Hofstra University Review

Hofstra University, a private school in New York, is home to a nationally recognized faculty and an online computer science program that specializes in web engineering and network security.

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The Good

Two solid degree options in computer science

Hofstra University is home to a technical online graduate degree program in computer science designed to train students for advanced professional careers in either web engineering or network security. You’ll begin your studies by learning the fundamental, theoretical, and practical skills that are important across computer science specialties. These early courses provide a foundation that will help you to adapt to changing technologies over the course of your career. Later, after delving further into either web engineering or network security topics, you have the opportunity to further specialize by taking up to two independent research courses under the supervision of a faculty adviser. Although other top online programs offer a greater variety of subject options, Hofstra is a superior choice for anyone looking to pursue a career in network design and security or web development.

Highly qualified online instructors

The Hofstra online computer science program is home to highly qualified scholar-teachers. Full-time faculty members include award-winning researchers and prestigious research grant recipients. Many instructors have a substantial professional background in the corporate sphere or in technology startups. The faculty has also achieved a national reputation for quality instruction. In the most recent survey of online graduate information technology programs by U.S. News & World Report, the Hofstra faculty rated among the four best faculties in the country. These ranking are based primarily on a study of faculty academic credentials, teaching experience, and continuing training requirements.

Excellent student services

U.S. News & World Report also has a lot of praise for Hofstra University’s student services, which it places among the nation’s top 10. As an online student at Hofstra, you’ll get personalized support throughout the length of your degree program. After you’re accepted into the program, an enrollment adviser will help you weigh your study options and assist you in designing a degree plan. As you continue through your courses, you’ll always have access to personal help from your instructors and, often, a teaching assistant. Technical support services and library research assistance are also available. As you begin your second year in the program, you can start working with a career adviser to identify job opportunities and practice job interview skills using online communication tools.

The Bad

Relatively high tuition rates

Hofstra charges about $1,100 per credit for its online graduate computer science program, ranking among the more expensive programs in the nation. Although no two programs are exactly alike, there are a number of lower cost alternatives available. For example, North Carolina State University offers programs in both networking and software engineering for $726 per credit. The University of West Georgia, one of the most affordable programs out there, offers a computer science program that includes training in web engineering for only $382 per credit. If cost is a big factor in your search for a degree program, you should definitely compare these and other programs to Hofstra in your search for the best school.

Low student retention rates

In recent years, the Hofstra computer science program has reported first-year student retention rates in the low sixties. This means that nearly 40% of students are dropping out during their first year of studies. Although not terribly low for an online program, it is slightly worrying, especially when you consider that the school reported a very strong retention rate of 83% in 2009, and an even higher rate in 2008. It’s hard to say exactly what might be causing Hofstra’s falling retention rates. However, schools with high rates of retention are often known for a strong focus on student engagement. Perhaps Hofstra could stand to renew its focus on student engagement efforts in order to better encourage and motivate their students to continue on the path toward a degree.

The Details

General Information

  • Academic Year Founded: 2007-2008
  • Application Deadline: Rolling
  • Application Fee: Domestic: $70, International: $75
  • Location: NY
  • Number of Graduate Info Tech Programs: 1
  • Region: Northeast
  • School Type: Private
  • Term Schedule: Semester

Tuition Rates (Per Credit)

  • In-State: $1,100 - $1,125
  • Out-of-State: $1,100 - $1,125

Degrees

  • Master of Science in Computer Science

Certificates

  • N/A

Class Profile

  • Acceptance Rate: 74%
  • Average Student Age: 26
  • Average Undergraduate GPA: 3.37
  • Avg. GRE Analytical Writing: N/A
  • Avg. GRE Quantitative: N/A
  • Avg. GRE Verbal: N/A
  • Gender Ratio: 16.7% female, 83.3% male
  • Maximum Class Size: 25
  • Total Enrollment: 24

Faculty

  • Average Online Teaching Experience: 4 years
  • Full-Time Instructional Faculty: 4
  • Part-Time Instructional Faculty: 2

Graduation and Retention Rates

  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2009): 83%
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2010): 60%
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2011): 64%
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2013): 100%
  • Graduation Rate Within 3 Years (2009-2010): N/A
  • Graduation Rate Within 3 Years (2010-2011): N/A
  • Graduation Rate Within 3 Years (2011-2012): 67%
  • Graduation Rate Within 3 Years (2012-2013): N/A

U.S. News Rankings

  • Admissions Selectivity Rank: 12
  • Admissions Selectivity Score: 24.6/100
  • Faculty Credentials and Training Rank: 4
  • Faculty Credentials and Training Score: 86/100
  • Student Engagement Rank: 13
  • Student Engagement Score: 55.9/100
  • Student Services and Technology Rank: 8
  • Student Services and Technology Score: 44.3/100

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