2015-16: Methodologies

Computer Science Online provides students and industry professionals a wide range of expert-driven research, data and information about higher education and career options in computer science and technology. Part of our efforts includes detailed rankings, which use reputable data and carefully crafted analyses to help students make more informed college decisions. Included in our methodology is our Peer-Based Value metric (PBV), which compares the cost of a program to the cost of other programs with the same (or a similar) qualitative score. It also compares the qualitative score of the program to the score of other programs with the same (or a similar cost). The experts at Computer Science Online spent weeks analyzing quality and cost metrics from sources such as the Integrated Post-Secondary Education Data System (IPEDS), the Carnegie Foundation and from post-secondary institutions nationwide. For more information about our rankings, our site or our team, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Best Colleges for Online Computer Science Degrees – Methodology Details

Many colleges and universities deliver high-quality education in computer science and related technology fields. Some have affordable degree programs in these disciplines. Fewer have a winning combination of quality, affordability and online learning. The data analysts and higher education experts at Computer Science Online have waded through data for hundreds of colleges and universities to find those with stand-out online degrees in computer science. General criteria and scoring for the rankings list is as follows:

General criteria:

  • Not-for-profit schools only
  • Must offer an online bachelor’s degree in one of eleven CS-related fields: computer science, computer engineering, computer forensics, cyber security, database administration, information security, information technology, networking, programming, software engineering or web development

Scoring metrics:

  • Online tuition cost
  • Student-faculty ratio
  • 6-year graduation rate
  • % of students receiving financial aid
  • Academic & career counseling services = yes
  • ABET accreditation
  • Count of online computer science-related bachelor’s programs
  • CS Online Peer-Based Value (PBV)

Best Colleges for Online Master’s Degrees in Computer Science – Methodology Details

A handful of colleges now offer online degrees in computer science and related technology fields. These schools provide both flexible learning and academic rigor in one of the fastest-growing industries today. Yet when it comes to advanced education, only a few institutions have online master’s degrees in computer- and tech-related disciplines with sufficient quality, student services and affordability to help young professionals get the graduate education they need. After weeks of data collection and analysis by our higher education experts, we found that the following schools truly stood out, and therefore earned a place on our list of the Best Colleges for Online Master’s Degrees in Computer Science.

General criteria:

  • Not-for-profit schools only
  • Must offer an online master’s degree in one of eleven CS-related fields: computer science, computer engineering, computer forensics, cyber security, database administration, information security, information technology, networking, programming, software engineering or web development

Scoring metrics::

  • Online tuition cost
  • Job placement for graduates = yes
  • Academic & career counseling services = yes
  • ABET accreditation
  • CS Online Peer-Based Value (PBV)