online college virginia
online college in va

Continuing our series of best online college by state rankings, we have examined all online colleges in Virginia and chosen to showcase the top 20 schools, based on the methodology stated below.

For this Top 20 Best Online Schools ranking, we have scored each of the institutions of higher learning that are located in the State of Virginia and that have a selection of online college programs available from which distance learning students can choose. We scored each school in the state that offers a range of online programs using two different rates.

The two standards that were used are the school’s total freshmen retention rate (what percentage of the school’s freshmen student population returned for their sophomore year) and their graduation rate (what percentage of the school’s students that were enrolled in a degree-granting program received their degree within an acceptable time-frame). The goal of this Top 20 Best Online Schools in Virginia ranking is to provide distance learning students with a broad overview of what Virginia-based schools will be the most capable of providing them with a comprehensive, reputable and flexible education.

The State of Virginia is nicknamed the “Old Dominion” due to its status as the first colonial possession that was established in mainland British America. The state is also considered the “Mother of Presidents” because eight Presidents of the United States (Zachary Taylor, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, Woodrow Wilson and George Washington) were born in the state. The Virginia General Assembly–a bicameral legislative body–is the oldest continuous law-making body that is located in the New World.

RankSchoolScore
#20Bluefield College89
#19College of William and Mary89
#18Northern Virginia Community College – Annandale Campus95
#17John Tyler Community College97
#16Mary Baldwin University106
#15Lord Fairfax Community College108
#14Norfolk State University113
#13Averett University118
#12Marymount University – Arlington126
#11Regent University129
#10Hampton University132
#9Old Dominion University133
#8Liberty University – Lynchburg135
#7Lynchburg College139
#6Eastern Mennonite University145
#5Virginia Commonwealth University149
#4George Mason University158
#3James Madison University171
#2Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University179
#1University of Virginia191

See also: The Best Online College or University by State and Location

Methodology

We have judged each school that is located within the State of Virginia and that have a selection of online and asynchronous academic programs based on the following ranking criteria:

  • 50%: Freshmen Retention Rates and;
  • 50%: Graduation Rates

After obtaining the two rates, we then added them together to give each school a final score which has a minimum possible score of 2 total points and a maximum of 200 points. To gather the information that we required to rank each Virginia-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 a higher education overall.

While researching this college ranking, we also referenced our own ranking of the top 100 best online colleges.

20: Bluefield College

Bluefield College

Bluefield College is a private, not-for-profit Christian-affiliated liberal arts college that is located in Bluefield, Virginia. The school was initially established in 1922 by the Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV) after residents of the town offered to donate land and start raising funds for the school’s establishment. At its founding, Bluefield College operated as a two-year junior college. In 1975, Bluefield College began functioning as a four-year college, which it still is today. Bluefield College is currently organized into five academic divisions: the College of Arts and Letters; the College of Professional Programs; the College of Sciences; the School of Education and; the School of Nursing.

Bluefield College has been offering its distance learning students a selection of online and asynchronous Bachelor’s degree-granting programs since the 2011 academic school year. These online educational programs are taught by the same dedicated and highly experienced academic faculty members as the on-campus program counterparts are.

Some of the online academic programs that are currently offered include: a Master of Science in Nursing degree program, a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education degree program, a degree program in Management and Leadership, a degree program in Criminal Justice, a Master of Arts in Education degree program, and many others

School’s Website: https://www.bluefield.edu/

Freshman Retention Rate: 53.0%

Graduation Rate: 36.0%

Final Score: 89.0/200

19: College of William and Mary

College of William and Mary

The College of William and Mary is a public research university located in Williamsburg, Virginia. The College of William and Mary–which is commonly referred to simply as W&M–was originally Royally established in 1693 by letters issued by King William III and Queen Mary II. W&M is the second-oldest institution of higher education in the United States (after Harvard University) and is the oldest one in the country’s southern region.

The College of William and Mary educated the United States Presidents Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and John Tyler and trained many other key figures that would later be critical to the development of the nation, earning the college the nickname “the Alma Mater of the Nation.” 

The College  is also known as a Public Ivy school, which means the education provided to the college’s students is viewed as being of the same quality as the comprehensive academic programs taught at Ivy League schools.

Today, the College of William and Mary offers its more than 8,500 total enrolled students a wide variety of undergraduate degree-granting programs, graduate degree-granting programs, and professional certificate programs to choose from. In addition, the college’s distance learning students can enroll in several remote and hybrid programs at the Raymond A. Mason School of Business or the William and Mary School of Education.

The Law School’s Puller Veterans Benefits Clinic offers an online program geared toward attorneys, veterans, veteran service officers, caregivers, family members, and transitional personnel. Students can earn a non-degree Certificate in Military and Veterans Health, Policy, and Advocacy (MVHPA) through this program.

School’s Website https://www.wm.edu/index.php

Freshman Retention Rate: 55.0%

Graduation Rate: 34.0%

Final Score: 89.0/200

18: Northern Virginia Community College – Annandale Campus

Northern Virginia Community College

Northern Virginia Community College (which is commonly referred to just as NVCC and is informally known as NOVA) is a two-year community college with a main campus located in Annandale, Virginia. In addition, it comprises five additional satellite campuses and four academic centers in the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C. 

The school is the second-largest multi-campus community college in the United States and the largest educational institution in Virginia. The other five satellite campuses are the Alexandria Campus, the Manassas Campus, the Medical Education Campus (based in Springfield), the Woodbridge Campus, and the Loudoun Campus.

Northern Virginia Community College was initially established in 1964 and was originally named the Northern Virginia Technical College. Today, NVCC is fully accredited by the regional accrediting body Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and offers their more than 75,000 total enrolled students a selection of 160 degree-granting programs at the Associate’s level in addition to a myriad of professional certificate programs.

NOVA offers distance learning students a terrific selection of online courses through NOVA Online. Some of the available online programs include: 

School’s Website: https://www.nvcc.edu/

Freshman Retention Rate: 71.0%

Graduation Rate: 29.0%

Final Score: 95.0/200

17: John Tyler Community College

John Tyler Community College

With a selection of online and asynchronous degree-granting programs and certification programs, John Tyler Community College, commonly referred to as JTCC, makes obtaining a higher education easy thanks to their academic programs’ comprehensive and flexible nature. 

The school is a two-year public community college located in Chester, Virginia. However, in addition to the main campus in Chester, the school also operates a satellite campus in the town of Midlothian. JTCC was initially established in 1967 and is currently the fifth-largest of the 23 community colleges in Virginia.

A few of the available online degree and certificate programs offered by JTCC include:

School’s Website: https://www.jtcc.edu/

Freshman Retention Rate: 66.0%

Graduation Rate: 31.0%

Final Score: 97.0/200

16: Mary Baldwin University

Mary Baldwin University

Mary Baldwin University (or MBU as it is commonly called) is a private, not-for-profit liberal arts university located in Staunton, Virginia. Mary Baldwin University was initially established in 1842 by founder Rufus William Bailey as the Augusta Female Seminary. Other past names are Mary Baldwin Seminary and Mary Baldwin College. Mary Baldwin University is the oldest institution of higher education for women in the nation affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. The university is also home to the only all-female corps of cadets in the world.

In addition to its main campus, Mary Baldwin University operates regional academic centers throughout the State of Virginia in the cities of Charlottesville, Emporia, Glenns, Kilmarnock, Richmond, Roanoke, South Boston, South Hill, Warsaw, Weyers Cave, and in Williamsburg.

Mary Baldwin University offers its more than 1,700 total enrolled students a selection of undergraduate degree-granting programs, graduate degree-granting programs, and professional certification programs. 

Many of these academic programs are available in an online and fully asynchronous format taught by the same academic faculty members as the on-campus program counterparts, ensuring an added amount of flexibility and a consistent amount of quality in the education provided.

Some of the online and asynchronous academic programs include: a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Business degree program, a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree program, a Bachelor of Arts in English degree program, a Bachelor of Arts in Healthcare Administration degree program and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology degree program among many others.

School’s Website: https://www.marybaldwin.edu

Freshman Retention Rate: 64.0%

Graduation Rate: 42.0%

Final Score: 106.0/200

15: Lord Fairfax Community College

Lord Fairfax Community College

Lord Fairfax Community College is a multi-campus community college that operates campuses in Middleton (Middleton Campus), Warrenton (Fauquier Campus and Vint Hill Campus), and Luray-Page County Center (Luray). The school is commonly referred to as LFCC and offers more than 75 degree and certificate programs from which students can choose. These programs are offered at the undergraduate level and are taught by a qualified and dedicated academic faculty.

Lord Fairfax Community College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). The college is a provider of numerous highly flexible and comprehensive higher education programs like:

School’s Website: https://lfcc.edu/

Freshman Retention Rate: 65.0%

Graduation Rate: 43.0%

Final Score: 108.0/200

14: Norfolk State University

Norfolk State University

Norfolk State University is a public Historically Black University (HBCU) that is based in Norfolk, Virginia. NSU was initially established in 1935 as the Norfolk Unit of Virginia Union University. In 1942, the school became independent of Virginia Union University and was renamed Norfolk Polytechnic College. Two years later, it became a member-institute of Virginia State College (now known as Virginia State University). In 1969, the college separated from Virginia State College and was renamed Norfolk State College.

The college was granted university status in 1979 by the General Assembly of Virginia and, because of this, it changed its name to its present-day name of Norfolk State University.

Norfolk State University is organized into eight academic divisions through which all of the university’s undergraduate and graduate degree programs are offered. These academic divisions are the School of Business; the School of Education; the College of Liberal Arts; the College of Engineering, Science and Technology; the School of Social Work; the School of Extended Learning; the Honors College and; the Graduate School.

NSU is an institutional participant in NC-SARA (State Authorized Reciprocity Agreements). The program was designed to expand students’ access to educational opportunities and ensure the regulation of distance learning programs. The school offers several fully online degrees, including an M.S. in Cybersecurity, an M.A. in Urban Education, a Bachelor of Science degree in Tourism and Hospitality Management, and many more exciting options. 

School’s Website: https://www.nsu.edu

Freshman Retention Rate: 74.0%

Graduation Rate: 39.0%

Final Score: 113.0/200

13: Averett University

Averett University

Averett University is a private and not-for-profit liberal arts university located in Danville, Virginia. The school was initially established in 1859 as a women’s only college known as Union Female College. The name was changed to Averett College when it received accreditation as a junior college in 1917. Accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) was provided in 1928. In 1969, Averett became a coeducational four-year college. The school changed its name to its present-day name of Averett University in 2001.

Averett University’s Adult Education program, known as the Graduate and Professional Studies (GPS), has campus centers in Danville, Richmond, and Tidewater. In addition, graduate and Professional Studies classes are offered at 12 locations in total around Virginia. 

Averett University also operates the North Campus Athletic Center and Averett Flight Center at Danville Regional Airport, both located in Danville. The university even operates an Equestrian Center based in Pelham, NC, just across the Virginia-North Carolina state borders.

Averett University offers its more than 2,700 total enrolled students a wide variety of 

undergraduate degree-granting programs, graduate degree-granting programs, and professional certification programs to choose from, many of which are available online and in a completely asynchronous format to serve distance learning students better.

Some of the online and asynchronous academic programs offered by Averett University include A Master of Science in Applied Data Analytics, a Bachelor of Science in Sociology and Criminal Justice (BSCJ) degree, and an online MBA

School’s Website: https://www.averett.edu/

Freshman Retention Rate: 68.0%

Graduation Rate: 50%

Final Score: 118.0/200

12: Marymount University – Arlington

Marymount University

Marymount University is a private, not-for-profit Roman Catholic-affiliated liberal arts university located in Arlington, Virginia. Marymount University was originally established in 1950 by the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary (RSHM). The school that RSHM founded was known as Marymount College and operated as a two-year women’s only school. Marymount College became a four-year college in 1973. 

The first male students were admitted into the college’s nursing program in 1972, and the college became a fully co-educational institute in 1986. The same year, the college changed its name to its present-day name of Marymount University. Today, the university offers a wide selection of undergraduate degree-granting programs, graduate degree-granting programs, and professional certificate programs online and on-campus.

The school offers its students online nursing programs, a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership & Organizational Innovation program, and an Online Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) – Business Intelligence program. 

Additionally, Marymount University is a member of the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area, which allows its students to take courses at any of the other 13 member institutions of the Consortium and to borrow books from their libraries. Some member-institutions include Georgetown University, the George Washington University, the Catholic University of America, and the Corcoran College of Art and Design.

School’s Website: https://www.marymount.edu/

Freshman Retention Rate: 72.0%

Graduation Rate: 54.0%

Final Score: 126.0/200

11: Regent University

Regent University

Regent University is a fully accredited, private, and not-for-profit Christian-affiliated liberal arts university that offers 128 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 9,000 total enrolled students. Regent University was founded by Pat Robertson (a media mogul, executive chairman of the Christian Broadcasting Network, and former Southern Baptist minister) in 1977. The university changed its name to its present-day name of Regent University in 1990.

In 2015, Regent University was ranked by U.S. News and World Report as having the 11th best online undergraduate program in the United States. Additionally, the school’s online MBA faculty members were ranked as being the 1st best nationally in 2013 by U.S. News and World Report. Regent University is fully accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

Regent University offers over 400 online academic programs to distance learning students! A few of these include:

School’s Website: https://www.regent.edu/

Freshman Retention Rate: 78.0%

Graduation Rate: 61.0%

Final Score: 129.0/200

10: Hampton University

Hampton University

Hampton University (which is also commonly referred to as HU or Home by the Sea) is a private, not-for-profit Historically Black University (HBCU) located in Hampton, Virginia. Hampton University was initially established in 1868 by black and white leaders of the American Missionary Association (AMA) after the American Civil War to provide education to freedmen. The school that these leaders established was known as the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute. 

Among the university’s many famous alumni is Dr. Booker Taliaferro Washington (April 5, 1856 – November 14, 1915), an educator who founded the Tuskegee Institute, another college that the AMA supports.

Hampton University offers its more than 5,000 total enrolled students a selection of numerous undergraduate degree-granting programs, graduate degree-granting programs, and professional certificate programs. These academic programs span across a myriad of different areas of study, including many interdisciplinary programs. Many of the university’s academic programs are available in online and fully asynchronous formats. The same dedicated academic faculty members teach the online programs as their on-campus counterparts.

The selection of online programs at Hampton is fairly extensive. Undergraduate programs include:

Additionally, Hampton offers several Master’s Doctoral, Certificate, and Educational Specialist programs online. 

School’s Website: https://www.hamptonu.edu/

Freshman Retention Rate: 75.0%

Graduation Rate: 57.0%

Final Score: 132.0/200

9: Old Dominion University

Old Dominion University

With a selection of online and asynchronous academic programs that include programs such as: a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a Concentration in Accounting degree program, a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree program, a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice degree program, a Master of Science or Master of Engineering in Aerospace Engineering degree program and a Doctor of Philosophy in Community College Leadership degree program, Old Dominion University is a top provider of numerous comprehensive and highly flexible academic programs.

Old Dominion University (commonly referred to as ODU) is a public research university located in Norfolk, Virginia. ODU was initially established in 1930 as the Norfolk Division of the College of William and Mary. The school got its name from one of Virginia’s state nicknames–“The Old Dominion”–which was given to the state by King Charles II of England for remaining loyal to the Crown during the English Civil War.

Today, Old Dominion University is classified by the Carnegie Classification of Higher Education as a Research University with a Higher Research Activity Rating. ODU offers a selection of more than 160 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 25,000 students and is recognized as one of the nation’s largest providers of online and asynchronous academic programs.

School’s Website: https://www.odu.edu/

Freshman Retention Rate: 80.0%

Graduation Rate: 53.0%

Final Score: 133.0/200

8: Liberty University – Lynchburg

Liberty University

Liberty University is a private, not-for-profit Southern Baptist-affiliated liberal arts university located in Lynchburg, Virginia. Liberty University was originally established in 1971 as the Lynchburg Baptist College, founded by Jerry Lamon Falwell Sr., a Southern Baptist pastor, televangelist, and conservative activist. 

Today, Liberty University is organized into nine academic divisions: the School of Law and Government; the Liberty Divinity School; the Zaki Gordon Cinematic Arts Center; the College of Osteopathic Medicine; the School of Business; the School of Aeronautics; the School of Engineering; the School of Music and Liberty University Online. It is through these academic divisions that Liberty University offers its many on-campus and online educational programs.

The academic programs provided by Liberty University to their more than 134,000 total enrolled students (which comprises 21,800 traditional on-campus students and 112,500 distance learning students) span varying areas of study. They are available at all levels of learning (undergraduate degree-granting programs, graduate degree-granting programs, and professional certificate programs). The traditional face-to-face academic programs and the asynchronous online programs are both taught by the same dedicated academic faculty members.

Some of the online and fully asynchronous programs that Liberty University’s many distance learning students can choose from include programs such as: a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration degree program, a Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree program, a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics degree program, a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree program, and numerous other options.

School’s Website: https://www.liberty.edu/

School Profile

Freshman Retention Rate: 81.0%

Graduation Rate: 54.0%

Final Score: 135.0/200

7: Lynchburg College

Lynchburg College

Lynchburg College is a private, not-for-profit Disciples of Christ-affiliated liberal arts college that is located in Lynchburg, Virginia. Lynchburg College was initially established in 1903 as the Virginia Christian College. Lynchburg College was the first institution in the United States to train nuclear physicists and nuclear engineers for the NS Savannah project under the order of President Eisenhower to aid in the development and operation of the world’s first nuclear-powered ship.

There are more than 40 clubs and organizations at Lynchburg College in which students can participate. These include an active Greek Life, social clubs, philanthropic groups, spiritual clubs, student government, and various organizations that provide students with volunteer opportunities.

Lynchburg Online offers more than 2,500 total enrolled students a selection of for-credit courses in an asynchronous online format. The online academic programs are taught by the same academic faculty members as their on-campus counterparts.

School’s Website: https://www.lynchburg.edu

Freshman Retention Rate: 68.0%

Graduation Rate: 56.0%

Final Score: 139.0/200

6: Eastern Mennonite University

Eastern Mennonite University

Eastern Mennonite University (commonly referred to simply as EMU) is a private, not-for-profit liberal arts university affiliated with the Mennonite Church, an Anabaptist Christian denomination. EMU is located in Harrisonburg, Virginia, in the Shenandoah Valley area. The University was initially established in 1917 by a group of Mennonite church members who recognized that their church-centered communities needed to offer schooling beyond the basic education level for local young adult Mennonites.

The University operates a satellite campus in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, which primarily caters to busy working adult students. This satellite campus teaches academic programs in a way that tries to serve these working adults better by teaching weekend and night courses, allowing them to have greater flexibility in their studies.

Additionally, students can choose to enroll in one of three fully online and asynchronous academic programs that Eastern Mennonite University offers for even more flexibility. These include a Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN) degree program, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree program, and a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program. 

The University also offers a myriad of online stand-alone for-credit courses that can be used to meet the requirements of any of the academic programs available on-campus and online at the school.

School’s Website: https://www.emu.edu/

Freshman Retention Rate: 85.0%

Graduation Rate: 60.0%

Final Score: 145.0/200

5: Virginia Commonwealth University

Virginia Commonwealth University

Virginia Commonwealth University is a public research university in Richmond known simply as VCU. VCU was originally founded in 1838 as the medical department of Hampden-Sydney College. The department would later become the Medical College of Virginia in 1854. In 1968, the Virginia General Assembly merged the Medical College of Virginia (MCV) with the Richmond Professional Institute to create the Virginia Commonwealth University. 

The Virginia Commonwealth University’s more than 31,000 students can choose from a selection of more than 225 degree-granting programs in addition to numerous professional certificate programs that are all offered through the university’s 13 schools and one college. 

These academic divisions are: the College of Humanities and Sciences; the Robertson School of Media and Culture; the School of World Studies; the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs; the School of Allied Health Professions; the School of the Arts; the School of Business; the School of Dentistry; the School of Education; the School of Engineering; the School of Medicine; the School of Nursing; the School of Pharmacy; the School of Social Work; the University College; the VCU Graduate School; the VCU Honors College and the VCU Life Sciences.

VCU has many online and fully asynchronous programs that distance learning students can choose from. A few of these include:

School’s Website: https://www.vcu.edu

Freshman Retention Rate: 83.0%

Graduation Rate: 66.0%

Final Score: 149.0/200

4: George Mason University

George Mason University

George Mason University, or frequently just George Mason or GMU, is a public research university with its main campus in Fairfax County, Virginia. It is the largest university of its kind in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the largest university by headcount. George Mason University enrolls a total of 34,900 annually. 

The school was originally founded as a branch of the University of Virginia in 1949. Over time, the school underwent a few name changes before settling on its current name. In 1952, the name became University College, the Northern Virginia branch of the University of Virginia. The name finally became George Mason University in 1958. The City of Fairfax purchased and donated 150-acres of land just outside city limits for the college’s new site to be established. This is now known as their Fairfax Campus.

Today, George Mason University has three campuses in Northern Virginia; in Fairfax, Arlington, and Prince William. It also retains an international campus in Songdo, Korea. Despite having several physical locations, the school also has a thriving online student body. Degree programs through their online platform are offered in both synchronous and asynchronous formats.

They offer more than 50 online degree options in Business & Management, Education, Engineering & Technology, Science & Math, and Health. A standout among these programs is their Bachelors of Science in Nursing program, which many consider one of the best in the nation.

School’s Website: https://www2.gmu.edu/

Freshman Retention Rate: 86.0%

Graduation Rate: 72.0%

Final Score: 158.0/200

3: James Madison University

James Madison University

James Madison University is a public co-educational research university that was founded in 1908 in Harrisburg, Virginia. The Virginia General Assembly established the school in 1908 as The State Normal and Industrial School for Women. It was a women’s only educational facility that offered classes similar to junior college courses, or what we consider to be vocational training today. In 1914, the name was changed to State Normal School for Women at Harrisonburg; however, they wouldn’t be eligible to confer bachelor’s degrees until 1916. 

The name changed a few more times to State Teachers College at Harrisonburg in 1924 and Madison College in 1938 and then settled on its current and permanent name in 1976. Despite the few name changes in between, it wasn’t until 1946 that men were first allowed to enroll as regular students.

James Madison University offers over 100 degree programs at the bachelor’s, master’s, educational specialist, and doctoral levels. These are all taught at one of the seven colleges into which the University is divided. These divisions are the College of Arts and Letters; the College of Business; the College of Education; the College of Health and Behavioral Studies; the College of Integrated Science and Engineering; the College of Science and Mathematics; the College of Visual and Performing Arts; and The Graduate School. 

Currently, James Madison University offers several bachelor’s and master’s programs that can be completed off-campus, abroad, or in a hybrid format. A few of these programs include:

School’s Website: https://www.jmu.edu/

Freshman Retention Rate: 89.0%

Graduation Rate: 82.0%

Final Score: 171.0/200

2: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University is a public land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant research university located in Blacksburg, Virginia. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University–commonly referred to as Virginia Tech–was initially established in 1872 as the Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College. 

The college’s name would be changed to the Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College and Polytechnic Institute in 1896 and again to Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1944. Virginia Polytechnic Institute would receive a final name change to the present-day name of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1970.

Virginia Tech offers numerous online and blended programs to help students earn graduate degrees and certificates. Degree programs include:

Over 20 certificate programs at Virginia Tech are also available and include options like a certificate in Big Data, Cybersecurity Policy, Integrative STEM Education, Natural Resources, Naval Engineering, and many others. 

School’s Website: https://vt.edu/

Freshman Retention Rate: 93.0%

Graduation Rate: 86.0%

Final Score: 179.0/200

1: University of Virginia

University of Virginia

The University of Virginia was ranked as the best school in our Top 20 Best Online Schools in Virginia ranking due to having an excellent Final Score of 191 points out of 200 points. This is because of their enviable Freshman retention rate (with 97% of all freshmen students returning for their sophomore year) and their stable graduation rate (with 94% of all degree-seeking students receiving their degree in an acceptable amount of time).

The University of Virginia is a public research university and is the flagship for the Commonwealth of Virginia. UVA is located in the city of Charlottesville, Virginia, and was originally established in 1819. Thomas Jefferson founded the university. Today, the school is organized into eleven academic divisions. These include: the School of Architecture; the College of Arts and Sciences; the Darden School of Business; the McIntire School of Commerce; the School of Continuing and Professional Studies; the Curry School of Education; the School of Engineering and Applied Science; the School of Law; the School of Medicine; the School of Nursing and; the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy.

UVA offers its more than 22,500 total enrolled students a selection of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in addition to several professional certificate programs. These include:

School’s Website: https://www.virginia.edu/

Freshman Retention Rate: 97.0%

Graduation Rate: 94.0%

Final Score: 191.0/200

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