ACCREDITED ONLINE BACHELOR’S DEGREES

Best Schools for an Online Bachelor’s Degree: 2017

It is often the case that attending class in-person simply isn’t an option, as many of life’s obligations are time-consuming and demand more immediate attention. However, students who may be working around these scheduling constraints may be pleased to hear they can complete the entirety of their bachelor’s degree online. Online learning allows students to make the necessary time to earn a college degree, without disrupting their already busy schedules. To help students find the best learning options for them, we’ve ranked schools across the country based on factors such as class size, program count, and institutional financial aid opportunities. Explore the top schools with online bachelor’s programs below.

1 National University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
1%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
126
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
23%
Ranking SCORE 99.81
Read more

National University is headquartered in San Diego, California. The university offers dozens of bachelor's degrees in the arts, business, sciences, technology, law, media and languages. Traditional degree programs are taught at campuses located in cities like Berkeley, Bakersfield, Glendale, Sacramento and Los Angeles. Several of the school's bachelor's degrees have an online option. Through digital platforms, students can participate in classroom discussions, complete written course assignments and interact with their instructors early in the morning, during the midday or in the evening after work. Presentations, lectures, campus email and streamed videos are used to deliver course material in real time to online students.

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesNo
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
2 Siena Heights University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
99%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
97
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
43%
Ranking SCORE 99.57
Read more

Siena Heights University is comprised of nine campuses. It's main campus is located in Adrian, Michigan. About 300 adults are enrolled in the school's online degree and nondegree programs. In-person and online majors and minors that lead to bachelor's degrees are in subjects like business administration, nursing, marketing and information technology management. Siena Heights University's first year program uses experiences like Welcome Week to help freshmen get acclimated to college life. Bachelor degree related job experiences can be gained through the school's work study program. There are also opportunities to study abroad in Costa Rica and England.

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
3 Southern New Hampshire University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
71%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
93
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
59%
Ranking SCORE 98.89
Read more

Southern New Hampshire University is a private school. Adults seeking a bachelor's degree can choose between campus majors and online degrees. Study areas for the school's bachelor's degrees include information technology, accounting, business administration, business studies, marketing and sports management. There are several concentrations in majors like business studies, communication and criminal justice. Opportunity to earn a bachelor's degree in less than four years is available by enrolling on the accelerated track. To visit the campus, students need to schedule a visit with the admissions office. Campus housing is offered.

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
4 Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
98%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
49
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
62%
Ranking SCORE 97.91
Read more

More than 1,500 students are enrolled at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. Online applications are accepted at the school. New students must submit their applications by deadline. After they decide to continue their education, adults with prior postsecondary learning, could transfer credits into the college's bachelor's degree programs. Environmental science, graphic design, human services, theater and political science are types of fields that the college confers bachelor's degrees in. Post graduating with a bachelor's degree, students who major in art therapy, healthcare administration, leadership development or music therapy could go on to earn a master's degree from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
5 Davenport University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
89%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
54
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
40%
Ranking SCORE 97.30
Read more

Davenport University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission The university celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2016. Bachelor's degrees are administered through five colleges which include the college of business, technology, health professions, arts and sciences and urban education. Davenport University also teaches bachelor's degree programs through its global campus. Among the school's online degree opportunities are a Bachelor of Arts in Human Resource Management, Bachelor of Arts in Sport Management and Bachelor of Arts in Accounting. Before new students enroll in classes, they are encouraged to schedule a campus visit. Total population at the university tops 8,000 students.

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
6 Prescott College
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
90%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
57
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
45%
Ranking SCORE 97.21
Read more

Prescott College is a liberal arts, social justice and environmentally focused school located in Prescott, Arizona. Credits for prior learning, opportunities to study abroad and limited residency programs are available. Bachelor's degrees with limited residency opportunities include the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Arts and Letters. Other bachelor's degrees are in areas like psychology, human development and adventure education. Although the college offers a range of distance education bachelor's degree options, a good portion of the college's classes rely on experiential experiences. Virtual and on campus tours are provided. It takes between four and five years to earn a bachelor's degree from Prescott College.

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesNo
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
7 Tiffin University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
92%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
71
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
33%
Ranking SCORE 96.99
Read more

Tiffin University has been educating adults in Tiffin, Ohio and beyond since 1888. Adults who enroll in classes that lead to a bachelor's degree at the school's 130-acre campus should check with the university's admissions office to see if they can transfer or earn credits for prior learning. Four year undergraduate degrees at Tiffin are in areas like arts administration, psychology, history, exercise science, digital forensics and computer and information systems. Online degrees are taught in some of the bachelor's degree programs. In addition to freshmen and transfer students, the university accepts international students.

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
8 Liberty University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
78%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
88
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
46%
Ranking SCORE 96.41
Read more

Liberty University is a Christian school that offers on campus and online undergraduate and graduate degrees. Its main campus is in Lynchburg, Virginia. Accreditation to confer degrees, including bachelor's degrees, come from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Bachelor's degrees are conferred in study areas like studio and digital arts, business administration, education, criminal justice, psychology and religion. A more narrowly defined education can be obtained in fields like business administration and psychology by declaring a specialization. Students who seek an online education have more than 250 programs to choose from.

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
9 Granite State College
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
0%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
45
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
50%
Ranking SCORE 96.26
Read more

Granite State College is a public school that encourages adults to engage in lifelong learning. Bachelor's degree programs at Granite are regionally and nationally accredited. Nine of the college's bachelor's degrees can be completed online. Among these degrees are the Bachelor of Science in Public Service Management, the Bachelor of Science in Service and Hospitality Management and the Bachelor of Science in Allied Health Leadership. More than a dozen bachelor's degrees make up the college's on campus offerings. Education majors can earn a post bachelor's degree teacher certification at Granite. Undergraduate and graduate applications are accepted online.

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
10 Northern Arizona University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
66%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
198
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
49%
Ranking SCORE 96.24
Read more

Northern Arizona University is located in beautiful Flagstaff, Arizona. More than 150 degrees are awarded at the school. These degrees fall under several categories, including engineering, hospitality, social sciences, languages and humanities and arts. Classes are taught in person at more than two dozen locations. A Bachelor of Science in Applied Computer Science, Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education are among the four year degrees that the university awards. Learning outcomes related to specific knowledge and skills are linked to each bachelor's major.

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
11 Nova Southeastern University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
94%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
93
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
42%
Ranking SCORE 96.05
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesNo
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
12 Judson College
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
95%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
22
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
37%
Ranking SCORE 95.95
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
13 Saint Leo University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
99%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
57
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
43%
Ranking SCORE 95.90
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
14 Champlain College
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
94%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
74
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
64%
Ranking SCORE 95.74
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
15 Western Kentucky University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
37%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
126
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
50%
Ranking SCORE 95.64
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
16 Regis University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
95%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
63
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
59%
Ranking SCORE 95.59
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesNo
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
17 Colorado Christian University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
97%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
62
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
40%
Ranking SCORE 95.32
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
18 Gardner-Webb University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
96%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
64
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
45%
Ranking SCORE 95.24
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
19 Southwestern College
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
95%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
67
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
51%
Ranking SCORE 95.10
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesNo
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
20 Indiana Wesleyan University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
50%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
145
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
70%
Ranking SCORE 95.09
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
21 Baker College Center for Graduate Studies
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
72%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
29
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
25%
Ranking SCORE 95.07
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
22 Dickinson State University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
63%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
45
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
35%
Ranking SCORE 95.04
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
23 Buena Vista University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
100%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
70
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
51%
Ranking SCORE 94.96
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
24 Saint Joseph's College of Maine
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
97%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
54
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
51%
Ranking SCORE 94.95
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
25 Bellevue University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
51%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
49
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
31%
Ranking SCORE 94.94
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesNo
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
26 Drexel University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
93%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
168
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
65%
Ranking SCORE 94.94
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
27 Fort Hays State University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
72%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
57
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
41%
Ranking SCORE 94.80
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
28 University of Memphis
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
40%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
103
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
40%
Ranking SCORE 94.71
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
29 Bay Path University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
100%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
22
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
50%
Ranking SCORE 94.61
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
30 East Carolina University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
50%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
137
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
58%
Ranking SCORE 94.57
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
31 Mercy College
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
88%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
46
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
34%
Ranking SCORE 94.48
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
32 University of Louisiana at Monroe
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
56%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
64
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
37%
Ranking SCORE 94.32
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
33 LeTourneau University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
97%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
83
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
61%
Ranking SCORE 94.31
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
34 Indiana State University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
75%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
108
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
43%
Ranking SCORE 94.18
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
35 Penn State World Campus
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
37%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
278
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
86%
Ranking SCORE 94.18
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
36 University of Maryland-University College
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
3%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
54
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
4%
Ranking SCORE 94.16
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesNo
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
37 University of the Incarnate Word
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
99%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
75
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
48%
Ranking SCORE 94.08
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
38 Southwestern Assemblies of God University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
73%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
30
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
38%
Ranking SCORE 94.05
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
39 Concordia University-Saint Paul
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
85%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
66
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
47%
Ranking SCORE 93.97
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
40 Columbia College
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
24%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
47
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
42%
Ranking SCORE 93.87
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
41 University of Illinois at Springfield
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
93%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
36
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
47%
Ranking SCORE 93.83
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
42 Brenau University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
98%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
59
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
45%
Ranking SCORE 93.82
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
43 Belhaven University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
98%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
57
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
49%
Ranking SCORE 93.82
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
44 Wayland Baptist University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
33%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
66
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
36%
Ranking SCORE 93.82
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
45 Franklin University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
0%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
41
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
13%
Ranking SCORE 93.81
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesNo
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
46 Goodwin College
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
91%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
19
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
N/A
Ranking SCORE 93.77
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
47 Chaminade University of Honolulu
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
100%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
37
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
36%
Ranking SCORE 93.76
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
48 Concordia University-Wisconsin
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
98%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
98
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
59%
Ranking SCORE 93.72
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
49 Viterbo University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
100%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
82
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
53%
Ranking SCORE 93.70
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
50 The University of Alabama
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
53%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
147
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
67%
Ranking SCORE 93.66
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes

Bachelor’s degree programs offered by campus-based and online schools, colleges and universities provide students with a comprehensive arts and sciences education as well as concentrated studies in their major field. The bachelor’s degree is widely considered to be the most-common post-secondary degree sought by high school graduates who are preparing for lifelong careers. Applicants submit their high school transcripts (or records of completed college courses) and test scores prior to acceptance and enrollment. The first two years of the bachelor’s degree program focus on general education courses across the curriculum, along with introductory studies in the student’s major. The second two years focus on major and minor courses at the intermediate and advanced levels. Online learning presents an accredited college option for students who cannot afford tuition, who cannot leave their work or families to move to college or commute, and for those who are seeking accelerated self-paced studies that shorten the time to graduation.

A bachelor’s degree can lead to greater earnings, increased job security, and more employee benefits that those for workers who are hired without a college degree. But what is the best degree program for you? That’s what this guide is about. There’s a breakdown of the kinds of bachelor’s degrees, the curriculum that satisfies graduation requirements, and a clear explanation about the value of college accreditation.

Does a Bachelor’s Degree Pay?

A completed bachelor’s degree arms graduates with more earning power over their working lifetimes than for those who haven’t completed college. In 2013, bachelor’s degree holders took home median weekly wages of $1,199 — more than $450 per week over pay made to workers with only a high school diploma (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS). In addition to increased earning potential, bachelor’s degrees provide graduates with job security in tough economic times. A 2013 study conducted by the PEW Charitable Trusts found that while 21–24-year-olds suffered wage and job cuts during the severe downturn in the economy, 2009-2009, those with bachelor’s degrees fared exceptionally better than workers without a post-secondary degree. Wages for four-year graduates shrank by less than half the amount of the pay cuts suffered by workers with only a high school diploma. Similar disparities were found in job cuts; jobs of bachelor’s graduates dropped two percent during the economic downturn, while positions for workers with only high school diplomas fell by twice as many (four percent).

Bachelor’s Degrees: The Basics

There are two major types of bachelor’s degrees offered by campus and online colleges and universities:

  • Bachelor’s of Arts (B.A.) A four-year degree program with major concentrations in arts, fine arts, social sciences, and humanities.
  • Bachelor’s of Science (B.S.) A four-year degree with concentrated major studies in mathematics, physical and life sciences.

Courses of study are commonly divided into lower- and upper-division segments. During the first two years, students complete lower-division classes across the liberal arts and sciences curriculum that comprise a general education core. They are also introduced to their major and minor fields of study. The second-two years are comprised of upper-division courses providing intermediate and advanced studies in major fields. Matriculation is maintained through a modular system by which students take progressive courses after satisfying pre-requisites. During their final semester, students may undertake internships or complete senior projects. The table below shows a range of courses that make up a typical bachelor’s degree curriculum, ranging from lower-division general education studies to advanced classes in a college major:

COURSE NAME DESCRIPTION
Survey in Biology Introduction for non-science majors includes overview of life processes and fundamental concepts in biological science. Requires laboratory hours.
English Composition Students learn a variety of college research and writing modes, with an emphasis on organization of ideas, written drafts and revisions.
Computer Science Fundamentals This foundation course for computer science majors introduces theories and designs for employing algorithms and programming languages. Pre-requisite: Math 101.
Introduction to Psychology What are the fundamental concepts, principles and methods of psychology? The course covers topics in sensory perception, personality, emotional health, abnormalities, and coping strategies.
Contemporary Global Challenges and Issues Intermediate studies in political culture, world opinion, and the role of peacekeeping institutions. Topics include global warming, nuclear proliferation, starvation, energy policy, and humanitarianism.
Principles of Criminal Investigation Examination of techniques and theories in the detecting, preserving and presentation of physical and forensic evidence. Includes laboratory sections. Prerequisite: Introduction to Criminology.
Race, Gender and Class in the Media Offered jointly by the Departments of Communication and American Ethnic Studies, this interdisciplinary course investigates the use and perpetration of stereotypes by media organizations and resulting influences on public opinion.
Early Childhood Curriculum Focuses on evidence-based models for designing and implementing programs supporting early learning, including topics in cognition, literacy, social development, and special populations.
Advanced Business Administration Third in a series of studies in accounting, business organization, business law, ethics, international commerce, information systems, marketing and finance.
Undergraduate Independent Study in Urban Planning Students are mentored in an independent research project or related field work in an approved topic in urban planning, community environment, ethics and sustainability.

When a Bachelor’s Degree Makes Sense

A bachelor’s degree program is a common way for students to complete a well-rounded education that can prepare them for careers beyond entry-level service occupations. Many employers require applicants to hold a bachelor’s degree with a major and skills that match their job requirements. For some students, the bachelor’s degree serves as an educational bridge to an advanced degree program. Most states require public school teachers to complete a bachelor’s degree as a minimum entry requirement for classroom work. Campus and online bachelor’s degree programs offer great opportunities for students who have only taken a few college-level classes or have completed an associate degree that want to transfer and complete their four-year degrees. Major and minor subject fields offer broad class selections across the entire range of bachelor’s degree programs. Students who have completed an associate degree may change directions entirely to pursue a four-year degree in another major field.

Graduates from bachelor’s degree programs work across the career spectrum, taking jobs as:

  • Auditors
  • Architects
  • Financial analysts
  • Sales managers
  • Insurance underwriters
  • Cost estimators
  • Credit counselors
  • Teachers and trainers
  • Tax collectors
  • Police, fire, and EMT responders
  • Budget analysts
  • Personal financial advisers
  • Registered nurses
  • Multimedia specialists
  • Software developers
  • Actuaries
  • Graphic designers
  • Writers and journalists
  • Interior designers
  • Public relations representatives
  • Civil engineers
  • Environmental engineers and consultants
  • Cartographers
  • Surveyors
  • Social workers
  • Counselors
  • Clinical and laboratory technicians
  • Economists
  • Mediators
  • Airline pilots
  • Foresters and conservation scientists

Transferring to a Four-Year College or University

Students transferring from an associate degree program to bachelor’s studies, or students changing four-year colleges, must take special care to ensure they receive credit for previous classwork. Academic advisers and degree counselors are go-to resources in considering a change. Many four-year schools have transfer arrangements with community colleges in their states or communities. Not all courses are treated equally by academic transfer committees. Community college students intending to transfer should start from the first semester to determine which course of study will best-meet core and general education requirements required by their four-year school. Students changing bachelor’s degree institutions may risk losing previous credits for studies outside standardized general education courses.

Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs

Often students are disappointed to discover that they cannot afford to relocate to attend college or live too far away to commute. They may be saddled with employment or family responsibilities that make attending full-time, on-campus programs impossible. For them and others, online bachelor’s degree programs are convenient alternatives, with their flexible class hours and 24/7 remote access from any device connected to the internet. Because they are self-paced, many online bachelor’s degree programs may be completed in less than four years. Students will find an extensive selection of online colleges, universities and for-profit schools that confer bachelor’s degrees.

Online educational technology is advancing as quickly as innovations can be built into college interfaces. Students enroll, register, receive academic counseling, attend classes, complete assignments and tests, and hold conferences with their professors without leaving their home, office or nearby café. Classes are presented through multi-media presentations, live and recorded lectures, instructor blogs, email and threaded communications, video and voice conferencing software. Students have round-the-clock access to online libraries and resources for conducting research.

Online Learning Q&A

Must I be a nerd to use an online classroom program?

Students who are reading this right now have all the skills necessary for accessing their online degree programs. Where other tools are used (such as video conferencing), there are help pages, technical support staffs, and peers to show them the ropes.

What is the quality of online classes compared to on-campus ones?

Most online teachers and professors hail from the campus college environment. In addition, accredited online degree programs have been evaluated by independent researchers to ensure that they meet standards for academic quality and course delivery.

What happens to students who have to complete laboratories in addition to attending online lectures?

Distance educators understand the reasons why students choose online schools. To that end, they create labs that can be completed entirely online or they schedule labs with participating organizations close to where students work and live.

Is student aid available for online students?

Online bachelor’s degree institutions that hold formal accreditations are eligible to offer qualified students the package of federal student loans, grants and work study options.

Will I miss the social aspects of a college education if I’m only online?

Online students may miss football games, pep rallies and campus activities, but they’re not paying for them! And because students have a limited time to study, online programs allow them to devote themselves to completing their degrees. Online students frequently report that they build lasting friendships and academic interests with their fellows through class chats, emails and conference calls.

Bachelor’s Degree College Accreditation

Colleges, university and online schools that offer bachelor’s degree programs stake their reputations on voluntary accreditation. The process involves a college self-assessment followed by a campus visit by an independent accreditation agency. Agencies are approved by the U.S. Department of Education. A formal accreditation evaluates how the college performs in areas of academic quality as defined by national standards organizations. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) currently identifies more than 20,000 accredited academic programs across the United States.

Accreditation can be granted for an entire school or college, or individual college programs can receive specialized accreditation. College departments may seek accreditation from professional associations if they are delivering career-focused coursework. Campus-based programs typically seek regional accreditation of their degree programs from one of six agencies. Online colleges and traditional colleges offering online classes often obtain a regional accreditation as well as a specialized online accreditation from agencies such as the United States Distance Learning Association or Distance Learning Council.

Students requiring financial aid should investigate accreditations at their prospective colleges and universities. The U. S. Department of Education requires schools that offer federal financial aid (grants, loans, fellowships) to hold current accreditations.