Technology remains a leading economic driver. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer and technology occupations are expected to grow 13% over the next decade — nearly twice the national average — adding over 550,000 new jobs in programming, computer networks, database systems, web development, and software, among other fields. And with the continued explosion of digital technologies, especially cloud computing, big data, and information security, public and private organizations will be eagerly seeking qualified professionals to manage their tech needs, leading to a highly competitive, lucrative job market. As of 2018, the median annual wage for computer and information technology professionals is nearly $85k.
For anyone wanting to capitalize on this in-demand field, education should be a priority. Fortunately, the rise in online learning has helped democratize higher education, opening up affordable, flexible degrees to the public and building a highly knowledgeable, skilled workforce.
Below we’ve ranked the top 20 affordable bachelor’s degrees in Computer Science, also factoring in academic quality, flexibility, and customization options. While each degree follows a similar CS curriculum, every program is different. To find the best CS bachelor’s for your needs and budget, review the profiles and explore programs that may be a good fit.
1) Western Governors University
Founded in 1996, Western Governors University is a global leader in distance and online education, with nearly 100,000 students enrolled. In particular, Western Governors specializes in flexible, self-paced learning that leverages a competency-based model to offer students credit for previous life and work experience, accelerating completion time, increasing affordability, and reducing redundant coursework. TIME, Fast Company, NBC, and CNN have recognized WGU’s innovation in educational technology, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded WGU $4.5 million in funding. Tuition is charged at a flat rate, and individual states offer financial aid opportunities.
Western Governors offers an affordable online BS in Computer Science that combines theoretical and technical skill development to prepare students to a wide variety of IT professions. Core coursework includes Web Development Foundations, Network and Security – Foundations, Scripting and Programming, Computer Architecture, Data Structures and Algorithms, and Introduction to Artificial Intelligence, among others. In addition to earning a bachelor’s, students will earn valuable certifications like CIW Site Development Associate, ITIL Foundation Certification, CompTIA Project+, and Oracle Database SQL (if you already have a certification, transfer it into the program to waive credits). The accelerated model allows students to complete the bachelor’s in as little as 6-36 months, and 97% of graduates recommend the track.
- Tuition: $11,224
2) Central Methodist University
Established in 1854, Central Methodist University is a private institution located in Fayette, Missouri, with a total enrollment of about 1,100, and ranks 27th in the region according to US News. It also places in the top 40 for value. While founded as a liberal arts school, Central Methodist emphasizes practical, career-oriented instruction that prepares students for real-world challenges, and the university’s innovative, flexible online programs are designed to accomodate working professionals, adult learners, and non-traditional students. With a 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio, classes are kept intimate and small: over 65% of classes have fewer than 20 students. For those interested in affordability, 80% of full-time undergrads receive some form of financial aid.
Central Methodist offers an affordable online bachelor’s in Computer Science (BA or BS) with coursework in Database Systems and SQL, Networking, Computer Architecture and Operating Systems, Data Structures and Algorithms, and .NET, among others. From there, students have the opportunity to tailor the degree through programming courses in Java, Visual Basic, Web Programming, Mobile Application Development, and more. Online delivery is designed meeets scheduling demands, and select 8-week course blocks accelerate the degree. Upon completion of the degree, students will be prepared to: evaluate and review systems, diagnose problems, and establish solutions; be proficient in a range of computer languages; and excel in networking, application programming, computing systems, databases and software packages.
- Tuition: $11,224
3) California State University – Monterey Bay
Founded in 1994, California State University – Monterey Bay has a total enrollment of about 7,600. US News ranks Cal State Monterey in the top 50 among all colleges and universities in the region and 11th among public schools. With a 27:1 student-to-faculty ratio, the university supports a highly collaborative, dynamic learning environment, combining the resources of a large research institution with the intimacy of a medium-sized liberal arts school. One in five classes have fewer than 20 students, and less than 7% have 50. For those interested, 61% of full-time undergrads receive some form of financial aid, and the average need met is 70%.
Cal State’s affordable online CS degree blends computer science theory and hands-on information technology practice, preaparing students for careers as software engineers, mobile app developers, and technology project manager. Core coursework includes Multimedia Design and Programming, Database System, Software Design, Computer Networks, Internet Programming, and Design and Analysis of Algorithms, among others. Courses deliver in accelerated 8-week blocks, allowing the degree to be completed in as little as two years, and multiple entry dates per year accommodate students’ schedules. All course content is approved by an industry advisory board to ensure relevant instruction, and a capstone portfolio requirements provides students with hands-on experience and the opportunity to build resumes.
- Tuition: $11,390
4) University of Illinois at Springfield
Founded in 1969, the University of Illinois at Springfield joined the UI system in 1995. US News ranks it among the top 15 public schools in the region and highlights its overall value and affordability. A worldwide leader in distance education, the university been offering online degrees since 1999, for which it has received awards from the Sloan Consortium for Excellence in Institution-Wide Online Teaching and Learning, the Ralph E. Gomory Award for Quality Online Education, and the Society for New Communications Research for Excellence in Online Reputation Management. The 14:1 student-to-faculty ratio supports tailored instruction, and over half of all classes have fewer than 20 students. Sixty-five percent of full-time undergrads receive financial aid.
UI Springfield offers an online bachelor’s degree in Computer Science that provides students with a firm understanding of core CS skills and concepts. While the curriculum follows a traditional CS structure, all students complete an entry placement assessment and have the opportunity to tailor the degree to specific areas of professional interest with the help of an academic advisor. Sample courses include Computer Programming Concepts, RoboEthics, Software Packages, HTML/Web Development, Computer Organization, Data Structures and Algorithms, Operating Systems, and Routing Configuration in WAN Environment, among others. Springfield also emphasizes practical skill development through hands-on requirements.
- Tuition: $11,444
5) Southern University and A&M College
Founded in 1880, Southern University and A&M College is a public institution with a total enrollment of about 6,400. US News ranks Southern among the best schools in the region, and places it in the top 40 for Historically Black Colleges and Universities. With a 16:1 student-to-faculty ratio, Southern promotes a tight-knit learning community, combining personalized instruction and collaborative, hands-on learning. Additional benefits include dual credits, academic and career counseling services, and support for military service members.
Southern’s online BS in Computer Science is an affordable, in-depth degree providing students with a solid foundation in the discipline. In particular, the program covers software engineering, computer organization, database systems, management information systems and operating systems, in addition to a wide range of computer applications. All courses are built for flexibility to fit scheduling demands — with resources like 24/7 access to course material, library resources, live chat, and group discussion boards — and the university’s generous transfer policy allows students to waive redundant coursework and accelerate completion time. CS graduates have gone on to careers in business, industry, government, and education.
- Tuition: $12,455
6) Baker College
Founded in 1911, Baker College has thirteen campuses in Michigan in addition to an extensive online campus. With a variety of career-oriented undergraduate, graduate, and pre-professional programs, all Baker programs are built for maximum flexibility to accommodate a wide range of working professionals, adult learners, and non-traditional students, including 24/7 access to course material, customizable degree plans, and more. With a 16:1 student-to-faculty ratio, Baker fosters a dynamic, intimate learning environment, including individualized instruction and collaborative opportunities. Additional benefits include dual credits, credit for life experience, and academic and career counseling services.
Baker offers a BS in Computer Science that consists of 71 major credit hours, including coursework in Database Management and Design, Systems Development Methods, Visual BASIC, C++ Programming, Java Programming, Data Structures and Algorithms, Big Data Analytics, and more. From there, students tailor the degree through an 18-credit concentration in Computer Programming that features advanced studies in Computer Architecture, Python, and other areas. Via the Blackboard learning platform, students have 24/7 access to course material, group discussion boards, live chats, video conferencing, and tech support. To ensure relevant, hands-on work, Baker integrates several project requirements into the curriculum, and the degree is constantly being updated to align with industry standards, reflect changes in technology, and prepare students for in-demand CS skills.
- Tuition: $12,554
7) Grantham University
Founded in 1951, Grantham University is now a 100% online university. With more than 40 degree programs and certificates, Grantham offers degrees in a wide range of disciplines, from business, to nursing and allied health, to computer science. The university’s diverse student body comes from all 50 states, as well as more than 100 countries. All courses are designed for maximum flexibility to accommodate the schedule demands of working professionals, adult learners, and non-traditional students, and the 21:1 student-to-faculty ratio supports a vibrant, collaborative learning atmosphere with personalized instruction from expert faculty. Additional benefits credit for life experience, academic and career counseling services, and support services for military. include It is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission.
- Tuition: $12,766
8) Calvary University
Founded in 1932, Calvary University is a private Christian institution with a total enrollment under 300 students. With one-year certificates, as well as bachelor’s, master’s, and associate degrees, Calvary offers small, intimate classes and a 7:1 student-to-faculty ratio, allowing students to engage personally with instructors and peers, and promoting a tight-knit educational community. Additional services include credit for life experiences, dual credits, academic and career counseling, and support for military members and veterans.
Calvary offers an online BS in Computer that combines flexibility, affordablity, and rigorous coursework to provide students with a solid foundation in CS. Major credits include Problem Solving and Programming, Discrete Structures, Database Design, Applied Probability, Artificial Intelligence, and Operating Systems, among other subjects. To allow for customization, 12 free credit electives are available, and students have the opportunity for hands-on experience to hone skills. All courses deliver online asynchronously to accommodate adult learners, working professionals, and non-traditional students, and the Canvas learning platform features 24/7 access to course material, group discussion, boards, and other dynamic tools with full tech support.
- Tuition: $13,904
9) University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
At a total enrollment of 28,000, The University of Wisconsin — Milwaukee is the second largest university in the state, offering 191 degree programs, including 94 bachelor’s, 64 master’s, and 33 doctorate degrees. Classified by the Carnegie Foundation as an R1 research institution,
- US News
ranks UW Milwaukee on at least four best-of rankings. The university has also developed an extensive online campus run in junction with the 13 other members of the University of Wisconsin System. With a 19:1 student-to-faculty ratio, over 40% of classes have fewer than 20 students and just one in ten have 50, fostering a vibrant, collaborative learning setting.
UW Milwaukee offers a unique BS in Applied Computing that focuses on future-focused learning, real-world application, and a combination of technology and business instruction. Core requirements cover Programming, Technical and Professional Communication, Systems Analysis and Design, Project Management Techniques, Computer Security, Web Development, IS Strategy and Management, Computer Security, and Legal and Ethical Responsibilities in IT. Two capstone projects add an experiential component to the program. Multiple entry dates and asynchronous delivery provide flexibility, and students on an accelerated full-time track can complete the bachelor’s in as little as two years (or take as long as necessary — there is no completion deadline).
- Tuition: $14,747
10) Park University
Founded in 1875, Park University is a private institution with a total enrollment of about 11,200 students, located across 42 campus centers and Park’s growing online campus. In addition to ranking among the best schools in the Midwest according to US News, Park has been recognized for excellent military support services and overall affordability. Payscale highlights Park’s ROI. With a 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio, classes are kept small, intimate, and collaborative, allowing for tailored instruction and hand-on learning opportunities. Additional benefits include credit for life experiences and academic and career counseling services.
Park online BS in Information and Computer Science prepares students for a wide range of fields. Coursework includes Discrete Mathematics, Technology in a Global Society, Computer Networking, Managing Information Systems, Data Management Concepts, Basic Concepts of Statistics, and either Intro to Programming or Intro to Java. From there, students have the opportunity to tailor the degree to areas of professional interest through concentrations Computer Science, Data Management, Information Technology, Networking and Security (including a Cisco certification), or Software Development. To ensure the coursework remains relevant, the curriculum is routinely updated, and Internship options provide hands-on learning.
- Tuition: $15,418
12) Charleston Southern University
Founded in 1964, Charleston Southern University is a private Christian institution with a total enrollment of 3,600, including about 1,000 online students. US News ranks Charleston Southern among the best colleges and universities in the region, and its online bachelor’s programs rank 21st in the country. With a healthy 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio, CSU is able to combine individualized instruction with a dynamic, collaborative learning experience that emphasizes theory as well as practice. Half of Charleston Southern’s classes have fewer than 20 students. Admissions are rolling, and nearly all full-time undergraduates receive financial aid.
Charleston Southern offers an online BS in Computer Science featuring 60 major credits: Data Structure Analysis, Computer Architecture, Advanced Operating Systems, Systems Analysis and Software Design, Applied Systems, and more. Built-in electives allow customization, and a senior project and portfolio review ensure practical, real-world emphases. To accommodate an array of students, including adult learners and working professionals, online courses are designed for maximum flexibility. Through the Blackboard learning platform, students have 24/7 access to course material as well as cutting-edge tools like web conferencing, group discussion boards, and live chat rooms. Additional resources and support services include a student success center, enrollment assistance, tech support, and more.
- Tuition: $15,709
13) Rasmussen College — Minnesota
Founded in 1900, Rasmussen College offers associate’s degrees, applied associate’s, bachelor’s, certificates, and diplomas across 23 campuses and the school’s extensive online campus. Designed for adult learners, working professionals, and non-traditional students, all Rasmussen programs are built for maximum flexibility, with accelerated track options and tuition-saving opportunities via flex paths, scholarships, discounts, and a generous transfer policy. With a 16:1 student-to-faculty ratio, Rasmussen combines tailored instruction opportunities with a vibrant, collaborative educational community. Additional benefits include credit for life experiences, academic and career counseling, and military support services.
Rasmussen offers an online bachelor’s in Computer Science designed to prepare students for a career in software development, including earning certifications from Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, and Apple (the university reimburses students for up to three practice exams and exam application fees). Core course requirements include Enterprise Architecture, Operations Management, Distributed Application Architecture, Mobile Web Application Development, Business Project Management, Emerging Trends in Technology, Distributed Database Management, Web Analytics, and Advanced Cloud Computing Technologies, among others. From there, students can tailor the degree through specializations in Apple iOS App Development or Universal Windows App Development. Accelerated course delivery allows students to complete the degree in as little as 18 months. Graduates have gone on to work in a wide variety of fields, from tech to healthcare, finance, education, and government.
- Tuition: $16,447
14) Davenport University
Davenport University, founded in 1866, is a private institution with a total enrollment of about 7,600. Ranked among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest by US News, Davenport places an emphasis on innovative, practical, and affordable education, including experienced faculty that integrate practical curriculum plans to develop professional skills. Davenport’s 12:1 student-to-faculty promotes personalized instruction, but also intimate and collaborative classes that allow for a tight-knit educational community. Three-quarters of all classes have fewer than 20 students, and none have more than 49. Additional benefits include credit for life experience, academic and career counseling, and services and programs for military members and veterans.
Davenport’s online Bs in Computer Science is an affordable, career-focused program that teach students to think logically, solve problems through collaboration, and effectively communicate. Major coursework covers Software Engineering, Data Structures and Algorithms, Computer Vision, Security Foundations, Finite Mathematics, Introduction to Game Design, and more, including a capstone that promotes skill development. Next, students can tailor the degree to areas of professional interest through selecting a specialization in either Artificial Intelligence, Computer Architecture and Algorithms, and Gaming and Simulation. Davenport also offers course credits for certifications you may already have earned, accelerated degree completion time. Related bachelor’s are available in Computer Information Systems, Network Management and Security, Cyber Defense, and Digital Forensics.
- Tuition: $16,742
15) Oregon State University
Founded in 1868, Oregon State University has a total enrollment around 30,350. OSU is the only university in the state to hold both the Carnegie Foundation’s Tier 1 designation for research institutions and its Community Engagement classification, and US News, Washington Monthly, and Forbes rank it among the top public schools in the country. Most important, US News ranks OSU’s online bachelor’s programs 8th in the country, in addition to high marks for veteran support and overall value and affordability. The 18:1 student-to-faculty ratio supports a collaborative, vibrant learning community as well as tailored instruction from experienced faculty. Nearly a third of classes have fewer than 20 students, and over half of undergraduates receive some form of financial aid.
Oregon State’s School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science offers a rigorous, accelerated bachelor’s in CS that consists of 60 major credits in areas like Programming, Data Structures, Analysis of Algorithms, Web Development, Software Engineering, Operating Systems, and more. A range of electives, from Mobile and Cloud Software Development to Parallel Programming, allow students to customize the curriculum, and a capstone project adds a hands-on component. Oregon State’s flexible academic plans give students control over scheduling, and there are four annual entry dates. The degree is designed to be completed in one year. (As a post-baccalaureate program, students take only the required courses in the computer science major.)
- Tuition: $19,484
16) Colorado Technical University
Founded in 1965, Colorado Technical University has a total enrollment of about 20,000, including an increasingly large online presence. All CTU degrees emphasize career-driven, hands-on education that promotes professional development and skill-building. With a 28:1 student-to-faculty ratio, CTU supports a vibrant, dynamic learning environment that balances tailored instruction and peer-to-peer education. Further, CTU’s MUSE program allows students to choose a delivery model that fits their scheduling demands, including 100% online, hybrid, and blended options for maximum flexibility. For students interested in tuition assistance, 80% of undergrads receive some form of financial aid.
Colorado Tech offers an online BS in Computer Science that balances affordable tuition with in-depth, in-demand coursework. Major requirements include Computer Architecture, Programming (Python, SQL, Java, C++), Operating Systems, Software Engineering, Big Data Analytics, Computer Security, Networking, and more. Electives provide program customization, and students can pursue concentrations in Cybersecurity Engineering, Software Engineering, and Data Science. New programs start monthly, and transfer credits, corporate partnerships, Fast Track courses, and tuition reimbursement opportunities give students multiple ways to reduce costs. US News has ranked CTU’s online bachelor’s programs among the best in the country for four straight years.
- Tuition: $19,856
17) Saint Leo University
Founded in 1889, Saint Leo University is Florida’s oldest Catholic institution of higher learning, with a total enrollment of about 6,000 students, over 60% of which take online classes. Ranked among the best 60 schools in the South by US News, Saint Leo also ranks 23rd for overall value and affordability, and places in the top 40 for veteran support. Leo’s 14:1 student-to-faculty ratio promotes tailored instruction, collaborative education, and a tight-knit learning community that combines the intimacy of a liberal arts school with the resources of large research institution.
Saint Leo offers a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science teaches students to solve real-life problems via CS design, development, support and management. Major requirements cover Computer Systems, Network Theory and Design, Database Concepts and Programming, Introduction to Information Security, Software Engineering, Algorithms and Data Structures, and more. Open electives enhance customization features, and a specialization in Information Assurance includes coursework in Disaster Recovery, Penetration Testing, and Information Security Management. To ensure the most up-to-date curriculum, Saint Leo follows recommendations from IEEE and ACM. Graduates of the program have gone on to careers at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Verizon, Bisk Technologies, and Jesse Ball duPont Fund.
- Tuition: $21,296
18) National University
Founded in 1971, National University is the second-largest private, nonprofit school in California and a leader in online education, with over twenty years of experience and five online programs ranked among the best in the country by US News. NU is a Yellow Ribbon school founded by veterans and offers the post 9/11 GI Bill in addition to other top-ranked military support services. Students come from all 50 states and 65 countries, and with over 150,000 alumni around the world, National offers an excellent professional network.
National offers an affordable online BS in Computer Science that builds students technical and design skills, combining a strong academic foundation with real-world programming requirements. All courses deliver online for scheduling flexibility (enhanced by year-round enrollment and accelerated 4-week delivery blocks) and include studies in object-oriented programming, data structures and algorithms, operating systems, computer communication networks, software engineering, and computer architecture. Among the program objectives are learning to utilize computer science for problem-solving; understanding the impact of technology on individuals, organizations, and society; and effectively communication computer science issues, concepts, and solutions to team members. The degree is accredited by the ABET and WASC Senior College and University Commission.
- Tuition: $22,377
19) LeTourneau University
Founded in 1946, LeTourneau University is a private Christian polytechnic school with a total enrollment of 2,700. In addition to being ranked among the 15 most affordable schools in the region, US News ranks LETU in the top 30 for at least three other lists. The 14:1 student-to-faculty ratio encourages a tight-knit learning community, individualized instruction, and manageable class sizes: nearly 70% of classes have fewer than 20 students. For those interested, 73% of full-time undergrads receive some form of tuition aid, and the average need met is 70%.
LeTourneau’s online bachelor’s in Computer Science balances rigorous, up-to-date academic instruction with practical hands-on learning. Topics covered include Database Management, Software Engineering, Project Management, and Information Security, and concentrations may be available in Game Development and Network Security, giving students the opportunity to tailor the degree in an area of career interest. Additional benefits include blended delivery options for students who prefer on-campus and online coursework, a free admissions process, and a variety of student support services. The program is accredited by the ABET and Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
- Tuition: $22,377
20) Regis University
Regis University, founded in 1877, is a private Catholic university in Denver with a total enrollment of 11,500 students. As a member of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, US News ranks Regis among the top 30 schools in the region, including recognition for veteran services and overall value. The 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio fosters an intimate educational setting with collaborative learning, personalized instruction, and small classes; sixty percent have fewer 20 students. For students prioritizing affordable tuition rates, nearly all full-time undergrads receive some form of tuition assistance.
Regis offers an online BS in Computer Science that prepares students to design and implement computer solutions to real-world social, political, environmental, scientific, medical, economic, and business challenges. Major course requirements include Operating Systems Design/Analysis, Computer Architecture, Software Engineering, Computation Theory, Ethical Leadership in Computer Science, Distributed Systems, and a capstone to build professional skills. From there, a variety of electives are available to tailor the curriculum, and students can choose to concentrate in Computer Information Systems, Information Technology, or general CS. On completion of the program, students will have developed valuable problem-solving, communication, and management skills in addition to CS skills. The degree is accredited by the ABET.
- Tuition: $22,377