Degree Overview

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

Computer science is transforming our world. Its effects are felt in every industry and benefit every life. From medicine to manufacturing, entertainment to engineering, the technology that defines our global society began in the brain of a computer scientist.

A bachelor's degree in computer science from WGU will prepare you to make your mark on the technologies of tomorrow. Once you've earned this degree, you'll be ready to apply your knowledge and skills to design, develop, and optimize systems that can meet current and future industry needs. (You will also pick up certifications from CIW, CompTIA, Axelos, and Oracle along the way!) The prowess you gain in logic, architecture and systems, data structures, artificial intelligence, algorithms, and computer theory, among other things, will make you a highly in-demand professional in a diverse and promising workplace.

Because every industry around the world needs computer scientists—and there are far too few good computer scientists to fill those roles—consider going into computer science with a B.S. Computer Science degree from WGU.

Who the Program is For:

A career with such huge potential requires a certain kind of person to excel. You must have an aptitude for math and problem solving, excel at teamwork, and thrive when working in big, complex systems. You need a strong interest in computers and computer science, of course. And you have to be ready to work hard. Good candidates for this program could include:

  • Working professionals interested in moving into computer science.
  • Recent community college graduates interested in computer science.
  • People with job aspirations including computer systems analyst, computer programmer, artificial intelligence specialist, machine learning engineer, front-end developer, or network architect, among many other career possibilities.

While you should plan to commit 20 to 30 hours a week to your studies, this program is flexible and adaptable to your schedule.  Click here to learn how this program works.

What You'll Learn

Essential Knowledge and Skills

WGU's B.S. Computer Science is a flexible, online degree program designed for prospective students seeking a bachelor’s degree to build a strong career in the high-demand world of computer science. This bachelor's degree program focuses on algorithms and data structures, artificial intelligence and robotics, database and information retrieval, human-computer communication, numerical and symbolic computation, and more.

Key Subject Areas

These courses add to your credentials:

  • Information Technology Fundamentals

  • Web Development

  • Network and Security

  • Business of IT

  • Scripting and Programming

  • Computer Architecture

  • Data Structures and Algorithms

  • Introduction to Artificial Intelligence

  • Software

  • Data Management

  • Secure Systems Analysis & Design

  • Operating Systems

  • Technical Communication

  • Data Manipulation

Core Subject Areas

These general education assessments may be cleared through transfer credit:

  • Calculus

  • Introduction to Geography

  • English Composition

  • Discrete Mathematics

  • Introduction to Communication

  • American Politics and the U.S. Constitution

  • Introduction to Humanities

  • Applied Probability and Statistics

  • Ethics in Technology

  • Integrated Physical Sciences

  • Natural Science Lab

What You'll Earn

IT Certifications

This program incorporates several industry recognized IT certifications as part of your degree program. You will study for and complete the following certification exams (which are all included in your tuition—a huge cost savings for you):

  • CIW Site Development Associate
  • CompTIA Project+
  • Oracle Database SQL
  • Axelos ITIL Foundation

Note: Your IT certifications may waive some degree requirements. Click here to see which IT certifications may transfer to WGU.

Capstone Project

At the end of your program, you will complete a capstone project that represents the culmination of all your hard work—a project that allows you to take what you’ve learned and apply it to a real-world situation, proposing a solution to an actual issue faced in an actual place of business.

How It Works

A Degree Program That Fits Your Schedule

WGU Tennessee is designed to let you go to school on your time, not according to a class schedule. Our online degree program is flexible and puts you at the center of your education: you choose when and where to complete your coursework. Once you demonstrate your competency in a subject area, you can move on to your next course.

Online learning is not easy.

You should expect to work hard and spend 20 hours or more per week on your studies. Still, your program will be flexible enough to fit into your schedule, not the other way around.

How Long Will It Take?

It Depends On You

The average time it takes to complete a bachelor’s degree at WGU is just over 2 years, significantly less than at other online schools. For students with little or no prior college, it takes longer. That said, the amount of time it takes to complete your degree is truly up to you!

If you possess an associate’s degree (A.A. or A.S.) in Information Technology from a regionally accredited school, you should be able to clear your liberal arts requirements as well as the lower-level information technology assessment requirements. Combine that with WGU’s competency-based method, which allows you to advance with the skills and knowledge you already have, and you may be able to finish in even less time.

If you've taken courses or received a degree from another college or university, you may be able to clear some of these requirements through transfer credit.

Ultimately, the pace at which you complete your online B.S. Computer Science degree program depends on how rapidly you pass assessments.

It’s your program. It’s up to you. Create your own schedule and achieve your personal goals.

"Employers in the information technology field increasingly are looking for students that not only have a degree but certain certifications in the technologies that are really driving the industry forward." Brad Smith, Executive Vice President for Legal and Corporate Affairs at Microsoft

How Competency-Based Education Benefits You

Put Your Existing Knowledge to Work

Western Governors University was the first university in the country to employ a cutting edge, competency-based learning model that lets you use skills and knowledge you already have to accelerate your degree program.

In WGU's online degree programs, students advance by demonstrating their competence in each subject area. You’ll be able to move quickly through material you already know so you can spend your time focusing on what you still need to learn.

  • You’ll work with your assigned Faculty Mentor on a personalized Degree Plan that establishes the pace at which you move through the program.

  • With few exceptions, you’ll be able to choose when and where you study.

  • You’ll complete as much work as YOU choose during each six-month term.

  • You’ll collaborate with your Faculty Mentor to determine the learning resources that will help you develop and demonstrate your competency in each subject area.

  • You’ll be required to complete at least 12 CUs per term for bachelor's degree programs and 8 CUs per term for graduate degree programs in order to make On Time Progress. If you choose to and are able, you can add courses and move more quickly through your program.

How Much Will It Cost?

Less Than You Think

We're committed to keeping tuition low and making sure our online education degree programs remain the very best value for hardworking students. WGU doesn't spend money on classrooms, research facilities, or football stadiums. Instead, we focus on keeping costs low. And because we charge tuition at a flat-rate each term, if you complete coursework ahead of schedule, you can save yourself money as well as time.


You pay for time—not credits

  • No matter how many courses you complete each term, your tuition stays the same.

  • The more courses you complete each term, the fewer terms you have until graduation.

  • Our competency-based model gives you the opportunity to accelerate your progress.

  • If you complete your program ahead of schedule, you'll save both time and money.

For this program, a full-time course load is 12 competency units per term. Because we allow you to complete extra courses at no extra cost, you may be able to increase the value of your program by dedicating extra time to your studies.

  • $3,225: Tuition per 6-Month Term
  • $145: Resource Fee per 6-Month Term
  • $150: Program Fee per 6-Month Term
  • $65: One-Time Application Fee

The B.S. Computer Science online degree program at WGU is designed to be affordable for hard-working adults with bills to pay.

Learn more about tuition and fees.

When We Say Affordable, We Mean It

The WGU B.S. Computer Science degree program is typically about half the cost of other equally reputable IT programs. Other schools charge as much as $400 per credit, which can ultimately cost between $30,000 and $60,000 for your degree. WGU is different. You’ll save thousands with our affordable, flat-rate tuition and an online learning model that won’t require you to buy expensive textbooks.

Tuition Comparison: Bachelor of Science Computer Science

WGU University of Phoenix
$3,225 per six month term.
If it takes four years = $25,800
120 credits x $490* per credit = $58,800

*$490/credit cost based on an average of $395 per credit for lower-division courses and $585 for upper-division courses.
*Note: This chart is for illustration only. Actual results will vary depending upon the number of terms needed to complete the program. Estimates based on WGU's standard tuition as of January 2019. Tuition rates were gathered from competing university websites during April 2017.

Compare WGU tuition to tuition at other schools

Financial Aid

You Can Afford to Earn a Degree

WGU's financial aid experts are on hand to help you finance your education in the smartest way possible. 76% of WGU students receive some type of financial aid.

Federal Financial Aid is available to most students.

Respected, Recognized, and Accredited

Northwest Commission Accredited

Western Governors University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. The Northwest Commission is also responsible for the accreditation of other major universities in the West, including the University of Washington, the University of Oregon, Gonzaga University, and the University of Utah, among many others. Learn more about accreditation here.

An online IT degree from WGU tells employers that you're serious about success.

Take the next step into a prosperous future.

WGU is a Microsoft IT Academy Member

As a Microsoft IT Academy program member, WGU is able to offer students a world-class technology curriculum and courseware provided by Microsoft. Many (but not all) of your Microsoft courses will use this rich online learning resource which includes virtual labs that provide hands-on experience with Microsoft software to supplement your learning. The cost of certification exams is included in WGU tuition.

The demand for talented, competent IT professionals is tremendous. WGU's online IT degrees ideally fit today’s challenging IT world. By incorporating the latest industry recognized certifications (including CIW, CCNA, MCSA, OCP, and CompTIA), you’re assured of an education that will give you the credentials you need to get ahead.

WGU Graduates Succeed

Become a Success Story

Our latest survey of leading employers speaks volumes about our ability to prepare grads to work in many industries:


of employers said WGU grads exceed expectations.


of employers rated WGU graduates’ job performance as very good or excellent.


of employers consider WGU graduates prepared for their jobs.


of employers said they would hire another WGU graduate.

Note: 2017 Survey of Employers by Harris Poll

You can learn more about how employers view WGU grads by exploring our National Student Success and Performance Data.

"The big draw was the fact that it was online. I could work at my own pace." James Dye,
WGU Alumnus

How a Course Works

Prove What You Know and Move Forward

You set your own pace by demonstrating your skills. In the online degree programs at WGU Tennessee, you'll advance through each course by first mastering the course content, then completing and passing challenging assessments that measure your knowledge and skills in each subject area.

These rigorous assessments (tests, papers, assignments, and projects) let you demonstrate your competence in each subject area in order to pass the course and earn competency units (CUs), our equivalent to the traditional credit hour.

WGU Tennessee sets a high standard, and we want our students to succeed. You'll be given ample opportunity to master the subject matter and re-take assessments as needed in order to graduate.

Getting Started

Enrollment is easy. View our Enrollment Checklist for the easy steps to getting started.

Students must be able to use key calculus principles, rules, and applications while in the B.S. Computer Science program. WGU offers Pre-Calculus Essentials prior to the first term for any student wanting to review or enhance their skills and knowledge before starting Calculus. Students must meet the following admission requirements for admittance to this program:

  • Possess a high school diploma or its equivalent.
  • Demonstrate math readiness through completion of one of the following:
    • Option 1: Pre-Calculus Essentials from WGU.
    • Option 2: A pre-calculus course from a WGU approved third-party provider
    • Option 3: A high school pre-calculus or calculus course.
    • Option 4: A college pre-calculus or calculus course.
    • Option 5: An associate’s degree in computer science, pre-engineering, or math.
    • Option 6: A Udacity course in artificial intelligence or a nanodegree in machine learning engineer or deep learning.

See more about College of Information Technology Admission Requirements

Speak to an Enrollment Counselor and Apply Today

You'll be on your way to a successful career. A world of opportunity awaits.

Request Info Apply Now

Question and Answer

Select a question from the left, see the answer to the right.

How does WGU keep its tuition so low?

As a nonprofit university, WGU doesn’t need to benefit shareholders. Our students are our main concern. We also try to keep our operating costs low. And since we’re an exclusively online university, we don’t need to maintain expensive classroom buildings, a campus, and other non-academic programs. 

Should I consider financial aid?

Using financial aid is a personal decision. When making this decision, you should know that a degree is a great investment in yourself that will pay for itself many times over. Individuals with a bachelor’s degree earn on average almost a million dollars more over the course their careers compared to those without one. A master’s degree typically has a similar impact on your wallet. You should definitely consider federal financial aid if it means the difference between getting your degree or not. Speak to an Enrollment Counselor to learn more.


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