Rural areas and long winters make choosing an online degree in Minnesota the perfect choice for many students. The northern-bound state of Minnesota joined the U.S. in 1858 and immediately made education one of its top priorities. The fact that education played such a central role in the early development of the state may well account for the array of evidence suggesting that Minnesota is among the best educated and most literate states in the U.S. In fact, in 2012, it ranked number one in its region for overall college enrollment rates.
Students looking to advance in their career may choose an online education to stay competitive, and choices for online colleges in Minnesota abound. The schools offer the flexibility of being able to work around your schedule, and some of the schools even offer accelerated 7-week terms that enable their students to obtain an online degree in the shortest amount of time possible. Minnesota has ten first-rate schools that rank tops in our Best Online Colleges in Minnesota list. If you are looking to earn a certificate, an associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, or even doctoral degree, 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 Minnesota:
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 Minnesota, giving attention to the variety of degree programs available at the institutions is of utmost importance. For this reason, a more prestigious school in Minnesota 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 Minnesota.
- See who ranks as the best college and university in Minnesota today.
- University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Concordia University-Saint Paul, and University of Minnesota Crookston rank among the 100 Best Online Colleges for 2017.
- The University of Minnesota ranks among The 100 Best Universities in the World.
The Best Online Colleges in Minnesota
(Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN)
The University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, a public, research university established in 1851, is the oldest campus in the University of Minnesota system and also the flagship institution. A land-grant, sea-grant and space-grant university, the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities enrolls 48,000 students across 19 schools and colleges. A member of the Association of American Universities, the school offers about 350 academic programs leading to a host of undergraduate and graduate degrees.
The university offers fully online programs as well as primarily online programs, with 80 percent of instruction online but short face-to-face course work required, and partially online or hybrid courses, with 50 percent to 80 percent of coursework available online.
Students can complete a variety of online certificate programs. Online students can earn 18 bachelor degrees completely online, such as those in applied health, tribal administration and governance, accounting, and entrepreneurship. Students also can pursue a handful of fully online master’s degrees in computer science, family education, maternal and child health, computer science, and electrical engineering. The University of Minnesota – Twin Cities also offers more than two dozen doctoral programs with primarily online coursework.
The university’s online students have access to tech support, the library resources, and financial aid, among other resources.
The University of Minnesota – Twin Cities is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
The University of Minnesota Crookston, originally the Northwest School of Agriculture, was established in 1905 alongside Minnesota’s experimental research farms with the purpose of teaching agriculture and homemaking. The university currently teaches over 1,800 students and offers more than 30 degree programs.
The University of Minnesota Crookston offers a number of baccalaureate and certificate programs online. Bachelor’s degree offerings include sports management, finance, health management and information technology management, while available certificates include finance, health informatics, taxation and manufacturing management.
Resources available to online students include technical support, an online job board, online job interview training, online occupational practice exams and an online library with a streaming video collection and access to a multitude of academic journals and scholarly article databases.
The University of Minnesota Crookston is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
(St. Paul, MN)
Concordia University-Saint Paul is part of the Concordia University system. Founded in 1893, it began as a high school affiliated with the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. It later expanded to offer two-year degrees in 1921, but the Great Depression nearly closed down the university for good. The years following World War II revitalized the university thanks to the G.I. Bill. The university teaches over 4,000 students within 4 academic colleges.
Concordia University-Saint Paul offers several associate, baccalaureate, master, doctoral and certificate programs entirely online. Associate’s degrees include general studies and early childhood education. Bachelor’s degrees include criminal justice and exercise science. Master’s degree options include family science and several topics in education. Doctoral degrees include education, while certifications available include forensic mental health.
Online student resources include an online job board, technical support, an online writing center and an online library.
Concordia University-Saint Paul is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Walden University is a for-profit university owned by Laureate Education, Inc. The university first opened its doors in 1970 in Naples, Florida and moved to the state of Minnesota when they allowed the university to grant Ph.Ds and Ed.Ds. The university launched the first fully online master’s degree program in education back in 1995 and now has more than 45,000 students in attendance and consists of 5 academic colleges.
Walden University offers numerous baccalaureate, master’s, doctoral, specialist and certificate programs entirely online. Bachelor’s degrees encompass everything from accounting to information technology. Master’s degree options include addiction counseling and emergency management. Doctoral degrees include criminal justice and information technology, while specialist degrees include educational technology and special education. Certifications available include digital marketing and homeland security.
Online student resources include a personal advisor, 24/7 technical support, online tutoring, career counseling, disability services and an online library.
Walden University is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
The College of St. Scholastica is a Roman Catholic college established in 1912. Once the city of Duluth was settled, Mother Scholastica Kurst arrived in 1892 with 28 other missionaries to establish a Catholic academy. The school transformed from a high school into a college in 1912 and began granting four-year degrees in 1924 with only 68 students. The college has over 4,000 students and 23,000 alumni.
The College of St. Scholastica offers several bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and certificate programs online. Online bachelor’s degrees include accounting and nursing. Online master’s degrees include management and business administration. Doctoral degree offerings include nursing, while certification options include teaching.
Resources available to online students include an online job board, writing assistance via email and an online library with librarians available via email, text message and over the phone.
The College of St. Scholastica is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Minnesota State University Mankato got its start as the Mankato Normal School in 1868. It is the second-oldest university in the state’s university system. Its transition to a comprehensive university began in 1957 alongside a boom in enrollment. The school expanded beyond teacher training to cater to the influx of new students. The school provides over 220 degree programs in total, spanning eight academic colleges.
Minnesota State University Mankato offers a wide range of baccalaureate, master’s, licensure and certificate programs completely online. Bachelor’s degree options include dental hygiene and technical communication. Master’s degree offerings include forensics and educational technology. Licensure and certificate programs available include library media education, ESL, ethnic studies and corrections leadership.
Online student resources include an online job board and an online library with document delivery services, 24/7 librarian live chat and access to numerous academic databases.
Minnesota State University Mankato is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Bemidji State University, founded in 1919, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System. The university has over 6,000 students in attendance and over 65 majors available.
Bemidji State University’s online baccalaureate degrees, which include biology and criminal justice, are also available in a 2+2 format for those transferring from a two-year institution or those who wish to finish their four-year degree with BSU online rather than with traditional classes. The university also offers master’s degrees in teaching and business administration and certificates in camp nursing and online teaching.
Resources for online students include online tutoring, disability services, technical support and an online library with document delivery services.
Bemidji State University is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Minnesota State University Moorhead, founded in 1888, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges Universities System. The school trained aviation students during World War II. Enrollment ballooned after the war, causing the university to expand and diversify its degree offerings. The Moorhead campus serves over 8,000 students and offers nearly 100 degree programs.
Minnesota State University Moorhead offers several baccalaureate, master, specialist and certificate programs online. Bachelor’s degrees include business and nursing. Master’s degree options include education and healthcare. Specialist degree offerings include educational leadership, while certifications available include counseling and nursing.
Online student resources include an online library with librarian live chat, a mobile-friendly version of the library’s website and access to countless academic databases.
Minnesota State University Moorhead is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
(St. Cloud, MN)
St. Cloud State University, founded in 1869, is among the largest universities in the state’s university system. It has close to 20,000 students in attendance and more than 200 academic programs spanning 6 academic colleges and schools.
St. Cloud State University offers a number of associate, baccalaureate, master and certificate programs online. Associate’s degrees include individual studies and liberal arts. Bachelor’s degrees include philosophy and economics. Master’s degrees include TESL and applied behavior analysis. Certifications available include instructional technology and land surveying.
Resources for online students include online tutoring, online test proctoring, an online job board, technical support and an online library with librarian live chat and access to a wide variety of videos, books and academic journal articles.
St. Cloud State University is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
(St. Paul, MN)
Metropolitan State University, established in 1971, was designed with nontraditional students in mind. It offers more than 60 degree programs spanning 7 academic schools and colleges, with over 11,000 students in attendance. Unique to the university is its “engaged courses” which involve community-based projects and interactions alongside traditional instruction. For example, a course on a specific kind of art may see students visiting art museums throughout the semester, rather than simply reading about artists in a textbook alone.
Metropolitan State University offers a variety of completely online baccalaureate, master’s and certificate programs. Online bachelor’s degrees include finance, law enforcement and industrial management. Online master’s degrees include business administration, nonprofit management and management information systems. Online certifications include database administration, healthcare information technology management, and information assurance.
Online student resources include an online library with access to librarians via email, live chat or over the phone.
Metropolitan State University is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
(St. Bonifacius, MN)
Crown College is a private Christian university founded in 1916. It began as a bible school and essentially snowballed into a full-fledged college in 1992. The college offers more than 35 degree programs and teaches more than 1,200 students.
Crown College offers a number of online associate’s, baccalaureate and master’s programs. Online associate’s degrees include business and general studies. Online bachelor’s degrees include psychology and emergency management. Online master’s degree programs include organizational leadership and business administration.
Resources available to online students include an online job board, technical support over the phone and an online library with access to a wide variety of EBSCO research databases and librarians available 6 days a week via email or over the phone.
Crown College is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC).