Online colleges in Louisiana are the perfect choice for those busy adults looking to earn a certificate or degree. And, if you’re looking for a bargain on that education, it doesn’t get much better than Louisiana. The average in-state tuition per annum at a four-year college in Louisiana is substantially lower than the national average of $8,070.
Louisiana remains one of the most affordable states to live, work, and study. In fact, PayScale reports that even in metropolitan New Orleans, the cost of living ranks below the national average. For students who want to earn their college degree online, Louisiana offers diverse and respected schools that include technical colleges, research universities, and liberal arts institutions. Distance education often comes with financial incentives, such as discounted tuition prices on par with in-state rates or less. According to College Board, private schools in Louisiana charge students an annual tuition of $23,000, while students at public universities pay approximately $9,000. Online colleges in Louisiana also provide distinct scholarships and grants geared toward helping adult learners advance their careers.
In addition to cost effectiveness, students enjoy the scheduling flexibility online programs offer. Online classes often occur in asynchronous format through management platforms like Moodle or Canvas. This enables students to pursue their studies full time while also maintaining personal responsibilities like work and family life. Additionally, colleges and universities generally facilitate accelerated options for remote classes, which means that distance learners may obtain degrees faster than those on the traditional track. With adequate preparation, students can earn their online master of science in criminal justice or master of business administration in one year. Other popular degrees include nursing, psychology, healthcare management, information security, and education with general teacher preparation tracks and specializations. Online schools in Louisiana also offer unique academic programs, such as Catholic theology and transportation planning.
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 Louisiana:
Note: In ranking the best online colleges in Louisiana, giving attention to the variety of degree programs available at the institutions is of utmost importance. For this reason, a more prestigious school in Louisiana may offer one, or a few online degrees, but that may not be enough for that school to 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 Louisiana.
- See who ranks as the best college and university in Louisiana today.
- The University of Louisiana at Monroe ranks among the 100 Best Online Colleges for 2018.
The Best Online Colleges in Louisiana
1. University of Louisiana at Monroe
The University of Louisiana Monroe, founded in 1931 as Ouachita Parish Junior College, is among the largest universities in Louisiana with over 8,000 students in attendance. It granted its first doctoral degree in 1969, elevating it to its present status as a university. The university has five academic departments and offers over 40 majors to choose from, almost half of which are also available online.
The University of Louisiana Monroe offers a variety of associate’s, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees online. Associate’s degrees include general studies. Bachelor’s degrees include criminal justice and radiology. Master’s degree options include exercise science and counseling. Doctoral degree offerings include education as well as marriage and family therapy.
Resources available to online students include technical support, an online job board, online job interview training and an online library with access to a plethora of online databases.
University of Louisiana Monroe is regionally accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS).
2. Northwestern State University of Louisiana
Northwestern State University of Louisiana, founded in 1884, was the first university in the state to offer nursing and business degrees. It was also one of the first universities to join NASA’s JOVE program, in which students analyzed data and performed research for the Space Shuttle Colombia’s mission in 1996. The university offers more than 40 degree programs to its estimated 9,000 students.
Northwestern State University of Louisiana offers a number of associate’s, baccalaureate, master’s, doctoral, specialist and certificate programs entirely online. Associate’s degrees include general studies. Bachelor’s degrees include allied health and addiction studies. Master’s degree options include multiple topics in both education and nursing. Doctoral degree offerings include nursing, while specialist degrees include educational technology and educational leadership. Available certifications include TESOL and global security and intelligence.
Resources online students have access to include technical support, academic advising and an online library.
Northwestern State University of Louisiana is regionally accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS).
3. McNeese State University
Lake Charles, Louisiana
Founded in 1939, McNeese State University gets its name from John McNeese, a local teacher. The university offers its 8,000+ students more than 80 programs of study across its 8 academic colleges. The school was the first to offer a forensic chemistry program in all of Louisiana.
McNeese State University offers several online baccalaureate, master and certificate programs. Online bachelor’s degrees include criminal justice, psychology and sociology. Online master’s degrees include health and human performance. Online certifications include topics in nursing, education and psychology.
Resources available to online students include an online job board, technical support over the phone and an online library with librarian live chat and access to JSTOR, Academic Search Complete, Medline and other databases online.
McNeese State University is regionally accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS).
4. Nicholls State University
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’s 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.
Nicholls State University is regionally accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS).
5. Louisiana Tech University
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’s, baccalaureate, master and certificate programs online. Online associate’s 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.
Louisiana Tech University is regionally accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS).
6. University of Louisiana at Lafayette
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.
University of Louisiana Lafayette is regionally accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS).
7. Southeastern Louisiana University
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.
Southeastern Louisiana University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
8. Southern University and A & M College
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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.
Southern University and A&M College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
9. Louisiana State University – Alexandria
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 of Alexandria is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
10. Louisiana State University – Shreveport
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.
Louisiana State University Shreveport is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
11. University of New Orleans
New Orleans, Louisiana
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.
The University of New Orleans is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
12. University of Holy Cross
New Orleans, Louisiana
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.
The University of Holy Cross is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).