How Long Is a Computer Science Degree?

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Computer science is the study of computers and software systems. When pursuing a degree in computer science, students learn about the application of theories, as well as key computing elements such as systems, programs, and data structures. With a thorough understanding of how both computers and their systems work, graduates of a computer science degree program are able to lead tech-driven innovations and processes across a variety of industries.

With computers influencing nearly every industry, a degree in computer science can be incredibly versatile, allowing graduates to pursue a career in a wide range of fields. But how long is a computer science degree? The answer differs for part-time and full-time students and also depends on whether the program is online or on campus. Regardless of how long it takes to earn, a bachelor’s degree in computer science can be the key to launching an exciting new career in technology.

A student sits at a desk and works on a computer.

Computer Science Degree Timeline

Prospective students have many factors to consider when choosing a degree program, from the amount it will cost to how long the computer science degree will take to complete. For example, the length of a program depends on a variety of components, such as the specific school and the student’s desired career path.

Program Options That Impact Timelines

Perhaps the most important factor affecting the time it takes to complete an undergraduate degree is the decision to study full time or part time, as well as online or on campus. In general, a full-time bachelor’s degree takes approximately four years to complete, while part-time students may need an additional two years.

While online and in-person programs typically require students to earn the same number of credits, some students may find it easier to earn those credits faster due to the enhanced flexibility of an online degree. For those who choose to study on campus, individuals may have to factor in relocation costs or commute times.

How Long Is the Computer Science Degree Program at Maryville University?

One of the most valuable aspects of online learning is versatility. Maryville University offers a variety of options that fit different needs and levels of qualification, allowing students to choose the program that is right for them and direct how long their computer science degree will take. Students looking to earn Maryville’s undergraduate computer science degree must complete 128 credit hours, including general education requirements, a 24 credit hour computer science foundation, concentration or certificate courses, and electives. Students can complete their degree at their own pace. Students with qualifying transfer credits may earn their degree faster.

For students who are looking to specialize in certain areas of computer science, Maryville’s degree program allows students to pursue one of five in-demand certificates (artificial intelligence, software development, data science, cybersecurity, or user experience) as part of their curriculum. The program also offers a concentration in blockchain.

Benefits of Completing an Online Computer Science Program

Many students do not have the means, opportunity, or desire to relocate or put other aspects of their lives on hold to study on campus. Given how long a computer science degree is, students often choose an online program that grants them more flexibility and convenience, allowing them to build their coursework around their schedules and eliminating costs such as transportation or relocation.

Online programs can be more cost-effective for a variety of reasons. Many schools offer lower tuition or fewer fees for online programs compared with on-campus programs, as they do not need to cover the costs of campus resources. Additionally, studying remotely can make the transition to student life much less disruptive than on-campus study, allowing students to preserve aspects of their schedules pertaining to employment and family, for example, rather than spending additional time and money to commute to campus.

Certificate Options in Maryville University’s Computer Science Program

One of the advantages of choosing a bachelor’s degree in computer science is that it can open the door to a variety of different careers or industries. By choosing the online Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Maryville University, for example, students are selecting a program that allows them to specialize and build the necessary skills to find success in their preferred area of technology through five built-in certificate programs.

From artificial intelligence to software development, the career options available to computer science graduates are both exciting and unique, requiring different theoretical knowledge and skill sets. Students who are looking to add value to their careers but are not ready to pursue a degree program can pursue Maryville’s certificate programs separately and then apply them toward a bachelor’s degree at a later date.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a growing and innovative field, pushing the future of computer science and software. Designed to be accessible, dynamic, and quick, the certificate from Maryville provides students with a foundational understanding of AI technologies, techniques, and software such as Python and AWS. Spanning almost every industry, AI is the technology of the future and can help graduates become leaders in their field.

Cybersecurity

With devices, platforms, social media, and technology influencing every aspect of our lives, the need to protect our privacy and cybersecurity has never been more important. Every business, platform, or device that requires or stores personal information must be secured from cyber criminals, making the field of cybersecurity all the more essential. Students pursuing the cybersecurity certificate gain the knowledge to pursue opportunities in information technology and defend their organizations from digital threats.

Data Science

As technology and computer science advance, every program adds data that needs to be organized, analyzed, and understood. Data science is in demand, with companies seeking out employees with the ability to discover the insights and opportunities hidden in their data.

Software Development

How long is a computer science degree, and what is necessary to earn one? From the search engine used to find those answers to the programs themselves, the technology behind the systems we use every day were designed by a software developer. With a thorough understanding of how software works and what we currently use it for, along with an imaginative mind for what we could use it for, software developers have the opportunity to design programs that shape our everyday lives.

User Experience/User Interface (UX/UI)

Intuitive design can highly influence the ways in which we use software or the impression we take away from a company or program. In many cases, the less we notice an interface and the easier that interface is to use, the better. UX and UI designers influence how aesthetically pleasing a program is, aiming to streamline software and make it as functional and seamless as possible.

A Prime Degree for the Future

Computer science and the software systems created through it influence all different types of industries, organizations, and fields of study. For students and professionals looking to pursue a new career in technology, the online Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Maryville University can be the key to reaching their goals.

Maryville designed its flexible online program, which allows you to choose from five specializations or a concentration in blockchain, to provide you with the real-world knowledge and skills you need to succeed. Discover what you can do with a degree in computer science and begin a cutting-edge career in technology.

Recommended Reading

Computer Science vs. Electrical Engineering: Exploring the Difference

Designing Our Daily Lives: Computer Science vs. Mechanical Engineering

Guide for Women in Computer Science: History, Roles, and Resources

Sources

Britannica, “Computer Science”

Salary.com, “Six Advantages of an Online Degree”

Seattle Post Intelligencer, “How Many Years for a Computer Science Degree?”

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Computer and Information Technology Occupations

U.S. News, “What Can You Do with a Computer Science Degree?”

ZDNet, “Best Computer Science Job 2021: Top Careers Compared”