Top 10 Best Online Masters in Computer Science Degree Programs 2014

The Computer Science industry is ever evolving and one of the best ways to advance your career is to earn a graduate degree in the field; an online master’s in computer science is one such example. Earning a graduate degree takes time, and earning one from a high quality institution might often mean moving and leaving the field, or changing jobs. These are often not viable options for computer science professionals because one of the keys to success in the field is staying on top of the advances, leaving the field to earn a degree often has the potential to set you back in your career. This is where earning a master’s in computer science online while you work can be an ideal solution.

Ranking the Top Online Master’s Degree Programs in Computer Science 2014

#1. Colorado Technical University: Online Master of Science in Computer Science

Executive Summary: Faculty in this distinguished program include Dr. Myles A. Vogel, University Dean, IT, Computer Science and Engineering; D. Brian Letort, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Computer Science; and Bo I. Sanden, Ph.D., CTU Faculty, Computer Science.  Related degrees offered at CTU include Master of Science in Computer Engineering. Concentrations include Database Systems, Computer Systems Security, and Software Engineering.

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Tuition: $585 per credit hour / $28,080 for the 48-credit degree program.

Unique Features: Core courses cover the following areas.

  • Leadership and ethical decision making
  • Database systems
  • Modern operating systems
  • Software project management
  • Computer networking
  • Computer systems security
  • Systems engineering methodology

#2. University of Illinois: Online Masters of Computer Science

Executive Summary: The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is one of the nation’s leading public research universities. The University prides itself on the breadth and quality of its programs and boasts Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winning alumni and faculty.

Tuition: UI tuition for the MCS degree is $1,000.00 per credit.

Unique Features: The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is ranked #46 among national universities by U.S. News and World Report, its computer programs, including computer science are ranked #5 in the nation keeping company with schools like MIT and Stanford.

#3. Kaplan University: Online MS in Information Technology

Executive Summary: The University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. They are also a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA). Areas of specialization within the Online Master of Science in Information Technology include Business Intelligence, Information Security and Assurance, and Project Management.

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Tuition: $402 per credit / $22,512 for the 56-credit degree program.

Unique Features: Core courses include the following.

  • Management of Information Security
  • Legal and Ethical Issues in IT
  • SQL Query Design
  • Database Design and Data Modeling
  • Computer Networks
  • Information Systems Project Management
  • System Analysis and Design

#4. Purdue University: Master of Science in Computer Science

Executive Summary: This public university located in Indiana is one of the most prominent in the United States, particularly for Computer Science. The online graduate Computer Science program is geared toward providing computing professionals with the opportunity to earn a high quality degree while maintaining their work in the field.

Tuition: Purdue University’s online MS in computer science program tuition is $3,333.00 per three credit course.

Unique Features: Purdue University is ranked #65 overall among national universities by U.S. News and World report, and #20 in the field of Computer Science.

#5. Johns Hopkins University: Online Master of Science in Computer Science

Executive Summary: Johns Hopkins University has, over the last few years, begun entering the online education market in a big way. Johns Hopkins’ willingness to embrace online education indicates that online education is getting more attention from top ranked universities and that the quality of the education is not impeded by the online mode of delivery.

Tuition: Johns Hopkins University’s Engineering for Professionals MS in computer science program tuition is $3,175.00 per credit.

Unique Features: Johns Hopkins University is ranked #13 among national universities by U.S. News and World Report, #28 in the United States for Computer Science, and its online education programs are highly ranked across the board by U.S. News and World Report’s online education honor roll.

#6. University of Minnesota: Master of Computer Science

Executive Summary: UM’s College of Science and Engineering has a special program called UNITE that is devoted to providing distance education opportunities for working professionals. The program is devoted to maintaining the high standards of quality offered by UM’s traditional programs.

Tuition: University of Minnesota charges a base tuition of $1,214.17 per credit up to six credits and rates reduce gradually for taking more than six credits per semester. All distance learning UNITE students are charged resident tuition, unless the student is a non-resident that is also taking on campus courses, in which case they are charged non-resident tuition for all courses.

Unique Features: UM is ranked #68 among national universities by U.S. News and World Report and #35 for computer science in the United States.

#7. Drexel University: Online Master of Science in Computer Science

Executive Summary: Drexel University prides itself on being one of the most cutting edge education institutions in the country. The first school to require students have access to a computer, it makes sense that Drexel fully embraced online education before most schools. Drexel offers a wide range of high quality distance education programs.

Tuition: Drexel University’s tuition for the online MS in computer science program is $1,045.00 per credit.

Unique Features: Drexel is ranked #87 among national universities by U.S. News and World Report, their Computer Science program is ranked #99 and Drexel is also recognized as the #3 up and coming school in the United States.

#8. North Carolina State University: Online Master of Computer Science

Executive Summary: NC State’s Master of Computer Science program is offered by the school’s Engineering Online distance education program. While coursework and results are exchanged electronically, exams must be proctored. Students can make arrangements for proctoring at their own location.

Tuition: North Carolina residents pay $337.00 per credit, non residents pay $674.00 per credit.

Unique Features: North Carolina State University is ranked #47 in the nation for computer science and #106 overall. NCSU is also ranked #14 in Faculty Credentials and Training for online education in their engineering department, the department through which the Master of Computer Science degree is earned.

#9. New Jersey Institute of Technology: Master of Science in Computer Science Online

Executive Summary: NJIT utilizes the most advanced communications technology of today. This technology is leveraged to create a rich online learning environment; featuring virtual office hours where professors devote time to meeting with online students, forums where students can interact with their peers, live skype conference calls, and more.

Tuition: Resident tuition is $1,043.00 per credit, non-resident tuition for distance education has recently been reduced and is only slightly more expensive at $1,193.34 per credit.

Unique Features: Ranked #139 among national universities, #91 for its computer science programs in particular, where NJIT really shines is its extensively interactive online learning environment.

#10. University of Louisville: Master of Science in Computer Science Online

Executive Summary: The University of Louisville offers an affordable online Master of Science in Computer Science program featuring award winning faculty. The program provides working computer science professionals with a flexible online program focused on subject matters crucial to advancement in the profession.

Tuition: Residents and nonresidents pay the same tuition rate of $660.00 per credit hour.

Unique Features: UL is ranked #160 among national universities by U.S. News and World Report and ranked in the top 300 computer science programs in the country.

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Additional Programs

#Colorado State University: Master of Computer Science in Computer Science

Executive Summary: The focus of the Master of Computer Science in Computer Science program at CSU is on providing its students with the necessary skills to assume a leadership position in the field. The program’s emphasis is on adaptability, and methods for keeping up with and critically analyzing advancements.

Tuition: CSU tuition for the MCS-CS degree is $649.00 per credit

Unique Features: Ranked #79 for its computer science programs and #134 among national universities by U.S. News and World Report, CSU offers a strong program at a more affordable rate than the other top options.

University of Michigan-Flint: Online Master of Science in Computer Science and Information Systems

Executive Summary: The online program offered by University of Michigan-Flint offers specializations in either Computer Science or Information Systems and offers a fast track program for those interested in computer science but without a bachelor degree on the subject.

Program website.

Tuition: Michigan resident tuition is $484.25 per credit, non resident tuition is $726.00 per credit.

Unique Features: The program at University of Michigan-Flint is highly accessible and a strong option for those without an undergraduate degree in computer science. University of Michigan-Flint also offers a dual degree BS/MS program and a dual MS/MBA program.

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Additional Resource: Top 10 Best Online Schools for Computer Science Degrees