The Best Online Colleges in Florida

by TBS Staff

Updated September 15, 2022 is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Studying in Florida yields more than beautiful beaches and sunny weather: The state also offers great higher education options, including affordable tuition and online learning.

Online colleges in Florida offer undergraduate programs in hundreds of fields of study. With the fourth-largest economy in the United States, Florida provides numerous employment opportunities, especially in the life science, aviation, and aeronautics industries. Professionals with bachelor's degrees can also pursue managerial roes in Florida's strong financial services and tourism sectors.

The best online colleges in Florida accommodate the state's need for well-educated professionals. Florida is home to the State University of Florida System, which includes 12 public universities, plus more than 30 private institutions of higher learning, which are all members of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida. Many of these schools offer both online and on-campus learning opportunities.

Featured Online Schools

Earning an online bachelor's degree in Florida is a convenient, flexible option for working professionals and students with busy schedules. This article offers a comprehensive look at the best online colleges in Florida.

Top 10 Online Colleges in Florida 2020
#1 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL
#2 University of Florida-Online Gainesville, FL
#3 Florida International University Miami, FL
#4 University of South Florida-Main Campus Tampa, FL
#5 The University of West Florida Pensacola, FL
#6 Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton, FL
#7 The Baptist College of Florida Graceville, FL
#8 Southeastern University Lakeland, FL
#9 Lynn University Boca Raton, FL
#10 Palm Beach Atlantic University West Palm Beach, FL

The Best Online Colleges in Florida

  1. University of Central Florida

    Orlando, FL



    Established in 1963, UCF currently teaches around 72,000 students every year.

    UCF offers several online programs, including bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, and certificates. Their bachelor's degrees include programs such as criminal justice, anthropology, English, hospitality management, political science, nursing, legal studies, and more. Master's degrees programs include art education, digital forensics, civil engineering, social work, public administration, and nonprofit management.

    Applicants who want to transfer have to speak with a success coach, create a transition plan, and gather the required documents. That includes official transcripts from all previously attended institutions, high school transcripts, and your SAT or ACT scores if applying with fewer than 60 credits. Students must also have two English composition courses with a grade of C or better and two math courses with a grade of C or better.

  2. University of Florida-Online

    Gainesville, FL



    UF Online was established in January 2014 and has about 400,000 alumni.

    The school offers several online degree programs, including bachelor's degrees in anthropology, biology, advertising: persuasive messaging, computer science, sports management, business administration, and more. Students can also take an online master's degree in subjects like biostatistics, civil engineering, education leadership, curriculum and instruction, mass communications, music education, and more. Certificate programs include clinical toxicology, emergency management, early childhood studies, forensic DNA and Serology, and more.

  3. Florida International University

    Miami, FL



    With 130 online degree programs, FIU teaches over 54,000 students annually.

    FIU offers online programs in subjects like accounting, African and African diaspora studies, anthropology, biochemistry, business administration, and chemistry, among others.

    Applicants must submit high school transcripts and test scores and residency documentation.

    Applications for the spring semester must be submitted by December 1. For the fall semester, the application deadline is April 1. Students must submit their SAT or ACT scores for admission consideration.

  4. University of South Florida-Main Campus

    Tampa, FL



    Founded in 1956, USF teaches more than 50,000 students each year and was named the fastest-rising university in America by U.S. New and World Reports.

    A preeminent state research university, USF offers online undergraduate programs, including criminology, criminal justice, environmental policy, information studies, public administration, public health, and urban studies. Online graduate programs include degrees in arts and sciences, behavioral and community services, business, education, engineering, medicine, pharmacy, public health, and global sustainability.

    Applicants must submit an online application and submit official transcripts to the school. An SAT or ACT score is also required.

  5. The University of West Florida

    Pensacola, FL



    Established in 1963, UWF has awarded about 90,000 degrees from more than 70 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs.

    The school has online certificates and bachelor's degree programs. It offers certificates in database systems, human resources management, intelligence analysis, management development, and medical laboratory sciences. Online bachelor's degree programs include accounting, general business, criminal justice, health sciences, psychology, interdisciplinary social sciences community education specialization, instructional design and technology, RN to BSN, and RN to MSN.

    Tuition costs $6,360 (Florida residents).

  6. Florida Atlantic University

    Boca Raton, FL



    FAU was established in 1964 and now offers more than 170 degree programs,.

    The school offers several online programs through their college of arts and letters, college of business, college for design and social inquiry, college of education, college of engineering and computer science, college of nursing, and college of science.

    Students at FAU have the option of taking a mixture of online, blended and on-campus courses.

    Applicants average a 3.62 GPA.

  7. The Baptist College of Florida

    Graceville, FL

    A private institution, the BCF was founded in 1943 by a group of pastors. The total undergraduate enrollment at BCF is 426.

    Applicants must submit an application and an SAT or ACT score. All BCF courses are available online, which include graduate programs in Christian studies, music and worship leadership, and counseling. Undergraduate programs include music, divinity, biblical studies, ministry, business leadership, English, education studies, psychology, missions, elementary education, and more.

  8. Southeastern University

    Lakeland, FL

    With student enrollment increasing by 215% since 2010, SEU was founded in 1935 as a private institution.

    SEU offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees online. It offers associates degrees in general studies and ministerial leadership. Bachelor's degree programs include behavioral and social sciences, business and leadership, design and communication, ministry, and nursing. Students can also take an online master's degree program in the areas of business leadership, education, behavioral and social sciences, human performance, and ministry.

    The tuition costs are $390 per credit for undergraduates and they vary for graduate-level students.

  9. Lynn University

    Boca Raton, FL

    Founded in 1962 as a two-year college, Lynn now teaches about 3,200 undergraduate students each year.

    Lynn offers a range of online undergraduate and graduate programs in areas like aviation management, business administration, digital media, criminal justice, early childhood education, entrepreneurial management, healthcare management, human resource management, liberal arts, marketing, psychology, and more.

    At Lynn, students can enjoy iPad-powered learning and accelerated programs to finish the program faster.

    To apply, students must submit a completed application, a personal statement, official transcripts, official SAT or ACT scores, a letter from a high school counselor or teacher, and an activity resume listing extracurricular activities, volunteer work and/or hobbies.

    Tuition costs $325 per credit.

  10. Palm Beach Atlantic University

    West Palm Beach, FL

    Established in 1968, PBA has an undergraduate enrollment of more than 3,700.

    PBA offers online undergraduate and graduate programs. Undergraduate online programs include ministry, organizational leadership, community psychology, digital storytelling, gaming and interactive design, nursing, and business administration. Graduate programs available include leadership, educational leadership, and computer science.

    Most successful students bring four years of significant, full-time work experience into the program.

Best Online Colleges

Online Colleges in Florida Ranking Guidelines

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

Employment in Florida

The top industries in Florida include tourism, aviation and aeronautics, and financial services. The tourism sector in Florida has experienced challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, but is still a major employer in the state. Florida is also home to nearly 2,000 aerospace and aviation establishments, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 5% growth in employment for airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers from 2019-2029.

Florida has the third-largest number of insurance and banking institutions in the country, including the headquarters of 15 global banks. According to the BLS, financial managers are projected to see 15% growth in employment nationwide from 2019-2029.

The cost of living in Florida slightly exceeds the national average, in large part due to high transportation and housing costs. Unemployment rates in Florida have fluctuated dramatically in 2020; in May, unemployment was nearly 14%, while it was 6.5% in October.

Below, you'll find salary rates for the highest paying careers available to individuals with a bachelor's degree in Florida. The careers selected each employ more than 1,000 people in the state of Florida. Salary rates are specific to Florida, while the job growth projections represent the nation as a whole.

Highest Paying Careers in Florida
Career Annual Mean Salary (2019) Projected Job Growth (2019-2029)
Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers $226,930 ↑↑
Chief Executives $181,000
Computer and Information Systems Managers $138,400 ↑↑↑
Architectural and Engineering Managers $135,990
Financial Managers $131,000 ↑↑↑
Computer and Information Research Scientists $127,140 ↑↑↑
Sales Managers $125,810
Source: BLS

↑ as fast as average

↑↑ faster than average

↑↑↑ much faster than average

Online Associate and Graduate Degrees

Online degrees often mirror their on-campus counterparts. Students complete the same course requirements, although individual classes may vary in presentation. Online programs may include asynchronous and synchronous components, depending on the school and area of study. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many on-campus programs have transitioned online, expanding options for online learners.

Online learners can earn associate degrees from community and state colleges and universities in Florida. For example, the Florida College System includes 28 community and state colleges across 72 campuses. At Daytona State College, students can complete an associate of arts or an associate degree entirely online. Those degrees also meet the requirements to transfer to a bachelor's program at a four-year institution.

Florida students can also earn online graduate degrees. For example, the University of Florida (UF) offers a master's in business administration, while Florida State University (FSU) offers an online graduate degree in criminology. Students can also earn an accelerated online MBA from UF in as few as 16 months if they already hold an undergraduate degree in business.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the #1 College in Florida?

UF Online is the number one online college in Florida. UF is part of the State University System of Florida, offering nearly 200 online programs.

What Are the Best Universities in Florida 2021?

The best colleges in Florida offer both online and on-campus programs to support undergraduate and graduate students worldwide. Among the best universities in Florida in 2021 are UF Online, UCF, and the University of Southern Florida.

Does Florida Have Online School?

Many colleges and universities in Florida offer online undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as certificate programs.

What Is the Hardest College to Get Into in Florida?

The hardest university to get into in Florida is the University of Miami. Other hard-to-get-into schools in Florida include UF and Florida Memorial University.

Is Online School Free in Florida?

Recipients of the Bright Futures scholarships may receive free tuition in Florida if they meet the requirements of the award. The lottery-based scholarship is awarded to students who graduate from Florida high schools. Award categories include the academic, medallion, Gold Seal CAPE, and Gold Seal vocational scholarships.

What Colleges Are in South Florida?

Colleges in South Florida include Florida National University, the University of Miami, Florida Atlantic University, Florida Gulf Coast University, and South Florida State College.

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