Massachusetts K-12 Online Schools

Massachusetts took a big leap into online education for K-12 students with the Massachusetts Virtual Academy (MAVA), established in 2010 as the state’s first fully online school. TEC Connections Academy, the second fully online school in the state, was launched in 2014. Online learning has been strongly embraced by students, with 454 enrolling full-time in MAVA during the 2013-14 term, and another 7,100 students taking a course through the Virtual High School – that’s 2.5% of the state’s high school population. There is currently a cap of about 19,000 public school students who can be enrolled full-time in virtual schools, but district schools are encouraged to create virtual learning programs in the coming years, which might extend the cap.

Massachusetts Virtual Academy K - 12 Greenfield Both Live/On-Demand Public (413) 475-3879
Virtual High School 5 - 12 Maynard On-Demand/Asynchronous Public (978) 897-1900

Massachusetts Online Colleges and Universities

Massachusetts is home to numerous public and private schools that offer hundreds of online courses and programs, as well as community colleges, targeted career colleges, and fully online institutions to serve those who want to learn from a distance. Some schools are taking the opportunities even further; Boston College, for example, joined a consortium in 2013 to launch Semester Online, a pilot program that allows students to explore social networking as a major component of an online education. Whether students seek a certificate, wish to take a stand-alone course for prerequisite requirements, or want to earn anything from an associate to a doctorate, there are programs in Massachusetts designed to meet their needs.

Community Colleges in Massachusetts

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Degree Levels
3 Results
Northern Essex Community College 100 Elliott Street Haverhill +
Middlesex Community College Springs Rd Bedford +
North Shore Community College 1 Ferncroft Rd Danvers +

Massachusetts Online Colleges Spotlight

Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC Online)

Bunker Hill Community College is an online school in Massachusetts that offers associate degree programs in business, communication, criminal justice, English, history and government, psychology, sociology and general studies. In addition, BHCC provides eight online certificate programs as well as a variety of individual courses. Students may also take online courses through Massachusetts Colleges Online (MCO), which encompasses all of the state’s community colleges and offers hundreds of courses, many of which may be transferable to other institutions. BHCC curriculum includes fully online, hybrid and streaming media options. A number of online courses require proctored exams on campus, although students may be able to schedule these at other colleges or approved testing locations. BHCC also boasts online advising and tutoring, as well as a computerized career guidance system.

To find out more about Bunker Hill Community College Online, visit:

University of Massachusetts Boston (UMass Boston)

The University of Massachusetts Boston offers extensive online degrees, courses and student services. In many ways, online courses are similar to traditional campus-based courses at UMass Boston. For example, the online classroom follows the university’s standard academic calendar. However, like most other online schools in Massachusetts, the courses are self-paced to offer more flexibility. Distance learning courses are also taught by the same professors and faculty that teach on-campus courses, and these instructors hold virtual office hours to discuss course material with students. UMass Boston offers online degrees in school counseling, global affairs, mental health counseling, family therapy and instructional design. More than a dozen online certificates are also available, including health care informatics, gerontology and business analytics. In addition, UMass Boston offers a number of professional development programs.

Learn more about UMass Boston’s online offerings at:

Lasell College

Graduate students interested in attending an online school in Massachusetts can choose from several different degrees at Lasell College. Fields of study include criminal justice (a newly announced distance learning program set to launch in the fall semester of 2015), general management, sport management and communication. Twelve online certificate programs are also available for those looking to enhance their professional skills. Online graduate degree programs include elder care management, marketing, human resources management, sport leadership and public relations. Graduate certificates available from Lasell College include integrated marketing, non-profit management, sport hospitality management and project management.

Designed with working professionals in mind, programs can be completed entirely online or in a hybrid format. For instance, online offerings are available 12 months a year, with start dates in September, October, January, March, May and July. Online learners can choose to take courses one at a time, study part-time with six or fewer credits, or study full-time with nine credits. The school also offers various resources to help keep distance learning students on track to achieve their academic goals. Students have access to virtual orientation, library archives, journals, online tutoring and advising, Moodle support, 24/7 technology help desk and the Academic Achievement Center.

More information on Lasell College’s distance learning options can be found at: .

UMass Amherst (UMassOnline)

UMassOnline, the online learning consortium of the University of Massachusetts, is made up of many Massachusetts online schools. The wide-ranging system spans more than 130 online undergraduate and graduate degrees, certificate and professional development programs, as well as more than 1,500 virtual courses. Online degrees are granted from the UMass campus through which the program is offered, and do not contain any references to “online” on the diploma or transcript. In 2014, UMass Amherst — one of the five UMass campuses — introduced nine new online degrees and certificates. These include bachelor’s degrees in any of four different concentrations (applied psychology, writing, human services or health studies), a general business studies certificate, a sustainable business practice certificate, a master of science degree in engineering management, the McCormack sport management graduate certificate, and a graduate certificate in higher education leadership and management.

For a complete list of online programs offered, visit UMassOnline: .

Boston University Online

Like many other online schools in Massachusetts, Boston University Online offers an undergraduate degree completion program, graduate degrees, graduate certificates, individual courses, and professional courses and certificates. Online graduate studies at BU include a variety of master’s degrees and doctoral degrees in musical arts and occupational therapy, plus a transitional doctorate in physical therapy. Students enrolled in Boston University Online programs typically complete two courses per semester, taking one seven-week course at a time. Each BU Online program presents activities, animations and simulations designed to keep students engaged. Students are organized into small groups that form an interactive virtual community, led by a trained facilitator, with online courses taught by the same faculty as on-campus classes. Boston University has received the Sloan Consortium Award for Excellence in Institution-Wide Online Education, the U.S. Distance Learning Association Award for 21st Century Best Practices, and several top 10 rankings in U.S. News & World Report.

Learn more about Boston University Online at:

Best Online Schools in Massachusetts for 2015-2016

Score Student/teacher ratio Financial aid Cost more
1 Northeastern University 99.56 13:1 77%

Northeastern University offers over 75 online programs, at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The school utilizes everything from communication via discussion boards to lectures via videos for its online students. At the undergraduate level, students can earn bachelor's degrees in many subjects, such as business and graphic design. Online students can earn a number of graduate degrees, ranging from a master's degree in criminal justice to a doctorate degree in nutrition. A number of certificates, both at the graduate and undergraduate levels, are also available, in a number of subjects within the arts and sciences.

2 Lesley University 98.85 11:1 97%

Online students at Lesley University get a lot of direct feedback. The school emphasizes communication between students and instructors (and students with fellow students), via discussion boards, blogs, email and other mediums. Online courses are also completed in eight-week terms, making for an accelerated program. Students can earn bachelor degrees completely online in business management, liberal arts and interdisciplinary humanities, psychology and human services. Online master degree programs are available in many subjects, ranging from educational technology to science in education. Students can even earn graduate certificate programs, in everything from emerging technologies to special education.

3 Wentworth Institute of Technology 97.26 17:1 99%

According to its website, Wentworth Institute of Technology offers "theory-based learning with a practical, problem-solving approach." This also applies to online courses, which are offered during the same semesters as on-campus courses (fall, spring and summer). These courses can for the most part be completed anytime, anywhere, though some instructors may require the occasional scheduled lecture or exam. Many mediums are used in online courses, including online discussion groups. Offered completely online is a Bachelor of Science in Project Management, as well as a certificate in project management. Many online master degrees are also available.

4 Fitchburg State University 97.19 15:1 90%

A lot of services are available to online students at Fitchburg State University, such as career services, disability services and counseling services. The school offers many online degrees and certificates. At the undergraduate level, students can earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (an RN to BSN, targeting currently-registered nurses) and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (with a management concentration). At the graduate level, students can earn master's in everything from forensic nursing to human resources management. A number of certificates are also available online. Many online programs can also be done in a hybrid format, blending online and campus courses.

5 University of Massachusetts-Amherst 89.5 18:1 88%

University of Massachusetts Amherst offers online programs at all levels. Often using the same instructors that teach on-campus courses, online courses typically allow students to complete coursework at anytime. At the undergraduate level, students can study many subjects online, such as hospitality and tourism management, business administration and nursing (RN to BSN). At the graduate level, students can earn everything from a Master of Science in Accounting to a Doctor of Nursing Practice - entirely online. Many certificates (both undergraduate and graduate) are also available entirely online, as are bachelor's degree completion programs (both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science).

6 University of Massachusetts-Lowell 89.25 18:1 90%

Academic advisors, 24/7 tech support and a student support staff: all available. That is, for online students at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. The school offers online certificates and degrees, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. At the bachelor's degree level, students can study many subjects, such as psychology, liberal arts and information technology. Undergraduate and graduate certificates can be earned online in subjects as varied as clinical pathology and web development. At the graduate degree level, master's degree programs are available in everything from criminal justice to education. There's even an online MBA program available.

7 University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth 87.59 18:1 90%

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth offers many online undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates. At the undergraduate level, students can earn online bachelor degrees in liberal arts, business administration, nursing (RN to BSN), women's and gender studies and political science. At the graduate level, students can earn entirely online a Master of Business Administration, a Master of Public Policy and a Master of Science in Computer Science. Certificates are also available online, at the undergraduate and graduate levels, in everything from women's and gender studies to business foundations. Online students have access to an online library, online tutoring and other resources.

4 Year Online Colleges in Massachusetts

Search School Name
School Type
Degree Levels
20 Results
Fitchburg State University Public 160 Pearl St Fitchburg +
Worcester Polytechnic Institute Private not-for-profit 100 Institute Road Worcester +
Hebrew College Private not-for-profit 160 Herrick Road Newton Centre +
Assumption College Private not-for-profit 500 Salisbury St Worcester +
Endicott College Private not-for-profit 376 Hale Street Beverly +
University of Massachusetts-Lowell Public 1 University Ave Lowell +
Wentworth Institute of Technology Private not-for-profit 550 Huntington Ave Boston +
University of Massachusetts Amherst Public 374 Whitmore Building 181 Presidents Drive Amherst +
Brandeis University Private not-for-profit 415 South St Waltham +
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Best Online Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts

Best for Future Service Members

Massachusetts is known for its research institutions, but it’s also an excellent place for students to combine service with education. Many post-secondary schools in Massachusetts are affiliated with ROTC and offer the option of Army, Navy and Air Force branches on campus. We’ve singled out the best four-year, non-profit universities in Massachusetts that provide at least two ROTC programs, with an emphasis on programs with tuition costs under $20,000 per year. Undergraduate and graduate students can easily find those Massachusetts schools that offer an affordable education along with opportunities to serve their country.

Tuition City ROTC - Army ROTC - Navy ROTC - Air Force
Worcester State University$970 Worcester Yes Yes Yes
Bridgewater State University$910 Bridgewater Yes No Yes
Salem State University$910 Salem Yes No Yes
Westfield State University$970 Westfield Yes No Yes
University of Massachusetts-Lowell$1,454 Lowell Yes No Yes
Massachusetts Maritime Academy$1,465 Buzzards Bay Yes No Yes
University of Massachusetts Amherst$1,714 Amherst Yes No Yes

Best for Personal Attention

Massachusetts is renowned for its many excellent colleges and universities, ranging from small liberal arts schools to large state universities. In any field of study, students depend on mentoring and interaction with their professors and advisors. The following list of online schools in Massachusetts reflect non-profit colleges that achieve favorable student-teacher ratios, with average class sizes below 20 for each faculty member.

Fisher College 20 to 1 3,194$25,780 Private not-for-profit Boston
Bridgewater State University 20 to 1 10,751$910 Public Bridgewater
Northpoint Bible College 19 to 1 367$9,200 Private not-for-profit Haverhill
American International College 19 to 1 1,712$29,158 Private not-for-profit Springfield
University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth 19 to 1 8,449$1,417 Public North Dartmouth
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences 18 to 1 3,461$26,600 Private not-for-profit Boston
Westfield State University 18 to 1 6,267$970 Public Westfield
University of Massachusetts Amherst 18 to 1 24,820$1,714 Public Amherst
Eastern Nazarene College 17 to 1 1,488$25,944 Private not-for-profit Quincy
Nichols College 17 to 1 1,511$31,440 Private not-for-profit Dudley
Dean College 17 to 1 1,715$31,950 Private not-for-profit Franklin
Becker College 17 to 1 2,038$28,900 Private not-for-profit Worcester
Worcester State University 17 to 1 6,629$970 Public Worcester
College of Our Lady of the Elms 16 to 1 1,318$27,750 Private not-for-profit Chicopee
Cambridge College 16 to 1 1,464$13,140 Private not-for-profit Cambridge
Emerson College 16 to 1 3,965$33,568 Private not-for-profit Boston
Wentworth Institute of Technology 16 to 1 4,053$25,900 Private not-for-profit Boston
Fitchburg State University 16 to 1 4,846$970 Public Fitchburg
Framingham State University 16 to 1 5,234$970 Public Framingham
Boston College 16 to 1 10,311$43,140 Private not-for-profit Chestnut Hill
University of Massachusetts-Boston 16 to 1 15,596$1,714 Public Boston
Newbury College-Brookline 15 to 1 1,124$26,750 Private not-for-profit Brookline
Gordon College 15 to 1 1,710$30,740 Private not-for-profit Wenham
Emmanuel College 15 to 1 2,546$33,450 Private not-for-profit Boston
Endicott College 15 to 1 2,897$27,666 Private not-for-profit Beverly
Salem State University 15 to 1 9,431$910 Public Salem
Anna Maria College 14 to 1 1,120$28,752 Private not-for-profit Paxton
Regis College 14 to 1 1,431$33,060 Private not-for-profit Weston
Massachusetts Maritime Academy 14 to 1 1,472$1,465 Public Buzzards Bay
Mount Ida College 14 to 1 1,483$26,644 Private not-for-profit Newton
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts 14 to 1 1,941$1,030 Public North Adams
Babson College 14 to 1 2,096$41,888 Private not-for-profit Wellesley
Springfield College 14 to 1 2,430$31,240 Private not-for-profit Springfield
Western New England University 14 to 1 2,833$29,738 Private not-for-profit Springfield
Worcester Polytechnic Institute 14 to 1 3,922$40,790 Private not-for-profit Worcester
Bentley University 14 to 1 4,337$38,130 Private not-for-profit Waltham
University of Massachusetts-Lowell 14 to 1 14,396$1,454 Public Lowell
Lasell College 13 to 1 1,575$27,800 Private not-for-profit Newton
Simmons College 13 to 1 1,797$33,350 Private not-for-profit Boston
Springfield College-School of Human Services 13 to 1 1,851$14,400 Private not-for-profit Springfield
Stonehill College 13 to 1 2,481$35,110 Private not-for-profit Easton
Northeastern University 13 to 1 21,904$39,320 Private not-for-profit Boston
Boston University 13 to 1 23,609$42,400 Private not-for-profit Boston
Montserrat College of Art 12 to 1 402$25,500 Private not-for-profit Beverly
Hampshire College 12 to 1 1,582$43,580 Private not-for-profit Amherst
Bay Path College 12 to 1 1,767$28,532 Private not-for-profit Longmeadow
Lesley University 12 to 1 2,477$31,200 Private not-for-profit Cambridge
Assumption College 12 to 1 2,485$33,390 Private not-for-profit Worcester
Merrimack College 12 to 1 2,673$32,720 Private not-for-profit North Andover
Berklee College of Music 12 to 1 5,161$35,450 Private not-for-profit Boston
Wheelock College 11 to 1 1,011$29,860 Private not-for-profit Boston
Suffolk University 11 to 1 6,393$30,672 Private not-for-profit Boston
Hellenic College-Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology 10 to 1 101$20,895 Private not-for-profit Brookline
Boston Baptist College 10 to 1 124$13,500 Private not-for-profit Boston
MGH Institute of Health Professions 10 to 1 592$36,700 Private not-for-profit Boston
Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology 10 to 1 724$16,950 Private not-for-profit Boston
Wheaton College 10 to 1 1,649$43,480 Private not-for-profit Norton
Clark University 10 to 1 2,447$38,100 Private not-for-profit Worcester
Massachusetts College of Art and Design 10 to 1 2,903$10,400 Public Boston
College of the Holy Cross 10 to 1 2,907$42,800 Private not-for-profit Worcester
Brandeis University 10 to 1 3,786$42,390 Private not-for-profit Waltham
Pine Manor College 9 to 1 346$23,144 Private not-for-profit Chestnut Hill
Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering 9 to 1 358$40,000 Private not-for-profit Needham
School of the Museum of Fine Arts-Boston 9 to 1 624$34,178 Private not-for-profit Boston
Mount Holyoke College 9 to 1 2,538$41,270 Private not-for-profit South Hadley
Smith College 9 to 1 2,736$41,190 Private not-for-profit Northampton
Curry College 9 to 1 3,233$31,900 Private not-for-profit Milton
Tufts University 9 to 1 5,657$43,688 Private not-for-profit Medford
Amherst College 8 to 1 1,904$43,860 Private not-for-profit Amherst
Wellesley College 8 to 1 2,633$41,824 Private not-for-profit Wellesley
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 8 to 1 4,446$41,770 Private not-for-profit Cambridge
Bard College at Simon’s Rock 7 to 1 379$44,075 Private not-for-profit Great Barrington
Boston Architectural College 7 to 1 661$16,716 Private not-for-profit Boston
Laboure College 7 to 1 873$29,270 Private not-for-profit Boston
Williams College 7 to 1 2,202$44,660 Private not-for-profit Williamstown
Harvard University 7 to 1 14,495$37,576 Private not-for-profit Cambridge
Saint John’s Seminary 6 to 1 39$16,750 Private not-for-profit Brighton
The Boston Conservatory 6 to 1 516$37,300 Private not-for-profit Boston
Hebrew College 5 to 1 9$18,240 Private not-for-profit Newton Centre
The New England Conservatory of Music 5 to 1 424$38,000 Private not-for-profit Boston
Longy School of Music of Bard College 4 to 1 54$30,600 Private not-for-profit Cambridge
National Graduate School of Quality Management 4 to 1 64$9,895 Private not-for-profit Falmouth

Best for Women in Technology

As the technology industry continues to grow, a rising number of women are entering the field. Many colleges offer quality degree programs in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields, along with specialized resources designed to draw more women to the industry. Many schools offer mentorship programs, pairing new female students with seasoned female students and faculty members. Women-only residences offer a positive, comfortable atmosphere where female students can access many available support systems. We’ve evaluated the many online schools in Massachusetts that have technology programs and compiled a list of the best options for women.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology$42,050 Cambridge 435 10,696 Private Not for Profit
Worcester Polytechnic Institute$41,380 Worcester 236 4,296 Private Not for Profit
Northeastern University$40,086 Boston 234 18,329 Private Not for Profit
Boston University$42,994 Boston 195 26,135 Private Not for Profit
Tufts University$44,666 Medford 133 9,886 Private Not for Profit
University of Massachusetts Amherst$13,415 Amherst 128 22,602 Public
Harvard University$39,966 Cambridge 86 19,921 Private Not for Profit
University of Massachusetts-Lowell$11,847 Lowell 65 9,451 Public
Mount Ida College$26,909 Newton 38 1,310 Private Not for Profit
University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth$11,681 North Dartmouth 36 7,316 Public
Framingham State University$8,080 Framingham 35 3,707 Public
University of Massachusetts-Boston$11,966 Boston 34 9,509 Public
Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering$42,975 Needham 28 344 Private Not for Profit
Salem State University$8,050 Salem 27 6,241 Public
Bay Path College$28,532 Longmeadow 25 1,475 Private Not for Profit
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences$27,440 Boston 24 4,936 Private Not for Profit
Smith College$41,460 Northampton 24 3,066 Private Not for Profit
Becker College$30,340 Worcester 22 1,400 Private Not for Profit
Wentworth Institute of Technology$27,108 Boston 20 3,538 Private Not for Profit
Western New England University$31,912 Springfield 18 2,865 Private Not for Profit
Berklee College of Music$36,490 Boston 17 3,888 Private Not for Profit
Brandeis University$44,294 Waltham 15 5,325 Private Not for Profit
Worcester State University$8,157 Worcester 15 4,067 Public
Massachusetts Maritime Academy$7,202 Buzzards Bay 13 1,231 Public
Bentley University$39,628 Waltham 12 4,675 Private Not for Profit
Emerson College$34,198 Boston 9 4,266 Private Not for Profit
Endicott College$28,166 Beverly 9 2,632 Private Not for Profit
Suffolk University$30,792 Boston 8 7,028 Private Not for Profit
Bridgewater State University$8,053 Bridgewater 7 8,390 Public
Assumption College$33,805 Worcester 6 2,256 Private Not for Profit
Merrimack College$33,920 North Andover 6 2,240 Private Not for Profit
Clark University$38,450 Worcester 5 3,110 Private Not for Profit

Best Schools Fighting for Families

If you’re looking for a degree in social work, Massachusetts is a great place to begin. These online schools in Massachusetts offer the support and curriculum needed for graduates to pursue a career in social work, with an emphasis on helping children and families. Hands-on learning, research opportunities and field work experience are just a few of the perks of these reputable institutions. Scholarship opportunities, making it more affordable to attend online schools in Massachusetts. Based on rankings, facilities, awards and other data, these are among the best social work programs in Massachusetts.

Boston College Chestnut Hill 317 269 48 $43,878 13,214
Simmons College Boston 204 186 18 $34,350 2,495
Boston University Boston 201 164 37 $42,994 26,135
University of Massachusetts Amherst Amherst 182 115 67 $13,415 22,602
Salem State University Salem 178 161 17 $8,050 6,241
Smith College Northampton 150 140 10 $41,460 3,066
Springfield College Springfield 122 109 13 $31,690 3,090
Bridgewater State University Bridgewater 117 99 18 $8,053 8,390
University of Massachusetts-Boston Boston 106 72 34 $11,966 9,509
Harvard University Cambridge 81 55 26 $39,966 19,921
Wheelock College Boston 79 72 7 $30,955 1,079
Westfield State University Westfield 77 62 15 $8,297 4,998
Northeastern University Boston 73 51 22 $40,086 18,329
Brandeis University Waltham 55 44 11 $44,294 5,325
College of the Holy Cross Worcester 52 42 10 $43,400 2,872
Framingham State University Framingham 44 30 14 $8,080 3,707
Suffolk University Boston 40 33 7 $30,792 7,028
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts North Adams 39 32 7 $8,525 1,480
Clark University Worcester 32 29 3 $38,450 3,110
Gordon College Wenham 31 30 1 $32,100 1,642
College of Our Lady of the Elms Chicopee 29 21 8 $29,112 901
University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth North Dartmouth 26 21 5 $11,681 7,316
Tufts University Medford 25 16 9 $44,666 9,886
Worcester State University Worcester 25 14 11 $8,157 4,067
Emmanuel College Boston 23 18 5 $33,650 1,802
Wheaton College Norton 20 17 3 $43,774 1,621
Fitchburg State University Fitchburg 16 10 6 $8,710 3,653
Stonehill College Easton 15 14 1 $35,110 2,449
Assumption College Worcester 14 6 8 $33,805 2,256
Merrimack College North Andover 13 10 3 $33,920 2,240
Mount Holyoke College South Hadley 13 13 $41,456 2,326
Wellesley College Wellesley 13 13 $42,082 2,371
Williams College Williamstown 12 10 2 $44,920 2,085
American International College Springfield 11 7 4 $29,158 1,695
Anna Maria College Paxton 11 10 1 $30,676 872
Curry College Milton 11 8 3 $33,465 2,040
Lesley University Cambridge 11 11 $31,575 2,879
Amherst College Amherst 10 8 2 $44,610 1,791
Eastern Nazarene College Quincy 10 9 1 $26,884 974
University of Massachusetts-Lowell Lowell 9 8 1 $11,847 9,451
Regis College Weston 8 8 $33,060 1,109
Western New England University Springfield 7 5 2 $31,912 2,865