Best Online Colleges in Washington DC colleges in dcContinuing our series of best online college by state rankings, we have examined all online colleges in and near Washington DC and chosen to showcase the top 20 schools, based on the methodology stated below.

Washington, DC is our beloved nation’s capital and is in no short supply of things to do and see. From the Capitol Building and the White House to the Lincoln and Washington Monuments, the rich history of the District of Columbia is all around. Many of the colleges in the DC area also have roots in the history of our capital. This ranking is for colleges in DC and the surrounding area which have exemplary academics and offer online courses for students. All of these online colleges are located within 100 miles of the U.S. Capital.

Methodology

Using sources such as CollegeData and Niche, as well as the schools’ websites, each of the colleges were evaluated to find out if online classes were offered at each of the colleges in Washington DC.

Then, the colleges in Washington DC area were organized by adding together the percentage numbers for freshman satisfaction and graduation rates. Added to these numbers were a numerical equivalent of the academic and overall grades provided by niche for colleges in Washington DC, with A+ being 100, A being 90 and so on in this manner.

In order to boost the score of lower cost schools, the (residential) cost of attendance in thousands was rounded and subtracted from the total of the other numbers to give a final score.

Example: 65 (percent freshman satisfaction) + 76 (graduation percent) + 70 (B+ Academic Grade) + 90 (A Overall Grade) = 301
301 (total from above) – 32 ($32,250 cost of attendance) = 269 (final score for ranking)

We also referenced our own ranking of the 100 best online colleges when ranking these colleges in Washington DC.

Best Colleges in DC

20. Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland

Morgan State colleges in dc

Morgan State University is around 40 miles from Washington, D.C. in the city of Baltimore, Maryland. The school was founded as a seminary school and named the Centenary Bible Institute in 1872. The school was later renamed as Morgan College in honor of the first chairman of its Board of Trustees, Reverend Lyttleton Morgan in 1890. As the school grew in both physical size and curriculum, it later became Morgan State College in 1939 when the state purchased the school. By 1975, Morgan State had grown enough to gain university status. Although Morgan is a public university, it chose not to join the University System of Maryland and is still governed by its own Board of Regents.

Morgan State University is the largest historically black university (HBCU) in Maryland. It has been recognized as #11 in OnlineCollegePlan’s national ranking, Top 20 Best HBCU with Online Programs. Morgan offers its students bachelor degrees in 45 areas of study and master’s degrees are available in 35 areas of study. There are also doctoral degrees available in 15 areas of study. Online students are able to take courses in 9 areas of study.

If you would like to learn more or want to connect, please check out these links:

MSU’s Website: http://www.morgan.edu/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/morganstateu/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/morganstateu/

19. Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland

Mount St. Mary's colleges in dc

Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland is around 70 miles away from the capital city of Washington, D.C. While the charter for the university was not obtained until 1830, the beginnings of the college started as far back as 1805. In 1973 St. Joseph’s College, an all women’s school which had close ties with Mount St. Mary’s closed its doors and merged with them, making one coeducational institution.

There are more than 40 majors, minors, concentrations, interdisciplinary and special programs for undergraduates at The Mount. There are also 8 master’s degree programs available through the college, however, most of the graduate courses are held at the Fredericksburg location. There are select courses available online at Mount St. Mary’s University. Currently just less than 4% of students at The Mount take advantage of the online courses available.

If you would like to learn more or want to connect, please check out these links:

The Mount’s Website: http://msmary.edu/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MSMUniversity

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MSMU

18. Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania

colleges in dc Wilson College

Just about 100 miles away from Washington, D.C. you can find Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. Wilson College was founded in 1869 and is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. It was one of the first colleges in the nation to accept only women and the first male students were not admitted until 2013. The college is named for its first major benefactor, Sarah Wilson.

Wilson College has a synchronous course schedule which allows students to take college classes online, in the classroom or on site. The school’s featured online programs are Master of Accountancy, Master of Science in Management, and Master of Nursing: RN to MSN, but these are not all that is available online.

If you would like to learn more or want to connect, please check out these links:

Website: http://www.wilson.edu/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WilsonCollege/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/wilsoncollegepa

17. University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia

colleges in dc University of Mary Washington

The University of Mary Washington is located in Fredericksburg, Virginia and is about 50 miles from our nation’s capital city. The school was established in 1908 as Fredericksburg Teacher’s College, but later in 1938 the school was renamed in honor of Mary Ball Washington, the mother of the first president of the United States of America. In 1944 it was associated with the University of Virginia as it’s women’s college, but in 1972 the Virginia General Assembly reorganized the college as a separate coeducational college. In 2004 the college gained university status.

Currently the University of Mary Washington offers undergraduate students 24 programs of study and graduates have 8 programs from which to choose. UMW also offers students online options for select courses if they choose.

If you would like to learn more or want to connect, please check out these links:

UMW’s Website: http://www.umw.edu/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UniversityofMaryWashington

Twitter: https://twitter.com/umarywash

16. Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland

Maryland Institute College of Art colleges in dc

Washington, D.C. is about 40 miles away from Baltimore, Maryland and the Maryland Institute College of Art. MICA was founded in 1826, making it one of the oldest art schools in the United States. With years of experience, it is no surprise that the school is considered to be one of the finest in the nation with a reputation for excellence in its academics.

The school was ranked #7 in the nation for its fine arts programs by U.S. News & World Report in 2014. Two years previous, MICA’s Graphic Design Master of Fine Arts program ranked third in the nation. The school offers a wide selection of courses from pre-college to graduate studies. There are seventeen areas of study for those seeking a bachelor’s degree. Students seeking to earn their master’s degree have nearly as many choices. Currently, there are two master’s level courses available online.

If you would like to learn more or want to connect, please check out these links:

MICA’s Website: https://www.mica.edu/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mica.edu

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mica

15. Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland

Goucher College

Goucher College is about 40 miles away from our nation’s capital in Baltimore, Maryland. The school was founded in 1885 as the Women’s College of Baltimore City, then later in 1910 the school was renamed Goucher College in honor of one of the founders, John Goucher and his wife, Mary Fisher Goucher, who were also benefactors to the college. In 1986 Goucher College became a coed college.

Goucher College offers students an excellent academic experience and has an 11:1 faculty to student ratio. Undergraduates at Goucher College have nearly 50 different programs to choose from. There are 14 different graduate programs available at Goucher as well. Goucher College also provides students with select online courses through GoucherLearn.

If you would like to learn more or want to connect, please check out these links:

Goucher’s Website: http://www.goucher.edu/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gouchercollege

Twitter: https://twitter.com/gouchercollege

14. McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland

McDaniel College

About 60 miles from Washington, D.C. is Westminster, Maryland, home to McDaniel College. The school was founded in 1867 and was then named Western Maryland College. It wasn’t until 2002 that the school decided to change the name to McDaniel College in order to honor William Roberts McDaniel for his 65-year association with the school.

McDaniel College offers undergraduate students more than 60 majors to choose from. The school also offers more than 20 graduate programs. Students at McDaniel are also offered online options, such as summer session courses and a number of graduate programs including master’s degrees as well as certificate programs.

If you would like to learn more or want to connect, please check out these links:

McDaniel’s Website: http://www.mcdaniel.edu/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/McDanielCollege

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mcdanielcollege

13. Notre Dame of Maryland University in Baltimore, Maryland

Notre Dame of Maryland University in Baltimore

Baltimore, Maryland, home of Notre Dame of Maryland University lies about 40 miles from Washington, D.C. Established in 1873, NDMU is one of the oldest institutions of higher education for women in our country and in 1896 it became the first women’s Roman Catholic 4-year institution in the United States.

Today, Notre Dame of Maryland University has three divisions, the Women’s College, College of Adult Undergraduate Studies, and College of Graduate Studies, the two latter are both coeducational. There are also four schools at NDMU: the School of Arts, Sciences, and Business, the School of Education, the School of Pharmacy, and the School of Nursing. NDMU online also offers the following degrees for students: Bachelor of Arts in Business, Certificate in Risk Management (Graduate-level), Master of Arts in Leadership in Teaching, Master of Science in Analytics, and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership for Changing Populations.

If you would like to learn more or want to connect, please check out these links:

NDMU’s Website: http://www.ndm.edu/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NotreDameOfMaryland

Twitter: https://twitter.com/notredameofmd

12. Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

Catholic University of America

The concept for a national Catholic university came about in 1866 during the Second Plenary Council of Baltimore, but it wasn’t until 1887 that a letter granting permission to establish the university was received from Pope Leo XIII. In 1889 the Pope issued the encyclical Magni Nobis which chartered the institution and established its mission. This college in Washington DC was opened later that year to its first students.

Today the Catholic University of America has 12 different schools and offers a wide variety of programs for both graduate students as well as undergraduates. There are currently more than 70 programs for undergraduates, over 100 master’s degree programs, and 66 doctoral programs. In addition to programs offered on campus, the university offers several graduate programs online.

If you would like to learn more or want to connect, please check out these links:

Catholic University of America’s Website: https://www.cua.edu/index.html

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CatholicUniversity

Twitter: https://twitter.com/catholicuniv

11. Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Howard University

Located in Washington, D.C. is Howard University, which was chartered by U.S. Congress in 1867 and most of its funding came from endowment, private benefaction, and tuition. Although Howard University is a historically black university (HBCU) it has been nonsectarian and open to all races and genders from the beginning.

Howard University has been recognized as ranking second among all HBCUs by U.S. News & World Report and was ranked third by OnlineCollegePlan in the Top 20 Best HBCU with Online Programs

Howard University has 13 different schools and colleges and offers its students over 120 areas of study. Howard also offers students a selection of online courses as well as fully online programs for both undergraduate and graduate degrees.

If you would like to learn more or want to connect, please check out these links:

HU’s Website: https://www2.howard.edu/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HowardU

Twitter: https://twitter.com/howardu

10. Towson University in Towson, Maryland

Towson University

Towson University is around 55 miles from Washington, D.C. located in Towson, Maryland. In 1865, the General Assembly of Maryland established the school which has evolved into Towson University. It opened in 1866 as Maryland State Normal School. In 1935, the name changed to Maryland State Teachers College at Towson, and later in 1976 it became Towson State University. The university joined the University System of Maryland in 1988 and in 1997 the school changed names once again, dropping the “State” to become Towson University.

Towson University offers its students a choice of 64 different majors. Graduate students are able to choose between 37 master’s degree programs and 4 doctorates. Towson offers courses online as well. They have one undergraduate program available online and several graduate certificates and degree programs.

If you would like to learn more or want to connect, please check out these links:

Towson’s Website: http://www.towson.edu/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/towsonuniversity/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TowsonU

9. University of Maryland Baltimore County in Baltimore, Maryland

University of Maryland Baltimore County

Baltimore, Maryland is around 40 miles from Washington, D.C. and there is where you will find the University of Maryland Baltimore County. The school was established in 1966 as part of the University System of Maryland and was also the first collegiate institution to allow enrollment to all students regardless of race. Out of the 12 institutions in the University System of Maryland, UMBC has the fourth highest enrollment with more than 13,000 students.

The University of Maryland Baltimore County offers students a variety of more than 60 bachelor degree programs as well as 45 master’s degree programs. There are also nearly 30 doctoral programs. UMBC also offers courses online for students as well as several certificate and master’s level programs.

If you would like to learn more or want to connect, please check out these links:

UMBC’s Website: http://www.umbc.edu/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/umbcpage

Twitter: https://twitter.com/umbc

8. George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia

George Mason University

Barely outside of Washington, D.C., less than 20 miles, you can find Fairfax, Virginia and George Mason University. The school was originally founded as part of the University of Virginia school system in 1949, however, by 1972 the school had become an independent university. Today the school campus in Fairfax is 677 acres and has 11 schools and colleges.

George Mason University serves over 33,000 students and now has three other campuses located across Virginia and one in Songdo, South Korea. Mason Online offers students nearly 30 online programs in popular subjects such as nursing and education. Moreover, there are around 20 hybrid courses available as well.

If you would like to learn more or want to connect, please check out these links:

George Mason University’s Website: https://www2.gmu.edu/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/georgemason

Twitter: https://twitter.com/georgemasonu

7. Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore, Maryland

Loyola University Maryland

Baltimore, Maryland is home to Loyola University Maryland and is about 40 miles away from the national capital of Washington, D.C. Loyola was founded in 1852 and was the first college to bear the name of St. Ignatius of Loyola. The school is also the ninth oldest Jesuit institution of higher learning out of the 28 in the nation.

Today, Loyola University Maryland serves around 6,000 students and has three schools. There are more than 60 majors for students to pick from at Loyola. Students are offered online options for select courses or programs, such as their summer sessions.

If you would like to learn more or want to connect, please check out these links:

Loyola’s Website: https://www.loyola.edu/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LoyolaMaryland

Twitter: https://twitter.com/loyolamaryland

6. American University in Washington, D.C.

American University in Washington DC

The American University was established in the District of Columbia in 1892 by an Act of Congress. The university spent several years securing funds and was able to open to its first class of 28 students in 1914. The school began offering undergraduate degrees in 1925 when the College of Liberal Arts, now the College of Arts and Sciences, was established. Since then, the school has continued to grow in size and curriculum.

Today there is a large number of majors available for students of American University. Both graduate students and undergraduate students are able to choose a program that fits their academic goals. Currently online there are 13 popular master’s degree programs. There are also several graduate certificate programs as well as an undergraduate certificate program in Health Inequity and Care.

If you would like to learn more or want to connect, please check out these links:

American University’s Website: http://www.american.edu/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AmericanUniversity

Twitter: https://twitter.com/americanu

5. George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

George Washington University

George Washington University makes its home in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. In 1821 the school was chartered as Columbian College in the District of Columbia, but later changed its name to honor our first President in 1904. It was one of the wishes of George Washington that there be a university in our capital city and was even in his last will and testament.

There are more than ten colleges and schools within George Washington University offering a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs for students. GW online offers students open courses as well as a range of programs in 12 different majors including Business, Nursing, Arts, and Physical Sciences.

If you would like to learn more or want to connect, please check out these links:

GWU’s Website: https://www.gwu.edu/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/georgewashingtonuniversity

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GWtweets

4. University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware

University of Delaware

Newark, Delaware is 95 miles from Washington, D.C. and is home to the University of Delaware. The original school which later grew and became the University of Delaware was founded in 1743, making it one of the oldest in the nation as well as older than the nation. In fact, three of the original ten students went on to become signers of the Declaration of Independence: George Read, James Smith, and Thomas McKean. It wasn’t until 1833 that the school was officially chartered as an institution of higher learning.

The University of Delaware is home to seven different colleges and three schools, offering students a wide range of academic choices. There are programs for both undergraduates as well as graduate students. UD also offers programs online for both graduates and undergraduates. They also offer online courses for professional development.

If you would like to learn more or want to connect, please check out these links:

University of Delaware’s Website: https://www.udel.edu/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/udelaware

Twitter: https://twitter.com/udelaware

3. Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

Georgetown University

Located in our nation’s capital is Georgetown University, founded in 1789 as Georgetown College. The school is the oldest Catholic and Jesuit-affiliated institution of higher learning in the country. The school is also home to the nation’s largest student-run financial institution as well as the largest student-run business. Admissions to Georgetown are considered to be highly selective, as such that some of the alumni of the school include heads of state for several countries, and royalty such as King Philipe VI of Spain and former president Bill Clinton to name a few.

There are nearly 50 majors available to undergraduate students at Georgetown University. There is also a large number of master’s and doctoral programs offered for graduate students. There are several courses offered online through Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies as well as online courses during summer sessions.

If you would like to learn more or want to connect, please check out these links:

Georgetown’s Website: https://www.georgetown.edu/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/georgetownuniv

Twitter: https://twitter.com/georgetown

2. Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland

Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland is about 40 miles from Washington, D.C. The university was established in 1876 and is named for its first benefactor, Johns Hopkins. JHU is also considered to be the first research university in the country. Over the years, there have been 36 Nobel laureates affiliated with the school. Johns Hopkins University is also recognized in the top 10 Best National Universities Rankings by U.S. News & World Report.

When it comes to academics, Johns Hopkins University excels in a diverse range of more than 240 programs of study for its students. There are also a large number of online offerings for students at JHU. The Bloomberg School of Health courses are online and available via OpenCourseWare. There are 45 courses available through Coursera online. In addition, there are online course offerings from 7 different schools of JHU.

If you would like to learn more or want to connect, please check out these links:

JHU’s Website: https://www.jhu.edu/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/johnshopkinsuniversity

Twitter: https://twitter.com/johnshopkins

1. University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland

University of Maryland

Less than 10 miles away from Washington, D.C. you can find the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland which was founded in 1856. UMD is also the flagship institution of the University of Maryland system. The school has been through a lot of changes over the years and had suffered a fire in 1912 which destroyed most of the campus as well as the school records. Fortunately, there were no casualties and all but two students returned. Today the university campus is 1,250 acres with 13 different colleges and schools.

There are more than 120 undergraduate degree programs offered at the University of Maryland and graduates have nearly as many programs available. There are free courses, MOOCs, offered online at UMD as well as select other online courses, such as the START summer and winter classes.

If you would like to learn more or want to connect, please check out these links:

UMD’s Website: http://www.umd.edu/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UnivofMaryland

Twitter: https://twitter.com/uofmaryland

Top 20 Best Online Colleges in Washington DC