A bachelor’s degree in computer science will usually entail 120 credits spread over five classes per semester for a year. On a regular schedule, this would persist for the next four years. If you’re looking for the general answer to how long the course would take, that would be where that question ends.
There are, however, a few other things to consider. The topic to be discussed here is the ins and outs of how long a bachelor’s degree in computer science would take.
One of the reasons that the time to complete a bachelor’s degree online is not so cut and dry is the existence of accelerated programs.
These programs, as the name suggests, are ones that allow students to finish a course earlier than the projected time. Accredited Schools Online reports that this can be as much as half the expected period. This is done by running several accelerated terms per year.
Full-time students can make the best use of an accelerated program. Some bachelor’s students can find their stay reduced to one year. In order to reduce it to such a degree, they often take 5–6 accelerated terms a year.
That said, accelerated programs aren’t for everyone as they can be quite intensive. For a course like computer science, which is notorious for how difficult it can be, this might even be more true. This is the reason why it’s important to take advantage of one big benefit of online courses: flexibility in time. Pacing yourself to make sure you’re going as fast or as steady as you need is very important in such a technical field.
In the case of part-time students, accelerated courses can be appealing for an entirely different reason. Often, students who aren’t studying full-time will have varying schedules. Many may find that they are exceedingly busy over a while, only to be surprisingly free the next. In these circumstances, accelerated programs can help ensure they are always making the best use of their time.
Accelerated programs also offer a great service to working students who may spend most of their days and waking hours at a job. These students will often take online courses at night or on their days off. Having an accelerated program that lets them keep working can be beneficial.
Some of these programs offer students the option to take on a full load. However, it is worth noting that these are highly intensive courses that aren’t recommended for working students or those with hectic schedules.
A side benefit to accelerated courses is also the possibility of being able to save money. Courses will often charge per unit or class, so these programs usually cost more. That said, if a school has flat fees independent of the units or classes, then accelerated programs can save you money in the long run because you have to enroll for fewer years.
Schools That Offer Accelerated Programs
Here are some examples of some schools that offer an accelerated program for online computer science bachelor’s degrees. For the most part, they do follow a trend, but there are outliers here and there. This is mostly to give a feel of how long an accelerated course would most likely take.
Lewin University offers interactive eight-week courses in computer science online. Their cloud system provides around-the-clock access to virtual machines that let students submit their work outside the operating hours of the school.
There are a total of 128 credits in these courses. There are 49 credits in computer science, 31 core credits, 12 elective credits, and 6 credits for the final project.
Auburn offers an accelerated bachelor’s degree in computer science that can be finished in around two years. Doing so requires the student to take two 7.5-week courses each term across five terms a year while maintaining a 2.5 GPA.
This degree program will feature the completion of 20 major-related courses — 60 credits — in addition to their associate’s degree requirements. This 18-core course will feature subjects in algorithms, computer ethics, software construction, and mobile applications. They also have to take two electives from software engineering, formal languages, parallel systems, or system administration.
Investing Time And Effort
When it comes down to it, the amount of time that it takes you to finish an online bachelor’s degree in computer science will ultimately boil down to the amount of effort that you’re willing to invest. If you can take the intensive accelerated courses, then you’ll be rewarded with a faster completion and maybe some money saved in the long run.
At the end of the day, however, it is important to note that one of the biggest benefits of online learning is its flexibility. Being able to adjust your time to what will suit you is, more often than not, the optimal choice.
Let us help you make that optimal choice. If you’d like to learn more about the nuances of an online computer science course, read our blog about what an online computer science degree is like.