Master's Degrees in Computer Programming: Online & Campus-Based Programs

An online or campus-based master's degree program in computer science could boost your programming expertise and software engineering knowledge for management and senior-level programming positions. Read on to learn about typical classes, program prerequisites, online programs and career options for grads. Schools offering Computer Programming degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Courses Can I Expect in a Computer Programming Master's Program?

Graduate education in computer programming is typically offered through a Master of Science (M.S.) in Computer Science program. Master's programs place heavy emphasis on computer programming, data structures and software design. You'll likely gain advanced knowledge in designing, creating and managing computer systems and structures, as well as engineering software. You can choose from thesis and non-thesis programs; however, non-thesis programs are usually found in online formats. Typical courses include:

  • Computer architecture
  • Systems programming
  • Programming languages
  • Algorithms
  • Network programming

Common Courses Programming languages, systems programming, algorithms, computer architecture, network programming
Prerequisites Bachelor's degree in a related field; courses in computer programming and data structures may be necessary without a relevant bachelor's degree
Online Learning Online learning platforms to access lectures, exams and assignments
Job Outlook 8% decrease between 2014-2024 (for computer programmers)*

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are the Prerequisites?

Master's programs in computer program typically are designed for professionals who hold a bachelor's degree in the field. Without a bachelor's in computer science, you might be required to demonstrate a solid background in programming, algorithms and computer organization or complete prerequisite courses, such as the following:

  • Computer programming
  • Linear algebra
  • Data structures
  • Programming language paradigms
  • Automata

How Do Online Programs Work?

Online curricula typically include the same faculty-led courses as on-campus programs. The only difference is that lectures, assignments and exams are completed via the Internet utilizing online learning platforms. In some cases, online master's programs in computer science are only open to off-campus professionals, while on-campus students must take campus-based courses.

What Can I Do With This Degree?

A master's degree program can provide you with the technical ability and computer knowledge to work as a computer programmer or software engineer in multiple industries, including computer systems design, software publishing and computer manufacturing. Other employers may include insurance and financial institutions.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs for computer programmers was expected to decline by eight percent from 2014-2024 ( This was expected to stem from advances in programming languages and software, as well as offshore outsourcing.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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