Home not only to the College of William & Mary, the country’s second oldest university, Virginia also boasts a bevy of other institutions of every kind to meet the needs of students. For those who do not have the time or means to pursue a traditional on campus degree program, the state is has 84 colleges, universities and specialty schools offering varied options in online education. The state views online learning as a very important component of the educational landscape and has passed legislation to continue improving and expanding its offerings for students of higher education.
According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, 35 percent of the state’s students are enrolled in online programs, and over half of those are exclusively online students. As of 2013, 18 universities and colleges offer online or hybrid (online and campus-blended) programs as bachelor’s, master’s or specialty degrees. Additionally, over 20 community colleges provide online associate and diploma programs. Nationally based online schools also have campuses in Virginia, further supporting online degree and certificate programs at undergraduate and graduate levels.
The state places high importance on online education and this is evidenced through the introduction of several programs to increase the access and range of online learning options. In 2014, a special program was enacted to introduce online work readiness courses to every social services agency, K-12 school, community college and employer in the state to spark career entry and advancement opportunities. Once fully in motion, the program will produce 21 online work development courses that will be shared with over 145,000 Virginia teachers.
First founded in 1861, this online school in Virginia embraces both its history and modern technological advances to reach online students via Hampton U Online. Online offerings include four associate, eight bachelor’s, one master’s and four doctorate degrees. Online certificate programs are also available in human resource management and paralegal practice. Associate programs are available in aviation management, flight education, general studies and business management. At the master’s degree level, the university has developed an online information assurance program. Hampton U Online has several support services and resources in place to help distance learners near and far, including an online bookstore, career center, online library, 24/7 tech assistance and virtual proctoring. Additionally, men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces can take advantage of the university’s military credit policy.
For more information on the online programs at Hampton University, visit: http://huonline.hamptonu.edu.
At VT, students can choose from a substantial range of online master’s degrees and graduate certificates delivered by its Extended Learning Enrollment Services department. The schools is well known for its extensive programs in technology and engineering, which is reflected in its online offerings. Students choose from 15 fully online master’s programs in subjects such as aerospace engineering, agriculture, education, information technology, ocean engineering and political science. Other master’s programs are conducted in either a fully interactive videoconferencing or blended format. Certificate programs are available in natural resources, environmental politics, security studies, nuclear engineering, software development and several other subjects. Individual courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels are also available to registered Virginia Tech students and for those seeking to fulfill professional development or continuing education licensing or job requirements. Some online degree programs and courses may be offered at discounted rates for out-of-state students.
For additional information on Virginia Tech’s distance learning courses and programs, visit their website at: http://www.vto.vt.edu.
George Mason University
At GMU, students are given the option to study entirely online or split class and study time into equal online and face-to-face interactions with 34 fully online programs and 10 hybrid online programs. A few of the fully online programs include nursing and biodefense, and some of the hybrid classes include wireless communications and applied Information technology. Meeting the minimum technology requirements is essential to success in the online environment. The school recommends all students have reliable access to their GMU email account, Blackboard (the online portal through which classes are managed) and various other software such as a Flash player and Adobe Acrobat. Students have the option to purchase the required textbooks either online from the campus bookstore or from outside booksellers.
For more information about the George Mason University online learning programs, visit the school’s distance learning page: http://masononline.gmu.edu/programs/
AU is committed to being a leader in online education and their course catalog of 12 different online programs reflects this. Degrees range from science in business, sociology and criminal justice to master’s in marketing. Requirements for admission are the same as non-online programs, but they typically look for a GPA of 2.0 in high school and two years full-time work experience. Currently, Averett University only offers students online access through computers with required Internet browsers and operating systems. Some programs combine online and face-to-face learning, while others have fully online options. For example, the undergraduate degrees in sociology and criminal justice are entirely online, while master’s in business administration can either be taken entirely online or at any of the twelve satellite campuses throughout the state.
See more on the Averett University learning programs: http://gps.averett.edu/online-offerings/
Northern Virginia Community College
As a two-year public institution, this online college in Virginia supports over 20 associate degrees and more than a dozen certificates earned entirely online. Popular fields include accounting, business management, fine arts, liberal arts, information technology, marketing, science and social sciences. Certificate programs are available in administration of justice, bookkeeping, early childhood development, cyber security, health science and many others. Additional online courses and degree programs are available directly through individual NOVA campuses. Most classes are 16 weeks in length, although some are offered in an 8-week accelerated format. All distance learning programs require access to the Internet with some also requiring the use of computer programs on CD-ROM, listening to audio or video programs, using voice mail or attending scheduled web meetings through the Blackboard Collaborate virtual classroom.
More information on Northern Virginia Community College’s ELI programs can be found at: http://eli.nvcc.edu
Best Online Schools in Virginia for Future Service Members
Virginia is not only home to many of the top colleges and universities in the country, but also can also boast of its strong network of Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (ROTC) programs. For civic-minded students looking to receive a great education while serving their country, these online schools in Virginia should be top contenders. The schools listed below offer at least two ROTC programs for Army, Navy and/or Air Force branches. Highlighted selections mark the universities that keep tuition under $20,000 per year. These fine online schools in Virginia deserve special recognition for combining economical educational opportunities with civic-minded programs.
|Tuition||City||ROTC - Army||ROTC - Navy||ROTC - Air Force|
|Virginia Military Institute||$6,880||Lexington||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University||$9,187||Blacksburg||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|University of Virginia-Main Campus||$9,622||Charlottesville||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Norfolk State University||$3,540||Norfolk||Yes||Yes||No|
|James Madison University||$4,862||Harrisonburg||Yes||No||Yes|
|Old Dominion University||$5,203||Norfolk||Yes||Yes||No|
|George Mason University||$7,010||Fairfax||Yes||No||Yes|
Best Online Schools in Virginia for Personal Attention
The Commonwealth of Virginia spans tidelands, the piedmont, the mountains, the cities and the nation’s capital. Students can choose among rigorous, top-notch programs from online schools in Virginia in most every major academic area and professional field. Small class sizes can impact how students learn and grow. These exceptional schools have more than 5,000 students, yet they maintain an average student-faculty ratio less than 20 to 1.
|Norfolk State University||19 to 1||7,351||$3,540||Public||Norfolk|
|Radford University||19 to 1||8,835||$5,702||Public||Radford|
|Virginia Commonwealth University||19 to 1||26,661||$7,943||Public||Richmond|
|Liberty University||19 to 1||57,635||$18,562||Private not-for-profit||Lynchburg|
|Saint Pauls College||18 to 1||465||$12,380||Private not-for-profit||Lawrenceville|
|Ferrum College||18 to 1||1,572||$27,310||Private not-for-profit||Ferrum|
|Longwood University||18 to 1||4,571||$6,120||Public||Farmville|
|Averett University-Non-Traditional Programs||17 to 1||1,340||$9,000||Private not-for-profit||Danville|
|Christopher Newport University||17 to 1||4,918||$6,210||Public||Newport News|
|Southern Virginia University||16 to 1||859||$18,900||Private not-for-profit||Buena Vista|
|Virginia State University||16 to 1||5,937||$4,550||Public||Petersburg|
|University of Virginia-Main Campus||16 to 1||18,580||$9,622||Public||Charlottesville|
|James Madison University||16 to 1||19,620||$4,862||Public||Harrisonburg|
|Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University||16 to 1||24,730||$9,187||Public||Blacksburg|
|George Mason University||16 to 1||32,634||$7,010||Public||Fairfax|
|Virginia Union University||15 to 1||1,544||$13,314||Private not-for-profit||Richmond|
|The University of Virginia’s College at Wise||15 to 1||2,869||$4,454||Public||Wise|
|University of Mary Washington||15 to 1||5,036||$4,686||Public||Fredericksburg|
|Bridgewater College||14 to 1||1,700||$27,450||Private not-for-profit||Bridgewater|
|Marymount University||14 to 1||2,717||$24,900||Private not-for-profit||Arlington|
|Virginia Wesleyan College||12 to 1||1,514||$30,348||Private not-for-profit||Norfolk|
|Lynchburg College||12 to 1||2,388||$31,060||Private not-for-profit||Lynchburg|
|College of William and Mary||12 to 1||6,607||$8,677||Public||Williamsburg|
|Sentara College of Health Sciences||11 to 1||406||$285||Private not-for-profit||Chesapeake|
|Randolph-Macon College||11 to 1||1,300||$32,625||Private not-for-profit||Ashland|
|Virginia Military Institute||11 to 1||1,736||$6,880||Public||Lexington|
|Mary Baldwin College||11 to 1||1,844||$27,670||Private not-for-profit||Staunton|
|Roanoke College||11 to 1||2,169||$33,516||Private not-for-profit||Salem|
|Averett University||10 to 1||934||$25,950||Private not-for-profit||Danville|
|Emory & Henry College||10 to 1||971||$28,122||Private not-for-profit||Emory|
|Bluefield College||10 to 1||979||$21,060||Private not-for-profit||Bluefield|
|Jefferson College of Health Sciences||10 to 1||1,010||$21,330||Private not-for-profit||Roanoke|
|Hampden-Sydney College||10 to 1||1,097||$34,498||Private not-for-profit||Hampden-Sydney|
|Eastern Mennonite University||10 to 1||1,243||$27,830||Private not-for-profit||Harrisonburg|
|Shenandoah University||10 to 1||2,718||$26,530||Private not-for-profit||Winchester|
|Hampton University||10 to 1||5,186||$17,732||Private not-for-profit||Hampton|
|Bethel College||9 to 1||92||$6,750||Private not-for-profit||Hampton|
|Hollins University||9 to 1||776||$31,490||Private not-for-profit||Roanoke|
|Virginia University of Lynchburg||9 to 1||826||$7,200||Private not-for-profit||Lynchburg|
|Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing||8 to 1||313||$7,500||Private not-for-profit||Richmond|
|Randolph College||8 to 1||592||$31,030||Private not-for-profit||Lynchburg|
|Sweet Briar College||8 to 1||884||$31,850||Private not-for-profit||Sweet Briar|
|Virginia Intermont College||7 to 1||604||$24,542||Private not-for-profit||Bristol|
|Washington and Lee University||7 to 1||1,803||$42,425||Private not-for-profit||Lexington|
|University of Richmond||7 to 1||3,908||$44,210||Private not-for-profit||University of Richmond|
Best Online Schools in Virginia for Women in Tech
Virginia is an exceptional choice for women seeking a technology or engineering degree. Thanks to the many online schools in Virginia that make women’s STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education a priority, the state can take pride in the influx of female technology degree earners. This influx is thanks to some exceptional schools that are instituting programs specifically for the needs of their female tech/engineering students. Programs such as mentorships with women who are seeking the same educational goals help to foster a strong and supportive network for female tech students. For those in search of the premiere online schools in Virginia for women in the tech field, look no further than the list below. We’ve compiled the best in the state and commend each of these schools for making women in technology an important consideration.
|TUITION + FEES||CITY||WOMEN IN TECH DEGREES AWARDED||TOTAL ENROLLMENT||TYPE|
|Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University||$10,923||Blacksburg||346||27,939||Public|
|University of Virginia-Main Campus||$12,216||Charlottesville||208||20,950||Public|
|Virginia Commonwealth University||$9,886||Richmond||177||24,783||Public|
|George Mason University||$9,620||Fairfax||146||20,189||Public|
|Old Dominion University||$8,190||Norfolk||121||16,616||Public|
|James Madison University||$8,808||Harrisonburg||81||18,166||Public|
|Marymount University||$25,178||Arlington||31||2,649||Private Not for Profit|
|Norfolk State University||$6,860||Norfolk||13||5,474||Public|
|Liberty University||$19,968||Lynchburg||11||32,093||Private Not for Profit|
|Virginia State University||$7,420||Petersburg||7||5,265||Public|
|Shenandoah University||$28,800||Winchester||5||2,539||Private Not for Profit|
Best Online Schools in Virginia Fighting for Families
Virginia is a haven for the most exceptional social work programs in the nation, especially those with an emphasis on children and family assistance. The social work field is entering a boon, and is projected to be one of the fastest job-growth disciplines. The following online schools in Virginia recognize the importance of preparing their students for all of the demands in this field. From fieldwork, extraordinary curriculum, and a vast network of clinical settings, these are among some of the best programs for prospective students concentrating on the welfare of families. Accessible scholarships and fellowships aid in creating even more affordable paths to a degree. We’ve compiled the premier programs specifically for students who seek comprehensive education in social work.
|CITY||SOCIAL DEGREES AWARDED||WOMEN||MEN||TUITION & FEES||TOTAL ENROLLMENT|
|Virginia Commonwealth University||Richmond||398||341||57||$9,886||24,783|
|Old Dominion University||Norfolk||329||267||62||$8,190||16,616|
|George Mason University||Fairfax||178||133||45||$9,620||20,189|
|Norfolk State University||Norfolk||172||146||26||$6,860||5,474|
|James Madison University||Harrisonburg||121||96||25||$8,808||18,166|
|University of Virginia-Main Campus||Charlottesville||119||89||30||$12,216||20,950|
|Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University||Blacksburg||100||51||49||$10,923||27,939|
|Christopher Newport University||Newport News||74||56||18||$10,572||4,795|
|Mary Baldwin College||Staunton||43||40||3||$28,020||1,185|
|University of Mary Washington||Fredericksburg||36||31||5||$9,306||3,991|
|Virginia State University||Petersburg||36||30||6||$7,420||5,265|
|College of William and Mary||Williamsburg||32||26||6||$13,570||7,684|
|Regent University||Virginia Beach||26||25||1||$15,308||2,569|
|Virginia Wesleyan College||Norfolk||20||18||2||$30,998||1,253|
|Washington and Lee University||Lexington||17||11||6||$43,362||2,192|
|University of Richmond||University of Richmond||14||11||3||$44,210||3,628|
|Eastern Mennonite University||Harrisonburg||13||10||3||$27,970||1,119|
|Virginia Intermont College||Bristol||12||10||2||$24,642||488|
|Virginia Union University||Richmond||10||6||4||$14,630||1,625|
|Emory & Henry College||Emory||9||8||1||$28,122||928|
|Sweet Briar College||Sweet Briar||9||9||$32,325||730|
|Averett University-Non-Traditional Programs||Danville||6||4||2||$9,100||523|