Maryland offers several online educational opportunities for students. The state promotes educational access and practical innovations, and the funding allotted to educational technology contributes to a diverse network of online programs. Online schools in MD offer hundreds of courses and degrees, ranging from liberal arts to business to healthcare, for both undergraduates and graduate students. With access to 35 accredited colleges that offer distance learning, learners can easily find a program that meets their needs. Maryland Online, a consortium of accredited colleges and universities that offer online certificates and degrees, is a helpful resource for students in their search for the right online college in Maryland.
There are many benefits to attending an online school in MD. Online degrees provide educational access for people living in remote areas, and flexible courses mean that students who work full time can still complete their coursework. Additionally, many online programs offer reduced tuition for students who live in-state. Maryland is part of the Academic Common Market through the Southern Regional Education Board, meaning that students living outside of Maryland in certain locations can pay in-state tuition at participating institutions. This enables learners to pursue their chosen programs at online colleges in Maryland without additional financial burdens. The state also has one of the highest populations of active-duty military and veteran service members. Online learning is a great option for students who may get deployed or need to relocate, and many programs offer specialized tuition discounts, scholarships, and support programs for service members.
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 Maryland:
Note: In ranking the best online colleges in Maryland, giving attention to the variety of degree programs available at the institutions is of utmost importance. For this reason, a more prestigious school in Maryland 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 Maryland.
- See who ranks as the best college and university in Maryland today.
- Johns Hopkins University and The University of Maryland rank among The 100 Best Universities in the World.
The Best Online Colleges in Maryland
1. University of Maryland – University College
The University of Maryland University College, established in 1947, teaches more than 90,000 students from around the world and offers over 120 academic programs, making it one of the world’s largest universities.
The University of Maryland University College offers a wide variety of bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and certificate programs online, with associate’s degrees available for military servicemen. Associate’s degrees include criminal justice. Baccalaureate degrees include laboratory management. Master’s degree options include digital forensics. Doctoral degree offerings include community college administration. Certifications available include computer networking.
Resources for online students include academic advising, disability accommodations, career services, writing center, free tutoring and mentoring, veterans’ services, live technical support and online library services.
The University of Maryland University College is regionally accredited by The Middle States Commission of Higher Education (MSCHE).
2. Towson University
Towson University was the first teacher training institution opened in Maryland, back in 1866. Today, it is among the largest public universities in Maryland and continues to produce much of the state’s teachers. The university has over 20,000 students and offers over 100 degree programs spanning 8 academic colleges.
Towson University offers several online baccalaureate, master’s and certificate programs. Online bachelor’s degrees include allied health, online master’s degrees include business and human resource development and certificates available online include security assessment management and interactive media design.
Online students have access to many resources, including live chat with an academic advisor, a career mentor database, on-demand job interview training, an online job board, anonymous online mental health screenings, online writing support and an online library with librarian live chat.
Towson University is regionally accredited by The Middle States Commission of Higher Education (MSCHE).
3. Stevenson University
Stevenson University, a private university, established in 1947 as Villa Julie College, began as an all-female training school for medical secretaries, a policy which no longer exists as of 1972. It became an accredited two-year college in 1962 and began awarding bachelor’s degrees in 1984. This career-oriented university has more than 4,000 students enrolled and offers 40 degree programs in a variety of subjects.
Stevenson University offers several baccalaureate and master’s degrees online through the College of Graduate and Professional Studies. Online bachelor’s degree programs include communication and criminal justice, while master’s degree programs include teaching and nursing.
Resources for online students include an online library with librarians available via live chat, text message, email, and over the phone.
Stevenson University is regionally accredited by The Middle States Commission of Higher Education (MSCHE).
4. University of Baltimore
The University of Baltimore, established in 1925, has over 6,000 students in attendance and contains 4 academic colleges. During the 1970s, the university acquired the Mount Vernon School of Law, Eastern College and the Baltimore College of Commerce. The university gained full accreditation in 1971. The state purchased the school in 1975. Until 2006, the university only offered upper-division classes and did not award undergraduate degrees.
The University of Baltimore offers a number of master’s degrees online. Programs of study include business administration and public administration.
Students have access to online resources including technical support over the phone, online career management tools, an online job board, a database containing information on industries and occupations and an online library with 24/7 librarian live chat.
The University of Baltimore is regionally accredited by The Middle States Commission of Higher Education (MSCHE).
5. Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins, one of the most prestigious online colleges in Maryland, offers an assortment of online degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. The school has programs in business, public health, international studies, medicine, and education. Unique online programs include global health planning and management, government analytics, molecular microbiology, regulatory science, and space systems engineering.
Johns Hopkins is well known for its medical programs, many of which the school offers entirely online, such as nursing education and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. Most programs are completed entirely online, while others use a hybrid format, which mixes campus and distance education courses. Online classes frequently mix synchronous and asynchronous content, with live virtual classroom sessions and independent work that students complete on their own schedules.
Johns Hopkins is regionally accredited from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
6. Capitol Technology University
Capitol, located in Laurel, is one of the top online schools in MD for technical and IT education. The college mainly offers graduate degrees online, with nine programs to choose from, including business administration, computer science, cyber analytics, and electrical engineering. Several of the school’s doctoral programs use a hybrid format that includes primarily online courses, with options including business analytics and decision sciences, cybersecurity, technology, and unmanned systems applications.
While Capitol offers no fully online bachelor’s programs, undergraduates can select from several programs that feature online components, such as business administration and information security. These degrees enable students to complete the final two years of the curriculum completely online, with blended course options available for the first two years. The school offers online courses in either an eight-week accelerated format or a slower-paced 16-week format.
Capitol is regionally accredited from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
7. University of Maryland – Baltimore
Founded in 1807, UMB is one of the top online colleges in Maryland for professional education. UMB’s School of Nursing and School of Pharmacy offer several fully online programs at the graduate level, including regulatory science, health services leadership and management, nursing informatics, and health science. For undergraduate nursing students, the school also offers an RN-to-BSN and an RN-to-MSN pathway.
While all these programs use a primarily online format, nursing and pharmacy students must visit campus for some clinical learning simulations, which helps build practical experience. UMB maintains clinical facilities at its main Baltimore campus and at the Universities in Shady Grove, making it easier for students to choose a location near their home. Courses typically use a mixture of synchronous and asynchronous delivery, with some live class meetings required.
UMB is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
8. Frostburg State University
FSU, based in the city of Frostburg, began its distance education program in 2003 with just a few online courses, eventually growing into one of the top online colleges in Maryland. Online programs include a bachelor’s in nursing and master’s programs in business administration, recreation and parks management, and nursing. Students can also pursue blended master’s programs in computer science and special education, which feature primarily online coursework, but include some campus sessions.
FSU offers the Summer Online Freshman Initiative (SOFI), a unique program that allows newly admitted students to complete introductory credits online before beginning full-time courses in the fall. SOFI enables new students to complete their degree faster and gradually transition into higher education.
FSU is regionally accredited from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
9. Notre Dame of Maryland University
Based in Baltimore, NDMU is a private Catholic college that ranks among the top Christian online schools in Maryland. This school offers seven online degrees, which includes undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs. Undergraduates can pursue degrees in business, liberal arts, and nursing, while graduate options include contemporary communication, gifted and talented education, and analytics.
NDMU also offers a doctorate in higher education leadership for changing populations, an innovative degree that focuses on education policy and demographic analysis. All programs use a fully online format, with no campus visits or residency sessions required. NDMU provides a variety of support services for online learners, including personal success coaches, who work with students to identify academic goals and strategies to achieve them. The school also provides technical support, tutoring services, access to a strong alumni network, and resources for online learning success.
NDMU is regionally accredited from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
10. Washington Adventist University
Takoma Park, Maryland
WAU, a private liberal arts college in Takoma Park, is one of the top Christian online colleges in Maryland. The school offers two fully online master’s programs: a master of business administration and a master of arts in public administration. Both programs feature a primarily asynchronous format that requires only a few scheduled class sessions, allowing students to complete weekly assignments on their own schedule.
The MBA program builds broad skills in the major areas of business, including accounting, management communication, corporate finance, and ethical leadership. While all courses occur online, WAU’s proximity to the District of Columbia leads to an assortment of internship opportunities and other experiential learning activities for business students. The public administration program trains students in public advocacy and public policy, preparing graduates to work with for-profit and nonprofit organizations. All degree candidates perform a professional practicum experience as part of the curriculum.
WAU is regionally accredited from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
11. McDaniel College
Located about 30 miles northwest of Baltimore in Westminster, McDaniel ranks among the top online colleges in Maryland for graduate students. The school offers four online master’s programs, which includes curriculum and instruction, gerontology, school librarianship, and teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL).
The curriculum and instruction degree prepares graduates to serve as educators in schools and colleges or in staff development positions with businesses and other organizations. The school librarianship degree trains students to become information specialists and instructional leaders, leading to library media specialist certification through the Maryland State Department of Education. The TESOL program trains candidates in language education and cross-cultural communication, meeting standards set by the Maryland Higher Education Commission. The interdisciplinary gerontology degree explores the aging process and strategies for improving quality of life for aging populations.
McDaniel is regionally accredited from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).