Students interested in plugging into the complex science of computers need to look no further than Grad School Hub’s 35 Best Online Masters’ in Computer Science for 2019.

Computer Science programs investigate intricate technological theories to advance students’ contemporary skills. Courses cover software and hardware, architecture and interface, algorithms and graphics. Equipped with this expertise, graduates can skyrocket their ability to take modern technology to its next dimension

What can graduates do with a Computer Science degree?

Computer and Information Research Scientists develop fresh approaches to and innovations in modern technology. Problem-solving is a central skill in computer science, as professionals will need to understand and troubleshoot complex computational issues. With industry becoming increasingly virtual, computer science can lend itself to a wide range of companies and fields.

How much do professionals earn with a Computer Science degree?

As of May 2017, the median annual wage for computer and information research scientists was $114,520, or $55.06 per hour. Most work full-time, and three in ten work more than 40 hours a week. Skilled computer scientists are in high demand, and many companies report struggles in finding competent employees to solve complex issues. In fact, Computer Science employment is growing at a rate of 19 percent, which is much faster than the national average.

Methodology

The following list of the 35 Best Online Masters’ in Computer Science presents rankings based on affordability, educational quality, national reputation, postgraduate prospects, and student satisfaction of acclaimed institutions. More information on Grad School Hub’s ranking process is found on our Methodology page.

#35 – West Virginia University

Master of Science in Software Engineering

Morgantown, WV

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U.S. News & World Report ranks West Virginia University #205 in National Universities and #15 in Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs.

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West Virginia University is a public university along the Monongahela River in suburban Morgantown, WV. The university holds land and space grants and conducts rigorous research in areas from STEM specialties to radio astronomy. U.S. News & World Report ranks WVU #205 in National Universities and #15 in Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs.

WVU’s offers a part-time Software Engineering graduate program designed for working professionals in the field. Students can choose a 30-credit hour thesis option or a non-thesis option for three additional credit hours. The degree’s core curriculum consists of five courses, including Software Evolution and Validation and Verification. The program’s weekly evening courses feature live discussions with professors and fellow students.

WVU is the recipient of the Carnegie Foundation’s community engagement classification, as well as its highest research classification. Its important research facilities include the most significant crime scene training complex on the planet – in partnership with the FBI – and the only research center in the world designated to studying human memory. Numerous WVU alumni have earned prestigious scholarships.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $24,390 out-of-state/$9,450 in-state

#34 – North American University

Master of Science in Computer Science

Houston, TX

North American University’s Department of Computer Science has a mission to cover both the fundamental and applied angles of the field. (Creative Commons)

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A relatively new institution, North American University was established in 2007 as the Texas Gulf Institute. Its Class of 2013 included just twelve students. That fall, the private university rebranded itself as North American University and later moved to a nine-story campus in Stafford, TX. NAU is laser-focused on Business Administration, Computer Science, and Education.

NAU’s Department of Computer Science has a mission to cover both the fundamental and applied angles of the field. Its Master of Science in Computer Science places emphasis on collaborative and multidisciplinary learning processes. The program’s 30-credit hour curriculum focuses on areas including computer networks and software engineering. Students can earn the degree within 16 months!

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $5,277

#33 – Drexel University

Master of Science in Computer Science

Philadelphia, PA

U.S. News & World Report ranks Drexel #10 in Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs. (Creative Commons)

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Drexel University is a private university with its main campus in the University City neighborhood of Philadelphia, PA. It was founded as the Drexel Institute of Art, Science, and Industry and renamed Drexel Institute of Technology before gaining university status in 1970. Today, the university’s technological roots remain reflected in its acclaimed computer science programs. U.S. News & World Report ranks Drexel #10 in Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs.

Drexel’s Master of Science in Computer Science builds solid skills for computational scientists, specialists, and engineers. Such skill areas include artificial intelligence, computer graphics, human-computer interaction, and software engineering. The modern program offers elective courses in Electrical Engineering, Information Science and Technology, and more. Students can pursue a Master’s Thesis or take two additional advanced Computer Science courses.

The university encourages its students to be tech-savvy. It was the first university to mandate students to own computers and the first to operate a fully wireless campus. With a focus on interdisciplinary research and cooperative education, Drexel encourages students to use their environment as a “living laboratory.”

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $33,156

#32 – University of Bridgeport

Master of Science in Computer Science

Bridgeport, CT

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Bridgeport’s Master of Science in Computer Science requires a Bachelor’s degree in engineering or a related STEM field.

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The University of Bridgeport is a private seaside university in Bridgeport, the largest city in Connecticut. As the first university in the state to offer an online master’s program, UB Online supports its students through a thoughtful instruction plan and personalized student advising. While the university is currently ranked #40-52 in Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs by U.S. News & World Report, it ranked #1 in 2012.

Bridgeport’s Master of Science in Computer Science requires a Bachelor’s degree in engineering or a related STEM field. The program is designed to strengthen students’ mathematical, scientific, and technical expertise. Core courses include Analysis of Algorithms, Engineering Colloquium, and Programming Design Patterns. The program cumulates with a Capstone Master’s Project. Students who are taking two classes at a time can complete the program within three years.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $15,750

#31 – Lewis University

Master of Science in Computer Science

Romeoville, IL

U.S. News & World Report ranks Lewis University #20 in Regional Universities Midwest and #36 in Best Value Schools. (Facebook)

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Lewis University is a private Roman Catholic university in the southwest Chicago suburb of Romeoville, IL. The university focuses on professional preparation in the liberal arts tradition. It has a total enrollment of nearly 7,000 students and a 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio. U.S. News & World Report ranks it #20 in Regional Universities Midwest and #36 in Best Value Schools.

Lewis’ Master of Science in Computer Science encompasses hands-on coursework, in-depth research, and a capstone thesis or project. The program teaches advanced computing skills from both an analytical and creative perspective. Students can choose to pursue a targeted concentration in Cyber Security, Intelligent Systems, or Software Engineering. Core computer science courses include Artificial Intelligence, Communications and Networking, and Object-Oriented Design.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $14,310

#30 – Illinois Institute of Technology

Master of Science in Computer Science

Chicago, IL

Illinois Institute of Technology - Online Master’s in Computer Engineering

U.S. News & World Report ranks The Illinois Institute of Technology #96 for Best National Universities and #91 for graduate programs in Computer Science.

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The Illinois Institute of Technology is a space-grant research university with four campuses in Chicago, IL. The private institution was born from the 1940 merging of several 19th-century engineering institutions and has continued its focus and influence on the realms of science and engineering. U.S. News & World Report ranks it #96 for Best National Universities and #91 for graduate programs in Computer Science.

IIT’s College of Science offers an MS in Computer Science. The program aims to prepare students for their future doctorate, or a research and development career in Computer Science. Students may choose to pursue a master’s thesis, research project, or coursework-only route. Core courses include Cloud Computing, Computational Geometry, and Computer Vision.

IIT and its research affiliate, IIT Research Institute, currently specialize in research areas including aerospace, environmental engineering, food technology, and transportation. IIT scientists and engineers are responsible for developments including audio and video cassettes and spacecraft re-entry technology. Architect alumni have helped shape the Chicago skyline and that of various major cities globally.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $28,903

#29 – Syracuse University

Master of Science in Computer Science

Syracuse, NY

Syracuse University’s Master of Science in Computer Science combines an interactive format with a rigorous curriculum. (Creative Commons)

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Syracuse University is a private university in the University Hill neighborhood of Syracuse, NY. U.S. News & World Report ranks it 53rd in National Universities and 13th in Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs. Additionally, the university is a designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education and Research by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.

Syracuse University’s Master of Science in Computer Science combines an interactive format with a rigorous curriculum. The program approaches information assurance and advanced computer programming skills from an analytical perspective. Its core courses are Advanced Computer Architecture, Principles of Operating Systems, and Structured Programming and Formal Methods. Immersive online features include live discussions, multimedia, virtual organizational tools, and 24/7 access to course content.

The Carnegie Foundation recognizes Syracuse as a university with high-performing research activity. In the 2016-17 academic year, Syracuse physicists were among the global consortium of scientists first to detect both sound and light from the collision of two neutron stars in deep space.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $36,000

#28 – Florida Atlantic University

Master of Science in Computer Science

Boca Raton, FL

FAU provides online students with the opportunity to earn their Master of Science in Computer Science program. (Creative Commons)

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Florida Atlantic University is a public school in Boca Raton, FL, with five additional public satellite campuses along the South Florida coastline. The university is apart of the twelve campuses comprising Florida’s State University System. FAU was a first for southeast Florida when it opened in 1964 as the first public university of the region. The Carnegie Foundation classifies it as a university with high research activity.

FAU provides online students with the opportunity to earn their Master of Science in Computer Science program. Students may choose to take the 33-credit non-thesis track or the thesis track, which requires 30 coursework credits and six thesis credits. Students can also choose to specialize in an area such as Big Data Analytics or Cybersecurity. Core courses include Foundations of Vision, Randomized Algorithms, and Software Architecture and Patterns.

The Computer Science program’s Distance Learning format involves videos streamed live and posted online for students to download. Students may be required to take specific exams on campus or in designated testing centers.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $16,695 out-of-state; $5,467 in-state

#27 – University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

Master of Science in Computer Science

North Dartmouth, MA

Online students can complete UMass Dartmouth’s Master of Science in Computer Science within four semesters.

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Formerly Southeastern Massachusetts University, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth merged with the University of Massachusetts System in 1991. UMass Dartmouth’s campus now occupies 710 acres of North Dartmouth on Massachusetts’ South Coast. The Princeton Review recently listed the innovative research university among the most “Green Colleges” in the United States.

Online students can complete UMass Dartmouth’s Master of Science in Computer Science within four semesters. The MS’s online courses are taught by full-time, residential faculty members who cover topics, such as Algorithms and Complexity, Database Design, and Neural Computing.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $27,834 out-of-state; $13,210 in-state

#26 – Auburn University

Master of Science in Computer Science and Software Engineering

Auburn, AL

auburn-university-online-master-of-education-m-ed-in-music-education-k-12

U.S. News & World Report ranks Auburn #31 in online graduate computer information technology and #15 in online graduate engineering programs.

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Auburn University is the second largest university in Alabama and one of the state’s two flagship universities. The public research university was the first university in the southeastern U.S. to offer a master of software engineering degree. U.S. News & World Report ranks Auburn #31 in online graduate computer information technology and #15 in online graduate engineering programs.

Students pursuing Auburn’s Computer Science and Software Engineering MS can specialize in areas such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, databases, and human/computer interaction. The program also offers the choice between a thesis or non-thesis route. Both routes require courses in Advanced Algorithms, Advanced Computer Architecture, and Advanced Operating Systems. The non-thesis options also require courses in Software Quality Assurance and Software Process.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $28,026 out-of-state; $9,342 in-state

#25 – Bellevue University

Master of Science in Computer Information Systems

Bellevue, NE

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Bellevue’s Master of Science in Computer Information Systems offers specializations in Databases, Security, and Software Development.

 

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Bellevue University is a private university in suburban Bellevue, Nebraska. It opened in 1966 to serve working adults in the area and has continued its focus on adult education in particular. Today, most Bellevue students are over the age of 25. The university currently serves over 9,000 students globally and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Bellevue’s Master of Science in Computer Information Systems offers specializations in Databases, Security, and Software Development. The program trains students to apply project management strategies, develop applications and administer systems, interpret technical information, and solve real-world technological problems. Core courses include Cloud Computing, Software Development, and Storage Systems.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,170

#24 – California State University, Fullerton

Master of Science in Software Engineering

Fullerton, CA

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California State University, Fullerton is ranked #16 in Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs by U.S. News & World Report.

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California State University, Fullerton is a public research university in Fullerton, CA. It has the largest student body of the 23-campus University of California System, with a fall 2018 enrollment of almost 40,000 students. The university is ranked 16th in Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs by U.S. News & World Report.

Fullerton’s Master of Science in Software Engineering prepares its students for careers as software engineers and software process managers. The program takes a unique process-oriented approach to software development. Courses include Software Design and Architecture, Software Measurement, and Software Verification and Validation. Students are required to complete an orientation seminar and mid-program symposium, either on campus or in person.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,176 out-of-state; $6,680 in-state

#23 – Old Dominion University

Master of Science in Computer Science

Norfolk, VA

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U.S. News & World Report ranks the Old Dominion University at #33 for Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology and #42 in Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs.

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Old Dominion University is a public, research-heavy university in coastal Norfolk, VA. Its TELETECHNET distance learning program is one of the largest in the country and serves nearly a third of the university’s student body. U.S. News & World Report ranks the school #33 in Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology and #42 in Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs.

ODU offers a Master of Science in Computer Science with a courses-only, project, or thesis degree route. The program covers areas including bioinformatics, data mining, and digital libraries. Core course offerings include Algorithms and Data Structures, Computer Architecture, and Foundations of Computing. All students are also required to take a Computer Science Colloquium, a one-hour weekly lecture.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $26,820 out-of-state; $9,168 in-state

#22 – University of Louisville

Master of Science in Computer Science

Louisville, KY

university-of-louisville-master-of-arts-in-higher-education-administration-online

U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Louisville #33 for Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs and #64 in Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs.

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The University of Louisville is a public university in Louisville, KY, and a member of the Kentucky state university system. The Kentucky General Assembly has mandated UofL to be a “preeminent metropolitan research university.” U.S. News & World Report ranks it #33 in Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs and #64 in Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs.

UofL offers an innovative Master of Science in Computer Science program. Prospective students must have an adequate technical background but do not need to possess a Bachelor’s degree in computer science or engineering. Course offerings include Automata Theory, Experimental Design, and Modeling and Analysis. Students may choose to pursue a thesis or complete a capstone project

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $25,486 out-of-state; $12,246 in-state

#21 –  University of Idaho

Master of Science in Computer Science

Moscow, ID

The University of Idaho emphasizes research, and its students are offered research opportunities in realms including computer security, power applications, and transportation innovations.

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The University of Idaho is Idaho’s oldest public university and primary research university. In fact, it was the state’s only university for 71 years, until 1963. The space-grant university has a 1,582-acre campus in the rolling hills of Moscow, ID. U.S. News & World Report ranks UIdaho #165 in Best National Universities.

The university’s online Engineering Outreach program offers a Master of Science in Computer Science. The program focuses on discussion and development of advanced computational concepts. Fall 2018 courses included Advanced Computer Architecture, Compiler Design, Evolutionary Computation, and Programming Language Theory. Students can choose between a thesis or non-thesis route.

UIdaho emphasizes research, and its students are offered research opportunities in realms including computer security, power applications, and transportation innovations. In the past, the university has been named one of the nation’s “most wired” universities.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $23,046 out-of-state; $6,722 in-state

#20 – The University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign

Master of Computer Science

Champaign and Urbana, IL

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is the hallmark school of the University of Illinois System.

 

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The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is the hallmark school of the University of Illinois System. The public land-grant research university resides in the twin cities of Champaign and Urbana, IL. The Carnegie Foundation has rated UIUC as a university with the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks it #46 in National Universities and #13 in Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs.

Illinois’ College of Engineering offers a non-thesis, non-research Computer Science degree program. Online courses are equivalent to those offered on campus, with all students given the same assignments and materials. The program’s eight courses can be completed in as little as one year, or at a slower pace within five years. Course offerings include Cloud Networking, Numerical Analysis, and Parallel Computing.

UIUC is home to the National Center for Supercomputing Applications and the Siebel Center for Computer Science. The former hosts Blue Waters, a petascale supercomputer and the fastest supercomputer on a university campus.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $28,773 out-of-state; $15,186 in-state

#19 – Stanford University

Master of Science in Computer Science

Stanford, CA

Stanford University offers an acclaimed Master of Science in Computer Science, which takes an average of three to five years to complete.

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Stanford University is a private research university in Stanford, CA, next to Silicon Valley. The university’s alumni have developed technological innovations as the laser, Google, the synthesis of DNA, and Yahoo!. U.S. News & World Report ranks Stanford #7 in Best National Universities and #1 in Computer Science.

Stanford offers an acclaimed Master of Science in Computer Science, which takes an average of three to five years to complete. Course offerings include Compilers, General Game Playing, and Theory of Probability. The program has ten optional specialization areas, including artificial intelligence, biocomputing, and real-world computing. While the majority of the program is completable online, course availability may vary depending on degree track and specialization.

Stanford is home to the Stanford Research Park, a technology park hosting companies including Hewlett-Packard, Lockheed Martin, and Tesla Motors. Fast Company referred to the park as “the epicenter of Silicon Valley.”

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $48,987

#18 – Stevens Institute of Technology

Master’s in Computer Science

Hoboken, NJ

stevenson-university-master-of-science-in-forensic-accounting-online

Stevens Institute of Technology is home to two National Centers of Excellence designated by the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

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Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ is one of the oldest technological universities in the United States. The private research university was named after a family of innovators who worked to transport Hoboken from its humble farm beginnings into its thriving urban future. U.S. News & World Report rates SIT #11 in Online Graduate Computer Information Technology and #23 in Online Graduate Engineering Programs.

Stevens’ Schaefer School of Engineering & Science offers a Master’s in Computer Science. The program combines theoretical and practical approaches to information technology. It offers ten possible focus areas, including Cloud Computing Databases, Gaming and Simulation, and Machine Learning. Core courses include Fundamentals of Cybersecurity, Interactive Computer Graphics, and Privacy in a Networked World.

SIT is home to two National Centers of Excellence designated by the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. These centers are the Maritime Security Center and the Systems Engineering Research Center. The Systems Engineering Research Center is a research environment for more than 20 collaborating universities.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $34,494

#17 – Kennesaw State University

Master of Science in Information Technology

Kennesaw and Marietta, GA

Kennesaw State University designed its Master of Science in Information Technology for students interested in information systems management and performance.

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Kennesaw State University is a public university in Georgia, with two main campuses in Kennesaw and Marietta. In 2016, the school gained its research university designation from the Carnegie Foundation. It is currently ranked #45 in Most Innovative Schools and #100 among national Engineering Programs by U.S. News & World Report.

Kennesaw designed its Master of Science in Information Technology for students interested in information systems management and performance. Students can create their custom curriculum and choose to focus on areas including Databases and Networking, Health Information Technology, and IT Security. Core courses are Design Studio, Information Security Concepts & Administration, Service Delivery, and Systems Acquisition & Integration.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $17,541 out-of-state; $4,851 in-state

#16 – Johns Hopkins University

Master of Science in Computer Science

Baltimore, MD

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Johns Hopkins’ Whiting School of Engineering offers a computer science program with a concentration on Communications and Networking.

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Established in 1876, Johns Hopkins University was named for its original benefactor, an American abolitionist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. The highly selective private university was the first research university in the United States. It is currently the leading recipient of NASA research and development funding. U.S. News & World Report ranks JHU #10 in Best National Universities and #5 in Best Online Graduate Schools in Computer Information Technology Programs.

Johns Hopkins’ Whiting School of Engineering offers a computer science program with a concentration on Communications and Networking. Students must choose from among ten focus area tracks, including bioinformatics, cybersecurity, systems, and theory. The program’s three foundation courses are Foundations of Algorithms, Foundations of Computer Architecture, and Foundations of Software Engineering.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $52,170

#15 – Colorado State University

Master of Computer Science

Fort Collins, CO

U.S. News & World Report ranks Colorado State University at #31 in Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs. (Creative Commons)

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Colorado State University is a public land-grant university and the flagship institution of the Colorado State University System. Its campus sits in Fort Collins, a midsize city at the base of the Rocky Mountains. It was the first and only campus to earn a STARS platinum rating for sustainability. U.S. News & World Report ranks CSU #31 in Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs.

CSU’s Master of Computer Science delves into areas including artificial intelligence, database systems, and software engineering. Course offerings include Computer Architecture, Fault-Tolerant Computing, and Parallel Processing. Approximately 70 percent of students in the program have job offers upon graduation. Graduates have gone on to work for companies such as Intel, Microsoft, and Motorola.

CSU’s Information Science and Technology Center hosts educational activities, scholarships, and events. Its Distinguished Lectures series and FutureVisions Symposium bring industry experts and professionals to campus. The Center also offers data management and high-performance computing services.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $24,312 out-of-state; $9,917 in-state

#14 – University of Michigan – Dearborn

Master of Science in Computer and Information Science

Dearborn, MI

The University of Michigan – Dearborn’s Computer and Information Science master’s program explores, both, technical theory and practical computing skills.

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University of Michigan – Dearborn is a regional campus of the University of Michigan. Founded in the outskirts of Detroit on land donated by Ford Motor Co., the university is a now a member of The Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities and is known for its community engagement in the Detroit area. U.S. News & World Report ranks UM-D #5 in Top Public Schools.

The Computer and Information Science master’s program explores, both, technical theory and practical computing skills. Students choose two concentration areas out of seven, which include computer graphics, geometric modeling, and game design, and systems software. Core coursework includes Algorithm Design and Analysis, Compiler Design, and Advanced Operating Systems. Students can also choose between a cumulative project or thesis option.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $20,344 out-of-state; $11,712 in-state

#13 – Columbus State University

Master of Science in Applied Computer Science

Columbus, GA

Columbus State University - Online Master's in Science Education

Columbus State University’s Applied Computer Science Master of Science in Computer Science consists of 30 computer science credit hours and an exit exam.

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Columbus State University is a public university in Columbus, GA, administered by the University System of Georgia. U.S. News & World Report ranks the university #19 in Most Innovative Schools. While the university’s online course options are abundant, students who live outside of Georgia might find themselves limited. Students must either move to the state or obtain the necessary approvals for their desired program.

The Applied Computer Science Master of Science in Computer Science consists of 30 computer science credit hours and an exit exam. Students must choose one of four concentrations: Cybersecurity, Modeling, and Simulation; Software Development, or Traditional. Core courses are Advanced Algorithms, Intro to Cybersecurity, Object-Oriented Development, and Survey of Modeling and Simulation.

CSU operates the Coca-Cola Space Science Center, a space museum for students and members of the public alike. The center’s stellar facilities include the Omnisphere Theater planetarium and the WestRock Observatory.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,952 out-of-state; $5,742 in-state

#12 – University of West Florida

Master of Science in Computer Science

Pensacola, FL

The University of West Florida’s Computer Science master’s program blends foundational computer science concepts with contemporary technological tools.

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The University of West Florida is a public space-grant university in suburban Pensacola, FL. It is a member of the State University System of Florida. The school’s main campus is a wilderness preserve bordered by two rivers and Escambia Bay, and it has additional sites along the Florida coast. As of Fall 2017, twenty-seven percent of the student body was enrolled in an online-only capacity.

UWF’s Computer Science master’s program blends foundational computer science concepts with contemporary technological tools. It teaches skills including algorithmic programming, computational methodology, and software development. The program offers focus areas in cybersecurity, data analytics, and other advanced topics. Course offerings include Big Data Analytics in the Cloud and Digital Forensics. Students can choose to pursue a thesis or complete a project demonstrating computational mastery.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $22,166 out-of-state; $7,088 in-state

#11 – Dakota State University

Master of Science in Computer Science

Madison, SD

Dakota State University’s information security team regularly competes in competitions such as the National Central Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition.

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Dakota State University is a public institution in Madison, SD, with “Embrace Innovation” as its motto. The university’s mission is to embrace “computer technology and information processing in the teaching and learning process.” The university has been awarded multiple distinctions by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency as a National Center of Excellence in Cyber Defense, Cyber Operations, and Information Assurance.

The technology-intensive online Computer Science master’s program emphasizes the practical application of computer science. Students may choose a predesigned specialization within the program or design one themselves. Existing specializations include Analytics, Cyber Defense, and Health Informatics and Information Management. Regardless of specialty, the degree program requires courses such as Machine Learning Fundamentals and Theory of Computation.

DSU’s information security team regularly competes in competitions such as the National Central Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition. The team was among the competition’s finalists for five of the past nine years. It also placed second in the 2017 Argonne National Laboratory Cyber Defense Competition.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,575 out-of-state; $5,665 in-state

#10 – University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Master of Computer Science

Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN

The University of Minnesota Twin Cities’ Master of Computer Science is a coursework-only degree focused on teaching practical skills. Online courses are offered through UNITE Distributed Learning, and all students pay the resident tuition rate unless also enrolled in on-campus classes.

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The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities is a public university with neighboring campuses three miles apart in Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN. It is the oldest and largest university within the University of Minnesota System. Considered one of the country’s “Public Ivy” universities, UMN has an educational quality comparable to that of the Ivy League. U.S. News & World Report ranks it #76 in National Universities.

UMN’s Master of Computer Science is a coursework-only degree focused on teaching practical skills. Online courses are offered through UNITE Distributed Learning, and all students pay the resident tuition rate unless also enrolled in on-campus classes. Sample course offerings include Animation & Planning in Games, Computational Aspects of Matrix Theory, and Modern Cryptography. Graduates have landed jobs at companies including Amazon, Apple, and Google.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $25,884 out-of-state; $16,728 in-state

#9 – University of Southern California

Master of Science in Computer Science

Los Angeles, CA

The University of Southern California offers a Master of Science in Computer Science through its Viterbi School of Engineering.

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Founded in 1880, the University of Southern California is the oldest private research university in California. In addition to its central campus in Los Angeles’ Downtown Arts and Education Corridor, USC has sites in Sacramento, throughout Southern California, and in Washington, D.C. The school takes first place on U.S. News & World Report’s list of Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs.

USC offers a Master of Science in Computer Science through its Viterbi School of Engineering. The program builds students’ understanding of system design, programming, and application. Core courses include Analysis of Algorithms, Database Systems, Foundations of Artificial Intelligence, and Web Technologies. The online and onsite curricula are identical, and the online program is highly interactive with live chats, threaded discussions, and virtual meetings.

USC is the birthplace of the Domain Name System. Other USC computational developments include antivirus software, DNA computing, and image compression.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $43,200

#8 – Boston University

Master of Science in Computer Information Science

Boston, MA

Boston University’s Hariri Institute for Computing and Computational Science & Engineering is home to two computer science research centers.

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Boston University is a private university with a main campus standing alongside the Charles River in Boston, MA. The campus features collegiate gothic, brownstone, brutalist, and contemporary structures – a combination which reflects the history and expansion of the university since its establishment in 1982. U.S. News & World Report ranks BU #42 in National Universities and #6 in Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs.

BU’s Master of Science in Computer Information Science prepares its students for leadership positions in information technology. The program offers seven concentrations, including Database Management & Business Intelligence, Health Informatics, and Security. Core courses consist of Information Systems Analysis and Design, and IT Strategy and Management. The degree takes 18 to 24 months to complete.

BU’s Hariri Institute for Computing and Computational Science & Engineering is home to two computer science research centers. The Center for Reliable Information Systems & Cyber Security is an interdisciplinary information security research center. The Software & Application Innovation Lab serves BU faculty’s tech needs.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $50,980

#7 – Purdue University

Master of Science in Computer Science

Master of Science in Engineering with a concentration in Computer Science

West Lafayette, IN

Purdue was established in 1869 as a college of agriculture, science, and technology thanks to the financial nudge from local businessman John Purdue. (Creative Commons/Huw Williams)

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Purdue University is a public university near the Wabash River in West Lafayette, IN. Purdue was established in 1869 as a college of agriculture, science, and technology thanks to the financial nudge from local businessman John Purdue. The university is ranked #56 in Best National Universities and #5 in Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs by U.S. News & World Report.

The university offers either a Master of Science in Computer Science or an Interdisciplinary  Master of Science in Engineering with a concentration in Computer Science. Students can choose a thesis or non-thesis route. Purdue designed both degrees for students with Bachelor’s degrees in Computer Science or Engineering. The curriculum covers 13 key topic areas, including Databases, Graphics and Visualization, Information Retrieval, and Machine Learning.

Purdue has been designated a university with “very high research activity” by The Carnegie Foundation. The university has a private research nonprofit called the Purdue Research Foundation. The organization’s Purdue Research Park is an interactive research environment for businesses, Purdue researchers, and the tech industry. In 2004, Purdue was ranked #1 by the Association of University Research Parks.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $28,010 out-of-state; $9,208 in-state

#6 – Georgia Southern University

Master of Science in Computer Science

Statesboro, GA

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Georgia Southern University ranks #33 for Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs by U.S. News & World Report.

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Georgia Southern University is a public university with a flagship campus in Statesboro, GA, and additional campuses in Hinesville and Savannah. The Carnegie Foundation recently deemed GSU as an official research university in addition to the school’s comprehensive title by the University System of Georgia. GSU ranks 33rd in Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs by U.S. News & World Report.

GSU’s Master of Science in Computer Science concentrates on data and knowledge systems. The program immerses students in the “currently hot areas” of data mining and data warehousing. Students can choose to pursue specific focus areas such as computer systems analysis, database design, and network engineering. Online MS students typically complete the 30-credit hour degree within five semesters.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $26,518 out-of-state; $6,636 in-state

#5 – Columbia University

Master of Science in Computer Science – Software Systems

New York, NY

Established in 1754, Columbia is one of nine colonial colleges founded before the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

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Columbia University is a private Ivy League university in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, New York. Established in 1754, Columbia is one of nine colonial colleges founded before the signing of the Declaration of Independence. U.S. News & World Report ranks it 3rd in National Universities and #1 in Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs.

Columbia’s online Master of Science in Computer Science has a concentration in Software Systems, which investigates software developments, methodologies, and technologies. The degree major requires courses in Advanced Software Engineering, Operating Systems, and Programming Languages and Translators. It also requires seven electives, which range from Reliable Software and Financial Software Systems to User Interface Design.

Columbia has research sites including the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, and the Columbia-IBM Center for Blockchain and Data Transparency. The university’s scholars have made significant developments and discoveries in the scientific field, including the laser, plate tectonics, the Manhattan Project, and modern genetics.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $44,864

#4 – East Carolina University

Master of Science in Computer Science

Greenville, NC

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East Carolina University’s Master of Science in Computer Science program addresses theoretical and practical aspects of software and hardware.

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East Carolina University is a public sea-grant university in Greenville, NC. Founded in 1907 as a teacher training school, its original 43-acre campus has now unfurled over nearly 1,600 acres of land. The university also operates the Coastal Studies Institute and has an overseas campus in Certaldo Alto, Italy. ECU is ranked #82 in engineering by U.S. News & World Report.

ECU’s Master of Science in Computer Science program addresses theoretical and practical aspects of software and hardware. It highlights skills in databases, engineering tools, programming languages, operating systems, and more. The program holds courses including Computability and Complexity, Computer Systems Architecture, and Program Translation at its core.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $17,898 out-of-state; $4,749 in-state

#3 – University of West Georgia

Master of Science in Applied Computer Science

Carrollton, GA

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The University of West Georgia’s Master of Science in Applied Computer Science focuses on practical computer science knowledge and skills.

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The public University of West Georgia is a research-oriented university on 645 rural acres in Carrollton, GA. It is a charter member of the University System of Georgia. The university offers students opportunities for experiential learning through research, internships, and workshops and for community engagement through its volunteer network. The school is ranked #38 in Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs by U.S. News & World Report.

UWG’s MS in Applied Computer Science focuses on practical computer science knowledge and skills. It includes empirical coursework in database systems, program construction, software development, and more. Students also work in teams on two significant software projects. The 36-credit hour program takes 24 months to complete.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $15,876 out-of-state; $4,086 in-state

#2 – Georgia Institute of Technology

Master of Science in Computer Science

Atlanta, GA

Georgia Institute of Technology - 30 Best Online Master’s in Industrial or Systems Engineering Degrees

U.S. News & World Report ranks the Georgia Institute of Technology #35 in National Universities and #4 in Computer Engineering.

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The Georgia Institute of Technology is a public school of technology in the Midtown neighborhood of Atlanta, GA. Founded in the Reconstruction area to help build industry after the Civil War, Georgia Tech continues to emphasize science and technology and is now an affiliate of the University System of Georgia. U.S. News & World Report ranks it #35 in National Universities and #4 in Computer Engineering.

Georgia Tech’s Master of Science in Computer Science is a team effort between the university, AT&T, and Udacity. The program offers specializations in Computational Perception & Robotics, Computing Systems, Interactive Intelligence, and Machine Learning. Its current course offerings include Computer Vision, Educational Technology, and Reinforcement Learning. The curriculum continues to evolve, with Behavioral Imaging and Computational Journalism courses currently in development.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $28,586 out-of-state; $13,788 in-state

#1 – North Carolina State University

Master of Computer Science

Raleigh, NC

North Carolina State University’s online Computer Science graduate program is rated 4th in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

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The champion of Grad School Hub’s Best Online Masters’ in Computer Science list is North Carolina State University, a public research university in suburban Raleigh, NC. What began as an agricultural and mechanical school now also holds sea and space grants, is the largest university in North Carolina, and leads in scientific and technological innovation. The university’s online Computer Science graduate program is rated 4th in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

NC State’s Master of Computer Science is designed mainly for working professionals. The coursework-only program requires no thesis or cumulative examination. It mirrors the on-campus program, with most courses recorded as video streams from on-campus classrooms. Core courses cover areas of Systems and Theory, such as Algorithms, Graphics, Numerical Analysis, and Parallel Architectures.

NC State is a cornerstone of the Research Triangle region, a high-tech hotspot vibrant with industry leaders such as Cisco, IBM, and Lenovo. The university’s technologically advanced James B. Hunt, Jr. Library has won a Stanford Prize for Innovation. NC State is also the only U.S. university to lead two National Science Foundation Engineering Research Centers. This technological expertise contributes to a firm foundation on which to build a flourishing Computer Science career.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $23,967 out-of-state; $8,492 in-state