Maryland is the very definition of “small but mighty.” It ranks low for total land mass, but those 9,700 square miles are home to one of the most diverse and highly educated populations in the nation. According to the 2012 Census, Maryland ranks in the top three states for its rate of college attainment at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. What’s the secret? An exceptional system of higher education.
Maryland offers more than 200 postsecondary institutions, including a well-funded network of public colleges and universities. The state’s private selection is even more varied, including such highly regarded institutions as John Hopkins University and Loyola University. Maryland’s schools already draw students from all over the country, but a growing online learning market is pushing their boundaries further than ever.
Online schools in Maryland are ideal for students who want to advance their educations, but still need to work full-time to offset tuition and living costs. These programs also make competitive public and private colleges accessible to students around the world. Most Maryland schools already offer some form of distance education, but options grow with each passing year.
MarylandOnline, a virtual network of 20 public universities and community colleges, connects students with hundreds of online courses and degrees. The Maryland Distance Education Association (MDLA) is another major initiative promoting high-quality online education. These programs offer something for everyone, but finding the right program takes time and research. This page offers a snapshot of Maryland’s comprehensive higher education system, including some of its top-ranked online schools.
Future students will find no shortage of online schools in Maryland. Most public and private institutions in the state offer some type of distance education, from online courses to full Web-based degree programs. The public University of Maryland System offers a particularly robust catalog of online options, but programs and disciplines vary widely from one campus to the next.
The University of Maryland University College (UMUC) has more than 100 online undergraduate and graduate degree programs, and even more individual courses. Several community colleges offer online courses and degrees of their own. Students can visit Maryland Online, a virtual campus of more than 20 institutions, to learn more about public options. Private institutions, from targeted career colleges to prestigious heavy-hitters like John Hopkins University, round out Maryland’s distance education scene.
Maryland’s public institutions include a sizeable network of two-year community colleges, along with the massive University of Maryland System, which manages several four-year and graduate-level research universities. Community colleges offer a mix of specialized career certificates and transfer-geared associate degrees in a diversity of majors. Some are large enough to warrant multiple campuses, like Community College of Baltimore and Montgomery College. The University of Maryland, the state’s largest public system, serves hundreds of thousands of students each year online or through 12 distinct campuses, plus several more satellite centers. Total graduate enrollments alone exceed 80,000. Several of these programs, such as the University of Maryland College Park and the flagship University of Maryland University College, consistently earn high national and regional rankings.
Maryland is home to several independent colleges and universities, but they vary considerably in size and focus. The renowned John Hopkins University is the largest non-profit institution in the state, followed by Loyola University and Notre Dame University of Maryland. St. John’s College in Annapolis, founded in the late 1600s, is one of America’s oldest institutions. Maryland also offers a handful of religiously affiliated private institutions and for-profit career colleges. Private colleges in general tend to be more expensive than their public counterparts, but they remain a popular option for students seeking a certain prestige, special program or distinct campus vibe. Some of Maryland’s online schools are privately operated institutions.
Anne Arundel Community College
Maryland’s Anne Arundel Community College (AACC) offers several online learning options. Students can pursue 100 percent online associate degrees in areas like business management, computer science, financial accounting, computer technology or an online business management certificate, with concentrations in advertising/marketing, database administration or human resources. Although courses can be completed online, students take proctored exams at an approved testing site. Students living near AACC have access to a number of additional hybrid courses, which combine online and on-campus study.
AACC offers a number of online support services, like personalized tutoring and extensive library resources. Online courses are delivered through Canvas, a virtual classroom that hosts all materials and activities. To use Canvas, online students need a Mac or PC with an adequate Internet connection. Because most courses include conferences and audio/video presentations, computers should be capable of running Java and Flash Player.
To learn more about specific degree programs, visit AACC’s Virtual Campus at http://www.aacc.edu/virtualcampus/default.cfm.
University of Maryland University College
University of Maryland University College (UMUC) is the largest online school in Maryland; more than 200,000 students enrolled in online courses in 2013. UMUC’s military-friendly policies, such as in-state tuition for active duty military, make it a leading provider of online education to U.S. service members around the world. Nearly 100 online degrees and programs are offered at UMUC, including undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs in business and management, liberal arts and communications, education and teaching, and information technology.
Although UMUC’s online admissions requirements vary by program and credential, all undergraduate programs require at least a high school diploma or GED. Graduate applicants need a bachelor’s degree and passing scores on the GRE or GMAT, depending on the program.
UMUC’s online courses used to be accessible only through the WebTycho learning system, but many programs have since transitioned to the Learning Experience Online (LEO) system. The LEO virtual classroom allows students to track assignments and deadlines, review lectures via smartphone or tablet, and access enhanced progress and performance tools.
Visit UMUC for more information on distance learning options at http://www.umuc.edu/academic-programs/.
University of Baltimore
The University of Baltimore (UB) is a public institution offering five online degree programs, including a bachelor’s degree in business administration and master’s degrees in public administration, global leadership and business administration.
Most of UB’s online programs are offered in an asynchronous format, meaning students can access materials and lectures whenever it’s convenient, as long as they meet all assignment and exam deadlines. Only UB’s online master’s degree is synchronous, requiring students to participate in course activities on a set schedule. Hybrid and Web-assisted courses are also available, combining online and classroom-based learning.
UB’s online programs are hosted by the Sakai learning management system. While most programs have fully online courses, some include electives courses that are not available online. Admission requirements vary, and most applicants will need to submit GMAT scores for the online MBA program that is offered in partnership with Towson University.
To learn more about UB’s online programs, visit UB Online at http://www.ubalt.edu/academics/online-programs.cfm.
Best Online Schools in Maryland for Military Servicemembers & Veterans
The United States Naval Academy, Andrews Air Force Base and Fort Meade are just some of the facilities that have made Maryland home to one of the largest active-duty and veteran service member populations in the nation. Online education can be tremendously helpful for military students and families who do not want their studies sidelined by deployments and relocations, but online schools in Maryland do much more to support the men and women of the Armed Forces. They may offer special scholarships, tuition discounts, academic tutoring, transition support and programs that award college credit for military training. Several of these colleges have earned official military-friendly distinctions and high rankings on lists like U.S. News & World Report’s Best Online Schools for Veterans. The following are some of the best online schools in Maryland for military service members and their families.
|Tuition||City||ROTC - Army||ROTC - Navy||ROTC - Air Force|
|University of Maryland-Baltimore County||$7,085||Baltimore||Yes||No||Yes|
|University of Maryland-College Park||$7,175||College Park||Yes||No||Yes|
Best Online Schools in Maryland for Personal Attention
Online schools in Maryland make higher education accessible to thousands of students, some of whom live in remote areas or must work to offset tuition and living costs. The freedom to report to a computer instead of a classroom is what makes distance learning so valuable, but some students worry they’ll get lost in the digital shuffle.
There are a number of ways that online schools preserve personalization and interactivity. Some strategically integrate technologies that boost collaboration, like video conferencing, online discussion boards and cloud-based project management tools. Programs that allow students to stream lectures and ask questions in real-time enhance interactivity. Virtual office hours and low student-to-instructor ratios also ensure that online students get the individual feedback and support they need to succeed. The online schools in Maryland earn high marks for providing this type of personalized learning experience.
|University of Baltimore||20 to 1||3,882||$5,818||Public||Baltimore|
|University of Maryland-Baltimore County||20 to 1||11,929||$7,085||Public||Baltimore|
|University of Maryland-University College||19 to 1||44,009||$6,024||Public||Adelphi|
|Ner Israel Rabbinical College||18 to 1||396||$9,700||Private not-for-profit||Baltimore|
|University of Maryland-College Park||18 to 1||31,229||$7,175||Public||College Park|
|Salisbury University||17 to 1||8,679||$5,576||Public||Salisbury|
|Towson University||17 to 1||20,222||$5,660||Public||Towson|
|Coppin State University||16 to 1||4,001||$3,854||Public||Baltimore|
|University of Maryland Eastern Shore||16 to 1||4,295||$4,493||Public||Princess Anne|
|Stevenson University||16 to 1||4,498||$23,562||Private not-for-profit||Stevenson|
|Bowie State University||16 to 1||5,063||$4,683||Public||Bowie|
|Frostburg State University||16 to 1||5,273||$5,464||Public||Frostburg|
|Washington Adventist University||14 to 1||1,504||$18,900||Private not-for-profit||Takoma Park|
|Mount St Mary’s University||14 to 1||1,963||$32,224||Private not-for-profit||Emmitsburg|
|Morgan State University||14 to 1||7,476||$4,676||Public||Baltimore|
|Washington Bible College-Capital Bible Seminary||13 to 1||323||$11,147||Private not-for-profit||Lanham|
|Loyola University Maryland||13 to 1||3,983||$41,026||Private not-for-profit||Baltimore|
|Capitol College||12 to 1||447||$20,976||Private not-for-profit||Laurel|
|Notre Dame of Maryland University||12 to 1||1,506||$29,850||Private not-for-profit||Baltimore|
|Washington College||12 to 1||1,562||$39,208||Private not-for-profit||Chestertown|
|Hood College||12 to 1||1,567||$31,840||Private not-for-profit||Frederick|
|McDaniel College||11 to 1||1,940||$35,800||Private not-for-profit||Westminster|
|St Mary’s College of Maryland||11 to 1||2,060||$12,245||Public||St. Mary's City|
|National Labor College||10 to 1||1,430||$9,750||Private not-for-profit||Silver Spring|
|Maryland Institute College of Art||10 to 1||2,400||$37,900||Private not-for-profit||Baltimore|
|United States Naval Academy||10 to 1||4,605||N/A||Public||Annapolis|
|Goucher College||9 to 1||1,519||$37,072||Private not-for-profit||Baltimore|
|Johns Hopkins University||9 to 1||6,895||$43,390||Private not-for-profit||Baltimore|
|Yeshiva College of the Nations Capital||8 to 1||51||$9,500||Private not-for-profit||Silver Spring|
|Maple Springs Baptist Bible College and Seminary||8 to 1||87||$4,470||Private not-for-profit||Capitol Heights|
|St John’s College||8 to 1||502||$44,554||Private not-for-profit||Annapolis|
|University of Maryland-Baltimore||8 to 1||898||$7,498||Public||Baltimore|
|Sojourner-Douglass College||7 to 1||1,831||$7,720||Private not-for-profit||Baltimore|
|St Mary’s Seminary & University||6 to 1||4||$16,460||Private not-for-profit||Baltimore|
Best Online Schools in Maryland for Women in Tech
Maryland’s highly educated workforce and government connections make it a magnet for tech jobs, and the higher-than-average employment rates and earnings that often come with them. Unfortunately, a persistent gender disparity means women are far less likely to benefit from this trend. Several studies have traced that gap all the back to the classroom, virtual or otherwise.
Some online schools in Maryland shine when it comes to attracting, supporting and retaining young women in tech. They may host mentorship programs linking young women with more experienced students and professionals, or staff more women instructors who can serve as role models. Professional and student organizations, like the Society of Women Engineers, can give these students a sense of community, especially if they have a strong online presence or help Web-based students attend conferences and networking events. Special scholarships, optional on-site or online seminars, and virtual career fairs can also help. Which programs do the most for next generation of women in tech? These online schools in Maine earn gold stars for supporting these young students while offering top-notch degrees in engineering, computer science and other high-tech fields.
|TUITION + FEES||CITY||WOMEN IN TECH DEGREES AWARDED||TOTAL ENROLLMENT||TYPE|
|Johns Hopkins University||$43,390||Baltimore||449||13,094||Private Not for Profit|
|University of Maryland-College Park||$8,908||College Park||222||32,233||Public|
|University of Maryland-University College||$6,384||Adelphi||137||5,890||Public|
|Bowie State University||$6,639||Bowie||58||4,071||Public|
|University of Maryland-Baltimore County||$9,764||Baltimore||56||10,187||Public|
|United States Naval Academy||N/A||Annapolis||50||4,576||Public|
|Morgan State University||$7,012||Baltimore||35||6,688||Public|
|Loyola University Maryland||$42,430||Baltimore||23||4,537||Private Not for Profit|
|Stevenson University||$25,310||Stevenson||20||3,300||Private Not for Profit|
|University of Baltimore||$7,646||Baltimore||14||3,400||Public|
|University of Maryland-Baltimore||N/A||Baltimore||13||5,028||Public|
|University of Maryland Eastern Shore||$6,713||Princess Anne||7||3,901||Public|
Best Online Schools in Maryland Fighting for Families
Social work is the type of field that can have a largely positive impact on families and communities, but only for those who have been properly trained. These budding community helpers benefit from educations that balance high-quality instruction with practical, hands-on experience in the field. Not all schools do this well, especially in a Web-based environment. Online schools in Maryland offer several respectable courses and degrees in areas like counseling, sociology and public service, but when it comes to giving students the kind of special scholarships, career and networking support, and community-based internship experiences that can really help them succeed, the following schools stand well above the rest.
|CITY||SOCIAL DEGREES AWARDED||WOMEN||MEN||TUITION & FEES||TOTAL ENROLLMENT|
|University of Maryland-Baltimore||Baltimore||460||419||41||N/A||5,028|
|University of Maryland-Baltimore County||Baltimore||177||137||40||$9,764||10,187|
|University of Maryland-College Park||College Park||149||93||56||$8,908||32,233|
|Morgan State University||Baltimore||131||99||32||$7,012||6,688|
|Bowie State University||Bowie||126||93||33||$6,639||4,071|
|Frostburg State University||Frostburg||55||41||14||$7,436||4,606|
|Coppin State University||Baltimore||51||40||11||$6,065||2,523|
|University of Maryland Eastern Shore||Princess Anne||42||33||9||$6,713||3,901|
|Johns Hopkins University||Baltimore||39||26||13||$43,390||13,094|
|University of Maryland-University College||Adelphi||25||10||15||$6,384||5,890|
|St Mary’s College of Maryland||St. Mary's City||14||8||6||$14,773||1,931|
|Mount St Mary’s University||Emmitsburg||12||5||7||$32,954||1,926|
|Loyola University Maryland||Baltimore||8||6||2||$42,430||4,537|