Are you ready to discover your college program?

Search Colleges
TheBestSchools.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured programs and school search results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other information published on this site.

Many of the country's top-ranked colleges and universities offer online programs for students. However, traditionally lower-ranked colleges can also offer exceptional online programs.

Many students who choose an online college prefer the flexible schedule of an online learning environment. Rather than attending class on campus, online schools let students complete coursework from anywhere. Online programs also provide a more accessible pathway to a degree. Students can enroll in the best schools online without relocating or quitting their jobs.

The best online colleges also offer exceptional student services to help online learners succeed, including online tutoring, career services, and academic advising. Graduates from the top online programs also benefit from strong alumni networks and connections with prospective employers. The best online schools build the knowledge and skills necessary for career advancement.

The following list ranks the best online colleges to help prospective students find the right programs to reach their personal and professional goals.

Table of Contents

This guide covers everything you need to know about the best online colleges and universities. Click on a program to learn more.

The Best Online Colleges and Universities for 2020

1
University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
Request Info
Sort By

School List

School List
Rank School Location Apply More Information
4

Arizona State University – ASU Online 

Tempe, AZ

About this school

One of the largest universities in the country, Arizona State University enrolls over 70,000 students and grants more than 20,000 degrees each year. Over 50 American companies consider ASU a top-tier recruiting and hiring institution. ASU also offers one of the largest selections of online degrees and certificates in the country.

Online Degrees

Arizona State University offers over 300 online degrees and certificates through ASU Online.

Online degree offerings include:

  • 28 online certificates
  • 89 online bachelor's degrees
  • 78 online master's degrees
  • 3 online doctorates

Key Student Features

ASU Online offers online orientations for new students and more than 200 fully online undergraduate and graduate degrees. Distance learners enjoy access to ASU libraries, career services, and online tutoring. Online students can also participate in study abroad opportunities.


Testimonial

Being a high school assistant principal requires devoting many nights and weekends to school functions. With an online program, I can complete my work and interact with my peers at any time as I am not confined to a few hours once a week. Also, my conversations with my peers extend over days and allow both me and my fellow students to interact in authentic and meaningful dialogue. We are able to analyze and evaluate our thoughts before posting them on discussion boards. Sometimes people are not comfortable speaking in front of others or take time to think through their answers; an online platform solves both of these issues. So far, my interactions with my peers have been rich and insightful while also allowing for multiple perspectives.

Nicole, F., EdD in Leadership and Innovation, Arizona State University

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
69%
Percent Receiving Loans
34%
Admissions Rate
85%
Number of Online Bachelor's Degrees
0
Number of Online Master's Degrees
4
Learning Management System
Canvas
5

University of Massachusetts – Amherst 

Amherst, MA

About this school

A public institution in New England, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst enrolls over 31,000 students. The 1,450-acre campus sits in western Massachusetts' Pioneer Valley, 90 miles west of Boston. UMass Amherst offers diverse online undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Online Degrees

The University of Massachusetts Amherst offers over 55 online degrees and certificates through University Without Walls.

Online degree offerings include:

  • 26 online certificates
  • 11 online bachelor's degrees
  • 19 online master's degrees
  • 1 online doctorate

Key Student Features

In addition to full degrees, University Without Walls provides several undergraduate degree-completion options, including an online business degree and an online psychology degree. Students can transfer in up to 105 credits, earning credit for academic, professional, and life experience.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
80%
Percent Receiving Loans
57%
Admissions Rate
60%
Number of Online Bachelor's Degrees
17
Number of Online Master's Degrees
17
Learning Management System
Blackboard Learn; Moodle
6

Indiana University – Bloomington 

Bloomington, IN

About this school

Indiana's flagship public institution, Indiana University-Bloomington enrolls over 42,000 students from its campus in the rolling hills of southern Indiana and online. In 2020, IU celebrates its bicentennial. The university offers a variety of online degrees and certificates through IU Online.

Online Degrees

IU Online offers over 125 online degrees and certificates.

Online degree offerings include:

  • 71 online certificates
  • 25 online bachelor's degrees
  • 35 online master's degrees
  • 5 online doctorates

Key Student Features

IU Online prioritizes flexibility, offering many classes in an asynchronous format that students can complete without set login times. Online learners receive access to academic planning and advising services. Academic advisors help students choose courses that fit their interests and meet graduation requirements. Graduates from IU Online receive the same diplomas as on-campus students.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
78%
Percent Receiving Loans
35%
Admissions Rate
77%
Number of Online Bachelor's Degrees
1
Number of Online Master's Degrees
9
Learning Management System
Canvas
7

The University of Alabama 

Tuscaloosa, AL

About this school

Founded in 1831 as the state's first public college, UA offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in 13 academic divisions. The state's flagship institution prioritizes creativity and research in all of its on-campus and online programs.

Online Degrees

The University of Alabama offers 70 online degrees and certificates through Bama by Distance.

Online degree offerings include:

  • 1 online certificate
  • 15 online bachelor's degrees
  • 45 online master's degrees
  • 9 online doctorates

Key Student Features

Online learners choose between semester-based courses and open enrollment courses. Semester-based courses follow the university's on-campus schedule, while open enrollment courses let students complete coursework at their own pace over a six-month timeframe. Online courses use technology like video streaming to deliver material.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
72%
Percent Receiving Loans
43%
Admissions Rate
59%
Number of Online Bachelor's Degrees
15
Number of Online Master's Degrees
26
Learning Management System
Blackboard Learn
8

University of New Mexico 

Albuquerque, NM

About this school

The state's flagship institution, the University of New Mexico dates back to 1889. The Rio Grande and the Sandia Mountains surround the scenic, 800-acre campus, which boasts architecture inspired by local Pueblo settlements. UNM students can choose from diverse on-campus and online degree options.

Online Degrees

The University of New Mexico offers 24 online degrees and certificates through UNM Online.

Online degree offerings include:

  • 2 online certificates
  • 12 online bachelor's degrees
  • 9 online master's degrees
  • 1 online doctorate

Key Student Features

Over 40% of UNM students complete at least one online course every semester. With over 20 online degree-completion programs, UNM helps students earn a bachelor's degree through a flexible format. Through the Center for Academic Support, online learners receive access to tutoring services and learn how to thrive in an online environment.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
50%
Percent Receiving Loans
57%
Admissions Rate
70%
Number of Online Bachelor's Degrees
10
Number of Online Master's Degrees
11
Learning Management System
Blackboard Learn
9

Oregon State University 

Corvallis, OR

About this school

An international public research university founded in 1868, Oregon State University enrolls students from all 50 states and over 100 countries. Oregon State comprises 11 degree-granting colleges and hosts students on two campuses and online.

Online Degrees

The University of Oregon offers 75 online degrees and certificates through Oregon State Ecampus.

Online degree offerings include:

  • 24 online certificates
  • 30 online bachelor's degrees
  • 19 online master's degrees
  • 2 online doctorates

Key Student Features

Oregon State Ecampus offers over 1,300 online classes in over 110 subjects. Courses are delivered using advanced technology, like augmented reality and virtual chemistry labs. Online students gain access to resources like OSU library services, success coaching, exam proctoring, and technical help.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
67%
Percent Receiving Loans
52%
Admissions Rate
81%
Number of Online Bachelor's Degrees
21
Number of Online Master's Degrees
19
Learning Management System
Canvas
10

Ohio University 

Athens, OH

About this school

Established in 1804, Ohio University is the oldest university in the state. The university hosts students from all 50 states and 108 countries and boasts 41 Pulitzer Prize winners and 10 Fulbright scholars. Learners can study on the school's Athens campus, ranked among the nation's 25 safest campuses, or choose from diverse online programs.

Online Degrees

Ohio University offers over 65 online degrees and certificates through its eCampus.

Online degree offerings include:

  • 22 online certificates
  • 10 online bachelor's degrees
  • 35 online master's degrees
  • 1 online doctorate

Key Student Features

Online learners can receive credit through OU's prior learning assessment program by submitting portfolios of their work, volunteer, and life experience. All online students gain access to support like academic advising, tutoring and writing services, counseling services, and the Career and Leadership Development Center.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
64%
Percent Receiving Loans
66%
Admissions Rate
78%
Number of Online Bachelor's Degrees
11
Number of Online Master's Degrees
19
Learning Management System
Blackboard Learn
11

Washington State University 

Pullman, WA

About this school

Founded in 1890, Washington State University operates as a public research university. The alumni network spans 146 countries and all 50 states, helping students worldwide advance their careers. Learners can choose from diverse on-campus and online programs.

Online Degrees

Washington State University offers 45 online degrees and certificates through the WSU Global Campus.

Online degree offerings include:

  • 13 online certificates
  • 20 online bachelor's degrees
  • 12 online master's degrees

Key Student Features

The WSU Global Campus dates back to 1992, making it one of the longest-running online campuses in the country. Online learners benefit from access to academic advising and free career counseling and tutoring services. Distance learners can also access library services and online tech support.


Testimonial

I looked at different programs but I decided on an online program because though they are challenging they are also the easiest that work with my schedule I can plan around my work. My motivation for attending college is to start a career in a field that I am interested in and help make a difference in my family as well as my career. Although it’s not easy to balance work responsibilities, life, family and school, it is manageable to do it when you don’t have to commute to a campus and commute back home after classes that takes time off your study time. Depending on the type of student I try to be an advocate to them in order to choose an online program because I know it has helped me to have a better balance of school, work, and life.

Mayra, C., BA in Management, Washington State University

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
59%
Percent Receiving Loans
44%
Admissions Rate
77%
Number of Online Bachelor's Degrees
21
Number of Online Master's Degrees
19
Learning Management System
Blackboard Learn
12

Drexel University 

Philadelphia, PA

About this school

Founded in 1891, Drexel University grants degrees as a private institution. In addition to its three Philadelphia campuses, Drexel holds international research partnerships around the world. Drexel emphasizes civic engagement and ranks as one of Philadelphia's top private employers.

Online Degrees

Drexel University offers more than 250 online degrees and certificates through Drexel Online.

Online degree offerings include:

  • 103 online certificates
  • 19 online bachelor's degrees
  • 135 online master's degrees
  • 4 online doctorates

Key Student Features

Drexel Online ranks as one of the best online colleges thanks to its diverse degree options and support services. The university's career development center helps students transition into the workforce. Drexel Online's flexible learning format lets students earn an undergraduate or graduate degree fully online, which particularly appeals to students with work and family obligations.


Testimonial

Attending an online program has had distinct advantages. The most valuable benefit being that I am able to stay home more with my family. I have been able to listen to lectures and presentations at hours that do not conflict with family time. I have not missed important events or activities with my children due to being away for class. I have still been able to make memories with my family while going on vacation too. I have attended class in the car, in the airport, at the beach and even on a cruise ship! I have found an improved sense of self-reliance and direction attending courses online. I was anxious about being successful at first. It takes a great deal of self discipline to meet goals. I have gained both knowledge and confidence!

Rebecca, B., MS in Nursing, Drexel University

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
74%
Percent Receiving Loans
61%
Admissions Rate
77%
Number of Online Bachelor's Degrees
24
Number of Online Master's Degrees
52
Learning Management System
Blackboard Learn
13

Colorado State University – Fort Collins 

Fort, CO

About this school

Founded in 1870 as an agricultural college, Colorado State University now hosts 27,000 students through eight colleges and 55 academic departments. CSU reports over 170,000 living alumni, including leaders in business and government.

Online Degrees

Colorado State University offers over 85 online degrees and certificates through Colorado State Online.

Online degree offerings include:

  • 35 online certificates
  • 12 online bachelor's degrees
  • 38 online master's degrees
  • 4 online doctorates

Key Student Features

Most of Colorado State Online's courses follow an asynchronous format, giving students the flexibility to balance school with work and family obligations. Online students gain access to resources like career services, academic advising, and library services. They also receive the same diploma as their on-campus counterparts.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
71%
Percent Receiving Loans
46%
Admissions Rate
84%
Number of Online Bachelor's Degrees
10
Number of Online Master's Degrees
26
Learning Management System
Canvas
14

DePaul University 

Chicago, IL

About this school

DePaul University offers over 300 undergraduate and graduate degrees. With campuses in Lincoln Park and Chicago's loop, DePaul boasts an extensive alumni network in the Chicagoland area. In addition to on-campus programs, DePaul offers many online certificates and degrees.

Online Degrees

DePaul University offers over 50 online degrees and certificates through DePaul Online.

Online degree offerings include:

  • 33 online certificates
  • 5 online bachelor's degrees
  • 20 online master's degrees

Key Student Features

DePaul prioritizes flexibility in its online programs, letting students choose from blended and fully online options. Students can also choose to study part time or full time. DePaul's online degrees closely align with its on-campus programs, offering small class sizes and individual attention from faculty.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
72%
Percent Receiving Loans
62%
Admissions Rate
68%
Number of Online Bachelor's Degrees
12
Number of Online Master's Degrees
22
Learning Management System
D2L Brightspace
15

Texas Tech University 

Lubbock, TX

About this school

A public research university, Texas Tech University dates back to 1923. In 2015, TTU earned designation as a "very high research activity" institution by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The university grants undergraduate and graduate degrees through 13 colleges.

Online Degrees

Texas Tech University offers nearly 100 online degrees and certificates through TTU Online.

Online degree offerings include:

  • 30 online certificates
  • 21 online bachelor's degrees
  • 37 online master's degrees
  • 11 online doctorates

Key Student Features

TTU offers chat and online support services for online students, helping students navigate technology issues, apply for financial aid, and use the online learning management system. The university also offers library services to online students, including a personal librarian who helps students access class resources.


Testimonial

One positive experience I have had thus far with online college is to be a role model for my kids that you can always reinvent yourself, think outside of the box, and reach your goals no matter what your age. As I register for classes and take online training, they are nearby and see that higher learning is real and everyone can do it. A second positive experience is that the staff at my university are open and helpful to online students. I was fearful that I would be alone in my educational pursuits. However, there have been multiple connections on what to expect, how to connect and be a part of a larger team with the same goals. I am connecting with people I would never have the opportunity to meet otherwise.

Julie, H., Master of Public Health, Texas Tech University Health Science Center

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
60%
Percent Receiving Loans
44%
Admissions Rate
71%
Number of Online Bachelor's Degrees
9
Number of Online Master's Degrees
34
Learning Management System
Blackboard Learn
16

University of North Dakota 

Grand, ND

About this school

Founded in 1883 before North Dakota became a state, the University of North Dakota hosts students on its 500-acre campus in Grand Forks and online. UND's distance education programs date back to 1911 when the university began offering mail correspondence courses. Today, UND provides over 100 online degree and certificate programs to nearly 7,000 students.

Online Degrees

The University of North Dakota offers over 115 online degrees and certificates through UND Online.

Online degree offerings include:

  • 24 online certificates
  • 30 online bachelor's degrees
  • 51 online master's degrees
  • 12 online doctorates

Key Student Features

UND offers flexible learning formats for online students, including self-paced, "enroll anytime" courses. In these courses, students can enroll at their convenience and take up to nine months to complete a course. Students can also choose online semester-based courses. UND provides tutoring services and tech support for online learners.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
55%
Percent Receiving Loans
63%
Admissions Rate
82%
Number of Online Bachelor's Degrees
15
Number of Online Master's Degrees
32
Learning Management System
Blackboard Learn
17

Florida International University 

Miami, FL

About this school

A public university, Florida International University operates as a top-tier research institution. FIU enrolls nearly 54,000 students and offers an extensive network of over 200,000 alumni, including 115,000 who work in South Florida.

Online Degrees

Florida International University offers over 100 online degrees and certificates through FIU Online.

Online degree offerings include:

  • 22 online certificates
  • 44 online bachelor's degrees
  • 42 online master's degrees
  • 1 online doctorate

Key Student Features

FIU Online enrolls around 40,000 learners in over 1,000 classes and over 100 fully online degrees. FIU offers an online orientation to introduce new online students to the learning format. Distance learners also gain access to library, career, and counseling services and financial aid opportunities. FIU Online emphasizes an integrated global learning curriculum to develop global awareness.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
58%
Percent Receiving Loans
22%
Admissions Rate
59%
Number of Online Bachelor's Degrees
39
Number of Online Master's Degrees
35
Learning Management System
Canvas
18

East Carolina University 

Greenville, NC

About this school

East Carolina University dates back to 1907, with roots as a teaching school. Today, ECU operates as a public research institution, hosting students on its 1,600-acre campus in Greenville and online. Students can choose from a variety of on-campus and online degree options.

Online Degrees

East Carolina University offers over 150 online degrees and certificates through ECU Online.

Online degree offerings include:

  • 54 online certificates
  • 44 online bachelor's degrees
  • 54 online master's degrees
  • 6 online doctorates

Key Student Features

ECU Online offers degrees in business, healthcare, education, and technology. The university's online learning format appeals to students balancing school with professional and personal responsibilities. The same instructors teach online and on-campus classes. Online learners gain access to ECU's online student services team, which offers learning tools and support services.


Testimonial

I have just enrolled in my online program, and have not started any classes, but I have the flexibility to attend a university of my choice and not be restrained by geographic proximity. I am also very grateful that I can continue working while beginning the orientation and registration process.

Rachael, B., MS in Instructional Technology, East Carolina University

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
65%
Percent Receiving Loans
66%
Admissions Rate
82%
Number of Online Bachelor's Degrees
19
Number of Online Master's Degrees
42
Learning Management System
Canvas
19

Portland State University 

Portland, OR

About this school

A public research institution founded in 1946, Portland State University enrolls over 27,000 students. granting over 200 degrees through seven colleges. From its campus in the heart of Portland, PSU offers the only urban public university environment in the state. PSU prioritizes hands-on learning experiences, sustainability, and innovation.

Online Degrees

Portland State University offers over 45 online degrees and certificates through PSU Online.

Online degree offerings include:

  • 18 online certificates
  • 11 online bachelor's degrees
  • 9 online master's degrees

Key Student Features

Designed for working adults and transfer students, PSU Online offers courses delivered in a flexible format by the same faculty who teach on-campus courses. Distance learners can also apply for the same financial aid opportunities, including scholarships, as on-campus students. Online students gain access to resources and services like academic advising, technology support, library services, and online tutoring.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
49%
Percent Receiving Loans
45%
Admissions Rate
90%
Number of Online Bachelor's Degrees
10
Number of Online Master's Degrees
8
Learning Management System
D2L Brightspace
20

University of Alabama at Birmingham – UAB Online 

Birmingham, AL

About this school

The University of Alabama at Birmingham is a public research institution. Dating back to 1936, UAB evolved from an academic extension center to a research university. In addition to on-campus programs in Birmingham, UAB offers online and hybrid degrees through UAB Online.

Online Degrees

The University of Alabama at Birmingham offers more than 85 online degrees and certificates through UAB Online.

Online degree offerings include:

  • 9 online certificates
  • 12 online bachelor's degrees
  • 59 online master's degrees
  • 7 online doctorates

Key Student Features

Online students complete courses in a flexible learning format. Many online programs allow students to choose between fully online and hybrid formats. The Collat School of Business, for example, offers over 95% of its classes in both online and classroom formats, letting students access the material in the best format for their needs.


Testimonial

In my online college experience I have been pleasantly surprised at the diverse student body and the variety of academic and practical real-world experience that they bring to the program. In my opinion that adds tremendously to the academic experience as there exists a sharing of knowledge and expertise that enhances the overall value of the program. As many students can relate, grasping knowledge from merely reading a textbook, watching a video, or listening to a professor can be a challenging experience. As such, having the ability to share ideas and knowledge from a wide cross-section of students aids tremendously in the learning process. Moreover, being able to pursue your education on your schedule via online technology is priceless.

Roderick, K., MEng —Construction Engineering Management, University of Alabama, Birmingham

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
58%
Percent Receiving Loans
55%
Admissions Rate
92%
Number of Online Bachelor's Degrees
14
Number of Online Master's Degrees
22
Learning Management System
Canvas
21

University of Memphis – UofM Online 

Memphis, TN

About this school

A public research institution founded in 1912, the University of Memphis grants degrees from its historic campus in a quiet, residential neighborhood and online. The 1,160-acre campus offers a tree-lined setting filled with historic architecture. UofM enrolls over 21,000 students, prioritizing diversity and intellectual engagement.

Online Degrees

The University of Memphis offers more than 75 online degrees and certificates through UofM Global.

Online degree offerings include:

  • 19 online certificates
  • 29 online bachelor's degrees
  • 26 online master's degrees
  • 5 online doctorates

Key Student Features

Most classes offered through UofM Global feature a flexible, asynchronous format and a semester-based schedule. Online students gain access to resources like learning support, technology support, library services, and career services. The prior learning assessment program offers college credit for professional and life experience. All distance learners pay the same tuition rate, regardless of residency.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
48%
Percent Receiving Loans
56%
Admissions Rate
84%
Number of Online Bachelor's Degrees
25
Number of Online Master's Degrees
24
Learning Management System
D2L Brightspace
22

Oklahoma State University 

Stillwater, OK

About this school

Founded in 1890, Oklahoma State University is a public, land-grant institution that hosts students on five campuses and online. The Stillwater campus offers a relatively rural setting that is just an hour away from Tulsa and Oklahoma City.

Online Degrees

Oklahoma State University offers more than 60 online degrees and certificates through OSU Online.

Online degree offerings include:

  • 17 online certificates
  • 15 online bachelor's degrees
  • 31 online master's degrees
  • 1 online doctorate

Key Student Features

Many of OSU Online's courses offer a flexible, self-paced format ideal for students with work and family obligations. Online students gain access to resources like a writing center and career services, and all fully online students enjoy tuition discounts.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
61%
Percent Receiving Loans
59%
Admissions Rate
74%
Number of Online Bachelor's Degrees
10
Number of Online Master's Degrees
24
Learning Management System
Canvas
23

University of Central Florida 

Orlando, FL

About this school

Founded in 1963, the University of Central Florida is a public research institution with a mission to provide talent for Central Florida and the U.S. space program. In addition to its Orlando campus, UCF operates 11 locations in Central Florida and online programs. With nearly 70,000 students, UCF is the largest higher education institution in the country.

Online Degrees

The University of Central Florida offers over 90 online degrees and certificates through UCF Online.

Online degree offerings include:

  • 33 online certificates
  • 24 online bachelor's degrees
  • 32 online master's degrees
  • 3 online doctorates

Key Student Features

With 200 full-time, tenure-track faculty teaching courses through UCF Online, online learners enjoy the same comprehensive instruction as on-campus students. All online students pay the same tuition rate, regardless of residency. Distance learners enjoy access to resources like a writing center and UCF library services.


Testimonial

So far admissions and other personnel have been so helpful in leading me in the right direction and the online classroom system is easy to search and complete coursework as needed.

Rebecca, S., BA in Anthropology, University of Central Florida

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
73%
Percent Receiving Loans
34%
Admissions Rate
43%
Number of Online Bachelor's Degrees
20
Number of Online Master's Degrees
34
Learning Management System
Canvas
24

Maryville University of Saint Louis 

Saint, MO

About this school

Founded in 1872, Maryville University is a nationally ranked private institution that offers education in a suburban setting just 22 miles from downtown Saint Louis. Maryville enrolls over 10,000 students, including nearly 6,000 online students, demonstrating the institution's commitment to online learning.

Online Degrees

Maryville University of Saint Louis offers over 50 online degrees and certificates through Maryville Online.

Online degree offerings include:

  • 5 online certificates
  • 30 online bachelor's degrees
  • 13 online master's degrees
  • 9 online doctorates

Key Student Features

Maryville's online programs offer flexible start dates and personalized support from advisors. Students can earn online degrees in fields like accounting, cybersecurity, education, healthcare, and nursing. Online classes are small, with 20 students on average, and allow students to study largely at their own pace. In addition to an academic advisor, online students gain access to an online life coach that provides resources and services like tutoring and study skills.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
72%
Percent Receiving Loans
51%
Admissions Rate
95%
Number of Online Bachelor's Degrees
17
Number of Online Master's Degrees
10
Learning Management System
Canvas
25

Old Dominion University 

Norfolk, VA

About this school

Old Dominion University is a public research institution that enrolls over 24,000 students who can choose from over 250 undergraduate and graduate programs. The institution prioritizes peer mentoring and resource centers to help students advance their education.

Online Degrees

Old Dominion University offers 120 online degrees and certificates through ODU Online.

Online degree offerings include:

  • 27 online certificates
  • 42 online bachelor's degrees
  • 41 online master's degrees
  • 10 online doctorates

Key Student Features

ODU Online delivers courses in synchronous and asynchronous formats, meaning some classes operate live, while others let students access material without set login times. ODU offers programs designed for military service members that rely on portable media formats that students can access while deployed. All online learners benefit from academic and technical support.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
52%
Percent Receiving Loans
65%
Admissions Rate
87%
Number of Online Bachelor's Degrees
24
Number of Online Master's Degrees
28
Learning Management System
Canvas
👏

End of list, bravo!

Ranking Methodology
Best Online Colleges

Online College Ranking Guidelines

Our ranking methodology includes a blend of data analysis and research (in areas such as academic excellence, strength of faculty, reputation, affordability, and range of degree programs), as well as the combined professional experience of our staff and Academic Advisory Board. All of the online colleges and universities listed are regionally accredited, nonprofit, and offer a range of online degree programs. Our goal is to identify and rank the best accredited online colleges available to ensure the greatest satisfaction among online students.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does It Take to Complete an Online Degree Program?

Earning an online bachelor's degree typically takes four years, while most master's programs take two years. Some online schools offer accelerated pathways to degrees, which reduce completion times.

What Can I Do With an Online Degree?

Graduates with an online degree can pursue careers in fields like business, education, and healthcare. An online degree from an accredited institution meets the same licensure and certification requirements as an on-campus degree.

How Is Online College Different From On-Campus College?

Students enrolled in online courses often complete coursework on their own schedules rather than attending class at a set time, though some online programs still run synchronously. However, the material, instructors, and requirements are often the same in online and on-campus programs.

Are Online Courses Harder?

Some students find online courses harder than in-person courses, especially if they have trouble focusing or staying self-motivated. Many online schools offer resources to help students transition to an online learning format.

Are Online Degrees Recognized?

Yes. Online degrees earned at an accredited online college meet the same academic standards as on-campus programs. They also meet the same licensure requirements, unless otherwise stated.

Are There Year-Round Online Programs?

Yes. Many online schools operate on a year-round schedule, including summer terms, to help students earn their degrees faster. Most online colleges offer multiple start dates throughout the year.

Do My Credits Transfer to an Online College?

Credits earned from a regionally accredited institution usually transfer to online colleges. Some online colleges also offer credit for work experience, military training, or prior learning.

The Best Colleges in the US By State 2020

What Is an Online College?

An online college lets students complete degrees through an online learning format. Online colleges offer associate degrees, bachelor's degrees, and graduate degrees in many fields. Students can pursue degrees in business, education, healthcare, or engineering through online colleges. During an online degree, learners complete coursework by watching recorded lectures, participating in discussion boards, and taking online examinations.

Online programs help professionals advance or change their careers while working full time. Students with personal or family obligations may also prefer the flexibility of an online college.

Many traditional colleges offer online enrollment options for students. When offered by accredited institutions, these online programs meet the same standards as on-campus programs.

Campus vs. Online Programs

Online programs offer several advantages over on-campus programs. Asynchronous online courses, which do not require set class times, offer schedule flexibility compared to traditional on-campus courses. The flexible schedule of an online program appeals to working professionals and busy students balancing school with other responsibilities. Many learners can also save on tuition, commuting, and transportation costs by choosing an online degree.

Some learners prefer the interactive nature of on-campus programs. However, many online programs incorporate discussion boards, group projects, and other interactive elements to connect students. Online programs that require lab or practicum components often let students meet those requirements at local sites. For example, online nursing programs often use local clinical placements. Some online colleges may require on-campus orientations or residencies.

Choosing an Online Program

There are several factors to consider when evaluating an online college. For example, students should research the total cost of the degree, any on-campus requirements, and concentration options to find a program that fits their goals and needs. Learn more about how to choose an online degree below.

Many online learners pay for their degrees through a mix of scholarships, grants, and loans. Online students qualify for many of the same financial aid options as traditional students, including federal financial aid. In addition to the following options, students can consider scholarships and grants offered by their institutions, or they can look into employee tuition reimbursement programs.

  • Federal Financial Aid: The federal government offers grants, loans, and other financial aid to support students attending accredited online colleges. Students must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every year to qualify for federal financial aid.
  • Scholarships and Grants: Many professional organizations offer scholarships and grants to support students. Eligibility requirements may include membership in a certain demographic group or a particular major.
  • Private Student Loans: Online students can apply for private student loans offered by banks and other financial institutions.
  • Work-Study Programs: The federal government's work-study program supports students by giving them part-time positions while they complete their degrees.

Learn more about how to apply for student loans or fill out the FAFSA to apply for federal financial aid.

Take the next step towards your future with online learning.

Discover schools with the programs and courses you’re interested in, and start learning today.

Woman working at desk