25 Best Associate’s in Computer Science Degrees for 2017

Choosing the right college for an associate’s degree in computer science is key to getting a successful start in this field.

How do you know which college is the right one? The answer depends largely on you: on your interests, professional goals, preferred learning method, and geographic location.

But to help you get a sense of your options, we’ve compiled this ranking. It features some truly outstanding associate’s degrees in computer science.

What kind of computer science degree should you get?

If you’re just getting started with computer science, an associate’s degree is a perfect choice.

These degrees typically take only two years to earn. They can pave the way for further education, or they can give you the qualifications for your first job in computer science.

If you’re confident in your computer science goals and have a good sense of your professional interests, you can take the plunge straight into a bachelor’s degree program. Our ranking for the Best Online Bachelor’s in Computer Science Degrees can provide you with some options.

How much money do people make with an associate’s degree in computer science?

Based on data from PayScale, the average starting salary for a graduate with an associate’s degree in computer science is $39,444. Five to nine years after graduation, that average salary climbs to $60,350.

What can you do with an associate’s degree in computer science?

An associate’s degree can provide you with the skills and qualifications for an entry-level computer science job. After graduation, you may find work as a computer support specialist, computer programmer, or database manager.

What are the requirements for an associate’s degree in computer science?

Many community colleges that offer associate’s degrees have an “open door” policy. There are typically few requirements for high school GPA.

However, it’s generally recommended that students going into an associate’s degree program take at least three years of mathematics in high school. Taking electives in computer science while still in high school is also helpful.

What are the best associate’s degrees in computer science?

The following ranking is based on data from a number of sources. We collect information from individual college websites, the National Center for Education Statistics' IPEDS database, PayScale, and U.S. News & World Report.

Each school is then assessed for factors such as graduation rate, average tuition costs, endowment size, institutional reputation, and average financial aid packages. By incorporating all of these important factors into our methodology, we’re able to provide a comprehensive, holistic ranking for each associate’s degree in computer science.

1. Seminole State College

Overview

With four campuses located throughout Central Florida, Seminole State College is a member institution of the Florida College System. As one of the fastest growing colleges in the nation, Seminole State offers six bachelor’s degrees and numerous associate’s degrees. The Computer Science and Information Technology department grants Bachelor of Science, Associate of Science, and Associate of Arts degrees.

Program Features

The Associate of Arts degree in Computer Science is a 60 credit hour program. The degree program is designed specifically to transfer to a four-year institution in Florida. Beyond the basic prerequisites for an Associate of Arts degree, Computer Science students will take the following courses:

  • Analytic Geometry and Calculus
  • Physics with Calculus
  • Statistical Methods
  • Introduction to Computer Programming

Notables

In addition to the associate’s degree in Computer Science, Seminole State also offers an array of professional certificate programs. Topics for these certificates include Computer Repair and Installation, Information Technology Analysis, Network Server Administration, and many more. Seminole State offers a wide variety of financial aid, scholarships, and financing options. This includes federal work-study jobs, which are available both on and off campus. The accessible support services at the Financial Aid Office help Seminole State rank highly for affordability.

 

2. George C. Wallace State Community College

Overview

Located in Hanceville, Alabama, George C. Wallace State Community College serves over 7,000 students each semester. As a member of the Alabama Community College System, WSCC offers over 50 academic programs leading to degrees and certificates. Credit hours earned from Wallace State come with a guarantee of transferability to any Alabama public college or university. The associate’s degree in Computer Science is one of the many excellent options at WSCC.

Program Features

The Computer Science program at Wallace State Community College prepares students for careers in business, with a particular emphasis in small business settings. The Associate in Applied Science has four distinct tracks: Cyber Security/Computer Forensic Technology, Programming, Software Support (Help Desk), and Internet/Networking Technology. Coursework within this program includes:

  • Advanced Visual Basic Programming
  • Microcomputer Operating Systems
  • Database Management Systems
  • Systems Analysis and Design

Notables

Wallace State boasts a number of partnerships and collaborations with highly acclaimed regional institutions such as the University of Alabama, Auburn University, Athens State University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and Troy University. Students who plan to earn a bachelor’s degree can take advantage of these partnerships, which are designed to allow for seamless transitions into a four-year program. Short-term certificates (12 to 15 credit hours) are available in Microsoft Applications, Computer Programming, and Web Technology.

 

3. Northwest Iowa Community College

Overview

Established in 1966, Northwest Iowa Community College is the oldest community college in the state. NWICC is among the smallest and most rural of community colleges in Iowa, but it also boasts some of the most impressive accolades: CNN Money ranked it seventh in the nation for graduate success. It was also ranked among the top 150 community colleges nationwide by the Aspen Institute in 2015. The Associate of Science in Computer Science is a practical, hands-on program that’s the perfect starting point for a computer science career.

Program Features

At NWICC, associate’s degree candidates can choose from three available concentrations: Programming, Networking, or Web Development/Programming. The A.S. in Computer Science program is four semesters long and require between 32 and 35 credits (depending on the concentration). For the Database and Web emphasis, the following courses are required:

  • Fundamentals of Web Page Programming
  • Data Base and SQL
  • Web Development
  • Server Side Web Programming

Notables

Students in all three Computer Science concentrations will take the same classes during their first year. Full-time students in the A.S. program must start in the fall semester. Part-time students, however, can enroll during any term. The Computer Science program is noted for having an extremely strong curriculum. The advanced coursework for this degree track prepares students for the changing computer science industry.

 

4. South Texas College

Overview

South Texas College offers a rich variety of associate’s degrees, bachelor’s degrees, and professional certifications—over 150 academic programs in total. The Technology and Pecan campuses of South Texas are located in McAllen, in the Rio Grande Valley. Other campuses are located throughout Hidalgo and Starr Counties. South Texas offers excellent associate’s degree programs in Computer Science and Computer Information Systems.

Program Features

Both the Computer Information Systems and the Computer Science associate’s degrees require 60 credit hours. These programs emphasize object-oriented programming and effective communication skills. Students will learn to develop and apply algorithms to scientific and mathematical problems. Computer Science students will take the following courses:

  • Introduction to Logic
  • C Programming
  • Programming Fundamentals
  • Computer Organization

Notables

The Computer Information Systems associate’s degree is best suited for aspiring web developers, project managers, database administrators, or computer support specialists. The Computer Science associate’s degree is ideal for students seeking a career as a desktop publisher, information security analyst, programmer analyst, or information scientist. South Texas College proudly claims the lowest tuition rates in the Rio Grande Valley. Through payment plans and Pell grants, many STC students are able to graduate completely debt-free.

 

5. De Anza College

Overview

Serving over 21,000 students on its 112-acre campus, De Anza College is located in Cupertino, California. The rich assortment of high-quality academic programs, student services, and learning resources have made De Anza a top choice for California students. The Business, Computer Science, and Applied Technologies Division offers a suite of Computer Science certifications, as well as an A.S. for Transfer in Computer Science.

Program Features

The Associate of Science in Computer Science is designed specifically for students who plan to transfer to a California State University campus. Honors sections are available for numerous courses. Many De Anza courses are available in online or hybrid formats as well as traditional on-site formats. Students in the A.S. for Transfer in Computer Science may take the following classes:

  • Physics for Scientists and Engineers: Mechanics
  • Discrete Mathematics
  • Data Abstraction and Structure
  • Beginning Programming Methodologies in C++

Notables

De Anza offers Certificates of Achievement or Certificates of Advanced Achievement in Network Administration, Visual Basic Programming, Database Design for Developers, and many other areas. De Anza offers a rich campus community, with 19 men’s and women’s intercollegiate sports and over 70 student clubs. The campus is also home to the California History Center, Euphrat Museum of Art, and Fujitsu Planetarium.

 

6. CUNY Kingsborough Community College

Overview

On a 71-acre campus overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Kingsborough Community College is the only community college in Brooklyn. A member institution of the City University of New York system, Kingsborough is one of 24 campuses scattered across New York’s five boroughs. The CUNY system is well known for excellence, having produced 70 Fulbright scholars and 7 Rhodes scholars in the recent past. The A.S. in Computer Science is one of the many acclaimed degree tracks offered at CUNY Kingsborough.

Program Features

Kingsborough’s Associate of Science in Computer Science degree requires between 60 and 64 credits. Students in the A.S. Computer Science program may apply for the Accelerated Study in Associate Program (ASAP) or for the Honors program. Department requirements for the associate’s degree in Computer Science include:

  • Advanced Programming Techniques
  • Computer and Assembly Language Programming
  • Linear Algebra
  • Biostatistics

Notables

Besides the A.S. Computer Science program, Kingsborough also offers an Associate of Applied Science in Computer Information Systems and an Associate of Science in Mathematics. Among all CUNY graduates, 8 out of 10 finish their degree with no federal loan debt. Six CUNY colleges have been ranked among the top 10 nationwide for promoting social mobility.

 

7. Lawson State Community College-Birmingham Campus

 

Overview

The original campus of Lawson State Community College is located in the southwestern area of Birmingham, Alabama. In 2005, Bessemer State Technical College was merged into Lawson State. Since then, Lawson has continued to expand and flourish. In 2013, the school was ranked number five among the Top 50 Community Colleges. An important component of the school’s strengthening reputation is its science and technology degrees, including an Associate of Applied Science in Computer Science.

Program Features

The A.A.S. degree at Lawson State is a 76 credit hour program. Within these 76 credits, students will be required to complete a total of 19 credit hours in prerequisite and general education courses, such as written composition, humanities, and social and behavioral sciences. The remaining 57 credit hours are in major courses. These major courses include:

  • Microcomputer Applications
  • Network Communications
  • Database Management Systems
  • Systems Analysis and Design

Notables

Because the degree program at Lawson leads to an A.A.S. (rather than an A.S.), this track is designed for students to go directly into a computer science occupation rather than transferring to a four-year institution. All students in this program will take a three-credit business internship during their final semester.

 

8. Park University

Overview

A private institution in a suburban setting, Park University is located on a 700-acre campus in Parkville, Missouri. The university’s rich history dates back over 140 years to its founding in 1875. Serving a total student body of roughly 18,700, Park University offers 15 certificates, nine associate’s degrees, 47 bachelor’s degrees, and seven master’s degrees. Among the nine associate’s degrees is a reputable and highly affordable Associate of Science in Information and Computer Science.

Program Features

The A.S. degree track at Park University requires 60 credit hours. Five total concentrations are available: Computer Science, Software Development, Networking and Security, Information Technology, and Data Management. Regardless of concentration, all Information and Computer Science students will take the following courses as part of the core curriculum:

  • Introduction to Computers
  • Programming Fundamentals
  • Managing Information Systems
  • Basic Concepts of Statistics

Notables

Related academic programs include a Bachelor of Science in Information and Computer Science, a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems, and a Certificate in Computer Networking. PayScale named Park University number two in the nation for students who live on campus on its College ROI Report. Park University has received widespread recognition as a military-friendly school from organizations such as the Military Times, Victory Media, and others.

 

9. Mt. San Antonio College

Overview

Over 200 degree tracks, certification programs, and training courses are available at Mt. San Antonio College. Located in the Los Angeles suburb of Walnut, California, Mt. SAC is a nonprofit community college with a student body of roughly 28,000. The school offers a broad range of academic resources and student services to bolster student success. The Associate of Science in Computer Programming is presented by the well-respected Business Division at Mt. SAC.

Program Features

The curriculum for the A.S. in Computer Programming balances client, server, and database programming. The program allows students to choose a concentration in a programming language. Options include C++, Visual Basic.NET or Java. The core coursework for this degree includes:

  • Systems Analysis and Design
  • Linux Operating System and Linux Operating System Laboratory
  • Principles of Object-Oriented Design
  • Database Management - Microsoft SQL Server and Database Management - Microsoft SQL Server Laboratory

Notables

The high-quality courses at Mt. San Antonio are by far some of the most affordable in the region, at just $46 per unit. For California residents, it costs just $1,400 per year to attend Mt. SAC. The majority of Mt. SAC students (72 percent) pay even less than that through financial aid packages.

 

10. Cypress College

Overview

With roughly 16,000 students, Cypress College is a leading member of the California Community Colleges System. The college recently celebrated its 50th anniversary as one of the premier community colleges in the state. Cypress has expanded considerably in the last several years, with a new science, engineering, and math building recently added to the campus. One of the programs supported by recent expansion efforts is the Math and Science emphasis for the Liberal Arts A.A. degree.

Program Features

The Liberal Arts Associate of Arts degree program at Cypress is designed for transfer to a four-year program at either a California State University or University of California school. The degree will cover the general education requirements for a bachelor’s degree, as well as provide a foundation in the student’s chosen emphasis. Available concentrations include Human Communications, Arts and Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Math and Science. For the Math and Science emphasis, students will take the following courses:

  • Multivariable Calculus
  • Linear Algebra/Differential Equations
  • General Physics
  • Probability and Statistics: Social Sciences

Notables

In 2017, Niche named Cypress College number one among 114 community colleges in California. CC has also been ranked third nationwide out of 228 mid-sized community colleges, and 27th for all community colleges in the U.S. by Niche. Cypress is located in southern California, west of Anaheim.

 

11. Jamestown Community College

Overview

The main campus of Jamestown Community College is in Jamestown, New York, with a student body of roughly 1,700. Another roughly 800 students attend either the North County or Cattaraugus location, and another 200 students take Jamestown classes online. Additional extension centers are located in Dunkirk, New York and Warren, Pennsylvania. JCC’s reputation for accessibility and affordability are front and center in the Associate of Science in Computer Science.

Program Features

The Computer Science A.S. is 60 credit hour program. The program features a number of transfer agreements to make it easy for students to move into a bachelor’s degree program after graduating from JCC. The A.S. degree can be earned entirely online. Core requirements for the program include:

  • Microcomputer Hardware & Systems Software
  • Computer Programming
  • Data Structures
  • Introduction to Networks

Notables

Full-time (12 credits or more per term) tuition for a New York resident averages $4,630 per year. Financial aid is readily available in the form of grants, loans, scholarships, and work-study programs. Eight out of 10 JCC students receive some form of financial aid. The Chronicle of Higher Education ranked JCC the “Top Performing Public Two-Year College in New York.”

 

12. Hawaii Pacific University

Overview

For over 50 years, Hawaii Pacific University has been serving the community of Honolulu and beyond. The university has seen a number of exciting developments in recent years. In 2014, the Oceanic Institute merged with HPU, adding new scientific facilities and exciting research opportunities for students. In 2015, revitalization efforts led to the construction of oceanfront dorms and new community spaces. The Associate of Science in Computer Science is an excellent example of HPU’s rigorous academics and student-centered environment.

Program Features

The A.S. Computer Science program prepares students to develop software using data structures, abstraction, and object-oriented methodologies. The program is available fully online through the Military Campus Programs. Students in this 60-credit program will take the following courses:

  • Foundation of Programming
  • Discrete Mathematics for Computer Science
  • Computer Science
  • Data Structures

Notables

HPU is well-known for low tuition rates and plentiful financial aid opportunities. During the 2017-2018 academic year alone, the school granted over $45 million in institutional aid. PayScale named HPU the top school in Hawaii in its annual College ROI Report, with a 20-year ROI that was $65,000 ahead of HPU’s closest in-state competition. The university has earned a number of other distinctions for military friendliness, diversity, and quality of life.

 

13. Lord Fairfax Community College

Overview

Lord Fairfax Community College operates four locations throughout the Shenandoah Valley and Piedmont region in the state of Virginia. The college offers more than 75 academic programs leading to associate’s degrees, professional certificates, and workforce training courses. LFCC offers a practical and highly affordable Associate of Science degree, with specializations available in Engineering, Forensic Science, Health Professions, and Computer Science.

Program Features

The A.S. degree with a specialization in Computer Science is designed to be a four-semester, two-year program. It is designed for transfer to a baccalaureate program in computer software, applications and systems development, and engineering. Requirements for the Computer Science specialization include:

  • Orientation for IT Professional
  • Introduction to Computer Science
  • Calculus with Analytic Geometry
  • Computer Organization

Notables

The cost of attendance at LFCC is roughly one third the cost of attendance at a typical Virginia four-year public institution. For a Virginia resident taking 12 credit hours, the total tuition is approximately $1,855. Many students pay less than this through grants, scholarships, or other forms of financial aid. The college offers over 40 guaranteed transfer agreements. This ensures that students can seamlessly move from LFCC into a bachelor’s degree program without losing any of the academic credits they’ve already earned.

 

14. CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College

Overview

The Borough of Manhattan Community College describes itself as a reflection of the best of Manhattan: “the culture of Tribeca, the vibrancy of Wall Street, and the promise of the Statue of Liberty.” BMCC was founded in 1964 as a member of the City University of New York network. Today, the college serves over 27,000 students in 45 associate’s degree programs, including a renowned Associate of Science in Computer Science.

Program Features

Students in the A.S. Computer Science track will take 12 credits in a required common core and 18 credits in a flexible common core (with elective options in creative expression, global diversity, and other topics). The remaining 30 credit hours for the program will be earned in major-specific courses. Curriculum for the Computer Science major includes:

  • Advanced Programming Techniques
  • Fundamentals of Computer Systems
  • Software Development
  • Discrete Structures and Applications to Computer Science

Notables

CUNY Borough of Manhattan also offers an Associate of Science in Engineering Science, Mathematics, and Biotechnology Science. An Applied Associate of Science (which is not designed for transfer to a four-year institution) is available in Computer Information Systems and Computer Network Technology. BMCC prides itself on providing a wide variety of support services to meet the needs of its students, including Immigration Support, LGBTQ Services, a Veterans Resource Center, and more.

 

15. Weber State University

Overview

Based in Ogden, Utah, Weber State University also operates campuses throughout Utah, with satellite locations in Clearfield, Roy, Morgan, Layton, and Farmington. Weber State ranks well for affordability in a variety of aspects. The Student Loan Report ranked it among the top 10 universities in the nation for lowest student loan debt for parents. The university came in at number 11 on Great Value Colleges’ ranking of 50 Best Colleges for Adult Education. The value of a Weber State education is especially strong for the A.A.S. in Computer Science program.

Program Features

The Associate of Applied Science requires a minimum of 63 credit hours. Forty of these credits will come from major-specific courses. Students will need to complete between 15 and 17 credit hours every semester to finish in two years. The required courses for the Computer Science program include:

  • Object-Oriented Programming
  • Network Fundamentals and Design
  • Introduction to Database Design and SQL
  • Computer Architecture and Organization

Notables

Weber students who earn a 3, 4, or 5 on the Computer Science Advanced Placement A exam can receive 8 to 12 credit hours towards their degree requirements. One of the university’s main draws is its distinguished faculty: Of the 974 faculty members, 73 percent hold terminal degrees in their field.

 

16. Iowa Western Community College

Overview

Offering programs in vocational, technical, and liberal arts fields, Iowa Western Community College serves a student body of roughly 5,500. The main campus is located near Omaha, Nebraska, in the town of Council Bluffs. IWCC offers more than 84 associate’s degree and certificate options, which are ideal as standalone programs or for transfer to a four-year university. The A.A. in Computer Science is an affordable, hands-on option for students who plan to earn a bachelor’s degree in the future.

Program Features

A total of 64 credit hours are required for the Associate of Arts in Computer Science. Four concentrations are available within this program: Application Programming, Computer Networking, Web Programming, and e-Commerce. Classes are offered both at the Council Bluffs campus and online. For the Application Programming concentration, required coursework includes:

  • Operating Systems
  • Database and SQL
  • Java
  • Fundamentals of Network Security

Notables

The average class size for the Computer Science program is just 14 students. Students may enroll full-time or part-time. Program starts are available in the fall, spring, and summer terms. The associate’s degree is designed for transfer into a four-year program at another university, and the college offers extensive resources and support to help streamline the transition to another school.

 

17. Saint Paul College

Overview

Although Saint Paul College is a relatively small, two-year school, it offers many of the resources and benefits of a larger four-year university. For example, Saint Paul students can take advantage of the free tutoring services and dedicated transfer and career placement offices. Saint Paul had a student body of roughly 11,000 and is located in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan region of Minnesota. The A.S. in Computer Science offers students the opportunity to easily transfer to a higher degree program, or to immediately secure a job in computer science.

Program Features

Of the 60 credit hours required for the A.S. Computer Science, half will be in general education requirements. The remaining credit hours will be earned in Computer Science courses. Students who graduate with this degree will be prepared for immediate employment in computer programming or database management. Program requirements for Computer Science students include:

  • Computer Science and Information Systems
  • Introduction to Algorithms and Data Structures
  • Advanced Programming Principles
  • Machine Architecture and Organization

Notables

Coursework for the Computer Science program is available online, in a hybrid format, or in traditional classroom settings on the St. Paul, Minnesota campus. On-campus students will have the opportunity to learn in professional grade, industry standard labs.

 

18. Bakersfield College

Overview

Established in 1913, Bakersfield College is one of the nation’s oldest community colleges in continuous operation. The college has three locations: a 153-acre main campus in northeast Bakersfield, the Weill Institute in downtown Bakersfield, and the Delano Center 35 miles north of Bakersfield. Students in an A.S. for Transfer program, including the Computer Science specialization, will find that Bakersfield is an ideal stepping stone to a four-year degree.

Program Features

The Associate of Science for Transfer degree is designed for students who plan to complete their bachelor’s degree at a California State University school. Students who complete 60 credit hours at Bakersfield College can easily transfer to a CSU campus and begin immediately taking upper division classes. Core curriculum for the A.S.-T. in Computer Science includes:

  • Programming Concepts and Methodologies
  • Computer Architecture and Organization
  • Discrete Structures
  • Analytic Geometry and Calculus

Notables

The Computer Science program provides a strong foundation for students pursuing a career in software engineering, cloud computing, database administration, network security, web development, and more. Bakersfield College offers traditional on-site classes in a 16-week format, as well as flexible options for evening classes, weekend classes, and online classes. In addition to associate’s degrees, the college also offers a number of short-term vocational programs, including a CompTIA Certificate of Achievement.

 

19. Lake Michigan College

Overview

Lake Michigan College is located in Benton Harbor, Michigan and serves more than 7,000 credit and noncredit students each school year. The vibrant campus community and rigorous academic programs have made LMC a strong choice for a four-year or two-year degree. In particular, the Associate of Applied Science in Computer Science provides experiential learning opportunities that can be applied to a variety of computer and technology occupations.

Program Features

The degree track leading to an A.A.S. in Computer Science requires a total of 60 credit hours. The program emphasizes a balance of technical skills and soft skills such as team-building and communication. Requirements within the Computer Science major include the following courses:

  • Engineering Design and Graphics
  • C++ Programming
  • Differential Equations
  • Engineering Physics

Notables

LMC offers a high degree of accessibility, with classes available on four campuses. The school also offers online and hybrid classes. Tuition at LMC is between half and two thirds lower than all four-year institutions in Michigan. Over 1,000 students from 30 high schools take advantage of LMC’s Early College program. LMC also maintains on-campus program partnerships with a number of universities, including Siena Heights University, Western Michigan University, and Spring Arbor University.

 

20. SUNY Adirondack

Overview

SUNY Adirondack serves Warren, Washington and northern Saratoga Counties of New York. Established in 1961 as Adirondack Community College, the school was renamed in 2010 to reflect its status as part of the State University of New York system. Today, students at the college can pursue one of 30 academic programs, including popular associate’s degrees in Business Administration, Engineering Science, Media Arts, and Computer Science.

Program Features

The Associate of Science in Computer Science introduces students to topics such as computer architecture, theory of computation, software engineering, and artificial intelligence. The program also provides a strong foundation in algorithm development, programming languages, and hardware capabilities. Specific course titles in this program include:

  • Intermediate Programming in a Windows Environment
  • Data Structures and Objects in C++
  • Computer Systems and Programming
  • Discrete Mathematics

Notables

In addition to the required curriculum, students will have the chance to customize their associate’s degree with several computer science electives. Available elective courses include Server Side Scripting, Network Technology, and Database Management Systems. The school has a well-deserved reputation for affordability: SUNY Adirondack has the lowest tuition rates of any institution, public or private, in the local region. About 79 percent of Adirondack students receive financial aid, and 54 percent graduate completely debt-free.

 

21. MiraCosta College

Overview

MiraCosta College enrolls roughly 14,000 credit students, primarily on its main campus in Oceanside, California. This beautiful campus is located on the coasts of northern San Diego County, roughly 90 miles south of Los Angeles. A second MiraCosta location, the San Elijo campus, operates in Cardiff, California. The Computer Science Fundamentals program at MiraCosta is available as an Associate of Arts degree or as a Certificate of Achievement.

Program Features

Students who will enroll in a four-year program after the A.A. have a degree of flexibility in their classes, to ensure that they will meet the requirements of their transfer institution. The A.A. curriculum is the same as the Certificate of Achievement in Computer Science Fundamentals, plus the general education requirements for all Associate of Arts degrees. Required courses within the Computer Science major include:

  • Introduction to Computer Science I: Java
  • Basic Data Structures and Algorithms
  • Advanced C++ Programming
  • Computer Architecture and Assembly Language

Notables

Besides Computer Science Fundamentals, MiraCosta also offers associate of arts degrees in Computer Applications Professional for Business, Computer Studies, and Network and Desktop Systems Administration. At $46 per credit hour for California residents, MiraCosta is a highly affordable option. A full year of enrollment is roughly $1,080 for in-state students.

 

22. Odessa College

Overview

Odessa College was recently named one of 10 finalists in the nation for the 2017 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. In 2013, Odessa was designated an Achieving the Dream Leader College. This distinction recognized Odessa for being among the top 7 percent of community colleges nationwide for eliminating achievement gaps and promoting student success. Located in west Texas, Odessa College is a respected institution for academic programs in business administration, fire technology, nursing, computer science, and more.

Program Features

The Associate of Science in Computer Science is a 60-credit program with a defined two-year pathway. Courses for the Computer Science program include:

  • Business Computer Applications
  • Programming Fundamentals
  • Computer Organization and Machine Language
  • Calculus

Notables

The curriculum for the A.S. in Computer Science degree is designed to mirror the first two years of a typical bachelor’s degree in this field. Students can work with the department chair to arrange a degree plan that reflects their post-graduation plans. The college also offers certificates in Fundamentals of Networking (Level I) and Intermediate Networking Technician (Level II); Fundamentals of PC Support (Level I) and Intermediate PC Support Technician (Level II); and Cisco Certified Network Associate.

 

23. Moorpark College

Overview

Located on a picturesque hillside campus in California’s Ventura County, Moorpark College is a short drive from the Thousand Oaks area. The college enrolls approximately 15,000 students and offers over 1,500 courses across 70 disciplines. Many of these courses are available during the day and in the evenings. The flexibility and high quality of the academic programs make Moorpark an excellent place to earn an associate’s degree in Computer Science.

Program Features

The courses for the Computer Science degree are scheduled on a two-year rotation. Moorpark offers advising and academic counseling services so that students can plan their course schedule and prepare to transfer to a four-year institution. The Computer Science program features the following course titles:

  • Introduction to Computer Programming Using Structured C++
  • Object-Oriented Data Structure and Algorithm Design
  • Computer Organization
  • Discrete Mathematics

Notables

Moorpark College caters to students in a variety of situations and at many different points in their professional path. Roughly 38 percent of their students are part-time and carry less than six credits, while 33 percent are considered full-time with a course load of 12 credits or more. Minority students represent 18 percent of the Moorpark College community.

 

24. Union County College

Overview

Nearly 30,000 people attend Union County College, either as credit, non-credit, or continuing education students. Union County has three major campuses in Cranford, Elizabeth, and Plainfield, New Jersey, with two additional locations in Rahway and Scotch Plains. The Computer Science program provides both the academic qualifications and the critical thinking and problem-solving skills to succeed in a computer science vocation.

Program Features

Union County College’s Associate of Science in Computer Science degree is designed for transfer into a bachelor’s degree program. The curriculum introduces students to topics such as computer architecture, testing and validation, secure coding, analysis of algorithms, and the development of data structures. Course titles for the A.S. Computer Science track include:

  • Computer Programming Fundamentals
  • Computer Algorithms
  • Systems Analysis and Design
  • Computer Organization, Architecture, and Assembly Language

Notables

Within a year of graduation, 75 percent of all Union County graduates have secured employment. Roughly 68 percent of the college’s student body is a racial or ethnic minority, making Union County one of the most ethnically diverse community colleges in New Jersey. In 2014, the college launched the American Honors Program. Through this cohort-based program, students can begin at Union County College and then transfer into some of the nation’s top universities.

 

25. Manchester Community College

Overview

First established in 1963, Manchester Community College has gained a reputation for accessibility and academic quality. In 2015, the college earned a prestigious Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. MCC was one of just 150 community colleges in the nation to receive this distinction. Students in the Associate of Science in Computer Science will gain a strong foundation in mathematics, physics, general education, and the underlying principles of computer science.

Program Features

The A.S. in Computer Science is available as either a part-time or full-time program, with classes available during the day and in the evening. It should be noted, however, that not all courses are offered every semester. The Computer Science curriculum includes the following courses:

  • Programming Logic and Design with C++
  • Networking Theory & Application
  • Digital Electronics
  • Microprocessor Assembly Language

Notables

MCC offers associate's degree programs that are specifically designed for transfer. Students who earn their A.S. from Manchester Community College will receive guaranteed admission to Connecticut State Universities.  These associate’s degrees are transferable to other colleges and universities as well: Graduates have transferred from MCC to over 100 public and private institutions in Connecticut as well as across the country. MCC is a member institution of the Hartford Consortium for Higher Education.