An online bachelor’s degree in IT is the Swiss Army knife of computing qualifications—a practical credential for almost every job. To help you earn one, we’ve profiled the top 20 online information technology and information science programs in the country. They come from universities with a reputation for IT excellence, affordable tuition rates, and a real commitment to distance learning! Plunge into our detailed program descriptions below, or jump ahead for tips on choosing the right online IT program and a breakdown of our rankings methodology.
Online Bachelor’s in Information Technology Rankings
20. University of North Texas
Created by UNT’s Department of Information Science, the BSIS is a solid option if you’re aiming for mid-level information professional positions or considering graduate work. Unlike some of the BS degrees in our list that focus on hard-core IT tools and skills, this program addresses current trends and issues in Information Science—topics like digital literacy, security, cyber innovation, and privacy—while still providing plenty of training for data-driven careers (e.g. data analyst, data mining specialist, data scientist, etc.). The degree can be customized with concentrations or minors, and it includes a judicious blend of face-to-face and online instruction.
You’ll need to complete a minimum of 120 semester hours to graduate, 42 of which must be in upper-level courses. The curriculum includes 18 hours in a concentration, 15 hours in related areas, and 6 hours of seminar-based learning or independent study. Program concentrations include:
- Information Science and Knowledge Organization: Skills and abilities related to the entire process of handling information, from start to finish.
- Project and Knowledge Management: Tools and technologies found in the field.
- Information Management and Health Informatics: Includes the handling of digital patient data and medical records, as well as the effective use of technology in a medical setting.
- Digital Content and Information Systems: The practical knowledge needed to manage the evolution of data and the sophisticated information systems tasked with handling it.
- Human Language Technology: Working with language-based technologies like translation, speech, and other services.
- Data Science: Designing, implementing, and transforming big data systems into real knowledge.
UNT Online has the lowdown on financial aid options, scholarships, and awards—72% of UNT students receive some sort of financial aid and Texas residents get a good deal on tuition. Even better, the Department of Information Science offers a large number of merit-based IS Excellence and Endowed Scholarships to students in its Information Science programs. Undergraduates are eligible!
Thinking of eventually earning an MS in Information Science? Check out the work going in the Department’s IS research centers and then have a look at UNT’s accelerated Grad Track program. Wondering if UNT has a good reputation for online education? U.S. News & World Report frequently ranks UNT in the top 50 of Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. Not as high as others in our list, but still respectable.
19. New Mexico State University-Main Campus
Already have some IT credits under your belt? Check out NMSU’s skills-focused BAS in Information and Communication Technology. Run by the Department of Engineering Technology & Surveying Engineering, this degree completion program is aimed at graduates of technology-related associate programs from a community college or four-year university. Because courses begin at the junior or senior level, all applicants must have some type of computing background in areas like programming, networking, and graphics—as well as a few key prerequisites in math, science, and communications before they enroll. More than 50% of the program is delivered offsite through some type of web-based media.
All BAS applicants must already hold an associate’s degree or have earned at least 62 relevant credits from an accredited school. That means this program doesn’t bother with basic courses in computer literacy and programming. Instead, the 42-credit curriculum heads straight into upper-level IT coursework, with a strong emphasis on the following areas:
- Introduction to Internet Protocols
- Introduction to Digital Forensics and Incident Response
- Windows Server Administration
- Computer Networking
- Ethical Hacking
- Database Design & Applications
- Web Technologies and Multimedia
- Senior Project
- and more…
NMSU’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) section maintains an up-to-date list of course descriptions and a flowchart for the degree.
Tuition is assessed on a per-credit-hour basis; the section on Understanding Tuition and Fees outlines specific distance learning fees. NMSU is a public university, so New Mexico residents pay less in tuition than non-residents. Coming in from another state? Be sure to check out NMSU’s section on Undergraduate Transfer Scholarships to see if you qualify for any out-of-state tuition discounts!
18. Central Washington University
Online Bachelor of Science in Information Technology & Administrative Management (BS-ITAM)
Online Bachelor of Applied Science in Information Technology & Administrative Management (BAS-ITAM)
CWU has developed two degrees in Information Technology & Administrative Management, both of which are offered through the College of Education and Professional Studies. While both programs explore the fundamentals of technology, networking, and data management, and both require internships, they have different foci. The Bachelor of Science (BS) leans more toward knowledge and training in IT, while the Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) is more career-oriented, providing experienced IT applicants with immediate real-world skills they need to pursue a professional path in management. Check out their descriptions to see what works best for you.
Bachelor of Science in Information Technology & Administrative Management (BS-ITAM)
For the BS-ITAM, applicants need to have a transferable associate’s degree or a prior bachelor’s degree in any field. Once accepted, students have the choice of attending courses on CWU’s Ellensburg Campus in Central Washington, opting for a hybrid degree, or learning through 100% web-based instruction.
In the first part of the program, you’ll tackle 61 credits in core areas like cyber security, management, and networking. You can then move on to a wide array of IT specializations, including:
- Administrative Management (Online, Hybrid, or On-Campus)
- Cybersecurity (Online, Hybrid, or On-Campus)
- Project Management (Online or On-Campus)
- Retail Management & Technology (Online or On-Campus)
- Network Management (On-Campus Only)
- Web & Database Administration & Management (On-Campus Only)
You’ll notice that the online & hybrid routes offer fewer specialization opportunities.
Bachelor of Applied Science in Information Technology & Administrative Management (BAS-ITAM)
The curriculum for the BAS-ITAM is aimed at skilled IT folks who would like to build upon a “non-transferable” associate degree—CWU accepts any type of applied or technical degree. Instead of spending a lot of time on tech, you’ll polish your résumé up with coursework on management, project oversight, and other corporate skills you need to succeed (e.g. financial analysis). Again, you’ll have the choice of learning 100% online, going for a hybrid option, or taking classes on the Ellensburg Campus in Washington.
Unlike the BS, this degree only offers four targeted specializations:
- Administrative Management (Online, Hybrid, or On-Campus)
- Cybersecurity (Online, Hybrid, or On-Campus)
- Information Technology (Online or On-Campus)
- Project Management (Online or On-Campus)
CWU has developed a learning path known as FlexIT, which provides a way for students with intense career & personal demands to accelerate their degree. Faster pacing and experience-based learning helps students move more quickly through the subject matter and empowers them to accomplish more work in less time. In addition, Washington State residents get a substantial break on tuition rates.
17. Bellevue University
Stuck in a low-level IT position? Aiming to earn a solid academic credential and some useful industry certifications? Bellevue’s online BSIT was developed for you. Practical and to-the-point, this degree is designed to help you apply the fundamental principles of networks, servers, and cloud storage to real-life scenarios using best practices in communication, analysis, and ethics. It’s not as hard-core as some of the other programs on our list, but it’s a viable option if you want a real grounding in foundational skills. Graduates often find work as hardware & software support technicians, system & network administrators, IT managers, and the like.
This 127-credit BSIT is intended to give you the skills you need to handle the installation, configuration, and maintenance of computers, operating systems, servers, and cloud storage infrastructures. You’ll be expected to work through a total of 36 general education credits, 55 elective credits, and 36 major credits. Major courses include subjects such as:
- Computer Hardware and Software Management
- Network Management & Infrastructure
- Computer Server Environments
- Cisco Routing Fundamentals
- Cloud Computing and Governance
- Microsoft Operating System Management
- Administration of Data Storage Technologies
- and more…
Remaining credits can be partly fulfilled with elective courses such Linux 1 & 2, Ethics for IT Professionals, or Certification Components. All Bellevue students must also complete the Kirkpatrick Signature Series Requirements, which offers enrichment courses like Freedom and Responsibility, American Vision and Values, or Tradition and Change.
Bellevue provides online learners with a range of support tools, tutoring resources, and library services, as well as 7 day/week technical support.
Tuition and fees for the academic year vary according to instruction delivery—all online students pay the same per credit hour rate, regardless of their state of residency, but on-campus undergraduates actually end up paying less. Military members on active duty (and their spouses) receive a greatly reduced tuition rate for all courses. Check out Bellevue’s Military section for more details on benefits and credit transfers.
16. University of South Florida-Main Campus
Tampa Bay residents, take note! This hybrid BSIT is offered partially online through USF’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE). It’s a super-practical program that leans hard on the fundamentals—think subjects like programming, databases, networking, human-computer interaction, web systems, and cyber security. We like it because the CSE has a long history of excellence in graduate teaching and research endeavors, a large number of active undergraduate clubs & organizations, and a commitment to Broadening Participation in Computing (BPC) for under-represented minorities.
The curriculum for the 120-credit hour BSIT is outlined in the CSE’s Program Flowchart. In basic terms, it consists of:
- General Education Requirements: English credits, Mathematics credits, Science credits, Breadth credits (e.g. Psychology), and Foundations of Engineering.
- Major Courses: Introduction to Databases, Programming Foundations for IT, Object-Oriented Programming for IT, Foundations of Cyber Security, Advanced Database Systems, Cloud Computing, etc.
- Additional Requirements: Foreign Language, Communication for Engineers, Information & Data Literacy, etc.
- Departmental Electives: USF encourages BSIT students to complete an industry internship (i.e. IT Practicum) in their third summer. Credit for this can be earned as an elective.
- General Electives
Not only has USF been voted one of the Best Global Universities by U.S. News and World Report, it offers one of the lowest tuition rates in the country for a degree of this caliber. Florida residents, as you would expect, receive a hefty tuition break. You can buffer the cost even further with Computer Science and Engineering Scholarships, financial aid, and veteran assistance.
15. Towson University
Do you live in (or near) Northeastern Maryland? Put TU’s hybrid BSIT from the Department of Computer and Information Sciences on your shortlist. Approximately 30% of the coursework takes place on the Towson campus and the rest occurs online. Having a foot on the ground means you can take advantage of TU’s computer labs, conversations with faculty, and useful research opportunities. Better yet, transferring is a snap, just as long as you complete one of the following three associate degrees from either Harford or Cecil Community College:
- Harford’s Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Computer Information Systems (CIS)
- Harford’s Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity
- Cecil’s Associate of Applied Sciences (AAS) in CIS
With this comprehensive and practical BS on your résumé, mid-level IT positions—or even work in graduate studies—will be within your grasp.
The BSIT curriculum is laid out in the undergraduate catalog. IT majors are required to earn 71-72 units, with a minimum of 30 units to be taken on the TU campus. Required courses include:
- Scripting Languages
- Information Systems Security
- Data and Information Management
- System Architecture and Integration
- Information and Technology for Business
- Ethical and Societal Concerns of Computer Scientists
- Human-Computer Interaction
- IT Capstone
- and more…
You’ll be required to complete three courses in business fundamentals (Public Speaking, Writing for Business & Industry, and Statistics), but you can also choose 15-16 credits from a long list of intriguing electives (e.g. IT Internship, Gaming Interface Design, E-Government, Disaster Recovery and Enterprise Continuity, etc.). If you have a specific field in mind after graduation (e.g. working for the health industry), you’ll really be able to focus on relevant skill sets.
Located just eight miles north of Baltimore and 45 miles from Washington D.C., TU is convenient to a number of urban hubs. As a public institution, TU not only works to keep tuition rates affordable, but it also provides several financial assistance opportunities, from grants to scholarships to loans. Maryland residents receive a substantial tuition break. TU’s online programs have been widely acknowledged by Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, and the Washington Monthly as being one of the best values in higher education.
14. University of ArizonaThis unusual interdisciplinary BA is administered by UA’s well-regarded iSchool and run by the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS). It’s an IT degree that addresses processes & systems (e.g. data organization and analysis, information management, and related technical skills), while still leaving room for students to explore areas such as digital storytelling, information manipulation and propaganda, social media, and web design. The curriculum incorporates relevant service opportunities and places a strong focus on responsibility—to both the community and the world at large. Graduates tend to work in areas such as social media management, online marketing, digital information management, and related fields.
UA’s Degree Search section has a breakdown of the typical four-year curriculum. The first two years contain the usual array of general education requirements, as well as introductory courses in the major. Once you’ve tackled those, you can concentrate on subjects such as:
- Neural Networks
- Artificial Intelligence
- The Past and New Media
- Social Media and Ourselves
- Digital Storytelling and Media
- Hacking and Open-Source Culture
- Collaborating in Online Communities
All online undergraduate students pay the same per credit tuition rate, regardless of their state of residency; active military receive a substantial discount. In addition, iSchool learners have access to a variety of helpful resources and programs, including:
- Scholarship Universe: An online tool that connects UA students with the most advanced scholarship database in the country and helps them find the perfect financial offerings.
- Blue Chip Leadership Programs: Available to online students who want to develop personal strength and engage more with their academic surroundings through the development of tools like résumés and portfolios.
- Academic Success Specialists: Experts who work directly with students to give them the insight and guidance they need to succeed.
Some of these offerings also make special dispensation for indigenous people of the Southwest, military figures, and learners with diverse financial and cultural backgrounds.
Interested in graduate work? The School of Information offers an Accelerated Master’s Program (AMP), designed for students who want to complete the BA in Information Science and eSociety and an MA in Library and Information Science in as little as five years.
13. University of Minnesota-CrookstonThe title says it all. UMC’s online BSITM is geared toward folks who want a technology career in high-demand fields like business, finance, telecommunications, government, or education. Graduates often find employment in mid-management IT roles (e.g. network administrators, webmasters, application developers, technology project managers, information systems managers, etc.).
The 120-credit online BSITM begins with 40 credits of Liberal Education requirements. After that, you can concentrate on the 54 credits required for the ITM major, choosing from courses like:
- Messaging Systems
- Microcomputer Operating Systems
- Project Management
- Database Management Systems
- Network Standards and Protocols
- Introduction to Programming
- Introduction to Management Information Systems
- Principles of Marketing
- and more…
You’ll also be expected to complete a course in Website Development, a one-credit course in Orientation to Online Learning, and 21-22 credits of electives.
The University of Minnesota Online offers the same in-state tuition rate to all students, regardless of their state or country of residence; many online students are also eligible to receive financial aid. The Crookston campus has a job placement rate of more than 93% for students in their field of study within six months of graduation and internship opportunities are widely available.
Online learners are also encouraged to design and conduct their own research through the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP).
12. George Mason UniversityGMU is one of the big hitters in the world of IT education, so this rigorous program is worth a look (especially if you live in Virginia!). Run by the Volgenau School of Engineering, the online BSIT covers all the major IT fundamentals plus much, much more. For example, the program includes hard-core technical work, a two-semester senior design project, a 15-credit concentration, and electives. Looking to advance your career? Graduates of the BSIT are encouraged to consider GMU’s online MS in Applied Information Technology with a Concentration in Cyber Security.
The curriculum for this ABET-accredited, 120-credit online BSIT is split into a number of working parts:
- Foundation Courses (21 Credits): Introduction to Computing, IT Architecture Fundamentals, Introductory Statistics, etc.
- Core Courses (33 Credits): Applied IT Programming, Database Fundamentals, Information Security Fundamentals, Data Communications and Networking Principles, etc.
- Two-Semester Capstone Sequence: Senior Design Project.
- Concentration Courses (15 Credits): Choose from Database Technology & Programming, Health Information Technology, Information Security, Network and Telecommunications, or Web Development & Multimedia.
- Other Major Requirements (14-15 Credits): Natural Science, Public Speaking, etc.
- Mason Core (21 Credits): General education requirements. Note: Not all Mason Core courses are offered online.
- Electives (8-9 Credits)
The BSIT is offered entirely online, but it may be necessary for you to visit the campus for certain exams, orientations, labs, or teacher meetings. That being said, you’ll still able to study at your own pace and access all your learning materials in a virtual world. Plus, unlike some other universities, George Mason University offers distance learners an extensive array of student services such as academic counseling, financial aid, and tech support.
GMU is a public school, so Virginia residents receive a substantial break on per credit hour tuition costs—around 1/3 of what out-of-state students are expected to pay. A number of scholarships are open to IT students (online and on-campus). If you’re considering sticking with GMU for graduate work, we should also point out that GMU often appears in the top 25 of U.S. News & World Report rankings for Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs.
11. California Baptist UniversityFrom programming & development through to management & security, this online BSCIT degree from California Baptist University checks all the important IT boxes. Although the work-friendly program takes a religious perspective on learning, it still offers students the strategies and skills they need to build a foundational knowledge of technology, information, and management. As CBU likes to put it, you’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of IT through Christian-based instruction.
Because CBU uses course evaluations from past students to assess and restructure its curriculum, coursework for this online BSCIT degree is particularly dynamic. Here’s how a sample curriculum could pan out:
- General Education Requirements: Credit transfers are encouraged.
- Lower Division Requirements (6 Units): Computer Programming in C++ and Data Structures, etc.
- Upper Division Requirements (36 Units): Enterprise Architecture, System Analysis & Design, Database Design & Processing, Computer & Network Security, Web Application Development, Information Processing Systems, etc.
- Additional Program Requirements (6 Units): Overview of the Bible and Foundations of Christian Thought.
Accelerated classes at California Baptist University begin every eight weeks and courses are offered in a 100% online or hybrid format. Thanks to transfer credits, the program has an average completion of 16 months.
Through a number of grants, loans, flexible payment plans, and scholarships, California Baptist University Online does their best to ensure distance learners find the financial aid they need to earn a degree. Support for online students comes in the form of Educational Service Centers; enrollment counselors; One-Stop Student Advisors; and 24/7 online tutoring. Career Service professionals are also available to help with tricky areas like résumé writing, interviewing, and job searches.
All of these factors add up to a respectable reputation. CBU has been ranked in the nation’s top 40 Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News & World Report for several years in a row.
10. Point Park UniversityPoint Park University’s online BSIT is a real-world degree taught by faculty in the Rowland School of Business. You can expect to see a visible dedication to key IT areas such as web development, big data, cyber security, and information management. You’ll also be encouraged to develop your own apps and tools and even participate in part-time internships for credit.
PPU’s 120-credit hour degree consists of 8-week courses. While completing the curriculum, you’ll gain a lot of exposure to current IT issues and important corporate concerns, including:
- Thematic Core Courses (42 Credit Hours): Investigative Science, Explore the World, Discover Technology, etc.
- Department Major Requirements (60 Credit Hours): Databases, Networking & Security, Introduction to Programming, Server Management, Introductory Accounting, Business Law, Business Analytics, etc.
- Departmental Elective Requirements (9 Credit Hours): Networking, Mobile Application, Digital Security, Data Mining, NoSQL Databases, etc.
- General Elective Requirements (9 Credit Hours): Educational content that meets both personal and professional interests.
Point Park University puts their money where their mouth is—literally—by offering more than 90% of their students some form of financial assistance—online degree programs are covered in most of these offerings. Other highlights of this program include small class sizes, convenient scheduling, focused career opportunities, and affordable tuition costs.
9. Liberty UniversityLiberty’s online BSIT is what we like to call an “affordable all-rounder.” Although it’s administered by the School of Business, it leans hard on relevant IT tools and skills and allows you to specialize in a number of career-focused disciplines. Tuition is inexpensive and credit transfers are encouraged. We should also point out that it’s taught within the context of a Christian worldview. Graduates find jobs as computer programmers, network administrators, security specialists, software developers, and the like.
Liberty University’s 120-credit program consists of 8-week courses. Throughout the degree, you’ll be studying fundamental IT subjects such as Web Architecture and Development Programming, Studies in Information Security, Enterprise Systems & Integration, Object-Oriented Programming, and Hardware and Software. But you’ll also be allowed to take four courses in one of the following specializations:
- Gaming Design: Graphic Design, Digital Imaging, 3D Graphics, and Interactive Game Development.
- Data Networking and Security: Information Security Planning, Network Security, Cyber Security, and Networking and Communication Systems.
- Web and Mobile Programming: Client-Side Programming, Server-Side Programming, Web and Mobile Programming, and Business Common Professional Components.
- Application and Database Development: C# Programming, Oracle, Advanced Oracle, and Web Enterprise Technologies.
Better yet, you can transfer up to 75% of your previous credit hours into the program.
Liberty University tries very hard to keep tuition affordable for all students, including distance learners. It offers a number of scholarships to online students and electronic textbooks are supplied at no additional cost. Veterans receive a substantial tuition discount and college credit is granted for military training. Firefighters, police officers, paramedics, and other first responders are also eligible for a special First Responder Discount.
8. Daytona State CollegeAlready hold an associate’s degree? Looking for a deep dive into all aspects of information systems? DSC’s online BSIT may be just the ticket. Taught by faculty at the School of Engineering Technology, this degree completion program covers everything from development & delivery to project management & security. You must have an AA, AAS, or AS—or the equivalent—to apply, but after that you’ll be able to concentrate on all kinds of upper-level computing courses. Graduates often find employment in fields such as IT, network security, digital forensics, databases, and programming.
DSC’s section on Program Guides contains the latest curriculum for the online BSIT, including a sample program of study. In five semesters, you’ll be covering:
- Math Courses: Calculus, Algebra, Trigonometry, etc.
- IT Courses: Introduction to Telecommunications, Applied Cybersecurity, Operating Systems, Web Systems, Software Engineering, Systems Integration, etc.
- Specialization: 6 hours of coursework in Web Systems Programming or Cybersecurity & Cyberforensics
Coursework focuses on application over theory, and students are encouraged to prepare themselves for real-world problems.
Affordable is the key word that springs to mind for DSC. The college recently topped U.S. News & World Report’s rankings of least expensive public online bachelor’s degree programs for in-state students, and it’s often lurking in the top 25 of Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. As an online student, you’ll also have access to library services, one-on-one tutoring, writing workshops, tech support, and counseling opportunities.
7. Loyola University—ChicagoDon’t be thrown by the title—Loyola’s online BAIT is a well-respected, tech-heavy degree run by Department of Computer Science faculty. The program takes a unique Jesuit-based approach to computer programming and development, with an emphasis on IT management and real-world computing skills. Students who start out with just a basic understanding of technology will graduate with the knowledge they need to pursue graduate studies, take on a related IT career, or even shift their current profession in a different direction.
Loyola’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies is particularly friendly to working students—the 120-credit online BAIT is delivered in 8-week sessions of accelerated coursework, with some evening and weekend options available. Incoming transfer students may apply existing credits in different ways. Once you’re accepted, the online curriculum will typically play out like this:
- Major (39 Credit Hours): Includes courses such as Statistics; Software for Mobile Development; Introduction to Database Systems; Social, Legal, and Ethical Issues in Computing; etc.
- Core Requirements (9 Credit Hours): Students define their own values and the role they hope to play in the IT community and general society, serving the common good with solid ethics in work and thought.
- Mission-Specific Requirements (Up to 15 Credit Hours): Courses will depend on your specific area of interest.
- General Elective Credits: Requirements can also be filled through transfer hours, military transcripts, or other types of Non-Traditional Credit/Prior Learning Assessment.
Loyola’s web-based learning management systems provide plenty of opportunities for you to plunge into coursework & conversations, participate in web conferences, create video presentations, and chat with professors in real time. Looking for a job? You’ll find lots of assistance at Loyola’s Career Development Center (CDC). CDC’s online career and job management system called RamblerLink posts internships, volunteer options, and paid job opportunities. Visit the Student Support Services section for more detailed info.
We also like the fact that Loyola has proven street credentials in distance learning. The university often appears in the top 20 of U.S. News & World Report’s rankings for Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.
6. Kennesaw State UniversityPeach State residents, this one’s for you! KSU’s innovative online BASIT program is designed for students who have already earned an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in a computing subject from a member institution of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG). As long as you maintain a GPA of 2.3 or better, your initial AAS courses can be applied to the upper division piece of the BAS degree (2-3 years of study). The main goal of the BASIT is exactly the same as KSU’s BSIT—to prepare students for IT challenges ahead—but it puts a greater emphasis on areas like problem-solving, team projects, and global, societal & ethical solutions.
The general education requirements for KSU’s online BASIT consist of 67 semester hours, 43 of which are based in general education. Your remaining semester hours will be devoted to upper-level IT coursework such as Database Systems, Hardware/Software Concepts, Data Communications & Networks, Information Security Administration, and the like.
KSU maintains a list of updated curriculum sheets for its computer-focused programs, including the BASIT.
Distance education courses at KSU are offered in both an online and hybrid (1/2 in class and 1/2 online) format, making the BASIT extra flexible for Georgia residents. In addition, KSU uses a popular learning management software called Desire2Learn (D2L); you can explore the experience through a course tour.
Furthermore, Kennesaw State University tries to strengthen online student engagement through a great number of student organizations, research opportunities, and social events. It also encourages IT students to participate in one of the biggest and oldest programming competitions in the world—the International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC).
5. University of Cincinnati-Main CampusAre you passionate about finding solutions for global IT issues facing people, societies, and businesses? If so, this ABET-accredited online BSIT from University of Cincinnati may be just the right fit. Unlike other BSIT programs in our list that focus more on management information systems and computer science, this degree explores the needs of users within IT environments. This means you’ll be guided towards the creation, application, and integration of administrative and computing technologies. Think job titles such as computer programmer, web developer, and software creator!
Online BSIT students are required to complete four 15-credit semesters of basic requirements in courses such as Fundamentals of IT, English Composition, and Discrete Math. After you’ve finished your requirements, you’ll be able to concentrate on a specific learning track, such as:
- Cybersecurity: Penetrating Testing, Network Security, and more.
- Networking/Systems: Scripting Languages, Cloud Computing, and more.
- Game Development & Simulation: Game Design & Society, Game Engine Lab, and more.
- Software Application Development: Mobile Device Programming, Software Design, and more.
It’s also worth mentioning that the University of Cincinnati now offers various accelerated BSIT/master’s programs, including an Accelerated BSIT and MSIT. You can earn a bachelor’s and a graduate degree in as little as five years.
UC’s School of Information Technology offers academic advising, access to computer labs, scholarships & financial aid, software downloads, online tutoring, career resources, and a host of blogs, books, and other print material. As an online BSIT student, you’ll also have access to a few different Information Technology Centers, including the:
- Information Technology Solutions Center (ITSC): ITSC draws on the power of computing technology and data to find meaningful and affordable solutions for people and their various endeavors. It supports all members of UC’s IT community in pursuing (and funding) projects and ideas for the future.
- IT Learning Center: Open to all IT students, this academic resource offers Monday through Friday tutoring via email, phone, or face-to-face.
- Innovation Lab: The lab gives students a chance to work alongside dedicated faculty members in paid positions. These opportunities not only build experience, but they contribute to the ongoing “think tank” mentality of UC.
4. Florida International UniversityFIU’s online BAIT is perfect for students who already have an existing degree (or one in progress) and are hoping to complete another from an accredited learning institution. As a second degree, it will help you build up your IT knowledge in areas like network security, website construction, and project management, while still expanding your hands-on skills in innovation and teamwork. You’ll have the benefit of a slightly broader perspective, one that empowers you to work with both computers and the people who design and manage them.
Before tackling any core courses for this 120-credit degree, you must complete core credits in Programming in Java, Math Concepts for IT or Discrete Structures, and Computer Data Analysis or Introduction to Microcomputers or Introduction to Micro for Business. Once you’ve finished those, your choices will expand into broader IT subjects, including:
- Intermediate Java
- Human Computer Interaction
- Computer Operating Systems
- Applied Computer Networking
- Information Storage and Retrieval
You’ll also be invited to enrich your learning with two chosen elective courses (e.g. Data Communications, IT Automation, Mobile Application Development, etc.).
FIU offers ongoing live chat and tech support through its LMS Help Community. The Learning Center will provide you with a complete series of video tutorials to ensure you get the most out of your learning experience. Online students also receive access to a free mobile Canvas app compatible with Apple and Android devices.
FIU is a public university, so in-state students receive a sizeable per credit hour tuition break.
3. Colorado State University-Global Campus
CSU-Globals’s online BSIT is geared toward students who want to establish a first foothold in the industry. The university prides itself on offering an affordable, hands-on program for folks who need training in key IT areas such as software engineering, programming, network analysis, technology troubleshooting, and project management. You’ll be prepared for various professional certification exams (e.g. CompTIA) and trained in core fundamentals that appeal to hiring managers. In fact, CSU-Global has created special Awards of Completion and related skills endorsements (e.g. Information Systems Management & Architecture; Network and Information Security Analysis; etc.) that specifically highlight workplace skills.
The core of CSU-Global’s 120-credit BSIT consists of 10 three-credit courses in the IT major (e.g. Basic Programming, Introduction to Networks, Information Systems & Security, Database Management, etc.) and a fourth year IT practicum. Most online “Module” classes (e.g. Leadership Basics) will include some discussion, critical thinking, and portfolio work, as well as real-world applications in your focus area.
In addition, this program includes a dizzying number of undergraduate specializations, including IT-focused areas such as Computer Programming, Cyber Security, and Data Management & Analysis, as well as business-focused topics such as Small Business Management, Healthcare Management, and more.
A specialization is not required to complete a bachelor’s degree, but it’s a lovely extra for your résumé. Each specialization has five upper-division courses equaling 15 credit hours, all of which will supplement your major courses.
Depending on your desired pace and scheduling, this accelerated program comprised of 8-week courses can be completed in less time than a traditional on-campus degree. Rather than having to wait a full semester or trimester for an instructor to offer a certain course, students can choose whatever they need, whenever they need it. Incoming students with transfer credits, Competency Based Exams, or Prior Learning Assessments can apply those hours to certain credit requirements.
CSU-Global has a range of great student services, including a 24/7 digital library, academic tutoring, and full technical support. To connect online learners to their peers, CSU-Global has also developed online discussion boards and virtual study groups through Skype, Zoom, and Google Hangouts. These platforms offer CSU-Global online students a place to review assignments, tests, notes, and questions together.
2. Purdue University-Main CampusPurdue’s online BSIT is a practical beast. It focuses on giving students a working knowledge of major IT concepts and the tools, technologies, and methods needed to implement them. You’ll be trained to handle technical issues, design information systems, evaluate products and practices, juggle multiple projects, and more. Better yet, earning good grades in certain undergraduate degree courses will give you the option to enroll in an accelerated version of Purdue Global’s online MS in Information Technology or Cybersecurity Management—an excellent way to save on tuition costs. If you’re interested in finding a meaningful career in programming, database management, network administration, information security, or even consulting, this program is designed for you.
ASU’s online BSIT degree is ABET-accredited and the curriculum offers concentrations in the following areas:
- IT Management: Ethical Hacking, Application Development, Project Management, and more.
- Networking and Network Administration: Linux and Windows OS, Network Design, Security, and more.
- Information Security and Assurance: Networking, Digital Forensics, Cybersecurity, and more.
- Programming and Software Development: Coding, Software Development, Programming, and more.
You’ll be expected to demonstrate mastery of your required courses through Course-Level Assessment (CLA), which ensures you’ll have the skills, knowledge, abilities, and habits you need for future success.
To keep the curriculum relevant, Purdue has established a panel of successful IT professionals known as The School of Business and Information Technology Advisory Board. That means the program is constantly updated to reflect expert advice on IT trends, educational initiatives, community-building efforts, and external student opportunities.
From academic podcasts and career assistance to live tutoring and a Center for Disability Services, online students are given all the resources they need to succeed in their remote learning experience. You can also count on plenty of peer connections, including industry networking sessions, leadership opportunities, and group study options.
Trying to buff up your résumé? Purdue’s career-focused courses are designed to prepare you for fundamental IT certification exams. Already have some of those certifications? You may be able to apply them for credit toward your BSIT degree.
And then there are the tuition breaks. We recommend you check with your employer to see if it’s a Purdue Global partner organization. Employees of these organizations are often eligible for special tuition reductions; you may also be able to earn college credit for corporate training programs. International students living outside of the United States are eligible for a 25% tuition reduction. Current service members receive a 55% tuition discount per credit; veterans receive a 38% tuition discount per credit.
1. Arizona State UniversityRun by ASU’s highly respected Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, this 120-credit online BSIT has a strong design & engineering slant. You’ll be trained to handle complex database systems and deal with big data applications, all with a keen eye for security and real-world issues. Almost every semester, online students are asked to create a unique project solution for a real-world IT challenge. The syllabus also includes an in-depth capstone project. If you’re looking for a well-paid job as a computer systems analyst or information security analyst, this is a BS worth investigating.
The online BSIT begins with general education fundamentals such as First Year Composition, Brief Calculus, and Psychology, as well as IT fundamentals such as IT Programming Logic, Computer and Network Systems, and Information Modeling, Storage, and Retrieval. The program then expands into six upper division classes, equivalent to 45 credits, with three possible tracks, which are fully accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission (CAC) of ABET:
- Information Systems: SQL Programming, Analyzing Big Data, Database Architectures, and more.
- Enterprise Computing: Funding the Enterprise, Internet Structures, Enterprise Strategy and Innovation, and more.
- Networking and Computer System Security: Security Architecture, Network Forensics, Socket Programming, and more.
Online students should check with their Academic Advisor for more information about possible upper division options.
Fulton Schools of Engineering has 320+ faculty members, some of whom are Nobel Laureates and National Academy Members. But we’re more impressed with the young faculty teaching awards—be sure to check out who’s teaching your focus area courses. ASU also makes a dedicated effort to engage online students in a vibrant learning community. The ASU Online Newsroom has tons of info about top student achievements, honors events, fun education programs, and study abroad opportunities.
How to Find the Right Bachelor’s in Information Technology Program
What is a Bachelor’s in Information Technology Degree?
- Defining an Information Technology Degree: Most undergraduate IT degrees are a combo of hard-core IT training and business & management studies. The technical courses are intended to prepare you for common job responsibilities (e.g. designing information systems, wrangling databases, handling networks, patching security breaches, etc.). And the business courses will help you understand how your work relates to the corporate world (e.g. ethics, cyber law, project management, etc.). It’s a degree that’s intended to land you a job.
- BA vs. BS: Unfortunately, there’s no real consistency with IT degree titles. A Bachelor of Arts in IT may contain just as many hard-core technical subjects as a Bachelor of Science. Have a close read of our rankings and talk to graduates to see if they’re satisfied with the knowledge they acquired. We also recommend you explore which department is offering the program (e.g. Department of Computer Science or Engineering vs. College of Business). They’re the ones calling the shots on what courses are included in the curriculum.
- Information Technology vs. Information Science (IS): We’ve included both options in our list, but be aware that they have different slants. In particular, BSIS degrees are usually much less technical. For example, they may be interested in exploring the effects of social media, ethical issues concerning privacy, the shifting terrain of digital law, manipulating information, etc. Pay careful attention to which skills are covered in the curriculum.
- Information Technology vs. Computer Science or Engineering: IT programs usually focus on practical and applied learning—they’re teaching you how digital systems function in the real world. In contrast, computer science and engineering degrees are often more concerned with why things work. One way to look at it is that computer engineers and scientists are the builders of a house, while IT professionals are the ones who live in it, always seeking effective ways to live more efficiently. Talk to your mentors if you’re in any doubt.
- Information Technology vs. Cyber Security: This can be a tricky choice. Security is a hot button topic, and a lot of employers are looking for IT experts who are ready to handle attacks. In addition, many programs in our list of Best Online Cyber Security Bachelor’s Degrees start off with a general IT feel, before they plunge into security & forensics topics. On the other hand, a broad-based IT degree can give you much more flexibility in the job market and a true handle on day-to-day technical concerns. Talk to mentors if you’re on the fence. Remember that you always have the option to pursue a master’s in cyber security later down the track.
- Hybrid vs. 100% Online: We’ve included both options in our list. “Hybrid” means you spend some time on-campus and some time online. Each option has its pluses & minuses. A hybrid degree will give you more hours in computer labs and chances to network with professors, but it also involves commuting. 100% online learning can be lonely and challenging at the undergraduate level. Pick the one that fits your personality.
How to Choose an Information Technology Program
- Core Subjects: Bachelor’s degrees in IT typically contain a core of fundamental concepts (e.g. information systems, database management, software development, networking, programming, network administration, cyber security, etc.) as well as coverage of emerging technologies (e.g. cloud, mobile, etc.). Make sure you’re covering all the recommended skills in job descriptions.
- Specializations & Concentrations: Play time! Lots of programs in our list include great IT specializations (e.g. gaming design, software design, digital forensics, etc.) that will give you the chance to concentrate on your area of interest. Take a moment to find out who’s teaching these courses. They may end up as your mentors.
- Internships & Practicums: We favor online IT degrees that include mandatory internships, practicums, and/or senior-year capstone projects. You want as many opportunities as possible to apply your coursework to real-world scenarios. Can you create your own apps or programs? Can you work in an IT department that’s handling multiple issues? You want to impress the pants off a hiring manager.
- IT Certification Preparation: If you’re aiming to add common certifications to your résumé (e.g. CompTIA), be aware that some IT programs will help you prepare you for the exams. We’ve noted opportunities in our descriptions.
- Faculty: Online teaching awards, great student reviews, fascinating research work, relevant industry certifications—these are markers of excellent IT professors. Look up their bios and talk to graduates of the program about their experiences. Keep in mind that alumni will usually list their bachelor’s degree (university + title) on LinkedIn.
- Online Support: Distance learning can be intimidating, especially if you’re working at the same time. Opt for online IT programs with easy-to-use learning interfaces, free tutoring, 24/7 IT support, networking opportunities, video conferencing, and the like.
- Career Opportunities: What’s the employment rate for undergraduates? What companies do they work for? Does the program have partnerships with major tech companies? Are students happy with their internships? Reputable universities will give you the straight talk on job options.
- Networking: Great online IT programs will find a way to connect you with student organizations (even if only remotely). They’ll also encourage you to participate in student IT competitions, help fund conference travel, and support your applications to professional groups.
How to Pay for an Information Technology Program
- Public/State University vs. Private University: Read the tuition & rates section carefully. Some public schools give standard tuition breaks to in-state students; others have a fixed online tuition rate for all students, regardless of where they live. Even private colleges and universities will have special online tuition discounts.
- Completion Degrees & Credit Transfers: Do you already have an associate’s degree under your belt? There are plenty of IT degree completion programs that can get you finished in minimal time. Don’t have an official degree? We outline options for various credit transfers in our descriptions. You can often get credit for military experience, certification exams, prior learning experiences, and more.
- IT Scholarships & Tuition Discounts: IT is a high-demand field, so colleges & universities often have extra funds to distribute to undergraduate students (even online ones!). We’ve flagged opportunities in our descriptions, but it’s worth doing some research in the financial aid section of the university’s website. Remember, too, that your current employer may be willing to help with tuition reimbursement.
- Military & Veterans: Tons of colleges and universities on this list offer big tuition discounts to military and veterans, especially active service members. Sometimes even family members can qualify! And we haven’t even begun to talk about Yellow Ribbon, Tuition Assistance (TA), and DSST credit transfers. Visit the Military section of the university’s website for the full scoop.
For this ranking of best online bachelor’s degrees in IT, we considered a number of variables, including program-specific accreditation, quality markers, and outside rankings. The top schools on our list earned their place because of strong performances in the following areas:
- U.S. News and World Report rankings of the best schools with programs in business management information systems, information technology, and computer engineering.
- Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) data on student completions for bachelor’s degrees in information technology and computer and information sciences and support services.
- ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) program accreditation
Because our rankings are anchored in diligent research, the #1 school is a great place to start your search. However, it’s worth noting that personal preference is going to play a part in your decision. A hybrid BASIT with a substantial tuition break for in-state residents may be much more useful to you than a 100% online BSIT from a private university across the country. And an online IT degree offered by a College of Business may suit your goals better than a math-heavy IT program offered by a Department of Computer Science. Find the shoe that fits!