Kentucky K-12 Online Schools

After its only virtual school closed in 2012, the state of Kentucky now offers no fully-online schools, although there are three supplemental and full-time course providers included in the Kentucky Virtual Campus. The Barren Academy of Virtual and Expanded Learning offers a fully-online learning program for students in grades 6-12, and Kentucky Education Television offers courses to students who don’t have ready access to electives. The JCPSeSchool of Jefferson County, a district program, serves more than 23,000 students. There is currently no legislation to allow virtual schools, but some alternative paths to graduation for at-risk students might eventually be implemented.

Kentucky Virtual Schools K - 12 Frankfort Both Live/On-Demand Public (866) 590-9240
Barren Academy of Virtual and Expanded Learning 9 - 12 Glasgow On-Demand/Asynchronous Public (270) 670-3739

Kentucky Online Colleges and Universities

The outlook for higher education in Kentucky emphasizes online opportunities. The Kentucky Council on Post-Secondary Education supports publicly funded online learning initiatives, including the Kentucky Virtual Campus (KYVC), a consortium of state universities offering online courses and degree programs, as well as the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) Online, which offers Web-based courses and degrees from community and technical colleges. According to the Council’s official website, more than 100,000 public students, or about 35 percent of the system’s total student population, enrolled in public distance-learning programs in 2011. Public schools are not the only colleges to embrace distance learning; private online schools in Kentucky run the gamut from small liberal arts colleges to targeted career and vocational schools.

Community Colleges in Kentucky

The Kentucky Community & Technical College System (KCTCS) governs 16 two-year colleges serving more than 90,000 students each year. Some of these students enroll in career-targeted certificate and associate degree programs designed for quick entry into the workforce; others pursue more academic degrees that can serve as stepping stones to four-year institutions. KCTCS also offers non-traditional credit options for students with military service experience, and dual-credit options for high school students.

Because Kentucky community colleges often cater to working professionals, plenty of evening, weekend and online courses are available. Some students can even complete entire programs through KCTCS Online, a system-wide virtual consortium of online courses and degrees.

Search School Name
Degree Levels
6 Results
Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College 700 College Rd Cumberland +
Henderson Community College 2660 S Green St Henderson +
Owensboro Community and Technical College 4800 New Hartford Rd Owensboro +
Bluegrass Community and Technical College 470 Cooper Drive Lexington +
West Kentucky Community and Technical College 4810 Alben Barkley Drive Paducah +
Somerset Community College 808 Monticello Street Somerset +

Public Universities in Kentucky

The Kentucky Council on Post-Secondary Education oversees a two-tiered system of public universities that serve more than 100,000 total students each year. The first tier is comprised of the state’s two top research institutions: the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville. Both schools are known for their medical curricula and selective admissions process. The second tier includes regional universities. Tiers do not necessarily indicate quality; tier 2 schools offer some of the nation’s most respected academic programs, like Eastern Kentucky University’s forestry school and Cave Management at Western Kentucky University’s nationally ranked School of Journalism & Broadcasting. Many Morehead State University Department of Earth and Space Science alums move on to successful careers with NASA and other aerospace agencies.

All public universities in Kentucky, regardless of tier, offer undergraduate and graduate programs designed to meet the needs of the state’s evolving workforce. Popular disciplines include agriculture, business, education, finance, management, marketing, nursing, technology and many more. Most of these public institutions offer online schools in Kentucky, which means some students can complete their educations with little to no classroom work. Visit the Kentucky Virtual Campus online to learn more.

Private Nonprofit Colleges in Kentucky

Kentucky has nearly as many private schools as public institutions. The Kentucky Council on Post-Secondary Education licenses more than 30 nonprofit, independent or private institutions, which together serve nearly 28 percent of the state’s undergraduate student population. These diverse institutions include private liberal arts schools, highly targeted career colleges and everything in between. Some have religious affiliations or other distinguishing characteristics. Transylvania University, a private liberal arts school in Lexington, is the 16th oldest college in the United States.

KCPE oversees the licensing of private, nonprofit institutions, but each has its own governing board. This translates to an impressive degree of variety among these colleges, especially with respect to programs and learning goals. Many offer majors in traditional fields like business, liberal arts, medicine, science and technology, but others feature more specialized programs, like theological studies programs for aspiring ministers. Prospective students should contact individual schools to learn more.

Kentucky Online College and University Spotlight

Kentucky Community and Technical College System Online (KCTCS)

The Kentucky Community & Technical College System offers online courses, diplomas, certificates and degrees through KCTCS Online. Students can choose from Web-enhanced, blended, hybrid and fully-online courses. Online courses are available in two formats: Learn by Term and Learn on Demand. The Learn By Term program delivers online courses in a traditional, semester-long format; Learn on Demand offers classes in 15-week and accelerated 3-5 week formats. Students in both programs can earn degrees in areas like business administration systems, computer and information technologies, criminal justice and health information technology.

All Web courses are delivered through KCTCS Online, but students must be enrolled with the campuses hosting their chosen programs. Some fully-online classes may require students to take proctored exams at a testing site. KCTCS Online maintains partnerships with five public universities, making it easier to transfer to four-year programs upon earning an associate degree.

To learn more about KCTCS Online’s degree programs, visit their website at

Eastern Kentucky University

Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) offers online undergraduate and graduate degrees in 15 subject areas, along with several certificate and non-degree options. Some programs have on-campus requirements. Students in the paralegal program, for example, are required to complete a two-week research session on campus, and students in the fire investigation program must complete a two-week fire lab session on campus. Online courses at EKU are delivered through Blackboard in six or eight-week sessions. Technical requirements vary by course, but EKU recommends that all students have computers with high-speed Internet access, Mozilla Firefox and Flash Player.

All online undergraduate programs require applicants to hold at least a high school diploma or GED for admission. Online graduate-level admissions requirements vary by department, and some require students to complete GRE or GMAT exams.

For more information about EKU’s online certificate and degree programs, visit the EKU Online website at

University of Louisville

The University of Louisville (U of L) offers online bachelor’s and master’s degrees in a number of academic areas. Undergraduate students can earn online bachelor’s degrees in nursing, organizational leadership and learning, justice administration or communication. This online school in Kentucky also offers online graduate certificate programs in data mining and network and information security. All online degree programs have the same credit requirements as traditional degree programs: bachelor’s degree programs usually require 123 credits, while master’s degree programs require 30.

Online courses at EKU are delivered through the Blackboard learning management system, but students will also need access to Microsoft Office and Java. Some courses may have additional requirements such as QuickTime, RealPlayer or Adobe software.

A full listing of online programs can be found at U of L’s Online Learning homepage at

4 Year Online Colleges in Kentucky

Search School Name
School Type
Degree Levels
11 Results
Georgetown College Private not-for-profit 400 East College Street Georgetown +
University of Louisville Public 2301 S 3rd St Louisville +
Morehead State University Public University Blvd Morehead +
Campbellsville University Private not-for-profit 1 University Dr Campbellsville +
Lindsey Wilson College Private not-for-profit 210 Lindsey Wilson St Columbia +
Murray State University Public 218 Wells Hall Murray +
Thomas More College Private not-for-profit 333 Thomas More Parkway Crestview Hills +
Spalding University Private not-for-profit 901 S Fourth Street Louisville +
University of the Cumberlands Private not-for-profit 6191 College Station Drive Williamsburg +
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Best Online Post-Secondary Schools in Kentucky

Best for Future Service Members

Almost anyone could benefit from the convenience of online schools in Kentucky, but this flexibility is especially valuable for military service members and spouses who want to continue their studies through deployments, relocations and other major transitions. Many schools offer additional programs to help these students succeed, such as military tuition discounts, special funds and scholarships, and online tutoring and advising.

Students attending online schools in Kentucky with campus-based locations may have access to additional resources, like on-site centers offering academic, financial and civilian transition advising services. Other services that may benefit active and retired military personnel include credit-by-exam options that allow students to earn college credit for established military skills and training.

Tuition City ROTC - Army ROTC - Navy ROTC - Air Force
Kentucky State University$5,496 Frankfort Yes No Yes
Northern Kentucky University$7,872 Highland Heights Yes No Yes
Western Kentucky University$8,472 Bowling Green Yes No Yes
University of Kentucky$8,610 Lexington Yes No Yes
University of Louisville$9,466 Louisville Yes No Yes

Best for Personal Attention

Online schools in Kentucky make college accessible to students who otherwise may not be able to attend, but that doesn’t mean they have to sacrifice personalized learning for flexibility. Many distance learning schools integrate technologies into their programs that help students feel connected to instructors and peers. These might include online video conferencing tools like Skype, cloud-based collaboration tools, scheduled chats and virtual office hours. Live-streamed, interactive lectures allow students to ask questions in real-time, and many online schools in Kentucky cap course enrollment to guarantee more personalized feedback. Here are some of the best online schools in Kentucky for students seeking a more personal learning experience.

Western Kentucky University 19 to 1 21,080$8,472 Public Bowling Green
Morehead State University 18 to 1 10,758$7,284 Public Morehead
Northern Kentucky University 18 to 1 14,912$7,872 Public Highland Heights
University of Kentucky 18 to 1 21,861$8,610 Public Lexington
University of Pikeville 17 to 1 1,618$17,050 Private not-for-profit Pikeville
Alice Lloyd College 16 to 1 640$8,500 Private not-for-profit Pippa Passes
Saint Catharine College 16 to 1 1,197$17,976 Private not-for-profit Saint Catharine
Murray State University 16 to 1 9,972$5,880 Public Murray
Eastern Kentucky University 16 to 1 16,064$7,320 Public Richmond
Kentucky Mountain Bible College 15 to 1 81$6,300 Private not-for-profit Vancleve
Kentucky Christian University 15 to 1 568$16,448 Private not-for-profit Grayson
Brescia University 15 to 1 830$18,500 Private not-for-profit Owensboro
Thomas More College 15 to 1 1,927$25,390 Private not-for-profit Crestview Hills
Kentucky State University 15 to 1 3,214$5,496 Public Frankfort
Asbury University 14 to 1 1,592$25,140 Private not-for-profit Wilmore
University of the Cumberlands 14 to 1 1,853$18,640 Private not-for-profit Williamsburg
Midway College 14 to 1 2,021$20,700 Private not-for-profit Midway
Lindsey Wilson College 14 to 1 2,370$21,000 Private not-for-profit Columbia
Kentucky Wesleyan College 13 to 1 803$19,640 Private not-for-profit Owensboro
Campbellsville University 13 to 1 3,782$21,100 Private not-for-profit Campbellsville
University of Louisville 13 to 1 17,692$9,466 Public Louisville
Bellarmine University 12 to 1 2,895$31,990 Private not-for-profit Louisville
Union College 11 to 1 917$19,990 Private not-for-profit Barbourville
Transylvania University 11 to 1 1,054$28,645 Private not-for-profit Lexington
Centre College 11 to 1 1,328$35,000 Private not-for-profit Danville
Georgetown College 11 to 1 1,375$30,770 Private not-for-profit Georgetown
Spalding University 11 to 1 1,576$20,550 Private not-for-profit Louisville
Berea College 11 to 1 1,734$20,900 Private not-for-profit Berea
Clear Creek Baptist Bible College 9 to 1 209$5,482 Private not-for-profit Pineville
Simmons College of Kentucky 8 to 1 122$4,320 Private not-for-profit Louisville

Best for Women in Technology

The technology industry is growing quickly, but studies suggest that women represent a smaller percentage of students in tech degree programs and the field at large. Some online schools in Kentucky focus on attracting and supporting young women in tech. They might staff more seasoned female professors to serve as role models, or host mentorship programs connecting new and graduating students. Some distance learning programs host professional and networking events specifically for women in technology. Student organizations for women in tech with a strong virtual presence are also helpful. Here are some of the best online schools in Kentucky for women pursuing tech careers.

Murray State University$6,840 Murray 118 7,543 Public
University of Kentucky$9,676 Lexington 106 24,269 Public
University of Louisville$9,662 Louisville 81 16,044 Public
Eastern Kentucky University$7,320 Richmond 46 11,968 Public
Morehead State University$7,284 Morehead 36 5,869 Public
Western Kentucky University$8,472 Bowling Green 22 14,890 Public
Asbury University$25,311 Wilmore 17 1,388 Private Not for Profit
Northern Kentucky University$8,064 Highland Heights 11 10,699 Public
Berea College$21,880 Berea 6 1,619 Private Not for Profit
Bellarmine University$33,270 Louisville 5 2,594 Private Not for Profit
Kentucky State University$6,096 Frankfort 5 2,096 Public

Best Schools Fighting for Families

Social science degrees can be a catalyst to careers in helping families, children and other citizens in need. Many online schools in Kentucky offer high-quality certificate and degree programs for students in these disciplines, but some extend their support even further. For example, programs that offer supervised, for-credit internship opportunities within students’ local communities provide practical knowledge and experience that could never be conveyed through courses alone. Some Web-based programs offer student and professional clubs for aspiring social services professionals that have a strong virtual presence, or special scholarships and grants specifically within this discipline. Optional campus-based seminars, career fairs and professional and networking conferences can also prove beneficial. Here are some of the top online schools in Kentucky for future community service professionals.

University of Louisville Louisville 274 219 55 $9,662 16,044
University of Kentucky Lexington 242 182 60 $9,676 24,269
Western Kentucky University Bowling Green 226 162 64 $8,472 14,890
Morehead State University Morehead 140 107 33 $7,284 5,869
Murray State University Murray 72 56 16 $6,840 7,543
Campbellsville University Campbellsville 68 65 3 $21,600 1,908
Northern Kentucky University Highland Heights 62 54 8 $8,064 10,699
Eastern Kentucky University Richmond 57 51 6 $7,320 11,968
Asbury University Wilmore 39 32 7 $25,311 1,388
Spalding University Louisville 37 35 2 $20,550 1,748
Brescia University Owensboro 22 20 2 $19,140 549
Centre College Danville 15 9 6 $35,000 1,309
University of Pikeville Pikeville 15 13 2 $17,050 1,495
Berea College Berea 11 10 1 $21,880 1,619
Georgetown College Georgetown 10 5 5 $30,770 1,253
Transylvania University Lexington 10 8 2 $29,865 1,005
Kentucky State University Frankfort 9 9 $6,096 2,096
Kentucky Christian University Grayson 8 7 1 $16,778 549
Bellarmine University Louisville 7 5 2 $33,270 2,594
Thomas More College Crestview Hills 7 6 1 $26,595 1,402
Union College Barbourville 5 5 $21,025 973