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Best Computer Programming Master’s Degree Programs, Jobs, and Salaries

Sandro Glonti - June 14, 2022


As technology evolves, the demand for computer programming specialists grows. Master’s Degrees in Computer Programming are a great option if you want to advance your career, upgrade your skills, and gain access to better job opportunities across a variety of fields. The best computer programming master’s degrees will qualify you for high-paying and managerial roles.

To help you find the best computer programming master’s degree programs, we’ve prepared this article with the best on-campus and online options available in the US. We also included descriptions of some job titles you can land after you graduate with one of the best Master’s Degrees in Computer Programming.

What Is Computer Programming?

Computer programming is the process of writing code that serves as instructions for computers, applications, or software programs. These instructions facilitate specific actions that allow computers to complete tasks. Companies value these experts for their specialized knowledge in writing code, software development, and communication networks.

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Where Can I Get a Master’s Degree in Computer Programming?

The best colleges where you can get a Master’s Degree in Computer Programming include Colorado State University, the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), the University of Connecticut, and the University of Washington.

What Schools Offer the Best Computer Programming Master’s Degrees?

  • Colorado State University
  • University of California Los Angeles
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Washington
  • Harvard University

What Are the Admission Requirements for a Master’s Degree in Computer Programming?

Common admission requirements for a Master’s Degree in Computer Programming include a bachelor’s degree, letters of recommendation, and GRE test scores. An undergraduate degree in fields such as computer science, electrical engineering, or computer engineering is a popular choice.

Different programs have different Master’s in Computer Programming requirements. However, most will require undergraduate transcripts before the application deadline. International students from non-English speaking countries will likely need to provide evidence of their English language skills.

Computer Programming Master’s Degree Admission Requirements

  • GPA of at least 3.0
  • GRE scores
  • 1-3 letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts
  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field

How to Get a Master’s Degree in Computer Programming

You can get a Master’s Degree in Computer Programming by completing all the required courses and finishing a thesis or final project. Not all master’s programs require a thesis, so make sure you carefully review the requirements for your chosen program. You should have substantial programming and computer science knowledge before starting your master’s degree program.

How Many Credits Do You Need for a Master’s Degree in Computer Programming?

You need around 30-40 credits for a Master’s Degree in Computer Programming. This takes most students around two years to acquire. However, some programs can take longer, especially if you attend part-time. A 30-credit program can take four years if you only take a couple of classes per semester.

Computer Programming Degree Requirements

  • GPA of last least 3.0
  • 15-25 core credits
  • 10-20 elective credits
  • Successful defense of a thesis
  • Completion of a final project

Best Computer Programming Master’s Degree Programs and Schools: Overview

School Program Accreditation
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo Master of Science in Computer Science WASC Senior College and University Commission
Colorado State University Master of Science in Computer Science Higher Learning Commission
East Carolina University Master of Science in Computer Science Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Harvard University Master’s in Computational Science and Engineering New England Commission of Higher Education
University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Master of Science in Computer Science WASC Senior College and University Commission
University of Colorado Boulder Professional Master’s in Computer Science Higher Learning Commission
University of Connecticut Master of Science in Computer Science and Engineering New England Association of Schools and Colleges
University of Washington Professional Master’s in Computer Science and Engineering Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
University of Wisconsin-Madison Master of Science in Computer Sciences Higher Learning Commission
Vanderbilt University Master of Science in Computer Science Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Best Schools for Computer Programming: Top Computer Programming Master’s Degree Programs

The best computer programming master’s degree programs will help you gain a deeper understanding of computer programming and open up high-level career opportunities in the tech field. You’ll find more information about some of the best schools for a Master’s Degree in Computer Programming below.

1

California Polytechnic State University

San Luis Obispo, CA

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo is a public institution, and one of three polytechnics in the California State University system. The school was founded in 1901 and offers 65 bachelor’s and 39 master’s degree programs. Many software engineers include this accredited institution in their education path.

Master of Science in Computer Science

This Master's in Computer Science program offers coursework in software development, artificial intelligence, human-computer interaction, and computer graphics. Computer architecture, software engineering, advanced data mining, and computer support for knowledge management courses are included in the curriculum. Faculty supervise the students' projects and theses.

Master of Science in Computer Science Overview

  • Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission
  • Tuition (and Fees): $11,628/year (in state); $17,964/year (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 45 units
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 83%

Master of Science in Computer Science Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: GRE scores
  • Application Fee: $70
  • Minimum Education: 4-year college degree
  • Other Requirements: 3 letters of recommendation, transcripts

Applying to California Polytechnic State University

  1. Review the application requirements for your chosen program.
  2. Gather the necessary documentation.
  3. Fill out the online application on the Cal State Apply website.
  4. Provide your official transcripts and test scores.
  5. Await a response from the school.
2

Colorado State University

Fort Collins, CO

Colorado State University is a public university that was founded in 1870. It has a total student body of over 32,400 and offers a wide range of in-person and remote graduate and undergraduate degree programs.

Master of Science in Computer Science

This Master's Degree in Computer Science from Colorado State University features cutting-edge research facilities, award-winning faculty, and a vibrant student body to inspire students to achieve their career goals.

Applied artificial intelligence, software engineering, networks and software security, bioinformatics, computer vision, big data, and human-computer interaction are some of the core courses offered for graduate students. There is an online version of the program so students with a wide variety of schedules can get an equal education.

Master of Science in Computer Science Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $15,568/year (in state); $31,766/year (out of state)
  • Required Credits: N/A
  • Program Length: 1-2 years
  • Learning Format: Online or in person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 70%

Master of Science in Computer Science Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: GRE scores
  • Application Fee: $60
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Letters of recommendation, transcripts

Applying to Colorado State University

  1. Fill on the online application on the school’s website.
  2. Provide the application fee.
  3. Submit the required documentation.
  4. Submit your GRE test scores.
  5. Await a decision from the admissions team.
3

East Carolina University

Greenville, NC

East Carolina University is a public research school that was founded in 1907 as a teacher training school. East Carolina University has 12 colleges and schools with a student population of over 28,700.

Master of Science in Computer Science

With a Master of Science in Computer Science degree from East Carolina University, you can excel in the private or academic sectors. The program provides you with practical knowledge of both hardware and software engineering. In addition, various software engineering tools, such as Rational Rose, and programming languages like C# are taught in great detail.

Master of Science in Computer Science Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition: $264/credit (in state); $994/credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 30-38 credits
  • Program Length: 2-3 years
  • Learning Format: In person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 65%

Master of Science in Computer Science Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: GRE scores
  • Application Fee: $75
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or a related subject
  • Other Requirements: Letters of recommendation, transcripts, statement of purpose

Applying to East Carolina University

  1. Carefully review the admission requirements and adhere to any deadlines.
  2. Provide the application fee.
  3. Fill out the online application on the school’s website.
  4. Prepare all the required documentation.
  5. Wait for the school to contact you with its decision.
4

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA

Harvard University is a private Ivy League research university that was founded in 1636. Harvard is one of the most prestigious and recognized schools in the world. It offers an array of undergraduate, graduate, and certificate courses as well as professional degrees.

Master's in Computational Science and Engineering

Students can choose between two master's degrees, a Master of Science (SM) and Master of Engineering (ME) when they opt for this program at Harvard’s Department of Computer Science. The SM degree requires eight foundational courses.

Most students complete their degree within two semesters, although many extend their schedules and pursue a summer internship in a related industry. After completing the same set of eight courses that are required for the SM, students will spend a year working on a master's thesis research project to earn the ME degree.

Master's in Computational Science and Engineering Overview

  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Tuition: $59,968/year
  • Required Credits: 8 courses
  • Program Length: 1-2 years
  • Learning Format: In person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 98%

Master's in Computational Science and Engineering Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: N/A
  • Application Fee: $105
  • Minimum Education: No minimum requirements
  • Other Requirements: Statement of purpose, 3 letters of recommendation, transcripts, resume, supplemental data form

Applying to Harvard University

  1. Fill out the online application through the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
  2. Gather the required documentation.
  3. Email the admissions department if you have questions regarding GRE scores or the process in general.
  4. Wait for a decision from the admissions department.
5

University of California Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA

University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) is one of the biggest universities in California with a student body of 44,589. It supports full-time and part-time students alike and offers many undergraduate and graduate courses.

Master of Science in Computer Science

UCLA's degree is one of the country's best master's programs in the field. All classes are held on campus. Among the 36 credits offered in the program are courses on artificial intelligence, programming languages, systems, and databases. Students graduate with in-demand skills they need for extensive career opportunities in the field.

Master of Science in Computer Science Overview

  • Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission
  • Tuition (and Fees): $16,847/year (in state); $31,949/year (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 36 credits
  • Program Length: 1-3 years
  • Learning Format: In person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 91%

Master of Science in Computer Science Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0 (3.5 preferred)
  • Standardized Tests: GRE scores (currently optional)
  • Application Fee: $120
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Official transcripts, 3 letters of recommendation, statement of purpose

Applying to University of California Los Angeles

  1. Research the application requirements and deadlines.
  2. Gather the required documentation.
  3. Fill out an online application.
  4. Provide the application fee.
  5. Await a response from the school.
6

University of Colorado Boulder

Boulder, CO

University of Colorado Boulder is a public research university with a total student body of around 37,400. It was founded in 1876 and offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The master’s degree programs are designed to prioritize research opportunities.

Professional Master’s in Computer Science

The professional Master's in Computer Science program at the University of Colorado is designed to expand your knowledge and skills in computer science and programming. You can choose a general course track or one of eight specialized sub-plans in a specific field, such as robotics, data science, engineering, or human-centered computing.

Professional Master’s in Computer Science Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition (and Fees): $34,180/year (in state); $5,214/credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: Must be completed within 4 years
  • Learning Format: In person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 72%

Professional Master’s in Computer Science Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.75
  • Standardized Tests: GRE scores
  • Application Fee: $60
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Letters of recommendation, unofficial transcripts

Applying to University of Colorado Boulder

  1. Look into the specific requirements for your department.
  2. Provide the application fee.
  3. Prepare your letters of recommendation and college transcripts.
  4. Provide the required test scores.
  5. Wait for the school to contact you with its decision.
7

University of Connecticut

Storrs, CT

University of Connecticut is a public institution that was founded in 1881. University of Connecticut has 14 schools and colleges and offers over 115 undergraduate majors. The school has over 27,200 undergraduate and graduate students.

Master of Science in Computer Science and Engineering

There is a thesis option or coursework-only Master's Degree in Computer Science offered at the University of Connecticut. Students are able to select between research-based and design-based theses. Design thesis work involves designing, implementing, documenting, and test-mapping a computing system, whereas research thesis work focuses on a theoretical issue.

Master of Science in Computer Science and Engineering Overview

  • Accreditation: New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Tuition: $1,010/credit (in state); $2,227/credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 2-3 semesters (full-time)
  • Learning Format: In person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 83%

Master of Science in Computer Science and Engineering Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No stated requirements
  • Standardized Tests: GRE scores (temporarily not required)
  • Application Fee: $75
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or a related subject
  • Other Requirements: 2 letters of recommendation

Applying to University of Connecticut

  1. Look into the application requirements and deadlines.
  2. Ensure your educational history meets your program’s requirements.
  3. Provide the application fee.
  4. Gather the required documentation and fill out an online application.
  5. Wait for a decision from the school.
8

University of Washington

Seattle, WA

University of Washington is a public research institution that was founded in 1861, making it one of the first universities on the west coast. University of Washington has three campuses and confers more than 12,000 degrees annually.

Professional Master's in Computer Science and Engineering

This master’s program at the University of Washington is designed for full-time employees hoping to advance their careers. As a working professional, the program offers unique benefits, including interactions with other professionals in a flexible, part-time learning environment designed to blend focused academic coursework with group discussions.

Professional Master's in Computer Science and Engineering Overview

  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Tuition (and Fees): $27,531/year (in state); $30,912/year (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 40 credits
  • Program Length: 2.5-3 years
  • Learning Format: In person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 82%

Professional Master's in Computer Science and Engineering Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: No requirements
  • Application Fee: $85
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or a related field
  • Other Requirements: Applicants must have 2 years of professional experience with computing technology and programming, recommendation letters, resume, personal statement

Applying to University of Washington

  1. Fill out the online application on the school’s website.
  2. Ensure you meet all the application requirements.
  3. Compile all the required documentation.
  4. Pay the application fee.
  5. Await a decision from the school.
9

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Madison, WI

University of Wisconsin-Madison is a public research school that was founded in 1848. The university offers 288 undergraduate majors and certificates and has an average class size of 31. It has a student body of around 44,600 students in undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral studies.

Master of Science in Computer Sciences

The Master of Science in Computer Science offers students the opportunity to network and present their research at conferences. In addition, UW has a strong computer science alumni association. Most UW computer science candidates receive institutional financial assistance, including research assistantships, teaching assistantships, fellowships, and on-campus employment.

Master of Science in Computer Sciences Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition (and Fees): $12,176/year (in state); $25,504/year (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 1-2 years
  • Learning Format: In person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 88%

Master of Science in Computer Sciences Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: No requirements
  • Application Fee: $75
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: International students must provide an acceptable TOEFL score

Applying to University of Wisconsin-Madison

  1. Complete an online application on the school’s website.
  2. Contact your chosen department to ask about additional requirements.
  3. Pay the application fee.
  4. Provide the required documentation.
  5. Await a response from the admissions department.
10

Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN

Vanderbilt University is a private research institution that was founded in 1873. Vanderbilt University has 10 schools and colleges, 2,400 full-time faculty members, and over 13,500 graduate and undergraduate students.

Master of Science in Computer Science

Vanderbilt's master's program in computer science is one of the best computer science master's programs for IT professionals. Students learn technical skills through hands-on experience with computer software and cutting-edge hardware. Graduates have to get 30 credits from their elective courses in order to finish the program.

Master of Science in Computer Science Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition: $2,215/credit
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 93%

Master of Science in Computer Science Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirements
  • Standardized Tests: GRE scores
  • Application Fee: $95
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Transcripts, statement of purpose, letters of recommendation

Applying to Vanderbilt University

  1. Fill out the online application on the school’s website.
  2. Pay the application fee.
  3. Gather the required documentation.
  4. Provide your GRE scores.
  5. Await a response from the school.

Best Online Computer Programming Master’s Degree Programs and Schools: Overview

School Program Accreditation
Arizona State University Master of Computer Science Higher Learning Commission
Baylor University Master of Science in Computer Science Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Boston University Master of Science in Computer Information Systems New England Commission of Higher Education
Columbia University Master of Science in Computer Science Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Georgia Institute of Technology Master of Science in Analytics Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
New Jersey Institute of Technology Master of Science in Computer Science Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Southern Methodist University Master of Science in Computer Science Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Stevens Institute of Technology Master of Science in Computer Science Middle States Commission on Higher Education
University of Illinois Master of Science in Computer Science Higher Learning Commission
University of West Florida Master of Science in Computer Science Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Best Colleges for Computer Programming: Top Online Computer Programming Master’s Degree Programs

Many of the best computer programming schools offer an online version of their master’s programs to ensure all students have access to quality education. Check out the list below to learn more about advanced online degrees in computer science. All of these programs can help you learn everything from deep learning to database design.

1

Arizona State University

Tempe, AZ

Arizona State University is a public research institution founded in 1885. It has a student body of over 74,700 and offers over 300 undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs. Students can earn a doctorate, master’s, bachelor’s, or associate degree completely remotely.

Master of Computer Science

The School of Computing and Augmented Intelligence offers an online Master of Computer Science (MCS) degree program via a partnership with Coursera. By collaborating on real-world projects, you'll gain a deeper understanding of advanced topics such as AI, cyber security, and big data.

Master of Computer Science Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $11,720/year (in state); $23,544/year (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 18-24 months
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 66%

Master of Computer Science Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.25
  • Standardized Tests: GRE scores
  • Application Fee: $70
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Programming knowledge in C, Java, Python, and HTML, transcripts, statement of purpose

Applying to Arizona State University

  1. Fill out the online application on the school’s website.
  2. Pay the application fee.
  3. Provide your transcripts and other required documentation.
  4. Submit your GRE scores.
  5. Await a decision from the school.
2

Baylor University

Waco, TX

Baylor University is a private research university that was chartered in 1845. It has over 19,200 graduate and undergraduate students. This Christian university offers 75 master’s degree programs, 142 baccalaureate programs, and 42 doctoral programs.

Master of Science in Computer Science

This Master’s Degree in Computer Science prepares students for advanced roles in software engineering and data science. Students have the choice between the data science or software engineering track. The program covers 30 credits and has 15-week courses. Computer science graduates can become systems managers, computer programmers, or software engineers.

Master of Science in Computer Science Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition: $2,154/credit
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 79%

Master of Science in Computer Science Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: GRE scores
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s Degree in computer science or a related field
  • Other Requirements: 3 letters of recommendation, resume, proficient in a high-level programming language

Applying to Baylor University

  1. Review the requirements for your chosen program and abide by the deadlines.
  2. Fill out the online application.
  3. Pay the application fee.
  4. Submit your GRE scores and the required application documents.
  5. Await a decision from the school.
3

Boston University

Boston, MA

Boston University is a private research institution that was founded in 1839. It has two primary locations in Boston and offers over 300 programs of study. Boston University has a total student body of over 32,700, many of which are enrolled in a distance education program.

Master of Science in Computer Information Systems

Students gain hands-on experience in building networks, developing apps, and fighting cyber crime with experts from the world's top companies in this program. You will not find a more innovative technical education than the programs offered at Boston University, built on the academic excellence of BU's 150-year history.

Master of Science in Computer Information Systems Overview

  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Tuition: $61,050/year
  • Required Credits: 40 credits
  • Program Length: 12-20 months
  • Learning Format: Online, hybrid, in person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 89%

Master of Science in Computer Information Systems Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No requirements
  • Standardized Tests: No requirements
  • Application Fee: $85
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: 3 letters of recommendation, short essay, resume, transcripts

Applying to Boston University

  1. Fill out the online application on the school’s website.
  2. Pay the application fee.
  3. Provide the required documentation.
  4. GRE exams are not required for programs at Boston University’s Metropolitan College.
  5. Wait for the school to inform you of its decision.
4

Columbia University

New York, NY

Columbia University is a private Ivy League research institution that was established in 1754, making it the fifth-oldest university in the nation. Columbia University has three undergraduate schools, 13 graduate schools, and 25 libraries.

Master of Science in Computer Science

The Master of Science degree program is designed for professionals interested in learning more about the field of computer science and software architecture. Students have an opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge about specific disciplines within computer science in their online courses. There are currently eight concentration tracks available.

Master of Science in Computer Science Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition: $2,272/credit
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 1-2 years
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 96%

Master of Science in Computer Science Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.3
  • Standardized Tests: GRE scores
  • Application Fee: $150
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: 3 letters of recommendation, transcripts, resume, personal statement

Applying to Columbia University

  1. Fill out the online application.
  2. Pay the application fee.
  3. Provide your GRE scores.
  4. Submit all additional required documentation.
  5. Await a decision from the admissions department.
5

Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA

Georgia Institute of Technology , also known as Georgia Tech, is a public research school with a student body of over 39,700. It was founded in 1885 and offers a wide range of bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees. Students access state-of-the-art labs and tech facilities.

Master of Science in Analytics

This top-ranked data science and analytics program prepares working professionals to lead in the field of analytical programming. The online master's program takes one to three years to complete. The online version features the same rigorous curriculum and educational experience as the on-campus program at an affordable price.

Master of Science in Analytics Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition: $19,222/two semesters
  • Required Credits: 36 credits
  • Program Length: 1-3 years
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 91%

Master of Science in Analytics Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirements
  • Standardized Tests: GRE scores
  • Application Fee: $75
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: College transcripts, letters of recommendation, resume, statement of purpose

Applying to Georgia Institute of Technology

  1. Verify the requirements for your specific online program.
  2. Fill out the online application on the school’s website.
  3. Provide the application fee.
  4. Submit the required application materials.
  5. Wait for the school to contact you with its decision.
6

New Jersey Institute of Technology

Newark, NJ

New Jersey Institute of Technology is a public research school that was established in 1881. It has six colleges and provides a range of in-person and remote degree programs to its 11,600 students.

Master of Science in Computer Science

In this program, students learn about implementing design, development, and computing systems. There are specializations available in areas such as bioinformation, data mining, image processing, and pattern recognition. Data structures and algorithms, operating systems design, and network and high-layer protocols are among the required courses in the program.

Master of Science in Computer Science Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition: $24,546/year (in state); $34,760/year (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 1-3 years
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 70%

Master of Science in Computer Science Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirements
  • Standardized Tests: GRE score
  • Application Fee: $75
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor's degree
  • Other Requirements: Transcripts, letter of recommendation

Applying to New Jersey Institute of Technology

  1. Create an account and fill out the online application on the school’s website.
  2. Provide the application fee.
  3. Submit a letter of recommendation and your college transcripts.
  4. GRE scores are required for full-time Master of Science applicants.
  5. Await a decision from the school.
7

Southern Methodist University

Dallas, TX

Southern Methodist University is a private research institution founded in 1911 by the Methodist Episcopal Church. Southern Methodist University offers over 100 majors and 85 minors and has a student body of around 12,300.

Master of Science in Computer Science

The course covers a wide range of topics, including data mining, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, database management, algorithm engineering, operating systems, and advanced computer architecture. Students can specialize in artificial intelligence and machine learning with Python .

Master of Science in Computer Science Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition: $1,350/credit
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 1-2 years
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 81%

Master of Science in Computer Science Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: N/A
  • Application Fee: $75
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or a related subject
  • Other Requirements: College transcripts

Applying to Southern Methodist University

  1. Review the admission requirements for your chosen program.
  2. Pay the application fee.
  3. Submit your college transcripts.
  4. Wait for a decision from the school.
8

Stevens Institute of Technology

Hoboken, NJ

Stevens Institute of Technology is a private research school that was established in 1870, making it one of the first technological institutions in the nation. Stevens Institute of Technology has a total student body of over 7,200, and many of these students are in online programs.

Master of Science in Computer Science

Stevens University offers a Master of Science in Computer Science through its Schaefer School of Engineering and Science in Hoboken, New Jersey. With the program, students gain a foundation for theoretical instruction and practical application for success in the workplace.

Courses cover core subjects including programming languages, data mining for knowledge management, computer graphics, and web programming. Students also gain the skills needed to communicate computer science concepts, designs, and solutions when they take courses on cloud computing and secure systems.

Master of Science in Computer Science Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition: $19,038/semester (full time); $1,716/credit (part time)
  • Required Credits: 36 credits
  • Program Length: 1-2 years
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 88%

Master of Science in Computer Science Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: GRE or GMAT scores
  • Application Fee: $60
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: College transcripts, 2 letters of recommendation, resume

Applying to Stevens Institute of Technology

  1. Fill out the online application on the school’s website.
  2. Pay the application fee.
  3. Provide the required documentation.
  4. Contact the admissions department if you have any questions.
  5. Wait for the school to contact you with its decision.
9

University of Illinois

Champaign, IL

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is a public research university that was founded in 1867. The school has 16 colleges providing over 150 undergraduate programs and over 100 graduate fields of study.

Master of Science in Computer Science

University of Illinois MCS-DS degrees are non-thesis programs that are obtained by completing eight four-credit hour graduate-level courses each. The online MCS currently offers coursework in the core areas of artificial intelligence, big data, human-computer interaction, software engineering, scientific computing, and high-performance computing.

Master of Science in Computer Science Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $13,176/year (in state); $28,464/year (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 32 credits
  • Program Length: 1-5 years
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 86%

Master of Science in Computer Science Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.2
  • Standardized Tests: No requirements
  • Application Fee: $70
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: College transcripts

Applying to University of Illinois

  1. Review the academic requirements for your chosen program.
  2. Provide the application fee.
  3. Submit your academic transcripts.
  4. Letters of recommendation are not required, but they will be taken into consideration if you provide them.
  5. Await a decision from the school.
10

University of West Florida

Pensacola, FL

University of West Florida is part of the State University System of Florida and was founded in 1963. The institution has five colleges and offers graduate degrees in over 60 academic disciplines.

Master of Science in Computer Science

The MS in Computer Science online program offered by the University of West Florida allows you to become a technical leader in any organization. With a foundation in algorithmic programming and an introduction to parallel computing, you'll study advanced topics in systems and networks, artificial intelligence, and data analytics to open a broad range of career options.

Master of Science in Computer Science Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition: $425/credit
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 36 months
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 48%

Master of Science in Computer Science Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: GRE scores
  • Application Fee: $30
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Transcripts, letter of intent, resume

Applying to University of West Florida

  1. Fill out an online application for the University of West Florida.
  2. Pay the application fee.
  3. Fill out an application for the program of your choice.
  4. Provide the required documentation.
  5. Await a decision from the school.

What Is a Computer Programming Master’s Degree?

A computer programming master’s degree is a degree that provides you with advanced computer programming and technical skills. Graduate programs in this field usually include courses that focus on machine learning, practical applications of programming, software systems, software engineering, and database management.

Graduate degrees in this field allow computer programming professionals to apply to mid and high-level jobs. Master’s Degrees in Computer Programming often allow students to gain more specialized knowledge than they received gaining their undergraduate degree. They can find numerous career opportunities that all pay higher salaries than average.

How Important Is a Master’s Degree in Computer Programming?

A computer programming master’s degree is very important if you want to gain specialized knowledge to advance your career. A main reason why a Master’s Degree in Computer Programming is important is that it will qualify you for advanced and managerial roles in the field.

What Types of Master’s Degree Can You Get in Computer Programming?

You can get the following types of Master’s Degrees for Computer Programming:

  • Master of Science
  • Master of Engineering

The best type of degree for computer programming is generally a Master of Science in Computer Science. However, either a Master of Science or a Master of Engineering can prepare you for advanced tech roles.

Is It Better to Get a Master of Science or a Master of Engineering in Computer Programming?

It is better to get a Master of Science in Computer Programming because it has a greater focus on theories and studies. A Master of Engineering prioritizes technical skills and research. However, a Master of Science is far more common for computer programming than a Master of Engineering.

What Is the Difference Between a Computer Programming Master’s Degree and a Computer Programming Certificate?

The main difference between a computer programming master’s degree and a certificate in computer programming is the credit requirements for the program. A graduate certificate program usually takes around one year to complete. Generally, if you are hoping to land an advanced role, it is better to get a Master’s Degree in Computer Programming.

If you are deciding between a computer programming certificate vs master’s degree, consider your long-term career goals. A graduate certificate program can help you switch careers or learn specific skills. A master’s degree program will be more comprehensive and will help your resume stand out to potential employees.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Master’s Degree in Computer Programming?

A Master’s Degree in Computer Programming costs an average of $19,314 , according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The NCES also reports that the average computer programming master’s degree cost at a private school is $25,929.

The cost of a computer programming master’s degree also varies based on the total credit hours you take and the cost per credit. Additionally, online students often have to pay less for their degrees than on-campus students, even if they attend a public school. The online version of a program is usually more affordable than in person.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Computer Programming Master’s Degree?

It takes about two years to get a Master’s Degree in Computer Programming. Most programs require around 30-45 credits. Your Master’s in Computer Programming length will depend on how quickly you complete all the required coursework and classes.

How Hard Is It to Get a Master’s Degree in Computer Programming?

It can be very hard to get a Master’s Degree in Computer Programming because these programs require a high level of programming expertise. Some schools require applicants to have multiple years of experience in the field before applying. Getting a computer programming master’s degree is hard, but it is worth it if you are eager to advance in the field.

Why Should You Get a Computer Programming Master’s Degree?

One of the benefits of a Master’s Degree in Computer Programming is that you will have the chance to develop advanced skills specific to your chosen career path. Many programs provide specialization tracks so students can focus on the skills they need to learn. Another benefit of getting a Master’s Degree in Computer Programming is that it will open you to further education like a doctorate degree .

What Courses Do You Need to Take in a Master’s Degree Program in Computer Programming?

Master’s in Computer Programming courses will cover advanced topics in areas like data analytics, machine learning, and systems programming. You will also find various elective courses in a Master’s in Computer Programming program.

Data Structures and Algorithms

In this course, students will take a deep dive into data structures and analysis techniques for algorithms. The curriculum will likely also cover the various applications of algorithms, like linked lists, hash tables, and storage allocation.

Machine Learning

A machine learning course will go into advanced concepts and methods for identifying useful and understandable patterns in data. Students will learn about predictive models, regression, and probability estimation.

Systems Programming

In a Master’s in Computer Programming-level systems programming course, students will learn about essential concepts like Unix commands, data types, operators, I/O functions, and shell scripting.

Computer Architecture

This advanced class will go into design techniques used in different computers. The curriculum might include various functional units, modern techniques to ILP, and software pipelining. You will gain hands-on experience designing a pipelined computer using CAD tools.

Computer Vision

A course in computer vision will cover the middle ground between artificial intelligence and image processing. Students will also go over case studies of vision architectures and image formation.

Continuing Education Paths for Computer Programming Master’s Degree Graduates

The best path to take with a computer programming master’s degree after you graduate is to acquire advanced industry certifications. Another option is to return to school to earn a Doctoral Degree in Computer Science. Many computer science graduates find jobs in the field with a high annual wage.

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What to Look For in the Best Computer Programming Master’s Degree Programs

Computer programming master’s degree programs will cover a range of advanced technical skills. There is a wide range of schools to choose from. If you are unsure of what to look for in a college for a Master’s Degree in Computer Programming, take a look at our list of criteria below.

Cost

Many schools where you can earn a Master’s Degree in Computer Programming come with high tuition and many fees. Attending a public school or a school in your state is a good way to save money on your master’s degree program.

Format/Flexibility

Many students are starting to see the benefits of online educational programs. If you want to work while you study or have a particularly busy schedule, you may want to consider schools that offer remote programs. Many schools have online degree programs that contain the same content and resources as in-person options.

Curricular Content

If you are trying to advance in your career path, make sure the master’s degree programs you are considering contain courses covering the specific skills you will need. You should also look into the available electives and specialization options.

Barriers to Admission

Some schools require prospective students have several years of professional experience, a specific bachelor’s degree , or a high GPA. Research all the application requirements so you know your chances of getting accepted. This can help you save time down the line.

Reputation of School

Some of the schools that offer Master’s Degree in Computer Programming programs are well-known nationwide. Attending an Ivy League school can look good on your resume and help you network with experts in the field. There are also several state schools that are known for providing very strong computer science programs.

What Is the Most Affordable Computer Programming Master’s Degree?

The most affordable Master’s Degree in Computer Programming program on our list is offered by East Carolina University. Credits in this program are $264 for in-state students. Other affordable computer programming master’s degree programs are offered by the University of West Florida and California Polytechnic State University.

Salary and Job Outlook for Computer Programming Master’s Degree Graduates

Woman sitting at a table in front of a laptop.
Gaining a Master’s Degree in Computer Programming is a great way to gain the skills you need for in-demand careers in the tech industry that come with a high annual salary.

Computer programming master’s degree jobs usually come with an impressive salary and strong benefits. In this section, we will detail some of the highest-paying computer programming jobs and provide information about the average Master’s in Computer Programming salary.

How Hard Is It to Get a Job With a Computer Programming Master’s Degree?

It is not very hard to get a job with a Master’s Degree in Computer Programming because these tech skills are in very high demand. A computer programming master’s degree will help you develop specialized and advanced skills that will help you succeed in managerial upper-level roles.

What’s the Average Computer Programming Master’s Degree Salary?

The average salary for a Master’s Degree in Computer Programming grad is $105,000 , according to PayScale. Computer programmers in senior positions can make up to $150,000 annually. A computer programming degree provides you with in-demand skills that a variety of employers are looking for.

What Types of Jobs Can You Get With a Computer Programming Master’s Degree?

You can get high-level and managerial jobs with a computer programming master’s degree. Some of the highest-paying computer programming jobs for master’s degree holders include software architect, software developer, and information security analyst.

Computer Programming Degree Jobs

  • Software architect
  • Software development engineer
  • Software developer
  • Information security analyst
  • Computer scientist

Potential Careers With a Computer Programming Degree

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How Much Money Can You Make With a Master’s Degree in Computer Programming?

You can make between $100,000 and $128,000 with a Master’s Degree in Computer Programming, according to the positions below. In general, a master’s degree can help you negotiate an above-average salary with very strong benefits.

Highest-Paying Computer Programming Master’s Degree Jobs and Salaries: Overview

Computer Programming Master’s Degree Jobs Average Salary
Software Architect $128,442
Software Development Engineer (SDE) $112,719
Software Developer $110,140
Information Security Analyst $102,600
Computer Scientist $101,999

Best Jobs for Computer Programming Master’s Degree Grads

The best jobs for a Master’s Degree in Computer Programming need impressive technical skill. Below, we detail some of the best computer programming master’s degree jobs that you can land after graduating.

1

Software Architect

Average Salary: $128,442

Software architects help to establish high-level design guidelines and technical standards. They are expert-level software developers who communicate with businesses and clients to design and execute tech solutions. To be effective, a software architect must have a wide knowledge of technical topics.

2

Software Development Engineer

Average Salary: $112,719

SDEs work in a variety of industries in order to design, build, and develop their employers' computer systems and software. They do this by applying principles, tools, and techniques from computer engineering, information analysis, and mathematics.

Those who have expertise in computer software engineering may work independently as consultants for various organizations and may design new systems and software from scratch or modify existing systems and software which have been purchased from vendors.

3

Software Developer

Average Salary: $110,140

A software developer analyzes the needs of users before designing and developing software that meets those needs. Developers upgrade and help customers with their existing systems and programs. They create a plan for how to connect each piece of an application or system.

4

Information Security Analyst

Average Salary: $102,600

The role of an information security analyst is to plan and implement security measures to protect an organization's computer networks and systems. They also work one-on-one with employees to help them understand new software and hardware.

5

Computer Scientist

Average Salary: $101,999

Computer scientists create applications for users by designing and programming software. They primarily develop and validate models for human-computer interactions or software-device interactions.

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Computer Programming Bootcamp vs Computer Programming Master’s Degree: Which Is Better?

A computer programming master’s degree is better than a computer programming bootcamp if you want to develop advanced skills. Choosing between a computer programming bootcamp and a computer programming master’s degree can be difficult, and the better option ultimately depends on your long-term career goals, educational background, and resources.

There are several drawbacks and benefits for each educational path. This section offers an overview of the major benefits of both learning programs, so you can decide if you want to enroll in a coding bootcamp or earn a master’s degree.

Benefits of a Computer Programming Master’s Degree

  • Professional Network . Master’s degree holders in computer science will have networking opportunities with other professors and current students, as well as with potential employers. With more people around, graduate students are able to work, learn and meet more people.
  • Advanced Theory Knowledge and Expertise . Programming, architecture, algorithms, and data structures are among the topics typically covered in computer science programs. Students who are studying for a master’s degree usually have exclusive access to cutting-edge computer labs and digital libraries where they can get direct, hands-on experience with computer science professionals.
  • Career Advancement . Applicants who are competing for a popular computer job are likely to benefit from an advanced degree in computer science. In some cases, master’s degrees are the only way for a student to enter a particular field or industry.

Benefits of a Computer Programming Bootcamp

  • Specialization . A coding bootcamp usually offers the most current and in-demand knowledge according to employers’ needs. You’ll become an expert in programming and have specialized knowledge in your chosen area of expertise.
  • Job Preparation . Coding bootcamps are affordable programs that will teach you the exact skills employers want from their candidates. A majority of coding bootcamps include career services, from resume writing assistance to mastering technical interviews and networking events.
  • Certification . Coding bootcamps allow you to save money while quickly developing and specializing your theoretical foundations in programming. Since most high-end programming jobs require a college education, getting certified from a coding bootcamp is a great way to show off your high levels of expertise to a potential employer.

Is a Master’s Degree in Computer Programming Worth It?

Yes, a Master’s Degree in Computer Programming is worth it if you are looking to advance your career in the field. A master’s degree enables you not only to increase your earnings but also to move up the career ladder in a variety of tech-related fields.

Jobs in the programming field are growing faster than average at present, which makes investing in a programming education a great idea. If you are looking to work in a career with a promising job outlook, you will find getting a Master’s in Computer Programming worth it. Every programmer with a Master of Science degree has solid earning potential.

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Computer Programming Master’s Degree FAQ

How long is a master’s degree program?

A full-time master’s degree program usually takes around two years to complete. There are many factors, however, that influence the length of time between starting the application process and graduation.

Can you get a coding job without a degree?

Yes, you can get a coding job without a degree but it might be challenging. You’ll need the training to become job-ready, and you’ll need a strong resume to stand out from the crowd. Recruiters often look for certifications and proof of experience.

Can you finish a master’s degree in one year?

Yes, a master’s degree can be obtained in one year through some programs. The number of credits required for a master’s degree ranges from 30 to 36 at most US universities. In order to earn a master’s degree in a year, you will be required to register for more courses than a typical student takes in a semester.

How many hours a week is a master’s degree?

Most students in a master’s degree program study for 27 to 36 hours a week. There are also part-time options available at some universities.

About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.

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Sandro Glonti

About the author: Sandro, from Georgia, joined Career Karma in September 2021. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Econometrics. His previous published work has also appeared on Resume Example. He is fascinated by SEO and has professional experience in data analysis and SQL from his previous professions before becoming a content writer.

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