Students looking to attend online schools in Minnesota have numerous options, including programs at the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State University. There are 113 accredited facilities in the state, including community and technical schools, tribal colleges, public colleges and universities, and private schools.

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system is the largest single provider of higher education in the state, featuring 24 technical and community colleges and seven state universities spanning 54 campuses. As one of the country’s top 10 largest online education providers, this system includes thousands of distance learning courses and hundreds of online associate, bachelor’s and graduate degrees, as well as certificates and diploma programs.

The two largest regionally accredited online colleges in the country, Walden University and Capella University, are located in Minnesota. Many non-profit schools also offer impressive online education options. Virtual learning plays a big role at the University of Minnesota, where online course enrollments grew to more than 36,000 during the 2012-2013 academic year.

Locations of Online Schools in Minnesota

The Minnesota State Colleges and University System oversees 31 public community colleges and four-year colleges and universities, including numerous online schools and programs. The public system also offers a number of programs that assist students in paying for college. With Minnesota’s reciprocity agreements, in-state residents can get tuition discounts at partnered out-of-state schools. With the Midwest Student Exchange Program, students in neighboring states, including Illinois and Indiana, are eligible for tuition reductions at Minnesota public schools.

The University of Minnesota runs a digital campus that offers online undergraduate and graduate degree programs, as well as continuing education programs. Program offerings include accounting, business, sport and recreation management, computer science and marketing. The university also offers hybrid programs that require students to travel to campus to complete portions of the program. These are primarily in technical and health sciences, such as clinical lab science and graduate nursing.

Minnesota State University also offers online undergraduate and graduate certificate programs, bachelor’s degree completion programs and teacher licensure programs. The university’s distance learning offerings are also provided through many of the state’s community colleges, including Normandale Community College. At St. Cloud University, more than 200 online courses are offered through its Center for Continuing Studies.

Metropolitan State University in St. Paul offers undergraduate and graduate certificate and degree programs in areas such as business administration, finance, management information systems and information assurance.

Minnesota State University in Mankato serves more than 18,000 students enrolled in more than 140 undergraduate degree programs and 70 graduate degree programs. The campus is home to eight colleges and 11 research centers. Also in the state system, the University of Minnesota has five campuses, including Duluth and Rochester, as well as 16 research and outreach centers. Other four-year institutions in the university system include Metropolitan State University, St. Paul College and Southwest Minnesota State University.

Minnesota Online School and Program Spotlights

William Mitchell College of Law

Beginning in January 2015, the William Mitchell College of Law will become the nation’s first school to launch an American Bar Association (ABA) accredited hybrid law degree (J.D.). There are no other online schools in Minnesota or the United States that offer this ABA-accredited law degree. Under the new four-year, part-time hybrid degree program, law students will combine 12 weeks of fully online coursework learning with a week-long campus-based visit at the end of each semester dedicated to experiential learning. Coursework covers common law school topics such as torts, criminal law, contracts, property, civil dispute resolution and employment law. A two-credit externship is also required during the third year. Online law students will have an opportunity to focus on Indian law or law and business.

To learn more about the hybrid law degree at William Mitchell College, visit

Minnesota State Community and Technical College

Although Minnesota State Community and Technical College has four campuses, anyone can attend classes at these online schools in Minnesota remotely through the college’s eCampus. Designed for students planning to transfer to a four-year institution, the school’s University Transfer Degree is a two-year online program that leads to an Associate in Arts, Associate of Science or Associate of Fine Arts degree. Minnesota State Community and Technical College has articulation arrangements with universities in Minnesota and North Dakota to ensure that credits or degrees will be seamlessly accepted into participating bachelor’s programs. Associate degree programs include majors in accounting, business, computer programming, information technology, medical assisting (coding, insurance, and administrative), pharmacy technology and paralegal studies.

To find more information about the transfer degree program, or other degrees and certificates at Minnesota State Community and Technical College, visit

University of Minnesota Digital Campus

The University of Minnesota, which is not part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, offered its first online course in 1996. In 2008, the university launched its digital campus with 18 fully online degrees. By 2012-2013, U of M campuses offered more than 1,422 web-based courses, 30 fully online undergraduate and graduate certificates and degree programs, and more than 20 hybrid programs with a significant online component. All five campuses of the university, from the Twin Cities to Duluth to Rochester, offer online schools in Minnesota.

Through the digital campus, U of M students can choose from online bachelor’s degrees in fast-growing fields, such as health and information technology, as well as online master’s degrees in areas such as engineering and nursing. Distance learning students interact with and learn from the same faculty and staff as those in on-campus programs. Online students also have access to support and advisory services, as well as specialized resources through the digital campus.

Discover the University of Minnesota Digital Campus at

St. Cloud State University Online

More than 200 undergraduate and graduate courses are offered at St. Cloud State University (SCSU) Online in the fall, spring and summer semesters. SCSU features online bachelor’s degrees in community psychology, criminal justice and elective studies, as well as online master’s degrees in applied behavior analysis, criminal justice studies, information media and teaching English as a second language. The university also offers blended learning programs in land surveying, information media and public safety executive leadership.

As with other online schools in Minnesota, the online education experience at SCSU is just as rigorous as the on-campus experience, with many online courses taught by the same faculty who lead classroom-based studies. If an online course requires face-to-face meetings on campus or at an off-campus site, that requirement is identified in the course enrollment system. Students must meet with an SCSU academic advisor to determine if they can complete their degree entirely online.

For more information about SCSU Online, visit

University of St. Thomas

The largest online school in Minnesota is the University of St. Thomas, which is also Minnesota’s largest private university. The University of St. Thomas offers fully online programs for graduate degrees and certificates. Master’s degree programs are available in special education with a focus on autism spectrum disorders (ASD), public safety and law enforcement leadership. In addition, students may pursue an online graduate certificate in ASD or a special education teacher license in ASD. Program features include streaming video lectures, live sessions with visual whiteboards, professor-hosted discussion boards, live chat rooms, group study and social networking.

At the University of St. Thomas, online courses are eight weeks long and start six times per year so students don’t have to wait to get started on their degree. All coursework can be completed online, with the exception of clinical practice or field work. Every online student is assigned an academic advisor who is available to answer questions and provide progress reports via email or phone.

Learn more about online programs at the University of St. Thomas at


Best Online Schools in Minnesota for Future Service Members

In addition to being the land of 10,000 lakes, Minnesota is known for its large number of opportunities for prospective students interested in serving their country. Undergraduates and graduate students alike can benefit from the state’s prestigious universities and numerous ROTC programs. Listed below are all of the non-profit, four-year degree generating universities that offer at least two ROTC programs to enrolled students. Online schools in Minnesota that offer Army, Navy and/or Air Force ROTC branches and keep tuition costs affordable are highlighted.

Tuition City ROTC - Army ROTC - Navy ROTC - Air Force
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities$12,060 Minneapolis Yes Yes Yes
Minnesota State University Moorhead$6,898 Moorhead Yes No Yes
North Central University$18,610 Minneapolis Yes No Yes

Best Online Schools in Minnesota for Personal Attention

Minnesota might be cold in the winter, but the courses at these selected colleges and universities provide a warm welcome, as classes contain fewer than 20 students per professor. Although these unique schools have student bodies of at least 5,000 members, they combine academic excellence with personalized attention.

University of Minnesota-Crookston 20 to 1 3,152$10,030 Public Crookston
Minnesota State University Moorhead 18 to 1 7,887$6,898 Public Moorhead
North Central University 17 to 1 1,445$18,610 Private not-for-profit Minneapolis
Northwestern College 17 to 1 3,474$26,740 Private not-for-profit Saint Paul
Metropolitan State University 17 to 1 10,041$6,329 Public Saint Paul
Concordia University-Saint Paul 16 to 1 2,131$29,700 Private not-for-profit Saint Paul
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota 16 to 1 2,366$27,820 Private not-for-profit Winona
University of Minnesota-Morris 15 to 1 2,085$11,720 Public Morris
Augsburg College 15 to 1 3,451$31,292 Private not-for-profit Minneapolis
University of St. Thomas 15 to 1 6,515$33,040 Private not-for-profit Saint Paul
Crown College 14 to 1 1,108$22,100 Private not-for-profit Saint Bonifacius
The College of Saint Scholastica 14 to 1 3,277$30,208 Private not-for-profit Duluth
Concordia College at Moorhead 13 to 1 2,811$30,650 Private not-for-profit Moorhead
St Catherine University 13 to 1 4,438$24,544 Private not-for-profit Saint Paul
Minneapolis College of Art and Design 12 to 1 626$31,450 Private not-for-profit Minneapolis
Martin Luther College 12 to 1 1,184$11,770 Private not-for-profit New Ulm
Hamline University 12 to 1 2,268$33,236 Private not-for-profit Saint Paul
St Olaf College 12 to 1 3,233$39,560 Private not-for-profit Northfield
Bethel University 12 to 1 3,963$30,700 Private not-for-profit Saint Paul
Oak Hills Christian College 11 to 1 142$14,420 Private not-for-profit Bemidji
Crossroads College 11 to 1 188$14,800 Private not-for-profit Rochester
Bethany Lutheran College 11 to 1 641$22,810 Private not-for-profit Mankato
Saint Johns University 11 to 1 1,929$34,838 Private not-for-profit Collegeville
College of Saint Benedict 11 to 1 2,138$35,298 Private not-for-profit Saint Joseph
Gustavus Adolphus College 11 to 1 2,530$37,210 Private not-for-profit Saint Peter
Macalester College 10 to 1 2,236$43,472 Private not-for-profit Saint Paul
College of Visual Arts 9 to 1 219$25,161 Private not-for-profit Saint Paul
University of Minnesota-Rochester 9 to 1 290$11,720 Public Rochester
Carleton College 9 to 1 2,047$44,184 Private not-for-profit Northfield
Apostolic Bible Institute Inc 8 to 1 59$3,150 Private not-for-profit Saint Paul
Northwestern Health Sciences University 8 to 1 289$10,282 Private not-for-profit Bloomington
Mayo School of Health Sciences 7 to 1 173N/A Private not-for-profit Rochester
Dunwoody College of Technology 7 to 1 1,493$16,277 Private not-for-profit Minneapolis

Best Online Schools in Minnesota for Women in Tech

Minnesota is a great place for women to enter a degree program in technology. This quickly-growing, traditionally male-dominated field offers significant financial rewards and solid career opportunities. Recognizing the impact that women can make in the field, online schools in Minnesota have developed programs to support and guide them through the educational process. From mentorship programs to female-only residences, these features ensure that women can earn their degrees in a positive, encouraging environment. We’ve done the research and compiled some of the best accredited, four-year colleges for women in technology.

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities$13,459 Minneapolis 274 38,694 Public
University of St. Thomas$33,787 Saint Paul 49 7,140 Private Not for Profit
Saint Cloud State University$7,472 Saint Cloud 34 11,799 Public
University of Minnesota-Duluth$12,785 Duluth 23 10,117 Public
Minnesota State University-Mankato$7,531 Mankato 22 12,392 Public
Winona State University$8,710 Winona 14 7,793 Public
Metropolitan State University$6,642 Saint Paul 14 2,767 Public
Bemidji State University$8,107 Bemidji 13 3,809 Public
Minneapolis College of Art and Design$31,650 Minneapolis 8 617 Private Not for Profit
Southwest Minnesota State University$8,074 Marshall 6 2,461 Public

Best Online Schools in Minnesota for Fighting for Families

Minnesota has a wide variety of options available for students wishing to pursue a degree and career in social work. Whether you’d like to work in a clinical setting, with children at a school, or in a government body, social work is a rewarding career that can enable you to help families through difficult situations. These online schools in Minnesota offer programs that provide students with the hands-on experience they need to find quality employment after graduation. Work-study programs and scholarships make education more affordable. We’ve compared the many social work programs in Minnesota to compile this list of the best in the state.

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Minneapolis 222 178 44 $13,459 38,694
St Catherine University Saint Paul 188 175 13 $33,176 3,440
University of St. Thomas Saint Paul 168 151 17 $33,787 7,140
Saint Cloud State University Saint Cloud 129 113 16 $7,472 11,799
Minnesota State University-Mankato Mankato 119 101 18 $7,531 12,392
Winona State University Winona 90 80 10 $8,710 7,793
Minnesota State University Moorhead Moorhead 74 58 16 $7,834 5,695
University of Minnesota-Duluth Duluth 71 58 13 $12,785 10,117
Augsburg College Minneapolis 59 48 11 $31,942 3,113
The College of Saint Scholastica Duluth 49 44 5 $30,398 3,297
St Olaf College Northfield 42 36 6 $39,560 3,113
Metropolitan State University Saint Paul 40 31 9 $6,642 2,767
Concordia College at Moorhead Moorhead 32 27 5 $30,860 2,698
Bemidji State University Bemidji 30 22 8 $8,107 3,809
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota Winona 24 8 16 $28,320 3,434
Bethel University Saint Paul 16 16 $30,840 3,042
Macalester College Saint Paul 16 7 9 $43,693 1,978
Hamline University Saint Paul 15 12 3 $33,752 2,720
Southwest Minnesota State University Marshall 14 14 $8,074 2,461
Gustavus Adolphus College Saint Peter 11 8 3 $37,660 2,486
Bethany Lutheran College Mankato 10 4 6 $23,270 582
University of Minnesota-Morris Morris 8 6 2 $12,549 1,789
North Central University Minneapolis 8 7 1 $19,066 1,155
College of Saint Benedict Saint Joseph 7 7 $36,218 2,041
Saint Johns University Collegeville 5 5 $35,486 1,919