In 2021 and beyond, information is the new gold. Virtually any business in operation today runs on information–be it the financial information of daily operations, customer engagement information, or market logistics information. But the information itself is a neutral-value asset. It is the ability to glean valuable insight from information that confers its extreme value.
Thus the fields of information science, data science, and information technology have exploded in recent years to take prominent positions in the world economy. The industrial revolution changed the world forever, and we are in the midst of a similar revolution now–one fueled by information rather than coal.
Information systems professionals work at the forefront of this revolution. They develop new uses and modalities for existing information systems, and even develop new models of information systems and IT–with the goal being to improve on the system’s ability to collect, process, store, and distribute information. These professionals can work in a wide range of professional settings, however given the high-tech nature of the field, opportunities tend to congregate in tech-hubs and city metropolises.
The burgeoning field of information systems has only come into focus after many professionals already dove into their careers. As such, many people–both first-time students and professionals looking for a career change–are now looking to build a career in information systems. Thankfully, there are more options to do so than ever before. Many of which are offered online, and have been designed from the ground up to accommodate adult learners and working students, and transfer students. Our researchers have compiled the best online bachelor’s of information systems programs according to metrics that matter most to you: graduation rate, average tuition costs, financial aid, as well as the overall recognition of the program in respected publications such as US News & World Report, The Financial Times, and The Princeton Review.
1 Arizona State University
Average Cost of Tuition after Aid: $8,840
Arizona State University (ASU) continuously distinguishes itself as one of the most innovative institutions in higher education. With more than 530,000 alumni and a measured economic impact of more than $4.6 billion, ASU is quickly becoming the premier online University of the United States. A whopping 79 degree programs have received recognition and accolades from top publications. In short, when considering an online degree, ASU is always a great place to begin your search.
ASU’s Online Bachelor’s of Information Systems is built around positioning graduates for success in the job market after graduation. Students are introduced to foundational subjects, while trained in managerial and leadership skills. The program is both affordable and flexible, allowing students to progress through the program while holding down employment.
To get a better idea of the program’s curriculum, consider these featured courses:
- Introduction to Information Systems
- Business Information System Development I
- Business Information System Development II
- Business Database Systems Development
- Managing Cyber Risks in Enterprise Business Processes
- Web Technologies for the Enterprise
- Mobile Platforms for Business
- Capstone in Information Systems
2 Western Governors University
Average Cost of Tuition after Aid: $2,500
Western Governors University (WGU) has earned its spot on this list by combining a tremendously affordable tuition with an efficient, career-focused curriculum that is meant to position graduates to capitalize on opportunities in the job market. This is an excellent combination for adult learners and working students who want to enter the job market in an efficient manner that won’t break the bank. Another distinguishing element of WGU is that its programs represent the needs of the job market, often combining specialized tracks with certification options to best prepare students for competition in the job market.
WGU offers a fully online Bachelor of Data Science Analytics / Data Management that delves into the technical aspects of information systems. Students will earn a number of notable professional certifications including CompTIA and CIW. Additionally, students will earn a Data Analyst Nanodegree from Udacity. And what’s more–69% of students complete the entire program in just 24 months.
Curriculum is based around investigations into the following subjects:
- General Education
- IT Fundamentals
- Network and Security
- Scripting and Programming
- Data Management
- Business of IT
- General Science
- Data Science
- Data Analytics
- Technical Communication
- Web Development
- Computer Science
3 Northwestern State University of Louisiana
Average Cost of Tuition after Aid: $11,049
Northwestern State is a branch of the University of Louisiana System that offers highly specialized degrees that is meant to represent the current market. The Computer Information Systems at Northwestern State has received countless accolades and awards since its inception in 1999. This makes it simultaneously one of the most well-recognized programs of its kind as well as one of the oldest of its kind. This means that the program has fine tuned its approach through iterations, evidenced by the awards received year after year.
Specifically students can earn a fully online Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems (CIS). The program’s curriculum is built around investigations in both the theoretical and practical modalities. The CIS program offers four concentrations paths: Application Development, Networking & Systems Management, Web Development, or Cyber Security.
Students also have the option of earning a number of professional certifications and certifications, depending on their particular career goals and interests.
The program’s course load prepares students to excel in the following areas:
- Cloud Computing
- Cyber Forensics
- Internet Web Design and Development
- Information Security
- Mobile Application
- Development and Systems Analysis & Design
4 Bellevue University
Average Cost of Tuition after Aid: $12,055
Bellevue University has carved out a name for itself by catering to adult learners and working students who value affordable, efficient degree programs that base education programs around real-world industries. As such, its programs often come with various options for specializations and professional certifications. Bellevue’s online programs are helmed by faculty who are willing to go the extra mile to engage students and cultivate professional aspirations.
Bellevue University offers a fully online Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems. As the name of the program suggests, the curriculum is framed within the context of computer science and computer-based projects, however foundational subjects within the larger information systems field are explored as well. Students also choose an area of emphasis from the following options: applications development, business intelligence, cybersecurity, or networking.
5 Fort Hays State University
Average Cost of Tuition after Aid: $12,340
Fort Hays State University (FHU) is quickly becoming one of the world’s premier hubs for online education at the undergraduate level. A distinguishing element of FHU’s approach is that faculty are specially trained to work with online students, and are trained to maximize student engagement and to facilitate a smooth education experience. This is a great selling point for students who might be concerned about the trade-offs involved in choosing online education over traditional on-campus education, as FHU works to ensure that there are little or no trade-offs.
FHU offers a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science that is completed entirely online through 120 credit hours of coursework. The program offers a number of entry points to the program for transfer students, and second-time undergraduates–making it an excellent option for adult learners. The program delivers a comprehensive curriculum based on computer science and technology as well as foundational studies in:
- Survey of Computer Science (3 Credit Hours)
- Computer Science I (3 Credit Hours)
- Computer Science II (3 Credit Hours)
- Object-Oriented Programming (3 Credit Hours)
- Foundations of Computing (3 Credit Hours)
- Data Structures (3 Credit Hours)
- Assembly Language (3 Credit Hours)
- Operating Systems (3 Credit Hours)
- Programming Languages (3 Credit Hours)
- Computer Graphics (3 Credit Hours)
- Software Engineering (3 Credit Hours)
- Seminar (3 Credit Hours)
6 American Public University
Average Cost of Tuition after Aid: $9,718
As many universities look to break into the market for online education, American Public University (APU) stands as one of the leaders in the industry. With more than 200 fully online degree programs, APU stands as an industry leader whose success many schools are seeking to replicate. APU’s School of Science, Technology, Engineering & Math offers online students some of the most flexible course formats and schedules available, offered with cutting-edge digital learning technology.
Specifically the APU School of Science, Technology, Engineering & Math offers a fully online Online Bachelor of Science in Information Technology Management. The program offers a combination of a foundational curriculum combined with a robust selection of electives, meant to empower students to customize their route of study. The core curriculum is based on inquiries in these courses:
- Principles of E Business 3 credits
- Fundamentals of Programming 3 credits
- Database Concepts 3 credits
- Management Information Systems 3 credits
- Networking Concepts 3 credits
- IT Security: Risk Management 3 credits
- Introduction to Computer Science 3 credits
- Application Software Integration 3 credits
- Law, Privacy, and Digital Data 3 credits
- Information Technology Project Management 3 credits
- Project Management Using MS Project 3 credits
- Virtual Management 3 credits
- Ethics in Information Technology 3 credits
- Introduction to Web Analytics 3 credits
- Web eCommerce Development 3 credits
7 Mercy College
Average Cost of Tuition after Aid: $19,941
Mercy College offers more than 40 fully online degree programs, helmed by 231 full-time faculty who are meant to enable small class sizes where online students can each receive the care and attention needed to facilitate a smooth education process. Students come from all around the world, more than 51 countries to be specific.
Mercy College offers a fully online Computer Information Systems program. The program’s curriculum distinguishes itself through providing subjects in the context of business inquiries and investigations. This program is an ideal option for students who want to delve into the technical side of computer information systems framed in the context of business and industry.
Graduates of the program go on to find success in positions like the following:
- Web administrator
- Helpdesk specialist
- Systems analyst
- Database administrator
- Network engineer
8 Indiana University Purdue University
Average Cost of Tuition after Aid: $10,987
The Indiana University Purdue University (IUPU) Purdue School of Engineering & Technology offers a number of top-tier technology and engineering degrees. A distinguishing factor of the School’s mission is that it looks to position students to capitalize on the increasingly globalized technology and engineering markets. Particularly in the case of technology, working at the forefront of the industry often requires collaboration with teams around the world.
Students at the Purdue School of Engineering & Technology have one of two options for earning their undergraduate degree in Computer and Information Technology. Students can either enroll in a Bachelor of Science in Computer and Information Technology, or they can enroll in a five year program BS / MS in Computer and Information Technology. Students in the Bachelor of Science program can also choose from a number of specialization options:
- Networking Systems
- Information Security
- Web Development
- Data Management
9 LeTourneau University
Average Cost of Tuition after Aid: $22,105
The LeTourneau University College of Arts and Sciences offers a combination of on-campus and online degree programs. While the tuition costs of these programs are higher than others on this list, its programs are recognized for top-tier faculty, academic rigor, and the impressive career-outcomes of graduates.
Students at LeTourneau University have the choice of one of two program paths: either a fully online Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems, or a on-campus program–Bachelor of Science in Information Systems. The CIS program is managed by faculty who have worked at the absolute cutting-edge of their careers (fullbright scholars and Fortune 500 professionals). One distinguishing element of this program is that the curriculum is framed within the context of a Christian world-view, which represents a rare combination of a top-tier program with religious morality.
10 Southeast Missouri State University
Average Cost of Tuition after Aid: $13,113
Southeast Missouri State University represents a unique combination of a large University with a rich history dating back to 1873 that has positioned itself to expand into new and modern technology. Today, students can earn a variety of degrees entirely online where students work closely with faculty and advisors to develop a plan of study that matches a student’s individual interests and career goals. This is ideal for students who wish to earn a degree online while holding down a job or while managing family responsibilities.
Students can earn a Bachelor’s of Computer Science that can be completed entirely online. The department offering the degree boasts a 100% rate of employment or enrollment in graduate school among the graduates of the program. Students also have the choice of enrolling in a specialized track in one of the following concentrations: cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and business administration.
11 Florida Institute of Technology
Average Cost of Tuition after Aid: $8,651
Florida Institute of Technology has specialized in offering degree programs specifically designed for working students and adult learners. These programs are efficient, flexible, and perhaps most importantly, affordable. The university has been recognized as one of the best universities in the nation by US News and World Report. And moreover, 90% of full-time faculty hold a doctorate or the highest degree relevant to their field, meaning that students are learning from some of the best of the best.
Students can earn a fully online Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems that is in alignment with the Association for Computing Machinery curriculum guidelines. The program is designed to be flexible, so that students can progress through the program while maintaining employment. The program is based around studies in the following areas: network theory, programming, system administration and database management systems.
12 Post University
Average Cost of Tuition after Aid: $9,857
Post University sports a robust history that stretches all the way back to the 1890s. Post University has demonstrated extensive work in reaching out to adult learners, and has recently expanded into online education. Today, a number of its most successful degree programs now have online variants. Faculty and advisors work closely with each online student to ensure that they are getting the most out of their online programs.
Post offers a fully online Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems that is designed to prepare students for a future in careers such as the following: systems analyst, systems programmer, database analyst, network technician, or technology manager. Students can further customize their experience of the program by choosing from one of the following four concentrations:
- General Computer Information Systems
- Software Development
13 Austin Peay State University
Average Cost of Tuition after Aid: $13,018
Austin Peay State University prides itself on offering student-centric programs that can meet each student on their terms. As such, many of its degree programs offer generous transfer policies and financial aid packages to accommodate first-time students, second-time students, transfer students, and military students. Particularly in the case of the computer information systems, faculty hold over 30 years of experience and hold published works in their respective area of specialization.
Specifically students can earn a Bachelor’s of Computer Science and Information Technology that can be completed entirely online. Students of the program work closely with faculty and advisors to ensure learning objectives are being met and exceeded. Despite being an online program, students will work together in collaborative projects as well as through peer-to-peer tutoring programs.
14 Champlain College–Champlain College Online
Average Cost of Tuition after Aid: $35,549
Champlain College is a unique example of a College that really does invest in students’ success. Undergraduates students will benefit from the Fast Start Formula Career Course, which is designed from the ground up to position students for success after graduation. The Fast Start course trains students in vital skills that are often missed in degree programs: how to make the most out of interviews, how to tailor resumes, and overall–how to improve one’s standing in the job market.
Students can earn a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems that can be completed entirely online. Inline with the College’s larger mission, the program constantly updates its curriculum and course schedules to reflect the ever-changing demands of the job market. But specifically, graduates of the program will be prepared to compete for top-positions in the following areas:
- Application Developer
- Business Systems Analyst
- IT Systems Manager
- Network Administrator
- Programmer Analyst
- Software Developer
- Systems Analyst
- Systems Engineer
15 Saint Leo University
Average Cost of Tuition after Aid: $19,545
Saint Leo University demonstrates a unique combination of a forward-facing University that infuses its degree programs with the tenets of the Jesuit mission. Regardless of the individual program chosen, students learn how to develop themselves professionally, academically, and spiritually. Beyond this, each degree program frames its curriculum in terms of community service and societal impact. Saint Leo will be an ideal option for students who want to expand their focus beyond simple coursework to larger problems impacting communities large and small.
Saint Leo University offers a fully online Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems. Students can enroll in additional coursework in order to earn a degree emphasis in data analytics or cybersecurity. The program’s curriculum is designed to position students to find success in one of the following areas: web developer, computer network architect, cybersecurity analyst, or information assurance engineer.
16 College of St. Scholastica
Average Cost of Tuition after Aid: $23,232
College of St. Scholastica offers a number of degree programs that combine a Catholic Bendectine value-set with forward-facing, career-focused degree programs. Students who are interested in infusing their studies with a religious moral structure will likely find these programs to be a perfect fit. The College of St. Scholastica is consistently recognized for offering some of the nation’s best undergraduate degree programs.
The College offers both a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems (CIS) which is completed through 128 credits over 2 to 3 years. Students can earn one of the following concentrations: business analysis, cyber security, data analytics, health informatics or software development. Moreover, the program distinguishes itself by offering a build-your-own concentration option for students who want to pursue a niche area of study.
17 Central Washington University
Average Cost of Tuition after Aid: $15,175
Central Washington University (CWU) positions both itself and its students to excel in a world that becomes increasingly reliant on global business and industry. At CWU, students benefit from a robust network of more than 30 colleges and universities around the world. As such, CWU has earned numerous accolades for programs that benefit from an international network, as well as for programs that are built upon the tech industry.
CWU offers a unique degree program, specifically a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology and Administrative Management (BS-ITAM). Students can further tailor the degree program to match interests by pursuing one of three degree specializations: Administrative Management (ADMG), Cybersecurity, or Retail Management and Technology (RMT).
18 Columbia College
Average Cost of Tuition after Aid: $24,148
Columbia College looks to provide a balanced approach in providing education programs for both traditional and nontraditional students. The focus of the college is providing students with innovative degree programs that reflect the realities of the job market, packaged in a liberal arts model of study. As such, programs are meant to facilitate students’ creativity, curiosity, and sense of ethics.
Columbia College offers a fully online Computer Information Systems Major that prepares students for going on to successful careers or a graduate program. The program introduces students to the core subjects and theories of computer technology and information systems.
19 University of Maryland Global Campus
Average Cost of Tuition after Aid: $13,672
The University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) is quickly becoming a premier hub for various online degree programs. UMGC offers programs that have been nationally recognized for affordability and academic value, however the most notable accolade is that of having a high ROI–that is the return on investment in one’s career as compared to what one invests in their degree.
UMGC offers a fully online Bachelor of Science Information Systems Management which is designed to position graduates to take on positions of leadership and management after graduation. Core courses within the curriculum are as follows:
- Information Systems in Organizations
- Foundations of Information Systems Management
- Ethics in Information Technology
- Cybersecurity for Leaders and Managers
- Software and Hardware Infrastructure Concepts
- Enterprise Architecture
- Business Intelligence and Data Analytics
- Telecommunications in Information Systems
- Information Systems Project Management
- Systems Analysis and Design
- Trends and Practical Applications in Information Systems Management
20 Colorado State University Global
Average Cost of Tuition after Aid: $12,556
Colorado State University Global (CSUG) offers a robust selection of industry-aware degree programs that are designed for both adult learners and working students who need affordable programs that do not waste students’ time or money. Its online degree programs are designed with flexibility and comfort in mind–students can access coursework anytime, anywhere and will have many resources to help them make the most of their education.
CSUG offers a fully online Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems and Business Analytics. This program is one of few that combines the curriculum of information systems management with business analytics. This program is ideal for students who want to lean into the business-side of the information systems industry.