Online PhD Computer Science

By Shilpee Singh

Updated July 7, 2023

Shilpee Singh

Shilpee Singh is an English Literature graduate and a Linguistics postgraduate from Delhi University. She believes in sustainable living and tries to lead a holistic life. She has a knack for writing and puts together the best facts for the reader’s benefit.


BA. Hons. English Literature // MA in Linguistics // Batchelor in Education (Gold Medalist)

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I have been in the domain for about a decade

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An online PhD computer science is a valuable degree that gives students more freedom to build products, bring about change, and motivate students and colleagues. Gaining a Ph.D. in computer science opens opportunities for independent, design-based work as well as high-level academic roles. Employees with doctorates typically earn more money and experience lower unemployment rates than individuals with less advanced degrees. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment in computer and information technology-related fields will increase by 13% between 2020 and 2030, above the average for all occupations. It is anticipated that these professions will create 667,600 additional jobs. In May 2021, the median annual wage for computer and information technology occupations was $97,430, which was higher than the $45,760 median wage for all occupations.

Best Online PhD in
Computer Science Programs

The best computer science universities that offer Ph.D. degrees ought to be well-known, have reliable infrastructure, provide excellent student support services, be accredited by a recognized body, and provide students with customizable curricula and programs that suit their particular requirements. Based on these and other considerations, it might be challenging for students to identify the top Ph.D. programs in computer science and top colleges. For the benefit of prospective students, Find Best Degrees (FBD) has looked throughout the nation for the best options, saving them the trouble and time. Here are the best online Ph.D. in computer science programs: *

Universities and programs are ranked by various factors, such as affordability, curriculum and coursework, reputation and availability, program length, statistics, the potential of employment, and return on investment for the students. For a more in-depth analysis, please read about our rankings methodology page

What to expect from the PhD in
Computer Science Programs

Areas of Specialization for Online
Ph.D. in Computer Science Programs

Why should I get an Online
PhD in Computer Science?

Free Courses for Online
PhD in Computer Science Students

Unfortunately, students pursuing an online Ph.D. in computer science do not have many options to access free online courses specific to doctoral studies. Nevertheless, prospective students can look for free courses to help them with their research efforts and provide insights on topics of interest. Such free courses are available at several popular online learning platforms that host courses created by industry experts, professors, and reputed universities. Examples include Coursera, Skillshare, Khan Academy, Udemy, Class Central, etc. Code Academy, in particular, has computer science, data science, and web development courses, 25 of which are accessible on their free plan. Harvard University provides 13 free courses in computer science that may be useful for Ph.D. students. It is worth noting that most free courses do not offer a valid credential in the job market.

How to get into Online PhD in
Computer Science Programs?

Online PhD in Computer Science
no GRE Programs

How Long does it take to complete an Online PhD in
Computer Science Program

How long is a Ph.D. in computer science? In keeping with other terminal degree programs at most universities, the computer science Ph.D. student will have a maximum of 8 years to complete their degrees, including meeting dissertation requirements. A full-time student can typically complete coursework in 2 to 2.5 years, whereas a dissertation can take up to 3 years. Students might be able to finish their Ph.D. in computer science in as little as 4 years as a result.

Here is a quick overview of the online Ph.D. in computer science timeline:

  • Minimum full-time Ph.D. in computer science online: about 4 years.
  • Maximum Ph.D. in computer science online: up to 8 years.

Accelerated Online Ph.D. in
Computer Science Programs

Accreditation for Online PhD
Computer Science Programs

How to Pay for Online PhD
in Computer Science Programs

Fully Funded Online PhD in Computer
Science Programs

Online PhD Computer
Science without Masters

After receiving their bachelor’s degree, many students wish to enroll in a doctoral program immediately. Without completing a master’s degree, some universities enable applicants to begin a Ph.D. in computer science. Conditions and qualifying requirements, however, will differ for every college. Here are two ways students can finish their coursework for a direct entry into a Ph.D. program more quickly:

Option 1

A combined Ph.D. program is an option for students to enroll in. A four-year curriculum is an integrated Ph.D. program, also referred to as an integrated master’s degree. It consists of a three-year Ph.D. and one-year master’s degree programs. This can be a suitable choice if one has trouble fulfilling the prerequisites for a Ph.D. without a master’s degree.

Option 2

Students can upgrade their master’s program and advance more quickly. It is pretty common to upgrade a master’s dissertation into a Ph.D. one, especially in academic subjects relating to science. For those who recognized a potential study area during their master’s degree and feel it merits a PhD-level commitment, this may be a viable choice.

FAQs about Online PhD in
Computer Science Programs

What is a Ph.D. in Computer Science?

Is a computer science Ph.D. online?

What background do I need to do a Ph.D. in computer science?

How long is a Ph.D. in computer science?

What is a Doctor of Computer Science?

How much is a computer science Ph.D.?

Can I do a computer science Ph.D. without a master’s degree?

Is a computer science degree worth it?

Career Opportunities and Salaries
after Online PhD in Computer Science Programs

As technology advances and data grows tremendously, computer science is a constantly changing and vastly increasing field of study. Earning a Ph.D. in computer science can provide individuals with top-level access to become an expert in the field and pursue either a high-level career in the industry or work in academia and research. Although a doctorate is not necessary to work in the IT industry, it has other advantages, such as procuring funding for cutting-edge technology study and research. Graduates of doctoral computer science programs are qualified for employment in a range of fields, including government, higher education, manufacturing, finance, and the biological sciences. Here are some common careers graduates will be eligible for with an online master’s degree in computer science:

  • Computer Scientist
  • Computer Systems Engineer
  • Computer Science Professor
  • Computer Network Architect
  • Research Specialist
  • Data Scientist
  • AI Research Scientist
  • ML Research Scientist
  • Research Scientist: Deep Learning and Computer Vision
  • Research Scientist: Cryptography
  • Database Administrator
  • Software Developer

Students who complete their doctoral degrees in computer science online graduate into a work market that is improving. The information technology industry is growing increasingly important to various parts of the economy. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), demand for Computer and Information Research Scientists will increase by 22 percent by 2030. Here are a few positions related to computer science, along with their median annual salary, projected employment growth, and necessary skills:

OccupationJob DescriptionSkills RequiredMedian Annual Salary Job Growth (up to 2030)
Computer Network ArchitectsComputer network architects are in charge of networks ranging from next-generation networking features like cloud infrastructure to remote connections between offices. They create networks by developing a thorough understanding of the organization’s requirements and business strategy, as well as by assisting in accomplishing the organization’s goals. By examining current data traffic and predicting how growth may affect the network, network architects can calculate future network requirements.Leadership skills, interpersonal skills, organizational skills, detail-oriented, analytical skills$120,5205% (slower than average)
Computer and Information Research ScientistsComputer and information researchers create new uses for technology. They solve complex computational challenges for science, medicine, business, and other sectors. They also solve tough computational challenges with scientists and engineers, improve computer use by developing new languages, software, and tools, test software systems utilizing data science and machine learning methodologies, and research, publish, and present papers at conferences.Logical thinking, analytical skills, interpersonal skills, problem-solving skills, math skills, detail-oriented$131,49022% (much faster than average)
Software Developers, Quality Assurance Analysts, and TestersThe creation of a software application involves the involvement of testers, quality assurance analysts, and software developers. They consider the most crucial features while also considering other factors, like security and how users want to use the software. They collaborate closely with those who write the code to create programs. Software quality assurance analysts and testers create and execute product tests to find flaws and assess the program’s functionality.Interpersonal skills, communication skills, analytical skills, problem-solving skills, creativity, detail-oriented$110,14022% (much fast than average)
Information Security AnalystsThe responsibility for creating and enforcing security regulations that safeguard a company’s computer networks and systems falls on information security analysts. They play a crucial role in creating the disaster recovery plan for their company, which outlines the steps IT professionals will take in the event of an emergency. They examine computer and network systems for flaws, create corporate security standards and best practices, and offer security advice to management or senior IT staff.Creative skills, communication skills, problem-solving skills, analytical skills, detail-oriented$102,60033% (much faster than average)
Computer and Information Systems ManagersThe planning, coordinating, and direction of computer-related activities within an organization is the responsibility of computer and information systems managers, also known as information technology (IT) managers or IT project managers. They are in charge of putting in place computer systems to accomplish an organization’s information technology goals.Communication skills, decision-making skills, leadership skills, business skills, analytical skills, organizational skills$159,01011% (faster than average)
Postsecondary TeachersProfessors, also known as postsecondary teachers, are employed by colleges and universities. These experts also carry out and write about research. Professors are subject matter experts and must typically hold doctoral degrees before starting their careers.Speaking skills, critical-thinking skills, writing skills, interpersonal skills, resourcefulness$79,64012% (faster than average)

Certifications and Licensing
for Online PhD in Computer Science Students

Additional Resources for Online Ph.D.
in Computer Science Students

Author Bio:

Shilpee Singh

Shilpee Singh is an English Literature graduate and a Linguistics postgraduate from Delhi University. She believes in sustainable living and tries to lead a holistic life. She has a knack for writing and puts together the best facts for the reader’s benefit.


BA. Hons. English Literature // MA in Linguistics // Batchelor in Education (Gold Medalist)

Areas of Expertise & Credentials

I have been in the domain for about a decade


The average tuition (based on degree type for in-state students), average graduation rates, and rankings are based on data from various sources, including the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), and are variable over time. All rankings and statistics are subject to change. The rankings are solely the opinion of Find Best Degrees (FBD) and are based on our proprietary methodology. They do not represent the views of the institutions or organizations mentioned, nor do they represent any official government census or survey. Furthermore, any views or opinions expressed on this page are of FBD’s researchers and teams. Unless otherwise specified, they do not represent the thoughts and opinions of the individuals, institutions, or organizations mentioned. This page’s content is provided solely for informational purposes, with data drawn from various sources, including IPEDS. FBD and its employees make no guarantees regarding the accuracy or completeness of any information found on this page or by following any link. FBD will not be held liable for any errors or omissions in this material nor any losses, injuries, or damages resulting from the exposure or use of this information. Although the information on this page is/was correct at the time of publication, readers should exercise caution because some or all of the provided information may have changed over time, potentially resulting in inaccuracies. For more information, please read our Terms of Service. Trademarks and logos are the property of their registered owners. | Page last updated: Dec 2023.