The Best Online Colleges in Florida
| TBS Staff
Are you ready to discover your college program?
Studying in Florida yields more than beautiful beaches and sunny weather: The state also offers great higher education options, including affordable tuition and online learning.
Online colleges in Florida offer undergraduate programs in hundreds of fields of study. With the fourth-largest economy in the United States, Florida provides numerous employment opportunities, especially in the life science, aviation, and aeronautics industries. Professionals with bachelor's degrees can also pursue managerial roles in Florida's strong financial services and tourism sectors.
The best online colleges in Florida accommodate the state's need for well-educated professionals. Florida is home to the State University of Florida System, which includes 12 public universities, plus more than 30 private institutions of higher learning, which are all members of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida. Many of these schools offer both online and on-campus learning opportunities.
Featured Online Schools
Earning an online bachelor's degree in Florida is a convenient, flexible option for working professionals and students with busy schedules. This article offers a comprehensive look at the best online colleges in Florida.
|#1||University of Florida - Online Gainesville, FL|
|#2||University of Central Florida Orlando, FL|
|#3||University of South Florida Tampa, FL|
|#4||Florida Institute of Technology, Florida Tech University Online Melbourne, FL|
|#5||Florida International University Miami, FL|
|#6||Saint Leo University Online Saint Leo, FL|
|#7||Florida State University, Office of Distance Learning Tallahassee, FL|
|#8||Everglades University Boca Raton, FL|
|#9||Nova Southeastern University Fort Lauderdale, FL|
|#10||Keiser University Fort Lauderdale, FL|
The Best Online Colleges in Florida
Founded in 1853, University of Florida—a public sea–grant, land–grant and space–grant university—is the state’s oldest university and boasts more than 367,000 alumni worldwide. Currently, University of Florida serves over 52,000 students, putting it among the top five largest universities in the state. Recognized around the world as a leader in academic excellence, University of Florida offers more than 100 online programs through UF Online.
UF Online offers four–year bachelor’s degree programs and 2+2 bachelor’s completion programs, as well as specialist degrees. The school also provides numerous online master’s degrees in topics such as international construction management, agronomy, aerospace engineering, special education, business administration, pharmaceutical sciences, and Latin. Additionally, UF Online offers online doctoral degrees in education, audiology, philosophy, nursing practice, and pharmacy.
Online students at University of Florida have access to the same support services as traditional, on–campus students, including an online course management system, an online bookstore, an online library, a career resource center, and an online tuition payment system.
The University of Central Florida, a space–grant university founded in 1963, enrolls more than 60,000 students and boasts 230,000 alumni worldwide. A member of the State University System of Florida, the University of Central Florida offers about 50 degree programs ranging from bachelor’s to doctorates, which students can complete online through its Center for Distributed Learning.
The University of Central Florida’s undergraduate degree offerings cover diverse fields, including topics such as health services administration, sociology and English creative writing. The university also offers a nursing degree completion program, and certificates in substitute teaching and gender studies. Students pursuing a master’s degree can choose from more than two–dozen programs, including hospitality and tourism management, career and technical education, criminal justice, and forensic science. The university offers a doctor of nursing practice and a doctorate in nursing. Students enrolled in dissertation or thesis work must be on campus during their final defense.
Online students have access to a variety of services including the bookstore, library resources and financial aid. The university offers online courses in several formats including video streaming and face–to–face instruction.
University of South Florida, a public, space–grant university established in 1956, is among the largest public universities in the state with nearly 43,000 enrolled students. Part of the State University System of Florida, University of South Florida–Main Campus is in Tampa, with additional campuses in Sarasota and St. Petersburg. University of Southern Florida offers more than 180 undergraduate majors and 130 specialist, master’s, and doctoral programs.
University of South Florida–Main Campus offers hundreds of individual online courses, as well as complete online degree programs. Online students can choose between several undergraduate degree completion programs, including specialties in public health, criminal justice, and women’s and gender studies. Students also can earn more than two dozen online master’s degrees ranging from applied behavior analysis to engineering management to global sustainability to cybersecurity, as well as a doctorate in career and workforce education.
Online students receive a variety of supports from University of South Florida faculty and staff. Students enrolled in online programs have access to services including library resources and testing services.
The Florida Institute of Technology (Florida Tech), a private research university founded in 1958, enrolls more than 6,000 students, with nearly 3,000 of those students in online programs. Through Florida Institute of Technology Online, the school offers a host of online degrees ranging from associate degrees to master’s degrees in fields such as healthcare, marketing, homeland security, and accounting. The school also provides several graduate certificates. Florida Tech’s online students receive the same degree as the institute’s on–campus students.
Online students can earn an associate degree in ten specialties, including accounting, applied psychology, and liberal arts, in as little as 20 months. Florida Institute of Technology also offers more than a dozen online bachelor’s degree programs ranging from aviation management to business administration to computer information systems. Students also can opt to complete a minor in human resources administration.
Like at many Florida online colleges, distance learners can access course information 24/7 with discussion boards, chat rooms, and professor–led streaming video. They also have access to technical support and an online learning program advisor.
Florida International University—a public research university founded in 1965—enrolls more than 55,000 students. A member of the State University System of Florida, Florida International University offers more than 190 programs of study leading to undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees. Nearly, 40 of Florida International University’s degree programs are offered online; distance learning students earn their degrees through the school’s online portion, FIU Online.
The school offers nearly 20 online bachelor’s degree programs in areas such as religious studies, public administration, international business, and criminal justice. The university also provides 20+ online master’s degree programs including real estate, special education, forensic science, and hospitality management. FIU Online also offers a handful of online undergraduate and graduate certificates. The same instructors teach on–campus and online courses.
Florida International University’s online students have access to numerous resources including success coaches and 24/7 tech support. Online students also receive academic advising and are eligible for financial aid.
Saint Leo University is a private, liberal arts, non–profit, Roman Catholic university. Established in 1889, Saint Leo University enrolls nearly 15,000 students worldwide through on–campus and online degree programs. Saint Leo University offers more than 40 online associate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and certificate programs.
The university offers a handful of online associate degrees in business administration, information technology, criminal justice, and liberal arts, as well as more than a dozen degree completion programs in areas such as criminal justice, religion, and accounting. Students can choose from nearly 30 online master’s degree programs including programs in business administration, educational leadership, and social work. The university also offers an online doctoral program in business administration. Online students can also choose from a host of graduate certificates. Saint Leo University offers six eight–week terms per year.
Saint Leo University Online students have access to range of services including student advising, career services, and an online learning toolkit.
Florida State University, a public sea–grant and space–grant university founded in 1851, enrolls over 41,000 students across 16 colleges—the College of Applied Studies, the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business, the College of Communication and Information, the College of Criminology and Criminal Justice, the College of Education, the College of Engineering, the College of Fine Arts, the College of Human Sciences, the College of Law, the College of Medicine, the College of Motion Picture Arts, the College of Music, the College of Nursing, the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy, and the College of Social Work—and 100+ facilities, centers, institutes, and labs. A member of the State University System of Florida, Florida State University offers a variety of online bachelor’s degree completion programs, as well as master’s degrees, specialist degrees, and a doctoral degree program through its Office of Distance Learning.
Florida State University offers advanced standing undergraduate degree programs in computer science, public safety and security, social science, and criminology. All students must have completed at least 60 semester hours of transferable credit before admission. Students also can pursue online master’s degrees in topics including risk management and insurance, communication disorders, nurse educator, learning and cognition, and social work. The school allows students to earn an online doctorate in educational leadership and policy as well as specialist degrees in library and information studies, and educational leadership/administration. The university offers a host of online certificate programs as well.
Like most Florida online colleges, Florida State University follows a semester schedule, and most of its online courses are asynchronous, which allows students to complete coursework on their schedule. Distance learning students have access to an online orientation, virtual library, and library resources. Some courses require proctored exams at an external site; instructors notify students on the first day of the semester.
Everglades University—a private, non–profit college founded in 1990—enrolls over 2,000 students. With four campuses, Everglades University allows students to pursue a variety of bachelor’s and master’s degrees, including more than a dozen programs offered entirely online. Focused on delivering quality education to adult learners of diverse backgrounds, Everglades University boasts small class sizes, innovative instruction, and an emphasis on academic excellence.
Online students at Everglades University can choose from 10+ bachelor’s degree options, including majors in land and energy management, construction management, alternative medicine, and aviation/aerospace. Students in the aviation/aerospace program can also choose from several concentrations, including flight operations and airport operation management. The university also offers a handful of online master’s degrees in business administration, aviation science, and public health administration. Depending on their degree program, the university also allows master’s degree students to choose from several concentrations such as construction management and aviation security.
Online students at Everglades University receive instruction through a variety of methods including live chats, group discussions, and email messages. These students also have access to academic advising, a telephone orientation session, library resources, a bookstore, academic tutoring, and a helpdesk. Online students receive the same degree as their on–campus counterparts.
Nova Southeastern University—a private, nonsectarian, co–educational, research university founded in 1964—enrolls about 28,000 students. Nova Southeastern University offers more than 175 programs of study leading to a host of undergraduate, graduate, professional, and doctoral degrees, including more than 70 online degree and certificate programs.
Part of the Southern Regional Education Board’s Electronic Campus program, Nova Southeastern University offers a handful of online bachelor’s degrees, including programs in business management, nursing, health science, psychology, and computer information systems. Online master’s students can pursue nearly 50 areas of study in areas such as management, education, nursing, coastal zone management, and counseling. The university also offers more than a dozen educational specialist programs, several certificate programs, and doctoral degrees in fields including health science, computer science, and information systems.
Nova Southeastern University’s online courses feature faculty and student discussion forums, real–time electronic classrooms, and online submission of assignments. Online students have access to an online orientation session, library resources, and online databases.
Keiser University–Ft Lauderdale is the parent institution and main campus of Keiser University, an organization with 18 campuses around the state of Florida and internationally, in Nicaragua and China. Keiser University is a private, non–profit institution, founded in 1977 with the goal of serving adult learners seeking a career–focused education. Keiser University serves nearly 20,000 students. Keiser University–Ft Lauderdale houses the graduate school and online programs offered by the university.
Keiser University offers several online associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and certificate programs. Multiple online degree programs at each level are offered in Spanish. Students can choose online associate degree programs in fields including accounting, criminal justice, medical assisting science, and paralegal studies. For online bachelor’s students, majors include business administration, homeland security, nursing, and political science. Online master’s programs at Keiser University–Ft Lauderdale include business administration and management, while certificate programs include several specialties in education.
Online students enrolled in programs at Keiser University–Ft Lauderdale have access to a variety of resources to aid in their studies and transition to career. Supports include financial services, a university writing program (KeiserWrites!), career development, student services, library access, and a bookstore.
Based in Pensacola, with additional locations in the West Florida region, The University of West Florida (UWF) is home to five academic colleges: the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities; the College of Business; the College of Education and Professional Studies; the Ushu Kundu, MD College of Health; and the Hal Marcus College of Science and Engineering. Founded in 1963, The University of West Florida is a member of the State University System of Florida. The school serves nearly 13,000 students and offers a variety of bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, as well as specialist degrees and a doctoral program in education. The University of West Florida offers both traditional on–campus and online classes and degree programs.
With 50+ online degree and certificate programs, The University of West Florida has distance learning opportunities that fit the needs of a variety of students. UWF participates in the Complete Florida program, which offers technology–enabled support and coaching for students that want to finish their degrees. Students seeking online bachelor’s degree programs can choose from a variety of majors at UWF, including career and technical education, health sciences, maritime studies, and nursing. Online master’s programs at UWF include business administration, English, healthcare administration, and professional accountancy. The school also offers online specialist and doctoral degree programs in curriculum and instruction.
Like other Florida online colleges, the University of West Florida offers support to all its students, both online and in–person. UWF is known for being “military friendly,” and has won multiple awards for its dedication to helping military personnel achieve their academic goals. Resources available to online students at UWF include library services, tutoring, and service from the Division of Academic Affairs and the Division of Academic Engagement.
The Baptist College of Florida is a private, non–profit, Christian Baptist university, founded by pastors in 1943. The online higher education institution to be supported by the Florida Baptist Convention, the school serves around 500 students. Though it is a small organization, The Baptist College of Florida offers an extensive selection of online degree programs, as well as study abroad experiences and additional off–campus learning sites. The Baptist College of Florida offers associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees in a range of fields.
All The Baptist College of Florida’s courses and degree programs are available in a completely online format. Associate degree programs available online include majors in music, Christian education, and divinity. Online students interested in bachelor’s degree programs at The Baptist College of Florida can choose from majors including history/social studies, ministry, psychology, and missions with a concentration in aviation. Online master’s programs at The Baptist College of Florida include Christian studies and music and worship leadership.
Most of The Baptist College of Florida’s online programs are asynchronous, meaning students can complete their coursework anytime during the week, there is not a set class meeting time. Support for online students at The Baptist College of Florida includes library services and an online bookstore.
Southeastern University—a private, liberal arts, Christian university founded in 1935—enrolls nearly 6,000 students. Among the largest Assemblies of God educational institutions in the nation, Southeastern University offers more than 50 bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, including about 20 programs students can complete online. Programs at Southeastern University are offered through six academic colleges: the College of Arts and Media, the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, the College of Ministry and Theology, the College of Education, the College of Natural and Health Sciences, and the College of Business and Entrepreneurial Leadership.
Southeastern University’s online students can earn bachelor’s degrees in fields including business administration, criminal justice, and nursing. Students can pursue over a dozen master’s degrees ranging from educational leadership to human services to divinity. Southeastern University also offers several online doctoral programs, in education, ministry, strategic leadership, and organizational leadership.
Online students at Southeastern University receive a variety or resources and support from university faculty and staff. Students enrolled in online programs receive support from the following offices and departments: the campus library, the registrar’s office, academic advising, and the Center for Student Success.
Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University was founded in 1925 by T. Higbee Embry, an entrepreneur, and John Paul Riddle, an aviation enthusiast and educator. The university has a storied history, including locations in St. Louis, Miami, Prescott, AZ, and Daytona Beach, as well as involvement with educating pilots for American Airways and World War II military personnel. Today, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University continues to equip students to meet industry demands. Their worldwide and online campus, Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University–Worldwide serves over 14,000 students and offers several associate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and certificate programs, both online and at campuses stationed around the world.
Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University–Worldwide offers a variety of online degree and certificate programs designed to help students achieve their academic and professional goals. Online associate degrees include aviation business administration, engineering fundamentals, and technical management. For online bachelor’s programs, students can choose to major in a variety of subjects, including aviation security, communication, emergency services, and homeland security. Master’s programs available online allow students to specialize in areas including aeronautics, entrepreneurship in technology, human security and resilience, and leadership. Students looking for online doctoral programs can pursue an online doctorate in aviation. Online certificate programs include several professional learning opportunities for those in aeronautics and related industries.
Faculty and staff at Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University–Worldwide help online students create a personalized degree map so that each student can graduate on time, no matter their other obligations or location. Other resources for online students include cutting–edge technology, library resources, and career services.
Founded in 1965 as Florida Junior College, Florida State College at Jacksonville is now a public, non–profit, four–year college that mainly offers associate degrees. Florida State College at Jacksonville enrolls over 24,000 students, offering classes and degree programs across five campuses and online. Florida State College at Jacksonville offers traditional college classes, hybrid courses, and online classes, some of them in an accelerated format, to meet the diverse needs of students across the state of Florida.
Through their online platform, FSCJ Online, Florida State College at Jacksonville provides a wide variety of associate and bachelor’s degrees and certificates that can be completed fully online. Online associate programs offered through FSJC Online include office administration, supply chain management, and accounting technology. Students can pursue online bachelor’s degrees in a selection of majors including early childhood education, financial services, nursing, and logistics. FSCJ Online’s certificate programs include business entrepreneurship, home staging specialist, office management, and web development specialist.
FSCJ Online staff is consistently available to help students achieve their academic goals. Support for online students at Florida State College at Jacksonville ranges from library services to career coaching to financial aid.
Hodges University is a private, nonprofit institution in Southwest Florida offering associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees in a variety of disciplines. Founded in 1990 as International College, the school was renamed Hodges University to honor its main benefactors, Earl and Thelma Hodges, as well as reflect the organization’s growing student body and status as an accredited university. In addition to its undergraduate and graduate programs, Hodges University offers English as a Second Language (ESL) programs for non–native English speakers to increase their fluency. Hodges University serves over 1,500 students.
Many of the degree programs at Hodges University are also offered online to fit the busy schedules and diverse needs of today’s students. Online associate degrees at Hodges University include accounting, criminal justice, paralegal studies, and professional communication. Students who want to pursue an online bachelor’s degree can choose to study a variety of subjects, including applied psychology, digital design and graphics, health services administration, and software development. Online master’s degree programs offered by Hodges University include business administration, clinical mental health counseling, nursing home administration, and management.
Resources available for online students at Hodges University include library services, degree to occupation support, and mentoring for writing skills. Online and on–campus students alike can expect to receive personalized support at Hodges University, including small class sizes, tutoring, and mentoring.
Founded in 1959 as Indian River Junior College, what is now known as Indian River State College underwent multiple name and location changes before beginning its transition to a four–year college. Today, Indian River State College offers 100+ programs leading to bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, technical certificates, and applied technology diplomas. The school serves over 18,000 students and offers an open door policy, guaranteeing admission to every applicant who holds a high school or high school equivalency diploma.
Indian River State College offers students the opportunity to earn degrees entirely online through their Virtual Campus. With twelve online associate and bachelor’s degrees to choose from, students can reach their academic goals with the flexibility and accessibility of distance learning. Online associate degree programs at Indian River State College include arts, business administration, computer information technology, and health information technology. Online bachelor’s degrees offered through Virtual Campus include criminal justice, exceptional student education, nursing, and organizational management.
Online students at Indian River State College receive support and services through Virtual Campus. Students enrolled in online programs can receive support through the Career Center and are also eligible for financial aid.
Founded in 1927, St. Petersburg College offers 100+ associate and bachelor’s degrees, as well as certificate programs. With 14 campuses, centers, and offices in and around St. Petersburg, as well as several online offerings, St. Petersburg College offers a variety of academic opportunities to its students. St. Petersburg College enrolls over 30,000 students and boasts several notable alumni, including two NASA astronauts, a creator of the TV show “I Love Lucy,” rock musician Jim Morrison, and Howard Johnson of the New York Mets World Championship team.
St. Petersburg College offers several completely online degree programs. Online associate degree programs offered include computer information technology, cyber security, early childhood education, emergency administration and management, web development, and veterinary technology. Online bachelor’s programs available at St. Petersburg College include management and organizational leadership, business administration, and elementary education. Online certificate programs include accounting technology operations, teaching, cybersecurity, and funeral arts.
Students enrolled in online programs at St. Petersburg College receive the same degrees as traditional, on–campus students. Support for online students include bookstore access, academic advising, and accessibility services.
Lynn University was founded in 1962 as a two–year women’s finishing school and has grown into an internationally–known school, recognized for its innovative culture and practices. Lynn University enrolls nearly 3,000 students and offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs, both on–campus and online. Lynn University offers courses and degree programs through six colleges: the College of Aeronautics, the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business and Management, the College of Communication and Design, the College of Education, and the Conservatory of Music.
Lynn University’s online iPad–powered bachelor’s and master’s degree programs are unique. Students can choose to use their own iPad or purchase one from Lynn University, and all online coursework is optimized for access from an iPad. The online learning experience at Lynn University is designed to be simple and accessible. Online bachelor’s programs at Lynn University include business management, communication and media, entrepreneurship, and liberal arts. Online master’s degree programs include marketing, media management, educational leadership, and web design and technology.
Online students at Lynn University receive strong support from university faculty and staff, including library services and academic advising. Online students are not required to submit standardized test scores, and may transfer other academic credit as well as turn work experience into credits.
Founded in 1960 as Brevard Junior College, the first students and 31 faculty members of what is now known as Eastern Florida State College met in the now–demolished Cocoa High School building. The school was renamed Eastern Florida State College in 2013 to reflect their expanded offerings, including two affordable bachelor’s degree programs. Today, Eastern Florida State College serves just under 16,000 students and offers nearly 20 bachelor’s degree programs, both online and in–person, as well as numerous associate degree programs and college credit certificates.
Many of Eastern Florida State College’s degree programs are offered online as well as in–person. With a range of online bachelor’s, associate, and college credit certificate programs available, online students can choose a program that fits their interests and needs. Online courses at Eastern Florida State College are offered five times per year, making it simple for students to choose courses that fit with their schedules. Online bachelor’s programs include nursing, accounting, sports management, program and software development, and advanced allied health. Students interested in an online associate program can choose between an associate in arts degree (AA) or an associate in science degree (AS).
Students enrolled in eLearning programs at Eastern Florida State College receive the same instruction and services as traditional, on–campus students. Online students can access a variety of resources, including learning resources, academic advising, and library services.
Florida Atlantic University (FAU), a public university established in 1961, enrolls more than 30,000 students. A member of the State University System of Florida, Florida Atlantic University offers more than 180 undergraduate and graduate degree programs as well as a professional degree in medicine. The university offers 20+ programs that students can complete 100% online. The university also offers a handful of hybrid programs ranging from bachelor’s degrees to doctoral programs that can be completed 50% or more online.
Founded over 50 years ago, the distance learning portion of Florida Atlantic University began with classes on video–tapes. Today, the school continues to provide extensive distance learning opportunities using the latest technology. Florida Atlantic University’s online students can pursue online bachelor’s degrees in topics such as criminal justice, management, and accounting. The university also offers more than a dozen online master’s degree programs, including advanced holistic nursing, taxation, curriculum and instruction, and exercise science. Florida Atlantic University’s students can earn online certificates in areas such as child welfare, graphic information systems, and teacher leadership.
Florida Atlantic University offers a variety of services and resources to ensure that its distance learning students do not miss out on a collegiate experience. Online students can watch FAU athletic events via a streaming platform and tune in to the campus TV and radio stations. Online students at Florida Atlantic University also have access to career services, online tutoring, and library resources.
Founded in 1940 by Bishop Patrick Barry and Mother M. Gerald Barry, Barry University is a private, non–profit, Catholic institution that serves over 7,000 students. The school has expanded to include 17 locations throughout the state of Florida and offers both online and on–campus programs. Barry University houses eight colleges and schools: the Frank J. Rooney School of Professional And Career Education, the College of Arts and Sciences, the D. Inez, the Andreas School of Business, the Adrian Dominican School of Education, the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, the Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law, the School of Podiatric Medicine, and the Ellen Whiteside McDonnell School of Social Work.
Barry University offers several online programs that allow nontraditional learners to navigate the busyness and changes of life without disrupting their learning goals. Faculty members at Barry University are dedicated to creating productive online learning environments that offer opportunities for student collaboration. Online bachelor’s programs available at Barry University include administration, emergency management, health services administration, and public administration. Online master’s degree programs include public administration, exceptional student education, educational leadership, and business administration.
Students enrolled in online degree programs at Barry University have access to a variety of support to make their online learning experience successful. Resources include library access, financial aid, and a technical help desk.
Florida Gulf Coast University, founded in 1991, was Florida’s tenth state university and is still dedicated to providing educational opportunities in Southwest Florida. Florida Gulf Coast University enrolls nearly 15,000 students and offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and certificate programs. Florida Gulf Coast University’s six colleges and schools—the College of Arts and Sciences, the Lutgert College of Business, the College of Business, the U. A. Whitaker College of Engineering, and the Marieb College of Health and Human Services, and the Honors College—offer almost 100 degree and certificate programs, both in–person and online.
Florida Gulf Coast University offers a variety of online degree and certificate programs and stand–alone online courses. Online graduate programs offered by Florida Gulf Coast University include master’s programs in business administration, public administration, health science, curriculum and instruction, and special education, as well as a doctoral program in physical therapy. Online bachelor’s degree programs include criminal justice, health sciences, and legal studies. Students can earn online certificates in health services administration, local government management, and planning.
Students enrolled in distance learning degree and certificate programs at Florida Gulf Coast University receive a variety of resources to support their online learning. Resources include academic advising, financial aid, and academic and technology support.
Founded in 1913 as a nursing school, Adventist University of Health Sciences eventually added programs in radiography, practical nursing, and sonography. Today, Adventist University of Health Sciences, a private, non–profit university affiliated with the Seventh Day Adventist church, serves nearly 2,000 students. Adventist University of Health Sciences offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and certificate programs, both in–person and online. The school was an early adopter of online education to make its medical degree programs available worldwide.
Adventist University of Health Sciences offers several online undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs in a variety of medical fields. Online bachelor’s degree programs include diagnostic medical sonography, nursing, and radiologic sciences. Online master’s programs at Adventist University of Health Sciences include nursing administration and leadership, nursing education, healthcare administration, and strategy and innovation. Students can earn online certificates in vascular interventional radiography, magnetic resonance imaging, and computed tomography.
Online students at Adventist University of Health Sciences have access to several academic and technical resources. Support services available to distance learning students include library services, advising, and financial aid.
Seminole State College of Florida began offering classes in 1966 out of portable classrooms located in a former citrus grove. Today the school serves nearly 18,000 students and offers a variety of associate, bachelor’s, and certificate programs. Seminole State College of Florida offers courses through four academic schools: the School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, Health, and Public Service, the School of Engineering, Design, and Construction, and the School of Academic Foundations.
Seminole State College of Florida offers several online bachelor’s and associate degree programs, as well as several certificate programs. Seminole State College of Florida offers five online bachelor’s degree programs, in business and information management, construction, engineering technology, health sciences, and information systems technology. Students can choose between a variety of majors for an online associate of arts (AA) or associate of science (AS) degree. Seminole State College of Florida also offers 20+ online certificate programs, in fields including project management, accounting, marketing, criminal justice technology, and medical information coder.
Students enrolled in online programs at Seminole State College of Florida receive support from university faculty and staff to ensure their success as distance learners. Resources include online tutoring, academic help, and library services.
Bethune–Cookman University is a private, non–profit Historically Black College University (HBCU) affiliated with the United Methodist church. The school was founded in 1904 as the Daytona Literary and Industrial Training School for Negro Girls. Founder Mary McLeod Bethune, a black woman passionate about education, founded the school with $1.50 and five students. Today the school serves nearly 4,000 students and offers in–person and online bachelor’s and master’s degrees through nine colleges and schools: Business and Entrepreneurship, Education, Health Sciences, Hospitality Management, Liberal Arts, Nursing, Performing Arts and Communication, Religion, and Science, Engineering, and Mathematics.
Bethune–Cookman University offers several online undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as an online graduate certificate in Christian ministry. Online bachelor’s degree programs at Bethune–Cookman University include criminal justice, international studies, hospitality management, and accounting. Students looking to pursue an online master’s degree can choose from programs in criminal justice administration, Christian ministry, education, and organizational leadership.
Online students at Bethune–Cookman University receive resources and support in their distance learning coursework. Help includes academic advising, financial aid, and library services.
Founded as Warner Southern College in 1968 by Church of God pastors, Warner University began to go by its current name in 2008. The private, non–profit, Church of God–affiliated university serves just over 1,000 students. Warner University offers associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs, as well as a variety of professional and academic certificates. The school offers both on–campus and online courses and programs, serving the needs of students across Florida and the world.
Warner University offers several online undergraduate degree programs that offer students convenience and flexibility as they pursue their academic and professional goals. Online bachelor’s programs offered by Warner University include business administration, Christian ministry, and education studies. Online associate programs include Christian ministry and general studies.
Students enrolled in Warner University’s online degree programs have access to resources to enhance their university experiences. Available resources include use of the campus bookstore, library services, academic advising, and financial aid.
Palm Beach Atlantic University was founded in 1968 as a Christian liberal arts university. An interdenominational Christian institute, Palm Beach Atlantic University delivers academic opportunities and instruction based on the Christian faith and worldview. Palm Beach Atlantic University serves nearly 4,000 students through seven schools: the School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Communication and Media, the School of Ministry, the Rinker School of Business, the School of Education and Behavioral Studies, the School of Music and Fine Arts, and the School of Nursing.
Palm Beach Atlantic University offers several online degree programs so that students can access their programs from anywhere in the world. Students enrolled in Palm Beach Atlantic University’s distance learning programs receive the same diplomas as traditional, on–campus students. Online bachelor’s degree programs at Palm Beach Atlantic University include ministry, nursing, organizational leadership, and psychology. Students can also earn an online master’s degree in leadership.
Palm Beach Atlantic University has an office dedicated to supporting faculty and staff as they work with online students, the Office of Online Learning. Online students at Palm Beach Atlantic University receive academic and technical help, including library services, academic advising, and IT support.
University of Miami was founded in 1925 by a group of citizens who believed an institution of higher learning would help the development of their growing community. The school persevered through regional economic troubles and a major hurricane, and now serves nearly 17,000 students. University of Miami has 11 schools and colleges—the School of Architecture, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Business School, the School of Communication, the School of Education and Human Development, the College of Engineering, the School of Law, the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, the Miller School of Medicine, the Frost School of Music, the School of Nursing and Health Studies, and the Graduate School—that offer a wide variety of experiences to students, both in–person and online.
University of Miami offers a variety of online master’s programs through its online platform, UOnline. UOnline degrees are taught 100% online, allowing students to pursue their educational goals without compromising their commitments and busy schedules. Online master’s programs include business administration, finance, professional accounting, sport administration, public administration, and health informatics.
Online students at University of Miami receive the same degrees, instruction, and support as on–campus students. Resources for online students include academic advising, 24/7 support, and career coaching.
St. Thomas University was founded in 1961 as Biscayne College. Founded by Augustinian friars, the school is a private, non–profit, Catholic institution that serves nearly 5,000 students. St. Thomas University offers its courses and degrees through six colleges: Biscayne College, the School of Leadership, Education, and Communication, the School of Business, the School of Law, the School of Science, and the School of Theology. St. Thomas University offers in–person and online learning opportunities that allow students to earn bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and certificate programs while learning from a Catholic worldview.
St. Thomas University offers a variety of 100% online programs meant to help students achieve their academic and professional goals. Designed with both structure and flexibility in mind, the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs available through St. Thomas University Online allow students to earn degrees on their own schedule. Students can earn an online bachelor’s degree in nursing, as well as online master’s degrees in business administration and educational leadership. Students can also pursue online doctoral studies in leadership and innovation.
St. Thomas University Online provides several student services to those enrolled in distance learning programs. Resources include financial aid, scholarships, library access, and technology services.
Online Colleges in Florida Ranking Guidelines
We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.
Employment in Florida
The top industries in Florida include tourism, aviation and aeronautics, and financial services. The tourism sector in Florida has experienced challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, but is still a major employer in the state. Florida is also home to nearly 2,000 aerospace and aviation establishments, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 5% growth in employment for airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers from 2019-2029.
Florida has the third-largest number of insurance and banking institutions in the country, including the headquarters of 15 global banks. According to the BLS, financial managers are projected to see 15% growth in employment nationwide from 2019-2029.
The cost of living in Florida slightly exceeds the national average, in large part due to high transportation and housing costs. Unemployment rates in Florida have fluctuated dramatically in 2020; in May, unemployment was nearly 14%, while it was 6.5% in October.
Below, you'll find salary rates for the highest paying careers available to individuals with a bachelor's degree in Florida. The careers selected each employ more than 1,000 people in the state of Florida. Salary rates are specific to Florida, while the job growth projections represent the nation as a whole.
|Career||Annual Mean Salary (2019)||Projected Job Growth (2019-2029)|
|Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers||$226,930||↑↑|
|Computer and Information Systems Managers||$138,400||↑↑↑|
|Architectural and Engineering Managers||$135,990||↑|
|Computer and Information Research Scientists||$127,140||↑↑↑|
↑ as fast as average
↑↑ faster than average
↑↑↑ much faster than average
Online Associate and Graduate Degrees
Online degrees often mirror their on-campus counterparts. Students complete the same course requirements, although individual classes may vary in presentation. Online programs may include asynchronous and synchronous components, depending on the school and area of study. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many on-campus programs have transitioned online, expanding options for online learners.
Online learners can earn associate degrees from community and state colleges and universities in Florida. For example, the Florida College System includes 28 community and state colleges across 72 campuses. At Daytona State College, students can complete an associate of arts or an associate degree entirely online. Those degrees also meet the requirements to transfer to a bachelor's program at a four-year institution.
Florida students can also earn online graduate degrees. For example, the University of Florida (UF) offers a master's in business administration, while Florida State University (FSU) offers an online graduate degree in criminology. Students can also earn an accelerated online MBA from UF in as few as 16 months if they already hold an undergraduate degree in business.
Frequently Asked Questions
UF Online is the number one online college in Florida. UF is part of the State University System of Florida, offering nearly 200 online programs.
The best colleges in Florida offer both online and on-campus programs to support undergraduate and graduate students worldwide. Among the best universities in Florida in 2021 are UF Online, UCF, and the University of Southern Florida.
Many colleges and universities in Florida offer online undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as certificate programs.
The hardest university to get into in Florida is the University of Miami. Other hard-to-get-into schools in Florida include UF and Florida Memorial University.
Recipients of the Bright Futures scholarships may receive free tuition in Florida if they meet the requirements of the award. The lottery-based scholarship is awarded to students who graduate from Florida high schools. Award categories include the academic, medallion, Gold Seal CAPE, and Gold Seal vocational scholarships.
Colleges in South Florida include Florida National University, the University of Miami, Florida Atlantic University, Florida Gulf Coast University, and South Florida State College.
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