Do you love tinkering with computers or designing new programs? Whether you’re an expert programmer or a novice with a passion, a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering might be the right choice for you.
Computer engineers are in high demand. These professionals work with every aspect of technology, from web and mobile application development to the design and implementation of new security systems. If you have an analytical mind and a drive to succeed, you should consider pursuing your degree.
And if you're interested in computer science, take a look at our ranking of the Best Online Computer Science Degrees.
What kind of Computer Engineering degree should you get?
The best degree in Computer Engineering will be one that allows you to expand upon your current skillset and to explore new areas of interest. Because the field is so broad, it’s often a good idea to enroll in a program that offers a wide availability of electives in different topics.
You should also consider your own convenience when making this decision. If you have some experience and want to receive your diploma as soon as possible, consider an online program.
How much money do people make with a Computer Engineering degree?
Individuals with Bachelor’s degrees in Computer Engineering tend to be extremely well-paid. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is also significant growth in the number of job opportunities, with an estimated increase of over 22 percent by 2020.
Candidates with degrees in Computer Engineering are so in-demand because their skills are needed in virtually every environment. Whether in financial services to healthcare, education to security, computer engineering graduates are needed absolutely everywhere. Even better, the average Computer Engineering graduate makes over $110,000 per year--with most making no less than $60,000.
What can you do with a degree in Computer Engineering?
Computer engineers solve technological problems through the use of a broad set of innovative solutions. They might create video games or web applications, design embedded systems, or work on the administration of computer systems, data, or network security. They will not only design essential hardware but also develop new software solutions.
Graduates may enter into careers as programmers, systems analysts, database administrators, or business intelligence analysts. They are employed virtually everywhere throughout the world, whether in the public, private, or not-for-profit sector.
What are the requirements for a degree in Computer Engineering?
Although the admissions requirements for a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering will likely vary largely among institutions, most require that applicants have a strong academic background in mathematics and the physical sciences. Students should have taken Calculus, Algebra, and Geometry, and scored well on related standardized exams.
In some cases, many universities also look for prior work experience in areas such as programming and database management. This is especially the case when prior learning credit is awarded. However, many programs, despite preferring work or industry experience, will also enroll students with no background at all, provided they have appropriate academic skills.
What are the best Computer Engineering degrees?
There are four industries in which massive IT growth is expected to occur: healthcare, government, financial services, and education. As a result, the best Computer Science degree will address specific programming and data management in each of those sectors, equipping students to work in a broad variety of careers.
A great program will also provide students with the flexibility to add electives and tailored career outcomes as much as possible. At the baccalaureate level, you might still be exploring the various options available to you. A program with a variety of elective and general education options (including classes in other disciplines) is an ideal place to start.
1. Florida State University
Florida State University is ranked number one for its online Bachelor’s in Computer Engineering. The program follows the exact format as its on-campus counterpart, and is designed for students preparing for a lifetime career as a computer expert.
In this exceptional program, students will develop proficiencies in programming languages such as Java, C, and C++. It includes an ABET/CAC accredited, embedded minor in mathematics and physical sciences. Students will also develop competencies in programming, database structure, and operating systems. 120 total credit hours are required, including classes in:
- Computer Organization
- Software Engineering
- Expert Systems
- Object Oriented Programming
- Complexity and Analysis of Data Structures and Algorithms
The degree can be completed in as little as two years by full-time students who have already completed the general education requirements for an Associate's degree. All online courses are recorded and archived so that students can replay lectures for added convenience and efficiency. Florida State is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the best value colleges for its online bachelor’s programs.
2. Colorado State University-Fort Collins
The Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering at Colorado State University is forward-thinking in that it prepares graduates for ongoing developments and cutting-edge technologies. One hundred and ninety credits are required for degree conferral, with most of those credits existing as direct program requirements. All courses are available entirely online and taught by expert instructors who devote specific attention to each individual student.
In addition, to core computer engineering classes, students will take a breadth of courses in professional writing, mathematics, and the physical sciences. This wide, multidisciplinary sampling allows students to become well-rounded and prepared for fulfilling careers. Other required courses include:
- Problem Solving Concepts with C++
- Linear Algebra
- Digital Design
- Introduction to UNIX
- Advanced Computer Architecture
- Operating Systems
- Embedded Microcontrollers
Colorado State prepares students to understand the varied aspects of technology. The flexible online format allows students to save money and take classes more quickly. The school offers fast-track courses to enable more efficient course progression by allowing students to earn course credit for what they already know. This unique option allows students to complete a degree up to 30 percent faster.
3. Brigham Young University-Idaho
Brigham Young recognizes the demand for computer software programmers in their online computer engineering program. Students will learn and practice the industry standard skills for the design and implementation of critical computer systems. The interdisciplinary program provides a strong background in software development along with a core liberal arts foundation.
This degree allows students the flexibility needed to finish a degree while working full time. Classes may be taken year round or intermittently throughout various semesters. Students have up to eight years to finish a degree. One hundred and twenty total credits are required to graduate. Students will take classes such as:
- Introduction to Software Development
- Object-Oriented Software Development
- Data Structures
- Web Engineering
- Human-Computer Interaction
- Computer Security
- Technical Communication
Brigham Young’s online courses are one-of-a-kind in that they are designed around the BYU-Idaho Learning Model, in which learning activities are adapted to fit an online environment. There is frequent interaction with the professor, and students will progress through the course material as a single, cohesive unit. This allows for greater class involvement and networking opportunities.
4. University of Florida
The Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering at the University of Florida is like no other. This highly convenient degree provides a foundation in computer science and a strong liberal arts dedication in subjects such as humanities and foreign languages. The program is designed for students who want an education from a top research institution without sacrificing convenience.
This major is extremely popular among University of Florida students, with many choosing to double major in computer science and another related major. Students will take a minimum of twenty-nine credits in foundation coursework, thirty-five in core coursework, and six credits of electives to satisfy the major. Sample coursework includes:
- Professional Communication for Engineers
- Analytic Geometry and Calculus
- Computational Linear Algebra
- Technical Writing
- Programming Fundamentals
- Data Structures and Algorithms
- Numerical Analysis: A Computational Approach
- Digital Logic and Computer Systems
This program is unique in that it allows students who score at least a 4 on the AP Computer Science A exam to accelerate coursework, saving both time and money. Students will also take several writing-intensive classes to help prepare them for professional business communications and the job search process.
5. Arizona State University-Tempe
Arizona State University’s Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering allows students to develop creative software solutions to contemporary problems. This degree is project-driven, which is excellent for a hands-on learner looking to gain relevant experience. Students will complete projects in every semester of the program, working in teams to develop solutions to problems, communication skills, critical thinking ability, and professionalism.
Students are given great flexibility when designing their course of study. Each student will select a software engineering application area (such as web and mobile applications or embedded systems) as a primary focus and develop interdisciplinary knowledge through a secondary area of design. Core coursework includes that in:
- Principles of Database Management
- Web-Based Applications and Mobile Systems
- Web Application Programming
The Software Engineering B.S. at Arizona State is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET and is ranked number one in the country for innovation, according to U.S. News and World Report. This engaging, discovery-based program equips students with the skills necessary to enter into a high-paying, fast-paced industry. Each course is offered in a 7.5 week class length and students are allowed to retake courses if necessary, allowing for great flexibility.
6. Dakota State University
Dakota State University’s Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems is above comparison in regards to its course structure. The university offers a unique component of internship and/or undergraduate research. This internship is done before students choose a specialization in data science, project management, or software and web development, allowing them to gain experience before deciding on a tract.
The program is based on a core forty-eight credits. Coursework will prepare students for careers as programmers, business analysts, systems analysts, and designers. Classwork includes:
- Principles of Accounting
- Managerial Communications
- Business Applications Programming
- Information Systems Planning and Management
- Project Management
- Structured Systems Analysis and Design
The university is also home to the Center of Excellence in Information Systems, an elite honors program that allows students to become leaders in the development and application of information technology tolls. This program provides a fast-track for students to participate in additional research and internship opportunities at leading businesses. Because of this program, most graduates find a job before even leaving campus.
7. Oregon Institute of Technology
The Oregon Institute of Technology’s Software Engineering Technology program boasts some of the most successful graduates in the industry. Recent graduates work at renowned industries such as Garmin, Amazon, and many others. The program provides students with experience in software developing and testing, quality assurance, and project management.
The program is unique in that students are able to take computer engineering courses right within the first year. This early exposure helps students make decisions about the tract they would like to pursue. Students also have the option to earn an Embedded Systems degree or degrees in computer engineering technology and software engineering technology at the same time. This provides a more marketable degree. Generally speaking, students will take classes in:
- Database Systems and Design
- Computer Networks
- Graphical User Interface Programming
- Operating Systems
- Computer Networks
Oregon Institute of Technology places a strong emphasis on application instead of just theory. Students will work in advanced projects that last for a year or more, and students have access to competitive and highly paid internships during their sophomore years and beyond. Students will work at companies such as Disney, Amazon, Intel, HP, and Boeing.
8. Baker College
Baker College’s Computer Science Program is designed with input from industry professionals. It is a constantly evolving program that focuses on computer programming, database technologies, and mobile application software engineering. As a result of this exquisite preparation, the average Baker College graduate earns over $75,000 as a starting salary.
Students will take seventy-two credit hours within the major to complete an undergraduate degree. Classes will include work experiences, theory, and practical applications. Students will also take general education courses in the humanities, mathematics, and sciences to create a well-rounded degree. Required courses include:
- Electronic Spreadsheets
- Database Management and Design
- Systems Development Methods
- C++ Programming
- Java Programming
Baker College’s unique approach to online education has earned it multiple recognitions as one of the top schools for a degree in computer science. The school’s career-focused approach exposes students to a variety of instructional methods, including fieldwork, work experiences, and project-based learning.
9. Grantham University
Grantham University’s online Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering Technology qualifies students for entry-level positions in the design and evaluation of hardware and software systems. Students are prepared through work experience, projects, and theoretical development for work in the private, public, and non-profit sectors.
The program is designed to be completed in thirty-eight months. Students will take at least 124 credit hours at just $265 per credit hour. Some required courses include:
- Digital Electronics
- Microprocessor Systems Engineering
- Technical Project Management
- Programming in C++
- Technical Writing
A unique advantage offered by Grantham University is in its course structure. New programs begin weekly, so students can begin studying at any time. Because the program is so small, at just 145 total students throughout all levels, faculty members are able to devote attention to each individual student. As an added bonus, scholarships and financial aid are available for online students.
10. Bellevue University
Bellevue University’s online Software Development degree is identical to its on-campus component. However, it offers an accelerated option for students looking to gain experience in coding and technology skills. It is designed specifically for individuals who are already working as computer programmers but seeking career advancement and credentials.
Students will learn the theory behind, and gain hands-on experience in, programming with Java, web applications, and designing database systems. This cohort major allows other specialties to be cross trained to basic competency in application development. It allows previous experience and college credits to be transferred in as a foundation for this thirty-six credit hour program. Required courses include:
- Introduction to Programming Using Java
- Business Telecommunications
- Structured System Analysis and Design
- Web Scripting
- Information Security
- Server-Side Scripting with Ruby on Rails
Bellevue has been offering online bachelor’s degrees since 1996, and was one of the first institutions in the country to do so. This reputation has earned the university the title of a best online university by U.S. News and World Report several years in a row. Students benefit from this expertise, and are able to access lecture materials at their convenience. All online classes are recorded and archived to help students advance their studies.
11. Oregon State University
Oregon State University’s Bachelor in Computer Engineering is extraordinary in that it is geared towards students with no computer science training. Many students pursue this degree as an addition to a previously acquired undergraduate degree. It serves as a career enhancement tool and allows students to create unlimited opportunities and job marketability.
Sixty total credits are required for graduation. The program is delivered entirely online and prepares students with programming fundamentals, software engineering, web development, and much more. Sample course topics include:
- Programming Fundamentals
- Analysis of Algorithms
- Discrete Structures
- Data Structures
- Software Engineering
- Introduction to Usability Engineering
- Mobile & Web Development
- Mobile & Cloud Software Development
The program can be completed in one, two, three, or four years, depending on time commitments and personal goals. Students only take the courses required for computer science and don’t need to waste time taking unrelated prerequisites. All courses are incredibly fast-paced and taught by expert Oregon State instructors. As a result, this program is ranked tenth in the nation for its exceptional online programs, according to U.S. News and World Report.
12. Colorado Technical University
Colorado Technical University prepares students to excel in a field that is constantly changing and improving. In this program, accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, students will learn how to develop software and hardware and to design networks.
A total of 190 credits is required for graduation. Students will take classes taught by instructors at the Colorado Springs location, but in an entirely online format. Sample classes include:
- Computer Architecture
- Programming with C++
- Circuit Analysis
- Electronic Design
- Embedded Microcontrollers
- Impact of Global Issues on Design
Students will also take a variety of general education courses to prepare them for the rigors of this program, including Chemistry, Written Communication, and Analytical Algebra.
Classes at Colorado Technical start regularly every few weeks. This unique format is advantageous as it allows busy professionals to begin their studies on their own terms. Financial aid, including scholarships, is available for qualifying students, and additional discounts are given for military veterans. The University also hosts a one-of-a-kind Fast Track option, in which students can earn college credit for previously acquired skills.
13. Morgan State University
The Electrical and Computer Engineering Bachelor’s degree at Morgan State University offers motivated students the option to complete an innovative 2+2 online program. The program enables students to complete the third and fourth year of a four-year degree entirely online. Any student with an associate degree in electrical engineering may apply for this unique pathway.
Students will engage in a research project while at Morgan State. They may explore topics ranging anywhere from image processing to visual analytics. Required coursework includes:
- Signals and Systems
- Electrical Circuits
- Principles of Design
- Discrete Systems
Morgan State offers the only program that allows for completion of all laboratory courses online, along with state-of-the art facilities and an inclusive research philosophy. Online students are given access to the same innovative teaching strategy and rigorous curriculum as are on-campus students. They are able to access the same strong financial assistance and industry, government, and alumni connections as well.
14. Old Dominion University
Old Dominion University’s Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering Technology provides graduates with the skills in hardware, software, networking, and web operations necessary for career success. This constantly evolving program addresses unique modern concerns such as high-speed communication, exploration of outer space, and the advancement of the medical field.
Each student must complete at least 120 total credit hours, thirty of which must be completed at Old Dominion. This flexibility allows students to transfer in with a previously obtained associate’s degree. Required classes include:
- Problem Solving and Programming
- Introduction to Computer Architecture
- Introduction to Unix for Programmers
- Computers in Society
- Object-Oriented Programming and Design
- Introduction to Software Engineering
- Principles of Programming Languages
Courses are recorded live and regularly scheduled, but materials can be accessed again at any time or any place. The program not only exceeds many others with its up-to-date curriculum, but it’s also affordable! Old Dominion was ranked as offering the eighth most affordable bachelor's in engineering in 2017, with a tuition cost of just $335 per credit hour.
15. Lewis University
Lewis University’s Information Technology Management program prepares graduates for leadership success in the IT world. Students will develop vital management skills and learn how to manage projects. Furthermore, graduates will take with them a valuable online portfolio to help demonstrate their technical and leadership skills to potential employers.
Students in this program won’t just learn how to implement current techniques and methodologies--they will also learn how to predict the next steps in a fast-paced business world. Courses are accelerated into an eight week format and students will receive guidance from experienced faculty along the way. Recommended courses include:
- Principles of Project Management
- Database Management Systems
- Data Networks
- Entrepreneurship in Information Technology
- Systems Methodology and Design
- Business Programming
- Cloud Computing
- Introduction to Information Security
Lewis University’s small class sizes ensure that students will be able to interact fully with teachers and fellow classmates. Online students also have access to the CloudLab, which enables them to complete hands-on assignments at any time of the day or week. The university is recognized as a Department of Homeland Security/National Security Agency designated Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education. This lofty recognition means that Lewis University students will be eligible for prime DHS and NSA scholarships, internships, and career opportunities.
16. Western Kentucky University
Western Kentucky University recognizes that information technology is a high-paying, top-growing, and integral field for modern students. Its online Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Technology prepares students to tackle a growing demand for these careers. This program enables 2+2 students to complete a degree with just 36 hours of computer information technology courses, with the option of adding an online Master of Science in Engineering Technology Management for just another 21 credits.
The curriculum of the program does not include any tracks, instead covering fundamental and advanced technologies in the form of electives. Students are able to choose the courses that interest them most, while also taking mandatory classes in technical and soft employment skills. Required courses include:
- Online Training Foundations
- Web Development
- Database Administration
- Systems Architecture
- Systems Development
This program is ranked number thirteen out of five hundred schools by BestColleges.com. Recognized for its superior bachelor’s degrees, Western Kentucky received notable accolades for the computer information technology program in particular and has also been recognized repeatedly by U.S. News and World Report.
17. Western Governors University
Western Governors University offers a compelling program for students with previous experience in software development. They plan courses based on a competency-based learning model, which allows students to move more quickly through what they already know. The program also includes several industry-relevant certifications at no additional cost. These features help graduates make the most out of their time and money spent in school.
This is an ideal program for individuals who already have some work experience, though beginning information technology professionals may also apply. The program was developed with input from expert industry leaders and, as a result, students will become experts in all necessary areas. Sample courses include:
- Information Technology Fundamentals
- Web Development
- Network and Security
- Scripting and Programming
- Leadership and Management
- Operating Systems
- Data Management
- Business of IT
Students may be able to waive general education requirements through transfer credits. The program also includes several industry-recognized IT certifications as well, including CompTIA A+, CIW Site Development Associate, and CIW Advanced HTML5 and CSS Specialist. This feature, combined with the fact that at Western Governor’s students pay for time spent, not credit, makes the university one of the best programs for your dollar.
18. Liberty University
Liberty University’s Bachelor of Science in Information Technology prepares students with the technical and soft skills necessary for career success in advanced technology. Students will work with classmates and faculty members to learn how to meet the growing need for application and database developers. For students looking to make more of a leadership mark, Liberty also offers a Bachelor degree in Business Administration and one in Information Systems.
The program is entirely online to help make learning more flexible for busy learners. One hundred and twenty total hours are required for graduation, at least thirty of which must be taken at Liberty. Required courses and content specializations include:
- Application and Database Development
- Data Networking & Security
- Gaming Design
- Web & Mobile Programming
Students at Liberty also have the option of completing a three-credit hour internship. This internship, though not mandatory, allows students to interact with some of the top information technology professionals in the industry. Liberty also allows students to transfer in up to ninety outside credits, helping to lower costs and increase the speed at which students can graduate.
19. University of Illinois at Springfield
The University of Illinois’ Bachelor of Science in Computer Science is geared towards preparing academically-minded students for graduate studies in computer science. This program familiarizes students with the broad knowledge needed to understand fundamental skills and practices in the rapidly changing world of technology.
Students will meet with an advisor before selecting courses to ensure that their curriculum matches their particular interests. They will then engage in a core curriculum that provides a strong foundation in computer science theory and practice. Required courses include:
- Computer Programming Concepts
- Discrete Structures
- Computer Literacy
- Introduction to HTML/Web Development
- Data Structures and Algorithms
- Systems Programming Languages
Students will also engage in a final graduate research seminar. This research seminar is designed to expose burgeoning professionals to current research and development in the field of computer science. Throughout the duration of the program, each student will work closely with colleagues and faculty members to develop crucial problem solving, collaboration, and critical thinking skills.
20. Franklin University
Franklin University’s Computer Science major prepares students to become expert and creative problem solvers. The online version of this program prepares equips students with the technical leadership and managerial skills necessary to be successful not just within an entry-level position, but throughout the duration of a career.
Students will learn how to apply cutting-edge methodologies and technologies to common problems, and how to develop new solutions for future issues. Students will take classes covering the following topics:
- Object-Oriented Design
- Computer Architecture
- Coding & Testing
- Web Application Development
- Database Management
- Quality Assurance
Students at Franklin benefit from an innately hands-on learning experience and programs that are constantly evolving based on industry feedback. Classes are taught only by credentialed professors with relevant real-world experience. Courses are not administered by teaching assistants or graduate assistants, and instead are strengthened by the input from valued industry professionals.
21. University of Massachusetts-Lowell
Although the field of information technology is constantly changing, a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology from the University of Massachusetts--Lowell equips students to be successful despite those changes. This program, boasting an outstanding faculty and above-comparison convenience, is ranked one of the most affordable online Bachelor’s in information technology by GetEducated.com.
One hundred and twenty credits are required to graduate from this program. Students are able to choose from a wide range of inter-departmental electives and core courses, including required classes in:
- Advanced Computer Systems
- Data Structures & Fundamental Algorithms
- Fundamentals of Computer Systems
- Object-Oriented Programming with Java
- Paradigmatic Software Development
- Software Systems Design
The University is committed to student success, and costs only $375 per credit hour--a bargain among many comparable programs. The faculty who teach within the online program have won numerous awards for their attention to student outcomes and academic success. Recently, the university was recognized by the United States Distance Learning Association for their Excellence in Distance Teaching Education.
22. University of Maryland-University College
The University of Maryland at University College allows students to develop and hone their in-demand programming skills. Students will complete coursework in multiple programming languages, learning how to design, develop and test various software applications.
Coursework for this program is heavily influenced by employers, academic scholars, and industry experts. This award-winning combination allows students to prepare for a future career to the best extent possible. Students will take classes such as:
- Relational Database Concepts and Applications
- Building Secure Web Applications
- Detecting Software Vulnerabilities
- Database Security
- Secure Software Engineering
- Secure Programming in the Cloud
- Mitigating Software Vulnerabilities
- Software Security Testing
This program helps students prepare for technical and leadership roles in diverse settings. The University of Maryland also offers the Completion Scholarship, which reduces the cost of tuition to in-state students by $100 per credit. The university also offers over 100 scholarship opportunities for top students. This affordability is one of the reasons why the university has won multiple awards for its overall value.
23. Pennsylvania State University-World Campus
Pennsylvania State’s World Campus is well-known for its relevant and accessible online degrees, with over a decade’s worth of experience in distance learning. The program is designed mostly for current IT professionals, but does not require experience in the field.
Penn State is a leader among information schools and students at the University will benefit from the instruction of the same well-respected faculty who teach on campus.
The curriculum of the program is rigorous and career focused, and requires one hundred and twenty five total credits. Students will take classes such as:
- Introduction to Application Development
- Information, People, and Technology
- Organization of Data
- Networking and Telecommunications
- Language, Logic, and Discrete Mathematics
- Foundations of Human-Centered Design
- Information Sciences and Technology Integration and Problem Solving
Students will have access to a full range of student support services and technologies as they pursue their academic goals. They will have the opportunity to engage in internships and cooperative work experiences at leading organizations close to home and across the country.
24. National University
National University’s Bachelor of Science in Information Technology Management is one of the most tailored programs in that it focuses intently on safety and security in the IT world. Students will receive a solid understanding of information technology management concepts and practical, hands-on skills.
Students will learn how to design, develop, and support both secured network environments and relational database management systems within this program. One hundred and eighty quarter units of credit must be taken, including a capstone project and associated classes. Other requisite courses include:
- Computer Hardware & Software
- Office Productivity Software
- Computer Network Overview
- Information Technology Management
- Project Management
- Clients Using MS Windows
- Servers Using Linux
- Local Area Network Management
Experienced students have the unique opportunity to enter into the Portfolio program at National. This program allows students to demonstrate what they already know in order to waive college credits. This experience may have been gained through employment, independent study, volunteer service, community or religious activities, or even hobbies.
25. Salem International University
This globally focused university in Salem, West Virginia offers classes on campus as well as online. Formerly a partner university with Teikyo University in Tokyo, Japan, Salem is now a leader in international and technological education. It offers two different Bachelor’s of Science degrees in Computer Science—one focused on Data Science, and the other on Software Development.
Salem’s Software Development concentration is designed to provide students with the fundamentals of computer science training, as well as the skills necessary to develop and maintain software applications and software systems. Some of the courses in the major include:
- Methods of Software Development
- Intermediate Programming
- Data Structures & Algorithms
- Compilers & Languages
- Information Systems Security
Students who are looking for a blended online and on-campus approach to learning are welcome at Salem to pursue this, as an alternative to all-online classes. Online students are provided with curriculum frameworks to help them stay on track with their studies.