$60,000 vs $18,000 Online Masters degree in Computer science – What is the difference between them?


An Online Master’s in Computer Science is a graduate degree that offers the opportunity for current computer science students or students from other fields who want to specialize in computer science or extend their knowledge base and gain a more advanced understanding of the subject. Computer science master’s programs address subjects such as computer language theory, creation of applications, advanced algorithms, and more.

Most students pursuing an Online Master’s degree in Computer Science have spent several years in the workforce already. These students also opt for a degree program for technical masters that is intended for students who are current professionals in the area.

Are universities offering an Online Master’s degree in Computer Science for  $60,000 better than universities offering the very same for $18,000?

For graduate studies, the tuition and fees will differ considerably. One of the primary variables that determine rates is whether you are an in-state or out-of-state student.

You will have to look at the type of university when comparing the prices since public colleges and universities are generally less expensive than private colleges and universities. 

The majority of universities offer the same core classes, but the cost of the curriculum depends on the type of university needed to complete the program. We have mentioned the difference between some universities offering Online Computer Science Masters degree programs.

Online Masters of Science in Computer Science at University of Southern California

The Master of Science in Computer Science program (offered on-campus and online through Viterbi’s DEN@Viterbi) provides comprehensive training in the concepts and techniques of computer system design, programming, and application.

The Online Master of Science in Computer Science program requires students to take a wide range of courses while also allowing them to focus on specific areas of interest.

Students in the DEN@Viterbi program follow the same academic requirements, curriculum, and academic standards as on-campus students and the University of Southern California will issue the diploma. There is no differentiation between on-campus and remote students.

Courses offered for Online Masters of Science in Computer Science at USC

  • Analysis of Algorithms
  • Operating Systems
  • Introduction to Programming Systems Design
  •  Software Management and Economics
  • Security Systems
  • Applied Cryptography
  • Computer Networking
  • Foundations of Artificial Intelligence
  • Requirements Engineering
  • Information Retrieval and Web Search Engines
  • Multimedia Systems Design
  • Software Engineering
  • Software Architectures
  • Database Systems

Tuition cost for Online Masters of Science in Computer Science at USC

  • This program lasts 18-24 months for full-time students and 30-36 months for part-time students in the Online Masters of Science in Computer Science program.
  • The total credits offered for Online Masters of Science in Computer Science is 28 credits.
  • Tuition per credit offered for the Online Masters of Science in Computer Science program is $2,148.
  • The cost of an Online Master of Science degree in Computer Science at the University of Southern California is $60,144 for in-state and out-of-state students.
  • Other fees descriptions are:
    • Norman Topping Student Aid is $8/semester.
    • ENGR Computing Access fees is $35/semester.
    • Exam Proctoring is $40-$100/course.
  • The total estimated cost for Online Masters of Science in Computer Science is $61,716.

Admission requirements for Online Masters in Computer Science 

  • Transcripts.
  • Resume/CV.
  • Personal statement.
  • Letters of recommendation.
  • GRE scores are not required.
  • International students who do not speak English as their first language must take the TOEFL or IELTS. The Viterbi School does not require a minimum TOEFL or IELTS score for admission.

Online Master in Computer Science at Arizona State University

The Master of Computer Science (MCS) is an advanced degree program offered by Arizona State University and hosted on Coursera’s website. It is designed for students with a bachelor’s degree in computing or related disciplines who will benefit most from acquiring a broad understanding of computer science from a scientific or engineering discipline.

The ASU MCS online program is a non-thesis program with 30 credit hours of coursework. Students watch lectures on the Coursera website, but they are advised and evaluated by ASU faculty and teaching assistants on the challenging collection of tasks, projects, and exams needed for university credit.

The Master of Computer Science online demonstrates the dual nature of computer science as both a research and engineering discipline by stressing both theory and practical applications. It is intended for students seeking to broaden their knowledge of computer science or computation. Artificial intelligence, blockchain, cryptography, software engineering, big data, and many other subjects are accessible to students.

The University of Arizona has the majority of the 350+ faculty members at the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering who have earned top honors in their fields. ASU has not mentioned whether or not the same professors teach both online and on-campus MCS students.

Courses offered for Master in Computer Science at Arizona State University

  • Foundations of Algorithms
  • Knowledge Representation and Reasoning
  • Distributed and Multiprocessor Operating Systems
  • Mobile Computing
  • Applied Cryptography
  • Information Assurance and Security
  • Software Security
  • Advanced Computer Network Security
  • Software Verification, Validation, and Testing
  • Software Project, Process, and Quality Management
  • Data Processing at Scale
  • Applied Cryptography
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Data Mining
  • Statistical Machine Learning
  • Data Visualization

Tuition cost for Online Masters of Science in Computer Science at ASU

  • This program lasts 12-24 months for full-time students in the online Master of Science in Computer Science program.
  • Total credits offered for Online Masters in Computer Science is 30 credits.
  • Tuition per credit for Online Masters in Computer Science is $500.
  • The cost of an Online Master’s degree in Computer Science at Arizona State University is $15,000 for in-state and out-of-state students.

Admission requirements for Online Masters in Computer Science at Arizona State University

  • Baccalaureate degree.
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00.
  • Official transcripts.
  • GRE is not required.
  • 3 Letters of recommendation.
  • Resume.
  • International students must submit TOEFL, IELTS, PTE scores.

Quick Summary Regarding College Comparisons

University of Southern CaliforniaArizona State University
Private/PublicPrivatePublic
RankingIt is ranked as #25 in Best National University.
Degree offeredOnline Masters of Science in Computer ScienceOnline Masters in Computer Science
TypeOnlineOnline
GRE requiredNoNo
Duration18-24 months for Full-time students
30-36 months for Part-time students
12-24 months
Total Credits2830
Tuition Per Credit$2,148$500
Program Cost$60,144$15,000
Financial AidYesYes
International Students Accepted?YesYes

How to choose the best Online Master’s program?

It can be tricky and daunting to pick a college or university to complete your online degree. When trying to choose what is the right match for you, there are a lot of things to consider. To choose an online university that meets your educational goals, we have created a list of 8 easy tips for you to consider:

  • Colleges and universities are approved for science, as not all institutions are created equal.
  • Decide and look for your major. Be mindful that all majors are not offered by every university and not all are available online.
  • Check the conditions for admission and application fees. Check to see if past college credits would be transferred as well.
  • Tuition, fines, and financial assistance are contrasted. It’s like investing in education to invest in your future. Ask the questions that are correct. What does it cost for tuition? Do I need to pay for my state tuition? What are the available financial aids?
  • Keep an eye out for fees higher than the rate of tuition. This may include fees for the course, textbooks, course materials, laboratories, proctoring of exams, and fees for online delivery.
  • Ask for credentials for the faculty. Who teaches these online courses? Are they the same faculty who teach online teaching on campus?
  • Find student resources online. Students online do not walk into a campus office and inquire for assistance. Ensure that the institution has programs and facilities specifically for online students available.
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About Emily

Emily is a DePaul University Undergraduate student. She is a major in computer science and a mathematical minor. Emily plans to pursue a Master's degree in computer science in the future. Emily's key goal in the technology sector is to get into the right category.

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