Best Online Colleges in Louisiana

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Online colleges in Louisiana prepare graduates to join the workforce and advance their careers.

Louisiana is home to public universities like Louisiana State University (LSU) in Baton Rouge and the nine institutions within the University of Louisiana System, plus renowned private schools like Tulane University. Students in Louisiana can also attend a community or technical college.

Online colleges in Louisiana offer convenient, affordable pathways to earning a bachelor's degree. Many public universities in the state participate in LouisianaOnline, partnering up to offer online and hybrid degrees and courses.

Louisiana locals can earn an online degree to increase professional opportunities, change career paths, or fulfill a personal goal. Students outside of Louisiana may find unique degree options — especially those related to Louisiana's major industries. Our ranked list of online schools in Louisiana can help students make informed decisions when choosing an online college.

Top 10 Online Colleges in Louisiana 2020

#1 University of Louisiana at Monroe Monroe, LA
#2 Northwestern State University of Louisiana Natchitoches, LA
#3 McNeese State University Lake Charles, LA
#4 Nicholls State University Thibodaux, LA
#5 Louisiana Tech University Ruston, LA
#6 University of Louisiana at Lafayette Lafayette, LA
#7 Southeastern Louisiana University Hammond, LA
#8 Southern University and A&M College Baton Rouge, LA
#9 Louisiana State University of Alexandria Alexandria, LA
#10 Louisiana State University Shreveport Shreveport, LA

The Best Online Colleges in Louisiana

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Nicholls State University 

Thibodaux, LA Apply Now

About this school

Nicholls State University teaches over 6,000 students and offers more than 80 degree programs. The university is one of the first in America to offer a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts. Its online program, Nicholls Online, began in 2013. It offers its courses in 8–week terms.

Nicholls Online offers several associate, baccalaureate, master and certificate programs. Associate degrees include petroleum studies and science in safety technology. Bachelor’s degree options include history and sociology. Master’s degree offerings include education and nursing. Certifications available include business administration.

Resources available to Nicholls State University students include online counseling, technical support and an online library with information delivery services and access to a variety of academic databases online.


Louisiana Tech University 

Ruston, LA Apply Now

About this school

Renowned for its science and engineering programs, Louisiana Tech University is a space–grant university with over 9,000 students enrolled. NSA and the Department of Homeland Security recognize the university as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education and Research and a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education and Research, respectively.

Louisiana Tech University’s Global Campus offers an array of associate, baccalaureate, master and certificate programs online. Online associate degrees include general studies. Online bachelor’s degrees include health informatics. Online master’s degrees include engineering and English. Certification options available online include technical writing and information technology.

Online student resources include an online job board, online writing assistance via Skype and an online library with access to a wealth of databases, academic journals and much more.


University of Louisiana at Lafayette 

Lafayette, LA Apply Now

About this school

The University of Louisiana, Lafayette is one of the largest universities in Louisiana, boasting more than 17,000 students and over 100 academic programs. The university offered the first master’s degree in computer science in America and even launched Louisiana’s first student–built satellite.

The University of Louisiana, Lafayette offers several baccalaureate, master and certificate programs online. Online bachelor’s degrees include kinesiology and nursing. Online master’s degrees include education and systems technology. Online certifications available include professional writing and business administration.

Online student resources include 24/7 technical support over the phone, an online job board, 24/7 online tutoring for select subjects and courses and an online library with librarian live chat and access to several academic and government databases.


Southeastern Louisiana University 

Hammond, LA Apply Now

About this school

The third largest college in the state, Southeastern Louisiana University educates more than 15,000 students every year. Online students can enroll in individual classes or earn degrees. Some programs are available fully online, with others require some visits to the Hammond campus. Undergraduate options include general studies and family and consumer science. Graduate students can earn a master's degree in teaching young special education students. With an accelerated RN-to-BSN, an master's in nursing, and a doctor of nursing practice, SLU is one of the best online colleges in Louisiana for current and future nurses. Nurses can also earn postgraduate certificates online.

Prospective students may apply for fall, spring, or summer admission. Eligibility requirements include a minimum 2.35 GPA for undergraduates and a minimum 2.5 GPA for graduates. Applicants must also submit standardized test scores. Students may receive merit scholarships based on their GPAs and ACT scores.


Southern University and A&M College 

Baton Rouge, LA Apply Now

About this school

Based in Baton Rouge, Southern University and A&M College is part of a multi-school system dedicated to innovative research and accessible academics. Through Moodle, SU offers online programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Options include an associate of applied science in health information technology, a bachelor of science in psychology, an executive master's degree in criminal justice, and an executive master's degree in public administration.

Like other online schools in Louisiana, SU bases its tuition rates on residency status. All distance learners may apply for financial support, including departmental scholarships, awards for master's candidates, and grants for female students. Admission requirements include a minimum 2.0 GPA for undergraduates and a minimum 2.7 GPA for graduates. Prospective students must also submit standardized test scores. Learners over 25 years old are exempt from GPA and test requirements, but must take the COMPASS placement examination.


Louisiana State University of Alexandria 

Alexandria, LA Apply Now

About this school

Founded in 1959 as a small commuter college, Louisiana State University of Alexandria now offers 11 academic programs for distance learners. Online associate degrees provide students with the general education courses necessary to transfer into a four-year program. Alternatively, distance learners can opt for a full bachelor's curriculum, with options in business administration, psychology, criminal justice, and medical laboratory science. LSUA also offers an accelerated RN-to-BSN pathway that allows students to earn a degree in as little as 14 months.

Distance learners can apply for admission during the fall and summer semesters. Program candidates must hold a minimum 2.0 GPA and submit ACT or SAT scores. LSUA stands out among other online colleges in Louisiana for its remarkably low tuition rates. Out-of-state learners pay the in-state rate.


Louisiana State University Shreveport 

Shreveport, LA Apply Now

About this school

Louisiana State University Shreveport operates a robust distance education platform facilitated by Moodle. Bachelor's degree candidates can choose a program in marketing, mass communication, or management and administration. Undergraduates who want to create their own interdisciplinary major can pursue the general studies track. Graduate options include a master of business administration and a master of education in curriculum and instruction. Nine distinct tracks exist for online MBA students, including finance, nonprofit administration, human resource management, and entrepreneurship and family enterprise. Education students can choose a specialization in ESL or reading and literacy.

Admission requirements vary depending on program, but undergraduate candidates generally need a minimum 2.0 GPA and SAT/ACT scores. Graduate applicants must possess at least a 2.5 GPA. Distance learners pay different tuition rates based on degree level and specific program. LSUS offers entry dates in May, July, August, and October.


University of New Orleans 

New Orleans , LA Apply Now

About this school

Founded in 1956, the University of New Orleans educates 8,000 students annually. Students can pursue a hybrid learning experience by combining traditional coursework with asynchronous remote classes. Alternately, learners can earn their degrees entirely online. UNO offers nine programs for distance learners, including undergraduate options in philosophy, interdisciplinary studies, and urban studies and planning. Graduate students can pick from English, transportation, engineering management, romance languages, and hospitality and tourism management. UNO is one of the few online colleges in Louisiana to offer a master of fine arts in creative writing. MFA students enjoy remote seminars, virtual workshops, and support from New Orleans' respected arts community.

Prospective learners can apply for fall, spring, or summer entry, with corresponding deadlines in August, December, and May. All applicants must submit relevant standardized test scores and possess a minimum 2.5 GPA. Distance learners enjoy low tuition rates and ample scholarship opportunities.


University of Holy Cross 

New Orleans , LA Apply Now

About this school

The University of Holy Cross is part of an eight-college nationwide network of Holy Cross schools. True to its mission of providing accessible and holistic education to persons of all backgrounds, UHC offers four online graduate degree programs through the Canvas learning platform. One notable option is the master of arts in Catholic theology, a hybrid program that combines asynchronous online coursework with traditional classes on the New Orleans campus.

Online graduate students may pursue a master of education in teaching and learning with concentration areas in religious education, ESL, and reading. The M.Ed. trains experienced educators to become teacher-leaders. Each program includes a capstone action research project in the student's area of interest.

Prospective students can apply for spring, summer, or fall admission. Respective deadlines are November, May, and July. Unlike other online schools in Louisiana, UHC does not charge tuition based on residency status. All distance learners pay the same rate.


End of list, bravo!

Ranking Methodology
Top Online Schools

Online Schools in Louisiana Ranking Guidelines

We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

Employment in Louisiana

In December 2020, the unemployment rate in Louisiana was 7.2%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) — down from 9.1% in July.

Key industries in Louisiana include agribusiness, energy, and manufacturing. The geography of Louisiana allows for a strong emphasis on coastal-oriented industries such as shipbuilding, dredging, and fishing and seafood capture. Easy access to the Gulf of Mexico means lots of engineering, managerial, and research jobs for residents of Louisiana as well.

Petroleum engineers in Louisiana are some of the top-paid workers in the state, and the BLS projects they will see 3% job growth between 2009-2029. Architectural and engineering managers, who earned annual mean salaries over $152,000 in 2029, are projected to experience similar gains.

The cost of living in Louisiana falls below the national average. With a cost of living index just under 87%, Louisiana offers residents more affordable housing, utilities, and health expenses than many states. The median price for a home in Louisiana is nearly $90,000 lower than the United States' average.

Below are some of the highest paying roles employing more than 1,000 individuals in Louisiana that do not require a first-professional degree, like a doctor of medicine or juris doctor. Salary information applies specifically to Louisiana, while job growth data pertains to the United States as a whole.

Highest Paying Careers in Louisiana
Career Annual Mean Salary (2019) Projected Job Growth (2019-2029) Education Required
Architectural and Engineering Managers $152,070 3% Bachelor's
Petroleum Engineers $132,000 3% Bachelor's
Industrial Production Managers $122,890 1% Bachelor's
General and Operations Managers $117,220 4% Bachelor's
Chemical Engineers $115,430 4% Bachelor's
Computer and Information Systems Managers $111,250 10% Bachelor's
Architectural and Engineering Managers $152,070 3% Bachelor's
Source: BLS

The following data reflects some of the highest paying roles employing more than 5,000 professionals in Louisiana. Salary figures apply specifically to Louisiana, while job growth data refers to the United States as a whole.

Common Careers in Louisiana
General and Operations Managers $117,220 4% Bachelor's
Financial Managers $108,890 15% Bachelor's
Postsecondary Teachers $76,980 9% Master's or Doctoral
>Petroleum Pump System Operators, Refinery Operators, and Gaugers $73,320 0% High School Diploma
First-Line Supervisors of Mechanics, Installers, and Repairers $69,000 3% High School Diploma
Source: BLS

Online Associate and Graduate Degrees

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many colleges and universities in Louisiana are incorporating more online components, creating opportunities for online learners who want to return to school but still work full time or have other time limitations. Some online courses and programs are asynchronous, providing more flexibility than traditional college study.

Online colleges in Louisiana offer nearly 170 associate degrees, certificates, and diplomas. Many online associate degrees prepare students to transfer to a bachelor's program, but two-year degrees can also lead directly to the workforce in some fields. For example, Baton Rouge Community College offers an online associate of science in criminal justice, and Sowela Technical Community College provides associate of applied science programs in business administration and culinary arts.

Online graduate program options in Louisiana include a master of business administration (MBA) from LSU and a master's degree in criminal justice from the University of Louisiana at Monroe. LSU's online MBA includes 36 credits of coursework, with options to specialize in data analytics, emerging technology, or healthcare management. The criminal justice graduate program at ULM requires 33 credits of coursework for individuals completing a thesis, while non-thesis students earn a 36-credit degree.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does LSU Offer Online Degrees?

LSU offers undergraduate and graduate degrees online. Students can explore degree options by career pathway, pursing fields like education, business, or healthcare. LSU also offers online continuing education programs.

How Do You Find Accredited Online Colleges in Louisiana?

Institution of higher education in Louisiana must provide information about accreditation status. Students can check the Council for Higher Education Accreditation website for lists of accredited institutions and programs.

What Is the Best College in Louisiana?

The best college in Louisiana is the school that best meets a student's academic, professional, and personal needs. Learners should individually assess what each school in Louisiana offers in terms of education, support, and post-graduation opportunities when choosing the best college or university for them.