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Are you ready to discover your college program?

All colleges on this list are the top-ranked schools in their state, making it easier for students to find a quality program near them.

Students who earn degrees from the best state schools qualify for high-paying and in-demand careers. This guide ranks the best college in each state based on our ranking methodology. This information can help individuals evaluate programs, but learners should also keep their own priorities in mind when considering institutions. Needing a specific concentration, for instance, may eliminate higher-ranking schools as options for some learners.

These rankings include public and private institutions with a variety of different degree options, concentrations, delivery methods, costs, and online program availability. Candidates should consider all of these details when looking for good colleges.

Our guide contains everything you need to know about the top colleges in each state, to answer the question: What are the top colleges and universities near me?

Featured Online Colleges

Best Colleges by State

University of Alabama true View School Profile Tuscaloosa, AL The University of Alabama is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Founded in 1831, the University of Alabama is a public research university that hosts nearly 30,000 students annually. Among the oldest universities in the U.S., the campus is home to several historical sites, including the Foster Auditorium, the Maxwell Observatory, and the President's Mansion. The university is also the flagship institution of the University of Alabama System. 

The university's online programs include undergraduate degrees in business, engineering, and human environmental sciences. Online graduate offerings include master's degrees in business administration and law, as well as doctoral degrees in education and nursing. The University of Alabama also provides professional certificates online.

Online learners have access to a writing center and online job recruiting.

University of Alaska Fairbanks true View School Profile Fairbanks, AK University of Alaska Fairbanks is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

Founded in 1917, the University of Alaska Fairbanks is a land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant institution. The university also contributes to Oregon State University's sun-grant program. Students can choose from over 190 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

The university offers a variety of bachelor's, master's, and associate degrees online, as well as several professional certificates and endorsements. Online bachelor's degree offerings include business, education, and psychology. Available master's degree programs include business and design. Students can also pursue associate degrees in liberal arts and accounting.

Online students have access to an online information directory, writing center, math lab, and two collections of video tutorials on how to use various computer programs. Students also have access to online library services, including academic journals and databases.

Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

Arizona State University - Tempe true View School Profile Tempe, AZ Arizona State University Online is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Arizona State University, established in 1885, provides more than 350 undergraduate and graduate programs through 16 schools and colleges. Hosting over 83,000 students annually, the school is among the nation's largest public universities. 

Arizona State University Online is one of the top online colleges in the country. The school offers bachelor's degrees in areas like anthropology and software engineering, in addition to a master's degree in biomedical diagnostics and a doctorate in behavioral health. Available online certificates include biospecimen repository administration and nuclear power generation.

Online students have access to online tutoring, library services, academic databases, career services, disability resources, online document storage, and software training.

Learning Commission (HLC).

University of Arkansas true View School Profile Fayetteville, AR The University of Arkansas is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

The University of Arkansas is a land-grant and space-grant research institution and the flagship campus of the University of Arkansas System. Established in 1871, the university has multiple historical sites on the campus grounds. The school hosts around 25,000 students annually through more than 200 degree programs. 

The University of Arkansas Global Campus provides online bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and certificate programs. Online bachelor's degrees include human resources and nursing. Available master's degrees include business administration, educational leadership, and agriculture, while online doctoral degrees include educational leadership and nursing. 

Online student resources include an online career development center, a library, a scholarly article database, a writing center, and an enhanced learning center.

Learning Commission (HLC).

California Baptist University-CBU Online true View School Profile Riverside, CA CBU Online is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

Founded in 1950, California Baptist University is a Christian liberal arts institution affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. The university hosts roughly 8,000 students annually and offers over 100 undergraduate and graduate programs. The university's library hosts the P. Boyd Smith Hymnology Collection, a massive, 2,100-volume work containing hymns spanning 300 years and over 20 languages.

California Baptist University offers more than 30 bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs online. Online bachelor's degree offerings include graphic design, criminal justice, liberal studies, and political science. Online master's degrees include accounting, business, communication, and disability studies. The university also offers an online doctoral program in public administration. 

California Baptist University's online student resources include an online library, a scholarly article database, and an online job board.

Colorado State University-Fort Collins View School Profile Fort Collins, CO Colorado State University - Fort Collins is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Colorado State University - Fort Collins is a land-grant university established in 1870. The flagship institution of the Colorado State University System, the school offers more than 50 academic departments and over 150 degree programs.

The school offers a variety of online bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and certificate programs. Online bachelor's degree offerings include economics, anthropology, and psychology. Online master's degrees include dietetics, engineering, and social work, while doctoral degree options include higher education leadership and organizational learning. 

Online students have access to an online library with a scholarly article database, a dissertation database, and an online writing center.

Quinnipiac University View School Profile Hamden, CT Quinnipiac University is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

Founded in 1929, Quinnipiac University gets its name from the Native American tribe that first inhabited the area. The school hosts over 9,000 students annually through eight academic colleges.

Quinnipiac University offers a variety of online undergraduate and graduate degrees. The school offers online bachelor's degrees in nursing and health science, while master's degree options include interactive media and business analytics. Doctoral program options include nursing and occupational therapy. Students can also earn online certificates in social media and special education.

Online students have access to technical support and online library resources. 

Wilmington University View School Profile New Castle, DE Delaware State University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Founded in 1968, Wilmington University is a private institution that hosts over 20,000 students annually. The school offers over 100 graduate and undergraduate degree programs, most of which are available online.

Wilmington University's College of Arts and Sciences offers an online bachelor's degree in literature, while the College of Business offers an online bachelor's degree in human resources, an online master's degree in homeland security, and an online doctoral degree in management information systems. The College of Education also offers online bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in education.

Students can also choose from online undergraduate and graduate programs from the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, the College of Health Professions, and the College of Technology.

Online students have access to tutoring, a job board, and a library with a searchable article database.

University of Florida View School Profile Gainesville, FL University of Florida - Online is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Founded in 1853, the University of Florida is a public sea-grant, land-grant, and space-grant institution and the state's oldest university. The school serves over 52,000 students annually, putting it among the top five largest universities in the state. The University of Florida offers more than 100 online programs through UF Online.

UF Online offers several bachelor's degree programs, including bachelor's degree-completion programs. The school also provides online master's degrees in areas such as international construction management, agronomy, aerospace engineering, special education, business administration, pharmaceutical sciences, and Latin. Additionally, UF Online offers online doctoral degrees in education, audiology, philosophy, nursing practice, and pharmaceuticals.

Online students have access to an online bookstore, an online library, a career resource center, and an online tuition payment system.

(SACSCOC).

Brenau University View School Profile Gainesville, GA Brenau University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Founded in 1878, Brenau University is a liberal arts institution that serves over 3,000 students annually, a third of whom are minorities. The university offers more than 70 degree programs, including a variety of online undergraduate and graduate degrees. 

Students can choose from an online associate degree in liberal studies, online bachelor's degrees in human resources and nursing, and online master's degrees in interior design and accounting. 

Online students have access to an online library with scholarly article databases, streaming video and audio services, online math and writing tutoring, and multiple online job boards.

of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

University of Hawaii at Manoa View School Profile Honolulu, HI University of Hawai'i at Mānoa is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

The University of Hawai'i Mānoa, founded in 1907, is a public research university and the flagship campus of the University of Hawai'i System. The university hosts over 19,000 students annually through more than 200 degree programs, including several online undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs.

The school offers online certificates in disability studies and online learning and teaching. Students can choose from several online bachelor's degrees in education. Master's degrees available online include library science and social work. Students can also pursue an online doctoral degree in nursing. 

Students have access to an online library with a scholarly article database, an online job board, and technical support.

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University of Idaho View School Profile Moscow, ID University of Idaho is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is a land-grant and space-grant institution that hosts 11,000 students annually though 10 academic colleges. 

The school offers a variety of hybrid programs, including bachelor's degrees in technical education and computer engineering, master's degrees in civil and electrical engineering, and doctoral degrees in athletic training and natural resources. 

Resources for online students include disability services, an online job board, technical support, and an online library.

University of Illinois at Chicago View School Profile Chicago, IL The University of Illinois at Chicago is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

The University of Illinois at Chicago is a public university established in 1982. The school hosts around 25,000 students annually through over 200 degree programs. 

Many of the University of Illinois at Chicago's online programs involve medicine. Students can pursue online bachelor's degrees in areas like business and nursing. Master's degree options include patient safety leadership and public health informatics, while doctoral degree offerings include public health in leadership. Learners can also pursue certificates in assistive technology and bioinformatics. 

Online students have access to an online job board and an online library with librarian live chat access and a scholarly article database.

Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Indiana University - Bloomington View School Profile Bloomington, IN Indiana University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Indiana University hosts more than 110,000 students annually through a variety of associate, baccalaureate, master's, doctoral, and certificate programs. 

The school offers online associate degrees in histotechnology and labor studies and online bachelor's degrees in areas like psychology and health sciences. Master's degree options include finance and music therapy. Students can also pursue an online doctoral degree in nursing. 

Online students have access to an online library with a librarian live chat and extensive online databases.

Upper Iowa University View School Profile Fayette, IA Upper Iowa University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Founded in 1854, Upper Iowa University is a private institution that hosts over 5,500 students annually through four academic colleges. Students can choose from a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs, including many online options. 

The school offers online associate degrees in liberal arts and business and online bachelor's degrees in areas like sociology and information technology. Master's degree offerings include education and public administration, while online certificate programs include marketing and organizational development.

Online students have access to disability services, online tutoring, writing assistance, and an online library.

Kansas State University View School Profile Manhattan, KS Kansas State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Founded in 1863, Kansas State University is a land-grant and space-grant institution that hosts over 20,000 students annually. The school is home to a number of research institutions, including the facility that created the laser used in LASIK eye surgery.

Kansas State University's Global Campus offers a variety of online baccalaureate, master's, doctoral, and certificate programs. The school offers bachelor's degrees in areas like animal science and dietetics and master's degrees in chemical engineering and food science. Students can also pursue an online doctoral degree in financial planning or certificates in areas like statistics and horticultural therapy.

Online students have access to technical support, academic advising, an online writing center, veterans' services, and stress management services. They can also access career and employment services, financial counseling, and an online library.

University of Louisville View School Profile Louisville, KY University of Louisville is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Founded in 1798, the University of Louisville is a public institution and a member of the Kentucky State University System. The university teaches more than 20,000 students annually and offers degrees in roughly 170 programs of study.

Students can choose from several online bachelor's, master's, and certificate programs. Bachelor's degree options include nursing and organizational leadership, while master's degree offerings include social work and special education. Students can also pursue online certificates in areas like data mining and information security.

Online student resources include disability services and an online library with access to multiple online journals and scholarly article databases.

University of Louisiana at Monroe View School Profile Monroe, LA University of Louisiana at Monroe is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Founded in 1931, the University of Louisiana Monroe is among the largest universities in Louisiana, hosting over 8,000 students annually. The university offers 40 undergraduate and graduate majors through five academic departments, including several online options. 

The school offers an online associate degree in general studies and online bachelor's degrees in areas like political science and radiology. Master's degree options include exercise science and counseling, while doctoral degree offerings include education and marriage and family therapy.

Resources available to online students include technical support, an online job board, online job interview training, and an online library.

St. Joseph's College of Maine View School Profile Standish, ME St. Joseph's College of Maine is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

St. Joseph's College of Maine is a Catholic liberal arts university established in 1912. Originally an all-female university, the school became a coeducational institution when it launched its online programs in 1976. About 2,400 of the school's students attend classes online.

St. Joseph's College of Maine offers several fully online associate, baccalaureate, master's, and certificate programs, including online associate degrees in business administration. Students can also pursue online bachelor's degrees in areas like human services and interdisciplinary studies and online master's degrees in areas like accounting and education. 

Online students have access to an academic advisor, online tutoring, technical support, and an online library with librarian live chat.

University of Maryland - University College View School Profile Adelphi, MD University of Maryland – University College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Established in 1947, the University of Maryland - University College hosts more than 90,000 students annually through 120 academic programs, making it one of the world's largest universities.

The school offers several online undergraduate and graduate programs, including an online associate degree in criminal justice and an online bachelor's degree in laboratory management. Students can also pursue an online master's degree in digital forensics and a doctoral degree in community college administration. The school also offers an online computer networking certificate program. 

Online students have access to academic advising, disability accommodations, career services, a writing center, free tutoring and mentoring, and online library services.

University of Massachusetts Amherst View School Profile Amherst, MA University of Massachusetts - Amherst is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

UMass Amherst is part of the University of Massachusetts System. The university's Isenberg School of Management offers some of the best online business degrees in the country. Students can pursue online bachelor's degrees in areas like accounting, finance, hospitality and tourism management, and marketing.

Students can also choose from online undergraduate and graduate degrees in areas like education, liberal arts and humanities, and computer and information technology. 

Online student resources include academic advising, 24/7 technical support, and an extensive online library.

Central Michigan University View School Profile Mount Pleasant, MI Central Michigan University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Central Michigan University, established in 1892, is among the country's largest public universities, hosting more than 25,000 students annually. Over 7,000 of the school's students attend classes online. 

Central Michigan University's Global Campus offers online bachelor's degrees in areas like political science and information technology and online master's degree programs in disciplines such as public administration and educational leadership. Students can also pursue online doctoral degrees in areas such as health administration and educational leadership.

Online students have access to an online job board, online writing and math tutoring, and an online library.

University of Minnesota at Twin Cities View School Profile Minneapolis, MN The University of Minnesota – Twin Cities is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

The University of Minnesota - Twin Cities is a public research institution established in 1851. The land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant university enrolls 48,000 students annually across 19 schools and colleges. 

The school offers 18 fully online bachelor's degrees in areas such as applied health, tribal administration and governance, accounting, and entrepreneurship. Students can also pursue fully online master's degrees in computer science, family education, maternal and child health, computer science, and electrical engineering. Additionally, the institution offers more than two dozen doctoral programs with primarily online coursework.

Online students have access to tech support, library resources, and financial aid opportunities. 

Mississippi State University View School Profile Mississippi State, MS Mississippi State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSOS).

Mississippi State University is a land-, sea-, and space-grant university founded in 1878. The Carnegie Foundation recognizes Mississippi State University as a research university with very high research activity. 

The school's Center for Distance Education offers online bachelor's degrees in elementary education, interdisciplinary studies, geosciences, and technology teacher education. The university also offers 20 online master's degrees in areas like engineering, forestry, business administration, and information systems. Students can also pursue an online doctoral degree in community college leadership or in one of several engineering specialties.

Online students have access to tech support, financial aid opportunities, online tutoring, and a bookstore. 

University of Missouri View School Profile Columbia, MO University of Missouri is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

The University of Missouri hosts more than 15,000 online students through Mizzou Online. Students can choose from a variety of fully online baccalaureate, master's, doctoral, and certificate programs. 

The school offers several online bachelor's degrees, including in radiography and early childhood education, plus online master's degrees in agroforestry and youth development. Students can also pursue an online doctoral degree in architectural studies or online certificates in areas like gerontology and financial planning.

Online students have access to technical support, online tutoring, an online writing lab, and an online library. 

Montana State University Billings View School Profile Billings, MT Montana State University - Billings is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

Montana State University - Billings hosts more than 4,900 students annually through diverse undergraduate and graduate programs. The university's online platform, MSUB Online, offers a variety of associate, bachelor's, master's, and certificate programs.

Students can pursue online associate degrees in areas like accounting and human resources and online bachelor's degrees in areas such as public relations and mass communication. Online master's degree offerings include special education and mental health counseling. Students can also pursue online certificates in medical coding and billing and long-term care. 

Resources for online students include technical support, an online alcohol abuse prevention course, an online job board, and an online library.

Creighton University View School Profile Omaha, NE Creighton University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Creighton University is a private Roman Catholic institution founded by the Society of Jesus in 1878. Today, the university hosts around 8,000 students annually through nine academic colleges.

Creighton University offers a variety of online baccalaureate, master's, doctoral, and certificate programs, including bachelor's degrees in areas like leadership and healthy lifestyles management. Online master's degrees include business administration and emergency medical services, while online doctoral degrees include healthcare ethics and educational leadership. Students can also pursue an online certificate in lifestyle medicine. 

Online student resources include online tutoring, technical support, and an online library.

University of Nevada-Las Vegas View School Profile Las Vegas, NV University of Nevada - Las Vegas is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

The University of Nevada - Las Vegas is a public research instituion that hosts over 25,000 students annually through more than 220 programs of study. 

The school offers several online bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and certificate programs. Students can pursue online bachelor's degrees in areas like public administration and social sciences and online master's degrees in disciplines such as hospitality and educational psychology. Online doctoral degree offerings include multiple topics in nursing, while available certificates include family nurse practitioner and nuclear criticality safety engineering.

Resources for online students include an online job board, technical support, online writing assistance through Skype, an online writing lab, and an extensive online library.

Southern New Hampshire University View School Profile Manchester, NH Southern New Hampshire University is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

Founded in 1932, Southern New Hampshire University began as a secretarial and accounting school. The university acquired its current name in 2001 when it began offering five new degree programs. Today, SNHU offers over 200 associate, bachelor's, master's, and certificate programs, including many online options.

The school offers online associate degrees in areas like business administration and information technologies and online bachelor's degrees in disciplines such as environmental science and fashion merchandising. Online master's degree offerings include creative writing and healthcare administration, while online certificates include international business and marketing.

Online students have access to a writing center, 24/7 tutoring, career counselors, a job board, academic advising, a wellness center, and an online library.

Rutgers University View School Profile New Brunswick, NJ Rutgers University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Rutgers was renamed in 1825 to honor Henry Rutgers, a colonel in the Revolutionary War. Today, the land-grant institution hosts over 40,000 students annually through 18 academic colleges.

Students can choose from a variety of online bachelor's and master's degrees. Online bachelor's degree options include business administration and labor and employment relations, while master's degrees include biomedical engineering, pharmaceutical engineering, language education, and governmental accounting.

Online students have access to an online job board, technical support, an online writing center, and an online library.

University of New Mexico View School Profile Albuquerque, NM University of New Mexico is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Established in 1889, the University of New Mexico is a public research institution and one of New Mexico's largest postsecondary institutions. The university hosts over 25,000 students annually through more than 200 undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs.

Students can choose from a variety of online bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and certificate programs. Online bachelor's degree programs include business administration and dental hygiene and online master's degree programs include several topics in both engineering and education. Students can also pursue an online doctoral degree in nursing and online certificates in educational leadership and instructional technology.

Resources for online students include technical support, an online job board, and several online libraries.

Rochester Institute of Technology-RIT Online View School Profile Rochester, NY Rochester Institute of Technology - RIT Online is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Founded in 1829, Rochester Institute of Technology hosts more than 16,000 students annually through nine colleges. The school offers a variety of fully online and blended degree programs.

Students can pursue online bachelor's degrees in areas like applied arts and sciences and applied technical leadership. They can also pursue online undergraduate certificates in health systems administration and integrated electronics. Additionally, the school offers more than 20 online master's degrees in fields like business administration, applied statistics, and data science. 

Online students have access to enrollment advising and academic support, career support, and library services.

East Carolina University View School Profile Greenville, NC East Carolina University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

East Carolina University is a sea-grant institution founded in 1907. The school hosts around 27,500 students annually, making it among the largest universities in the state. East Carolina University offers more than 200 undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs, including 80 online degree programs.

Students can pursue online bachelor's degree-completion programs in nine areas, such as business, communications, and nursing. Students can also choose from more than 20 online master's degrees in areas like computer science, nutrition, and environmental health. Additionally, the school offers over 30 online certificates and an online doctor of nursing practice. 

Online courses offer a mix of asynchronous and synchronous formats. Online students learn from the same faculty who teach on campus. 

University of North Dakota View School Profile Grand Forks, ND University of North Dakota is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

The University of North Dakota, founded six years before North Dakota became a state, is among the state's oldest and largest universities. The university has the only school of law and the only school of medicine in the state and hosts more than 14,000 students annually.

The University of North Dakota offers several online bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and certificate programs. Students can pursue online bachelor's degrees in areas like communications and engineering and online master's degrees in disciplines such as aviation and business administration. Online doctoral degrees include nursing and aerospace science, while online certificates include health administration and psychiatric nursing.

Online students have access to an online job board, live online technical support, writing assistance, an online library, and career services through Skype.

University of Cincinnati View School Profile Cincinnati, OH University of Cincinnati is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Founded in 1819, the University of Cincinnati is a space-grant institution that offers over 350 programs of study. The university introduced cooperative education in 1906, and the successful system became a graduation requirement in many of the university's 14 academic departments. 

The University of Cincinnati offers many online associate, bachelor's, master's, and certificate programs through UC Online. Online associate degrees include health information systems technology and fire service technology. Online bachelor's degree options include sign language interpretation and respiratory therapy, while online master's degree offerings include teaching English to speakers of other languages and health information management. Students can also pursue online certificates in areas like behavioral analysis and animal audiology.

Online student resources include academic advising, online exam proctoring, online tutoring, an online writing lab, and an extensive online library.

University of Oklahoma-Norman View School Profile Norman, OK University of Oklahoma - Norman is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Established in 1890, the University of Oklahoma is a space-grant institution that hosts over 30,000 students annually through more than 380 undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs. 

The University of Oklahoma's College of Liberal Studies provides several online bachelor's and master's degrees. Students can pursue online bachelor's degrees in areas like lifespan care administration and world cultural studies. They can also pursue online master's degrees in disciplines such as museum studies and prevention science.

Resources for online students include academic advising and an online library.

Oregon State University View School Profile Corvallis, OR Oregon State University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

Oregon State University is a land-grant, sea-grant, space-grant, and sun-grant institution founded in 1868. The university hosts over 30,000 students annually through more than 200 programs of study, 30 of which are available online.

Oregon State University offers online bachelor's degrees in areas like agriculture and political science and online master's degrees in disciplines like natural resources, environmental sciences, and data analytics. Students can also pursue online certificates in areas such as geographic information science and public health.

Resources for online students include online career seminars and an online library.

Pennsylvania State University - World Campus View School Profile University Park, PA The Penn State World Campus is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission of Higher Education (MSCHE).

The Penn State World Campus, which officially launched in 1998, offers more than 120 programs of study to over 6,000 students annually. 

Students can pursue online associate degrees in areas such as business administration and information sciences and technology, plus online bachelor's degrees in disciplines like international politics and nursing. The school also offers online master's degrees in areas like adult education and data analytics and online doctoral degrees in nursing. Available online certificates include bioenergy and financial planning.

Online student resources include academic advising, career counseling, technical support, and an online library.

Roger Williams University View School Profile Bristol, RI Roger Williams University is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

Roger Williams University is a private liberal arts institution founded in 1956. The university was named for one of the state's founders, Roger Williams, who was among the first abolitionists in North America. The school hosts more than 3,500 students annually through five academic schools.

Roger Williams University offers online baccalaureate degrees and certificate programs through the School of Continuing Studies. Online bachelor's degree offerings include community development, social science, industrial technology, and healthcare administration, while online certificates include case management, digital forensics, municipal management, and school nursing.

Resources available to online students include academic advising, career services, accessibility services, and an online library.

University of South Carolina-Columbia View School Profile Columbia, SC The University of South Carolina is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Founded in 1801, the University of South Carolina is home to one of the largest collections of Scottish literature outside of Scotland and one of the largest Ernest Hemingway collections in the world. The university hosts roughly 50,000 students annually through more than 350 programs of study, 

The University of South Carolina offers a variety of online baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral degrees. Online bachelor's degrees include elementary education, business administration, and criminal justice, while online master's degree options include informational technology, educational administration, and organizational leadership. Students can also pursue an online doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction. 

Online students have access to online career fairs, an online job board, and online libraries.

Dakota State University View School Profile Madison, SD Dakota State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Established in 1881, Dakota State University is a technology-focused institution. Due to this focus, all full-time undergraduates are required to use tablets and laptops and take two computer courses: introductory programming and introduction to computers.

The school offers a variety of online associate, baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral degrees. Online associate degree options include network security and business management, while online bachelor's degrees include computer science and marketing. Students can also pursue online master's degrees in areas like analytics and health informatics and online doctoral degrees in disciplines such as cybersecurity and information systems. 

Online student resources include online tutoring, an online job board, and an online library.

University of Memphis-UofM Online View School Profile Memphis, TN The University of Memphis is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

The University of Memphis, established in 1912, hosts the Center for Earthquake Research, the FedEx Institute of Technology, and the Institute of Egyptian Art and Technology. The university instructs more than 20,000 students annually through a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs, including many online options. 

Students can pursue fully online bachelor's degrees in areas like African American studies, journalism, and nursing. The school also offers online master's degrees in disciplines such as legal studies, teaching, and leadership and online certificates in areas like population health and nonprofit management. 

Online student resources include an online job board, 24/7 online tutoring, technical support, and an online library.

Texas A&M University - College Station View School Profile College Station, TX Texas A&M University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Texas A&M University is a public institution that offers 133 undergraduate degrees, 175 master's degrees, and 92 doctoral programs through 17 colleges and schools. Texas A&M students can earn a variety of online degrees from one of the best colleges in Texas.

Texas A&M offers online undergraduate and graduate degrees in diverse disciplines such as engineering, agriculture, nursing, and public health. Online students access coursework through the Canvas learning management system, and courses may use asynchronous or synchronous formats.

While admission requirements vary by program, all applicants must submit official transcripts. Transfer applicants need a minimum 2.5 GPA.

Utah State University View School Profile Logan, UT Utah State University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

Utah State University is a land-grant and space-grant university established in 1888. The school hosts more than 25,000 students annually through over 300 undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs, including a variety of online options. 

Utah State University offers an online associate degree in general studies and online bachelor's degrees in areas like agribusiness, family life studies, and psychology. Online master's degree offerings include horticulture, instructional technology, natural resources, and rehabilitation counseling. Students can also pursue online certificates in a variety of disciplines. 

Online student resources include online tutoring, an online writing center, online test proctoring, veterans' resources, and an online library.

Champlain College View School Profile Burlington, VT Champlain College is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

Champlain College is a private, nonprofit institution established in 1878. The college hosts more than 2,000 students annually through a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs, including many online options. 

Online bachelor's degree options include accounting, computer forensics, and healthcare administration, while online master's degrees include executive leadership, business administration, and digital forensic science. Students can also pursue online certificates in areas like cybersecurity, internet marketing, conflict studies, and supply chain management.

Onlines students have access to an online job board, 24/7 online tutoring, online writing assistance, and an online library.

Liberty University Online View School Profile Lynchburg, VA Liberty University Online is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Established in 1971, Liberty University is a nonprofit, Christian institution that hosts more than 15,000 on-campus students and over 90,000 online students each year. Nearly half of the school's 500 programs are available online. 

Liberty University offers fully online associate degrees in areas like information systems and paralegal studies and online bachelor's degrees in disciplines such as aeronautics and graphic design. Online master's degrees include executive leadership and human services counseling, while online doctoral degrees include nursing and international business. Students can also pursue online certificates in areas such as web development and public administration.

Online student resources include an online writing center, academic advising, disability accommodations, an online job board, and an online library.

Washington State University View School Profile Pullman, WA Washington State University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

Founded in 1890, Washington State University is a land-grant university that hosts more than 29,000 students annually. The school offers over 200 degree programs in areas like chemical engineering, agriculture, veterinary medicine, neuroscience, and business. 

Students can pursue bachelor's and master's degrees online through the school's Global Campus. Online bachelor's degrees include accounting, hospitality business management, and human development. Online master's degrees include special education, sports management, molecular biosciences, and electric power engineering.

Online students have access to 24/7 technical support, academic advising, and an online library.

West Virginia University View School Profile Morgantown, WV West Virginia University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

West Virginia University is a public space-grant and land-grant research institution founded in 1867. The school enrolls more than 29,000 students annually through over 190 undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs. 

Through WVU Online, students can pursue a variety of fully online degrees, including bachelor's degrees in areas like nursing and multidisciplinary studies. Online students can also pursue master's degrees in disciplines such as communication studies, instructional design and technology, public health, and legal studies. Additionally, WVU Online offers doctorates in nursing and higher education administration.

Online students have access to an online bookstore, library resources, career services, and financial aid opportunities. 

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee View School Profile Milwaukee, WI The University of Wisconsin Milwaukee is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Established in 1849, the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee enrolls more than 25,000 students annually through over 185 programs of study, including a variety of online undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

The school offers online bachelor's degrees in areas like biomedical science, information science, and political science and online master's degrees in disciplines such as library science, translation, and administrative leadership. Students can also pursue an online doctoral degree in nursing and online certificates in areas like crime analysis, therapeutic recreation, and digital libraries.

Online student resources include an online library with librarians available via live chat, email, and telephone.

University of Wyoming View School Profile Laramie, WY The University of Wyoming is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Founded in 1886, the University of Wyoming is a land-grant instituion nestled between the Laramie Plains and the Snowy Range Mountains. The university offers more than 190 programs, including over 40 online options. The campus is home to several museums, including an insect museum, an art museum, and an anthropological museum.

The school offers online bachelor's degrees in areas like business administration and consumer and family science and online master's degrees in disciplines such as kinesiology and public administration. Students can also pursue online doctoral degrees in educational administration and nursing and online certificates in land surveying and school social work.

Online student resources include an online library, with librarians available via live chat, text message, email, and phone.

The Best Colleges by State Ranking Guidelines

We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

Our Methodology

Here at TheBestSchools.org, we take the trust and welfare of our readers very seriously. When making our school and program rankings, our top priority is ensuring that our readers get accurate, unbiased information that can help them make informed decisions about online education. That's why we've developed a rigorous ranking methodology that keeps the needs of our readers front and center.

Our proprietary, multi-criteria ranking algorithm analyzes key data indicators — as collected by the federal government — for each school or program. What data we use depends on the focus of each specific ranking, but in all cases, our ranking methodology is impartial: Schools cannot buy better rankings at TBS.

While specific criteria under consideration can vary by ranking, there are a few data points that we value most highly. They are affordability, academic quality, and online enrollment. Below, we break down our algorithm to help you understand what you're getting when you use one of our rankings.

  • Academics
  • Affordability
  • Online Enrollment

Data Sources

The data used in TBS rankings comes primarily from the federal government, and much of it is provided by the schools themselves. We aggregate and analyze this data to build our rankings.

The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is our primary source. Its data comes from annual surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Every college, university, or technical school with access to federal financial aid must participate in these surveys, which include questions about enrollment, graduation rates, finances, and faculty qualifications. This is publicly available data, which you can access yourself through the College Navigator.

Additionally, because we value a personal touch and the professional experience of our staff and Academic Advisory Board, we vet all results and adjust rankings as necessary based on our collected knowledge of schools and degree programs. Depending on the ranking, we may obtain additional input from AcademicInfluence.com, subject matter experts, prior TBS ranking lists, or other sources we deem relevant to a particular ranking.

Breakdown of Our Rankings Methodology

About Our Ranking Factors

Here at TBS, we value what you value: quality education, affordability, and the accessibility of online education. These factors guide all of our program rankings.

Each of these factors are further broken down into weighted subfactors. For example, retention rates are weighted more heavily than availability of program options because they are a better indicator of student success.

We chose the following factors for our rankings because of their influence on learning experiences and graduate outcomes. However, students should always balance our rankings against their personal priorities. For instance, a learner who needs a fully online program may prioritize online flexibility more than our rankings do. Our rankings are designed to help you make a decision — not to make a decision for you.

Academics - 75%
Affordability - 15%
Online Enrollment - 10%

In all our school rankings and recommendations, we work for objectivity and balance. We carefully research and compile each ranking list, and as stated in our advertising disclosure, we do NOT permit financial incentives to influence rankings. Our articles never promote or disregard a school for financial gain.

If you have questions about our ranking methodology, please feel free to connect with our staff through contact page.

We thank you for your readership and trust.

Why Should I Look at Colleges Near Me?

Students who attend local colleges and universities often benefit from lower tuition rates. Many public institutions offer tuition discounts for in-state students, and local students also save money on the travel costs compared to out-of-state students.

Additionally, programs in fields such as education, social work, and healthcare may reflect local standards for licenses and certifications. Therefore, choosing in-state schools means students can earn professional credentials in their local area instead of only being qualified for out-of-state credentials.

Local employers may also recognize in-state institutions more easily than out-of-state options, which can help graduates secure employment.

How to Choose a Program

Individuals should consider programs that offer majors, concentrations, and electives that support their goals and interests. Prospective learners should also consider cost in addition to faculty and department recognition before committing to a program. Other important considerations include course delivery methods, program length, and available financial aid opportunities.

Accreditation

Students should always verify a school's accreditation status before committing to a program. Accreditation indicates that a school meets high standards with respect to factors like faculty qualifications, student learning outcomes, and academic rigor. Schools may hold national or regional accreditation, with regional accreditation generally considered the more prestigious of the two. Certain programs within a school, such as social work, business, and education programs, may also hold programmatic accreditation.

Accreditation benefits students in several ways. For instance, only students at accredited schools qualify for federal financial aid, and many schools only accept degrees and transfer credits from accredited institutions. Additionally, many professional licenses and certifications require an accredited degree.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Should I Go to College?

Many high-paying and in-demand careers require a college degree. The Social Security Administration reports an increase in lifetime earnings for each advance in degree level.

Should I Go Away to College or Stay Local?

Local programs may cost less money, but nearby schools often don't offer programs aligned with a particular student's needs, goals, and interests. Degree-seekers should consider several factors to find the right school for them, including cost, concentrations and program offerings, and delivery format.

Should I Go To Community College Before College?

Community colleges are typically more affordable than four-year institutions, so students looking to save money on a four-year degree can benefit from earning an associate degree at a community college before transferring to a bachelor's program.

Is College Worth It?

High-paying and fast-growing careers often require a degree. Degrees from top colleges also build students' professional skills, which can improve job performance and lead to career advancement.

Why Should I Go To Online College?

Online colleges typically offer more accessibility, flexibility, and affordability than on-campus colleges.

Affordable College Options

Students can start budgeting for their education by choosing an affordable school. Depending on your educational and professional goals, you can explore several options.

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