Getting a degree can be time-consuming. Whether it’s an Associates, Bachelor’s, Masters, or Doctorate, it can be hard for anyone who works full-time to carve out three or four consecutive hours a day, multiple days a week, to attend classes at a traditional brick-and-mortar college.
That’s where the Best Online Colleges come into play.
Many colleges offer programs in which students can earn their degrees online while still paying the mortgage or simply putting groceries in their refrigerator. These schools were considered for this ranking of the best online colleges.
Methodology for The Top 100 Best Online Colleges
We have judged and ranked all of the major schools in the United States which offer distance learning students a selection of online and asynchronous academic programs, then ranked the best online colleges based on the following criteria:
25%: Freshmen Retention Rates;
25%: Graduation Rates;
25% Average Cost of Attendance and;
25% Overall Programmatic Flexibility
After scoring each school based on this particular “best online colleges” ranking criteria, we compared each of the 100 best online colleges against each other to determine how best they can cater to their distance learning students. To gather the information that we required to rank each of these schools based on our best online colleges ranking criteria, we used each of the school’s websites whenever possible to obtain their Freshmen Retention Rates, their total Graduation Rates, Average Cost of Attendance and their Overall Programmatic Flexibility. In cases where a school does not provide this information, we utilized the databases of following two expansive sites:
How we scored each of the best online colleges was based on a relatively straightforward formula: we took each of the school’s four scoring rates (Freshman Retention Rate percentage, Graduation Rate percentage, the Average Cost of Attendance and their Overall Programmatic Flexibility) and added these weighted scores together. The total we were left with was what we used to determine each school’s placement in this Top 100 Best Online Colleges ranking.
The reason we chose this ranking criteria for the best online colleges is also fairly straightforward. The importance of each of these four criteria is as follows:
Freshmen Retention Rate: A school’s Freshmen Retention Rate is a strong indicator that students attending a school are satisfied with the quality of education that they are receiving.
Graduation Rate: A school’s total Graduation Rate is a further indicator of how satisfied the attending students are with the quality of the education that they are receiving. The amount of students that stick with a school for the entirety of their academic career strongly indicates that the school is a capable and quality educator.
Average Cost of Attendance: The Average Cost of Attendance for a school is an important ranking criteria due to the fact that the cost of education is one of the main limiting factors for many students. Additionally, an affordable education means a better return-on-investment (ROI) for students.
Overall Programmatic Flexibility: When we talk about the Overall Programmatic Flexibility of a school, what we are looking at is the overall delivery method of the education, how well supported the online education is by the school’s educators and whether or not the degree program is fully asynchronous or only partially. Many distance learning students already have hectic schedules, so how well a school caters to these students by providing them with a flexible education is a very important aspect.
We feel that these four ranking criteria help to really shine a spotlight on capable and high-quality schools and we hope that this Top 100 Best Online Colleges ranking will assist you in finding the school that is the perfect fit for you.
Here are the top 100 best online colleges in America:
The Top 100 Best Online Colleges
Best Online Colleges 1-10
1) University of Minnesota Crookston
Enrolling nearly 2,000 students, this university offers about 30 undergraduate degree programs through multiple academic departments. The school offers more than a dozen online bachelor’s degree programs such as communication, accounting, and quality management. Students also have the opportunity to pursue a handful of certificates and minors.
Congrats to University of Minnesota Crookston for earning the #1 spot in this ranking of the very best online colleges, thereby taking the title of the best online college in the country.
2) Oregon State University, OSU Ecampus
Oregon State enrolls more than 30,000 students across a dozen colleges and a graduate school. The university offers more than 900 online courses and a plethora of degree programs. The online program offers nearly 20 bachelor’s degrees ranging from sustainability to anthropology and nine master’s degrees such as counseling and natural resources and doctoral degrees in education. They also offer a number of certificate programs.
3) Northeastern University
Northeastern is home to over 20,000 students across nine colleges and schools in Massachusetts, as well as graduate campuses in North Carolina and Washington State. Northeastern’s online program offers nearly 20 bachelor degrees in topics such as finance, English, and political science. They offer two dozen master’s degrees such as leadership, taxation, and homeland security, and doctoral degrees in educational and transitional physical therapy. The online program also offers over 20 different certificate programs in various topics.
4) Indiana University, IU Online
Indiana University enrolls more than 110,000 students across nine campuses and two centers. Through IU Online, the university offers hundreds of online classes and more than 100 degree programs. Students are encouraged to explore the variety of associate and bachelor degree programs, as well as their nine degree completion programs such as nursing, political science, and business administration. The online program also offers over two dozen masters degree programs ranging from data science to strategic management. Last but not least, students are able to earn doctoral degrees in nursing science, instructional systems technology, and nursing practice.
5) Arizona State University, ASU Online
Arizona State enrolls nearly 100,000 students across 16 colleges and schools. ASU Online offers a myriad of bachelor’s degree programs such as business, art history, justice studies, and film. They also offer master’s degrees in English, nutrition, legal studies, electrical engineering, and more. Students also have the opportunity to pursue a doctoral degree in biobehavioral health, innovation, and leadership. ASU consistently ranks as one of the best online colleges.
6) University of North Dakota
The University of North Dakota has over 15,000 students distributed within 10 academic divisions. They offer more than 220 programs of undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as professional degrees in medicine and law. The online program offers 10 bachelor degrees such as communication, civil engineering, and psychology as well as 20 master’s degrees in programs such as aviation, space studies, and education. On top of that, they offer two doctoral programs in nursing.
7) Fort Hays State University, Virtual College
Fort Hays has about 11,200 students enrolled throughout four colleges. The university offers 40 online degrees through its Virtual College. Students can complete associate’s degrees in general studies and applied technology, as well as two dozen bachelor’s degrees ranging from information networking to business education. Master’s degrees in areas such as health and human performance, liberal studies, and special education are also available.
8) Florida State University, Office of Distance Learning
Florida State has over 42,000 students spread between 16 colleges and more than a hundred facilities, labs, and centers. Through the Office of Distance Learning, the university offers bachelor’s degrees in computer science, public safety and security, criminology and interdisciplinary social science. They also offer nearly 20 master’s degree programs in topics including criminology, business administration, communication disorders, and much more. It’s no surprise to find FSU ranked as one of the best online colleges, as the school excels in many areas.
9) University of Alabama at Birmingham, UAB Online
UAB has enrolled more than 18,500 students who are pursuing undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The online program offers seven bachelor’s degrees in healthcare management and business topics such as financing and marketing, as well as nearly 20 masters programs including topics in areas of sociology, civil structural engineering, and elementary education.
10) Lewis University
Lewis University houses 6,800 students through its five colleges and schools. The school’s online program offers bachelor degrees in business administration, information security and risk management, information technology management, and professional studies, as well as seven online master’s degrees in areas of aviation and transportation, business analytics, and organizational leadership. A doctoral in nursing practice is also offered.
Best Online Colleges 11-20
11) Drexel University, Drexel Online
Home to 25,000 students over a dozen schools and colleges, Drexel has one of the nation’s largest cooperative education programs. Drexel Online offers roughly 80 certificate programs, as well as doctoral programs in topics such as educational leadership and management, nursing practice, and health science in rehabilitation services. Drexel Online has received several accolades as one of the best online colleges.
12) Penn State World Campus
Penn State World Campus joined the highly respected Pennsylvania State University in 1998. The World Campus offers a hefty list of online programs, with more than 120 online programs leading to a variety of certificates, as well as undergraduate and graduate degrees. World Campus is home to more than 10,000 students in fields ranging from engineering, technology, business, healthcare, and more.
13) Concorde Career Colleges
Concorde was formed in 1988 as a Delaware corporation. With programs designed to jump-start your career in as few as nine months, Concorde has accredited programs in health care fields such as dental and medical specialties. Concorde currently operates 16 campuses in eight states throughout America and focuses on the population that is seeking a career-focused education. Concorde’s Online campus is fantastic for those students who need the flexibility to work and go to school at the same time.
One reason Concorde Online is considered one of the best online colleges is that it uses its Canvas(TM) technology – an online learning management system that makes it easy to stay on track with your online education. Concorde Career College is accredited through the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), a nationally recognized accrediting agency.
14) Washington State University Global Campus
Washington State is home to 28,000 students learning over 200 fields of study in associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs. Since launching in 2009, the Global Campus offers nine online bachelor’s degree programs in areas such as accounting, hospitality business management and criminal justice; and a dozen master’s programs such as agriculture, special education, and molecular biosciences.
15) UMass Online
The University of Massachusetts consists of four universities, one satellite campus, and a medical school. UMass Online offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees. They offer an associate in information technology and over 30 bachelor degree programs such as nursing, criminal justice, applied psychology, and more. The university also offers nearly 40 graduate degrees in topics such as security studies, gerontology, and vision studies.
16) Kaplan University
Kaplan University has been providing online degrees since 2001 and provides its students with undergraduate, graduate, and continuing professional education degrees. The school has long been considered one of the best online colleges. Kaplan University offers a productive and exciting way to learn — either online or at its 15 locations throughout America. Kaplan University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC), and with its convenient web-based academic programs, it will allow you to tailor your own curriculum in order to plan your class and study time to fit your unique schedule.
Online education at Kaplan University is created around the principle of using advanced technology and enhanced delivery methods to make classes easy to access and use. You can navigate lessons and explore web field trips with the click of a mouse and communicate with fellow students and faculty via email and message boards.
NAU is home to more than 27,700 students throughout its main campus and dozens of satellite campuses. These students can pursue a myriad of bachelor’s programs such as respiratory care, criminal justice, and parks and recreational management. The school offers over 20 master’s degrees including administration, nursing, and educational leadership. Online students are also able to complete a host of minor and certificate programs.
18) Mizzou Online, University of Missouri
The University of Missouri enrolls about 35,400 students across 19 academic colleges. Mizzou Online offers nine bachelor’s degrees in health sciences, nursing, hospitality management, and early childhood education; over 40 master’s degrees in gerontology, interactive media, and architectural studies; and a dozen doctoral programs ranging from nursing to education.
19) Colorado State University-Global Campus
Founded in 2007, the Global Campus offers a host of bachelor’s completion degrees and master’s degrees as well as undergraduate and graduate certificate programs. They offer more than a dozen bachelor completion programs such as communication, accounting, program management, and organizational leadership. They also offer master’s degrees ranging from healthcare administration to criminal justice.
20) University of Central Florida
Home to more than 60,000 students, University of Central Florida offers more than 200 degree programs through 24 colleges and satellite campuses. The bachelor’s degree programs cover subjects such as nursing, anthropology, and criminal justice. They also have more than 20 master’s programs ranging from English, digital forensics, and educational leadership. UCF often makes the ranks as one of the best online colleges.
Best Online Colleges 21-30
21) University of Illinois, Springfield
The University of Illinois Springfield houses 5,700 students. They have over 40 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, as well as a doctorate in public administration. They offer dozens of online bachelor’s degrees such as English, computer science information systems security, and mathematics, as well as 11 master’s degrees such as public administration, environmental sciences, and teacher leadership.
22) University of Florida Distance Learning
The University of Florida has 16 campuses and over 150 research centers and institutes. They offer a variety of online programs leading to bachelor, bachelor completion, master, specialist, and doctoral degrees. The university is also one of the largest resource universities in the nation. After degree completion, students will be able to join an alumni network that is home to over 300,000 worldwide alums.
23) Boston University
Boston University has roughly 33,000 students spread across 18 colleges and schools. BU hosts a wide variety of online courses including as an online bachelor’s completion program and nine master’s degrees programs such as taxation law, management, and art education. The university also offers doctoral programs in occupational therapy and music education, as well as more than a dozen certificate programs.
24) University of Southern Mississippi
The university enrolls about 15,300 students who are all seeking degrees in its nearly 200-program curriculum leading to undergraduate, graduate, and specialist degrees. Online degrees include eight bachelor’s degree programs such as applied technology, nursing, and elementary education, as well as 17 master’s degrees in areas such as human performance, logistics, trade and transportation, and nutrition and food systems.
25) University of Louisiana at Monroe
University of Louisiana at Monroe is home to about 8,500 students. The online degree programs include an associate’s degree in general studies and nearly 20 bachelor’s degrees ranging from elementary education to psychology. Students also have the opportunity to pursue master’s degrees in criminal justice, gerontology, English, and more. Doctoral degrees in education and philosophy are also offered.
26) Liberty University Online
It is no surprise to find Liberty University Online listed among the best online colleges. Home to over 110,000 students, Liberty offers about 250 online programs leading to undergraduate and graduate degrees. Students can pursue associate and bachelor degrees in early childhood education, accounting, and aeronautics, as well as dozens of master’s degree programs such as Christian ministry, business, and counseling. The university also offers doctoral programs in nursing, seminary and business.
27) Robert Morris University, RMU Online
With an enrollment total of just 5,000 students, RMU offers more than 80 programs leading to bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees through its five schools. Their online offerings include eight undergraduate programs such as cyber forensics info security, organizational leadership, and nursing. They also offer more than a dozen master’s programs including higher education, nursing, and engineering management.
28) Florida Institute of Technology, Florida Tech University Online
Florida Tech boasts about 16,000 students throughout its five academic division program. Students have the opportunity to enroll in any of the eight associate’s degrees that the school offers, covering topics such as healthcare management and accounting, as well as over a dozen bachelor’s degrees including applied psychology, criminal justice, and aviation management. At this best online college, students can also pursue any of the six masters degrees, such as supply chain management and information assurance and cybersecurity.
29) Everglades University
Everglades houses nearly 700 students with a dozen programs leading to bachelor and master’s degrees. The online program offers programs leading to bachelor’s degrees in aviation and alternative medicine, as well as a myriad of master’s degrees in areas such as aviation science, business administration, and public health administration.
30) Western Kentucky University
Western Kentucky University holds about 21,000 students in more than 100 programs leading to a variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees. Online students can complete associate’s degrees in early childhood education, as well as six bachelor’s degrees in areas such as family and consumer sciences, sociology, and organizational leadership. Students also have the opportunity to pursue over two dozen masters degrees in topics such as criminology, education, biology, and athletic training, which makes WKU a versatile option among the best online colleges.
Best Online Colleges 31-40
31) Regis University
Regis University has over 10,000 students enrolled in its undergraduate and graduate programs. They offer two dozen undergraduate programs such as computer networking, social science, and health care administration, as well as a bachelor’s completion program in nursing. They also offer approximately 30 graduate programs in areas such as information assurance, business, education, nursing, and health services administration.
32) Missouri State University
Missouri State has 22,300 students worldwide spread over nine academic divisions. The university offers 10 online undergraduate degree completion programs such as communication studies, information technology, and hospitality and restaurant administration; 12 master’s degree programs in areas such as history, business administration, and education; and a doctoral of nursing practice degree. Students are also able to earn a variety of certificate programs at this best online college.
33) New Mexico State University
New Mexico State is home to about 18,400 students. Students can choose from seven bachelor completion programs such as criminal justice, sociology, and elementary education. Students can also choose from 18 master’s degrees ranging from engineering to education, as well as doctorates in educational leadership, nursing, and curriculum and instruction.
34) Minnesota State University
With six undergraduate degree programs (and five minor options), eight graduate programs, and various education certificates and license programs, Minnesota State University’s completion program is great for students who have general education credits to their name (or are willing to earn said credits at another school, like a community college). Courses at MSU can be taken at a part-time or full-time pace, which makes it a great best online college option for students who are also working full time.
35) Cappella University
Cappella University, a Minneapolis-based higher-learning institution, opened its doors in 1993. Today, the university enrolls more than 36,000 students (the majority of whom are earning advanced degrees). Capella offers 145 degree programs at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level, as well as 22 certifications. Take advantage of the roughly 1,700 online courses available. The university also operates learning centers in 48 states and eight countries outside the United States.
36) South Dakota State University
South Dakota State University offers five undergraduate (including Nursing, Sociology, and Medical Lab Science) and nine graduate programs (Nursing, Mass Communication, and Educational Administration among the list). At least 5,000 students have taken at least one online class through SDSU, and the school even offers a High School Concurrent program in which high school students can take distance education classes for both college and high school credit, helping the school earn its spot in the top 100 best online colleges.
37) North Dakota State University
Offering six online-specific programs in fields such as Journalism, Public Relations, and Sociology, as well as thirteen graduate programs (Educational Leadership, Speech Communication, and Merchandising chief among them), North Dakota State University’s online programs allow students to earn their entire degree online – though there is the option for blended-format classes if you so choose.
38) University of South Florida
If you’re looking for a graduate program, you’ve got plenty of options at the University of South Florida – 28 to be exact. Stretched across eight categories including Medicine, Public Health, Arts, Education, and Business, USF likely has an online Master’s program that’s right for you. The school also offers eight undergraduate degree completion programs – if you earn the general education credits at another school, you can transfer them over and finish off your degree online through USF.
39) Texas Tech University
Science is the word at Texas Tech University, which offers options like Biology and Plant and Soil Science for undergraduates, as well as a number of undergraduate completion programs. In addition, Texas Tech offers fourteen graduate programs, from Horticulture to Software Engineering to Agricultural Education, and a slew of minor and certificate programs. This much-loved school has earned a spot in several of our best online college rankings.
40) Ohio University
Stressing independence and self-learning, Ohio University’s online programs are great for students who don’t need the structure that comes with most college classroom situations. Ohio has seven fully-online undergraduate programs such as Nursing and Criminal Justice, along with fourteen graduate programs including Civil Engineering, Health Administration, and Business Administration. The school also utilizes print-based courses, allowing students the flexibility to complete courses through offline correspondence if that works best for them.
Best Online Colleges 41-50
41) Central Michigan University
Featuring nine online undergrad programs, Central Michigan University ranked #1 in online bachelor’s programs according to U.S. News and World Report. These top-ranked programs include Political Science, Psychology, and Business Administration. CMU also offers ten graduate programs, each allowing the student to select an emphasis that best suits them and their interests.
42) University of Cincinnati
How would you like to take a virtual class with 2,000 other students from 50 other countries? Think of the University of Cincinnati’s Massively Online Open Course as an online computer game for learning. The MOOC is open to anyone for free and, while not for credit (unless you successfully complete the course and choose to enroll in the MBA or Engineering graduate programs, in which case you’ll earn two credits towards the program), is a great way to try out the school and see if it – and online learning in general – is right for you. If it is, University of Cincinnati also offers eight bachelor’s programs online. This unique option gives University of Cincinnati a firm spot in this best online colleges ranking.
43) Utah State University
Utah State offers eight undergraduate (with four minors) and eight graduate programs, in addition to professional education licensure programs, endorsement programs, and professional development programs for teachers transitioning to Common Core standards in the classroom. With bachelor’s programs including Agribusiness, Liberal Arts, and Psychology and grad programs such as Engineering and Human Resources, Utah State has options for almost anyone.
44) Post University
At Post University, there are more than 60 online graduate, undergraduate, and certificate programs to choose from in such areas as business, marketing, and education. The school’s online degree courses are offered in eight-week modules, six times a year, so you can earn your bachelor’s degree in as little as 18 months, and a master’s degree in 14 to 24 months.
45) University of Wisconsin System Online
Thirty undergraduate programs, forty-plus master’s programs, and a pair of doctorate programs in Nursing highlight the offerings from the University of Wisconsin System Online, and that’s to say nothing of the school’s associate programs as well. Students can earn undergrad degrees in History, Political Science, and Human Development through the U of W online program, and options for those looking towards grad school include a variety of Engineering options – Electrical and Computer Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering, among others.
46) University of North Carolina Online System
The University of North Carolina lands on our ranking of the best online colleges partly beacuse it presents a host of online programs offered across all of the UNC campuses throughout North Carolina. It’s worth a look at the system in general, as the cost of courses and programs can vary based on the home campus. What you’ll find there is impressive – nearly four hundred online degree and certification programs, including bachelor’s and master’s options.
47) University of Illinois System Online
Computer Science, Philosophy, Mathematical Sciences – just three of twelve options for students looking to earn a bachelor’s degree online through the University of Illinois System Online. Engineering students may be interested in the U of I’s graduate programs, which include options such as Aerospace Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, among more than thirty other options across all disciplines. And just like the University of Cincinnati, University of Illinois has started offering MOOC classes that, while not for credit, can help students decide if online learning will work for them. MOOC classes are an incredible way to sample some of the best online colleges for free!
48) Baker University Online
Baker University Online offers degrees that can be earned entirely online, including bachelor’s programs in Business Leadership, Criminal Justice, and Management, as well as master’s programs like Organizational Leadership, Liberal Arts, and Education. In addition, students can take concentrations in the business programs for both undergraduate and graduate school, which allows you to specialize in areas like marketing, human resources, or informational technology, among others.
49) Cameron University
Offering four entirely online undergraduate programs (as well as a host that are mostly, but not 100%, online), Cameron University can put you on the path to a degree in Criminal Justice or Interdisciplinary Studies, both of which are available to be taken for an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. Courses are taught via online, hybrid, and Interactive Television (ITV) methods, allowing students flexibility to earn a degree around their work and home life schedules.
50) Clemson University
The focus at upstate South Carolina’s Clemson University is on post-graduate degrees. Clemson offers several options for students looking to continue their education beyond the traditional four years, with master’s programs in Construction Science Management, Public Administration, Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management, and Biological Sciences, among other options. For those looking to earn the right to be called Doctor, programs in Healthcare Genetics and Rhetorics, Communication, and Information Design are also available. Clemson is a gem among the best online colleges – and if you like college football, there is none better than the Clemson Tigers.
Best Online Colleges 51-60
51) Delta State University
With nine online master’s degree programs, such as Nursing, for distance learners, Delta State University offers small class sizes for its online programs, with a 12:1 student-to-teacher ratio essentially guaranteeing one-on-one time for the teacher and student – a great resource for any student taking online classes. The low class sizes coupled with asynchronous classes, allowing students to participate in the class on their own schedule, allows for a great mix of independent work with personalized guidance.
52) Eastern Michigan University
Three undergraduate programs – Dietetics, Nursing (as a completion program), and Technology Management – along with seven graduate programs, including Educational Psychology, Integrated Marketing Communications, and Human Nutrition, highlight the program offerings at Eastern Michigan University. EMU’s online programs are designed to meet the needs of working professionals, so you can earn a degree wherever you can find the time between work, family, and other obligations.
53) Full Sail University
Full Sail University specializes in the creative arts, and that shines through with their online programs. Online Master’s programs at Full Sail include Creative Writing, Entertainment Business, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Mobile Gaming, and more. For the undergrads, there are programs in Audio Production, Computer Animation, Game Design, Sports Marketing and Media, and many more. Coupled with a trio of certificate options, Full Sail has the creative and business-minded student fully covered with their program selection. Full Sail University easily made the list of the top 100 best online colleges.
54) Gardner-Webb University
If you’ve got some credits already under your belt (or plan to take a few courses at a local community or state college), Gardner-Webb University can help round out your undergraduate degree with their Degree Completion programs. Students can earn general education credits where they live and complete a degree in Accounting, Criminal Justice, Elementary Education, and more online through Gardner-Webb. For those looking for master’s programs, Gardner-Webb offers options in Business, English, Sport Pedagogy, Nursing, and Education.
55) Georgia College & State University
Georgia College & State University’s online graduate degree programs are among the fastest growing programs at GCSU. With sixteen fully-online master’s and doctorate options to choose from, GCSU has plenty of options for those too busy for a traditional college class. Among the options for students are master’s programs in Public Administration, Management Information Systems, and a slew of Education options, as well as a doctorate program in Nursing.
56) Hamline University
Minnesota’s Hamline University is the place to go for fully-online, post-graduate Education programs, licenses, and certificates. While the school offers online master’s programs in Public Administration and the Study of Law, the Education program is where the school shines, with students having the ability to earn master’s degrees in Education, Education: Natural Science and Environmental Education, Literacy Education, and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. There are also a number of additional licenses, certifications, and programs offered by the school that are largely, although not 100%, online.
57) Howard University
If you’re looking for a program in Pharmacy, Nursing, Allied Health, Business, or Law, Howard University has got you covered. The school offers everything from certificates (Paralegal Studies) to bachelor’s degrees (Clinical Laboratory Science and Nursing) to a master’s program in Business. The most interesting option, however, may be the Non-Traditional Post-Baccalaureate Pharm.D. Degree Program, which allows students with a bachelor’s in Pharmacy to earn their Pharm.D. degree via distance education. Howard University has also been featured as a top school in other best online college rankings.
58) Iowa State University
Fully online programs for undergrads, fully online programs for grad students, fully online certification and professional development programs, and degree completion programs – Iowa State University has plenty of options for students looking to earn a degree online. Students can earn a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies online, as well as a master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering, Agronomy, Community College Leadership, or Statistics. Meanwhile, Gerontology, Human Computer Interaction, and Systems Engineering are just a handful of the certificate programs offered by ISU as well.
59) Jacksonville University
Jacksonville University’s online program is largely based in the medical field, so if the health industry is your thing – maybe you’ve already earned your undergraduate degree in Nursing and are looking to become a BSN or MSN, for example – you’ve got some great options for fully-online degree programs. Jacksonville University offers undergraduate programs like RN to BSN, RN to MSN in Clinical Nurse Educator, and RN to MSN in Leadership in Healthcare Systems, as well as graduate degree programs in MSN Clinical Nurse Educator, MSN Informatics Specialization, and MS Health Informatics.
60) Johns Hopkins University
World-renowned Johns Hopkins University offers a combination of fully and mostly online programs for graduate students, as well as twelve certificate programs. The interactivity and flexibility inherent in the JHU online programs allows students to study anything from Food Safety Regulation to Biotechnology to Museum Studies to Science Writing online, giving students the ability to earn a postgraduate degree at their convenience.
Best Online Colleges 61-70
61) King University
Twelve bachelor’s, three master’s, and an Associate of Arts program highlight the offerings of the Bristol, Tennessee-based King University online program. The liberal arts-minded will be interested in the school’s Bachelor of English and Bachelor of Communication programs, while the more STEM-minded students may find a program that suits them in the Bachelor of Information Technology. And, of course, there’s the Master of Business Administration, Master of Education in Teacher Leaders, and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs for those looking to continue beyond their four-year undergraduate degree.
62) Lasell College
Lasell College offers graduate programs and certificates in a range of subjects, with specialization options to make sure you get an education in the exact field you’re looking for. For example, students can earn – online – a Master of Science in Criminal Justice degree, with specialization options including Emergency Crisis Management, Violence Prevention and Advocacy, Homeland Security and Global Justice, as well as a self-designed option. There’s also programs in Management, Sports Management, and Communications, as well as a variety of Certificate programs.
63) Lynn University
iLynn is the playful name of the Lynn University online programs, where students can earn their bachelor’s degree in Aviation Management, Business Administration, Communication and Media, Criminal Justice, Liberal Arts, or Psychology. The Boca Raton-based school boasts an “iPad-powered curriculum” for its iLynn programs, as well as accelerated terms and industry-expert instructors.
64) Michigan State University
Michigan State University boasts 24 fully-online degree programs, the vast majority of which as master’s programs, including Biomedical Laboratory Operations, Judicial Administration, and Youth Development. Nursing students can earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing online through MSU, and the school offers hybrid options for doctorate programs in Psychology and Educational Technology, Physics, and Nursing as well.
65) Northern Illinois University
Seven undergraduate programs – from General Studies in Health and Human Services to Marketing to Political Science – can be taken through Northern Illinois University, as well as six graduate programs, including Nursing, Industrial Management, and Art Education. In addition, the school offers certificate programs for undergrads (Geographic Information Systems) and grad students (Eating Disorders and Obesity, Public Health, Library Information Science, among a handful of others).
66) Norwich University
Bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, certificates, and enrichment programs are available online through Vermont’s Norwich University. Among the five undergraduate programs, students can choose to earn a Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security or Criminal Justice. If you’re looking to get into a Master’s program, Norwich has eleven distance-learning programs to choose from, including Civil Engineering, Diplomacy, and Military History. Throw in certificates in Teaching and Learning and enrichment opportunities through the New England Public Works Institute, among others, and you’ve got quite a few options available at Norwich.
67) Regent University, Regent Online
Regent University is a private, co-educational, Christian university which was founded in 1978. The University enrolls just about 6,000 students. Regent University offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate (including doctoral) degrees through eight academic schools. Regent University has educated students from more than 100 countries. Regent University offers more than 60 online degree programs through Regent Online, including associate’s degrees in business and Christian studies and bachelor’s degrees in accounting, communication, leadership studies, and more.
68) Kennesaw State University
Kennesaw State University is a public, coeducational university founded in 1963. It currently enrolls over 42,600 students. Kennesaw State University offers a variety of bachelor, master, and doctoral degree programs. Kennesaw State includes bachelor’s degrees in sociology, fashion design, marketing, and more. Online students even have access to things like tutors, academic advisers, and library resources. Kennesaw State University holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and is often ranked as one of the best online colleges in the United States.
69) Huntington University
Huntington University enrolls approximately 1,200 students in more than 70 academic programs. The university offers undergraduate degrees in eight topics such as organizational management, criminal justice, and social work, as well as master’s degrees in global initiatives, global youth leadership, and pastoral leadership.
70) Lamar University
Lamar University is a public, coeducational research university that was founded in 1923. Lamar enrolls nearly 15,000 students and has a variety of bachelor, master, and doctoral degrees through five academic colleges. Lamar University offers courses in traditional 15-week sessions, as well as accelerated eight-week sessions. Students also can choose from multiple start dates each year. Lamar University offers nearly 30 online programs leading to a variety of bachelor and master degrees in topics such as computer science, criminal justice, and more. Students also can pursue an online doctorate in educational leadership or a handful of professional programs.
Best Online Colleges 71-80
71) University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix is a national university that currently offers 20 bachelor’s degree level programs fully online. Program offerings are comprehensive and are available in the departments of arts & sciences, business & management, criminal justice & security, education, human services, nursing & healthcare, psychology, and technology. In a career-centered move, University of Phoenix is working with STEM industry organizations to develop a portfolio of degree and certificate programs that meet employer STEM talent needs. The current estimated per-semester tuition for University of Phoenix online is $6,000.
72) Colorado Technical University
Colorado Technical University currently offers 13 bachelor’s degree level programs fully online, and a total of 99 programs at every instruction level. The large majority of their online bachelor’s programs are in information technology, healthcare, security studies, and business & management. Colorado Technical University courses are presented with intellipath technology, which focuses on what you don’t know through a series of questions and adaptive technology and tailors course materials accordingly. The current estimated per-semester tuition is $4,875.
73) Indiana Wesleyan University
Indiana Wesleyan University, a private, liberal arts, evangelical Christian university founded in 1920. Indiana Wesleyan enrolls about 15,800 students across five academic units. Indiana Wesleyan University offers a variety of programs leading to undergraduate and graduate degrees. Online students can pursue nine associate’s degrees such as accounting and paralegal studies and 15 bachelor’s degrees such as Biblical studies and social work. Students also can earn nearly 40 online master’s degrees such as divinity, nursing education, and organizational leadership and doctorates in nursing practice, organizational leadership, and occupational therapy.
74) Dakota State University
Dakota State University is a public university that was founded in 1881 and enrolls more than 3,000 students. Dakota State University offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate (including doctoral) degree programs through three colleges. Dakota State University’s degree offerings include more than a dozen online bachelor’s degrees such as accounting, cyber operations, and marketing and seven master’s degrees such as health informatics, analytics, and more. Online students have access to library resources and a bookstore. The same professors teach the on-campus and online courses. The university also offers the online courses at the same time as the on-campus classes, which allows for student collaboration.
75) Wilmington University
Wilmington University is a national university offering 21 fully online bachelor’s level degrees and over 90 total online programs, concentrations, and certificates. Through portfolios, examinations, or transfer credits, the credit for prior learning program allows students to accelerate their program. Co-op opportunities help students through experiential and real world experience by pairing them up with paid employment opportunities related to their field of study. Currently, the estimated per-semester tuition is $5,070.
76) East Carolina University
East Carolina University is a public, coeducational, doctoral/research university founded in 1907, and it enrolls about 27,300 students. East Carolina University has a variety of bachelor, master, doctoral, and professional degrees through 14 colleges and schools. Students can enroll in a bachelor degree completion program in 16 topics, including education, management information systems, and industrial technology. Online students also can pursue 21 master’s degrees in areas such as criminal justice, library science, and nursing. Online students can customize their degrees with a variety of concentrations. Online students have access to course materials any time or day, although some classes may have real-time elements. East Carolina University received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
77) Nova Southeastern University
Nova Southeastern University is a private, nonsectarian, non-profit, research university founded in 1964 and enrolls about 28,400 students across 18 schools and colleges. Nova Southeastern University offers more than 175 programs leading to a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees and boasts more than 145,000 alumni. Nova Southeastern University offers a host of online programs leading to bachelor’s degrees, such as speech, language, and communication disorders, recreational therapy, and nursing; master’s degrees, including accounting, coastal zone management, and gerontology; and doctoral programs in clinical psychology, education, family therapy, and more. Nova Southeastern University’s online programs feature real-time electronic classrooms. Nova Southeastern University received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
78) Saint Leo University Online
Saint Leo University is a non-profit, private, Roman Catholic, liberal arts university established in 1889 and enrolls more than 15,900 students. Saint Leo University awards a variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees. Saint Leo University serves students of all faiths. Saint Leo University Online offers a host of associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees, which students can earn 100-percent online. The degrees are the same as those earned by traditional on-campus students.
Saint Leo University Online’s offerings include associate’s degrees in business administration, criminal justice, information technology, and liberal arts, as well as 16 bachelor’s degrees in health care management, religion, and more. Students can also complete a handful of undergraduate minors, and online students can pursue more than two dozen master’s degrees in topics such as business, education, criminal justice, and theology. Students also can earn a doctorate of business administration online, although the university requires three one-week on-campus seminars. Saint Leo University is often regarded as one of the best online colleges in the nation.
79) California Baptist University, CBU Online
California Baptist University is a private, liberal arts, Christian university founded in 1950 and enrolls nearly 8,000 students. California Baptist University offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees through 11 academic divisions. Through CBU Online, California Baptist University offers nearly 40 online degree programs in an accelerated format. Online degree options include bachelor’s degrees in Christian ministries, criminal justice, and interdisciplinary studies; as well as master’s degrees in public administration, communication, and disability studies.
80) St. Catherine University
St. Catherine University currently offers 18 fully online bachelor’s degree programs under their evening/weekend/online program header. If you live close to St. Catherine University, you can also accelerate your learning through blended program delivery (a mix of on-campus and online courses). For bachelor’s degrees, the university is women’s only, and their online offerings are geared towards adult women. The estimated per-semester tuition is $3,990.
Best Online Colleges 81-90
81) University of Memphis, UM Online
The University of Memphis is a public research university founded in 1912 which enrolls more than 21,000 students from all over the world. The University of Memphis offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees. Through UM Online, the University of Memphis offers dozens of online degree programs. UM Online’s offerings include 16 bachelor’s degrees ranging from African-American studies to communication to accounting and 18 master’s degrees such as history, educational psychology, and public health.
UM Online students also can pursue a doctorate in higher and adult education, as well as a variety of certificates. UM Online students earn the same degree as the university’s on-campus students. Online students also have access to library services, career services, and disability resources.
82) Upper Iowa University
Upper Iowa University is a private university established in 1857 which enrolls more than 6,100 students. Upper Iowa University offers more than 40 undergraduate and graduate degree programs ranging from art to information technology. Upper Iowa University’s online degree offerings include a host of undergraduate and graduate degree programs, along with a variety of certificate programs.
Online students can pursue associate’s degrees in criminal justice, general business, liberal arts, and psychology, as well as more than 20 bachelor’s degrees in nursing, public administration, communication, and more. Online students can also earn master’s degrees in business administration, education, higher education administration, and public administration.
83) Grand Canyon University
Grand Canyon University has a total of 52 bachelor’s degree programs available entirely online. Programs at Grand Canyon are built for busy or working adults, and students take one accelerated class at a time so that their attention isn’t spread thin through multiple courses. While most online colleges use the same professors they use on campus to teach online classes, Grand Canyon University also has a team of full-time online-only professors and instructors. Currently, tuition per semester is $6,975.
84) Columbia College of Missouri
Columbia College of Missouri is often regarded as one of the best online colleges in the country. Columbia College of Missouri currently offers 24 bachelor’s degree level programs fully online. Offerings are comprehensive and include programs in business administration (with many specializations), computer information systems, management information systems, criminal justice administration, human services, general studies, American studies, history, political science, public administration, English, nursing, psychology, and sociology. Current estimated per semester tuition at Columbia College is $3,900.
85) Limestone College
Limestone College is a private, co-educational liberal arts college established in 1845 which enrolls more than 3,500 students. Limestone College awards a variety of associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. Limestone College’s degree offerings include a host of online undergraduate degrees in topics such as business administration, computer science, and liberal arts. Online students also can pursue a master of business administration degree. Limestone College offers classes in eight-week terms with six terms each year. Limestone College received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
86) University of Maryland – University College
The University of Maryland at University College offers 31 bachelor’s degree level programs fully online, with more than 95 online programs of any level. A number of online-specific support services are provided with the program, including 24-hour technical support, online writing feedback, an online library, academic and career advising, and job search assistance. The main departments from which UMUC online degrees are offered include business & management, cyber security, education & teaching, healthcare & science, information technology & computer science, liberal arts & communications, and public safety. The estimated per-semester tuition for online programs is $5,737.
87) University of Arizona
The University of Arizona currently offers 23 fully online bachelor’s level programs, including some unique offerings in sustainable built environments (architecture/planning), meteorology, eSociety, administration of justice, and African studies. The online program was established to offer a degree program identical to what an on-campus University of Arizona student would enroll in. Currently, the estimated per semester tuition is $7,672.
88) Brandman University
Brandman University offers 33 bachelor’s degree level programs fully online through their schools of arts & science, business & professional studies, education, and nursing & health professions. Brandman University is a recognized leader in online course development and e-training and is regularly consulted by major corporations to craft quality educational opportunities online. Given that fact, it’s only natural that it made the ranking of the best online colleges. The current estimated per-semester tuition rate is $7,500.
89) Ottawa University
Ottawa University offers 23 bachelor’s degree level programs fully online through their schools of arts & sciences, business, and education. Online programs at Ottawa boast a 4:1 student-faculty ratio and an active personal academic advisor program. Unique offerings include degrees in addiction counseling as well as actuarial science and social enterprise management concentrations. The estimated per-semester tuition is currently $7,200.
90) Waldorf University
Waldorf University offers 22 bachelor’s degree level programs fully online in a wide range of disciplines. Unique programs include bachelor’s degrees in health care management, homeland security, occupational safety, organizational leadership, and fire science. The current estimated per-semester tuition rate for Waldorf University online is $4,150.
Best Online Colleges 91-100
91) Bellevue University
Bellevue University currently offers 46 bachelor’s level degrees fully online. Unique delivery methods include an accelerated cohort method in which you are placed with a community of peers who share similar educational and professional goals and pushed through classes at an accelerated pace. On the other end of the spectrum, flex-paced learning is available for busy learners who have already completed 60 or more credit hours. The flex-paced program is unique in that you progress according to mastery, completing topics you already know quickly while taking your time on subjects you need more help with. Currently, the estimated per semester tuition is $5,925
92) Old Dominion University
Old Dominion University is a public, space-grant and sea-grant research university established in 1930 which offers more than 160 programs of study leading to a variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees. Old Dominion University enrolls more than 24,000 students and boasts 124,000 alumni worldwide. Old Dominion University’s offerings include dozens of online bachelor degrees in topics such as nursing, marketing, and communication, as well as master’s degrees in aerospace engineering, dental hygiene, educational leadership, and more. Online students can also complete several online doctoral programs, including community college leadership, nurse executive, and occupational and technical studies.
93) American Public University System
The American Public University System has long been a leader in continuing education for servicemen and women, as well as continuing education for corporate America. Today they offer 43 fully online bachelor’s level degrees, the most popular of which include business administration, criminal justice, emergency & disaster management, history, homeland security, information technology management, intelligence studies, management, sports & health sciences, and transportation & logistics management. Tuition is low at an estimated $4,000 per semester, which is a great deal for an education at one of the best online colleges.
94) Southern New Hampshire University
Southern New Hampshire University offers 40 bachelor’s degree level online majors and a whopping 200+ online degrees at every level of instruction. Departments offering online bachelor’s degrees include business, liberal arts, education, culinary arts, design, and hospitality, and a number of programs can even be completed in 3 years. The current estimated per semester tuition for Southern New Hampshire University is $4,800.
95) Ohio Christian University
Founded in 1948, Ohio Christian University is a well respected online university. Ten to twenty percent of Ohio Christian University’s roughly 3,600 students earn their degrees via online courses, in addition to traditional associate, bachelor’s, and master’s programs. The university also allows high school students to earn college credit. Degree programs are managed through seven academic departments: School of Business & Government, Disaster Management & Relief, Interdisciplinary Studies, Ministry & Religion, Music, Social Sciences, and Teacher Education.
96) Champlain College
Champlain College is a private, coeducational college founded in 1878 which offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in more than 80 academic topics. Champlain College enrolls 2,000 students from around the world. Champlain College’s offerings include a host of online degrees, such as bachelor’s degrees in computer forensics, health care administration, and software development, and master’s degrees in early childhood education, digital forensic science, law, and more. Champlain College offers classes in seven-week sessions. Students can earn their degree 100-percent online.
97) Florida International University
Florida International University is a public research university founded in 1965 which enrolls more than 50,000 students. Florida International University offers more than 191 programs of study leading to undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees through 23 schools and colleges. Florida International University’s offerings include a variety of online bachelor degree programs, such as business administration, early childhood education, and recreation therapy, and more than a dozen master’s degrees, such as construction management, music education, and real estate. Students also can take courses toward professional certification and personal enrichment. Online students have access to an online orientation, success coaches, and the Academy of Leaders.
98) Brenau University
Brenau University offers 16 online degree programs on the undergraduate and graduate levels. These 7-week programs are offered entirely online using the popular Canvas delivery platform. Brenau University offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs. These programs have no on-campus requirement. Enrollment is capped at 20 students per class due to a high degree of interactivity. With no on-campus requirement, Brenau’s online classes are particularly suited to those who work full- or part-time, travel often, or have other constraints. Brenau brings the classroom to you.
99) Concordia University-Saint Paul
Concordia University, St. Paul was founded in 1893 as a Christian liberal arts university dedicated to providing students with an exceptional education to prepare them for successful careers and meaningful lives. Concordia University provides a range of undergraduate and graduate degrees in fields such as Education, Psychology, Business, Finance, Marketing, Science, Nursing and Communication. The average cost-per-credit at Concordia University-Saint Paul is just around $430 which makes it a very affordable online university.
100) Rochester Institute of Technology, RIT Online
RIT enrolls more than 18,000 students across nine academic colleges. Through RIT Online, students can participate in multiple associate and bachelor degree programs such as applied arts and sciences, more than a dozen master’s degree programs in areas such as applied statistics, manufacturing leadership and imaging science, and a myriad of certificate programs.
Congratulations to the Best Online Colleges
It has been our pleasure to rank the Top 100 Best Online Colleges. Congratulations to each of the schools that made the grade and was included in this ranking. Every school that made the ranking passed our researchers’ strict methodology and criteria in order to be given the distinction as being one of the best online colleges.
We hope the this ranking of the best online colleges helps guide you on your degree path.