If you are looking to pursue a career in a computer-related field, a computer science degree is a good place to start. An education in computer subjects is essential to landing a variety of computer careers, including those as a software or video game designer, and many major companies won't hire an individual who doesn't have a computer-related degree. However, you don't have to have immediate access to a university with a computer science program to get a computer science degree. You can earn a computer science degree online.
Choose a school. There are several websites, including Directory of Schools and Guide to Online Schools, that can help you find colleges and universities that offer online computer science programs. There may also be schools in your local area that offer computer science as an online degree. To learn whether a school in your area offers an online computer science program, check the school's website.
Apply to the school of your choice. If applying for a bachelor's degree, more than likely you need only to be accepted into the school. For a Master's and Doctorate program, you must apply directly to each individual school's graduate level computer science program. Applications are usually available on a school's website and can often be filled out right online.
Take any prerequisite courses. No matter which school you choose to earn your computer science degree through, a few prerequisite courses are required. These are basic computer courses, like Foundation for Computer Science or Intro to Computers, that serve as a basis for the rest of the school's computer science program. While prerequisite classes vary school to school, they generally must be completed before you can enroll in any of the classes required for your computer science degree.
Take all of the required computer science courses. Once you have completed your prerequisite courses, you must take all of the required classes for the computer science degree. These courses are different at each college or university. Aside from the core courses required of every computer science student, you also need to choose additional courses from a selection of electives. These elective classes provide additional coursework and information that enhance the program's core classes.
Finish any culminating assignments. If you are getting a Master's or PhD in computer science, you will likely need to complete a thesis or major project. This thesis or project is usually completed over several months on an independent basis. When looking at computer science programs at different schools, the information will include the type of final project that is required of Master's or PhD students.
Alexis Lawrence is a freelance writer, filmmaker and photographer with extensive experience in digital video, book publishing and graphic design. An avid traveler, Lawrence has visited at least 10 cities on each inhabitable continent. She has attended several universities and holds a Bachelor of Science in English.