Best Online Degrees in Computer Programming

Online degree programs in computer programming are typically available at the undergraduate level. Explore some of the best programs, as well as information like common courses and scholarships for these degrees. Schools offering Computer Programming degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Best Online Degree Programs in Computer Programming

Online degrees in computer programming may be available as a stand-alone degree and/or as a concentration in computer science. Some of the best are available at the undergraduate level and may offer students unique features, such as small class sizes, preparation for professional certifications, additional program options, and/or hands-on learning experiences.

1. Seminole State College of Florida

LocationTuition & Fees (in-state)% Receiving Financial Aid
Sanford, FL$3,13174%

Seminole State College of Florida has an Associate in Science (AS) in Computer Programming and Analysis that offers most courses online. This hybrid program offers specializations in web development, programming, or simulation. Students may benefit from classes smaller than 30 students and hands-on activities that help students prepare for professional certifications from Microsoft or Novell. Students can complete the program in 2 years for just a little over $4,000.

2. Daytona State College

LocationTuition & Fees (in-state)% Receiving Financial Aid
Daytona Beach, FL$3,10473%

Daytona State College offers an AS in Computer Programming and Analysis that can be completed partly online. Students can complete the program in 2 years, and it trains students in programming C++, Java, C, and Visual Basic. Students can also choose from several different courses that correspond to a variety of professional certifications, such as certifications from Microsoft. The school also provides a partially online certificate program in computer programming for interested students.

3. St. Petersburg College

LocationTuition & Fees (in-state)% Receiving Financial Aid
Clearwater, FL$2,68274%

St. Petersburg College has an online AS in Computer Programming and Analysis, as well as an online computer programmer certificate program. The AS program requires an internship and includes Java courses that prepare students for the Oracle Java Certified Associate industry certification. Students must complete 60 credits, including electives from areas such as mobile device programming, web programming, or application programming. Graduates of the program may choose to pursue the school's bachelor's degree in technology development and management and/or benefit from continuing education and training offered through the school.

4. Solano Community College

LocationTuition & Fees (in-state)% Receiving Financial Aid
Fairfield, CA$1,14065%

Solano Community College offers an AS in Computer Programming that has many of its courses in an online format. The entire program totals 60 credits, but some students may choose to earn a Certificate of Achievement after completing the 32 credits required for the major coursework. Students gain experience working and/or programming with Windows, Visual Basic, UNIX, and more. The program does require students to pass the major courses with a 'C' or better.

5. Herzing University

LocationTuition & Fees (in-state)% Receiving Financial Aid
St. Louis Park, MN$14,00097%

Herzing University has an online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Computer Programming degree program that totals 120 credits. Students can complete the program in 36 months and may benefit from small class sizes. The program does require students to complete a final capstone project or internship experience, as well as 2 professional development courses. Students may also choose to earn up to 12 credits towards a dual Master of Business Administration (MBA) program to save time and money.

Rank School Name Location Tuition & Fees (in-state)% Receiving Financial Aid
6Brigham Young University-IdahoRexburg, ID$4,11864%
7Kansas State UniversityManhattan, KS$10,38389%
8Saint Johns River State CollegePalatka, FL$2,83067%
9Western Governors UniversitySalt Lake City, UT$6,670N/A
10Gulf Coast State CollegePanama City, FL$2,37073%
11Champlain CollegeBurlington, VT$41,010100%
12Kent State University at GeaugaBurton, OH$5,83472%
13College of Central FloridaOcala, FL$2,57081%
14Peninsula CollegePort Angeles, WA$4,45374%
15University of ToledoToledo, OH$10,29395%
16Fort Hays State UniversityHays, KS$5,13098%
17Schoolcraft CollegeLivonia, MI$5,17669%
18Vincennes UniversityVincennes, IN$5,90289%
19University of Michigan-DearbornDearborn, MI$12,93096%
20Davenport UniversityGrand Rapids, MI$18,41497%

All statistics provided by the National Center for Education Statistics, undergraduate tuition based on 2018-2019 school year.'s school ranking methodology categorizes and assesses data from schools and other reliable sources, such as the U.S. Department of Education, and weighs the information based on quality, cost, value and other factors critical to students' academic decisions.

Overview of Online Computer Programming Degrees

There are many associate's degrees available specifically in computer programming that can be completed in fully- or partially-online formats. At the bachelor's level it is more common to have computer science programs, and at the graduate level there are rarely programs specifically in computer programming. These are generally focused exclusively on computer science.

Online undergraduate degree programs in computer programming commonly help prepare students for professional certifications in their field and/or provide hands-on learning activities in various programming languages. Get more details for the different degree levels of online computer programming programs below.

Associate's Degree

Online associate's degree programs in computer programming are usually offered as AS degrees in computer programming and analysis. These programs typically require 60 credits and include general education courses, major courses, and electives. Many of these programs offer courses in online formats, but students may need to complete some courses on campus. Programs may also include coursework that prepares students for professional certifications in the field and/or offers hands-on experience with different programming languages and software. Graduates may begin a career right away or transfer some of their credits to a 4-year institution and earn a bachelor's degree in the field.

Bachelor's Degree

Online bachelor's degree programs in computer programming are typically offered as a BS in Computer Programming or a BS in Computer Science with a concentration in computer programming. Many of these degree programs require 120 credits and can be completed fully online. Students typically take general education courses, major courses, and electives and some programs may require a culminating experience, such as an internship or final capstone or senior project. Some online bachelor's programs may accept transfer credit and/or allow students to earn credit towards a master's degree, such as an MBA. Graduates of these programs may go on to pursue graduate-level education or begin their career in the field.

Length of Program

Online associate's degree programs in computer programming usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's degree programs typically take 4 years, but some programs may allow students to complete the program in as little as 3 years. Some bachelor's degree programs may also allow students to transfer in credit, which could cut down the time it takes to complete the degree.


There are some associate's degree programs in computer programming that offer a programming concentration as well. This concentration allows students to take programming-focused courses for their electives. At the bachelor's level, degree programs in computer science offer computer programming as a concentration area, as mentioned earlier.

Common Courses

Major coursework for an associate's degree in computer programming includes many of the same topics required for a bachelor's degree in the subject, but a bachelor's degree requires almost double the amount of major courses. These major courses typically cover foundational concepts in computer programming, as well as specific types of programming. Explore some of the common courses for computer programming degree programs below.

  • Computer Programming- Students at both the associate's and bachelor's degree levels take at least an introductory course in computer programming, but then bachelor's degree students may take additional courses in the subject at advanced levels. Introductory courses provide students with knowledge of basic concepts and topics in the field and give them an opportunity to begin working with coding programs to solve programming problems. Advanced courses go on to explore topics like interfaces, software development, and design models.
  • C# Programming- Students in these courses learn about C# programming language and how to use C# for program design and development. Students usually receive hands-on training while studying topics like conversions, .NET framework, creating applications, and user-defined classes. C# programming courses are usually available at the associate's and bachelor's levels.
  • Computer Architecture- Computer architecture courses are typically offered at the bachelor's level and discuss topics in computer software and hardware and current technologies in the field. Students may receive training in troubleshooting and/or explore topics in processor technology, data representation, system capabilities, memory management, and supporting operating systems.
  • C++ Programming- C++ courses help students learn about C++ programming language and are usually available at the associate's and bachelor's levels. Students in these programs begin with foundational concepts in the language and then may move on to advanced topics like creating complex object-oriented applications, templates, pointers, and debugging C++.
  • Python Programming- Courses in Python programming are common at the bachelor's level and help train students in design and development using Python. Students may explore topics in assignment statements, arrays, variables, and loops.

How to Choose an Online Degree in Computer Programming

Students need to consider several different factors when choosing an online degree in computer programming. One of the first decisions a student needs to make is what level of degree they wish to pursue. This means deciding between a 2-year degree with less general education and major courses or a 3- to 4-year degree that provides more depth in general education and major courses. Deciding between an associate's or bachelor's degree will likely help determine whether students are looking at 2-year schools, like community colleges, or 4-year colleges and universities.

Students may also need to look for programs that fit their specific needs and/or preferences. Some students may need to find a program that accepts transfer credit from another institution. Class size may also be another determining factor for students who prefer more individualized attention. Some students may also prefer to have a program that includes hands-on, practical learning requirements, such as an internship or capstone experience. Read on to see a couple more considerations for choosing an online program in computer programming.


General accreditation is usually offered at the institution level, and specific accreditation is sometimes available at the program level. Accreditation indicates that schools and/or programs have met academics standards established for quality purposes by an accreditation body. Typically, computer programming degree programs do not have specialized accreditation, so students should look for accredited institutions. Schools with computer programming programs may be regionally accredited by organizations like the Higher Learning Commission.

Cost, Financial Aid, and Scholarships

The cost of an online program is usually a huge consideration for students as they search for the right program. Although tuition rates vary from institution to institution, students should know that an associate's degree will typically cost less than a bachelor's degree. Some associate's degree programs can be completed for a little over $4,000, including books and materials. On the other hand, some bachelor's degree programs could end up costing over $50,000. When considering the cost of an online program, students also need to search for any additional fees and consider the cost of meeting any technical requirements the program may have.

Most online degree programs in computer programming accept various forms of financial aid to help students cut the cost of the program. Students may see what aid they qualify for using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and/or finding outside grants and scholarships. Many schools also offer military benefits for service members. Scholarships for online programs may be available from institutions and/or outside sources. A few examples of scholarships for students in computer programming include:

  • Society of Women Engineers Scholarship- This scholarship is designed for women in computer science or engineering and requires students to fill out one application to apply for all scholarships.
  • IBM Destination z- This scholarship from IBM is for students demonstrating excellence in computing coursework and wishing to pursue a career with IBM.
  • Blacks at Microsoft Scholarships- Microsoft offers scholarships to black high school seniors interested in a technology career and awards $5,000 up to 4 years for a total of $20,000.

Job Options for Graduates in Computer Programming

An undergraduate degree in computer programming can help prepare students for a wide range of careers in computer science. Some job titles for graduates of these programs include:

  • Computer programmer
  • Web application developer
  • Computer support specialist
  • Computer systems analyst
  • Software developer
  • Application programmer

Computer Programmers

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most computer programmers have at least a bachelor's, but some employers may hire those with only an associate's degree. The BLS reported that these professionals made a median annual salary of $84,280 in 2018, but jobs are expected to decline by 7% from 2018 to 2028. This may be due in part to companies outsourcing jobs to countries with lower wages. Computer programmers are usually are experienced in using a variety of programming languages to write and test code. They may also update programs as needed and test programs for any issues.

Software Developers

Software developers typically need at least a bachelor's degree and the BLS reported that these developers made a median salary of $105,590 in 2018. The job outlook for software developers from 2018 to 2028 was 21%, which is much faster than average. Software developers may specialize in systems software or applications software and work to design and test software programs for organizations. They are also responsible for making sure these programs work properly, meet the technology goals of the company, and are correctly maintained.

Computer Systems Analysts

Many computer systems analysts hold a bachelor's degree, but this is not always required. These analysts made a median salary of $88,740 in 2018 and had a job outlook of 9% from 2018 to 2028, which is faster than average, per the BLS. Some computer systems analysts may specialize as programmer analysts or software quality assurance (QA) analysts. In general, computer systems analysts evaluate computer systems for an organization and find ways to help these systems work more effectively and/or efficiently.


Certifications are available in individual programming languages for computer programmers and those in related careers, and may be required by some companies for the specific programs the organization uses. These certifications are typically offered by the product's vendor, such as the Python Institute or the C++ Institute. A few examples of available certifications for computer programmers include:

  • Python Certification- The Python Institute offers Python certification at the entry, associate, and professional levels for software developers, programmers, and other IT professionals.
  • C++ Certification- The C++ Institute has a C++ Certified Associate Programmer (CPA) Certification exam that students must pass with an 80% or higher and takes a little over an hour to complete.
  • Java SE/EE Certification- Oracle offers Java SE and Java EE certifications and provides Java trainings on its website to help students prepare for their certification exams.

Professional Organizations in Computer Programming

Outside of product vendors that help provide computer programmers, software developers, and other professionals with certifications and training options, there are a number of professional organizations in the field that provide additional resources. These groups may offer membership, job resources, networking opportunities and more. A few professional organizations in computer programming include:

  • Association of Software Professionals (ASP)- ASP is an organization for software developers that offers international membership and networking opportunities with various vendors and other software developers. Members can receive discounts on products, participate in discussion groups, read the organization's newsletter with relevant articles, and more.
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)- The IEEE offers membership in a range of fields, including computer software, hardware, and security. Members can participate in online learning, pursue software developer certifications, and attend various conferences.
  • Association for Women in Computing (AWC)- The AWC is for women in computing professions, including programmers, consultants, and systems analysts. The organization offers membership at the individual and chapter levels, networking opportunities, mentoring opportunities, and continuing education.

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:

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