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Best Online Software Engineering Bachelor’s Degrees in 2024

Best Online Software Engineering Bachelor’s Degrees in 2024

Are you ready to transform your passion for technology into a profitable future? Then it’s time to consider pursuing an online software engineering degree. Check out this guide for insights into spotlight schools, common courses you’ll encounter, and salary expectations after you graduate.

Online software engineering bachelor’s degrees teach you ways to create efficient, reliable, and user-friendly software applications. Whether you’re an aspiring coder, a problem-solving enthusiast, or a visionary ready to shape the future of technology, this guide will equip you with the knowledge you need to make an informed decision about earning your software engineering degree online.

Keep reading, as you’ll discover a detailed rundown of institutions offering online bachelor’s degrees in software engineering. You’ll learn program insights, application guidelines, and what the journey to graduation might look like. By exploring the programs featured in this guide, you’ll gain insights into course offerings, credit hours, and the unique features that set each university apart.

Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Software Engineering for 2024

We have ranked the top schools below. Our Rankings Data comes from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES.) Click the About the Ranking link below for more information about our methodology.


    Base Methodology for OnlineColleges.me’s 2024 Online College Rankings

    1. Create List of Eligible Schools and Programs

    To be eligible for this ranking, schools were required to meet the following criteria based on government data provided by The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

    • Institutional accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
    • At least one program in the subject area offered partially or fully online.
    1. Assign Weightings

    After creating the list of eligible schools, OnlineColleges.me data scientists assigned weights and ranked schools based on a mix of affordability, support services, and online program availability metrics. Online program availability and overall affordability metrics received the heaviest weightings.

    Online Program Availability

    • Number of online programs in subject area reported by school to the U.S. Department of Education. Because exact numbers change often and can be difficult to verify, we use a range-based scoring system: 0-5 online programs = 1 star; 6-10 = 2 stars; 11-15 = 3 stars; 16-20 = 4 stars; 21+ = 5 stars. In our design, laptop icons = stars.
    • For degree-specific pages, ex: Psychology degrees, we list the current number of online programs available at that school for that degree type, as self-reported by the schools.


    • Cost – Relative cost of attendance compared to peer schools on the list. Based on tuition and fees per academic year.
    • Students w/ Institutional Aid – Percentage of students who receive financial aid from the school itself.

    Support Services

    • Academic Counseling – Existence of this service on campus or online.
    • Career Placement – Existence of this service on campus or online.

    About Our Data

    OnlineColleges.me’s rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Most recent data pull: January of 2024

  • Tucson, AZ
    Public $$

    The University of Arizona’s Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering trains students in all facets of the software development cycle. The curriculum teaches not just technical skills, but also ethical, business, and management skills needed to complete software development from start to finish. Almost all course requirements can be completed online, with a generous transfer policy that makes it easy for students from other Arizona colleges to complete their bachelor’s degree at the University of Arizona.

    Program Highlights:

    Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering

    • Credits: 120
    • Length: About 4 years
    • Cost: $600/credit
    • Mode: Partially online
    • Accreditation: WSCUC
  • Saint Cloud, MN
    Public $

    Students interested in software engineering who want to enroll in a school that’s part of the Minnesota State system should consider Saint Cloud State University. In addition to offering the only Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering in the state, Saint Cloud State University has plenty of other benefits, including a fully online accelerated pathway for students looking to graduate as quickly as possible and the ability to take online classes in an asynchronous format, meaning students can attend class at any time that’s most convenient for them.

    Program Highlights:

    Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering

    • Credits: 122
    • Length: About 4 years
    • Cost: $350/credit
    • Mode: Fully online
    • Accreditation: HLC
  • University Park, PA
    Public $$$

    The online Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering program from PennState World Campus is one of the select ABET-accredited online programs available. It’s 100% online, letting students learn from anywhere and at their own pace with a learning structure that combines asynchronous coursework with preset deadlines for certain weekly class assignments. Students can take classes not just during the spring and fall semesters, but summer as well. Despite this remote learning format, students still get to work with real-world companies during their senior project.

    Program Highlights:

    Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering

    • Credits: 126
    • Length: About 4 years
    • Cost: $626/credit (if you have 59 credits or fewer); $671/credit (if you have 60+ credits)
    • Mode: Fully online
    • Accreditation: ABET

Bachelor’s Program Spotlights: Online Degrees in Software Engineering

Online software engineering bachelor’s degree programs vary in their goals, outcomes, and course offerings. However, all accredited programs share a common thread — they aim to provide students with a solid foundation in software engineering principles while allowing for specialization and personalization of the learning experience.

Let’s explore three leading universities that offer exceptional online software engineering bachelor’s degree programs, each catering to different preferences and career aspirations:

Arizona State University

Arizona State University (ASU), a public metropolitan research university, offers an online degree in software engineering with 41 classes spanning anywhere from 7.5 to 15 weeks per class. Totaling 120 credit hours, the program equips software engineering majors with programming, mathematical, and systems management skills. Subjects encompass programming languages, code construction, software development, and cybersecurity. The curriculum emphasizes practical learning through projects during each semester. Skills like calculus, computer management, database handling, physics, and programming fundamentals are cultivated through this program. 

Penn State World Campus

Penn State World Campus, a private university, also offers an accredited online software engineering degree. It covers programming, math, chemistry, and physics, featuring industry-sponsored senior design projects. The curriculum includes a capstone project fostering real-world industry collaboration. You’ll take part in interactive online courses that build strong interdisciplinary ties, offering flexibility to suit professional needs while upholding academic standards. Discrete math, programming, security, and networks are part of the curriculum, meaning you’ll graduate well-versed in modern techniques and applications.

Western Governors University

Western Governors University, a private non-profit, offers an online B.S. in Software Engineering designed with insights from industry experts. Key skills covered include scripting, programming, web and mobile app development, user experience design, and software quality assurance. The degree incorporates a culminating capstone, industry-recognized certifications, and you’ll choose one of two tracks — Java or C# — both valuable in the current tech landscape. Classes are asynchronous, so you control the pace of how to complete the 36- or 38-course program in conjunction with your other responsibilities.

Classes for Your Software Engineering Degree Online

To succeed in software engineering, building a strong foundation in the right concepts and technologies is crucial. While specific courses might vary between colleges, some core subjects are essential for mastering the field.

You’ll find that each program will have small differences, but there are important similarities in the courses you’ll take. Here are five common courses you’ll likely encounter in an online bachelor’s degree program in software engineering, along with explanations of how each course helps you succeed:

  • Software Development

    Taking this course means diving into a journey of creating software. Throughout this course, you’ll be led through the process of software development, which includes every aspect from initial design to detailed coding, rigorous testing, and the maintenance of software programs. 

    You’ll learn skills in programming languages like Java, Python, or C++. Mastering this course means not just acquiring technical skills, but also creating robust and efficient software solutions that serve as effective solutions to real-world problems. 

  • Data Structures and Algorithms

    Enrolling in this course immerses you in the art of managing and harnessing data as well as the use of algorithms to solve complex problems. 

    A data structures and algorithms course will equip you with the skills you need to optimize algorithms for both efficiency and scalability — something that will prove to be useful across numerous domains. By the end of this course, you’ll have gained not only technical proficiency, but also creativity to build software solutions that navigate complexities outside the classroom. 

  • Database Management

    This course will have you exploring the realm of databases, and in doing so, uncovering strategies for conceiving, building, and overseeing relational databases through SQL. 

    Skills in database management translate to your ability to build organized and efficient storage solutions, which is an integral skill for developing applications that rely on the heavy use of data. With this course, you’ll gain the skills to create structured and efficient database systems, enhancing your ability to engineer software solutions that answer the need for extensive data requirements. 

  • Web Development

    Web development will take you through both the front-end and back-end realms of web development. You’ll learn about HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and frameworks like React or Angular. 

    With this knowledge, you’ll have the ability to craft visually appealing and interactive web interfaces. Skills like this allow you to engineer engaging, dynamic, and visually stunning web applications. This course will also teach you the importance of seamless user experiences in the digital world.

  • Software Architecture

    Prepare to embark on a comprehensive exploration of designing software systems — from the intricate world of patterns to system components to how to plan for growth. You’ll learn about software architecture, which will allow you to create well-structured software solutions that seamlessly adapt to changes. 

    This understanding of software architecture is a vital piece of making software that can not only accommodate change, but also address new needs. You’ll learn the essentials of building software solutions that remain resilient despite shifts and changing demands. 

Job Outlook: Careers and Salaries with an Online Software Engineering Degree

Earning a bachelor’s degree in software engineering paves the way for an array of promising career trajectories within the technology sector. Below, learn about three common roles pursued by degree-holders, each accompanied by its key responsibilities and the corresponding average annual salaries.

  • Software Developer

    Software developers excel in designing, coding, and rigorously testing software applications or entire systems. They collaborate with cross-functional team members, including designers and project managers, bringing functional, intuitive, and user-centric software solutions to life. With an annual average salary of $106,157, software developers enjoy the satisfaction of crafting cutting-edge technology and are well-paid for their in-demand contributions. This multifaceted role demands technical skills as well as effective communication and the ability to adapt to the ever-changing technological landscape. You’ll need a clear understanding of technology, but also insights into audience needs in order to create practical and engaging applications.

  • Quality Assurance Engineer

    Quality assurance engineers form the frontline of defense in ensuring the excellence of software products. Because they have a meticulous eye for detail, they’re able to conceive and execute intricate testing procedures, identifying and pinpointing defects or irregularities. By working with developers, they also ensure quality improvement, enhancing the overall caliber of the software. The annual average salary of $84,673 underscores these professionals’ critical role in upholding the software quality standard. The contribution of quality assurance engineers goes beyond testing and into fostering a culture of continuous enhancement within development teams.

  • Systems Analyst

    Systems analysts are technological and organizational problem solvers. Their role involves delving into an organization’s software needs and sculpting intricate information systems to fulfill requirements. Guided by the pulse of user needs, they collect, distill, and transform these requirements into comprehensive system specifications. Their collaboration with developers then brings solutions to reality. With an average annual salary of $112,641, systems analysts are well-compensated intellectually and financially as they bridge the gap between business demands and technological solutions. This profession’s multidimensional skillset greatly impacts operational efficiency and fuels innovation across diverse areas.

How Much Does an Online Software Engineering Degree Cost?

Understanding the financial aspects of pursuing an online software engineering degree is crucial for planning your educational journey. Here’s an overview of the cost per credit hour and the total number of credits required for a bachelor’s degree in software engineering at various institutions. Careful consideration of these factors helps ensure a well-informed decision about investment in your educational and professional future.

SchoolCost Per CreditNumber of Credits
Brigham Young University-Idaho$139/credit120
Colorado Technical University$340/credit183
Kennesaw State University$185.40/credit 120
Oklahoma State University, Institute of Technology$192.45/credit 121
Southern New Hampshire University$330/credit 120

What Should I Look for in an Online Software Engineering Degree Program?

When selecting an online software engineering degree program, you’ll need to factor in many different considerations before ultimately making your decision. While the must-have requirements are specific to you and your goals, here are a few common key factors to keep in mind as you conduct your research:

  • Cost

    It’s important to evaluate tuition fees, available financial aid avenues, and potential scholarships when selecting an online software engineering degree program. This approach ensures the program’s cost is within your budgetary limits while providing a high-quality education tailored to your aspirations and career goals.

  • Program Quality

    Examine program reputation, faculty proficiency, and industry affiliations to guarantee a superior education in your chosen online software engineering degree. Thorough research into these aspects ensures a well-rounded and high-caliber learning experience, equipping you with a competitive edge in the ever-changing technology landscape.

  • Accreditation

    Prioritize programs accredited by reputable bodies like ABET to ensure adherence to stringent educational standards in your online software engineering degree pursuit. Accreditation underscores the program’s credibility and guarantees a curriculum that aligns with industry expectations. This is key to your successful career in software engineering.

  • Faculty Expertise

    Explore the qualifications and industry experience of the online software engineering program’s faculty. This step assures that you’ll be guided by knowledgeable professionals, providing you with valuable insights and practical skills for success in the field. Faculty expertise boosts your learning journey, and along the way, gives you real-world perspectives and mentorship.

  • Format

    Consider the structure of online courses — encompassing live lectures, interactive assignments, and peer collaboration — when assessing software engineering degree programs. This evaluation guarantees an engaging and comprehensive learning experience that fosters interaction, practical application, and a well-rounded skillset development. These all make you a more competitive candidate for success in the field of software engineering.

Questions to Ask About Software Engineering Degrees Online Programs

Prospective students often have questions about pursuing an online software engineering degree. Here are six of the most common questions, according to our readers, followed by answers:

  • Are online bachelor’s degree programs in software engineering fully online?

    Yes, most online bachelor’s degree programs in software engineering can be completed fully online, allowing students to access and submit coursework remotely. Some may also be offered in a hybrid modality, meaning a combination of online and in-person coursework. While rare, some online programs may require minimal on-campus coursework or in-person internships.

  • What does the admissions process look like for this degree?

    The admissions process typically involves submitting an application, transcripts, possibly standardized test scores, and sometimes letters of recommendation. Each program will have specific requirements that vary, but generally speaking, the admissions process across the board will look the same as the process for other online degrees.

  • How long does it take to complete a bachelor’s degree in software engineering online?

    The duration of an online software engineering bachelor’s degree program will vary from person to person and program to program. On average, it takes around four years for full-time students, but factors like transfer credits and course load can influence this timeline. Additionally, if you are taking courses on a part-time basis while working full time, you’ll likely take longer than four years to complete your degree.

  • What academic and career support services are available to online students earning their bachelor’s degree in software engineering?

    Online students often have access to a range of support services, including virtual tutoring, digital libraries, academic advising, and technical assistance. Career services may also assist with job placement and networking opportunities. Each school is different, so spend time investigating the types of support available to online students before selecting a program.

  • What are some of the technical requirements of earning an online degree in software engineering?

    Online software engineering programs will likely have numerous technical requirements, including recommended laptop specifications, software programs, and internet connection specifications to ensure a smooth online learning experience. Some software and hardware requirements may be costly, so be sure to research the technical demands of online students for your specific school to make an informed decision.

  • Can I work while pursuing an online software engineering degree?

    Yes, many students choose to work while pursuing an online degree. A degree in software engineering earned through distance learning offers the flexibility to smoothly integrate your education with your work and family commitments. Online classes allow you to craft a schedule that suits your needs, whether you’re a working professional or managing other responsibilities.

Other Degree Options in Computer Science

If you are still unsure which path in computer science you want to take, look at these other bachelor’s degree options: