Higher education students can choose from a staggering 394 accredited schools in Florida, ranging from world-class public universities such as the University of Florida, to private four-year colleges, two-year community colleges, and vocational and occupational schools. Of those, 28 are part of the Florida College System, which is comprised of public colleges and universities. Online learning is growing, too: according to Florida Virtual Campus, there are 107 associate degrees and more than 150 graduate degrees available from online schools in Florida. On the K-12 level, students can take advantage of numerous opportunities for online education, from supplemental courses to fully online public or charter schools.

Florida K-12 Online Schools

Florida offers a wide variety of online options for students in grades K-12, from supplemental courses to fully online schools. In fact, it is the first state to legislate that public schools must have full-time and part-time virtual options for students who want to take advantage of the opportunity. The Florida Virtual School is the largest online state school in the country, racking up more than two million course completions since its inception in 1997. The state also boasts several online charter schools, blended learning options, the Virtual Instruction Program, and course offerings that cross district lines.

Florida Online Colleges and Universities

Florida is home to 394 schools of higher education, and the majority of them offer a variety of online opportunities, from stand-alone courses to full degrees. One of the highlights in the state is University of Florida’s UF Distance Learning, which offers 650 majors. Other colleges that shine a spotlight on online learning include Florida Gulf Coast University, with mostly graduate degrees; Florida International University, with practice courses for students who are on the fence; University of West Florida, offering a wide variety of degree options; and Florida Institute of Technology, a private, non-profit school with several fully online degrees.

Florida Postsecondary Spotlight

University of Florida (UF Distance Learning)

The University of Florida is a research university that was named 14th in U.S. News & World Report’s list of the best public universities in the country for 2013. Its online educational division, UF Distance Learning, currently has more than 650 majors leading to undergraduate and graduate degrees and professional certifications. Programs are administered entirely online, with any necessary laboratory or other mandatory campus meetings to be arranged by the school.

At the undergraduate level, UF offers two online degree tracks: a four-year, 60-hour bachelor program and a 30-hour two-year bachelor completion program for students who already hold an associate degree. The College of Education conducts programs that lead to graduate degrees in special education and curriculum. At the master’s level, UF Distance Learning is known for its extensive range of programs in education, agricultural and life sciences, engineering (with more than 15 specializations), business administration, design, journalism, veterinary medicine and many more. Doctorate programs are offered in the fields of education, public health, liberal arts and sciences, nursing and pharmacy science.

UF Distance Learning students are subject to the same admissions requirements as students who earn their degree on-campus at the University of Florida. The one exception is identity verification, which requires students to use special log-ins and passwords, complete proctored exams and meet other criteria. This ensures that the admitted student is the one who actually participates in and completes the program. Each program has its own specific admissions criteria.

To find out more about UF Distance Learning, visit http://www.distance.ufl.edu/home.

Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU)

Florida Gulf Coast University’s online offerings skew toward graduate degrees, though students earning bachelor’s degrees do have some options. After students complete lower division courses, upper division courses are offered online in criminal justice, health studies and legal studies. Students can complete fully online graduate degree programs in business administration, public administration, health science, special education and educational technology. FGCU also has a health services administration certificate that can be earned online, as well as a host of non-degree Web courses, such as composition, public policy and children’s literature.

FGCU offers a variety of resources to online students, including a “How to Succeed at Distance Learning” guide that offers tips about starting online courses, keeping up with the workload and finishing strong. Distance learners also have access to first-year advising services, program-specific guidance, and academic and technology support.

To learn more about FGCU’s online academic programs and resources, as well as admission requirements and tuition and fees, visit http://itech.fgcu.edu/distance/index.asp.

Florida International University (FIU Online)

With 50,000 students attending in 2012, Florida International University ranked #7 on a list of the largest public universities by enrollment. As such a high-enrollment school, it makes sense that FIU would offer an extensive variety of online courses and degrees. FIU online offers classes, continuing education, and bachelor’s and graduate degrees. Online bachelor’s degree programs are available in academic areas such as organizational communication studies, finance, psychology and hospitality management. Graduate students will also find distance learning options to suit many interests, including construction management, health care, human resources management, music education and international real estate.

FIU Online uses not only Blackboard for classes, but also a host of other programs to enhance the experience. Adobe Connect helps with web conferencing, Turnitin helps instructors detect plagiarism, and ProctorU allows exams to be taken at home while ensuring integrity of results. Another unique feature of FIU Online is that prospective students can actually experience a practice course to gauge their enjoyment of the format and various technologies before actually enrolling.

To learn more about FIU Online, visit http://www.fiuonline.com/.

University of West Florida

Through its Online Campus division, the University of West Florida offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as certificate programs. Online bachelor’s programs typically require 60 semester hours of upper division coursework. Lower division courses can also be taken online, either directly through UWF or through partnership with other Florida state and community colleges.

Undergraduate major subjects include engineering technology, health sciences, information technology, workforce and program development, nursing, maritime studies and more. Online graduate degree requirements vary, but typically require the successful completion of 36 semester hours. Master’s degrees can be earned in subjects such as administration, computer science, mathematics, nursing, public health, reading, political science and many others. Certificate programs are also available in a range of subjects, including Arabic language and culture, database systems and medical informatics.

Out-of-state students admitted to a UWF online degree program may be eligible for a tuition waiver.

For more information on this and other UWF distance learning programs, visit http://onlinecampus.uwf.edu/.

Florida Institute of Technology

The Florida Institute of Technology (Florida Tech) is a private, non-profit institution that offers distance learning degrees and credential programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Florida Tech online students can choose from among eight associate and 14 bachelor’s programs in various disciplines, such as accounting, business administration, criminal justice and computer information systems. Master’s degree subjects cover information technology, cybersecurity and supply chain management. Online MBAs are also available in 11 specializations. Additionally, Mini MBA For-Credit Graduate Certificates in health care management, information technology management, Internet marketing and management can be earned 100 percent online.

Like other online schools in Florida, Florida Tech’s distance learning programs employ several Web-based teaching tools and systems for course delivery, including asynchronous classes, streaming video lectures, faculty-hosted discussion groups, mp3 and mp4 lecture downloads, live chat and email. Florida Tech is a member of the University Alliance, a facilitator of eLearning tools and services for 14 colleges and universities throughout the nation.

For more information, visit the Florida Tech website at http://www.floridatechonline.com.

Best Online Schools in Florida: Postsecondary

Best for Future Service Members

For students who prioritize service to their country, many online schools in Florida offer special programs catering to Army, Navy and Air Force ROTC members. Below is a collection of high quality, non-profit Florida colleges that offer four-year degrees and at least two ROTC programs.

College
Name
Tuition City ROTC - Army ROTC - Navy ROTC - Air Force
University of Florida$4,425 Gainesville Yes Yes Yes
University of South Florida-Main Campus$4,506 Tampa Yes Yes Yes
Florida State University$4,587 Tallahassee Yes Yes Yes
Clearwater Christian College$15,680 Clearwater Yes Yes Yes
Santa Fe College$1,840 Gainesville Yes No Yes
Florida State College at Jacksonville$2,076 Jacksonville Yes Yes No
Seminole State College of Florida$2,365 Sanford Yes No Yes
Florida Atlantic University$2,480 Boca Raton Yes No Yes
Miami Dade College$2,483 Miami Yes No Yes
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University$3,100 Tallahassee Yes Yes No
The University of West Florida$3,682 Pensacola Yes No Yes
University of North Florida$3,806 Jacksonville Yes Yes No
University of Central Florida$4,426 Orlando Yes No Yes
Florida International University$4,668 Miami Yes No Yes
Florida Memorial University$12,384 Miami Gardens Yes No Yes
Bethune-Cookman University$14,410 Daytona Beach Yes No Yes
Saint Leo University$18,700 Saint Leo Yes No Yes

Best for Personal Attention

Florida is known for its dozens of exceptional colleges and universities, some offering targeted training and others providing a broader scope of education and degree programs. Regardless of their degree goals, most students seek a quality college experience without classroom overcrowding. The following online schools in Florida accomplish both, with school enrollment over 5,000 and class ratios of less than 20 students per instructor. Congrats to the following non-profit four-year colleges in Florida for achieving the state’s best student-teacher numbers.

College
Name
STUDENT-TEACHER-RATIO UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS TUITION TYPE CITY
Nova Southeastern University 20 to 1 7,643$23,850 Private not-for-profit Fort Lauderdale
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University 20 to 1 12,103$3,100 Public Tallahassee
Polk State College 20 to 1 16,397$2,483 Public Winter Haven
University of North Florida 20 to 1 16,816$3,806 Public Jacksonville
Florida Atlantic University 20 to 1 30,319$2,480 Public Boca Raton
University of Florida 20 to 1 35,908$4,425 Public Gainesville
Southeastern University 19 to 1 2,845$17,998 Private not-for-profit Lakeland
Chipola College 19 to 1 2,997$2,365 Public Marianna
Florida Institute of Technology 19 to 1 3,001$35,460 Private not-for-profit Melbourne
Flagler College-St Augustine 19 to 1 3,150$15,340 Private not-for-profit Saint Augustine
College of Central Florida 19 to 1 11,806$1,910 Public Ocala
City College-Fort Lauderdale 18 to 1 1,244$13,920 Private not-for-profit Fort Lauderdale
Florida Gateway College 18 to 1 4,577$2,369 Public Lake City
Flagler College-Tallahassee 17 to 1 540$6,300 Private not-for-profit Tallahassee
Lynn University 17 to 1 1,858$31,100 Private not-for-profit Boca Raton
The University of Tampa 17 to 1 6,692$23,520 Private not-for-profit Tampa
Carlos Albizu University-Miami 16 to 1 457$11,304 Private not-for-profit Miami
Warner University 16 to 1 1,094$17,180 Private not-for-profit Lake Wales
Florida Memorial University 16 to 1 2,001$12,384 Private not-for-profit Miami Gardens
Bethune-Cookman University 16 to 1 3,826$14,410 Private not-for-profit Daytona Beach
Saint Leo University 16 to 1 22,007$18,700 Private not-for-profit Saint Leo
Trinity Baptist College 15 to 1 288$7,990 Private not-for-profit Jacksonville
Northwood University-Florida 15 to 1 694$20,040 Private not-for-profit West Palm Beach
University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee 15 to 1 2,226$5,519 Public Sarasota
Hodges University 15 to 1 3,114$11,760 Private not-for-profit Naples
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Daytona Beach 15 to 1 5,028$29,520 Private not-for-profit Daytona Beach
University of Fort Lauderdale 14 to 1 67$7,200 Private not-for-profit Lauderhill
Remington College 14 to 1 330$13,315 Private not-for-profit Heathrow
Florida Christian College 14 to 1 428$9,552 Private not-for-profit Kissimmee
Ave Maria University 14 to 1 774$20,800 Private not-for-profit Ave Maria
Edward Waters College 14 to 1 858$11,158 Private not-for-profit Jacksonville
Florida Southern College 14 to 1 2,500$26,600 Private not-for-profit Lakeland
St. Thomas University 14 to 1 3,455$25,110 Private not-for-profit Miami Gardens
South Florida State College 14 to 1 4,011$3,135 Public Avon Park
Barry University 14 to 1 5,516$28,160 Private not-for-profit Miami
Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale 14 to 1 30,869$14,784 Private not-for-profit Fort Lauderdale
Clearwater Christian College 13 to 1 582$15,680 Private not-for-profit Clearwater
The Baptist College of Florida 13 to 1 689$9,000 Private not-for-profit Graceville
Eckerd College 13 to 1 2,680$35,620 Private not-for-profit Saint Petersburg
Jacksonville University 13 to 1 4,159$29,100 Private not-for-profit Jacksonville
Remington College-Tampa Campus 12 to 1 421$15,549 Private not-for-profit Tampa
Florida College 12 to 1 516$13,020 Private not-for-profit Temple Terrace
City College-Miami 12 to 1 598$13,920 Private not-for-profit Miami
Ringling College of Art and Design 12 to 1 1,386$33,960 Private not-for-profit Sarasota
Stetson University 12 to 1 2,385$36,344 Private not-for-profit DeLand
Palm Beach Atlantic University 12 to 1 3,184$24,500 Private not-for-profit West Palm Beach
Trinity College of Florida 11 to 1 229$11,808 Private not-for-profit Trinity
Trinity International University-Florida 11 to 1 340$10,608 Private not-for-profit Davie
Adventist University of Health Sciences 11 to 1 3,408$10,200 Private not-for-profit Orlando
University of Miami 11 to 1 12,980$39,980 Private not-for-profit Coral Gables
Remington College of Nursing Orlando 10 to 1 158$30,020 Private not-for-profit Lake Mary
New College of Florida 10 to 1 868$5,164 Public Sarasota
Rollins College 10 to 1 2,839$39,900 Private not-for-profit Winter Park
Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico-Miami Campus 9 to 1 86$11,340 Private not-for-profit Miami
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide 9 to 1 15,296$7,320 Private not-for-profit Daytona Beach
Yeshivah Gedolah Rabbinical College 8 to 1 33$8,000 Private not-for-profit Miami Beach
Saint John Vianney College Seminary 8 to 1 54$17,000 Private not-for-profit Miami
Hobe Sound Bible College 8 to 1 105$4,840 Private not-for-profit Hobe Sound
Beacon College 8 to 1 173$29,510 Private not-for-profit Leesburg
Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico-Orlando 8 to 1 177$10,620 Private not-for-profit Orlando
South Florida Bible College and Theological Seminary 7 to 1 88$4,950 Private not-for-profit Deerfield Beach
Jones College-Jacksonville 7 to 1 893$7,320 Private not-for-profit Jacksonville
Everglades University 7 to 1 1,797$13,200 Private not-for-profit Boca Raton
Talmudic College of Florida 6 to 1 60$12,250 Private not-for-profit Miami Beach
Atlantic Institute of Oriental Medicine 5 to 1 73$15,000 Private not-for-profit Fort Lauderdale

Best for Women in Technology

Florida boasts some of the country’s finest colleges for women seeking engineering and technology degrees. What sets these online schools in Florida apart are their numerous programs that encourage a healthy learning environment for women in these male-dominated fields. Some schools have mentorships for women in technology programs, allowing them to learn from more experienced females. Many of these Florida schools also offer all-female residence halls for greater support and camaraderie. With the attention given to retaining women in technology fields, these colleges have succeeded in matching female-to-male ratios in their classrooms to the overall school population. The top Florida colleges for women seeking technology and engineering degrees are listed below.

College
Name
TUITION + FEES CITY WOMEN IN TECH DEGREES AWARDED TOTAL ENROLLMENT TYPE
University of Florida$6,143 Gainesville 505 42,949 Public
University of Central Florida$6,247 Orlando 263 41,007 Public
Florida International University$6,417 Miami 195 28,636 Public
University of South Florida-Main Campus$6,334 Tampa 177 28,190 Public
Adventist University of Health Sciences$10,780 Orlando 160 689 Private Not for Profit
Florida State University$6,402 Tallahassee 132 34,970 Public
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide$7,320 Daytona Beach 124 5,217 Private Not for Profit
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Daytona Beach$30,720 Daytona Beach 121 4,706 Private Not for Profit
Florida Institute of Technology$36,020 Melbourne 88 5,112 Private Not for Profit
St Petersburg College$3,172 Clearwater 56 10,678 Public
University of Miami$41,220 Coral Gables 53 14,736 Private Not for Profit
The University of West Florida$6,238 Pensacola 47 7,629 Public
Nova Southeastern University$24,414 Fort Lauderdale 43 14,891 Private Not for Profit
Florida Atlantic University$4,789 Boca Raton 38 17,024 Public
Saint Leo University$19,370 Saint Leo 30 11,705 Private Not for Profit
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University$5,785 Tallahassee 28 11,923 Public
University of North Florida$6,235 Jacksonville 24 11,228 Public
Ringling College of Art and Design$36,640 Sarasota 24 1,326 Private Not for Profit
Florida Gulf Coast University$6,068 Fort Myers 19 9,563 Public
Barry University$28,160 Miami 13 6,088 Private Not for Profit
Hodges University$12,260 Naples 13 1,589 Private Not for Profit
Everglades University$14,800 Boca Raton 9 1,064 Private Not for Profit
Broward College$2,494 Fort Lauderdale 8 13,880 Public
Florida State College at Jacksonville$2,790 Jacksonville 7 10,778 Public
Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale$15,664 Fort Lauderdale 7 10,673 Private Not for Profit
Bethune-Cookman University$14,410 Daytona Beach 5 3,365 Private Not for Profit
Florida Memorial University$15,000 Miami Gardens 5 1,576 Private Not for Profit

Schools Fighting for Families

Florida colleges boast many premier social work programs. These online schools in Florida are ideal for those pursuing a career assisting families and children. Leveraging experiential learning, advanced curriculum and involvement in clinical settings, these programs offer a multitude of concentrations and fieldwork opportunities. With generous scholarships available, these exceptional academic facilities also make higher education more affordable. Listed below are some of Florida’s best colleges for social work that concentrate on the social and psychological health of families.

College
Name
CITY SOCIAL DEGREES AWARDED WOMEN MEN TUITION & FEES TOTAL ENROLLMENT
Florida State University Tallahassee 563 443 120 $6,402 34,970
University of Central Florida Orlando 391 315 76 $6,247 41,007
Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton 366 304 62 $4,789 17,024
University of South Florida-Main Campus Tampa 314 271 43 $6,334 28,190
Florida International University Miami 280 224 56 $6,417 28,636
Barry University Miami 209 185 24 $28,160 6,088
University of Florida Gainesville 190 142 48 $6,143 42,949
Saint Leo University Saint Leo 153 129 24 $19,370 11,705
The University of West Florida Pensacola 113 98 15 $6,238 7,629
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University Tallahassee 103 83 20 $5,785 11,923
Florida Gulf Coast University Fort Myers 78 65 13 $6,068 9,563
University of North Florida Jacksonville 58 47 11 $6,235 11,228
University of Miami Coral Gables 47 33 14 $41,220 14,736
Southeastern University Lakeland 32 28 4 $18,596 2,110
Flagler College-St Augustine Saint Augustine 27 18 9 $15,340 2,785
Bethune-Cookman University Daytona Beach 26 19 7 $14,410 3,365
Jacksonville University Jacksonville 21 16 5 $29,100 2,336
The University of Tampa Tampa 19 16 3 $25,222 5,956
Florida Memorial University Miami Gardens 18 15 3 $15,000 1,576
Eckerd College Saint Petersburg 9 3 6 $35,926 2,078
Stetson University DeLand 9 8 1 $36,644 3,562
Nova Southeastern University Fort Lauderdale 8 7 1 $24,414 14,891
Rollins College Winter Park 8 5 3 $39,900 2,663
Florida Southern College Lakeland 7 3 4 $27,200 2,093
Warner University Lake Wales 7 7 $17,480 891
Hodges University Naples 7 2 5 $12,260 1,589