The Best Online Colleges in Missouri

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Missouri counts itself among the most affordable places to study and work in the U.S.

According to PayScale, the cost of living in the state consistently ranks below the national average, from 6% in St. Louis and 7% in Columbia to 12% in Springfield. The state houses accessible colleges and universities dedicated to research, athletic achievement, and the liberal arts. College Boar reports that, in the 2017–2018 academic year, students who attended public universities paid an annual tuition of $8,500, while students at private colleges paid approximately $22,000. Online schools in Missouri provide even lower prices through discounted tuition, and students living in the state sometimes enjoy still cheaper tuition rates. Distance learners also enjoy access to special scholarships and grants.

Featured Online Schools

Flexibility serves as another incentive for distance learners. Through asynchronous online classes, students can create schedules that allow them to work and take care of their family while pursuing their degree full time. Relatedly, colleges and universities usually offer accelerated course formats that last seven or nine weeks instead of 15. By taking advantage of this feature, distance learners may earn their degree in less time than their traditional peers — generally two–to–three years for a bachelor’s degree and one year for a master’s. Common areas of study include healthcare administration, nursing, business (particularly the MBA), information systems, criminology, and education and teacher preparation. Online colleges in Missouri also offer unique programs in fields such as intercultural studies, fashion entrepreneurship, and creative writing.

Top 10 Online Colleges in Missouri 2020
#1 University of Missouri Columbia, MO
#2 Webster University Saint Louis, MO
#3 Missouri State University Springfield, MO
#4 Southeast Missouri State University Cape Girardeau, MO
#5 University of Central Missouri Warrensburg, MO
#6 Drury University Springfield, MO
#7 Lindenwood University Saint Charles, MO
#8 Park University Parkville, MO
#9 Missouri Southern State University Joplin, MO
#10 William Woods University Fulton, MO

The Best Online Colleges in Missouri

  1. University of Missouri

    Columbia, MO

    Mizzou Online, University of Missouri first opened its digital doors in 2011. It offers numerous degree programs online to more than 15,000 students in all 50 states and many countries globally. Over a third of the University of Missouri’s students take classes online.

    Mizzou Online, offers a wide variety of baccalaureate, master, doctoral and certificate programs entirely online. Online bachelor’s degrees include radiography and early childhood education. Online master’s degrees include agroforestry and youth development. Online doctoral degrees include architectural studies, while certifications available online include gerontology and financial planning.

    The many resources available to online students include technical support, an online mental health self–evaluation, online tutoring, an online writing lab, an online job board, online career counseling and an online library with librarians available via email, live chat, text message or over the phone.

  2. Webster University

    Saint Louis, MO

    The Sisters of Loretto founded Webster University in 1915. The non–denominational university has more than 20,000 students from all 50 states and 140 countries worldwide. The university has campuses in several cities around the world, including Florence, Italy, Guadalajara, Mexico, Shanghai and Beijing, China, and Brussels, Belgium.

    Webster University offers several entirely online baccalaureate, master and certificate programs. Online bachelor’s degree programs include nursing and data analytics. Online master’s degree programs include international relations and space systems operations management. Online certifications include website design and professional writing.

    Online student resources include technical support, an online writing center, an online job board and an online library with document delivery, access to a multitude of academic journal and scholarly article databases and librarians available via email or over the phone.

  3. Missouri State University

    Springfield, MO

    Missouri State University, originally a normal school founded in 1906, is one of the largest universities in the state with more than 20,000 students enrolled, including students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries around the world. The university offers more than 190 degree programs which span nine academic colleges.

    Missouri State University offers a wealth of baccalaureate, master, doctoral and certificate programs entirely online. Bachelor’s degrees include hospitality and professional writing. Master’s degree programs include communication and education. Doctoral degrees include nursing and nurse anesthesia practice. Available certifications include writing for television and film as well as conflict and dispute resolution.

    Online student resources include an online job board, anonymous online mental health screenings, writing assistance via email and multiple online libraries with librarians available via email, live chat, text message or over the phone.

  4. Southeast Missouri State University

    Cape Girardeau, MO

    Southeast Missouri State University, founded in 1873, has over 11,000 students in attendance and provides more than 200 degree programs. Its roots go back to the Southeast Missouri State Normal School, which Mark Twain wrote about in Life on the Mississippi. The university is also home to one of the oldest university newspapers in America.

    Southeast Missouri State University offers a wide variety of baccalaureate, master’s and certificate programs via Southeast Online. Bachelor’s degrees include technology management and nursing. Master’s degrees include criminal justice and TESOL. Certifications available include healthcare management and autism spectrum disorders.

    Resources available to online students include online test proctoring, an online job board, online peer tutoring, an online writing lab, free online typing tutoring and an online library with librarians available via email or over the phone.

  5. University of Central Missouri

    Warrensburg, MO

    The University of Central Missouri, established in 1871, has more than 12,000 students from 49 states and 59 countries in attendance. The university offers more than 150 programs of study spanning five academic colleges. It also has an extensive study abroad program with opportunities in more than 60 countries around the world, including New Zealand and France.

    The University of Central Missouri offers several online baccalaureate, master’s and specialist programs. Online bachelor’s degrees include occupational education and criminal justice. Online master’s degrees include aviation safety and kinesiology. Specialist degrees include educational technology and learning resources.

    Resources available to online students include an online job board, academic advising via email, technical support, writing assistance via email and an online library with librarians available via email, live chat, text message or over the phone.

  6. Drury University

    Springfield, MO

    Founded in 1873, Drury University, a private liberal arts university, is named in honor of the son of one of the initial founders, Samuel Drury. The university requires full–time face–to–face students to live on the campus until the age of 21, unless they meet specific exemption criteria. Interestingly, almost half of the student body studies overseas at some point. Studying abroad is mandatory for Architecture and Business–related majors. The university offers more than 50 degree programs and teaches over 5,000 students.

    Drury University offers an exceptional variety of associate, baccalaureate, masters and certificate programs entirely online. Associate degrees include law enforcement and psychology. Bachelor’s degree options include sociology and health sciences. Master’s degree offerings and available certifications include multiple topics in education.

    Resources for online students include an online job board, mock job interview practice, technical support and an online library with librarians available via email or over the phone.

  7. Lindenwood University

    Saint Charles, MO

    Located in the heart of St. Charles, Lindenwood University is an independent college recognized for innovation and entrepreneurship. The school enrolls 9,800 students in 120 programs. Lindenwood administers a comprehensive suite of online degrees for undergraduates and graduates. Business students can enroll in a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science in business administration with emphasis areas in accounting, healthcare, management, marketing, or supply chain management. Other baccalaureate majors include criminal justice, digital and web design, game design, and interdisciplinary studies.

    One of the top online colleges in Missouri, Lindenwood offers a robust portfolio of master's degrees. The teacher preparation program features several areas of specialization, including educational technology and gifted education. Some benefits of learning at Lindenwood include accelerated learning options for faster degree completion and academic support services such as tutoring from SmartThinking. The school admits students in the fall, spring, and summer.

  8. Park University

    Parkville, MO

    A private college located in Parkville, Park University provides students with a liberal arts education in a welcoming environment. The school maintains 41 campuses across the nation and a robust virtual college. Park offers several online bachelor's degrees, including economics, elementary education, and criminal justice.

    Students planning to pursue a trade occupation can choose an associate or bachelor's degree in construction management. The curriculum focuses on areas such as on budgeting, organizing, and methods and plans analysis. One of the best online colleges in Missouri, Park University offers master's degrees in communication studies, education leadership, and information systems. The master in healthcare administration and MBA each feature several concentrations. Students can also enroll in a 4+1 degree plan in order to complete a bachelor's and master's in five years.

  9. Missouri Southern State University

    Joplin, MO

    Missouri Southern State University, founded in 1937, began as a junior college with 114 students and nine professors. The university currently has more than 5,000 students in attendance and offers over 200 academic programs spanning four academic schools.

    Missouri Southern State University offers a variety of baccalaureate and certificate programs via MSSU Online. Bachelor’s degree offerings include criminal justice, health science, environmental health and safety and business administration. Available certifications include entrepreneurial planning, paralegal studies, environmental biology and management.

    Resources available to online students include online tutoring in a wide range of subjects, an online job board, online mock job interviews, technical support and an online library.

  10. William Woods University

    Fulton, MO

    Situated on a 225-acre campus in Fulton, William Woods University uses a service-learning education model. In addition to lectures, students learn through hands-on activities, projects, internships, and other experiences. The school offers affordable tuition and does not raise fees for continuously enrolled students. Distance learning benefits include eight-week courses, accelerated learning options, and a virtual spaces for collaboration and networking.

    Online bachelor's degrees include cybersecurity, business administration, and paralegal studies. One of the best online colleges in Missouri, William Woods also offers transfer programs for learners who already have at least 25 credits. Options include nursing, business administration, and workforce leadership. The bachelor's degree in ASL-English interpretation studies is a nationally recognized transfer degree that leads to certification. The school also hosts master's programs in business and education.

Best Online Colleges

Online Colleges in Missouri Ranking Guidelines

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

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