Best Online Master’s in Computer Science Programs of 2023

Find out which online master's in computer science degree programs are the best fit for you and how online learning can help you achieve your educational goals.
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Updated on August 25, 2023
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  • Computer science is a rapidly growing field with high demand.
  • A master's in computer science is sometimes required to enter the field.
  • The median cost of the degree is more than $8,000.
  • Computer science jobs tend to pay extremely well, often more than $97,000 annually.

When was the last time you went more than a day without using technology? The ease of technology has made it an essential tool, and you have computer scientists to thank for that.

Whether you use tech for your job or just for fun (hello, TikTok), computer scientists are the ones behind the scenes. They figure out what to do next when technology needs a breakthrough.

Computer scientists use their knowledge to solve problems about how computers work or what technology needs to improve. It's a job that's become increasingly important given how much interaction happens between humans and computers daily.

But keep in mind: Computer scientists need to be well-educated to do their work. A master's in computer science is often the go-to choice for those seeking to advance in the field. And you can earn the degree online.

Featured Master's in Computer Science Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Why Should You Get a Master's in Computer Science Degree?

When you consider all the positives, getting a master's in computer science seems like a no-brainer.

Computer science is a rapidly growing field that pays extremely well. Professionals with master's degrees in the subject are in high demand because companies need workers with tech skills.

A master's in computer science also qualifies you for numerous computer science jobs, including in software development and database administration. These positions have high projected job growth and median salaries compared to other fields.

"As computers become more powerful and widespread, there is never a better time to be involved in this rapidly growing field. These days, computer science has indeed come into its own as an indispensable profession."

Abdul Rahim, MCA in Computer Science

Benefits of Getting an Online Master's in Computer Science Degree

  • Rapid job growth caused by increased demand for computer software
  • Access to many high-paying jobs
  • Nearly recession-proof due to reliance on computer science experts
  • Wide variety of specializations based on your preference and experience
  • Opportunities for creativity and innovation

Reasons for Getting Your Master's in Computer Science Online

  • Balance work and school
  • Flexible class schedule
  • Learn from anywhere
  • More free time
  • Better for neurodivergent learning needs

"Students who like to find solutions, think creatively and critically, and work on diverse teams would benefit the most from completing their master's in computer science. Since the field is ever-evolving, you will have an opportunity to stay current on the latest improvements and help drive positive change in almost any industry."

Jon Preston, MS in Computer Science

Read More: What Is Computer Science?

Master's in Computer Science Jobs

You won't find many other industries projected to grow as quickly as computer science.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects computer science jobs will grow by 15% from 2021-2031. These professionals also earned far more in 2021 than the annual median wage across all industries.

5 Popular Jobs for a Master's in Computer Science
Job Median Salary (May 2021) Outlook
Software Developer $109,020 25%
Computer and Information Systems Manager $159,010 16%
Web Developer $78,300 23%
Database Administrator $101,000 9%
Computer and Information Research Scientist $131,490 21%
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Just how much does a computer science job pay? According to the BLS, the median annual salary for a computer scientist was $97,430 in 2021. The median annual wage for all other jobs was $45,760.

Plus, your salary will only continue to rise as you progress through your career. So, compared to many other fields, getting a master's in computer science can lead to excellent pay and job security.

Read More: Top Trends in Computer Science Careers

Read More: Computer Science Career Track

How Much Does an Online Master's in Computer Science Cost?

The median cost of an online master's in computer science is $8,464 per year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. And the cost may be higher or lower depending on your school and how long you take to finish your degree.

But, if you're worried about the cost, there are ways to make a master's in computer science more affordable. Computer science scholarships can help you save money.

Computer Science Scholarships for Graduate Students:

Read More: Is a Computer Science Degree Worth It?

How Long Does an Online Master's in Computer Science Degree Take?

An online master's program in computer science can take anywhere from 2-5 years to complete. The timeline depends on how many credits you take.

You're considered a full-time master's degree student if you take eight or more credits per semester. Maintaining that pace means you'll likely finish your computer science degree in about two years.

A part-time master's student takes fewer than eight credits per semester. Taking fewer credits can extend the timeline to about five years or less.

Average Length of Time*

2-5 years

Required Course Credits*

30-36 credits

*Varies depending on your school/program

How Much Money Will You Make with a Master's in Computer Science?

Source: Payscale

Read More: Is Computer Science Hard? What to Know

How Do You Choose an Online Master's in Computer Science Program?

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Best Online Master's in Computer Science Programs

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#1 Best Online Master’s in Computer Science Programs of 2023

North Carolina State University at Raleigh

  • Raleigh, NC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus
Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$6,535
Out-of-state
$26,654
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$9,095
Out-of-state
$26,421
Retention Rate
94%
Admission Rate
46%
Students Enrolled
36,042
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
91% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#2 Best Online Master’s in Computer Science Programs of 2023

Lewis University

  • Romeoville, IL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus
Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$34,268
Out-of-state
$34,268
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$14,580
Out-of-state
$14,580
Retention Rate
80%
Admission Rate
66%
Students Enrolled
6,437
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
89% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
#3 Best Online Master’s in Computer Science Programs of 2023

City University of Seattle

  • Seattle, WA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus
Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$13,658
Out-of-state
$13,658
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$11,812
Out-of-state
$11,812
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
2,052
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
83% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
#4 Best Online Master’s in Computer Science Programs of 2023

University of Bridgeport

  • Bridgeport, CT
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus
Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$32,860
Out-of-state
$32,860
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$19,096
Out-of-state
$19,096
Retention Rate
68%
Admission Rate
71%
Students Enrolled
4,155
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
49% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
#5 Best Online Master’s in Computer Science Programs of 2023

Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus

  • Atlanta, GA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus
Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$10,258
Out-of-state
$31,370
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$14,064
Out-of-state
$29,140
Retention Rate
97%
Admission Rate
21%
Students Enrolled
39,771
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
91% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#6 Best Online Master’s in Computer Science Programs of 2023

University of North Dakota

  • Grand Forks, ND
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus
Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$8,540
Out-of-state
$12,810
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$11,060
Out-of-state
$16,590
Retention Rate
81%
Admission Rate
87%
Students Enrolled
13,615
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
83% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
#7 Best Online Master’s in Computer Science Programs of 2023

DePaul University

  • Chicago, IL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus
Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$40,551
Out-of-state
$40,551
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$19,370
Out-of-state
$19,370
Retention Rate
83%
Admission Rate
70%
Students Enrolled
21,922
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
99% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
#8 Best Online Master’s in Computer Science Programs of 2023

University of Illinois Springfield

  • Springfield, IL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus
Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$9,592
Out-of-state
$16,120
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$8,247
Out-of-state
$14,021
Retention Rate
74%
Admission Rate
77%
Students Enrolled
4,146
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
98% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
#9 Best Online Master’s in Computer Science Programs of 2023

University of Idaho

  • Moscow, ID
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus
Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$6,182
Out-of-state
$25,418
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$7,754
Out-of-state
$26,990
Retention Rate
77%
Admission Rate
74%
Students Enrolled
10,791
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
65% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
#10 Best Online Master’s in Computer Science Programs of 2023

George Washington University

  • Washington, DC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus
Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$55,961
Out-of-state
$55,961
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$31,770
Out-of-state
$31,770
Retention Rate
88%
Admission Rate
43%
Students Enrolled
27,017
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
25% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Everything Else You Need to Know About a Master's in Computer Science Degree

What are the admission requirements for a master's in computer science program?

A bachelor's degree in computer science is a common requirement for admission to a master's-level computer science program. But, some programs allow students without a bachelor's degree to take remedial coursework and meet the admission requirements.

For example, students in certain master's in computer science programs may need to be competent in certain undergraduate-level computer science classes, such as:

  • Systems, design and analysis of algorithms
  • Formal languages and automata theory
  • Networking and communications.

Is a master's in computer science hard?

In general, computer science can be hard for a lot of students. The difficulty only increases at the master's level. It will be easier if you understand subjects like discrete mathematics, data structures, and algorithms well.

You'll also need a balance of technical and analytical skills. But, you can increase your odds of success if you study hard and try to improve areas of weakness.

What does a computer scientist do?

A computer scientist is an expert at using computer-based systems to solve problems. They work on projects involving specific areas such as data science, programming language theory, and machine learning.

Computer scientists understand how computers and applications work and process information. So when you need a piece of technology improved, computer scientists know the best methods for doing so.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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