Do you want to advance your career in the study of computers, computer language and computation? A Master’s of Computer Science degree can help you keep up with the rapid-changing field and may position you to take the next step in your career as an analyst, developer, programmer or administrator. A well-structured online CS degree program combines the foundations of computer science with the in-demand skills needed to help students grow into technology leaders.
On this page you’ll find information about online Master’s of Computer Science programs offered through graduate schools across the United States. We’ve also provided some general information below to help you evaluate different online graduate computer science programs.
To learn more about an online Master’s of Computer Science program—including program details, student eligibility and admission requirements—select a graduate school’s name below. Even after you find a degree program and request more information, be sure to bookmark our resource center and check often for articles, interviews, infographics, videos and other great resources designed for career-driven computer science professionals like you.
Courses may vary by program and concentration. When evaluating online Master’s of Computer Science graduate schools, think about how the curriculum aligns with your professional goals. For example, if you want to become a data scientist, a program that focuses on analytics and Big Data may be more desirable to you than to someone who wants to become a software engineer or systems administrator.
If you have professional experience in the field and/or a relevant undergraduate degree, you may be able to waive certain core classes and take additional elective courses in an area that aligns with your chosen concentration.
If you’re looking to pivot your career and focus on a more technology-centric trajectory, consider whether the program offers any introductory-level classes that will prepare you for the rigor of advanced computer science studies. These preparatory courses may be offered in addition to the coursework required for graduation.
Keep these questions in mind when evaluating a computer science program’s curriculum:
- Does the curriculum align with my personal interests or professional goals?
- Does the program offer focused areas of study (specializations) in computer science?
- Does the program offer preparatory courses for individuals lacking CS experience?
- Does the program culminate with a thesis or capstone project?
Program length/time to complete
Credit hours vary by program. Additionally, some programs may put a cap on the number of classes students can take each semester. In any case, it’s important that you know how long a particular program will take to complete before you apply.
Ask these questions regarding program length and completion time when evaluating online Master’s of Computer Science programs:
- Is the program available full time (12+ credit hours per semester) or part time (less than 12 credit hours per semester)?
- As a full-time student, how many credit hours am I allowed to take?
- As a part-time student, is there a limit on how long I have to complete the program?
- Can I complete courses out of sequence, or is there an academic calendar to follow?
- Does the program accept transfer credits? How many?
Some online Master’s of Computer Science graduate schools include immersion experiences that provide students the opportunity to meet with classmates and professors in person. Immersion experiences allow students to meet, collaborate and network with peers while learning how to apply theories and practices in the real world.
Consider the following questions if an online program features in-person immersion experiences:
- Are immersion experiences optional or mandatory?
- How long is each immersion? How many immersions per semester?
- Is each immersion located on campus? Are other sites included?
- Is there a schedule of events, classes and workshops?
- Are travel expenses included in the program tuition?
Interested in Computer Engineering?
If you’re thinking about computer science, you might also consider computer engineering.