The rise of the accelerated online Master’s in Computer Science should come as no surprise to any professional in the industry. As more business takes place online, it has become imperative that the government, companies, individuals, and communities have a presence online or use technology in order to continue their work. Computer science programs have long been the first step towards entering the industry for professionals, especially at the undergraduate level where students learn the fundamentals about building their career from the ground up.

Now, however, more professionals are demanding access to accelerated online versions of traditional computer science programs. Because these working adults have professional and personal obligations, it has become necessary for them to have a flexible plan of study that can fit around their needs. This ranking lists the best programs in the country for busy professionals, all of which can be completed in two years or less.

Methodology: Ranking the Most Affordable Accelerated Computer Science Master’s

For the Fast Online Master’s ranking of the most affordable master’s in computer science, editors  researched accredited, trusted institutions known for quality. Programs are ranked according to their tuition rate, using current IPEDS information. 

1. University of Texas at Austin

For one of the most affordable online master’s in computer science, students should consider the University of Texas at Austin. UT Austin offers an MS in computer science in a flexible learning environment. The program focuses on personal engagement and offers the same high-quality professors who teach on campus courses. UT faculty are experts in their fields and come from an eclectic background. The school has an award-winning CS research program and offers training in machine learning and artificial intelligence. Graduates gain the skills they need to kickstart their careers or obtain better positions.

Besides having an affordable online master of computer science, UT Austin offers many other popular majors including biology, business and economics. The school graduates an astounding 86% of students and the large institution has 38,000 undergraduate students. The choosy application process weeds out more than two-thirds of those who apply, and approximately 67% of students receive some kind of financial aid. The University of Texas Austin is the top-ranked public university in the state.

Degree: MS in Computer Science

2. University of West Georgia

The University of West Georgia has an affordable online master’s in computer science. Graduates emerge ready to take on entry-level or advanced jobs in information technology, depending on their experience. The program focuses on software development, and the highly qualified faculty includes experts in the industry and academic spheres. Some of the classes include program construction, web technologies, database systems and a final project where students use the knowledge they have gained to produce professional projects.

West Georgia aims to change the lives of students and teach them to ask challenging questions. The university embraces students from diverse backgrounds and faculty and staff engage with students whenever possible. This school’s affordable online master of computer science degree is made even more attainable by financial aid available to approximately 94% of students.

Degree: MS in Applied Computer Science

3. University of West Florida

The University of West Florida’s affordable online master’s in computer science gives students an opportunity to complete their coursework in their own time. This affordable online master of computer science provides graduates with the skills they need to remain competitive in an ever-changing industry. Many graduates become technical leaders with top corporations and organizations. Some of the courses studied include artificial intelligence, parallel computing, algorithmic programming and data analytics.

West Florida is located in the Pensacola area and has 6,600 undergraduate students, this midsize school is very competitive, admitting fewer than three out of 10 students who apply. However, those who do make the cut, have access to a wide variety of majors including liberal arts and humanities and nursing. Professors at the university received a B grade from niche.com, reflecting the results of salary reviews, student reviews, faculty accomplishments and other factors.

Degree: MS in Computer Science

4. Kansas State University

Tuition-conscious students often choose the affordable online master’s in computer science available at Kansas State University. Students can complete their degrees online in a program that focuses on preparation for advanced leadership positions in the industry. Students have the option of choosing and area of specialization to match their career goals. These specializations include a number of theoretical and applied studies. The chief options include software engineering, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and cyber physical systems.

Kansas State can be found in Manhattan, Kansas. The school has a generous acceptance policy of 95% and the large institution has nearly 16,000 undergraduate students. With an acceptance rate of 95%, this affordable online master of computer science program gives many learners the opportunity to advance their careers. Kansas State graduates a respectable 65% of incoming freshmen. Kansas State is the top college in the state.

Degree: MS in Computer Science

5. University of New Mexico

The affordable online master’s in computer science at the University of New Mexico offers courses taught by well-known computer engineers. In fact, a top technologist at Netflix teaches the cloud computing course. This cutting-edge program includes courses on the introduction of the Internet of Things. Students also learn cybersecurity and other topics of value to prospective employers.

The affordable online master of computer science is just one reason that students choose the University of New Mexico. The school fosters a community of trust and embraces cultural differences. From enzymatic fuel cells to forensic accounting, the school is in touch with technology and knowledge important to succeed in today’s multifaceted workforce.

Degree: MS in Computer Engineering

6. National University

National University’s MS in Computer Science is another affordable online master’s in computer science. Students learn best practices and the fundamentals needed to succeed in today’s database theory, software engineering and cloud computing jobs. The program provides a comprehensive immersion into software computing. It focuses on developing communication skills to clearly convey technical terms to both peers and nontechnical partners.

National University has 4,600 undergraduate universities and a competitive acceptance rate of 49%. That means that fewer than half of those who apply make it into the program. Other popular majors include criminal justice, pharmacy technician and nursing. This affordable online master of computer science, combined with a 98% rate of financial aid, makes higher education attainable for more people.

Degree: MS in Computer Science

7. Southern Arkansas University

Southern Arkansas University has an affordable online master’s in computer science focused on computer and information science. One of the most popular graduate programs in the country, this program offers online courses as well as in-class options. Faculty members constantly review the curricula to make sure that it reflects the latest technology and industry priorities.

With 3,000 undergraduate students, Southern Arkansas is a small institution. However, it’s very selective of whom it accepts. Just 65% of students who apply get the green light from the admissions committee. There are many other majors available such as liberal arts and agricultural business. Along with an affordable online master of computer science, Southern Arkansas offers student aid to 99% of students.

Degree: MS in Computer and Information Science

8. Dakota State University

The affordable online master’s in computer science at Dakota State University stands out from other computer science programs. The university has associations with the International Space Station (ISS) — and that’s just one example of what’s in store for students who attend this online program. This affordable online master of computer science emphasizes computer ability, computer systems and the theoretical side of computing. Students learn how to excel in cyber security and produce market-based applications.

Dakota State has 1,500 undergraduate students and accepts 77% of those who apply. This small school offers many popular majors related to computer technology, including computer and information system security and network and database management.

Degree: MS in Computer Science (MSCS)

9. University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth

UMass Dartmouth’s affordable online master’s in computer science consists of 30 credits of computer technology courses. In this program, students work on real world projects. They also learn to conduct independent research and become team players as well as collaborative coworkers. The program also focuses on creating effective written and oral communication. Graduates acquire the knowledge they need to obtain high quality jobs in application software design.

UMass Dartmouth is a midsized school with less than 5500 undergraduate students. However, it only accepts three out of four students who apply, making it one of the more competitive universities with an affordable online master computer science degree. The school graduates 59% of students and other majors include psychology and business. Approximately 98% of students who attend the university get some sort of financial aid to cover the cost of tuition.

Degree: MS in Computer Science

10. Old Dominion University

At Old Dominion University, there’s an affordable online master’s in computer science degree offering in-depth study of specialties such as data mining, bioinformatics, networking, high performance computing and cyber security. Students can also choose computational foundations and software engineering as their area of focus. Learners can complete the degree in approximately 2 years if they attend full time. The program requires 34 credits to complete and there are three semesters per year.

Besides having an affordable online master of computer science, Old Dominion offers dozens of degree programs including psychology and humanities majors. The school has nearly 15,000 undergraduate students and a fairly robust acceptance rate of 89%, and it graduates 53% of incoming freshmen. Approximately 94% of students who attend Old Dominion receive some sort of financial aid to help pay for school.

Degree: MS in Computer Science

11. Colorado Technical University

Colorado Technical University has an affordable online master’s in computer science that allow students to advance their knowledge of core computing concepts. The affordable online master of computer science includes classes in network architecture, operating systems and software engineering. There are several areas of concentration to choose from, including cybersecurity, data science and software engineering. This degree includes a capstone course that gives students a technical problem in line with task they will face in the workplace.

Colorado Tech accept 100% of those who apply and has over 15,000 undergraduate students, located in Colorado Springs. The school has many popular majors, including criminal justice, business and information technology. Approximately 92% of students find financial aid to help pay for their education.

Degree: MS in Computer Science

12. City University of Seattle

City University of Seattle has an affordable online master’s in computer science. This degree advances technical expertise and knowledge in computer science. Students focus on theoretical and practical concepts that will aid them in their career goals. Courses for this affordable online master of computer science are all available online. Some students complete the degree within two years going full-time. However, students can also choose to attend part-time as their schedule allows.

CityU accepts all students who apply, giving learners access to affordable classes. The highly rated university has fewer than 200 undergraduate students. About half the students who attend City University receive financial aid.

Degree: MS in Computer Science

13. University of Louisville

The University of Louisville has an affordable online master’s in computer science that students can complete from the comfort of home or wherever they choose to study. Graduates emerge with a deep understanding of the field of computer science. Talented faculty members share their talent and experience to help students get a clear picture of what’s happening in the industry.

Louisville has 12,000 undergraduate students and this large institution has a competitive acceptance policy. It accepts fewer than seven out of 10 students who apply. However, those who do get the green light from the admissions team have many other majors to choose from including communications and psychology. The University of Louisville has been recognized as the best college in the state. Combined with the affordable online master of computer science, this makes a good choice for many students.

Degree: MS in Computer Science

14. Saint Xavier University

Students can earn an affordable online master’s in computer science from Saint Xavier University. This affordable online master of computer science has seven core classes that provide a solid foundation in technology. There are five tracks students can choose from to achieve their career goals. Within each track, students dig deeply into the techniques needed to succeed in the industry. In each course, students design and create products that help prepare them for the workplace. Those who wish to change careers can take a series of recommended prerequisites prior to applying for the program.

Saint Xavier University was founded in 1846. This four-year school is the oldest Catholic University in Chicago. It was founded by the Sisters of Mercy and provides education in disruptive technologies to 3,600 undergraduate students. Further, the school has over 40 undergraduate and 30 graduate majors, including nursing, education and arts and sciences. The school accepts 73% of students who apply, and 100% of students receive some sort of financial aid to help them afford school.

Degree: Master of Applied Computer Science

15. Texas Tech University 

This affordable online master’s in computer science is based in Lubbock, TX. Texas Tech University offers a unique MS in computer science. The affordable online master of computer science provides deep learning in key fields such as software systems and applied computing. Students prepare a degree plan in their first semester and learn how to track their progress towards graduation.

Texas Tech offers innovative research and scholarship opportunities to students of all majors. The university is focused on preparing students to be leaders and a global workforce. By offering programs online and on campus, Texas Tech reflects a modern campus, meeting the needs of today’s students. Texas Tech is a difficult school to get into. It accepts just 69% of those who apply. Approximately four out of five students receive some sort of financial aid.

Degree: MS in Computer Science

16. University of North Dakota

The University of North Dakota has an affordable online master’s in computer science that allows students to customize their experience. Students can complete this affordable online master of computer science completely online. The online option offer students the unique opportunity to study from their homes, the coffee shop down the corner or anywhere they choose. However, online students get the same education as on campus students, and this fully accredited program confers the same degree as on campus majors.

By offering campus classes and online classes to students, the University of North Dakota creates a flexible learning environment. Students come to the school to learn how to save lives, make new discoveries and work for Fortune 500 companies. UND produces ethical leaders and has the states only law in medical degree programs. It offers all this at affordable rates for students in North Dakota and beyond. The school is fairly competitive, and it accepts just 81% of students who apply. However, up to 92% of students get some kind of financial aid.

Degree: MS in Computer Science

17. Auburn University

Many students who want to become computer programmers or who are technologists, choose Auburn University because it has an affordable online master’s in computer science. The MS CSSE program is extremely flexible. Students can take on-campus or online courses as they prefer. Those who want to take a combination of online an on-campus classes are free to do so. This is very helpful for adults continuing their education while working a full-time job. The program provides balanced instruction and teaches students how to complete research. Faculty members are focused on academic excellence and preparing students to become effective software engineers and computer scientists. Students who attend classes online can opt to do a thesis. However, it’s not required part of the program.

Auburn University advertises its campus as a place where students can make dreams a reality. It aims to inspire learners at the same time it prepares them for practical experiences in the real world. This historic university has taught students for more than 160 years and has been named a best value college by Forbes and one of the 100 best value public schools by Kiplinger’s. This prestigious university has an affordable online master of computer science and a focus on academic excellence that makes it stand out from the competition.

Degree: MS in Computer Science and Software Engineering

18. University of Oklahoma

The University of Oklahoma’s affordable online master’s in computer science offers an accelerated program that students can complete full time in 21 months. Graduates complete 33 credits that include classes in artificial intelligence, algorithms, machine learning and security, among other technology courses.

Oklahoma has 22,000 undergraduate students and attempts to create an interactive student community despite its size. As a pacesetter for other higher education institutions, it offers more than 170 degree options, including the affordable online master of computer science program. The school has a moderately competitive acceptance process. It takes 80% of students who apply, but 96% of students who attend receive some sort of financial assistance.

Degree: MS in Computer Science

19. Pace University

Pace University’s affordable online master’s in computer science can be completed entirely from a student’s home or other remote location. This affordable online master of computer science prepares students for careers in computing and the art industry. It is an excellent option for those who want to become leaders in computer science, and it has a transition track for career changers. The program uses hands-on techniques to help students master the skills they need to succeed in this field.

At Pace University, graduates emerge with a degree from a prestigious university located in Manhattan. The school has 7,800 undergraduate students and takes 79% of those who apply. The school has a favorable student faculty ratio of 15 to one. So, even online students have access to faculty members who are not overwhelmed with a huge student load.

Degree: MS in Computer Science

20. New Jersey Institute of Technology

Another affordable online master of computer science can be found at New Jersey Institute of Technology. NJIT offers an exceptional and affordable online MS in computer science and has one of the largest computer science programs in the Tri-State Area.

As a leading technological research college, NJIT focuses on technology, engineering and science. From STEM disciplines to architecture to management, the school produces a diverse range of graduates who emerge ready to take on jobs in their field of study. The New Jersey Institute of Technology is ranked third among the state’s best value colleges, making it one of the more attractive affordable online master’s in computer science options.

Degree: MS in Computer Science

21. Missouri University of Science & Technology

The Missouri University of Science & Technology has an affordable online master’s in computer science. The program emphasizes data science and cybersecurity, and students enjoy multidisciplinary studies in reliability, security and vulnerabilities introduced by the nation’s declining infrastructure. The school focuses on data science, which includes the study of algorithms, systems and processes to reveal insights that improve security and increase efficiency in computing systems.

At Missouri S&T, students have access to a top research university and a school that has been innovating the educational experience since it was founded in 1870. The school has a storied history as one of the first technical institutions in the Midwest. They continue to build on this heritage, advancing the available programs to the innovation and creativity of the school’s inspiring faculty members. The affordable online master of computing science degree, combined with the school’s reputation as the #2 best value college in the state make Missouri S&T a top choice for many students.

Degree: MS in Computer Science

22. Marquette University

Marquette University’s affordable online master’s in computer science strives to meet the educational needs of current and prospective computing students. This affordable online master of computer science includes courses in key topics such as software engineering, enterprise architecture, systems analysis and IT security. Other courses include database design, technology management and similar topics related to computer science. The flexible online program can be taken part-time or full-time by students, depending on how much time they have and whether they currently work.

Marquette University was founded as a Jesuit school and is located near downtown Milwaukee. The school has 11 majors that prepare students for careers in technology. Students can take any number of paths after leaving Marquette, which provides a holistic educational experience focused on the technology of today and tomorrow. The school’s emphasis on technology may give graduates a leg up when it comes to seeking computer science careers. Plus, all students receive some kind of financial aid, making this a highly attractive option for anyone on a budget.

Degree: MS in Computing

23. University of Michigan-Dearborn

The University of Michigan Dearborn has an affordable master’s in computer science that includes 30 credits of required courses. The program prepares graduates to successfully obtain entry level or mid-level careers in computer and information science. The program focuses on CIS courses and students can learn on campus or online, according to their preferences. Students are also free to take courses part-time or full-time.

UM Dearborn is located in Detroit and has more than 5,000 undergraduate students enrolled. This midsize school sends welcome letters to just 62% of those who apply, and other majors include psychology, biology and mechanical engineering.

Degree: MS in Computer and Information Science

24. Drexel University

Drexel University’s affordable online master’s in computer science culminates in an MS in computer science. The program fosters understanding of advanced topics and teaches students the latest tools needed to solve computing problems. This degree has a career-oriented focus that helps students continuously evaluate how their education can be put to use in real world careers. Graduates go on to careers working for government agencies, private corporations and other organizations.

Besides an affordable online master of computer science, Drexel University offers many other career options too more than 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Physically located in Philadelphia, the school has many online courses and degrees. It has a fairly competitive acceptance rate of 75% and 69% of students who begin their studies at the school graduate. All students at the university receive some sort of financial aid, which appeals to those looking to stretch their education dollars.

Degree: MS in Computer Science

25. Hofstra University

Hofstra University has an affordable online master’s in computer science. Although it is physically based in Hempstead, NY, the school offers an MS in computer science that students can complete online. Students gain deep insights into the fundamentals of computing technology. This background gives them a broad perspective that helps them establish themselves in many different careers.

Hofstra is well-known for the high quality of its professors who go beyond concepts and theories to teach students practical knowledge applicable to the real world. Students come from 47 states and more than 80 nations, offering a diverse educational environment for both online and on campus students. Hofstra accepts 60% of those who apply, and 97% of students receive some kind of financial aid, underscoring the school’s reputation for an affordable online master of computer science.

Degree: MS in Computer Science

Why Should I Get My Master’s in Computer Science Online?

With an online master’s in computer science, students can obtain jobs as software developers, computer and information research scientists, information security analyst and similar jobs. Those who already have a few years of experience prior to getting their online computer science master’s can often obtain lucrative positions with corporations and organizations with in-house technology departments.

There is a growing demand for data scientists and researchers. With an online master’s in computer science, students can greatly increase their earning potential. For example, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there is a surge in demand for computer and information research scientists. These professionals make about $118,000 on average.

Many students pursue their online computer science master’s to enhance their career prospects or to change careers.

Is a Master’s in Computer Science Worth It?

For anyone wondering, “Is a master’s in computer science worth it?”, the statistics say yes. Approximately 33 % of employers say they have high education standards.

Is it worth getting a master’s in computer science from a monetary perspective? A study by Georgetown University’s Center for Education and the Workforce shows that those with a graduate degree earn much more over their lifetime than those with just a bachelor’s degree.

Is it worth getting a master’s in computer science for networking purposes? Whether students get their master’s degree online or in a classroom setting, they have an opportunity to greatly expand their professional network. They meet students and instructors from all over the country, giving them access to the inside scoop on many local job postings and knowledge of companies that hire graduates with a master’s degree.

What Can I Do with a Master’s in Computer Science?

master’s in computer science jobs pay much more than bachelor’s degree jobs in the same fields. By committing to two years of study going full-time or four years of study going part-time, students can immediately raise their earning potentials thanks to lucrative jobs with a master’s in computer science.

Graduates who live in cities with many master of computer science jobs will find it much easier to find employment. However, there will also be more competition for each job. What jobs can you get with a master’s in computer science? It depends on many factors, including your prior job experience, undergraduate degree and employer. However, there is a growing demand across all fields of computer science, according to the Georgetown study.

What can I do with a master’s in computer science if I want to work on internet-based components? Web developers use the skills they develop getting the irmaster’s degree to create, refine and perfect websites.

What can I do with master’s in computer science? master’s in computer science jobs include an array of specializations, including computer network architects. Jobs with a master’s in computer science, for example, include software development and data analysis on machine learning.

Master of computer science jobs include the following:

  • 1) Computer and Information Systems Managers
  • 2) Computer and Information Research Scientists
  • 3) Computer Network Architects
  • 4) Software Development Engineer
  • 5) Software Developers
  • 6) Information Security Analysts
  • 7) Database Administrators
  • 8) Computer Systems Analysts
  • 9) Network and Computer Systems Administrators
  • 10) Web Developers

What jobs can you get with a master’s in computer science? There is a wide array of possibilities, with the above list representing just a portion of the specializations available.

What can I do with master’s in computer science if I currently work in another field? Getting a master’s degree in computer science is a great way to break into the technology field. However, students who don’t have a prior background in this field may need to take courses in computer languages and computer science prior to qualifying for a reputable master’s degree program.

How Much Can I Make with a Master’s in Computer Science?

The average annual master of computer science salary is $127,000. At the low end of the field, entry-level master’s in computer science salary pay averages $72,000. However, the highest-paid professionals with a master of computer science salary make approximately $194,000 on average.

Even a computer science master’s starting salary can be quite lucrative. Here’s a look at the average for different specializations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • Software publishers: $146k
  • Research and development: $140k
  • Computer systems design: $137k
  • Federal government: $113k
  • Colleges, universities, and other schools: $82k

With a master’s in computer science salary, graduates can improve their standard of living and perform essential functions. Additionally, a computer science master’s starting salary often rises quickly with a few years of experience.

Related Rankings:

Top 25 Most Affordable Accelerated Master’s in Cybersecurity Online

Top 25 Most Affordable Accelerated Master’s in Information Systems Security Online

Top 25 Most Affordable Accelerated Master’s in Information Technology Online

Top 25 Most Affordable Accelerated Master’s in Computer Information Systems Online