More students than ever before are turning to online education for college degrees and certificates. Working professionals can earn a degree without having to give up their jobs, and parents can pursue a college education without having to leave their homes. In addition, distance learning provides students with all the academic benefits of a traditional college experience. Transcripts and diplomas usually do not distinguish between online and on-campus courses, and online programs follow the same curricula as in-person programs. Distance learners also save money on room, board, and other campus fees.
Although Idahoans can take distance learning courses at any online school in the U.S., enrolling at a university or college close to home allows students to visit campus, access on-site student services, and participate in college community events. There aren't as many online schools in Idaho as in larger states, but there are still many distance learning options. Due to the religious landscape of the state, there are several Christian online colleges in Idaho. In addition to scripture-based education, students at these schools can obtain online degrees in subjects like marriage and family studies, Christian ministry, spiritual leadership, and theology.
Four reasons to find an online college in your state:
- Guaranteed in-state tuition saves you money
- Be a part of a university or college you know and love
- Get a degree from a school employers know and trust
- Be close enough to easily visit when desired
Ranking guidelines for the best online colleges in Idaho:
Note: In ranking the best online colleges in Idaho, giving attention to the variety of degree programs available at the institutions is of utmost importance. For this reason, a more prestigious school in Idaho may offer one, or a few online degrees, but that may not be enough for that school rank highly among the best online colleges in the state. In this ranking, we are dedicated to showing who's leading the way in delivering quality online degree programs in Idaho.
The Best Online Colleges in Idaho
1. University of Idaho
The University of Idaho, founded in 1889, is a land-grant and space-grant university. It was Idaho's sole university for over 70 years, including one of the few accredited law schools in the state. The University of Idaho has 10 academic colleges, over 11,000 students and offers more than 300 degree programs.
The University of Idaho favors blended degree programs over completely online degree programs. Online baccalaureate degrees include technical education and computer engineering. Master's degree options include civil engineering and electrical engineering. Doctoral degree offerings include athletic training and natural resources.
Resources for online students include disability services, online job board, technical support and an online library with librarian live chat, map database, scholarly article database and much more.
The University of Idaho is regionally accredited by The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
See some of The University of Idaho's top rankings on TBS
- The 19 Best Online Master's in Civil Engineering Programs
- The 40 Best Online Master's in Coaching Programs
- The 25 Best Online Master's in Electrical Engineering Programs
2. Northwest Nazarene University
Northwest Nazarene University is a Christian liberal arts university established in 1913. It is the first Nazarene school to obtain accreditation of any kind and offers more than 70 degree programs, has 2 academic colleges and enrolls over 2,000 students. It is one of 8 Nazarene colleges in America and receives financial assistance from the Nazarene churches in its region. This includes churches in Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
Northwest Nazarene University offers a variety of associate's, baccalaureate, master's and doctoral programs online. Online associate's degrees include liberal studies and business administration. Online bachelor's degrees include nursing and liberal studies. Online master's degree programs include nursing and education, while online doctoral offerings include multiple topics in education.
Online students have access to resources such as online test proctoring, information technology services and an online library with librarian live chat and access to scholarly article and media databases.
Northwest Nazarene University is regionally accredited by The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
See some of Northwest Nazarene University's top rankings on TBS
- The 20 Best Online Doctorate in Educational Leadership Degree Programs
- The 50 Best Online Bachelor's in Liberal Arts Programs
3. Brigham Young University - Idaho
Brigham Young University Idaho, also known as BYU-Idaho, is a private Christian university founded in 1888 and has been a four-year institution since 2001. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints owns and operates the university.
Students are required to adhere to an honor code which includes a dress code, abstinence and forbidding both drugs and alcohol. The university has 6 academic colleges, offers more than 80 degree programs and serves over 15,000 students. It also has sister colleges in Utah and Hawaii.
BYU-Idaho has many associate's, baccalaureate and certificate programs available online. Associate's degrees include web design and family history research. Baccalaureate degree options include nursing and software engineering. Certificates available include accounting and web media.
Online student resources include a university-wide online support center with Skype chat, online tutoring, online technical support, online degree advising and an online library with access to a number of online academic journals and video, music, essay and eBook databases.
BYU-Idaho is regionally accredited by The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
See some of Brigham Young University Idaho's top rankings on TBS
- The Most Affordable Four-Year College in Idaho
- The 50 Most Affordable Online Four-Year Colleges
- 50 Private Colleges with the Best Return on Investment
- The 8 Best Online Bachelor's in Health Education Programs
4. Lewis-Clark State College
Renowned for its education, criminal justice, nursing and technical programs, the college has been around since 1893. It serves over 4,000 students and offers more than 80 degree programs in total. The college began as a teacher training school, but when World War II reared its head, the school expanded into nursing to help with the war effort. In 1951, the school closed but reopened in 1955 to alleviate the rising need for teachers once again. In 1971, the college finally became Lewis-Clark State College, the last institution in the country to move past being a normal school.
Lewis-Clark State College offers several associate's and baccalaureate degrees online. Associate's degrees include web design and nursing, while baccalaureate degree options include education and interdisciplinary studies.
Resources online students have access to include an online writing lab and an online library with access to a scholarly article database and librarian live chat.
Lewis-Clark State College is regionally accredited by The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
5. Boise State University
Boise State University first opened its doors in 1932, thanks to the Episcopal Church. It obtained the ability to award baccalaureate and master's degrees in 1965 and has grown into one of the largest universities in Idaho at 175 acres and approximately 20,000 students in attendance. The school now offers over 200 degree programs in more than 190 disciplines spanning 7 academic colleges.
Boise State University provides online baccalaureate, master and doctoral programs. Online baccalaureate degrees include nursing and imaging sciences. Online master's degree options include business administration and social work, while online doctoral degree offerings include nursing and educational technology.
Online student resources include online academic advising, undergraduate tutoring, an online writing center, disability services, technical support, health and wellness resources, career services, veteran's services and an online library with access to graduate, undergraduate and video databases.
Boise State University is regionally accredited by The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
See some of Boise State University's top ranking on TBS
The Most Affordable Colleges in Idaho
Brigham Young University-Idaho
Additional Online Colleges in Idaho Featured on TBS
College of Southern Idaho
Twin Falls, Idaho
New Saint Andrews College