Getting a Computer Science Degree Online

a young man on his laptop works toward his online computer science degree

An online computer science degree is a natural pairing of technology and learning.

Since so many computer science students are familiar with computing platforms and online learning, it only makes sense that online computer science coursework options are very popular among students. There are a few significant differences between online and traditional computer science degrees, though the coursework required for completion remains largely the same.


The requirements for an online computer science degree are similar to the requirements at a local college or university. For an associate’s degree, that means 60 credit hours of coursework with 30 or more of those coming from computer and analytic math coursework. While there are some online associate’s degrees available, usually these are hybrids with some classes at the college.

For a bachelor’s degree, the hour requirement is often raised to 120 credit hours, with more advanced coursework taken in programming, data, and security and a specific field of emphasis within the computer science school. For master’s degrees, credit hours vary from 36 to 60, depending on the specialization and the school’s additional requirements.

Tests and Certifications

There are typically no major exit exams required of students who pursue an associate’s computer science degree. On the other hand, for those attempting a bachelor’s degree or higher, there are. More important than any capstone project, however, are the specific certifications that students need to increase their job prospects. These certifications range from troubleshooting and network management to programming language and operating systems. By passing the certification tests and obtaining specific certifications related to an intended job, students position themselves to gain employment quickly upon graduation.


The advantages of online coursework are significant. Students are able to take coursework on their own schedule and with a flexibility unavailable in traditional degree programs. Considering cost, the financial burden of online degrees is substantially less than with traditional programs. Also, students are able to develop online learning skills to apply to later advanced certification endeavors.

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