Best Online Colleges in MarylandMaryland was one of the original 13 colonies in America and is a Mid-Atlantic state. With more than half of the counties in the state being on the Chesapeake Bay, it boasts 4,000 miles of shoreline. The Chesapeake Bay area is well known for its seafood cuisine. In fact, one of the nicknames for Maryland is the Chesapeake Bay State. Other nicknames for Maryland include The Old Line State, The Free State, Little America, and America in Miniature.

State House in Annapolis Maryland
While Annapolis is the capital city of Maryland, Baltimore is the largest city within the state. Fort McHenry was the birthplace of the U.S. national anthem and rests at the mouth of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Due to the unique shape of the state, it borders Pennsylvania to its North and Delaware to its East. To the South is Virginia and our nation’s capital, Washington, DC. West Virginia also borders Maryland on the Southwestern portion of the state.

National Harbor Maryland Sky WheelMaryland offers a large number of historic tourist attractions. In addition to the aforementioned Fort McHenry, places to visit include the State House in Annapolis, Clara Barton’s home, Frederick Douglass’ home, Colonial Maryland in St. Mary’s City, B&O Railroad Museum, the Bucktown Village Store, Dorchester County, and many more. Amid the parks, museums, zoos, and other attractions in Maryland, some of the must-sees include the National Aquarium, Ocean City, and the Maryland Science Center.

Higher education in Maryland is impressive with more than 57 colleges and universities within the state. The University System of Maryland itself has 12 individual institutions, 11 which are degree-granting campuses and one is a research facility. The state boasts over 150 private career schools and 16 community colleges. The Maryland Higher Education Commision states that “one-third of its residents 25 and older have a bachelor’s degree or higher, which is the 4th highest percentage among all states”.

OnlineCollegePlan is proud to share its ranking of the Top 10 Best Online Colleges in Maryland. This ranking is for 4-year institutions and below you can find our detailed methodology.

Methodology
Sources used for this ranking are:Niche letter to number

First and foremost for this ranking, the presence of online programs or courses is a necessity. In some cases, there may be minimal participation required on campus. This can be an excellent reason to choose a local school, even for online programs. Schools were ranked by adding together the percentage numbers for freshman satisfaction and graduation rates. Then, a numerical equivalent of the overall grade provided by Niche, with A+ being 100, A being 95, and so on in this manner, was added to these numbers.Affordability

With affordability being an important factor as well, the (residential) cost of attendance has been converted in accordance with our affordability scale (to the right) and added to the previous numbers resulting in the final ranking score. Many colleges cost more for non-residential students to attend which can be another excellent reason to choose a local school for online studies.

Example: 87 (percent freshman satisfaction) + 52 (graduation percent) + 80 (A- Overall Grade) + 40 (affordability score) = 259 (final score for ranking)

Note: None of the institutions in this ranking or any of OnlineCollegePlan’s rankings have received preferential treatment, nor have we been requested to do so. Our methodology is fully disclosed so that anyone is able to arrive at the same ranking using the formula as explained. Also, no schools in this ranking are for-profit schools. Some schools may have been excluded due to incomplete data.

Students may also be interested in, “Top 100 Best Online Colleges” which covers the overall best institutions in the United States. Curious about the best schools by location? We’ve got you covered. The Ultimate Guide to Online Colleges may also be helpful.

  1. MERIT: 342
    View Profile Average Cost: $26,093

    6 UMD-logoThe University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland which was founded in 1856 and is the flagship institution of the University of Maryland system. UMD has gone through a number of changes over the years. One of the most devastating being a fire that destroyed most of the campus including the school records that occurred in 1912. Thankfully, none of the faculty or students died and only two students failed to return to continue their education at UMD.

    The school stands strong today and offers students a high-quality education at an affordable price which has earned the number one spot in this ranking as well as number 1 in our ranking of Top 20 Best Online Colleges near Washington DC. For a more in-depth look, please check out our page for University of Maryland – College Park.

    Today the university campus spans 1,250 acres with 13 different colleges and schools. UMD offers undergraduate students over 120 degree programs on-campus. Graduate programs are nearly as plentiful with a large variety for students to choose from.

    There are multiple free courses, or MOOCs, offered online at UMD in areas such as Software Security, Cryptography, Advanced Interviewing Techniques, Writing Winning Resumes and Cover Letter, and more. There are also other select online courses offered, such as the START summer and winter classes.

    Graduate students are offered online degree options for Master degrees in Professional Studies in Technology Entrepreneurship, Public Health Practice and Policy, Professional Studies in Applied Entomology, and Chemical and Life Sciences. There are also multiple graduate certificate programs online in areas such as Beekeeping, Organic and Sustainable Agriculture, Urban Agriculture, Principles of Public Health, Technology Entrepreneurship and more.

    University of Maryland, College Park notable alumni include Connie Chung, Sergey Brin, Jim Henson, Larry David, Leonard Kevin “Len” Bias, Michael D. Griffin, and many others.

    Prospective students can visit their website or use the following links for more information:

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

    Twitter – https://twitter.com/uofmaryland

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  2. MERIT: 320
    View Profile Average Cost: $71,023

    Johns Hopkins-logoJohns Hopkins University, located in Baltimore, Maryland, was established in 1876. The university is named for its first benefactor, Johns Hopkins who believed in the importance of improving public health in Baltimore as well as across the country. JHU has the distinction of being considered the first research university in the United States. The school has a stellar reputation and is recognized in the top 10 Best National Universities Rankings by U.S. News & World Report. Online College Plan has included the university in several rankings including our Top 100 Best Online Colleges, Top 20 Online Colleges for Chemical Engineering, Top 20 Best Colleges With Online PhD Programs, and more.

    Johns Hopkins University excels academically. More than 24,000 students attend JHU and are able to choose from their more than 260 programs of study on campus. Students who prefer to study online also have a variety to choose from at JHU. There are a handful of bachelor’s degree programs offered online in engineering. However, the master’s degree online selection has more than 50 options in a variety of areas of study. In addition to these, the Bloomberg School of Health courses are available via OpenCourseWare. JHU also has 45 courses which are offered through Coursera.

    Among the notable alumni of Johns Hopkins University are Woodrow Wilson, Madeleine Albright, Michael Bloomberg, Eva Chen, and John B. Watson to name a few. Also, there have been 36 Nobel laureates affiliated with the school since its founding.

    Prospective students can visit their website or use the following links for more information:

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

    Twitter – https://twitter.com/johnshopkins

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  3. MERIT: 298
    View Profile Average Cost: $64,685

    Loyola University Maryland is located in the city of Baltimore and was founded in 1852. The university was the first college to bear the name of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Loyola is the ninth oldest Jesuit institution of higher learning in the United States, of which there are 28 in total.

    Loyola University Maryland serves around 6,000 students and has three schools. Students have over 60 majors to choose from at Loyola. There are online options available for select courses, such as during their summer sessions. Loyola offers an online Masters in Emerging Media program as well and a choice of an online or hybrid 36-credit M.Ed. in Educational Technology program. Other programs may offer online or hybrid courses, such as their Part-time MBA program. For more information, prospective students can use the links below or contact the school directly.

    Loyola University Maryland notable alumni include Tom Clancy, Harry Markopolos, Katie Hoff, Mark Bowden, Jim McKay, and many other talented and successful people.

    Prospective students can visit their website or use the following links for more info:

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

    Twitter – https://twitter.com/loyolamaryland

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  4. MERIT: 297
    View Profile Average Cost: $25,062

    Salisbury University bachelors degree and masters degreeSalisbury University, or SU, was founded in 1925 and is located in its namesake city of Salisbury, Maryland. It is a public university and member of the University System of Maryland. Today the school serves more than 8,500 students with the majority being undergraduates.

    Salisbury University offers its undergraduate students a choice of 43 programs, and 68 minors are available. In addition to the certificate programs, SU offers 15 programs for master’s degrees and 2 doctoral programs. There are individual online and hybrid courses available each semester at SU. In addition to classes online, Salisbury University is now offering an online option for their Master of Social Work (MSW) program.

    Over the years, many famous, talented, and successful people have attended the university. Some of the Salisbury University notable alumni include Enzo Amore, Jeannie Haddaway, Frank Perdue, Steve Bisciotti, Byron Westbrook, and many more.

    Prospective students can visit their website or use the following links for more information:

    Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/SalisburyU/

    Twitter – https://twitter.com/salisburyu

    School image is courtesy of Maryland GovPics.

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  5. MERIT: 296
    View Profile Average Cost: $26,418

    Towson University Logo bachlor degree and master degreeTowson University is in Towson, Maryland which is only about 55 miles from our capital city of Washington, D.C. The roots of the school date back to 1865 when the General Assembly of Maryland established the school which would become Towson University. The original name when it opened in 1866 was Maryland State Normal School. Later, in 1935, the school became Maryland State Teachers College at Towson, then became Towson State University in 1976. It was 1988 when the school became a part of the University System of Maryland, and in 1997 the school officially dropped the “State” from the name and became Towson University as it is known today.

    Towson University offers its students a choice of more than 60 majors. Graduate students can choose from more than 75 graduate degree programs and certificates. Towson also offers online programs. Currently, for undergraduates, there is an online Bachelor of Science in Allied Health program. Graduate students have multiple certificate programs available, and master’s degree programs are available in Nursing, Kinesiology, Integrated Homeland Security Management, Human Resource Development – Educational Leadership Track, and Applied Information Technology. Towson’s Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) degree program and an Occupational Science Applied Doctoral (Sc.D.) program are both available online as well.

    Towson University notable alumni are plentiful. Charles S. Dutton, Mike Rowe, Amy Schumer, John Glover, and Stacy Keibler are just a few of the successful people associated with the university.

    Prospective students can visit their website or use the following links for more information:

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

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/TowsonU

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  6. MERIT: 290
    View Profile Average Cost: $27,066

    UMBC Baltimore MarylandUniversity of Maryland Baltimore County is in the bustling city of Baltimore, Maryland. UMBC was established in 1966 and is a member of the University System of Maryland. It was also the first collegiate institution to allow enrollment to all students regardless of race. Serving more than 13,000 students, UMBC has the fourth highest enrollment of the 12 University System of Maryland institutions.

    UMBC offers undergraduate students a variety of more than 60 bachelor degree programs, while graduate students have a choice of 45 master’s degree programs. Doctoral students are able to pick from around 30 doctoral programs available at UMBC. UMBC offers individual courses online for students. There are also several certificate programs available online and master’s programs in TESOL, Emergency Health Services, Information Systems, and Instructional Systems Development – Training Systems.

    Some of the UMBC notable alumni include Adrienne A. Jones, Kathleen Turner, Duff Goldman, Zach Clark, Steve Marohl, and Dan Marohl to name just a few.

    Prospective students can visit their website or use the following links for more info:

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

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/umbc

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  7. MERIT: 276
    View Profile Average Cost: $55,830

    McDaniel College Online ProgramsMcDaniel College is a private, liberal arts college in Westminster, Maryland with a satellite campus in Budapest, Hungary. Initially established in 1867, and was named Western Maryland College until it changed its name to McDaniel College in July of 2002. The college is named in honor of William Roberts McDaniel, with the college history poetically stating that his “65-year association with the College as student, professor, administrator, trustee, parent, and grandparent helped shape its destiny and today personifies its mission”.

    More than 1,600 students attend McDaniel College which offers more than 70 areas of study to explore. The college currently offers online master’s programs in the areas of Curriculum & Instruction, Gerontology, School Librarianship, and TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages). In addition, there are Graduate Certificates & Course Sequences offered online, which are Administrator I, Gerontology, and Learning Technologies Specialist (LTS). A certificate in Writing for Children and Young Adults is also online.

    The McDaniel College notable alumni include its namesake William Roberts McDaniel, Greg Street, Thomas Roberts, Charles “Rip” Engle, Ellen Sauerbrey, Wayne K. Curry, and many other successful and talented people.

    Prospective students can visit their website or use the following links for more information:

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

    Twitter – https://twitter.com/mcdanielcollege

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  8. MERIT: 275
    View Profile Average Cost: $62,850

    Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is in the large city of Baltimore, Maryland. Founded in 1826, it is one of the oldest art schools in America. MICA is often considered to be one of the finest art schools in the nation with a reputation for excellence in its academics. In 2014, MICA was ranked #7 in the country for its fine arts programs by U.S. News & World Report. Meanwhile, two years previous, MICA’s Graphic Design Master of Fine Arts program was ranked third in the U.S.

    MICA offers its students a wide selection of courses ranging from pre-college to graduate studies. There are eighteen areas of study for undergraduates, and graduate students have about 20 programs from which to choose. Currently, the school offers students select programs online which include The Business of Art and Design – an online (MPS), Information Visualization (Online MPS), UX Design (Online Masters), and an Online Masters Degree in Art Education with low residency required.

    There are a large number of talented MICA notable alumni which include Jeff Koons, David Byrne, Elaine Hamilton-O’Neal, Lesley Dill, and Abbi Jacobson.

    Prospective students can visit their website or use the following links for more information:

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

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/mica

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  9. MERIT: 269
    View Profile Average Cost: $51,490

    Notre Dame of Maryland University Online ProgramsNotre Dame of Maryland University (NDMU) is located in the city of Baltimore and was established in 1873. NDMU is one of the pioneers in higher education for women in the United States. In fact, it became the first women’s Roman Catholic 4-year institution in the country in 1896.

    Notre Dame of Maryland University is made up of three divisions, the Women’s College, College of Adult Undergraduate Studies, and College of Graduate Studies. Today, two are coeducational, with the Women’s College remaining solely for females. NDMU comprises four schools: the School of Education; the School of Arts, Sciences, and Business;  the School of Nursing; and the School of Pharmacy.

    NDMU offers the eight online programs for its students: B.A. in Business, B.A. in Liberal Arts, RN to BSN, Certificate in Risk Management, M.A. in Contemporary Communication, M.A. in Gifted and Talented Education, M.S. in Analytics, and Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership for Changing Populations.

    Notre Dame of Maryland University notable alumni includes Frances Benjamin Johnston, Elizabeth P. Hoisington, Susan Love, Shelley Puhak, and Kit Reed.

    Prospective students can visit their website or use the following links for more info:

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

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/notredameofmd

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  10. MERIT: 266
    View Profile Average Cost: $22,982

    Morgan State University Logo Online ProgramsMorgan State University is the largest historically black university (HBCU) in Maryland and is in the city of Baltimore. Founded in 1872 and named the Centenary Bible Institute, the school was initially a seminary school. The school was later, in 1890, renamed as Morgan College in honor of the first chairman of its Board of Trustees, Reverend Lyttleton Morgan.

    The school became Morgan State College in 1939 when the state purchased the school. The school grew in size and curriculum, and by 1975, Morgan State gained university status. Even though it is a public university, Morgan chose not to join the University System of Maryland and is governed by its Board of Regents.

    Morgan State University placed at #11 in OnlineCollegePlan’s national ranking, Top 20 Best HBCU with Online Programs. Academic offerings include bachelor degrees in 45 majors, and 35 master degree programs are available. There are also 15 doctoral degrees offered at Morgan. Students seeking online programs can choose from 9 programs which span different studies and vary from post-baccalaureate certificates to master’s degrees and a doctoral program.

    Some of the Morgan State University notable alumni include Mo’Nique, Earl G. Graves, Sr., Leroy Kelly, Willie Lanier, and Kweisi Mfume to name a few.

    Prospective students can visit their website or use the following links for more info:

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

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

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