The Best Colleges for App Development in 2021
Learning app development is more than a career. It allows you to contribute to improving the daily lives of people by creating functional apps. All you have to do is take the first step by enrolling in one of the best schools for app development in the United States. These colleges offer certificates and associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees.
As an app developer, you are responsible for writing software for Android apps and iOS app development. You can also work on medical applications for the healthcare sector. This article contains details about the best colleges for app development to help you make the right choice.
Top 10 App Development Schools in 2021 at a Glance
This table contains details about the top 10 app development schools, including the school’s location, programs, and tuition. Keep in mind that the tuition is not the same thing as the cumulative cost of attendance or fees.
The tuition details were obtained from the official websites of each school, but it is subject to change without notice.
|School and Degrees||State||Tuition||Notes|
Bachelor of Science Game Software Development
|(MI)||$425 per credit hour||All students|
Bachelor of Science in Information Technology,
Software Development Concentration
|(MA)||$357 per unit
$411 per unit
|1000 to 2000 level courses
3000 to 4000 level courses
Master of Science in Software Engineering
|(PA)||$696 per unit||All students|
|Full Sail University
Undergraduate Certificate in Application Development Fundamentals
Bachelor of Science in Mobile Development
|(FL)||$477 per credit
$517 per credit
Undergraduate Certificate in Application Development
Bachelor of Science in Information Technology –
Application and Database Development
|(VA)||$390 per credit
$455 per credit
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Engineering
|(MA)||$860 per credit||All students|
|New York University
Bachelor of Science in Information Systems Management
|(NY)||$27,440 per semester
$13,162 per semester
|Full-time tuition and fees
Part-time tuition and fees
|San Diego State University
Advanced Certificate in Web and Mobile Applications Development
|(CA)||$395 per credit||All students|
|Southern New Hampshire University
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science,
Software Engineering Concentration
|(NH)||$320 per credit||All students|
Graduate Certificate in Software Systems
|(CA)||$1,352 per unit||All students|
Online vs In-Person App Development Degrees
Online degrees are just as efficient as in-person degrees when it comes to your education. The cost of attendance for online schooling is often cheaper compared to in-person schooling because certain campus fees are waived. Online learning also offers students more control over their syllabus and study pace.
Online courses can help you build self-discipline because you are in charge of your schedule. However, this may not be the ideal scenario for everyone. On-campus courses offer different forms of motivation and support.
Choosing the Best School for You
To make an informed decision on the right college for app development for you, there are a few aspects to consider. Factors like accreditation and learning flexibility are important, as well as the degree program, cost of tuition, and curriculum.
The type of degree you want is one of the most important factors to consider. An associate degree can be obtained from most community colleges in two years. Some universities allow associate degree holders to enroll in degree completion programs, a more cost-effective option to finishing your bachelor’s degree.
Whether you begin with an associate degree or not, a bachelor’s degree takes an average of four years to complete. If you want to advance your education, you can opt for a master’s degree, which usually runs for up to two years. You can also choose to attend any one of the best app development bootcamps if you don’t have the time to pursue a degree.
Most universities allow students to calculate the cost of attendance and get an estimate for a full year. This usually includes tuition, fees, books, accommodation, food, transportation, lab fees, and other expenses. You also need to adjust the inflation price when you’re calculating long-term costs.
It’s easy to find a web development school that covers the regular programming languages and frameworks, but not all of them cover new technology. Look out for courses in decentralized app development, artificial intelligence, machine learning integration, and virtual reality.
The Best App Development Schools in 2021
Some schools offer direct app development degrees, and others offer app development as part of a computer science or software engineering degree. The 10 options listed below are the best ways to learn how to become an application developer.
Baker College has been around since 1911, and it initially only offered degrees in business. Over the years, the university has expanded and added several programs from other departments. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The four-year bachelor’s program is for app developers who want to focus on writing gaming software. By the end of the program, you will have an advanced understanding of computer programming and computer science. It covers topics like artificial intelligence, data structures, and algorithms.
Baker College App Development Programs
- Bachelor of Science in Game Software Development
This private school based in Minnesota offers 100 percent online degrees. The school was established in 1993 and it is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. According to the official website, Capella University has a 92 percent graduate satisfaction rate.
Capella offers an online Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with a focus on software development. The total credit requirement is 180, and courses include database systems, programming languages, mobile application development, and web development.
Capella University App Development Programs
- Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, Software Development Concentration
This is a one-stop destination for app developers and computer programs. The university was established in 1900, and it has an impressive institute of software engineering for advanced app development training.
This program is for development professionals who already have foundational skills but need something extra. It runs for 16 months full-time, and you need at least two years of relevant experience to apply. It covers artificial intelligence, robotics, cyber security, autonomous motion, big data, and general software engineering.
Carnegie Mellon App Development Programs
- Master of Science in Software Engineering
Full Sail University
This Florida-based private university was established in 1979. It is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. At first, the school was focused on audio engineering, but the curriculum has evolved since then.
The school offers an Undergraduate Certificate in Application Development and a Bachelor’s Degree in Mobile Development. This online mobile device program is accelerated, so you will get your degree in 29 months.
Full Sail University App Development Programs
- Undergraduate Certificate in Application Development Fundamentals
- Bachelor of Science in Mobile Development
This is another great option for anyone who wants an online program. The school was established in 1971 and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
There is an Undergraduate Certificate in Application Development that covers advanced object-oriented programming and human-computer integration. Students who complete the program are encouraged to pursue a bachelor’s degree. You can pursue Liberty’s Bachelor of Science in Information Technology – Application and Database Development.
Liberty University App Development Programs
- Undergraduate Certificate in Application Development
- Bachelor of Science in Information Technology – Application and Database Development
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Popularly known as MIT, this private research institute was founded in 1861. It is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education. The school has a global reputation for applied science, computing, and engineering.
MIT doesn’t have a direct app development degree, but the department of electrical engineering and computer science has an extensive bachelor’s degree. You will learn everything you need to become an app developer with courses on topics like software engineering for mobile applications.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology App Development Programs
- Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Engineering
New York University
NYU was founded in 1831 and has upheld a high standard for education since its inception. The school is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. If you want to study in New York City, this school is a great option for you.
The school offers an IT bachelor’s degree that covers many general subjects to help you learn computer science. These include mobile application development, fundamentals of computing, project management, networking architecture, and programming languages.
New York University App Development Programs
- Bachelor of Science in Information Systems Management
San Diego State University
Originally called San Diego Normal School, this university was established in 1897. It is one of the oldest members of the California State System. It is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
San Diego State University offers an Advanced Certificate in Web and Mobile Applications Development. The program runs for just two semesters and covers cross-platform mobile development, full stack software development, and web and mobile frameworks.
San Diego State University App Development Programs
- Advanced Certificate in Web and Mobile Applications Development
Southern New Hampshire University
This private university in New Hampshire has several amazing degrees and an excellent computer science department. The school is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
The CS bachelor’s degree with a concentration in software engineering covers system architecture, UX/UI design, secure software development, and backend software development. It will give you a well-rounded app development education.
Southern New Hampshire University App Development Programs
- Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Software Engineering Concentration
Since it was founded in 1891, Stanford University has been one of the best private schools in the United States. The school is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
The fastest way to learn app development at Stanford as a professional is to opt for the Graduate Certificate in Software Systems. You will learn how to develop and implement systems software. However, you need prior programming experience to qualify.
Stanford University App Development Programs
- Graduate Certificate in Software Systems
What Can You Do With an
App Development Degree?
With an app development degree, you can become a mobile engineering manager, mobile architect, lead mobile developer, iOS developer, and mobile product manager. If your dream is to work for a tech company, you can apply for a job after getting your education.
Some companies that are always hiring app developers include Toptal, Rightpoint, QBurst, and Gigster. You can also design and develop your own app for iOS and Android and distribute them yourself.
How Much Can I Expect to Earn With a Degree in App Development?
App developers earn an average salary of $101,899 in the United States, according to ZipRecruiter. This can be broken down into $1,960 a week and $8,492 a month. This is above average compared to other occupations. Bonuses, allowances, experience, and location can also influence the salary of app developers in the United States.
Top App Development Degree Careers
|Profession||Minimum Education||Average Salary|
|Mobile Engineering Manager||Bachelor’s Degree||$154,499|
|Mobile Architect||Bachelor’s Degree||$147,850|
|Lead Mobile Developer||Bachelor’s Degree||$131,844|
|Product Manager, Mobile||Bachelor’s Degree||$116,563|
|iOS Software Engineer||Bachelor’s Degree||$116,555|
|Native iOS Developer||Bachelor’s Degree||$114,614|
|Java Developer||Bachelor’s Degree||$113,318|
|Android Developer||Bachelor’s Degree||$112,647|
|iOS/Android Developer||Bachelor’s Degree||$101,328|
|Application Administrator||Bachelor’s Degree||$80,612|
Does It Matter What College I Go to for App Development?
Yes, you need to attend a school with a comprehensive computer science curriculum. This is because mobile development is typically part of the computer science department or faculty in most higher institutions. It will also make sense to attend an accredited university over one with no recognized accreditation.
Should You Pursue a Degree in App Development?
Yes, you should pursue a degree in app development. Learning app development will pave the way for a lucrative career that will last for a lifetime. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that there will be about 1,785,200 software development jobs by 2029. This reflects a 22 percent increase in employment compared to 1,469,200 reported in 2019.
If you aren’t ready for a degree, you can also try attending an app development bootcamp. These programs are shorter and more affordable. However, if you want a long and lucrative app development career, you should attend one of these top schools.