted find a rigorous program focusing on real-world training and practical problem-solving. Average financial aid awarded amounts to over $29.000 per year, with 59% of students receiving grants or scholarships.
- Average Cost: $30,847
- Undergraduate Enrollment: 6,343
11. Bellevue University, Bellevue, NE
Bellevue University is a small private university with over 25 years of accredited online degree offerings. The school is located in easternmost Nebraska just south of Omaha. Programs in computer science and closely allied fields are popular here. All applicants are accepted into Bellevue. The vast majority of students receive aid, with an average of $8,489 awarded. Almost 80% of the classes are offered online. Graduates go on to jobs earning $45,200 on average.
- Average Cost: $9,635
- Undergraduate Enrollment: 4,211
12. Simmons University, Boston, MA
Located in the heart of Boston, Simmons University is a small-sized, non-sectarian private institution. It has a strong program in computer science as well as library and information science. Although co-educational, Simmons has a strong and respected women’s undergraduate program. Students enjoy an enviable 8:1 student-to-faculty ratio. Simmons graduates go on to do well: 80% of the students graduate and obtain starting salaries in the mid- to upper $40,000’s.
- Average Cost: $29,601
- Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,631
13. University of Phoenix, Temple, AZ
A leader in career-relevant, online education, the University of Phoenix offers certificate, associate, and bachelor’s degrees in computer programming, in addition to 88 other degree programs. Closely allied fields include cybersecurity, security management, and information technology, so your particular aspirations are likely to be fulfilled here. All applicants are admitted, so you don’t need to worry about getting accepted. Moreover, 81% of students receive financial aid.
- Average Cost: $14,908
- Undergraduate Enrollment: 74,061
14. University of Advancing Technology, Temple, AZ
Computer programming is the most popular program of study at UAT, a school that bills itself as an environment of learning that not only advances the student but also propels advancing technology.Ninety-three percent of admitted students receive grants or scholarships. Located just east of Phoenix, AZ, UAT is a residential college, yet 35% of its classes are available online, making it a truly hybrid learning environment. In addition, proximity to the Grand Canyon and numerous other national parks and monuments coast provides fabulous recreational opportunities.
- Average Cost: $21,808
- Undergraduate Enrollment: 730
15. Full Sail University, Winter Park, FL
Located in Winter Park, Florida, Full Sail employs a fast-paced, hands-on, and immersive learning environment that “Mirrors the workflow and collaboration found throughout today’s rapidly evolving industries”. Degree programs in computer science, cybersecurity, and information technology are offered. Full Sail provides for both on-campus and online learning. The school accepts 100% of applicants, making this a sure-fire possibility to consider. Over 80% of its students are provided some form of financial assistance.
- Average Cost: $24,790
- Undergraduate Enrollment: 18,577
15. Southern New Hampshire University, Manchester, NH
Our top-15 listing is rounded out by Southern New Hampshire University. It is a hybrid learning school, providing on-campus and remote education. With tens of thousands of online students, it is one of the fastest-growing institutions of higher education in the United States. Computing degree possibilities include data analysis, game programming and development, information security, and software engineering. Over 90% of graduates from Southern New Hampshire report meaningful employment within two years of graduation.
- Average Cost: $34,948
- Undergraduate Enrollment: 24,575
Your Quest for a Computer Programming Degree
You have made an important decision to pursue a college degree in computer programming! Our ranking is certain to help with your search, especially If you are looking for the best combination of value and educational excellence.
We know that finding the best value for your computer programming degree requires a fair amount of effort. Therefore, we work diligently to develop rankings to enable you to quickly narrow down your search. These rankings are formulated on specific criteria that are most appealing to value-conscious students looking for excellence in their education.
Summary of Our Ranking Methodology
Here’s how we compiled this ranking: Specific rank is based on an equal (50% each) weighting of two normalized factors considered to be of the highest importance: Annual net cost to attend the school and the percentage of undergraduates who graduate with their degree. Net cost figures represent the average annual cost of attendance minus the average amount of aid received. Thus, it reflects the boiled-down, true value of earning the degree. The graduation rate is the percentage of undergraduate students that actually finish their undergraduate program and have earned their degree. This is important because it tells us that the students achieve what they originally set out to do. Additionally, it indicates that all other factors, such as social, geographical, and demographic concerns, rank sufficiently high that students stay at the school until their degree is awarded.
Data for the net cost (average total cost after average aid received) was compiled from Niche. Enrollment is for total undergraduate numbers as gathered from Niche and Google. Other school facts were also gathered from various places on the Internet.
If you represent one of the schools on our list and notice an error, please contact us so that we can make any needed updates.