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 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 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.
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 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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|