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10 Best Online Master’s in Computer Science 2019

By Jennifer W. Eisenberg
March 2019

So you’ve chosen to go to grad school for computer science. This is probably a wise decision, one made based on the many stories you plowed through that exclaim excitedly at the frankly impressive job numbers out there. Vacancies everywhere. It’s possible that you are made for this. You design and redesign and/or code and re-code for siblings and friends and parents that take advantage of your technical acumen. You might think: I can do better than this. You’re probably right. You can. This list of the top 10 best online master’s in computer science can help you.

Computer-science-related work has a reputation for requiring less schooling and more applied work, but this is changing. If you are looking at the salary bumps of management and seeing the relatively brief turnaround of these degrees, the numbers might look great to you for the more straightforward Master of Computer Science (MCS). If you prefer research, the more theoretical and research-based Master of Science in Computer Science (MSCS) might be your path.

If you are afraid of taking classes online, perhaps this is not your field. But who are we kidding? You probably have done so or can easily see the advantage to studying exclusively online. The following list of top online computer science master’s degrees is designed to aid your making the decision to take up online study. We used the ranking system explained below.

Ranking Schematic

Hourly tuition rate

  • Under $300 – 5 points
  • Under $450 – 4 points
  • Under $600 – 3 points
  • Under $750 – 2 points
  • Under $900 – 1 point

US News and World Report Graduate Computer Science Program Ranking

  • Top 5 – 5 points
  • Top 15 – 4 points
  • Top 30 – 3 points
  • Top 50 – 2 points
  • Top 100 – 1 point

Special Awards

  • More than one specialization – 3 points
  • More than four specializations – 5 points
  • Digital students charged lower rate than traditional students – 3 points

#10 – University of Colorado Boulder

Boulder, Colorado

ME in Computer Science Online

US News Ranking: 40

Points: 2

Website

To get your master of engineering in computer science online at the University of Colorado Boulder, you will have to complete 30 hours of coursework. To do this, you will have 6 years to complete the program, which has an option of degree plan approval or master of engineering project. Before graduating, you will also have a student breadth requirement for this degree that calls for a B or better in three of the nine offered focus areas for students in the online University of Colorado Boulder’s ME in computer science.

#9 – North Carolina State University

Raleigh, North Carolina

Online Master of Computer Science

US News Ranking: 43

Points: 3

Website

To get into North Carolina State University’s online master of computer science, you must submit a recent GRE score and have achieved a minimum GPA of 3.0 as an undergraduate. In that undergraduate program you must have three specific, related semesters of coursework. The faculty available for the online master of computer science at North Carolina State University includes multiple National Science Foundation, IEEE, and other fellowship winners. This is a terminal, professional degree that covers 31 credits, costs $1,587 per credit, and students are granted six calendar years to complete it.

#8 – Clarkson University

Potsdam, New York

Online MS in Computer Science

US News Ranking: Not Ranked

Points: 3

Website

Featured regularly in top university rankings for technical study and entrepreneurship, Clarkson University has built up an online master of science in computer science degree which is a 30 credit program requiring three letters of recommendation, a bachelor’s degree in CS or a closely related field, a current resume, and a statement of purpose. There is a GRE waiver available to qualified applicants. Clarkson University charges $1,388 per credit hour for the online MS in computer science degree.

#7 – Drexel University

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Online MS in Computer Science

Drexel University’s school mascot is the Dragon.

US News Ranking: 82

Points: 4

Website

The 45 credit online master of science in computer science at Drexel University allows nine credits to be transferred into the program. You may choose between thesis or non-thesis options to graduate. Cost per quarter hour credit is $1,265. To be admitted to Drexel University’s Online MS in computer science, the school expects that you have earned a 3.0 GPA over the last two years of undergrad coursework, and can provide a recent GRE score, two professional letters of recommendation, and a 500-word statement of purpose.

#6 – DePaul University

Chicago, Illinois

MS in Computer Science Online

US News Ranking: Not Ranked

Points: 4

Website

DePaul University offers an online, 52-credit hour master of science in computer science program that runs on a quarter system. DePaul allows four admit dates a year as long as candidates meet a minimum 2.5 undergrad GPA on a 4.0 scale and have earned an accredited bachelor’s degree. While the school does not require professional experience or letters of recommendation, these may be utilized to augment your case for admission. For the MS in computer science online, DePaul University you must pay $850 per credit hour.

#5 – University of Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota

MCS in Computer Science Online

US News Ranking: 29

Points: 6

Website

The University of Minnesota’s master of computer science (MCS) online consists of 31 credits that the school gives five calendar years to complete. The school charges $1,422 per unit of instruction. To get in, an undergraduate 3.25 GPA is required. The University of Minnesota’s master in computer science online is coursework-only; therefore, you will not be required to submit a thesis to graduate. To succeed at the University of Minnesota, you will need to accustom yourself to the UNITE Distributed Learning content delivery system.

#4 – Boston University

Boston, Massachusetts

Online MS in Computer Information Systems

US News Ranking: 49

Points: 8

Website

Boston University’s online master of science in computer information systems is a 40 credit program, with a 18-24 month completion time and seven available concentrations: computer networks, data analytics, database management & business intelligence, health informatics, IT project management, security, and web application development. Cost for the part time, graduate study, Boston University Online MS in Computer Information Systems degree is $880 per credit hour.

#3 – Stanford University

Stanford, California

Online MS in Computer Science

US News Ranking: 1

Points: 10

Website

The online master of science in computer science at Stanford University is a terminal degree, not leading to a PhD. If accepted into the program, you have five years to fulfill your graduation requirements. You can choose from among ten specializations. You will be charged $1,260 per unit. To gain admission to Stanford University’s online MS in computer science you will need to supply a GRE score less than five years old, three recommendation letters, a statement of purpose, and the $125 application fee.

#2 – University of Illinois Urbana Champaign

Urbana, Illinois

Master of Computer Science Online

US News Ranking: 5

Points: 10

Website

Students who are accepted into the master of computer science online at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign will need to complete 32 credit hours for graduation. After the $70 application fee, the cost is $600 per credit hour with no out of state fees. To be accepted, students must have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0, three letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and a CV/resume. No GRE score is required. The University of Illinois Urbana Champaign’s MS of computer science online is Coursera-based and must be completed within five calendar years.

#1 – Georgia Tech

Atlanta, Georgia

MS in Computer Science Online

US News Ranking: 8

Points: 12

Website

If you are prepared to have your skills and talent tested in an elite program, Georgia Tech and its massively-funded master of science in computer science online will prepare you — at a cost of $167 per credit. This is not a typo. For $501 per 3 hour class, GT partners with Udacity and AT&T to offer a MOOC based, online degree for cheap. The degree requires 30 credit hours and boasts four specializations: computational perception & robotics, computing systems, interactive intelligence, and machine learning. A bachelor’s in CS or a related field, with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, a statement of purpose and career objectives and a background essay are required for admission to the online MS in computer science at Georgia Tech.