The Best Online Computer Science Schools of 2014

The field of computer science has come a long way since Pascal’s 1642 invention of the calculator. Even so, it is still relatively young. It wasn’t until the 1940s that computers were used for more than just mathematical calculations, and the first computer science degree was not available in the United States until 1962. Still, the field has grown exponentially since it was first introduced. has created a directory of the best online computer science schools and their open courseware programs to help students, faculty and other interested parties. Use our directory to find OCW for the best online computer science school programs to improve and expand your knowledge of this diverse subject.

These courses are offered with a number of format options, including downloadable video and podcast lecture series, online assignments and exams, and text-only options that reference online articles and textbooks or e-books. You do not need to invest in more than basic computer equipment and Internet access to use these formats. For example, some schools, like UC Berkeley, make their lectures available on YouTube and iTunes to download and view at any time, while others, like MIT, only make their media material available for the duration of the semester in which it is conducted.

The fundamental core of computer science focuses on system design and the mathematics behind computing. However, computing allows for great application and research in other fields, so it has strong connections with many other subjects. In fact, one of the best computer science schools online, the University of California at Berkeley, offers an OCW on that very topic, entitled “The Beauty and Joy of Computing.The class is structured toward the role computing plays in improving the fields of business communications, social sciences, humanities, and life and physical sciences. This can be seen in other subjects that MIT provides under the category of computer sciences. They range from “Intro to Robotics” to “Global Climate Change: Economics, Science and Policy.”

The range of sub-disciplines available for study at online schools in computer science include artificial intelligence, computer architecture, computer engineering, computer game development, computer graphics, computer programming, computer language and theory, networks and administration, robotics, software development, and web development and design. A general benefit of implementing computer sciences in our society is that it makes the business of everyday life more convenient. Those who pursue computer sciences as a study or an interest are better prepared to work with and understand diverse industries, and conduct research in a vast range of areas.