Top 12 Post Baccalaureate Computer Science Programs (2023)

Looking for best post baccalaureate computer science programs to kickstart your career in tech? Post-bacc programs can be excellent opportunities for career changers to gather foundational knowledge in CS and pivot your career. Here, we will review what post baccalaureate computer science programs are and will present you a list of best programs for you to choose from.

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What are Post Baccalaureate Computer Science programs?

A post-baccalaureate program is an educational program for individuals who already possess a Bachelor’s degree in some field. Post-bacc programs are taught at universities, sometimes as a degree program and sometimes as non-degree coursework. Such programs usually take 1-2 years to complete and are awarded a diploma or a certificate upon graduation.

Who are Post Baccalaureate Computer Science programs for?

Post Baccalaureate Computer Science programs are reserved for students who have an undergraduate degree and are looking to expand their knowledge in a related or unrelated subject. These programs are a great choice for career changers who would like to gain expertise in another field without attending another traditional 4-year degree. A post-bacc degree in computer science can help you acquire foundation in CS and pursue a career in technology. As a result, you may qualify for jobs in software engineering, data science, machine learning, and other specialties in computer science.

Another reason to get enrolled in a post-baccalaureate program in computer science is to pursue a graduate degree afterwards. Thus, you may use a post-bacc program as a path to applying for a Master’s or doctoral degree in CS.

What is the difference between Post-Bacc and Bridge programs?

There are many similarities between post baccalaureate computer science programs and Bridge programs. However, the two are different entities with separate aims and properties.

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Post-Bacc program is:

  • A degree or certificate program
  • Either terminal or links to graduate degree
  • Takes 1-2 years to complete
  • Often sufficient for employment

Bridge program is:

  • A non-degree program or part of Master’s coursework
  • Mostly links to graduate degree
  • Takes 3-12 months to complete
  • Sometimes sufficient for employment
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Top 12 Post Baccalaureate Computer Science Programs (1)

Best Post Bacc Computer Science Programs

1. Post Baccalaureate Computer Science Online Degree at Oregon State University

Post baccalaureate computer science online degree program at Oregon State is a fully online degree program geared for students with non-CS background. This rigorous and comprehensive program comprises 15 courses that can be completed in 1.5-2 years. Upon graduation, a student receives a diploma that states Bachelor’s of Science in Computer Science. This highly rated program will prepare you for a successful career in CS.

2. Applied Computer Science Post-Baccalaureate at University of Colorado Boulder

Applied Computer Science degree at CU Boulder is a fully online degree for anyone with an existing bachelor’s degree looking to advance in their current career, make a career pivot and/or prepare for a master’s degree. The program culminates in a Bachelor of Science in Applied Computer Science diploma, which would, by definition, be your second Bachelor’s degree. The program has a rigorous curriculum, which consists of 45 credit hours and can be completed in 1-3 years.

3. Post-Baccalaureate Certificate at Georgetown University

Post-baccalaureate certificate program in computer science (PBCS) at Georgetown University is also designed for students with no computer science background. The program consists of 12 courses, which include introduction to computer science, data structures and algorithms, math, and electives. This rigorous program takes about 2 years to complete.

4. Post-Baccalaureate Certificate at Tufts University

Tufts University offers both online and on-campus post-baccalaureate certificates in computer science separately. Two tracks are offered to the prospective students. Certificate track is comprised of 5-6 courses and culminates in a graduation certificate. Master’s track consists of 2 courses, after which students continue to the Master’s degree in computer science. Curriculum includes such courses as programming languages, data structures and algorithms, discrete math, and computational theory.

5. Programming Graduate Certificate at Harvard Extension School

Harvard Extension School’s Programming Graduate Certificate is designed for students with little or no prior knowledge in computer programming and language. It consists of 4 courses and has online or on-campus studying options. In this program, you will be able to learn algorithms, data structures, string manipulation, encapsulation, resource management, security, software engineering, and web development in one of the world’s best universities. Moreover, graduates of the Programming Graduate Certificate program are eligible to apply for 12-course Master of Liberal Arts (ALM) in Software Engineering at Harvard Extension School.

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6. Graduate Certificate in Software Design & Development at University of Washington, Bothell

This post-baccalaureate program at UWB involves 6 undergraduate-level courses that can be completed in one academic year. Students may choose to attend the program in order to learn fundamentals of computer science and seek employment or to continue to pursue a Master’s degree at UWB. The learning system involves evening on-campus or online lessons adaptable to working professionals.

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Top 12 Post Baccalaureate Computer Science Programs (2)

7. Computer Science Certificate at Drexel University

This four-course program, offered on-campus or online, provides an in-depth overview of the fundamentals of the computer science field, including courses in programming, algorithms, systems and software design. Graduates of the program may either decide to join the workforce or continue their education at one of Drexel’s Master of Science programs.

8. Programming Post-Baccalaureate Certificate at Northwestern University

Programming Post-Baccalaureate Certificate students at Northwestern University will learn programming and software design skills for application in business and organizational fields. The program focuses on Java and other object-oriented programming languages, data science, and systems design and analysis. No prerequisite knowledge besides general experience with computers is needed for admissions.

9. Computer Programming Certificate at North Carolina State University

Computer Programming Certificate (CPC) at NCSU is an entirely online program open to students with a bachelor’s degree in any field other than computer science or computer engineering. The program is specifically designed to help you gain the fundamental computing skills you need to further your current career or prepare for a career change. Graduates of the program may use their acquired skills for seeking employment or to continue their education at NCSU’s graduate programs.

10. Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Data Science at University of Minnesota

This rigorous program is designed to provide interested studentsa solid conceptual foundation in data science. The program consists of 4 courses, which are usually completed in 2 semesters. Students take one course in each of the three focus areas (statistics, algorithmics, and infrastructure and large scale computing) plus one elective.

11. Post-Baccalaureate program at University of Houston

This program at University of Houston offers two options for prospective students. Degree-seeking option is for those students who wish to acquire a second Bachelor’s degree, while non-degree option is for those who either want to obtain general foundational knowledge in computer science or to fulfill prerequisite requirements for graduate degree. Coursework focuses on math, object-oriented programming, data structures, computer architecture, and operating systems.

12. Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Computer Science Applications at Hofstra University

The Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Computer Science Applications is a pathway program that will teach students with a Bachelor’s degree core knowledge in computer science, including programming, discrete mathematics, data structures, and algorithm analysis. No prior knowledge of programming is required. Students who complete the program with a minimum GPA of 3.0 will automatically be admitted to the MS in Computer Science, the MS in Cybersecurity, or the MS in Data Science program at Hofstra University.

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Other options for CS education

Attending a post-baccalaureate program is an excellent way to acquire fundamental knowledge in computer science or transition to a Master’s degree in CS if you already possess a Bachelor’s degree in an unrelated field. However, it is certainly not the only way to get into the industry and kickstart your CS career. You may also wish to consider other options for education to help you break into computer science. These include:

  • On-campus MSCS programs for non-CS majors
  • Online MSCS programs for non-CS majors
  • Bridge to CS programs
  • Second Bachelor’s degree
  • Coding Bootcamp
  • Self-study
See also Computer Science Personal Statement (Guide + Examples!)

Each of these options has different advantages, which we review in5 Proven Ways To Switch Careers To Computer Science. Also, for those who are interested in tech entrepreneurship, management positions in tech, and business & software development in general, I also recommend you to check out the joint MBA/MSCS programs. They are an excellent opportunity to get education in both the business part and development part of software engineering and increase your salary severalfold!

Final thoughts

Post baccalaureate computer science programs are a great way to transition to a career in tech in a practical timeframe while getting all the perks of acquiring comprehensive knowledge base by attending an accredited institution. Flexibility to either apply for jobs directly or pursue a Master’s degree upon competing a post-bacc program in computer science is another advantage, especially for those students who are unsure whether they ultimately want to pursue a Master’s degree. All-in-all, post-bacc programs outlined in this article provide students with rigorous coursework required for breaking into the industry and are a great option for students who possess a Bachelor’s degree in another field.

If you enjoyed this article, feel free to bookmark it for later, comment with feedback and questions, and share with other interested students and professionals. We wish you good luck in your career transformation!

Top 12 Post Baccalaureate Computer Science Programs (3)

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Elmar Mammadov

Elmar Mammadov is a software developer, tech startup founder, and computer science career specialist. He is the founder of CS Careerline and a true career changer who has previously pursued careers in medicine and neuroscience.

Due to his interest in programming and years of past personal experience in coding, he decided to break into the tech industry by attending a Master’s in Computer Science for career changers at University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League school. Elmar passionately writes and coaches about breaking into the tech industry and computer science in general.



Is a post BACC in computer science worth it? ›

Is It Worth Getting an Online Post Baccalaureate Computer Science Degree? Yes, getting an online post baccalaureate computer science degree is worth it for many students. In the computer and information technology fields, jobs are projected to grow at a rate of 11% in the next 10 years (Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Are online post bacc programs worth it? ›

Enrolling in a post-bacc program may offer you a chance to strengthen your transcript and knowledge base before you apply to medical school, and can be a good bridge between completing your undergraduate studies and entering medical school.

Which Masters degree is most in demand in computer science? ›

Browse the Top 10 Online Master's Degrees in Computer Science and IT listed below to find a program that's right for you!
  • MSc Web Design and Development. ...
  • Master in Big Data Solutions. ...
  • Master's Degree in Research in Cybersecurity. ...
  • Master in Computer Science. ...
  • Software Engineering for Embedded Systems.
Dec 30, 2022

What master degree should I get with a bachelor's in computer science? ›

Most master's in computer science programs offer a master of science (MS) in computer science. However, schools may offer other types of master's degrees in this field, such as a master of business administration (MBA) that focuses on information technology.

How many post-BACC credits is enough? ›

A good rule of thumb is to shoot between 32-50 credit hours in your post-bacc to repair a sub 3.0 GPA.

What is the success rate of post-BACC? ›

How successful are students in the program at matriculating to medical school? Since its founding in 1998, the USC's Postbacc Program has sent between 60-70% of its students to medical school on first applications. Including second applications, the overall success rate is roughly 80%.

What GPA should you consider post-BACC? ›

General post-baccalaureate requirements include: GPA of 2.5 or greater, although some programs may be more competitive and require a higher GPA.

What is the average age for post-BACC? ›

The average age of our incoming post-bacc students is 26 years old (although we have had students as young as 20 and as old as 58), with 71% of our students being female, 28% being male, and 1% being gender non-binary.

Is it hard to get into a post-bacc? ›

Post-bacc students take “premed” courses to prepare for medical school and a career as an M.D. Critics say post-bacc programs are too expensive and difficult to get into.

What is the highest paid field in computer science? ›

Here's a look at the highest paying computer science jobs today:
  • Front-end developer.
  • Java developer.
  • Software engineer.
  • Network security engineer.
  • Mobile developer.
  • Data scientist.
  • DevOps engineer.
  • Software architect.
Jan 17, 2023

What is the highest paying computer science major? ›

1. Software Engineer. In this job, you have to create computer programs (software), as well as maintain, audit, and fix them when necessary. It involves writing code and speaking different programming languages.

What is the best computer science master's salary? ›

While ZipRecruiter is seeing annual salaries as high as $145,500 and as low as $19,000, the majority of Masters Computer Science salaries currently range between $41,500 (25th percentile) to $94,000 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $110,000 annually across the United States.

Is a Masters in computer science enough to get a job? ›

“Computer science is one of those fields where having a bachelor's degree is enough to get some jobs, but certainly not all, particularly more senior roles. There are companies that are looking to fill positions with people who have a master's degree—that's motivation for a lot of people to pursue one.”

Does GPA matter for Masters in computer science? ›

Yes, your undergraduate GPA is taken into account when you apply to graduate programs. Most colleges like to see at least a 2.5 or a 3.0 from master's program applicants. Some programs set their minimums at 3.3 or higher.

Is it better to get a masters or bachelors in computer science? ›

Software developers, for example, generally only need a bachelor's degree, but preference is often given to those with a master's in the field. Computer systems analysts also generally only need a bachelor's degree, but positions in this field that are technically complex often go to those with a master's degree.

How many classes should I take post-BACC? ›

Most students begin the Post-Bac Program in late May, complete eight required science courses over the following 12 months, and graduate the following mid-May.

How to calculate GPA with post-bacc? ›

To calculate these GPAs, each A-F or 0-100 grade you entered in the Grade field is first converted to a PostbacCAS numeric grade value, then multiplied by the attempted credits. The resulting product is Quality Points. Your total Quality Points are then divided by your Attempted Credits to determine your GPA.

Do post-bacc classes affect GPA? ›

The grades you earn in your post-bac program will impact your overall GPA, and since you will be taking premed classes, your GPA here will largely make up your BCPM (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Math grades, used as a separate metric to assess medical school candidates).

How much will a post bacc increase my GPA? ›

However, since you're only taking a few classes, the boost to your overall GPA will probably be modest even if you ace the classes—usually just a few tenths of a point. Still, improvement is improvement, and the difference between a 2.9 and a 3.2 can be significant, especially if your MCAT is strong.

Is a post BACC better than Masters? ›

A post-bacc program helps you achieve a very direct, short-term goal: gaining admission to medical school. On the other hand, the master's program can give you more career options in medicine or research while bettering your chances of getting into medical school.

How do I get into a post BACC program with a low GPA? ›

Start with an informal postbac.

Just take classes as a non-matriculated student at whatever school you can to improve your GPA. You don't need to apply to any program to take classes as a non-matriculated student. The prerequisites are not the same as a Special Masters Program (SMP).

Is a 3.975 unweighted GPA good? ›

Considering the highest possible GPA is 4.0, it's pretty easy to say yes, a 3.9 is a great GPA unequivocally. The average high school student graduates with a 3.0, so your achievement is well-above average and qualifies you for acceptance into even the most competitive institutions.

What GPA scale does Harvard use for applicants? ›

Most students admitted to Harvard have an unweighted GPA of 4.18 or above, so you'll need to have at least a 4.2 to be seriously evaluated. To meet the Harvard requirements, you'll have to score primarily A's on your high school courses.

Which GPA do employers look at? ›

Do employers look at overall or major GPA? Generally, employees want to see your overall or cumulative GPA as an indication of your abilities as a student. Some employers will ask for a transcript, which means you need to include the exact GPA shown there.

How long are most post bacc programs? ›

A post-baccalaureate (postbac/post-bacc) program is for students who have already completed an undergraduate degree, and are interested in a health professions career. Programs vary in length, but generally range from 1-2 years.

Is a post bacc the same as a second bachelors? ›

Students pursuing a second Bachelor's degree after they have already completed their first degree are referred to as Post-Baccalaureate.

Is post bacc considered a degree? ›

Post Baccalaureate programs are not considered traditional graduate education, but their standing is more advanced than a bachelor's degree. Some of these programs are offered under the umbrella of continuing education and leads to a graduate degree.

What is the acceptance rate for post bacc at uc berkeley? ›

A: Historically, our acceptance rate has been approximately 50%.

Will one C ruin my GPA for med school? ›

One "C" grade can significantly drop your science GPA. If you major in a science, however, one "C" grade can be offset by several "A" grades in upper division courses. Volunteer activities show medical schools you have the desire to find out what you are getting yourself into.

What GPA do you need for post BACC Georgetown? ›

If admitted, you must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours to receive a certificate and review by the Georgetown Pre-Health Recommendation committee. Post-bac students are also expected to maintain a minimum GPA of 3.2 while completing the requisite coursework.

Can you make 200k in computer science? ›

It's definitely possible to make $200k as a Software Engineer. Salaries are very high, especially in the US, because venture capital puts so much money into startups. Investors are eager to find the next unicorn e.g. a company worth more than $1bn. So tech companies have a lot of money to spend on Software Engineers.

Can I make 100k with a computer science degree? ›

Some of the highest-paying careers with a computer science degree include computer network architects, software developers, and computer and information research scientists. Computer scientists earn $68,000 in entry-level positions, $100,000 in mid-career positions, and $121,000 in advanced positions.

Can computer scientists make 300k a year? ›

Even newly minted Ph. D.s in machine learning and data science can make more than $300,000. Beyond the tech industry, among those betting on similar expertise tailored to their interests are banks, hedge funds, carmakers, and drug companies."

Can computer science majors make 500k? ›

Yes, but not all software engineers will ever reach that level of compensation. There are two ways to get a very high compensation in tech companies. The first one is to join a high-growth company in early stages, when the first employees are given a large amount of equity, and hope for a successful IPO.

Do all CS majors make a lot of money? ›

A degree in computer science can lead to roles in a variety of industries outside big tech, such as healthcare, postsecondary education, telecommunications, and business. While salaries can vary greatly by degree level and occupation, the median salary for computer science professionals is roughly $97,430.

Do computer science graduates make a lot of money? ›

In the United States, the average base salary for a computer scientist is $121,067 or $58 an hour. In the next 5 years, this base salary is expected to grow by 11% to $134, 983. Globally, computer scientists can expect to earn well above the average.

Is it worth it doing a masters in computer science difference in pay? ›

The increase in salary expectations is well documented. According to Payscale, a bachelor's in computer science earns you, on average, $85,000 per year. If you get your master's degree in computer science, Payscale notes a pay bump of $16,000 to an average salary of $101,000 per year.

What is the average college grad salary in computer science? ›

The average college graduate starting salary is around $55,260. Computer science majors have the highest projected average salary for 2022, making an average of $75,900.

What is the average salary of computer science masters in USA? ›

Master of Science (MS), Computer Science (CS) Jobs by Salary
Job TitleRangeAverage
Senior Software EngineerRange:$96k - $169kAverage:$128,901
Data ScientistRange:$73k - $133kAverage:$100,276
Software DeveloperRange:$64k - $115kAverage:$86,362
Data EngineerRange:$73k - $131kAverage:$97,758
3 more rows
Feb 24, 2023

What percentage of computer science graduates get jobs? ›

Several students having master's and bachelor's degrees in Computer Science are struggling to find a job in the IT industry. As per a study, the unemployment rate of recent CS graduates has spiked to 7.8%.

Can an average student do masters in computer science? ›

To pursue masters in computer science international students need to provide a bachelors degree certificate with a minimum GPA of 3.5 or above. Students are also required to prove their proficiency with the English language to get admission to the top universities for MS in computer science.

Is 3.5 a good GPA for Masters in computer science? ›

For example, to apply for MS in computer science, at prestigious universities like Columbia, Stanford, UCLA, a GPA of at least 3.5 is required. The program website usually has the minimum GPA requirement mentioned, so make it a point to check this before applying.

Do employers care about GPA computer science? ›

GPA matters, however, when applying for a job in competitive fields such as law, engineering, finance, and computer science. A stellar GPA can help you get to round one of the interviews because hiring managers often use them to screen potential candidates.

What is the average GPA of a computer science major? ›

Science majors tend to have lower GPAs on average, with chemistry being the major with the lowest average GPA.
GPAs by Major.
MajorAverage GPA
Computer Science3.13
14 more rows
Oct 15, 2022

Is a bachelor degree in computer science worth IT? ›

Yes, a computer science degree is worth it for many students. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is projecting 11% job growth in computer and information technology occupations over the next 10 years.

Should I get a PhD or masters in computer science? ›

An MS is basically a technical degree that gives you more interesting job opportunities. A PhD is basically a research degree, which opens up a host of advanced and research-oriented opportunities. Think less about how much money you can make but about quality of life.

Is it better to do a post BACC or a Masters program? ›

The main difference between master's vs. post-baccalaureate programs is that the former contributes to your graduate GPA while the latter can boost your undergraduate GPA. Most students enroll in SMPs to enhance their profile: they're happy with their undergraduate GPA and have met medical school requirements.

Will post bacc increase GPA? ›

In a post-bac program, you are laser-focused on excelling in prerequisite courses. This may lead to you getting higher grades than you did as an undergrad. “The grades you earn in your post-bac program will impact your overall GPA," the post said.

What is the hardest post grad school to get into? ›

Here is a look at Niche's 50 toughest colleges to get into and the competitive acceptance rates that make them so prestigious.
  1. Harvard University.
  2. Stanford University. ...
  3. Princeton University. ...
  4. 4. California Institute of Technology. ...
  5. Yale University. ...
  6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. ...
  7. University of Chicago. ...
  8. Columbia University. ...
Sep 15, 2022

Does bachelors GPA matter for Masters? ›

Does GPA Matter for Grad School? Yes, your undergraduate GPA is taken into account when you apply to graduate programs. Most colleges like to see at least a 2.5 or a 3.0 from master's program applicants. Some programs set their minimums at 3.3 or higher.

Does GPA matter for post grad? ›

For master's programs, many schools will want you to stay above a 3.0 just to avoid academic probation. For PhD programs, GPAs practically don't matter as long as they meet all the other requirements (unless you went to the PhD program right after undergrad, in which case you'll need to maintain a 3.0 or higher).

Can I get into a post bac program with a low GPA? ›

However, students have different financial needs, so she said each student should weigh the pros and cons for both options. Is it harder to be accepted into a post-bacc program with a lower GPA? For post-bacc programs, GPA doesn't matter as much as it does for medical schools.

What is a good SMP GPA? ›

If you enroll in a SMP and do not excel, you may hurt your chances for admission. The goal should be to achieve a GPA of 3.60 or better. If you need to take the MCAT, think about how you will study at the same time you are taking graduate level coursework.

Is postgraduate more difficult than undergraduate? ›

"There is no denying that a postgraduate course is harder than an undergraduate course. You will have to put in a lot more work than what you have previously. If you expect and prepare to put in a lot of work, you will find it easier when it comes to doing it, which will then be reflected in your results."

Are SMPS hard to get into? ›

Admission into some Special Master's Programs is extremely tough. Across the board, schools tend to require that students have taken premed school courses similar to those taken by MD program applicants. (That's why you'll need to do a post-bacc if you haven't taken any premed coursework yet.)


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