15 Best Online Software Engineering Schools 2023

Top 15 Best Online Software Engineering Schools

The best online software engineering schools offer comprehensive programs designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in the field of software engineering. In today’s digital age, the demand for highly skilled software engineers continues to soar. As technology advances and the world becomes increasingly interconnected, the need for individuals with expertise in software development and engineering is more critical than ever. 

If you aspire to pursue a career in software engineering and are seeking a flexible and accessible learning path, enrolling in an online software engineering program can be an excellent choice.

However, with a plethora of online educational institutions offering software engineering programs, it can be overwhelming to identify the best options. Not just in the engineering department, we have written about the best business analytics programs.

That’s why in this article, we will delve into the realm of the best online software engineering schools and explore some of the top-rated institutions known for their excellence in delivering high-quality education in this field. 

From prestigious universities to specialized online learning platforms, we will highlight the key features, strengths, and unique offerings of these leading schools to help you make an informed decision on where to pursue your software engineering education.

Whether you are a working professional seeking to upskill, a recent high school graduate exploring higher education options, or an individual looking to transition into the dynamic field of software engineering, our comprehensive review of the best online software engineering schools will provide valuable insights and guidance. 

Luckily for you, software engineering hasn’t been listed as one of the hardest degrees in the world, so, let’s embark on this journey to discover the institutions that can equip you with the knowledge and skills necessary to thrive in the exciting world of software engineering, all from the convenience of online learning.

Before we present you with the list of the best software engineering schools, or colleges for software engineering as you may call it, how about we give you an overview of what software engineers do, fine, right?

What is software engineering - what software engineers do.

What Is Software Engineering? An Overview

Software engineering is a discipline within computer science that focuses on the design and development of computer systems and application software. It encompasses the creation of both computer system software, such as operating systems, and application software, including web browsers and database programs.

Software engineering involves the application of engineering principles to the entire software development lifecycle, from initial requirements gathering to system deployment and ongoing maintenance. The goal is to create software that meets the desired functionality, reliability, performance, and maintainability requirements while considering time and resource constraints.

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Key aspects of software engineering include:

  • Requirements Engineering: This phase involves understanding and documenting the needs and expectations of software users, stakeholders, and the intended system environment. Requirements are analyzed, refined, and documented to provide a clear understanding of what the software should do.
  • Design and Architecture: In this phase, software engineers create a blueprint or design for the software system. They determine the overall structure, components, interfaces, and relationships between different modules or subsystems. The design should address factors like scalability, maintainability, and extensibility.
  • Coding and Implementation: The design specifications are translated into actual code during this phase. Software engineers write and test the code according to established coding standards and best practices. They use programming languages, development frameworks, and tools to build the software system.
  • Software Testing: Testing is an integral part of software engineering. It involves executing various test cases and scenarios to identify defects, verify functionality, and ensure that the software meets the specified requirements. Testing can be performed at different levels, including unit testing, integration testing, system testing, and user acceptance testing.
  • Software Deployment and Maintenance: Once the software is developed and tested, it is deployed in the production environment. Ongoing maintenance and support are provided to address issues, fix bugs, and incorporate new features or enhancements. Software engineers ensure that the software remains reliable, secure, and up-to-date throughout its lifecycle.

Software engineering also emphasizes the use of project management principles and practices to effectively manage resources, timelines, and risks associated with software development projects. Collaboration, communication, and teamwork are essential for successful software engineering, as it often involves working with cross-functional teams and stakeholders.

Role of Software Engineers

Software engineers are skilled professionals who possess expertise in programming languages, software development, and computer operating systems. 

They apply engineering principles throughout the software creation process, from requirements analysis to software deployment. Similar to automobile engineers designing, manufacturing, and operating automobiles, software engineers systematically study requirements and follow a structured development process to create customized software solutions for clients.

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Top 10 Best Online Software Engineering Schools 

Here is our curated list of the top online software engineering schools:

1. Penn State World Campus

best online software engineering schools -  Penn State World Campus
  • Cost: $1,007/credit 
  • Duration: 2 years

Penn State’s Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering, is first on our list of the best online software engineering schools. Available through the World Campus, it offers a comprehensive curriculum combining classroom study, software development experience, and design projects. 

This program emphasizes engineering principles, project management, and software development, preparing graduates for employment or further studies. The hands-on approach and industry-sponsored senior design project provide valuable real-world experience.

2. Western Governors University

  • Cost: $4,755/ six months 
  • Duration: 12 months 

For those interested in software development and technology, Western Governors University offers an online bachelor’s degree in software development. 

This program provides a solid foundation in computer programming, software engineering, web development, and application development. Through specific programming languages and project management methods, students learn how to design, code, and test software.

3. Arizona State University

  • Cost: $1,273/credit 
  • Duration: 2-4 years

Next on our list of the best online software engineering schools is the Arizona State University. Recognized as one of the leading online software engineering schools, Arizona State University offers a flexible study model that allows students to fit learning into their schedule. 

The bachelor’s degree program covers software fundamentals, programming languages, software creation, and essential cybersecurity concepts. Students gain practical skills in programming, mathematics, and systems management.

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4. Champlain College

  • Cost: $795/credit 
  • Duration: N/A

Champlain College’s online bachelor’s degree in Software Development emphasizes a global perspective and fosters innovation. As one of the best online software engineering colleges, the program combines technical skills with interpersonal and business skills, ensuring graduates are well-rounded professionals.

Coursework includes various software languages, cybersecurity, systems analysis, and other practical skills required for software engineering.

5. St. Cloud State University

best online software engineering schools -  St Cloud State University
  • Cost: N/A
  • Duration: N/A

Designed for working adults, St. Cloud State University’s Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering provides flexibility without compromising educational quality. 

The program integrates computing skills, engineering principles, project management, and software development to offer a solid understanding of the field. Emphasis is placed on critical thinking, communication, professionalism, and teamwork through hands-on projects.

6. Saint Leo University

  • Cost: N/A
  • Duration: N/A

On our list of the best online software engineering schools is Saint Leo University’s Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program, which equips students with the necessary tools and knowledge for careers in information and computer science. 

The curriculum covers real-world problem-solving, software and hardware, system integration services, and multimedia design. Core courses include network defense and security, computer systems, computer forensics, and programming logic.

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7. Southern New Hampshire University

  • Cost: $627/credit 
  • Duration: 12 months 

Southern New Hampshire University’s online B.S. in Computer Science with a concentration in Software Engineering provides a hands-on curriculum that exposes students to industry-standard practices and methodologies. 

Students gain programming skills in languages like C++, Java, and Python. SNHU offers extensive support resources to meet individual student needs.

8. Eastern Florida State College

  • Cost: N/A 
  • Duration: N/A

Talk about the best colleges for software engineering and you’ll find the Eastern Florida State College among the ranks. The college offers an online Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S.) program with a track in Program and Software Development. This program prepares students for careers as software developers, computer support specialists, database administrators, or web developers. 

Students can choose from tracks such as Computer Project Management, Cybersecurity, Data Science, or Networking Systems.

9. Oregon State University

  • Cost: $868/credit 
  • Duration: 12 months 

Oregon State University’s Bachelor of Science in Computer Science is a post-baccalaureate program designed for individuals seeking a second bachelor’s degree. 

The program allows students to focus solely on computer science courses, providing a comprehensive exploration of the field. The university offers flexible academic plans based on students’ availability and resources.

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10. Bellevue University

best online software engineering schools -  Bellevue University
  • Cost: $630/credit 
  • Duration: 12 months 

Bellevue University’s online Bachelor of Science in Software Development is designed for aspiring software developers and professionals looking to advance their careers. The program emphasizes applied learning and offers expertise in key areas. 

Students formalize their knowledge and gain practical skills through courses that focus on software development. The program also emphasizes industry-relevant concepts and encourages students to pursue IT certifications to enhance their professional credentials.

11. Strayer University-Virginia

  • Cost: N/A
  • Duration: N/A

Strayer University’s Virginia campus offers fully online technology degrees, including Information Systems and Information Technology. 

The Information Systems degree provides specializations in Computer Forensics, Cybersecurity, Enterprise Data, Homeland Security, IT Projects, Technology, Geographic Information Systems, and Software Engineering. 

Students gain expertise in their chosen specialization, equipping them with the skills needed to excel in the software engineering field.

12. Husson University

  • Cost: $548/credit 
  • Duration: 2 years

Husson University’s Bachelor of Science in Integrated Technology prepares students to develop computer information systems, software, web design, and development for organizations. 

The program focuses on analyzing customer needs and developing effective solutions through a combination of theoretical and practical coursework. Students gain a strong foundation in general education and technical skills to thrive in the software development industry.

13. Limestone University

  • Cost: $650/credit 
  • Duration: 1-2 years

Limestone University offers a concentration in Programming within its Computer Science and Information Technology Department. Students in this program gain cutting-edge programming tools and skills necessary for success in graduate school and future careers. 

Small class sizes, dedicated instructors, and advanced technology ensure students reach their full potential in a supportive learning environment.

14. Davenport University

  • Cost: $962/credit 
  • Duration: 1-2 years

Davenport University’s Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree offers specializations in Artificial Intelligence, Computer Architecture and Algorithms, and Gaming and Simulation. 

The program prepares students to adapt to and work with emerging technologies, applying them to real-world problems. Students gain expertise in programming languages, database design, computer vision, data communications and networks, and security foundations.

15. Hodges University

  • Cost: N/A
  • Duration: N/A

Coming up last on our list of the best online software engineering schools is Hodges University’s Bachelor of Science in Software Development. It equips students with the skills needed to develop and support computer information systems. 

The program emphasizes a combination of theoretical knowledge and practical application. Students have opportunities to earn industry-recognized certifications, such as A+, MOS, ICCP, and C++, enhancing their professional qualifications.

Requirements for Acquiring a Software Engineering Degree

The specific requirements for an online software engineering degree vary among colleges. However, a strong academic background, particularly in science, math, and physics, is commonly expected. 

Students are often required to perform well in subjects such as calculus, geometry, and algebra to qualify for entrance exams. Additionally, many top online software engineering universities consider relevant work experience in programming and database management as a valuable asset.

How Much Does Software Engineers Get Paid in USA?

As of June 17, 2023, according to indeed.com, the average annual salary for a software engineer in the United States is $114,815, with an additional cash bonus of $5,000 per year. This information is based on a data set of 57.8k reported salaries.

Software Engineering Specializations

Software engineers who enroll in any of the best online software engineering schools can specialize in various areas, including operating systems, computer games, middleware, business applications, and network control systems. 

The field continuously evolves due to technological advancements and emerging areas of specialization, making it a dynamic and rapidly changing profession.

Cost and Duration of Online Software Engineering Degree Programs

The duration of an online software engineering program varies depending on the university, ranging from one to four years for completion. Per-credit costs for an online software engineering degree typically range from $320 to $720. 

Choosing the Best Software Engineering Degree Program

When selecting a software engineering degree program, it is crucial to determine your specific interests within the field. Consider your strengths and weaknesses to identify the aspect of software engineering that appeals to you the most. 

Whether you choose to explore unfamiliar territories or opt for renowned universities offering computer science programs, understanding your preferences will help guide your decision.

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Best Online Software Engineering Schools (Summary) 

Obtaining an online software engineering degree from a reputable school can provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in the ever-evolving field of software engineering. The highlighted programs offer comprehensive curricula, practical experiences, and the flexibility needed for working professionals.

Whether you are interested in software development, cybersecurity, or other specialized areas, these online programs provide a solid foundation for a successful career in software engineering.

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