Best Online Colleges in Maryland

by TBS Staff

Updated August 18, 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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Maryland offers many acclaimed higher education choices for students, including a variety of online programs.

Earning a bachelor's degree helps professionals expand their job opportunities and increase their earning potential. Many of the best colleges in Maryland offer online programs that appeal to both busy students and working professionals.

Online schools in Maryland work together to improve the quality of distance learning. MarylandOnline, an organization founded in 1999, counts 20 Maryland colleges among its members. The organization connects future and current online learners with resources to improve their online learning experiences.

Maryland's online schools also offer tuition discounts. At the University of Maryland Global Campus, for example, out-of-state residents receive a significant tuition reduction compared to out-of-state tuition at Maryland public universities.

Our ranking lists the best online colleges in Maryland to help prospective students find the right fit for their academic and professional goals.

The Best Online Colleges in Maryland

  1. Stevenson University

    Stevenson, MD

    A private university established in 1947, Stevenson Online offers several undergraduate and graduate programs. Students can also pursue online certificates, associate to bachelor's tracks, and bachelor's to master's programs.

    Notable undergraduate options include programs in criminal justice, business, and nursing. Students can also choose from 13 master's programs in similar fields or ten certificate choices. Dual tracks include an RN-to-MSN option and programs in education or criminal justice.

    Applicants need a 2.0 GPA for undergraduate admissions, a 2.5 GPA for nursing programs, and a 3.0 GPA for graduate admissions.

  2. University of Maryland Global Campus

    Adelphi, MD



    Founded in 1947, UMGC offers several online undergraduate and graduate programs as well as certificate programs. The school also offers associate degrees for active service members, veterans, reservists, and their families.

    Students can choose from over 90 online programs, including undergraduate choices in the information technology field, nursing, and marketing. Graduate options include programs in healthcare, data analytics, and leadership. Several certificate choices provide students with additional professional development options.

    Applicants need a high school diploma or an associate degree with a minimum GPA of 2.0 to qualify for undergraduate programs. Graduate applicants must hold a bachelor's degree. The school does not require standardized test scores. The school also offers rolling admissions to the military and their families.

Best Online Colleges

Online Colleges in Maryland Ranking Guidelines

We selected the online schools in Maryland 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.

Featured Online Schools

Employment in Maryland

Maryland's major industries include the biohealth and life sciences fields, information technology and cybersecurity, and advanced manufacturing. Financial services, aerospace, and the energy sector also rank as top industries in Maryland. Thanks to its close connection with Washington, D.C., Maryland's workforce also includes many federal employees. Online colleges in Maryland also prepare graduates for careers in other growing fields, including business, healthcare, and education.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Maryland has continued to show economic strength compared with other states. Maryland's unemployment rate in June 2020 reached 8.0% — below the national average of 11.1%. The cost of living in Maryland remains slightly above the national average, but Maryland workers earn a mean annual wage of more than $60,000 per year, which outpaces the national wage of $53,490.

The following data on the highest-paying and fastest-growing careers can help prospective and current students plan for entering the workforce.

Highest Paying Careers
Highest-Paying Career Mean Salary Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)
Surgeons $278,720 11.6%
Obstetricians and Gynecologists $211,430 13.2%
General Internal Medicine Physicians $203,270 22.3%
Chief Executives $196,700 -4.4%
Psychiatrists $195,260 28.6%
Source: BLS, ProjectionsCentral
Fastest Growing Careers
Fastest Growing Careers Mean Salary Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)
Solar Photovoltaic Installer $47,180 56.3%
Occupational Therapy Assistants $63,810 52.4%
Home Health Aides $27,460 43.9%
Physician Assistants $109,620 41.7%
Personal Care Aides $27,420 41.7%
Source: BLS, ProjectionsCentral

Associate and Graduate Degrees

In addition to bachelor's programs, online schools in Maryland offer associate and graduate degrees. Since the switch to mostly online-only education during the pandemic, Maryland's colleges have expanded their options for students seeking a distance learning format.

Students can earn associate degrees in business, which can be used to enter the workforce or transfer into bachelor's programs.

Earning an associate degree through a community college offers additional savings. Maryland's public community colleges charge around $4,000 per year in tuition and fees, while public four-year institutions cost over $9,000 per year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Private schools charge nearly $42,000 per year on average in Maryland.

Learners can also pursue graduate degrees in high-demand fields like business, education, nursing, and engineering. For example, the University of Maryland offers an online MBA program and online nursing graduate programs.

While online programs may offer the same coursework as on-campus programs, distance students complete any in-person requirements in their local area. For example, business enrollees pursue internships with local businesses, while nursing students meet clinical requirements at healthcare facilities in their cities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Online College Cheaper in Maryland?

Many online colleges in Maryland offer tuition discounts for in-state students or fully online learners. By researching affordable schools and pursuing online degrees, students can save money.

How Long Does It Take to Get an Online Degree in Maryland?

Earning an online bachelor's degree typically takes four years for full-time students. Many of the best online colleges in Maryland offer asynchronous, accelerated, or part-time options for online learners.

What Is the Most Popular Degree in Maryland?

The most popular degrees in Maryland include business, biology, computer science, and psychology. Students in Maryland also frequently earn degrees in education, healthcare, the humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences.

Does an Online Degree Have the Same Value as an On-Campus Degree?

An online degree from an accredited institution meets the same high academic standards as an on-campus degree. Many online schools in Maryland grant identical diplomas for online and in-person graduates.

Is Maryland a Good State For Higher Education?

Yes. Maryland ranks in the top 10 for its four-year graduation rate and the number of adult residents who have college degrees.

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