The Best Online Colleges in Virginia

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Virginia boasts a long, rich history of higher education. Founded in 1693, the College of William and Mary educated several early U.S. leaders, including Thomas Jefferson and George Washington.

Jefferson went on to establish the University of Virginia, and many other Virginia colleges honor the state's history.

Today, Virginia’s 124 degree–granting colleges and universities provide a wide range of opportunities, including numerous online programs. Government support for online learning starts in high school; the Virginia legislature requires all high school students to take at least one online course to graduate.

Many online colleges in Virginia, including the the state’s flagship schools, collaborate to offer innovative online programs through the Electronic Campus of Virginia. Community college students may take online courses through any of the 24 participating VCCS schools. Virginia also participates in the Southern Regional Education Board’s Electronic Campus, a cooperative effort that offers online courses to students throughout the southern U.S.

The result of these collaborative efforts is a flourishing system of online schools in Virginia. The federal government reports that in 2012, 35% of students enrolled in Virginia colleges and universities took some or all their courses online. According to the College Board, the average in–state tuition rate was $12,820, and the average out–of–state rate was $33,270.

Top Online Colleges in Virginia 2020

#1 Liberty University Online Lynchburg, VA
#2 Old Dominion University Norfolk, VA
#3 Regent University Virginia Beach, VA
#4 George Mason University Fairfax, VA
#5 Hampton University Hampton, VA
#6 Averett University Danville, VA
#7 Bluefield College Bluefield, VA

The Best Online Colleges in Virginia

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4

George Mason University 

Fairfax, VA

About this school

George Mason University, established in 1957, was a branch of the University of Virginia up until 1972. With 33,000 students enrolled, it is also one of the largest universities in the state. The university is named after the man who drafted the Virginia Declaration of Rights, the document upon which the Bill of Rights was based.

George Mason University, through Mason Online, offers online bachelor’s, master and certificate programs. Online bachelor’s degrees include cybersecurity, information technology and nursing. Online master’s degrees include biodefense, bioinformatics and conflict resolution. Available online certifications include behavior analysis, education leadership and assistive technology.

Online student resources include accessibility services, health services, an online writing lab and an online library with librarians available via live chat, email or over the phone.

5

Hampton University 

Hampton, VA

About this school

Hampton University is a historically black university established in 1868 to educate freedmen and Native Americans. The joint efforts of black and white leaders within the American Missionary Association helped to create the university. The university has more than 5,000 students and offers more than 80 programs of study.

Hampton University offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, specialist and certificate programs through its Hampton Online platform. Associate degrees include flight education and business management. Bachelor’s degrees include criminal justice and human resource management. Master’s degree options include information assurance. Doctoral degree offerings include nursing and business administration, while specialist degree offerings include counseling. Available certifications include entrepreneurship and paralegal studies.

Online student resources include technical support and an extensive online library.

6

Averett University 

Danville, VA

About this school

Averett University is a nonprofit Baptist university originally established in 1859 as a women’s college. The main campus features a flight school and an equestrian center. The university offers more than 30 programs of study and has more than 2,500 students.

Averett University offers online associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Online associate degrees include business, while online bachelor’s degrees include nursing and criminal justice. Online master’s degrees include human resource management, leadership and special education.

Resources available to online students include online academic support, an online student services center and an online library.

7

Bluefield College 

Bluefield, VA

About this school

The Baptist General Association of Virginia established Bluefield College, a Christian liberal arts college, in 1922. The college has more than 900 students and offers degree programs in many areas.

Bluefield College offers online bachelor’s, master’s and certificate programs. Online bachelor’s degree options include criminal justice, early childhood education and nursing. Online master’s degrees include education, while available online certifications include entrepreneurship and small business management.

Resources made available to online students include an online library with librarians available via email or over the phone.

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Ranking Methodology
Best Online Colleges

Online Colleges in Virginia Ranking Guidelines

We selected the online schools in Virginia based on the quality of their programs, types of courses and degrees offered, and faculty strengths, as well as school awards, rankings, and reputation, including a strong reputation for online degree programs.

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