Why This Matters

  • BLOCKCHAIN AND AI POSITIONS ARE GROWING YEAR ON YEAR

    Interest in some areas of computer science is growing rapidly. Blockchain positions increased by 370% in 2018, and AI positions increased by 149% in the same time period.

  • THE US NEEDS 531,200 MORE COMPUTER SCIENCE SPECIALISTS BY 2029

    By 2029, the United States is projected to see the creation of 531,200 new computer and information technology-related jobs. This includes database administrators, information security analysts, and computer programmers.

  • EARN $77,200 AS A WEB DEVELOPER OR DESIGNER WITH AN ASSOCIATE DEGREE

    Study computer science and boost your earnings. Web developers with an associate degree earn a median salary of $77,200.

Our Research

This list includes associate degrees in computer science and information technology. The technical nature of most computing degrees means that most of these courses lead to either an Associate of Science or Applied Science degree. Some courses offer a rounded liberal arts education and lead to an Associate of Arts qualification. We focused on courses with online delivery, but some institutions offer hybrid learning options.

Many of these courses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission or a regional body such as the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. This accreditation means the quality of the course has been verified, and the student will find it easy to transfer credits should they wish to pursue a bachelor’s degree.

  • 70 hours to write this article
  • 60 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 105 education programs we compared

The Top 10 Best Online Associate in Computer Science Programs

Montgomery County Community College

Intelligent Pick

Like the Montgomery College program, the Montgomery County Community College Computer Science associate degree program prepares you to transfer to a four-year university to complete your degree in computer science. If you successfully complete the program, you can transfer seamlessly to schools in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE). In addition to general education requirements, you will take major courses in computer science foundations, database management systems, discrete mathematics, statistics and probability, and calculus. This program is relatively affordable, especially if you qualify for in-district or in-state tuition. The community college also offers a wide array of scholarships to help make the investment more manageable.

Things to consider:

  • Cost per credit: $144 (in-county); $288 per credit (in-state); $432 (out of state)
  • Credits required to graduate: 61
  • Academic calendar: Traditional semester
  • Graduation rate: 15%

More program information:

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Email: [email protected]

Learn more

Georgia State University

Best Community Partnerships

Georgia State University’s Computer Science Pathway, an associate degree program, offers a combination of computer science theory and strong community partnerships for hands-on computer science experiences. In this 60-credit degree program, 42 credits are allotted for general education requirements and 18 are allotted for computer science courses. Elective courses within the pathway include classes like Astronomy of the Solar System, Ethical and Social Issues in Computing, and Calculus of One Variable. You will benefit from undergraduate research and STEM initiatives, such as ENLISTEM, MESA, PSLSAMP, and STEP. Students in the program routinely win national conference awards for research, and the robotics team consistently places in the top three at the Association for Computing Machinery Southeast Regional Robotics Competition.

Things to consider:

  • Cost per credit: $95 (in-state); $359.67 (out of state); $95 (online)
  • Credits required to graduate: 60
  • Academic calendar: Traditional semester
  • Graduation rate: 56%

More program information:

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 404-413-2500

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Seminole State College of Florida

Best Hybrid Format

Seminole State College of Florida’s Computer Science Pathway Associate in Arts program is affordable, flexible, and offered in a hybrid format so you can choose whether to study in person at a Seminole State campus in Florida or online anywhere in the world. Upon completing your associate degree, you can choose to stay at Seminole to pursue a bachelor’s degree or receive guaranteed transfer admission to one of Florida’s other state universities. All of Seminole State’s campuses boast strong, diverse student organizations and events that new students can participate in, many of which are accessible online. If you’re looking to expand your engagement beyond the (virtual) classroom, Seminole State’s program could be a good fit.

Things to consider:

  • Cost per credit: $79.78
  • Credits required to graduate: 60
  • Academic calendar: Traditional semester
  • Graduation rate: 41%

More program information:

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 407-708-2050

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South Texas College

Best Tutoring Services

South Texas College’s Associate of Science in Computer Science program offers a hybrid model where students can choose to study in person in south Texas or online anywhere in the world. Unique to South Texas College, the program provides valuable one-on-one tutoring for students in computer science, which can be carried out either in person or remotely. This ensures that you have support not only from your academic advisors in selecting your courses and charting your degree path but also from experts in your particular field who can help you master difficult concepts. The program offers a mix of required courses and electives within your major, making it easy to customize to suit your particular interests.

Things to consider:

  • Cost per credit: $77 (in-district); $87 (in-state); $200 (out of state)
  • Credits required to graduate: 60
  • Academic calendar: Traditional semester
  • Graduation rate: 41%

More program information:

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 956-872-8323

Learn more

Lincoln Land Community College

Best for Cybersecurity

Lincoln Land Community College’s Associate of Arts in Computer Science program benefits from the school’s expertise in cybersecurity, computer systems, and CISCO network administration. As a student in the computer science program, you get a hands-on, career-oriented education that prepares you for the job you want. You also have the option to connect with computer science peers socially through the Computer Science Academy. This degree program — requiring approximately 60 credits — consists of an even ratio of general education courses to computer science foundation courses. In addition to programming, mathematics, and computer science, you will take holistic classes like Understanding Technology Today.

Things to consider:

  • Cost per credit: $134.50 (in-district)
  • Credits required to graduate: 61 to 63
  • Academic calendar: Traditional semester
  • Graduation rate: 35%

More program information:

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 217-786-2591

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Weber State University

Best Alumni Network

Weber State University’s Associate of Applied Science in Computer Science program offers a computer science–heavy curriculum, with major courses accounting for at least 40 of the required 63 credit hours. This makes Weber’s program a good fit if you are serious about computer science and do not wish to devote a significant portion of your program credits to general education requirements. Some unique computer science courses on offer include Client Side Web Development, Computer Architecture/Organization, and Object-Oriented Programming. The program also requires you to pass an Information Literacy Competency Exam. Students and graduates benefit from Weber State University’s strong alumni network

Things to consider:

  • Cost per credit: $278
  • Credits required to graduate: 63
  • Academic calendar: Traditional semester
  • Graduation rate: 42%

More program information:

  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 801-626-6050

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Park University

Best Faculty

Park University’s Associate of Science in Information and Computer Science program is very flexible, offering you the chance to study online, at a campus center, or in Parkville, Missouri. In addition to the core information and computer science curriculum, you get to choose to specialize in a particular area: computer science, cybersecurity, information technology, network security, software development, and web development. These specializations make the degree highly customizable to your particular interests. Park University has 25 years of experience teaching students online, so faculty are well-versed and well-trained in how to make the most of the online learning platform. This means you’ll be learning from professionals who make their online classes particularly engaging and effective.

Things to consider:

  • Cost per credit: $440
  • Credits required to graduate: 30
  • Academic calendar: Traditional semester
  • Graduation rate: 25%

More program information:

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 877-505-1059

Learn more

Southern New Hampshire University

Best for Python

Southern New Hampshire University’s (SNHU) Associate of Science in Computer Science online program offers a flexible, affordable, well-respected degree path. The program focuses heavily on applied programming skills using Python, Java, and C++, as well as design and testing tools such as Netbeans and Eclipse. Moreover, the program emphasizes collaboration and teaches you the skills necessary to become an effective project manager. The SNHU alumni network is robust, and the computer science curriculum is innovative and cutting-edge. In fact, SNHU has received the “Most Innovative” regional university honors from the U.S. News & World Report each year since 2015. The university was also recognized as a 2017 Digital Learning Innovator by the Online Learning Consortium.

Things to consider:

  • Cost per credit: $320
  • Credits required to graduate: 60
  • Academic calendar: Traditional semester
  • Graduation rate: 47%

More program information:

  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Email: [email protected]

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SUNY Ulster

Best for Veterans

SUNY Ulster’s Associate of Science in Computer Science program offers flexible scheduling and strong support for current or former members of the military and their families. SUNY Ulster is designated as a top Military Friendly Gold-level school, and was ranked a top 10 military college and #5 in the small community college category. The campus even features a dedicated Battle Buddy Center/Veterans Lounge, where student veterans, active duty military, or dependents of active military can gather to study, socialize, or seek support. But you don’t need to be connected to the military to take advantage of SUNY Ulster’s computer science program. The program is well-suited to anyone seeking a career in computer science, specifically in JAVA programming.

Things to consider:

  • Cost per credit: $203.33
  • Credits required to graduate: 64
  • Academic calendar: Traditional semester
  • Graduation rate: 31%

More program information:

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 800-724-0833, ext. 5018 or 5022

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Montgomery College

Best Program Advisers

Montgomery College’s Associate of Arts in Computer Science and Technologies, Computer Science Area of Concentration program is recognized by The Best Schools as offering one of the best online computer science associate degree programs. As a Montgomery online student, you benefit from first-rate program advising and the opportunity to transfer to a four-year university to complete a bachelor’s degree in computer science. Most courses in this field have assessment levels that must be met or prerequisites that must be completed. Most credit hours in this associate degree are dedicated to general education requirements, so this program is best suited to students who want to lay a strong liberal arts foundation before transferring to a four-year university.

Things to consider:

  • Cost per credit: $201 (in-county); $341.80 (in-state); $467.80 (out of state)
  • Credits required to graduate: 60
  • Academic calendar: Traditional semester
  • Graduation rate: 20%

More program information:

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 240-567-5230

Learn more

Other Online Associate in Computer Science Programs to Consider

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What You Should Know About This Degree

An Associate of Science in Computer Science offers a broad background in a variety of computing-related subjects. Similar degrees include business and information systems, which covers more business-focused areas of computing, and data science, which focuses on analytics, statistics, and big data.

There is no single accrediting body for computer science degrees; however, the Council for Higher Education Association and the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology both offer accreditation for computing-related degrees. This accreditation gives undergraduates confidence that their qualifications will be recognized should they choose to transfer to another university for a bachelor’s degree.

Associate degree holders in computer science have the option of working in junior development roles, tech support roles, or database administration. Work experience is vital to career progression.

There are no mandatory computer science certifications or licenses. Many learners choose to pursue Cisco, Microsoft, or CompTIA certifications to improve their career prospects after graduation.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching online associate in computer science programs:

  • How long does it take to complete this online degree? Most associate degrees take two years to complete. However, some universities allow students to study at their own pace, allowing those with some work experience in the field to complete their degree more quickly and others to spread their studies over a longer period.
  • Are courses offered synchronously or asynchronously? Most online computer science programs are delivered asynchronously. Some courses may ask students to be available for webinars or take part in group debates on a fixed schedule.

When searching for online computer science programs, pay attention to course start dates and application deadlines. Many online, asynchronous programs offer open enrollment so students can start their studies immediately.

If funding your studies is a concern, submit a financial aid application as soon as possible and search for information about scholarships.