The Best Online Colleges in Florida 2021
| TBS Staff
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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 roles 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.
|#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
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.<
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As part of Florida's public system of 28 state and community colleges, NWF State College has an open admissions policy.
NWF State College offers associate degrees online in areas such as arts, humanities, communications and design, aviation, business, education, health sciences, construction, public safety, STEM, social and behavioral sciences, and industry, manufacturing and construction. Non-degree programs include adult education, commercial driving license courses, and workforce and professional training, among others.
Tuition costs $1,662 to $1,938 for in-state applicants and $5,817 to $6,683 for out-of-state applicants, but there's no application fee and students can fast-track courses.
Ranked number 10 as one of the best community colleges offering online associates degrees, FSCJ offers more than 50 online associate degree programs.
Degree programs include arts, accounting technology management, public safety management, business operations, business administration, criminal justice, digital forensics, logistics, nursing, early childhood education, data science technology, and healthcare information specialist, to name a few.
FSCJ offers online classes as well as a hybrid version of courses.
Applicants must take an assessment and pay a $25 application fee.
ERAU was ranked number one for its online bachelor's degree programs by US News & World Report for 2021. Established in 1925 as a private institution, the school has an undergraduate enrollment of more than 6,400.
ERAU offers online certificate, associate, bachelor's, master's, and Ph.D.'s, as well as non-degree programs. Fields of study include applied science, business, aviation, space, computers and technology, engineering, and security, intelligence and safety.
Applicants must submit a completed application and transcripts. International students must send documents to the school for translation and evaluation.
Active military or reserves get a substantial discount on tuition.
Founded in 1852 as a methodist seminary, Florida Southern teaches more than 3,500 students each year. With more than 127 degree choices, the school offers several online degree programs targeted at adults and graduates.
First-year students can apply by submitting a completed application, official high school transcript, SAT or ACT scores. Transfers must submit all official college transcripts. If applying with financial aid, a FAFSA must be filled out to get financial aid.
The school also offers accelerated program options for some programs.
Everglades University is a private not-for-profit university offering bachelor's degree programs.
The school offers online undergraduate programs in alternative medicine, alternative and renewable energy management, construction management, aviation/aerospace, crisis and disaster management, business administration, land and energy management, environmental policy management, surveying management, international business, and hospitality management. Graduate degree programs offered online include aviation science, business administration, public health administration, and entrepreneurship.
Applicants must submit a completed application and provide verification of graduation from an accredited college or university and give a non-refundable $50 application fee. Applicants must take Everglade University's entrance exam or provide results of ACT or SAT tests.
Previously recognized by Princeton Review as one of "America's Best Value Colleges" and a "Best in the Southeast" school, the school is on a mission to create a life transforming education opportunity that's practical in its application. Established in 1896 as a private institution called Flora Macdonald College, Webber is a not-for-profit private institution.
The school offers several online degree programs, including associate, bachelor, and master's degrees. Fields of study include accounting, finance, general business studies, management, hospitality & tourism management, sport business management, integrated marketing communications, and psychology, among others.
As part of the Florida state college system, EFSC was established 1960.
The school offers both bachelor's and associate degrees online. Associate's degree programs include business administration, criminal justice technology, office administration, social and human services: aging, social and human services: domestic violence track. Bachelor's degrees include nursing, accounting, sales and marketing, sports management, health care management, human resources, general business, banking and financial, and public safety management, among others.
Students can apply by submitting an application, providing proof of residency, submitting high school transcripts.
DSC, a public institution, was established in 1957.
DSC offers online degree programs and certificates students can take fully online. Fields of study include nursing, information technology, engineering technology, supervision and management, criminal justice technology bridge, accounting technology management, project management, web systems software, office management, construction and design, and more.
Partially online degrees include certificates in business management, computer programming, information technology analysis, business operations, and marketing, sales, and service – entrepreneurship, among others.
Founded in 1966 in a few portable classrooms huddled in a former citrus grove, Seminole State now enrolls nearly 30,000 students.
Seminole State of Florida offers online associate, bachelor's, and certificates. Associate degrees include administrative office management, business administration, computer programming and analysis, health information technology, network systems technology, supply chain management, entrepreneurship and business management, and social media and marketing. Bachelor's degree offerings include business and information management, construction, engineering technology, health sciences, and information systems technology.
Since 1977, Keiser has been a private, not-for-profit university that now offers a range of online degree programs.
Students can choose from several online programs at Keiser, including arts and design, business, cinematic arts, fire science, education, culinary, healthcare, psychology, sports management, engineering and information technology, general studies, equine studies, nursing, and chiropractic studies.
With Keiser's online degree programs, students take one class at a time and offers flexibility and small class sizes.
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.
|Career||Annual Mean Salary (2019)||Projected Job Growth (2019-2029)|
|Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers||$226,930||↑↑|
|Computer and Information Systems Managers||$138,400||↑↑↑|
|Architectural and Engineering Managers||$135,990||↑|
|Computer and Information Research Scientists||$127,140||↑↑↑|
↑ 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
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.
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.
Many colleges and universities in Florida offer online undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as certificate programs.
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.
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.
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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