Find your degree
Continuing our series of best online college by state rankings, we have examined all online colleges in Massachusetts and chosen to showcase the top 20 schools, based on the methodology stated below.
For this Top 20 Best Online Colleges ranking, we have scored each school located in Massachusetts that offers distance learning students a selection of online academic programs. We scored these online colleges on a scale from 0 to 200 total points which were awarded based on the combination of two different percentage rates that acted as our scoring criteria. These two rates are the school’s total Freshman Retention Rate (what percentage of the school’s freshman students returned for their sophomore year) and their overall Graduation Rate (what percentage of the school’s students receive their degree in an acceptable amount of time). The goal of this Top 20 Best Online Schools in Massachusetts ranking is to assist distance learning students in knowing what their various options are for obtaining a degree in a flexible, online format from a reputable Massachusetts school.
The State of Massachusetts is the most populous state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. The state–which was initially dependent on agriculture, fishing and trade–was transformed into a manufacturing center during the Industrial Revolution. During the 20th century, Massachusetts’ economy shifted from manufacturing to services, and the state is now a global leader in the areas of biotechnology, engineering, higher education, finance and maritime trade.
Massachusetts was the first state in the nation that required municipalities to appoint a teacher or to establish a grammar school with the passage of the Massachusetts Education Law of 1647. The State of Massachusetts is home to the oldest school in continuous existence in North America; the Roxbury Latin School, which was founded in 1645. Additionally, the state is home to the country’s oldest public elementary school; the Mather School, which was established in 1639.
We have judged each of the schools that are located in the State of Massachusetts and that provide distance learning students with a selection of various online academic programs from which they can choose from based on the following ranking criteria:
- 50%: Freshman Retention Rates and;
- 50%: Graduation Rates
To gather the information that we required to rank each Massachusetts-based school based on this criteria, we used each of the school’s websites whenever possible to obtain their two rates. In cases where a school does not provide this information, we utilized the databases of both U.S. News and World Report and of National Center for Education Statistics. In the case where multiple schools had the same Final Score based on the combination of the two scoring rates for this Top 20, we utilized the alphabetical ordering of their names as our designated tie-breaker. We chose these two ranking criteria because when both rates are taken into account, they greatly assist in shedding light on how capable a school is as a provider of higher education overall.
We also consulted our own ranking of the top 100 best online colleges when ranking these online colleges.
|Westfield State University||135|
|Western New England University||140|
|College of Our Lady of the Elms||146|
|Berklee College of Music||151|
|Wentworth Institute of Technology||152|
|Regis College in Weston||153|
|Smith College – Northampton||181|
|Worcester Polytechnic Institute||184|
20: Westfield State University
As a public research university that offers a variety of online and asynchronous academic programs, Westfield State University is a provider of a flexible and comprehensive higher education. In addition to the majors offered online, Westfield also offers distance learning students a selection of four Minors: Art, Business Management, Psychology and Sociology.
Westfield State University (which is commonly referred to as Westfield State, and which has been formerly known as Westfield Normal School, Westfield State Teachers College and as Westfield College throughout its history) is located in Westfield, Massachusetts. The school was originally established in 1838 by renowned educator and social reformist Horace Mann as the first public, coeducational college in the United States that did not bar students due to their race, gender or socioeconomic class.
Westfield offers students several fully online degree-completion programs, including:
- Accounting, B.S.
- Criminal Justice, B.S.
- Finance, B.S.
- History, B.A.
- Liberal Studies, B.A.
- Management, B.S.
- Marketing, B.S.
- Psychology, B.A.
- Sociology, B.A.
Westfield State University has received institutional accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Additionally, many of the university’s academic programs have received programmatic accreditation from a variety of accreditors, such as the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE); the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE); the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP); the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and; the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) among many others.
School’s Website: https://www.westfield.ma.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 72.0%
Graduation Rate: 63.0%
Final Score: 135/200
19: Western New England University
Western New England University (which is commonly referred to simply as WNE) is a private, not-for-profit liberal arts university that is located in Springfield, Massachusetts. WNE was originally established in 1919 as the Northeastern College’s Springfield Division. The name would be changed in 1922 to Northeastern University of the Boston YMCA, Springfield Division; in 1935 to Northeastern University, Springfield Division; again in 1951 to Western New England College and finally to its present-day name of Western New England University in 2011 in recognition of its newly created Master’s and Doctoral degree-granting programs.
This final name change marked the return of “University” to the school’s name, which occurred exactly 60 years after the school’s separation from Northeastern University. Despite this, the school had long been classified as a university-level institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
The school offers several highly flexible online programs for students. In some instances, students can choose hybrid programs and attend in-person classes occasionally. A few of the most popular options include:
- Juris Doctor / Master of Business Administration (JD/MBA)
- Master of Laws (LLM) in Elder Law and Estate Planning
- Master of Business Administration (MBA)
- Master of Arts in English for Teachers
- Master of Science (M.S.) in Accounting
- Master of Science (M.S.) in Engineering Management
- Master of Science (M.S.) in Organizational Leadership
Western New England University is a member institute of the Cooperating Colleges of Greater Springfield (CCGS), with other members of the consortium being: American International College (which is located in Springfield); Bay Path University (Longmeadow); Elms College (Chicopee); Holyoke Community College (Holyoke); Springfield College (Springfield); Springfield Technical Community College (Springfield) and; Westfield State University (Westfield). The university is also a partner in the Hartford-Springfield Region’s Knowledge Corridor Initiative.
School’s Website: https://www1.wne.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 76.0%
Final Score: 140/200
18: Lesley University
Lesley University is a private, not-for-profit liberal arts university that is located in Waltham, Massachusetts. Lesley University was originally established in 1909 by Edith Lesley, an educator and United States protectorate. The school started as a private women’s institution to train kindergarten teachers.
Today, Lesley University offers its students a selection of undergraduate degree-granting programs, graduate degree-granting programs and professional certificate-granting programs which span across varying areas-of-study.
Many of the academic programs offered through Lesley University are available in an online and asynchronous format. There are over 20 affordable and flexible fully remote options. Some of the most popular programs include:
- Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies
- Bachelor of Science in Design for User Experience
- Bachelor of Science in Business Management
- Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
- Bachelor of Science in Human Services
- Master of Education in Mathematics Education
- Master of Science in Management
- Master of Education in Science Education
- Master of Education in Language and Literacy
Lesley University is academically organized into four schools and colleges through which all of their academic programs are offered. These schools and colleges are the College of Art and Design; the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; the Graduate School of Education and; the Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences. The online degree programs and the on-campus degree programs are both taught by the same academic faculty members.
School’s Website: https://www.lesley.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 81.0%
Graduation Rate: 60.0%
Final Score: 141/200
17: College of Our Lady of the Elms (Elms College)
Elms College (which is formally known as the College of Our Lady of the Elms) is a private, not-for-profit Roman Catholic-affiliated liberal arts college that is located in Chicopee, Massachusetts, near the city of Springfield. The College of Our Lady of the Elms was originally established in 1897 as the Academy of Our Lady of the Elms and was co-founded by the Sisters of Saint Joseph and the Diocese of Springfield.
Today, Elms College is a four-year liberal arts college and it offers its more than 1,200 total enrolled students a selection of thirty-three academic Majors through the seven academic divisions into which the college is organized. These academic divisions are the Division of Business; the Division of Communication Sciences and Disorders; the Division of Education; the Division of Humanities and Fine Arts; the Division of Natural Sciences, Mathematics, and Technology; the Division of Social Sciences and; the School of Nursing (formerly the Division of Nursing). The college’s Division of Nursing became the School of Nursing in 2013.
Students–both traditional on-campus students and distance learning students–are provided with a wide selection of undergraduate degree-granting programs, graduate degree-granting programs, and professional certification programs. The online programs (which are offered in a fully asynchronous format) are taught by the same academic faculty members as the on-campus program counterparts. This ensures that each of the students that are enrolled in an educational program at College of Our Lady of the Elms will receive the very same high-quality and comprehensive education regardless of their chosen delivery system.
The academic programs that are available online are:
- Computer Science (B.A.)
- Computer Information Technology and Security (CITS) (B.A.)
- Healthcare Management Online
- Speech-Language Pathology Assistant Online
- Certificate in Nursing and Health Services Management
- Certificate in Nursing Education
- Certificate in School Nursing
- MSN in Nursing and Health Services Management
- MSN in Nursing Education
- MSN in School Nursing
School’s Website: https://www.elms.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 82.0%
Graduation Rate: 64.0%
Final Score: 146/200
16: Berklee College of Music
Berklee College of Music is a private and not-for-profit contemporary music college that is located in Boston, Massachusetts. In addition to the main campus, Berklee College of Music also operates a satellite campus in Valencia, Spain, which opened in 2012. Berklee College of Music was originally established in 1945 by Lawrence Berk (December 1908 ñ December 22, 1995), an educator, pianist, composer and arranger.
The school’s curriculum evolved over time to include music education classes and a more traditional music theory program. In 1954, Lawrence Berk decided to change the name of Schillinger House to Berklee School of Music–named after his son Lee Eliot Berk–to better reflect the broader scope of instruction that was now being offered at the Institute. In 1969, new courses in rock, popular music, and jingle writing were added to the curriculum. These courses were the first ever of their kind to be offered to students at the college level. In 1970, the school would undergo a final name change, this time to its present-day name of Berklee College of Music.
Today, Berklee College of Music is the largest independent college of contemporary music in the world. Known for the study of jazz and modern American music, Berklee College of Music also offers college-level courses in a wide-range of contemporary and historic music styles, such as Rock-and-Roll, Flamenco, Hip-Hop, Reggae, Folk Music, Big Band and Salsa among others.
Many of the college’s academic programs are available to distance learning students in an asynchronous and online format, through Berkeley Online. Areas of interest include:
- Music Production
- Music Theory, Harmony, and Ear Training
- Music Business
- Piano and Keyboard
- Music History and Liberal Arts
- Music for Film, TV, and Games
- Dance, Music, and Theater
School’s Website: https://www.berklee.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 86.0%
Graduation Rate: 65.0%
Final Score: 151/200
15: Wentworth Institute of Technology – Boston Main Campus
Wentworth Institute of Technology – Boston Main Campus (which is commonly referred to simply as WIT for simplicity sake) is a private, not-for-profit technical design and engineering college that is located in the Fenway neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts.
Wentworth Institute of Technology was originally established in 1904 as a school that was designed “…to furnish education in the Mechanical Arts” to its students. The original student body consisted of 242 students and, today, WIT teaches more than 4,500 total students. These students can enroll in a variety of undergraduate degree-granting programs through Wentworth Institute of Technology’s fourteen different academic divisions into which the school is organized.
The institute’s degree programs span across varying areas-of-study, including Applied Mathematics; Architecture; Biomedical Engineering; Civil Engineering; Information Technology; Construction and Construction Management; Electrical and Mechanical Engineering and; the Humanities and Social Sciences among many others. Many degree programs are even interdisciplinary in nature.
- Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Project Management
- Master of Science (M.S.) in Applied Computer Science
- Master of Science (M.S.) in Facility Management
- Master of Science (M.S.) in Building Construction Management
- Master of Science (M.S.) in Architectural Engineering
- Master of Science (M.S.) in Business Analytics
- Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Computer Information Systems
School’s Website: https://www.wit.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 83.0%
Graduation Rate: 69.0%
Final Score: 152/200
14: Regis College in Weston
Regis College offers its more than 2,000 total enrolled students a selection of online and fully asynchronous academic programs. One of the most popular options at Regis is the Master of Science in Nursing degree program with available concentrations in:
- Adult-Geriatric Nurse Practitioner (AGNP)
- Adult Gerontology – Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP)
- Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
- Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP)
- Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)
- Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP)
Beyond the MSN in nursing, the school offers several other fully online programs, including:
- Applied Behavior Analysis (online MS)
- Doctor of Nursing Practice (online BSN to DNP)
- Doctor of Nursing Practice (online Post-MS to DNP)
- Financial Planning (online Certificate)
- Health Administration (online MS)
- Medical Imaging (BS Degree Completion)
- Nursing (online Post-Master’s Certificates)
- Professional MBA (Regis graduate students and alumni only)
- Public Health (online MPH)
- Social Work (online MSW)
- Strategic Communication (MA)
- Student Success (online MEd)
Regis College is a private, not-for-profit Roman Catholic-affiliated liberal arts university that is located in Weston, Massachusetts. Founded by the Sisters of Saint Joseph, the school was initially established in 1927 and operated as a women’s only college.The college’s name was inspired by the Reverend Mother Mary Regis Casserly, who established the Sisters of Saint Joseph in the Boston area in 1873. Regis College became coeducational in 2007. In 2005, The college founded a LifeLong Learning Program that offers courses to older adults at the Regis College in Weston campus. These LifeLong Learning Program courses are taught by volunteers.
Regis College has cross-registration privileges with the local colleges and universities of Babson College, Bentley University, Brandeis University and Boston College. Additionally, they have a cooperative degree program with Worcester Polytechnic Institute available in which students can enroll. The school also holds affiliations with the Sisters of Saint Joseph College Consortium; the Regent’s College in London; the University College Cork in Ireland and; the Kyoto Notre Dame University in Kyoto, Japan.
School’s Website: https://www.regiscollege.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 89.0%
Graduation Rate: 64.0%
Final Score: 153/200
13: MCPHS University – Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
MCPHS University (formerly known as the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences) is a private, not-for-profit university that specializes in the areas of Pharmaceuticals, the Health Sciences and Nursing. Located in the Longwood Medical and Academic Area of Boston, Massachusetts, MCPHS University was originally established in 1823 as the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy. Today, MCPHS University is the oldest institution of higher education in Boston. MCPHS University offers its more than 7,000 total enrolled students a selection of numerous comprehensive academic programs.
Many of MCPHS University’s academic programs are available in a fully asynchronous and online educational format at all academic levels (undergraduate, graduate and certification). These online programs are all taught by the same dedicated and experienced academic faculty members as the on-campus counterparts are, ensuring each MCPHS University student receives the same comprehensive and high-quality education. They include:
- Doctor of Acupuncture and Integrative Health (DAIH)
- Master of Health Sciences
- Doctor of Health Sciences (DHS)
- Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences — Degree Completion
- Graduate Certificate of Public Health
- Master of Public Health
- Master of Science in Dental Hygiene
- Graduate Certificate in Oral Health Professions Education
- AS to MS in Dental Hygiene Bridge Program
- Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene — Degree Completion
- MBA in Healthcare Management
- Master of Science in Clinical Management
- Doctor of Healthcare Administration (DHA)
- Advanced Certificate in Computed Tomography
- Advanced Certificate in Magnetic Resonance Imaging
- Advanced Certificate in Mammography
- Advanced Certificate in Nuclear Medicine Technology
- Master of Science in Nursing — Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
- RN to MSN Bridge Program — Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
- Master of Science in Nursing — Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)
- Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies — Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
- Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies — Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
- Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Economics and Policy
- Graduate Certificate in Regulatory Affairs
- Graduate Certificate in Health Policy
- Master of Science in Regulatory Affairs and Health Policy
- Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) Post Baccalaureate Pathway
- Master of Science in Clinical Research
- Graduate Certificate in Clinical Research
- Doctor of Science in Physician Assistant Studies
- Graduate Certificate in Clinical Management
- Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Management
School’s Website: https://www.mcphs.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 84.0%
Graduation Rate: 72.0%
Final Score: 156/200
12: Assumption College
Assumption College is a private, not-for-profit Roman Catholic-affiliated liberal arts college that is located in Worcester, Massachusetts, and that was originally established in 1904 by the Augustinians of the Assumption, a religious congregation of Catholic brothers that is based in France. Assumption College was named after this founding religious group. Assumption College initially operated as a men’s only seminary and normal school. In 1969, Assumption College became a fully co educational institute and, additionally, began admitting its first lay students, after having expanded the core curriculum to include various liberal arts programs. This marked a significant change in the college.
Assumption College operates the French Institute (Institut Français), which was founded in 1979 and which serves as a specialized research center for the many Assumption College students who are studying French history, culture and the French language. The Institute was co-founded by Father Wilfrid J. Dufault, A.A. (the late Chancellor Emeritus of Assumption College) and by Dr. Claire Quintal, (Founding Director Emerita) to preserve the French heritage of Assumption College and the New England region as a whole.
As a research center, the French Institute is home to numerous books, documents, and artifacts that are pertinent to its primary focus of study: the French presence in North America, with particular emphasis on the French presence in the region of New England.
The school offers two fully online accelerated academic programs: an Accelerated Full Time MBA Management and an Accelerated BA/Rehabilitation Counseling M.A. Dual Degree Program.
School’s Website: https://www.assumption.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 84.0%
Graduation Rate: 73.0%
Final Score: 157/200
11: Simmons University
Simmons University is a private, not-for-profit liberal arts college located in Boston, Massachusetts. It was originally established in 1899 by John Simmons, a wealthy Boston-based clothing manufacturer, who founded the college based on his personally held belief that women should be able to live independently. He set about to accomplish this idea by offering the women of the surrounding communities an undergraduate Liberal Arts education which integrated professional work experience through experiential learning.
Simmons is a member institute of the Colleges of the Fenway Consortium. The undergraduate program is women-centered. The schools include the School of Library and Information Science; the School of Social Work; the School of Health Sciences; the School of Business Management and; the School of the Arts and Sciences program. Through these schools, students can enroll in a variety of undergraduate degree-granting programs, graduate degree-granting programs, and certification programs.
The undergraduate degree programs at the school are only available for female students and are only available on-campus. Despite this, a selection of the college’s offered graduate degree-granting programs are available to both male and female distance learning students in an online and asynchronous format. These programs include:
- BSBA, Business and Management
- BA, Communications
- BS, Computer Science
- BSBA, Marketing
- BA, Psychology
- BS, Public Health
- BSW, Social Work
- Master of Public Health
- Master of Science in Behavior Analysis
- Master of Science in Nursing – Family Nurse Practitioner
- (For RNs with an associate’s degree)
- Master of Science in Nursing – Family Nurse Practitioner
- (For RNs with a bachelor’s degree)
- Master of Social Work
Simmons released during the 2014 academic school year an explicitly clear policy which detailed the guidelines for the college’s acceptance of transwomen students. This system proudly points out Simmons College’s strong tradition of accepting women, empowering women, and challenging traditional societal gender roles throughout their long and rich history of being an inclusive and progressive institute of higher education.
Because of this newly enacted policy, the college’s undergraduate program began to accept applicants who are assigned male at birth (AMAB) as well as any other individuals who identify as being female. Additionally, Simmons College does not require any form of government-issued documentation that shows a student’s gender for them to be eligible to enroll in the undergraduate program. This policy makes Simmons College only the third women-focused US college that accepts trans women students.
School’s Website: https://www.simmons.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 83.0%
Graduation Rate: 79.0%
Final Score: 162/200
10: Endicott College
Endicott College is a private, not-for-profit liberal arts college that is located in Beverly, Massachusetts. The school was initially established in 1939 and was originally named Endicott Junior College, having been named after John Endecott, who is widely regarded as one of the Fathers of New England and was the longest-serving Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
The year of its founding, the college was issued its first charter by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In 1944, Endicott Junior College was approved by the State of Massachusetts to confer Associate’s degrees upon eligible students after their successful program completion. In 1952, the college received its first institutional accreditation by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). The college changed its name to its present-day name of Endicott College when it dropped the ‘Junior’ part of the name in 1975. In 1994—55 years after it first opened its doors to students— Endicott College became a fully coeducational institution.
The Van Loan School of Professional Studies at Endicott offers a wide range of flexible and online programs, including:
- Business Management Program (B.S.)
- Business Program (A.S.)
- Computer Science Program (A.S.)
- Criminal Justice Program (A.S.)
- Computer Science Program (A.S.)
- Criminal Justice Program (A.S.)
- Criminal Justice Program (B.S.)
- Integrated Studies Program (A.S.)
- Liberal Studies Program (B.A.)
- Liberal Studies with Concentration in Educational Studies (B.A.)
- Liberal Studies with Montessori Learning Concentration (B.A.)
- Nursing Program (RN to BSN) (B.S.)
- Psychology Program (B.S.
- Administrative Leadership Program (M.Ed.)
- Certificate in International Education Administration
- Certificate in Social and Emotional Development
- Healthcare Management (M.S.)
- International Education Administration Program (M.Ed.)
- International Education Program (M.Ed.)
- Social Emotional Development (M.Ed.)
- Nursing Educator Certificate (Post-Master’s)
- Special Education: Moderate Disabilities Program (M.Ed.)
- Special Education: Deaf & Hard of Hearing
- Special Education: Severe Disabilities Program (M.Ed.)
- Sport Leadership Fifth Year (M.S.)
- Sport Leadership Program (M.S.)
School’s Website: https://www.endicott.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 86.0%
Graduation Rate: 79.0%
Final Score: 165/200
9: Emerson College
Emerson College is a private, not-for-profit liberal arts college that is located in Boston, Massachusetts. Emerson College was originally established in 1880 by Unitarian Church minister Charles Wesley Emerson as a school of oratory. The school was first named Boston Conservatory of Elocution, Oratory and Dramatic Art. In 1890, the name was changed to Emerson College of Oratory, which was later shortened to simply Emerson College in 1939.
Emerson College is the only comprehensive college or university that is located in America that is dedicated exclusively to communication and the arts in a liberal arts context.
Emerson College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and is organized into two schools (the School of Communications and the School of the Arts) and two departments (the Department of Professional Studies and the Special Programs and Institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies).The college offers more than 4,200 total enrolled students a selection of 27 undergraduate degree programs and 10 graduate degree programs in addition to numerous certification programs.
The school offers four fully online programs:
- MS in Communication Disorders (Online)
- MA in Digital Marketing & Data Analytics (Online)
- MFA in Popular Fiction Writing & Publishing (Online)
- MFA in Writing for Film & Television (Online)
School’s Website: www.emerson.edu
Freshman Retention Rate: 89.0%
Graduation Rate: 79.0%
Final Score: 168/200
8: University of Massachusetts – UMass Amherst Main Campus
The University of Massachusetts’s main campus (UMass Amherst) is a public land-grant research university that is located in Amherst, Massachusetts. UMass Amherst is the flagship campus of the University of Massachusetts System, a five-campus public university system and the only public research system that is located in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The system includes four schools (Amherst, Boston, Dartmouth, Lowell), a medical school (the University of Massachusetts – UMass Worcester; also known simply as UMass Medical School) and a satellite campus in Springfield, Massachusetts.
UMass Amherst is the largest public university in New England based on student body size (with more than 30,000 total enrolled students). The school is organized into ten schools and colleges: the Stockbridge School of Agriculture; the School of Education; the College of Engineering; the School of Public Health and Health Sciences; the College of Humanities and Fine Arts; the Isenberg School of Management; the College of Natural Sciences; the School of Nursing; the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and; the College of Information and Computer Sciences.
UMass Amherst has a huge range of online learning options for students. In fact, the school offers nearly 350 remote programs. Because it would be impractical to list each of them here, we’ve provided links to each department along with the number of programs available.
- Business Management (86)
- Computing and Information Technology (33)
- Criminal Justice and Legal (21)
- Education (42)
- Fine Arts, Design and Communications (18)
- Health Sciences (48)
- Liberal Arts and Humanities (56)
- Science, Engineering and Math (20)
- Social and Political Sciences (24)
All of the programs taught at UMass Amherst span across numerous areas of study–including many interdisciplinary programs–and are all taught by the same dedicated and highly qualified academic faculty members, regardless of whether a traditional on-campus format or an asynchronous online format is chosen.
School’s Website: https://www.umass.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 91.0%
Graduation Rate: 83.0%
Final Score: 174/200
7: Smith College – Northampton
Smith College is a private, not-for-profit women-focused liberal arts college which offers a variety of coeducational graduate and certificate programs and is located in Northampton, Massachusetts. Smith College was originally chartered in 1871 by a bequest of Sophia Smith, a Hatfield-born educator that inherited a substantial estate from her wealthy farmer father.
Today, Smith College is the largest privately endowed college for women in the country. Additionally, Smith College is also a member of the Five Colleges Consortium, which allows its students to attend classes at the four other Pioneer Valley member institutes of the Consortium: Mount Holyoke College, Amherst College, Hampshire College and the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass Amherst).
For this reason, students attending Smith College who are looking for online programs will typically end up enrolling in a program through UMass Online. This also allows students to enroll into a smaller and less expensive school while they work towards obtaining a degree from a nationally and internationally recognized university.
UMass has a huge online catalog, with hundreds of fully remote options. Just a few of those available offerings include:
- BA, Children’s Learning and Development Concentrations
- Bachelor of Arts in Crime and Justice Studies
- Bachelor of Arts in Global Affairs
- Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
- Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Food and Farming
- Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Anthropology
- Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction: Science Education Option, M.Ed.
- Master of Science in Engineering Management
- Education Specialist in Reading and Language, Ed.S.
- Graduate Certificate in Educational Policy
- M.Ed./Ed.S: Science Education Online
School’s Website: https://www.smith.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 94.0%
Graduation Rate: 87.0%
Final Score: 181/200
6: Brandeis University
Established in 1948, today Brandeis University is organized into five academic divisions: the Brandeis University College of Arts and Sciences; the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences; the Heller School for Social Policy and Management; the Rabb School of Summer and Continuing Studies and; the Brandeis International Business School.
With more than 5,700 total enrolled students, this Waltham college has a wide selection of undergraduate degree-granting programs, graduate degree-granting programs and professional certificate programs. These programs span across numerous different areas-of-study and even include various interdisciplinary programs. Many of the academic programs that are available are offered in an online and asynchronous format. A few of these include:
- Master of Science in Bioinformatics
- Master of Science in Digital Marketing and Design
- Master of Science in Information Security Leadership
- Master of Science in Technology Management
- Master of Science in User-Centered Design
These online programs are taught by the same academic faculty members as the on-campus program counterparts. This ensures that Brandeis University’s distance learning students not only obtain a highly flexible education, but also a fully comprehensive and high-quality one.
The university operates the Rose Art Museum, which is home to more than 6,000 works, including paintings by artists such as Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol); the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies (the first academic center devoted to the study of Jewish life in the United States. Also, the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism (the first investigative reporting center based at a United States university) and; the Steinhardt Social Research Institute.
School’s Website: https://www.brandeis.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 93.0%
Graduation Rate: 89.0%
Final Score: 182/200
5: Boston University
Boston University can trace its roots back to the establishment of the Newbury Biblical Institute in Newbury, Vermont. The institute would eventually be chartered as a university by the Massachusetts Legislature in 1869 and was renamed to its present-day name of Boston University. The school is currently considered to be nonsectarian, but it has a historical affiliation with the United Methodist Church.
Today, Boston University is categorized as a Doctoral University with a Very High Research Activity rating by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The university is a member Institute of the Boston Consortium for Higher Education and is a member institute of the Association of American Universities. The school has been ranked as having the 39th-best undergraduate program among all undergraduate programs offered by national universities and the 32nd-best among global universities by U.S. News and World Report.
At BU Online, students can choose from a wide range of programs, including:
- Advanced Information Technology Certificate
- Applied Business Analytics Master’s/Certificate
- Applied Data Analytics Master’s/Concentration
- Art Education Master’s
- Clinical Research Certificate
- Computer Information Systems Master’s
- Computer Networks Concentration
- Corporate Finance Certificate
- Criminal Justice Master’s/Certificate
- Crime Analysis Certificate/Concentration
- Curriculum & Teaching Master’s
- Cybersecurity & Cybercrime Certificate/Concentration
- Data Analytics Certificate/Concentration
- Database Management & Business Intelligence Certificate/Concentration
- Digital Forensics Certificate
- Enterprise Risk Management Master’s/Certificate
- Financial Management Master’s/Certificate
- Food Studies Certificate
- Fundraising Management Certificate
- Global Business Concentration
- Global Marketing Management Master’s/Certificate
- Health Communication Master’s
- Health Informatics Master’s/Certificate
- Health Informatics, Computer Information Systems Concentration
- Health Information Management Concentration
- Higher Education Administration Master’s
- Information Security Certificate/Concentration
- Information Technology Certificate
- IT Project Management Certificate/Concentration
- Insurance Management Master’s
- International Finance Certificate/Concentration
- Investment Analysis Certificate/Concentration
- Logistics Management Concentration
- Medical Information Security & Privacy Certificate
- Music Education Doctorate/Master’s/Certificate
- Occupational Therapy Doctorate
- Project Management Master’s/Certificate
- Public Health Certificate
- Quantitative Approaches Concentration
- Social Work Master’s
- Software Development Master’s
- Software Engineering Certificate
- Strategic Management in Criminal Justice Certificate/Concentration
- Supply Chain Management Master’s/Certificate
- Taxation Law Master’s
- Undergraduate Degree Completion Program Bachelor’s
- Visual & Digital Health Communication Certificate
- Web Application Development Certificate/Concentration
School’s Website: https://www.bu.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 94.0%
Graduation Rate: 89.0%
Final Score: 183/200
4: Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Worcester Polytechnic Institute (commonly referred to simply as WPI) is a private, not-for-profit research university in Worcester, Massachusetts that focuses on the instruction and research of the technical arts and applied sciences. Worcester Polytechnic Institute was originally established in 1865 and was one of the first engineering and technology universities in the United States. WPI was co-founded by tinware manufacturer John Boynton and by the owner of the world’s largest wire mill, Ichabod Washburn.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute has produced many notable alumni over the years, including: Robert H. Goddard, the Father of Modern Rocketry; Gilbert Vernam, who is credited with pioneering cryptography; Harold Stephen Black, inventor of the negative feedback amplifier; Richard T. Whitcomb, an aeronautical engineer that was responsible for the “area rule” of high-speed aircraft design, the supercritical airfoil and winglets; Robert Stempel, the inventor of the catalytic converter and; Naveen Selvadurai, the co-founder of Foursquare among numerous others.
The Institute offers its students a wide-variety of undergraduate degree-granting programs, graduate degree-granting programs and professional certificate programs. Many of these programs are available to distance learning students via a fully asynchronous online format, such as:
- Master of Science in Biotechnology
- Master of Science in Construction Project Management
- Master of Science in Data Science
- Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering
- Master of Science in Environmental Engineering
- Master of Science in Fire Protection Engineering
- Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
- Master of Science in Robotics Engineering
School’s Website: https://www.wpi.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 95.0%
Graduation Rate: 89.0%
Final Score: 184/200
3: Northeastern University
Northeastern University is a private, not-for-profit research university that is located in Boston, Massachusetts. Commonly referred to as NEU or simply as NU, Northeastern University was formerly known as the Evening Institute for Younger Men when it was first established in 1898. In addition to Northeastern University’s main campus in Boston, the University operates a numerous satellite locations in throughout the State of Massachusetts, including the Kostas Research Institute (located in Burlington), a Financial District campus in the Hilton Hotel (located in Boston), a school located in Dedham and a Marine Science Center (based in Nahant).
Through its nineteen schools and colleges, Northeastern University offers its distance learning students over a huge range of undergraduate degree-granting programs, graduate degree-granting programs and professional certificate programs that can be completed either online or in a hybrid format.
Bachelor’s programs include:
- Advanced Accounting
- Analytics Certificate
- Digital Communication and Media
- Finance and Accounting Management
- Healthcare Administration
- Information Technology
- Interdisciplinary Studies
- Principles of Manufacturing
- Project Management
- Project Management Certificate
Northeastern offers over 130 Master’s programs online. We won’t list all of them here, but some of the most popular options include:
- Applied Behavior Analysis
- Master of Laws (LLM)
- Global Studies and International Relations
- Health Informatics
- Homeland Security
- Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
- Geospatial Services
- Applied Quantitative Methods and Social Analysis
School’s Website: https://www.northeastern.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 99.0%
Graduation Rate: 90.0%
Final Score: 189/200
2: Tufts University
Tufts University is a private, not-for-profit research university located in Medford, Massachusetts. The school was originally established in 1852 by Christian Universalists and was named after Charles Tufts who donated the land for the campus. Today, Tufts University is home to the oldest and largest graduate school of nutrition in the United States. Tufts offers a variety of online graduate certificate programs to distance learning students.
Tufts University offers its students a selection of joint undergraduate degree programs through the university’s membership with the New England Conservatory and the Sciences Po Paris. Additional programs with the University of Paris, University of Oxford and constituents of the University of London are also available to Tuft University students. A selection of the university’s academic programs are affiliated with two nearby institutions of higher education: Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Due to these partnerships, Tufts University can provide its more than 10,700 total enrolled students a highly flexible and comprehensive education.
The online and asynchronous graduate certificate programs that are available for students to choose from are:
- Developing Healthy Communities
- Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems
- Nutrition Science for Health Professionals
- Nutrition Science for Communications Professionals
- Global Nutrition Programming Nutrition For Industry Professionals and Entrepreneurs
Additionally, students can build their own custom certificate program by choosing from a myriad of available online courses. All of the online graduate certificate programs are offered through Tuft University’s Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.
School’s Website: https://www.tufts.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 960%
Graduation Rate: 94.0%
Final Score: 190.0/200
1: Labouré College
Labouré College is a private, not-for-profit Roman Catholic-affiliated liberal arts college located in Milton, Massachusetts.The school was originally established in 1892 as the Carney Hospital Training School for Nurses and was initially located in South Boston.
In 1949, the school merged with two other nursing schools that were run by the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul: the Saint John’s School of Nursing (located in Lowell, Massachusetts) and the Saint Margaret’s School of Nursing (located in Dorchester). This merger formed the Catherine Labouré School of Nursing and the name was changed two more times until it was officially changed to its present-day name of Labouré College in 2009.
Today, Labouré College offers its more than 750 total enrolled students a selection of undergraduate degree-granting programs and certificate-granting programs. Most are hybrid options where students complete their core requirements online and attend in-person classes for more practical learning. The programs include:
- Nursing: ASN (Entry Level)
- Nursing: LPN to RN (Advanced Placement)
- Nursing: RN-BSN (100% online)
- Associate of Science in Health Science
- Health Science Certificates: EKG, Gerontology, or Phlebotomy
- Radiation Therapy
- Neurodiagnostic Technology Certificate
- Intraoperative Neuromonitoring Program
School’s Website: https://www.laboure.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 100.0%
Graduation Rate: 100.0%
Final Score: 200.0/200
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