Online Schools & Colleges in Rhode Island

Rhode Island is home to 12 prestigious learning institutions, some of which offer excellent opportunities for online learning. The state is home to an Ivy League institution, one of the nation’s most prestigious design schools, many private and public colleges, a two-year community college and two specialty schools, one of which focuses on the culinary arts. Online schools in Rhode Island offer a variety of courses, certifications and degrees, giving students of all educational levels a program that meets their needs. All 12 post-secondary learning institutions in Rhode Island are accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Learning opportunities at the K-12 level are also available in Rhode Island, though the state still lags behind most others when it comes to online learning for this group of students.

Rhode Island Online Colleges and Universities

Although Rhode Island is the national’s smallest state, it has an impressive selection of post-secondary options. The Community College of Rhode Island offers numerous online courses at the same cost as traditional classes. Known for being rigorous, these classes follow the standard academic calendar and are held to the same learning outcomes as those taught on campus. Some of these programs do require campus visits to supplement learning. Both of Rhode Island’s public universities offer online courses, and the University of Rhode Island’s offerings encompass over 20 undergraduate and graduate disciplines. Enrollment in online courses continues to grow, with the highest rates occurring during the summer session. Popular degrees include communication studies, library and information sciences, psychology, gender and women’s studies and writing.

State Schools in Rhode Island

Rhode Island boasts two state schools: the University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College. Over 25,000 full and part-time students are split between the universities and are enrolled in a range of bachelor’s and master’s degrees and graduate certificate programs. Popular fields include ocean engineering, finance, nutrition, theatre and creative writing. At RIC, half of undergraduates pursue education, nursing or social work degrees while the other half study liberal arts or business. RIC offers majors not common at other schools, including international nongovernmental organizations studies and labor studies.

Both URI and RIC are committed to promoting diversity, which can be seen across the campuses of both. A wide variety of student organizations and centers are focused on promoting equality and open dialogue and classroom activities work to bring these conversations to the forefront whenever possible.

Community Colleges in Rhode Island

The Community College of Rhode Island has six campuses statewide where students can earn an associate degree or gain credits for eventual university transfer. Degree programs are focused on the arts and sciences, with popular courses including energy utility technology, microcomputing and nursing. CCRI caters to both recent high school graduates and those returning to school after time in the workforce. In fact, 60 percent of the student body is over 25 years old.

Private Nonprofit Colleges in Rhode Island

Rhode Island is home to two well-known private universities: Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design. Founded in 1764, Brown is the seventh-oldest college in the country and offers many different undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Brown is unique in its program structure for undergraduates, allowing students choose from about 70 concentrations to create their own courses of study.

RISD is a highly regarded school for the arts, offering degrees in areas of architecture, design, find arts and art education. RISD requires full-time study with no part-time option available. With adjacent campuses, RISD and Brown allow their students to cross-register for classes at the other school for no additional cost.

Best Online Schools in Rhode Island for 2017

Students can choose from some of the most distinguished institutions in the country in and around Rhode Island, but many students today are looking for an online alternative to a traditional education. With two- and four-year colleges and technical schools offering online options, students have many viable choices. We’ve done some of the homework for you with our 2017 list of the best colleges in Rhode Island. Get started on your path today.

University of Rhode Island
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
83%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
169
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
63%
Ranking SCORE 99.75
Read more

Founded in 1892, the University of Rhode Island is a major research institution that has a tradition of fostering independent thought among its students. Graduates and undergraduates can find online degree and certificate programs in areas such as nursing, cybersecurity, dietetics, education, and digital literacy. Students can stream course lectures at their convenience and access class materials online. In addition, students can use the school's e-Campus administrative system to register for classes, access financial aid information, and get transcripts. In some cases, students who are enrolled in traditional programs may be able to take certain classes online as well.

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
Roger Williams University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
89%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
102
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
61%
Ranking SCORE 93.27
Read more

Roger Williams University offers online degree programs through its School of Continuing Studies. Although students do not come to the campus, the school's online programs are designed to be rigorous and personalized, so online students experience classes in the same way as traditional ones. One way this is accomplished is through Roger Williams University's continuous advisement, which allows students to develop a close relationship with their advisor. Distance students also have access to support staff and an online orientation to help them get used to this learning environment.The school offers online degrees in the health care, criminal justice, technology, public administration, and management fields.

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
Salve Regina University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
97%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
61
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
72%
Ranking SCORE 91.92
Read more

When students enroll in one of Salve Regina University's online degree programs, they learn in an asynchronous environment that allows them to watch class lectures whenever they like. In addition, courses have an interactive component that is designed to augment classroom material by fostering discussions with professors and other students. Salve Regina also offers hybrid classes that have a combination of online and on-campus elements, so students are required to attend some in-person meetings. Students can enroll in master's degree programs online, as well as certificate programs, in areas such as business administration, cybersecurity and intelligence, international relations and health care administration.

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
Johnson & Wales University-Providence
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
98%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
64
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
53%
Ranking SCORE 87.87
Read more

Johnson & Wales University was established in 1914 to provide career education to students. Since that time, the school has offered immersive career-focused programs that are designed to help students hone their problem solving and practical skills. This career education was first introduced to distance students in 2008 when the school first started offering online classes, and in 2010, it began offering full online degrees. Whether they want to prepare for a new career or advance in an existing one, students can enroll in degrees in disciplines like business administration, hospitality, health science, finance, and criminal justice.

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
New England Institute of Technology
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
73%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
27
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
N/A
Ranking SCORE 86.73
Read more

Professionals who want to get the training they need to advance in their careers can enroll in New England Institute of Technology's online degree programs that are created with flexibility in mind. Depending on which program students enroll in, courses may be conducted online or in a hybrid format. In addition, the school offers accelerated courses that can be completed in ten weeks, as well as four academic terms each year-which allows students to complete their degrees quickly. Degrees are available on the bachelor's and master's levels. Subjects include construction management, automotive service management, criminal justice, and public health.

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

Online Rhode Island Colleges

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Rhode Island K-12 Online Schools

While some students in grades 9-12 have supplemental online education available to them, there are currently no public online learning opportunities available for grades K-8. The state is, however, experiencing an increase in blended learning (a combination of in-class and online instruction), with an increase of 72 percent in this activity over the past three years. The Northern Rhode Island Collaborative, in conjunction with the Jefferson County Educational Service Center in Ohio, offers 80 online courses to Rhode Island Students in grades 3–12, and 24 percent of middle and high schools in the state participate in The Virtual High School.

Rhode Island Post-Secondary Spotlight

Roger Williams University

As an online school in Rhode Island, RWU caters to a wide variety of students seeking online options for undergraduate degrees, certificates and individual courses. There are eight purely online degrees available, including undergraduate programs in criminal justice, healthcare administration and industrial technology, among others. Certificate programs include digital forensics, municipal management and school nurse teaching. RWU expects a lot of its online students, requiring a high degree of involvement and participation. This typically involves eight to nine hours of weekly work per course. RWU openly distinguishes itself from other online schools in Rhode Island, claiming that its faculty is characteristically interactive with their online students. This ensures all students gain an immersive and intense, but nurturing learning experience.

To learn more about Roger Williams University’s online learning options, continue reading at: http://rwu.edu/academics/schools-colleges/scs/online-learning/online-programs.

Providence College

With nearly 30 courses offered across departments including economics, chemistry, philosophy and English, this online school in Rhode Island provides a robust choice of learning options. Online courses at PC are powered by Sakai, a distance learning software platform used by hundreds of universities worldwide. With a continuous focus on providing flexible study balanced with upholding expectations of online student involvement, PC is a leader of online schools in Rhode Island. Courses are offered as either fully online or in hybrid format, mixing in-class and online learning methods.

For more information about Providence College’s online learning options, visit: http://www.providence.edu/sce/student-resources/Pages/online-learning.aspx.

University of Rhode Island

Following the same academic schedule as on campus courses, students enrolled in URI’s online classes enjoy the same assignments, group work and participation opportunities as their counterparts. URI does not offer undergraduate degrees online, however it does have both professional and graduate certificates in digital forensics offered purely online. This online school in Rhode Island does offer other courses through a hybrid model where 75 percent of the class is completed online while the other 25 percent is done in person.

To learn more about online learning at the University of Rhode Island, visit: http://web.uri.edu/learningonline/.

4 Year Colleges in Rhode Island

Search School Name
City
School Type
Degree Levels
3 Results
SCHOOL NAME TYPE ADDRESS CITY SEE PROGRAMS
Salve Regina University Private not-for-profit 100 Ochre Point Avenue Newport +
New England Institute of Technology Private not-for-profit 1408 Division Road East Greenwich +
Roger Williams University Private not-for-profit One Old Ferry Rd Bristol +

Best Online Colleges and Universities in Rhode Island

Best for Personal Attention

The first Rhode Island college was among the nine initial colonial post-secondary schools founded before the American Revolution, instilling a strong sense of serving individual pursuits. Online schools in Rhode Island offer a broad curriculum that should suit most every college major field of study. What sets the colleges on our list apart from other schools is their advantageous student/faculty ratio, even in schools with more than 5,000 students. All of these schools have student-teacher ratios less than 20:1.

College
Name
STUDENT-TEACHER-RATIO UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS TUITION TYPE CITY
New England Institute of Technology 16 to 1 4,086$19,275 Private not-for-profit East Greenwich
University of Rhode Island 16 to 1 15,389$10,878 Public Kingston
Bryant University 15 to 1 3,428$35,591 Private not-for-profit Smithfield
Rhode Island College 15 to 1 8,795$6,530 Public Providence
Salve Regina University 14 to 1 2,071$33,450 Private not-for-profit Newport
Roger Williams University 14 to 1 4,911$29,976 Private not-for-profit Bristol
Providence College 13 to 1 4,588$41,350 Private not-for-profit Providence
Rhode Island School of Design 9 to 1 2,030$41,022 Private not-for-profit Providence
Brown University 9 to 1 6,930$42,808 Private not-for-profit Providence
Johnson & Wales University-Online 3 to 1 120$16,740 Private not-for-profit Providence

Best for Women in Technology

Online schools in the small state of Rhode Island help female students of technology and engineering in a big way, connecting them to each other and to jobs throughout New England and beyond. Though women typically enroll in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) programs with less frequency than men, the online schools in Rhode Island listed here boast a high ratio of female to male students, all-female dormitories, mentorships or other special programs. Additionally, collectives and meet-ups are offered, providing students the opportunity to network with professional women with careers in technology and engineering.

College
Name
TUITION + FEES CITY WOMEN IN TECH DEGREES AWARDED TOTAL ENROLLMENT TYPE
University of Rhode Island$12,450 Kingston 63 13,470 Public
Brown University$43,758 Providence 53 8,346 Private Not for Profit
New England Institute of Technology$20,685 East Greenwich 12 2,556 Private Not for Profit
Roger Williams University$31,618 Bristol 8 4,030 Private Not for Profit
Johnson & Wales University-Providence$26,412 Providence 6 9,983 Private Not for Profit
Rhode Island College$7,598 Providence 5 5,995 Public
Salve Regina University$33,950 Newport 5 2,058 Private Not for Profit

Best Schools Fighting for Families

Though a small state, Rhode Island has excellent offerings for students interested in pursuing a career in social work. Social workers often take two tracks: Direct-service social workers that help individuals cope with everyday problems, or clinical social workers that diagnose mental and behavioral issues. Both types of social workers can pursue careers in which they help families and children. These online schools in Rhode Island can help provide the education, training and advocacy skills necessary for graduates to bring social and economic justice to the world.

College
Name
CITY SOCIAL DEGREES AWARDED WOMEN MEN TUITION & FEES TOTAL ENROLLMENT
Rhode Island College Providence 155 129 26 $7,598 5,995
Brown University Providence 35 25 10 $43,758 8,346
University of Rhode Island Kingston 35 18 17 $12,450 13,470
Providence College Providence 26 22 4 $42,206 3,967
Salve Regina University Newport 17 17 $33,950 2,058
Roger Williams University Bristol 8 7 1 $31,618 4,030