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Do you have a mind for how technology works and a passion to invent the world's future technologies? If so, you may have considered a Master's degree in Computer Science.

You've made a wise choice. On average, graduates of Computer Science programs earn around $100,000 per year, with many having the potential to earn much more. You could work as a software engineer or developer, or as a data analyst or information technology manager.

Your opportunities are endless with one of these advanced degrees. Luckily, it's easier than ever to earn a degree, as more schools now offer fully online graduate programs in Computer Science. Studying from home will enable you to remain employed, while you enjoy the flexibility of versatile classes. Consider our ranking of the 35 Best Online Master's in Computer Science as you embark on this exciting journey.

Ranking Factors

Best Value Schools publishes college degree rankings with the belief of how one's higher education should be, both, affordable and an investment of continued value for the students who pursue them. The staff of BVS collects data from reputable sources in order to calculate Net Price and the short and long-term value of every ranked degree. Collected data is simplified into weighted categories before scoring, and then scaled through a BVS Score up to 100. The weighted categories are:

  • Degree Investment Return (25%)
  • Student & Alumni Evaluation (25%)
  • Cost Value (25%)
  • Matriculation (10%)
  • Academic Success (15%)

No matter what degree you decide on, we hope our research and support has made the selection process easier. There are numerous resources BVS utilizes to collect information on degrees, and we encourage you to check them out for yourself!

Check out our methodology to see how we determined each score.


#35 Syracuse University

Master of Science in Computer Science Online
This renowned university is praised by top national security organizations for its excellence in technical training. A leader among programs of its kind, the Master's in Computer Science is an interactive online degree that allows students to make real, long-lasting connections with their classmates and instructors without having to relocate. The rigorous curriculum includes classes such as Principles of Operating Systems and Structured Programming and Formal Methods. While the degree does include an on-campus immersion requirement, this outstanding experience connects students with peers and professionals in the industry to help them gain relevant career experience and valuable networking connections.

Tuition: $36,000
Score: 68.91

#34. Colorado Technical University

Master of Science in Computer Science
Colorado Technical University has a 48-credit MA in Computer Science. Students will learn the basics of networks, operating systems, and software engineering, then deep dive into a concentration that fits their career aspirations. There are three concentrations: general computer science, database systems, and computer systems security and software engineering. Students are encouraged to collaborate with their employer through their capstone project, which asks them to explore a technical issue in their organization.

Tuition: $13,393
Score: 69.13

#33 University of Bridgeport

Online Computer Science (M.S.) Degree
This program has been repeatedly recognized by U.S. News and World Report as one of the best in the country. Through 34 credit hours of study, all of which can be completed entirely online, students gain skills in mathematics, science, and technology to help them succeed in their future careers or further education. With affordable tuition starting at just $15,750 regardless of residency, this school makes it easy for students to study from any location. It is regionally accredited, with core courses including topics like Data and Computer Communication and Operating Systems. Classes are offered year-round. Most students can complete the program in less than three years by taking just two classes at a time.

Tuition: $15,750
Score: 69.60

#32 Illinois Institute of Technology

Master of Science in Computer Science
If you have a knack for research and want to expand your skills to industry-related studies, this program is for you. This program offers no specializations, but is open to any student who already possesses a bachelor's degree in Computer Science. It is heavy in practical training, allowing students to engage in a number of applicable real-life research courses. Students may pursue a number of course combinations to compose their unique plan of study. This is one of the oldest computer science programs in the state. It combines small classroom environments with extensive research and internship opportunities at local industries and national laboratories.

Tuition: $28,903
Score: 71.42

#31 Lewis University

Master Science of Computer Science
The practical, career-relevant degree at Lewis University offers students the opportunity to complete hands-on coursework while honing their problem-solving and creative skills. The curriculum is modeled around an outcomes-based learning model, requiring students to master content through research and thesis projects. It is taught by experienced faculty, all of whom have outstanding industry experience and are at the forefront of technological advancement. Several concentrations are available, including one in Cyber Security, which was ranked as one of the Top 20 Best Online Master's in Cyber Security in 2017. Other concentrations include Intelligent Systems and Software Engineering.

Tuition: $14,310
Score: 71.73

#30 West Virginia University

Software Engineering Master's Degree MSSE
This part-time software engineering program is only offered online. The classes e-meet in the evenings to accommodate working professionals. Applicants must have a bachelor's in Computer Science with a 3.0 GPA and either satisfactory GRE scores or a year of computer science work experience. U.S. News and World Report agrees that the program is one of the Best Graduate Degrees in Computer Information Technology for 2018.

Tuition: $9,450 (in-state) / $24,390 (out-of-state)
Score: 72.17

#29 Florida Atlantic University

Master of Science in Computer Science
This affordable degree program is a great option for students seeking a flexible, high-profile degree in Computer Science. It can be completed in a number of formats, allowing students to choose between a non-thesis or thesis option. Each student is assigned an independent academic advisor to help tailor their classwork to their individual career goals. This program is one of the most military friendly of its kind, offering extensive financial aid opportunities as well as the ability to complete classes at any time of the day. Students will take hands-on classes like Design and Analysis of Algorithms and Computer Operating Systems, directly from the comfort of their own homes.

Tuition: $5,467 (in-state) / $16,695 (out-of-state)
Score: 75.77

#28 University of Idaho

Master of Science in Computer Science
Students in this graduate program will learn the foundations behind computer science theory and application, as well as how the two intersect. It is research based, providing students with extensive experience in the field as they apply methodical approaches to real-world obstacles. Most students are full-time working professionals, taking just a couple of courses per semester. Students are given three to five years to complete their studies, offering them affordable tuition that costs less than $7,000 for students with Idaho residency. Multiple scholarships and paid internship opportunities are also available, making it easy to make ends meet while studying in this rigorous program.

Tuition: $6,722 (in-state); $23,046 (out of state)
Score: 75.87

#27 University of Massachusetts Amherst

Master of Science in Computer Science
This Computer Science program is one of the most immersive of its kind, allowing students to select an area of specialization. These specializations, which include coursework such as Mobile Robotics and Neural Computing, are taught by the same University of Massachusetts faculty who teach on campus. Requiring 30 credit hours to complete and costing just $553 per credit hour, this degree is an affordable yet convenient option for any distance learner. Alumni are highly successful in pursuing long lasting careers in the computer industry, government organizations, and research institutions. The university is ranked as one of the top best value colleges by Payscale, and is recognized as a Tier 1 National Research University by U.S. News and World Report.

Tuition: $13,210 (in-state) / $27,834 (out-of-state)
Score: 76.01

#26 Stanford University

Master of Science in Computer Science
This program is one of the most flexible, allowing students to complete their studies in anywhere between three and five years. With foundational courses including topics like Computer Organization and Systems and Design and Analysis of Algorithms, this degree also offers students the choice of a course specialization. Specializations include topics like Artificial Intelligence, Biocomputation, and Computer and Network Security. The Computer Science department at Stanford has strong ties with researchers at national research and industrial institutions and contributes regularly to advancement of the field.

Tuition: $48,987
Score: 76.57

#25 Auburn University

Master of Science in Computer Science and Software Engineering
The online program in Computer Science at Auburn University is one of the best in the country - ranked 15 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, in fact. Online students receive access so the same hands-on experiences, faculty expertise, and technological resources that make the on-campus version of this program so exceptional. Students may pursue a number of specialized courses in areas like Computer Networks, Cybersecurity, Data Science, and more. It is designed for students who already hold a related degree and includes both a thesis- and non-thesis option. Each student can engage in computer science instruction and research to obtain top-of-the-line excellence in the discipline.

Tuition: $9,342 (in-state)/ $28,026 (out-of-state)
Score: 76.96

#24 John Hopkins University

Master of Science in Computer Science
This unique program provides students with a leg up on the rapidly changing technological field of Computer Science. With multiple concentrations in topics like Database Systems and Knowledge Management, Systems Theory, and others, this program is a great choice for candidates seeking a highly customizable and personalized degree program. Regardless of the concentration chosen, students will develop mastery of the mathematical and technological skills necessary for analyzing computer algorithms. They will receive a full range of instruction and hands-on experience in the analysis, design, theory, and implementation of computer information systems.

Tuition: $52,170
Score: 77.32

#23 University of Louisville

Master of Science in Computer Science
The Master of Science in Computer Science at the University of Louisville, available entirely online, is taught by award-winning faculty. The program consists of 30 credits, with classes offered year-round for added convenience. In addition to the stand-alone graduate program in Computer Science, the university also offers add-on certificates in Data Science and Cybersecurity to help make graduates more marketable and well-rounded. The J.B. Speed School of Engineering, where the program is housed, has been around since 1924, and features research conducted by some of the world's most prestigious researchers.

Tuition: $12,246 (in-state)/ $25,486 (out-of-state)
Score: 77.44

#22 California State University, Fullerton

Master of Science in Software Engineering
This program, which admits students in the fall semester only due to its competitive nature, is ranked by myriad associations as one of the best of its kind. U.S. News and World Report claims that this program is the 16th best in the nation, while Affordable Colleges Online and Best Colleges also have this school within their lists of the top 20 programs. It prepares students to pursue careers in industry and government agencies, emphasizing the importance of process-oriented methodologies and critical software engineering research. The comprehensive program exposes students to problem solving and collaborative work, all of which is overseen by dedicated, experienced faculty.

Tuition: $7,176 (in-state)/ $6,680 (out-of-state)
Score: 77.93

#21 Stevens Institute of Technology

Master of Science in Computer Science
Students in this program take a range of diverse courses throughout the duration of their studies, gaining skills and expertise in areas like cybersecurity and software engineering. Each student takes a selection of core courses before moving on to pursue an individually-chosen Graduate Certificate Program. Available programs include Secure Systems, Software Development, Network and Systems Administration, Databases, and Cloud Computing. Each program is self-contained and highly-focused, taught by award-winning faculty with industry experience. These programs rank highly, coming in as some of the Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs by U.S. News and World Report.

Tuition: $34,494
Score: 78.44

#20 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Master of Computer Science
This elite program is currently ranked as fifth in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. Known for its flexible course scheduling and affordable tuition, the program includes online courses that are identical to their on-campus counterparts. Students gain access to world-class faculty and research, and benefit from a 20-year history of exceptional online education. In addition to the program in Computer Science, 17 specialized certificates and nearly 200 professionally oriented courses are available. All are offered with critical student support services, a must for any online student.

Tuition: $15,186 (in-state)/ $28,773 (out-of-state)
Score: 79.59

#19 Kennesaw State University

Master of Science in Information Technology
This degree offers several areas of focus, including Health Information Technology, IT Security, and Databases and Networking. Applications are accepted throughout the year in this program, which is offered both on-campus and online. In addition, the department has been top-ranked by multiple ranking affiliates, including Value Colleges and The Best Schools. Among its accolades include placements within the Top 50 Best Value Online Graduate Information Technology Programs and The Best Online Information Technology Degree Programs.

Tuition: $4,851 (in-state)/ $17,541 (out-of-state)
Score: 79.83

#18 Old Dominion University

Master of Science in Computer Science
This degree is ranked as one of the Best Online Graduate Information Technology programs for 2018 by U.S. News and World Report as well as one of the Top 6 Online Colleges for Master's in Computer Science in 2018 by Guide to Online Schools. It is designed for students who already have training in computer science, and allows candidates to study rigorously in areas like data mining, digital libraries, cybersecurity, computational foundations, and more. A joint graduate certificate in Cybersecurity is also available. With tuition that starts at just $568 for out-of-state students, this degree is a smart choice for online learners.

Tuition: $9,168 (in-state) / $26,820 (out-of-state)
Score: 80.62

#17 University of West Georgia

Master of Science in Applied Computer Science
This flexible program in Computer Science does not exclude individuals with no prior computing experience, instead offering admission to any candidate so long as they have a passion for computer science. It gives students the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue a career in the ever-changing field of computer science by requiring them to take two courses per semester for a total of two years. Each class is taught by a qualified faculty member with a background in either academia or industry. Students take classes to hone their teamwork and professional practice abilities by taking classes like program construction, software development, and database systems. Nearly 100 percent of graduates are employed.

Tuition: $4,086 (in-state) / $15,876 (out-of-state)
Score: 80.83

#16 Boston University

Master of Science in Computer Information Systems
This Master of Science degree can be completed in as little as 18 months of full-time study, making it a good choice for a student seeking to quickly complete a degree. The program is small and close-knit, taught by a dedicated group of 13 faculty members. It originated in 2004 and has quickly become a leader in preparing students for some of the fastest growing and highest paid segments of the computer information systems job market. The program is certified by the Committee on National Security Systems and is ranked sixth among the Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs by U.S. News and World Report. Courses are taught and developed by PhD-level faculty with hands-on experience in the industry.

Tuition: $50,980
Score: 81.44

#15 Bellevue University

Master of Science in Computer Information Systems
The hands-on Master of Science in Computer Information Systems at Bellevue is taught by skilled, attentive faculty with decades of experience in both business and industry. Three concentrations are available, allowing students to choose between Security, Software Development, and Databases. Both paths will teach online students how to assess the business needs of stakeholders and to provide them with the appropriate technologies to address them with those needs. The program is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and offers affordable tuition that starts at just $575 per credit hour, regardless of residency status.

Tuition: $10,170
Score: 81.58

#14 University of Southern California

Master of Science in Computer Science
Upon graduating from the Master of Science in Computer Science at the University of Southern California, students are prepared to enter careers in areas such as Software Design, Computer Programming, Aerospace and Defense, and a range of others. Students can take a broad spectrum of courses while at the same time choosing an emphasis in a desired area of specialization. Offered at one of the world's leading private research universities, this program provides extensive opportunity for interdisciplinary study, research, and collaboration with peers and prestigious faculty members in an advanced learning environment. The school is ranked among the top public and private universities by The Wall Street Journal.

Tuition: $43,200
Score: 82.61

#13 The University of West Florida

Master of Science in Computer Science
Regardless of the concentration chosen in this high-caliber graduate program, all students enjoy dedicated attention from faculty and staff. The university has been designed as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. The Computer Science department offers an average student-to-teacher ratio of just 21:1, allowing students to take part in lectures and digital labs while receiving full access to all research projects and other opportunities. Alumni are employed around the country at distinguished companies, such as Microsoft, Computer Science Corporation, General Dynamics, and many others.

Tuition: $7,088 (in-state) / $22,166 (out-of-state)
Score: 82.75

#12 University of Michigan-Dearborn

Master of Science in Computer and Information Science
This program is available entirely online, with students given the option between taking courses partially on-campus or solely via the online platform. It can be pursued part- or full-time, but all students are given access to a wide variety of computing resources, local area networks, and the Game and Multimedia Environment Laboratory. The program offers several concentration areas, including those in Software Engineering, Systems Software, and Web Computing, among others. To complete their studies, each student is allowed to choose between a final project or a thesis option.

Tuition: $11,712 (in-state)/ $20,344 (out-of-state)
Score: 83.14

#11 Colorado State University

Master of Science in Computer Science
Colorado State University's online computer science master's program gives students access to training by some of the most talented faculty in the country. These instructors have extensive research and development knowledge in areas like parallel computing, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and more. They pass this foundational knowledge and group of skills on to students, who enjoy a 70 percent job placement rate prior to even graduating. Alumni are employed at major high-tech companies, such as Microsoft, Lockheed-Martin, Motorola, Intel, and more. The program keeps up with the fast pace of innovation and research development in the computer science field, giving students an exceptional education as a result.

Tuition: $9,917 (in-state) / $24,312 (out-of-state)
Score: 83.23

#10 Columbus State University

Master of Science in Applied Computer Science
Students in the Applied Computer Science program at Columbus State University receive access to a number of concentrations to enhance their studies. These include topics like Cybersecurity, Modeling and Simulation, Software Development, and a Traditional Track. Recent graduates are employed in prestigious positions all around the country, working in roles such as Network Managers, Game and Simulation Programmers, Web Developers, and more. The program requires 34 credits, with most coursework consisting of electives and concentration courses. These courses are incredibly hands-on and supported by talented faculty. Each student also takes a final examination upon degree completion.

Tuition: $5,742 (in-state) / $11,952 (out-of-state)
Score: 83.51

#9 University of Florida

Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering
The in-depth program in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Florida brings together students from all over the world, offering a flexible means of completing a graduate degree. Most classes are offered asynchronously, meaning students can complete their studies in the times and place most convenient for them. In addition to the stand-alone major, an additional certificate in Hardware and Systems Security is also available, offering students a nine-credit hour program with an overview in security issues and solutions. Tuition is affordable, starting at just $501 for Florida state residents.

Tuition: $29,270 (in-state)/ $30,420 (out-of-state)
Score: 83.61

#8 Dakota State University

Master of Science in Computer Science
While the degree in Computer Science at Dakota State focuses on theoretical aspects of computing, it goes much farther than other programs dare to. It emphasizes the practical, real-world aspects of computing, preparing students for future careers as software developers and cyber security specialists. Students will hone their development skills in areas like coding and troubleshooting, and also learn how to design algorithms to solve emerging problems. Five core courses are required, but each student will also select five additional courses in a topic of interest. The program is recognized as a leader in cybersecurity by the National Security Agency.

Tuition: $5,665 (in-state)/ $10,575 (out-of-state)
Score: 83.83

#7 University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Master of Computer Science
All coursework for this program is offered through the College of Science and Engineering's UNITE Distributed Learning office. Most courses are offered asynchronously, with students supported by academic advisors, peer and research groups, departmental program administrators, and a number of other dedicated support services. This program is not geared toward advancing research in computer science, but instead works to hone each student's industry-related skills through classes like Modern Cryptography, Animation and Planning in Games, and Wireless and Sensor Networks. Students are well prepared for top positions upon graduation, with candidates pursuing careers at national organizations like Amazon, Apple, Google, IBM, and many more.

Tuition: $16,728 (in-state)/ $25,884 (out-of-state)
Score: 84.23

#6 Columbia University

Master of Science in Computer Science with a concentration in Software Systems
The Master of Science in Computer Science with a concentration in Software System is designed for students who are interested in pursuing knowledge of software development and systems methodologies and technologies. The concentration allows students to explore and master classic software systems while also providing the foundational skills necessary to create future systems. Required coursework includes topics like Programming Languages and Translators, Compilers and Interpreters, and User Interface Design. Coursework is challenging and offered asynchronously, providing maximum flexibility for distance learners. Tuition starts at $2,018 per credit hour regardless of residency.

Tuition: $44,864
Score: 86.35

#5 Purdue University

Master of Computer Science
This interdisciplinary program offers a wide range of flexibility in course options. Multiple concentrations are available These include studies such as those in Distributed Systems, Data Mining, Graphics and Visualization, Theory of Computing and Algorithms, Information Security and Assurance, Machine Learning, and many more. Each concentration offers flexible scheduling so that students can take time off from their studies if needed, or even just take a single course at a time. A number of additional professional certifications are available, allowing students to expand their knowledge and skillset to make them more marketable to employers. Both thesis and non-thesis degree options are available.

Tuition: $9,208 (in-state) / $28,010 (out-of-state)
Score: 87.04

#4 Georgia Southern University

Master of Science in Computer Science
The Master of Science in Computer Science program at Georgia Southern University offers a number of program concentrations, including topics such as data mining, data warehousing, and more. The concentration in data and knowledge systems is the only one of its kind offered in the country. The degree focuses on hot topics in the industry and is taught by internationally renowned experts. Requiring 30 credit hours of study, the degree is one of few that offers graduate assistantships to incoming students. This degree is made more accessible to students through this and other financial aid opportunities, as well as an affordable starting tuition rate. It was ranked 21st among 55 schools in the 2017 Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs by U.S. News and World Report.

Tuition: $6,636 (in-state)/ $26,518 (out-of-state)
Score: 88.55

#3 Georgia Institute of Technology

Master of Science in Computer Science
This affordable program offers students access to an exclusive program for a fraction of the normal tuition cost. The program offers training to computing professionals in over 80 different countries, costing less than $7,000 a semester in most cases. The university partners with Udacity and AT&T to offer a computing program designed specifically for a working professional. Multiple degree specializations are included. Students may choose from concentrating their studies in Computational Perception and Robotics, Computing Systems, Interactive Intelligence, or Machine Learning. All coursework leads up to 30 total credit hours of study.

Tuition: $13,788 (in-state)/ $28,568 (out-of-state)
Score: 90.62

#2 East Carolina University

Master of Science in Computer Science
Graduates of this program are well-equipped to enter into careers as software engineers, designers, programmers, and more. Students learn the theory and practice of software design, as well as programming languages like C#, and the use of software engineering tools like Rational Rose. Graduates are equipped to handle a number of IT challenges, both those that exist currently and can be anticipated in the future. Students gain proficiency and deep understanding of computing systems and methods, as well as specialized areas such as advanced robotics. While this degree boasts an affordable tuition rate, it also offers a number of financial aid opportunities to qualifying students.

Tuition: $4,749 (in-state) / $17,898 (out-of-state)
Score: 91.52

#1 North Carolina State University

Master of Computer Science
The flexible Master of Computer Science at North Carolina State University is ideal for working professionals, as well as military personnel serving abroad. It only requires coursework, no comprehensive examination or thesis. Most students complete the program by taking just one or two courses per semester. Students will take classes in two categories: Theory and Systems, to comprise 31 graduate credit hours. Most students also pursue internships, either full time during the summer or part time during the academic year. An accelerated online program combining undergraduate and graduate study is also available for motivated students seeking a quick career progression.

Tuition: $8,492 (in-state) / $23,967 (out-of-state)
Score: 100

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