Online Computer Science Postbaccalaureate Degree - FAQ

Admissions Requirements

  1. What if I don’t meet one of the minimum requirements?
    We approach the admissions process from a holistic perspective. The overall goal is student success and graduation; therefore, our application review is comprehensive. All parts of your application will be considered carefully before making a decision. In some cases, our comprehensive review has allowed us to admit students who don’t quite meet the minimum GPA requirement or the minimum grade requirement, although that is not the norm. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee you admission, but meeting or exceeding them does improve your chances of admittance. If you don’t meet the math requirement, you can take a qualifying math course prior to applying to the program.
  2. I’m not sure if I meet the math/English/communication requirement. How can I find out?
    Consult the Ecampus website for details, and/or use the OSU Course Search tool. If you still have questions, contact Yvette Lareaux, EECS Program Representative.
  3. If I don’t meet the minimum requirements, can I take a course before applying?
    If you would like to take a course, you are welcome to do so as a non-degree student prior to enrollment in the Post-Baccalaureate program. All courses that you have taken, including those at Oregon State University, will be evaluated and considered as part of your application. Please ensure you use the Transfer Course Search tool that Oregon State provides to find equivalent courses. Before taking a course to meet the requirements, please refer to the Equivalents page to see if you already meet them.
  4. What if I already have a computer science or related degree?
    If you already have a bachelor’s degree in computer science, then you are not eligible to do the postbaccalaureate CS program. Oregon State University does not allow students to get a second degree in the same field as the first degree. If you have an associate’s degree in computer science or if you have a bachelor’s in a related field, such as information technology, you are still eligible to apply.
  5. Will experience in computer science increase my chances of acceptance?
    No. Prior computer science experience is not required for admission to the program. This program was designed for students looking for a career change, and thus no prior CS experience is required. Current students have recommended prospective students explore some basic programming prior to starting courses, especially if students are brand new to coding. If you would like to learn basic programming before enrolling in the postbaccalaureate CS program, you can enroll for CS 201 (Introduction to Programming for Non-CS Majors) as a non-degree student. Alternatively, you could study programming via avenues outside Oregon State University, such as Codecademy or Udemy.

Application Process

  1. How do I apply? What are the steps?
    Please see the Admission Info page.
  2. Where do I send my transcripts?
    Please send them to the Office of Admissions.
  3. Do I have to send all of my transcripts? What if I only took one course at a community college in high school, do I still need to send my transcript?
    Yes. The Office of Admissions requires that ALL transcripts from ALL accredited colleges and universities attended be submitted for consideration. All transcripts must be received by the application deadline. The Office of Admissions will provide you with updates on the status of your materials, but ultimately it is your responsibility to ensure all materials are received on time. There are absolutely no exceptions at all for any reason whatsoever.
  4. What are the deadlines to apply for this program?
    Please see the Enrolling section of our program overview.
  5. Do you accept late applications? What if my transcript was only 1 day late?
    No late applications will be considered. All transcripts must be received by the application deadline. The Office of Admissions will provide you with updates on the status of your materials, but ultimately it is your responsibility to ensure all materials are received on time. There are NO exceptions.
  6. I didn’t make the deadline. What are my options?
    You can log back into your application and change your term of application to the following term. You will not need to resend transcripts or pay the fee again. Please note that you can only use this form once. If you are later admitted to the program and then decide to defer your admission to a later term, you will not be able to do so because you have already used the change of term form once before.  

After Applying

  1. How and when will I hear of my admission decision?
    You will hear of your admission decision on a rolling basis no later than one month prior to the start of the term you’ve selected. For example, if you apply for fall term you will hear of your admission decision no later than one month prior to the first day of fall term classes. Refer to the Admission Info page for the detailed timeline pertaining to your term of admission. You will be notified of your official admission status by the Office of Admissions; if admitted, you can also expect an invitation letter from the School of EECS with information about how to sign up for your group registration day with the advisors and get your registration PIN. These emails will come to the address you listed on your application. Be sure to check your junk folder to ensure you do not miss the emails.
  2. What is the program’s acceptance rate?
    This varies term by term and depends on the number of applicants, what qualifications the applicants come in with (such as, are they meeting or exceeding the minimum requirements?), and our program capacity at the time. While meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission, if you are meeting or exceeding the requirements your chances of admittance are high.
  3. I’ve been admitted but I think I want to defer. What are my options?
    Admitted students may defer once up to 3 terms after their term of admission. For example, if you are admitted Summer 2021 you can defer to Fall 2021, Winter 2022 or Spring 2022. After that, however, you would need to reapply. In order to defer, you must log back into your application and change your term of application prior to the deadline for the term you wish to start. Note that international students must contact International Admissions if you’d like to defer. Please note you can only use this form once. You must submit your deferral request prior to the application deadline for the term you wish to start. For example, if you want to defer to Summer term, you must submit your deferral request by May 1.
  4. What happens once I’m admitted? What can I expect?
    In addition to the admittance email you receive from Office of Admissions, you will also receive an invitation email during the timeline given on our website from our account asking you to sign up for a group registration day with the EECS advisors. In order to register for courses you MUST follow the instructions in this email and sign up for a group registration day. This is how you get your PIN to be able to register for courses. You must register for courses to confirm your admission. Note that you DO NOT have to pay the $200 tuition deposit fee to confirm admission. Refer to the Ecampus website for the detailed timeline pertaining to your term of admission.
  5. I’ve been denied. What are my options?
    You are welcome to apply as many times as you wish. There is no penalty for applying more than once, and having previously applied neither helps nor hurts you. Each time you apply it is viewed as a new application. Feel free to email us at for feedback about your initial application so that you know what issues, if any, you need to address when applying again. For example, perhaps one of your transcripts failed to arrive on time, which you could easily fix and try again.
  6. I have taken computer science courses previously. Will they transfer?
    After admission, you will work with your assigned advisor to articulate any transfer coursework you may have. In general, students may transfer up to 15 credits of prior CS coursework because Oregon State University requires that 45 of the 60 credits required for the program must be taken from our university. Check out Oregon State’s Transfer Course Search tool to check your possible course equivalents.
  7. I have work experience in the field of computer science. Is there a “test out” option for some classes?
    No, not at this time.

International Students

  1. How are the application process and minimum requirements different for international applicants?
    International students must apply through International Admissions. Be sure to consult with International Admissions on your application process and requirements. The minimum requirements for International applicants are the same as domestic students, except that international students with degrees from universities where English was not the primary language of instruction must take and receive a passing score on the TOEFL. Please check with International Admissions if you have questions about the TOEFL or about waivers for the TOEFL.
  2. How do I know if my degree is equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree?
    Please check with International Admissions on bachelor degree equivalencies. In general, a useful resource for students is EducationUSA and also Oregon State University’s Graduate School country requirements website. Please note the Graduate School requirements are NOT the same as the post-baccalaureate requirements, but the website can be a useful reference guide when looking at bachelor equivalencies.
  3. I’m currently on a visa in the U.S. Will attending this program affect my visa?
    Yes, it could affect your visa. For specific visa questions, please contact Office of International Services.
  4. When do I need to confirm my admission with International Admissions?
    In order to have time to complete all required steps for registration, you must confirm your admission no later than one month after the deadline to apply. Refer to the deadlines.

Program Information

  1. What will my diploma say after graduating from this program?
    Bachelor of Science in Computer Science.
  2. Is the online degree the same as the degree students earn on campus?
    The core required computer science courses are the same between the on campus CS bachelor's degree program and the online CS postbaccalaureate program. The computer science courses taken online are the same computer science courses taken on campus. However, bachelor's students have more requirements: they must take Calculus, Stats for Engineers, Technical Writing, and select an emphasis area, which requires more credits to graduate.
  3. Is this program ABET accredited?
    No, this program is not ABET accredited. The university is accredited through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), one of six regional accrediting bodies recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. If you are worried about ABET accreditation, search for the type of future jobs you are looking for to see if ABET accreditation is an important factor, or not, for the type of job you are searching for.
  4. What are the languages taught in this program?
    Fundamentally, a CS degree carries with it an expectation that the holder of the degree can work with many different programming languages. You will be taught how to program, not necessarily to know a particular language. The specific language is just syntax and special features, while programming is a thought process. Therefore a variety of languages are taught in the program. For example, our introductory courses (161, 162, 261) are taught in Python. The databases class (340) teaches SQL. The web development class (290) teaches HTML, CSS, and JavaScript using the NodeJS implementation and Express framework. Other languages such as Java, C++ and C# may be used in the program but not necessarily taught. For example, if you have a specific language you like to work with or want to work with on a particular project for a course, depending on the course and the project, you may consult with your TA and/or instructor to see if they are amenable to your language choice.
  5. Is this program self-paced? Or do I have to show up at certain times for a video lecture?
    No and no. The program is not self-paced, but you don’t have to “show up” at certain times either. What you do have to do is read all the materials for each week and ensure you submit your assignments, quizzes and exams by their respective deadlines. Each term follows a schedule, and you must remain on schedule. How you organize your time each week to ensure you meet the deadlines is up to you.
  6. Will I need a proctor for exams?
    Yes. Some courses require exams that need a proctor. You can either: 1.) find an accepted proctor location near your location, or 2.) in some cases you may use Proctorio. You can read more about finding exam proctors here.
  7. What are the courses like? What will I be doing?
    The online CS courses are all on an online platform called Canvas. This is where you will access the course materials. You will need a computer with internet in order to accomplish most tasks. You can check the College of Engineering’s general computer requirement recommendations. Courses are designed using active learning principles. They have reduced reliance on or eliminated video lectures. Instead, courses provide rich, content-heavy ‘exploration’ pages in Canvas that include embedded, hands-on coding practice and/or other types of interactive activities within those pages. There is still interaction with the faculty through other methods. However, content is delivered through an active-learning framework.

    In addition, courses include periodic online discussions and quizzes. Students use online discussion boards to interact with their classmates, the teaching assistants and with instructors. Some courses also have group projects and assignments. We encourage students to be proactive in communication with the instructors and TAs if they need help. Most courses will require proctored exams (typically no more than 1 midterm and 1 final).
  8. What’s the curriculum like? What courses will I be taking?
    You will be taking 60 credits of computer science courses in order to graduate. These courses provide you with a solid foundation in the field of computer science, preparing you to be a computer science professional in areas such as software engineering, mobile and web development, and databases. Please see our general curriculum page for a list of the classes and the general areas of computer science they cover.
  9. How long does this program take?
    The curriculum is set up to be flexible so students can create their own plans. It takes 60 credits to complete the program, with each class being 4 credits. How long it takes to complete the program depends on how many courses you take per term, although note that to be eligible for federal financial loans, you must take at least 6 credits per term. Students receiving funding from GI Bill or private lenders may have different enrollment requirements.

    If you take 1 course (4 credits) a term, you will finish in about 15 terms, or about 4 years. If you take 4 courses (16 credits) a term, you will finish in about 5 terms, or just over one year. All of our required courses are offered every term: fall, winter, spring and summer. However, the program electives vary term by term. In consultation with your advisor, you can vary how many courses you take per term, taking 2 courses one term and then 1 course another term if needed. Please be aware that to be eligible for financial aid you must take at least 2 courses per term. Most students take 1 or 2 courses (4-8 credits) per term and complete the program in 2-4 years.
  10. What is the reality of completing a rigorous program at such a fast pace?
    The majority of our students work full time and take 1-2 courses per term. This seems to be a reasonable load for most students. Most students working full time do not take 4 courses per term. If you are not working or have an extensive background in computer science already, you may choose to take 3 or 4 classes per term, which is 40-80 hours of work per week, which would be too much for most students simultaneously working full time. After admission, you can discuss how many courses per term is right for you with your assigned advisor.
  11. I want to pursue a master’s degree or PhD in computer science. Will this degree prepare me for that?
    This program will give you a broad and solid foundation in the field of computer science. Since requirements for Master’s and PhD programs vary, please check with the graduate programs you are interested in to see what they are looking for and what they want you to have prior to applying. Then check out our coursework to see if this program is meeting those needs. You may also want to check out Oregon State’s master’s degree programs in computer science.

Money and Career

  1. How much will this program cost?
    Please refer to the Ecampus Tuition and Fees page for current costs.
  2. How will I pay for it?
    Depending on how many credits you take per term, online CS students are eligible for financial aid in the form of student loans. Students are required to take a minimum of 6 credits (two courses) per term to be eligible. There are also scholarships available through the College of Engineering. All students are welcome to apply. For additional questions, you can contact the Financial Aid Office at 541-737-2241 or
  3. Are there internship opportunities?
    Yes, some of our students do complete internships while enrolled in our program. If you are interested in doing an internship you can discuss this with your assigned advisor after admission. As an Oregon State student, you have access to Handshake, an online management system for job or internship search.
  4. What resources do you provide for helping to secure a job after graduation?
    The Career Showcase involves activities to help Post-Baccalaureate students get a jump start on networking in the computing job market by introducing them to the culture of the computer science field. In the morning, students interact during small group sessions and panel discussions with the instructors and staff. The second half of the day is focused on networking with industry recruiters. The showcases are held twice a year in Portland, Oregon, in June and December. A wide range of over 20 companies attend the event. In addition, check Oregon State University's Career Development Center for detailed information about additional career services available to our students.

Course Policies

  1. Who do I speak with about accommodations?
    Accommodations are collaborative efforts between students, faculty and Disability Access Services (DAS). Students with accommodations approved through DAS are responsible for contacting the faculty member in charge of the course prior to or during the first week of the term to discuss accommodations. Students who believe they are eligible for accommodations but who have not yet obtained approval through DAS should contact DAS immediately at (541) 737-4098. For more information go to the DAS website.
  2. Is sharing of code allowed?
    Unrestricted code sharing outside of the class to publicly accessible external sites is not useful to yours or future students' learning of this material and in fact, constitutes a violation of Academic Dishonesty as per the Oregon State Student Conduct Code. Additionally, it is never allowed on examinations, assignments or projects unless explicitly allowed by the instructor and in those cases, specificity of what kind and how much code sharing can occur will follow. If you ever have questions about posting code outside of the confines of your class and its associated collaboration tools, email your instructor privately to ask for guidance.

    Limited code sharing amongst your classmates is useful and can occur where it serves to spark discussion and foster learning but it is subject to the following constraints:
    • Lesser option - Code sharing is a means of learning from your peers. It is most effective when you've already attempted the problem yourself and examined external resources first.
    • Snippets - Share a minimal, compiling program in which the problem is contained or that clarifies your point - its not OK to share the entire codebase.
    • Explain - In the case where you are the recipient of shared code, you must be able to explain its operation.
    • Reference - When using shared code, you must reference the source.

    Even if these constraints are met, if an instructor believes that code has been shared inappropriately, he/she reserves the right to question, edit or remove any code that he/she finds in the class public domain or as part of your submitted assignment, project or examination and take action accordingly. Again, if you have questions about sharing large code segments or sharing beyond your classmates, please contact the instructor first.
  3. Is working ahead in a course allowed?
    The current policy is to provide learning materials typically one week in advance or in some cases, in advance of the weekend prior to that one week. Check with your class instructor for specifics or to cover instances where an exception may be granted.

Nondegree Student Information

  1. I don’t want the degree but I’m interested in taking classes. What are my options?
    You can apply as a Non-Degree student, please refer to our Non-Degree Students webpage.

Other Services

    Are there any programs or services for veterans?
    OSU offers a variety of veteran services; through the Office of Student Life. Their office also has Information on VA Education Benefits. For additional information, please contact OSU Veteran Services at
  1. Am I eligible to join a club? What other services are available to me as an Ecampus student?
    Yes, there are some student communities and organizations where our online students participate. There are also a host of other resources offered to our Ecampus students.