Our list of the Top 8 Online Doctoral Programs in Computer Science is a broad ranking which takes into account accreditation and general reputation. With the increased presence and acceptance of online Ph.D. programs throughout the U.S., prestigious institutions and many state schools are now offering online degrees with more frequency. The doctoral degree in Computer Science is still limited across the country but programs are becoming more common. With many emphases being offered at various institutions, it may be difficult to find a degree that suits a students’ purposes. This list provides a list based on reputation that we hope will help guide decisions in picking a top tier school. The schools that made the list were accredited.
In constructing the list, a number of sites were used for research including U.S. News and World Report, The National Center for Education Statistics, and The Guide to Online Schools.
Columbia University offers a hybrid program in Computer Science through their Engineering department. There are a variety of focus areas for the degree including network security, artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language processing, computer graphics, web technologies, robotics, databases and information systems, compilers, programming languages, software engineering, computational biology, algorithms and quantum computing. The program is 30 total credits and requires a M.A. as a prerequisite. Columbia University is ranked #4 nationally by U.S. News and World Report. Tuition is $1,782 per credit hour. Columbia University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
The University of Rhode Island offers a hybrid program in Computer Science and Statistics. The emphasis in the degree is on cyber security along with traditional topics such as Algorithms, Programming Languages, Computer Architecture, Computer Systems, Software Design, and Theory of Computation. Dissertation topics are to be in the areas of Digital Forensics or in Cyber Security. U.S. News and World Report ranks the University of Rhode Island at #161 nationally. Tuition for in-state students is $983 per credit hour and for out-of-state students is $2,017 per credit hour. The University of Rhode Island is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Colorado Technical University offers an online Doctor of Computer Science degree. The program offers four different concentrations in the doctoral degree: Big Data Analytics, Enterprise Information Systems, General, or Information Assurance. The degree is 96 credit hours with structured years: year 1 is foundations, year 2 is acquisition of knowledge, year 3 is leadership and professional advancement, and year 4 is a residential symposium along with entrance into the dissertation phase. The online computer science programs at Colorado Technical University have been ranked at #18 nationally by U.S. News and World Report. Colorado Technical University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Aspen University offers an online Doctorate of Science in Computer Science. The degree covers topics such as Technique and Interpretation for Advanced Statistical Research, Doctoral Writing and Inquiry into Research, Technology and Innovation Management, Algorithm Design, Artificial Intelligence, and System Metrics and Risk Analysis. The degree is 60 credit hours including work on the dissertation. Tuition is a very reasonable $450 per credit hour. Aspen University is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission.
Capella University offers an online PhD in Information Technology. There are four concentrations within the program including Leadership, General Information Technology, Education, Finance, Human Resource Management, Strategy and Innovation, among others. The program is a total of 120 credit hours on a quarter system. Capella University has been designated by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense (CAE IA/CD) for academic years 2014-2021. Tuition is $730 per credit hour. Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Walden University offers an online Doctor of Information Technology degree. The degree is meant to prepare students for senior level positions in industry and academia such as chief information officer, chief technology officer, IS manager, IT strategist, and higher education faculty and administrator positions. Dissertation topics are entirely flexible and meant to allow students to pursue whatever interests them in the field. Tuition is $950 per credit hour. Walden University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Nova Southeastern University offers a hybrid format Doctor of Computer Science degree. The program is a minimum 64 credit hours in a hybrid format attending four weekend session on campus per year. Between on-campus sessions, students work on course assignments and research, and participate in online activities that facilitate frequent interaction with the faculty and with other students. Tuition is $1,050 per credit hour. Nova Southeastern University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Northcentral University offers a Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration with an emphasis in Applied Computer Science. The purpose of the degree is to explore complex database systems, advanced topics in management information systems, C++ programming, distributed computing fundamentals for technology leaders and advanced topics in network communications. Tuition is $1,129 per credit hour. Northcentral University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.