Online Computer Science Graduate Programs

Online Computer Science graduate programs are offered at the graduate level as Certificates, Master’s and Doctorate Degrees. With the continual advances in digital technology, software, hardware and innovation, taking your education to the next level warrants consideration. Current employers evaluating prospective managers are seeking candidates with business skills[i].

Online Computer Science graduate programs

In research and development, the higher-level technical jobs tend to favor those with a PhD in Computer Science[ii]. If you are someone who is open to potential advancement in a current career or you seek a forum for solving complex problems with technology, but don’t want to give up your job to get there, take a look inside computer science online graduate programs.

Online Computer Science Graduate Programs: Basics

Online Computer Science Graduate Programs explore the more technical aspects of how data and big data are stored, processes and communicated through computing devices. With each level of study, the mathematical analysis gets more intricate.

Given that there is variance between graduate schools, some of the topics one might study at the graduate level could include:

  • Algorithms for data processing
  • Design of instructional computer language
  • Communication protocols for network security
  • Organization of complex databases
  • Statistical modeling of data
  • Techniques for information assurance
  • Applied mathematics
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Biomedical applications
  • Computer and information sciences
  • Computer systems analysis
  • Computer programming
  • Leadership, strategy
  • Project management


Computer and Information Research Scientists have job titles such as Computer Scientists, Control System Computer Scientist and Scientific Programmer Analyst. Over half of these professionals have a Master’s degree.[iii]

Online Masters in Computer Science Degree Programs

If you have a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science as your base, earning an online computer science master’s degree may be your next step. Typically, 2 years of full time study, a Masters in Computer Science may help you to either earn a better wage[iv], learn the business administration skills to propel you into a management position[v], or help you prepare for a doctorate degree. Usually the options are either Master of Science in Computer Science or Master of Business Administration.

Online PhD in Computer Science Degree Programs

If you have a Masters in Computer Science and want to continue to research, earning an online PhD in Computer Science might take between 4 and 5 years beyond your undergraduate degree, whether it is in computer science or information systems. The first 2 years of a doctorate could be devoted to computer science courses with the remaining years devoted to research[vi]. Alternatively, someone interested in the business leadership aspect might look into a Doctor of Business Administration online track with an emphasis in computer science.

Why Consider an Online CS Degree?

Many of today’s graduate schools offer both campus and online computer science degree options to accommodate mid-career students, those returning to university with family obligations, and others who are admitted to the college program but cannot commute. If you are looking for the ability to proceed academically but you need a convenient format, earning a graduate computer science degree online may be possible. Most often touted as ‘study from anywhere you have Internet’ and ‘at your own pace’, most often the course material is provided through a website or web portal. Email, web chat, online discussion boards, digital libraries are all part of what has now become quite a sophisticated learning format.

Things to Look for in an Online Computer Science Graduate Program

Since the actual course material may be the same, just in a web-based format, here are a few things to keep in mind during your search for the ‘right’ online computer science degree grad program:

  • Distance-learning means your course material may be pre-recorded or live streaming
  • Your own Internet connection and computer have to be in solid working order
  • Find out if you have any onsite computer labs, meeting with mentors
  • If your program includes research how is this accommodated with an online student?
  • Look for a graduate school that has a strong faculty for the type of research you are most interested in or technical computer programs if that interests you more
  • Accreditation either national, regional, or program specific

Take the Next Step

Search for Online Masters Computer Science and Online PhD Computer Science degree programs easily. Filter by degree level and browse sponsored listings. Make sure to request more information from the graduate schools, especially to help fill in some of the above details, and to stay ahead of application deadlines. With the variety of online computer science graduate programs, each is likely to have distinct features that will help you figure out which one suits your needs.

[i] |[ii] |[iii] |[iv] |[v] |[vi] | other sources:

Find Schools