Massachusetts is home to some of the best universities and colleges in the world, making finding a quality online college in this state relatively easy. Massachusetts has been the site of countless defining moments in American history, from the settlement of the Plymouth colony, to the Boston Tea Party, to the abolition of slavery. Massachusetts has stood at the forefront of America’s political, economic, and cultural curves since the country’s beginning. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that this New England state is also at the forefront of America’s educational evolution.
Eight schools rank among the best in the state for their online degree offerings. One of those, Boston University, is even ranked as one of the best universities in the world. Each of these top schools can provide an excellent online education for those looking to advance in their careers. Whether you are seeking a certificate, an associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s or even a doctoral degree online, we’ve got you covered.
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 Massachusetts:
We selected the online colleges and universities here based on the quality of their programs, types of courses and degrees offered, faculty strengths, as well as school awards, rankings, and reputation, including a strong reputation for online degree programs.
Note: In ranking the best online colleges in Massachusetts, giving attention to the variety of degree programs available at the institutions is of utmost importance. For this reason, a more prestigious school in Massachusetts 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 Massachusetts.
- See who ranks as the best college and university in Massachusetts today.
- University of Massachusetts, UMass Online,Boston University, and Northeastern University rank among the 100 Best Online Colleges for 2017.
- Harvard, MIT, and Boston University rank among The 100 Best Universities in the World.
The Best Online Colleges in Massachusetts
UMass Online is part of the University of Massachusetts system of universities. It first launched in 2001 to meet the growing demand for distance education and has remained one of the top online universities nationwide. The online classes provided through this university originate from all of the other University of Massachusetts campuses and, by extension, the degrees that students receive are the same as the degrees traditional students receive.
UMass Online offers more than 140 associate, baccalaureate, master, doctoral and certificate programs. Associate’s degrees include information technology. Bachelor’s degrees include journalism and global affairs. Master’s degree options include vision studies and family therapy. Doctoral degree offerings include nursing, while certifications available include clinical pathology and forensic criminology.
Online student resources include academic advising, 24/7 technical support and an extensive online library.
UMass Online is regionally accredited by The Middle States Commission of Higher Education (MSCHE).
Boston University, a private research university, began as a Bible school which became a university back in 1869. The Christian aspect of the university was limited to the theological department due to a provision that did not discriminate against faculty and students because of religion, color or sex. The university has over 30,000 students.
Boston University offers master’s, doctoral and certificate programs online. Online master’s degrees include computer information systems. Online doctoral degrees include music education and occupational therapy. Online certification options include web application development.
Online student resources include career services live chat, an online job board and a massive online library comprised of the university’s 23 libraries.
Boston University is regionally accredited by The Middle States Commission of Higher Education (MSCHE).
Northeastern University, originally an all-male institution founded in 1898, offers more than 125 degree programs across 65 academic departments. The university also features a study abroad program to several countries around the world, including France, South Africa, Japan and even Antarctica. The university has one of the largest internship programs in the world. Co-op and internship opportunities include positions with fast-moving startups, Fortune 500 companies and several government institutions.
Northeastern University offers a wide variety of baccalaureate, master’s and certificate programs entirely online. Online bachelor’s degree programs include liberal studies, operational technology and technical communication. Online master’s degree programs include nutrition, criminal justice and homeland security. Certifications available online include global studies, health management and forensic accounting.
Resources for online students include online tutoring in writing, math, reading, chemistry, business, and biology. The online library has librarians available via live chat 24/7.
Northeastern University is regionally accredited by The Middle States Commission of Higher Education (MSCHE).
Educational reformer and politician Horace Mann established Westfield State University in 1838. It was the first public university that admitted students no matter their race, sex, religion or economic status. Mann was the Secretary of the Board of Higher Education at the time and made it his mission to bring the successful Normal School model to America in an effort to better train and educate teachers. From his efforts sprung Westfield Normal School, which grew into what is now a university with 5,500 students and more than 30 programs of study.
Westfield State University offers a variety of bachelor’s degree completion programs online through its PLATO platform, including sociology, history and criminal justice.
Resources available to online students include the Ely Library. The library includes librarian live chat and allows access to downloadable assistive software, as well as a plethora of online databases.
Westfield State University is regionally accredited by The Middle States Commission of Higher Education (MSCHE).
Fitchburg State University, founded in 1894, began as a women-only secondary education school. It became a coeducational institution in 1911 and gained the ability to confer bachelor’s degrees in 1930. The school kept education as its primary focus until the 1960s, when it began adding new degree programs. This propelled it into the college world and ultimately helped it become a university in 2010. The school teaches more than 5,000 students and offers majors across 25 academic disciplines.
Fitchburg State University offers several online baccalaureate, master’s and certificate programs. Online bachelor’s degree programs include nursing and business administration. Online master’s degree programs include special education and forensic nursing. Online certifications include web development and behavior analysis.
Resources available to online students include academic advising via instant messenger, career services, disability services, an online job board, counseling and an online library with librarian live chat.
Fitchburg State University is regionally accredited by The Middle States Commission of Higher Education (MSCHE).
Lesley University, a private university, came about after Lesley College and the Art Institute of Boston merged in 1998. It also marked when Lesley College became a coeducational institution. The university now has over 9,000 students and offers more than 110 degree programs across four academic colleges.
Lesley University offers a number of baccalaureate, master’s and certification programs online. Bachelor’s degree programs include human services and psychology. Master’s degree programs include educational technology as well as curriculum and instruction. Certifications available include emerging technologies and TESOL.
Resources available to online students include an online library with librarian live chat and access to a plethora of online ebook, scholarly article and academic journal databases.
Lesley University is regionally accredited by The Middle States Commission of Higher Education (MSCHE).
Anna Maria College is a Catholic liberal arts college affiliated with the Sisters of Saint Anne. Founded in 1946, the college has over 1500 students in attendance and offers more than 55 degree programs spanning 6 academic schools. The college combines education and career preparation to prepare students for the working world. Some of the college’s most popular majors include social work, fire science, music therapy, nursing, sports management and criminal justice.
Anna Maria College offers a number of online baccalaureate and master’s degrees. Online bachelor’s degrees include fire science and nursing, while online master’s degrees include business administration as well as instructional design and technology.
Online student resources include technical support and an online library with a wide variety of electronic databases.
Anna Maria College is regionally accredited by The Middle States Commission of Higher Education (MSCHE).
Myron and Edmund Fisher established Fisher College, a private, nonprofit college, in 1903. The brothers believed immigrants should be able to move past unskilled labor positions and felt making education accessible to them was the way to help them. The college gained the ability to grant degrees in 1957 and gained full accreditation in 1970. The university has over 2,500 students and offers more than 30 degree programs.
Fisher College awards several online associate, baccalaureate and certificate programs. Online associate’s degree programs include criminal justice and psychology. Online bachelor’s degree programs include communication and human services. Online certifications include medical coding.
Resources available to online students include accessibility services, an online job board and an online library with a variety of online databases pertaining to many academic fields.
Fisher College is regionally accredited by The Middle States Commission of Higher Education (MSCHE).