10 Most Affordable PhD in Computer Science Degrees Online
Discover a program that is right for you.
Those hoping to work in industries devoted to computer science research or education will need an advanced degree, and thanks to online Ph.D in Computer Science programs, students now have the option of earning their degrees through a campus that meets online. While some of these programs have a residency requirement that asks those students to spend some time on the campus, others allow students to do all the necessary writing, research and work over a computer. Hybrid programs are also available. These unique programs combine an online computer science Ph.D with face-to-face instruction. Students can choose to take some classes on the campus and others online.
To give prospective students all the information that they need about these programs, we created a detailed list of the most affordable options. Those students can check out some of the classes they might take and learn about the schools that offer these programs at the doctoral level. We highly recommend that students read through our methodology to see how we selected the top schools.
Explore these promoted online degree programs.
These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online graduate degree programs. Figuring out where to apply? Consider one of these online Master’s or PhD programs.
Top 10 Most Affordable PhD in Computer Science Degrees Online
|Colorado Technical University - Colorado Springs Colorado Springs, CO|
|Mississippi State University Mississippi State, MS|
|Missouri University of Science and Technology Rolla, MO|
|North Carolina State University at Raleigh Raleigh, NC|
|Pennsylvania State University Hershey, PA|
|University of California Berkeley Berkeley, CA|
|University of Idaho Moscow, ID|
|University of Memphis Memphis, TN|
|University of North Texas Denton, TX|
Our Methodology, Explained
|Academic Quality||Full-time faculty percentage, student-to-faculty ratio, student retention and graduation rates||30%|
|Affordability||Tuition rates, median student debt, and financial aid||10%|
|Reputation||Admission and enrollment rates||30%|
|Program Offerings||Number of program options||20%|
|Online Enrollment Score||Portion of learners taking at least one online course||10%|
Ranking Low-cost Online Comp Sci PhD Programs
Additional Ph.D in Computer Science Degree Offerings
Nova Southeastern University
Average Graduate Tuition: $28,736 per year
Average Graduate Tuition: $45,022 per year
Average Graduate Tuition: $46,132 per year
Average Graduate Tuition: $50,240 per year
Southern Methodist University
Average Graduate Tuition: $50,358 per year
What Jobs are Available with an Online Computer Science Degree?
The two most common career paths open to computer science Ph.D holders are those in academia and those in research. Research positions are available with top firms like Apple and Microsoft. Many of these companies seek out students while still enrolled in programs and offer them jobs before they graduate. Those who specialize in research also study things like ergonomics and find ways to change the way people do work on computers and similar devices. Ph.D holders can also work in academia and as professors in community colleges, traditional colleges and vocational schools. Many professors have the chance to do their own research too. A small number may also find work in coding and working for companies to identify bugs and glitches in products before those programs reach the general public. Finance companies, the government and video game developers also hire Ph.D holders.
Are There Any Specific Skills That Students Need?
Before checking out computer science doctorate online programs, students may find it helpful to take a look at some of the skills that they need in these programs. While not all programs require a Master's in Computer Science because students can get that degree and immediately start a doctoral program, all do require that students know computer language and that they have skills relating to the development and creation of computer programs. Other necessary skills relate to studying online such as strong time management skills and good organizational skills. Students must know how to organize all the materials they need in their classes and find time to work on assignments while also handling any other commitments like a full-time job. Online students must have a dedicated Internet connection too.
What are Some of the Expenses That Students Have?
Far too many students assume that the only cost of getting a computer science Ph.D online is the tuition charged by the college or university. They are also responsible for paying any fees charged by the school such as a distance education fee that any student not taking classes on the campus will need to pay. Online students usually pay less for textbooks and other materials but may need to buy some textbooks from the school or a website. They can rent those books for the semester to save some money. Computer science students can use a combination of grants, scholarships and loans to pay their costs.
Are There Any Benefits to Going to Grad School Online?
There are some great benefits to going to grad school online in addition to saving money. Cheap programs charge less than $20,000 per year, and there are some programs that charge less than $10,000 a year. Some students may work for employers who offer tuition reimbursement for those going back to school or scholarships that students can use for any type of training. Getting a Ph.D can help students qualify for better jobs and make more money too. Those working in research positions for major colleges and facilities can earn more than $100,000 a year. Other jobs pay in the high five-figure range.
How Much Can Computer Science Professionals Make?
Those working in research positions are among the highest paid professionals in this industry. The highest paid workers in this field bring home more than $150,000 a year, but even the bottom 10% of those workers earn more than $80,000 a year. Government workers generally earn less than those who work in private facilities do, and public institutes pay their research workers a little less than private groups do too. The amount that these professionals make can also vary based on where they live. California is home to a number of top colleges and research institutes that pay workers a high rate.
What is a Computer Science Dissertation?
One aspect that a Ph.D in Computer Science online program and a traditional program share in common is a dissertation. In the same way that graduate students often do a thesis or a final project, those at the doctoral level will also need to do a final paper or project. A dissertation is essentially a long research project that allows a student to conduct research and write up his or her findings. Those students will work with an adviser and get approval to research a specific topic and one that is unique from the work done by any other student in that program. Some colleges public the dissertations that students write and keep copies on hand in the university library. This provides future students with the chance to read the work that alumni wrote in the past.
What is a Final Examination?
Few students realize that these programs usually include some type of final examination. This is an in-depth exam that tests the knowledge they have and the skills they picked up over the course of their studies. Most colleges have an exam that students take after finishing the first year of the program, and virtual colleges offer an online version of this test. Those who pass have permission to continue with the program and begin working on a dissertation project or paper. Students will then need to take a final examination after completing and presenting that dissertation. Passing both exams is a requirement to graduate.
What is the Job Outlook for the Computer Science Industry?
The career outlook for the computer science industry and those who have a Ph.D is quite high. Think of it this way: technology is something that constantly evolves and changes. It wasn't that long ago that cell phones could only work in certain parts of the world and could do little more than make and receive phone calls. Smartphones now act like miniature computers that let people do everything they want with that device. Those who remain up to date on new forms of technology will have a better chance of finding a good job and earning a high salary. The need for professors capable of teaching computer science and the need for those who can conduct research in the field is high too.
Smart students know that looking at online Ph.D programs is a great way to see what options are available for those who don't have the time to deal with traffic just to take a few classes on a local campus. Those students will find it helpful to look at how much these programs cost too. Our list includes the best programs that students of all ages and types can afford when pursuing an online Ph.D in Computer Science.
This concludes our ranking of the Top 10 Affordable PhD in Computer Science degree programs.
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