Online Masters in Computer Science Degree Programs

A high GRE score is no longer essential to earn a master’s in computer science. That’s because many online schools bypass this admissions requirement, providing new learning and employment possibilities for those interested in programming, computational systems, software development, and information theory. Whatever your previous academic achievements, you can acquire new skills, earn a master’s degree in computer science, and even increase earning potential. 

No-GRE computer science master’s degrees teach you the skills required for a new career as a software engineer, software developer, systems analyst, data scientist, or related job role. You learn these skills at home or from any location worldwide, and you don’t have to attend college or pay for campus accommodation. 

Below, discover more about computer science master’s degree programs with no GRE required. 

What Is an Online Master’s in Computer Science with No GRE Required?

An online master’s degree in computer science is a postgraduate program taught online. Instead of attending college, you take classes on testing, programming, systems architecture, software engineering, and information theory on a desktop, laptop, smartphone, tablet, or TV. You access course content via a learning management system (LMS) and engage with tutors through video tutorials, webinars, group classes, and virtual lessons. 

Online computer science master’s degrees could help you achieve a high-paying role at a public or private organization. It doesn’t matter if you have a low GRE score or never took the GRE examination. You could earn your online master’s in as little as two years.

You might learn these skills in a computer science master’s degree program:

  • Fundamentals of computer science
  • Programming/coding
  • Systems architecture
  • Software development and engineering
  • Algorithms and data structures

You might take all your classes over the internet or supplement online learning with hands-on experience at a local IT company or tech firm.

When you graduate, you could get a job as a:

  • Software engineer
  • Software developer
  • Software quality assurance analyst
  • Computer programmer
  • Data scientist  

A typical day in one of these roles might involve working with computer systems, hardware, software, networks, servers, and information architecture. You will likely support a team of engineers, developers, programmers, and other IT professionals. 

By studying for a master’s in computer science online, you can maintain any existing family, travel, or work commitments as you learn. As many online schools let you access course materials 24 hours a day, you can tailor your studies to your current schedule and not have to worry about commuting to a physical college. 

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How Much Does an Online Master’s in Computer Science Cost?

It depends on the school. Tuition fees for a Master of Science in Computational Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology cost $26,725 per term. Tuition fees for a master’s degree in computational science and engineering at Harvard University are $50,928 for the academic year. These totals don’t include any travel costs or room and board rates. 

An online master’s in computer science could work out cheaper than the prices above because you won’t have to commute or live on campus. 

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Average Salary for a Master’s in Computer Science

The mean annual wage for software developers and software quality assurance analysts and testers is $114,270, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). (Data correct as of May 2020.) That’s a mean hourly wage of $54.94. 

The median annual salary for someone with a Master of Science in Computer Science is around $104,000, according to PayScale. (Data correct as of July 21, 2021.)

The top-paying states for software developers and software quality assurance analysts and testers are:

  1. Washington: $138,400 (mean annual wage)
  2. California: $137,620
  3. New York: $122,300
  4. Massachusetts: $119,790
  5. District of Columbia: $119,630

The top-paying metropolitan areas for software developers and software quality assurance analysts and testers are:

  1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA: $157,480 (mean annual wage)
  2. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA: $144,740
  3. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA: $140,930
  4. Wenatchee, WA: $131,320
  5. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA: $127,620

The mean annual wage for computer programmers is $95,640, according to BLS. (Data correct as of May 2020.) That’s a mean hourly wage of $45.98. 

The top-paying states for computer programmers are:

  1. Washington: $177,210 (mean annual wage)
  2. District of Columbia: $119,010
  3. California: $107,300
  4. Virginia: $103,150
  5. Texas: $102,650

The top-paying metropolitan areas for computer programmers are:

  1. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA: $125,420 (mean annual wage)
  2. Midland, TX: $119,390
  3. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA: $113,530
  4. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX: $112,050
  5. Mobile, AL: $109,380

What Is the Job Outlook for Master’s in Computer Science Holders?

The outlook is mixed for computer science master’s graduates. There will be a 10.1% increase in job opportunities for software developers (systems software) but a 7.2% decrease in opportunities for computer programmers from 2018 to 2028, according to predictions from Projections Central/Department of Labor.

Courses in an Online Master’s in Computer Science

A master’s in computer science teaches graduate students advanced computing techniques. These programs cover information theory, information architecture, software development, software engineering, gaming, machine learning, and artificial intelligence (AI). Here are some popular courses associated with these degrees:

  • Introduction to operating systems
  • Introduction to object-orientated programming
  • Advanced computational concepts
  • Computational statistics and numerical models
  • Gaming development
  • Data architecture
  • Computational science
  • Algorithms and data complexity theory
  • Human-computer interaction

You will use a wide range of tools and technologies during your degree.

You will also develop soft skills that could benefit your future career in computer science, such as organization, decision-making, problem-solving, and time management. 

Online Master’s in Computer Science Coursework, Examinations, and Grades

An online master’s in computer science degree typically involves essays and other writing assessments. You might have to submit coursework after completing each class, at the end of the program, or both. The type and frequency of coursework on a program depend on the learning provider and specific degree. 

You might also have to complete examinations after each class or sit a test at the end of the program. You will complete all coursework and any exams online through an LMS. Some providers might reward credit for the completion of seminar presentations, group projects, and other responsibilities. You could even receive credit for the completion of an internship or other work-related obligation that’s part of your program. 

Usually, the learning provider converts any marks you receive for coursework and exams into a Grade Point Average (GPA). This average reflects the progress you have made throughout the program. You might then complete a final dissertation like you would at a regular college. You will apply the skills you have garnered during the program to your dissertation. 

An online computer science master’s degree has a grading system that’s like a conventional college-based degree. This grading system might solely reflect your final dissertation or consider your GPA, if applicable. The typical degree grades are:

  1. Fail
  2. Pass
  3. Merit/credit
  4. Distinction

Although it depends on the school, the following grading boundaries apply to an online computer science master’s degree:

  • 50% for a pass
  • 60% for a merit/credit
  • 70% for a distinction

How to Choose a Master’s in Computer Science

The number of no-GRE computer science master’s degree opportunities, both in-person and online, can be overwhelming. Schools in various locations offer these programs, and prices, program content, and admissions criteria often vary. 

First, decide whether you want to complete your degree online or in a conventional classroom-based environment. As mentioned above, an online degree can often provide far more flexibility when maintaining a full-time job or family or travel commitments. These programs can also work out cheaper than classroom degrees because you won’t have accommodation, travel, or related expenses. 

Then determine which program provides you with the most lucrative employment opportunities. Some schools have links with local employers or even national or multi-national organizations, increasing earning potential as soon as you graduate. Other schools might not have these connections but include course content that’s more relevant to your chosen career path (if you have one). 

Finally, get a feel of a school by reading its prospectus, marketing materials, and program pages. If you are thinking about studying for a master’s degree in computer science at a physical college, attend its campus and talk to current students and academic staff. If you are considering an online master’s degree, consult with staff over the phone or via email and ask plenty of questions about program content and the career opportunities available to you when you graduate. 

What are the Best Online Schools for a Master’s in Computer Science

This question is tough to answer. Traditionally, long before online master’s degrees, a select few schools carried the most academic prestige. Typically, these schools made up the “Ivy League,” a group of eight colleges that date back hundreds of years. 

The Ivy League comprises:

  1. Brown University 
  2. Columbia University 
  3. Cornell University 
  4. Dartmouth College
  5. Harvard University 
  6. The University of Pennsylvania 
  7. Princeton University
  8. Yale University

While these schools still carry prestige (and many now offer online degrees alongside traditional ones), many other educational institutions provide similar high-quality learning experiences that will help you further your career. That means many of the best schools that offer online no-GRE computer science master’s degrees aren’t members of the Ivy League. As these institutions typically price their programs at a significantly lower cost than those listed above, you can study for an online master’s degree for much cheaper. 

Other schools that hold much academic prestige make up the Association of American Universities, 62 colleges in the United States and Canada. Again, many of these schools offer no-GRE computer science master’s degrees, and you can earn a certification from a leading institution at home or elsewhere.

However, collective attitudes towards the schools above are changing. There used to be a certain snobbery associated with master’s degrees. Employers would typically favor candidates who graduated from Ivy League schools or institutions that comprise the Association of American Universities. This snobbery isn’t as prevalent as in the past, with recruiters considering online computer science master’s degrees from schools that traditionally have held less prestige just as worthy as those from more influential schools. Ultimately, it all depends on your final grade, the skills you learned during your program, and how you apply them to your future career. 

Is an Online Master’s in Computer Science Better or Worse Than a Conventional Degree?

Again, there used to be a collective snobbery toward online degrees, where some employers deemed these certifications not as “worthy” as those from physical colleges. Thankfully, those attitudes have changed. Some of the most successful people in the world studied online and never even attended a physical college. That means a good grade from a good online program looks just as impressive on your resume as a conventional college-based degree.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also changed attitudes toward online master’s degrees. With so many students learning from home, the stigma once associated with online education no longer exists.

What is the Application Process for a Master’s in Computer Science?

You will apply for a computer science master’s degree program, whether online or in-person, directly with the learning institution. You can apply to as many programs as you like. The school will review your application and offer you a place on its program if you are successful.

Each school has specific application criteria, and you must follow these requirements carefully when applying for a place on a master’s degree program in computer science. Otherwise, there could be delays with the institution processing your application. 

You might need to provide the following items:

  • Evidence of your previous academic experience: This evidence might include an academic transcript from an undergraduate program or references from a tutor or another staff member. Your transcript includes the courses you completed and your final grade. 
  • Evidence of work experience: You might submit evidence of any internships or work experience you have completed. Some applicants list work skills relevant to the program or a particular course. You might also want to include a reference from an internship coordinator or another staff member from a previous work position. 
  • Personal statement: Your personal statement explains to an educational institution why you want to study a particular program. Your statement might include your career goals, the skills you want to develop, and other information showing your commitment to the program.

You might also need to attend an interview, either in-person or online, with a tutor or program director before a school processes your application. 

FAQs About a No GMAT Master’s in Computer Science

The following are a few frequently asked questions regarding a master’s in public administration degree.

Core Takeaways

  • You can earn a computer science master’s degree over the internet or at a college campus.
  • It will take you around two years to earn your degree. 
  • You don’t always need a high GRE score (or a GRE score at all) to earn a computer science master’s degree.

Benefits of studying for a computer science master’s degree online include:  

  • No GRE required for many online programs.
  • You can study this discipline at a time that suits you.
  • You don’t need to commute to college
  • The cost of a computer science master’s degree depends on the school. 
  • A master’s degree in computational science and engineering at Harvard University, for example, costs $50,928 in tuition fees for the academic year. 
  • Studying for an online master’s in computer science might cost you less than a traditional college degree because you don’t have to pay for accommodation. 
  • A scholarship might reduce the cost of a computer science master’s degree.
University NameProgram’s NameGRE Required?
Arizona State UniversityMaster of Computer ScienceNot Required
Auburn UniversityMaster of Science – Computer Science and Software EngineeringWaived for Only the Online Master’s Degree
Capitol Technology UniversityMaster of Science – Computer ScienceNot Required
Colorado State UniversityMaster of Computer ScienceOnly Required for International Applicants
City University of SeattleMaster of Science – Computer ScienceNot Required
Colorado Tech UniversityMaster of Science – Computer ScienceNot Required
Dakota State UniversityMaster of Science – Computer ScienceNot Required
Davenport UniversityMaster of Science – Computer ScienceNot Required
DePaul UniversityMaster of Science – Computer ScienceNot Required
Drexel UniversityMaster of Science – Computer ScienceNot Required
Frostburg State UniversityMaster of Science – Applied Computer ScienceNot Required
Georgia Tech UniversityMaster of Science – Computer ScienceNot Required
University of IllinoisProfessional Master of Computer ScienceNot Required
John Hopkins UniversityMaster of Computer ScienceNot Required
Lewis UniversityMaster of Computer ScienceNot Required
National UniversityMaster of Science – Computer ScienceNot Required
Northcentral UniversityMaster of Science – Computer ScienceNot Required
Nova Southeastern UniversityMaster of Science – Computer ScienceNot Required
Old Dominion UniversityMaster of Science – Computer ScienceNot Required
Stanford UniversityMaster of Science – Computer ScienceNot Required
University of BridgeportMaster of Science – Computer ScienceNot Required
University of IdahoMaster of Science – Computer ScienceNot Required
University of Illinois – SpringfieldMaster of Computer ScienceNot Required
University of Michigan – FlintMaster of Science – Computer Science and Information SystemsNot Required
University of MinnesotaMaster of Computer Science – Computer ScienceNot Required
University of MinnesotaMaster of Science – Computer ScienceNot Required
University of West FloridaMaster of Science – Computer ScienceNot Required
University of West GeorgiaMaster of Science – Applied Computer ScienceNot Required
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