Washington K-12 Online Schools

Washington offers supplemental learning to some of grades K-5 and most of grades six through 12, with fully-online programs also available. Over 72,000 online courses are taken by children in grades K-12 in the state, and of the more than 23,000 course enrollments, 5,200 were online. While as of yet there are no virtual charter programs, a mixture of districts, consortia and 111 private providers offer online options. This includes 19 online course provides, 15 online program providers, 20 multi-district online school programs and 57 single-district online school programs.

Search School Name
School Type
18 Results
East Valley Online Learning K - 12 Spokane Both Live/On-Demand Public (509) 241-5097
Internet Academy K - 12 Federal Way Both Live/On-Demand Public (253) 945-2233
Mid-Columbia Partnership Virtual School K - 12 Kennewick Both Live/On-Demand Public (509) 222-5036
North Kitsap Virtual Academy K - 12 Poulsbo Both Live/On-Demand Public (360) 779-8727
Kent Virtual High School 9 - 12 N/A Both Live/On-Demand Public (877) 513-8977
Spokane Virtual Learning 9 - 12 Spokane Both Live/On-Demand Public (509) 354-7545
iQ Academy Washington 6 - 12 Vancouver Live/Synchronous Public (888) 899-4792
Insight School of Washington 9 - 12 Bellevue Live/Synchronous Public (866) 800-0017
Bethel Elementary Learning Academy K - 6 Graham On-Demand/Asynchronous Public (253) 683-8534
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Washington Online Colleges and Universities

As one of the more populous states in the country, Washington has a variety of state schools, 34 community colleges and several private colleges. Twenty-five of the state’s traditional schools offer online options, like the University of Washington, which has 50 certificate programs and several bachelor’s and master’s degrees available entirely online. The Seattle-based School of Visual Concepts offers two-year online degrees in such areas as advertising, copywriting and graphic design.

Search School Name
Degree Levels
13 Results
Seattle Community College-North Campus 9600 College Way North Seattle +
Pierce College at Puyallup 1601 39th Ave SE Puyallup +
Walla Walla Community College 500 Tausick Way Walla Walla +
South Puget Sound Community College 2011 Mottman Rd SW Olympia +
Bates Technical College 1101 S Yakima Ave Tacoma +
Big Bend Community College 7662 Chanute St NE Moses Lake +
Spokane Falls Community College 3410 W Fort George Wright Dr Spokane +
Green River Community College 12401 SE 320th St Auburn +
Spokane Community College 1810 North Greene Street Spokane +
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State Colleges in Washington

Washington public schools are categorized as state schools and fall into two groups: community and technical colleges offering two-year degrees and post-secondary entities awarding four-year degrees and higher. The state is home to 34 community and technical colleges that grant associate degrees or certificates for both general education studies and job training in such subjects as engineering, health care and education. Students have access to online and hybrid courses–for example, Pierce College District’s associate degree program in business and human resources offers about three-quarters of the required credits online.

Private Colleges in Washington

Private colleges, whether for-profit or not-for-profit, vary in degree options as well as affiliations, and some provide technology-based coursework in addition to traditional on-campus classes. The School of Visual Concepts in Seattle, with about 100 students at any given time, awards two-year degrees in areas such as advertising, graphic design, copywriting and marketing. Courses and webcasts available via the Internet may target infographic creation or how to compile an online portfolio.

Washington Online Colleges Spotlight

University of Washington

The University of Washington is a cornerstone of distance education with over 50 certificate programs and free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) on subjects ranging from engineering to mythology. Two bachelor’s degrees for distance students focus on early childhood education and integrated social sciences, a major that accommodates a variety of specializations.

Among the fully-online graduate programs are library and information science, applied mathematics, and aeronautics and astronautics. Certain options involve onsite studies–for example, the master’s degree program in sustainable transportation is 100 percent online, but adding a concentration in logistics requires campus visits.

More details about the University of Washington are available: http://www.pce.uw.edu/online/.

Washington State University

At the opposite end of the state from Seattle, in the vicinity of Pullman, online academics are alive and well. Washington State University offers about 20 undergraduate and graduate online degree programs in a variety of disciplines, ranging from baccalaureates in accounting and criminal justice to master’s degrees in special education and sport management.

Like other online schools in Washington, WSU has special requirements for its Web-based curriculum. From particular Internet speeds to specific versions of computer software and hardware, it’s important for students to have the right equipment before they sign up for classes. Along with classes via the Internet, students also have access to the online bookstore for textbooks.

For more on the Washington State University Online programs, visit: http://online.wsu.edu/.

Central Washington University

Through its digital arm, the university is able to offer nine undergraduate and eight graduate degrees alongside a varied set of certificate programs and over 300 individual classes. In addition to undergrad majors such as information technology and administrative management, minors are also available, including family studies and retail management and technology. Online certificates or endorsements span topics such as global literacy development, library media and nonprofit organization management. While many offerings are fully online, some hybrid options require in-person participation as well, such as the master’s degree program in health and physical education. For access to online classes, CWU lists specific technical criteria, including a minimum speed for network connectivity and other requirements for computer hardware, software and browser versions.

See more Central Washington University online learning programs: http://www.cwu.edu/online-learning/

Western Governors University – Washington

This nonprofit university was created through a partnership between the state government and Western Governors University, which holds both regional and national accreditation. WGU Washington offers opportunities for competency-based education earned by demonstrating skills and knowledge in target subject areas.

WGU’s online undergraduate and graduate degrees reach an overall count of 57 bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Distinctive areas of interests are found within disciplines such as teacher education, health sciences, business or information technology. Resources for students include eBooks, dedicated mentors and virtual community interaction. While basic admission requirements typically follow those for general enrollment, distance programs may have specific requirements–the online bachelor’s degree in nursing is designed for practicing nurses with a registered nursing (RN) credential.

For more information on WGU Washington’s online programs, visit: http://washington.wgu.edu/

Best Online Schools in Washington for 2015-2016

Score Student/teacher ratio Financial aid Cost more
1 Spokane Community College 99.59 18:1 85%

The Community Colleges of Spokane have partnered Eastern Washington University to create an online associate degree program (with CCS Destination Eastern) that transfers the graduate's credit to Eastern's four-year bachelor degree program. Online students are provides with academic counseling from each college to ensure they remain academically on track. Participants enter Eastern as college juniors, placing well-ahead of other incoming transfers. CCS Online offers associate degrees in fields including nursing, library and information systems, early childhood education, office management, medical assisting, business and social services. Canvas is CCS' online learning management system.

2 Shoreline Community College 96.75 18:1 46%

Shoreline Community College offers more than 25 degrees and certificates through their Virtual Campus. Online associates degree programs are offered in Accounting, Business, Health Informatics and Information Management and Purchasing and Supply Chain Management. There is also a university transfer program that allows students to complete lower level units before transferring to almost all Washington state universities to complete a four year program. The college uses adaptive learning to deliver online courses, allowing for content to respond to the individual student's pace and learning. As part of the Quality Matters program, Shoreline's courses are reviewed to ensure they meet high quality standards for online and hybrid courses.

3 South Puget Sound Community College 96.75 17:1 60%

Students at South Puget Community College can complete all the requirements for an associate of arts degree entirely online. Online courses can also be taken from other community colleges in Washington State through a consortium called Washington Online (WAOL). The College uses Canvas for online course delivery. The requirements of an online course do not differ significantly from those of a traditional course. Online instruction is not self-paced ? there is a course schedule that may include mid-terms, finals, and other hard deadlines. The advantage of online instruction is that students can work the hours each day that are most convenient to them.

4 Walla Walla Community College 96.74 18:1 81%

Walla Walla Community College offers students a flexible, online associate degree in business that is part of the DTA/MRP transfer program. This transfer program ensures that all credits will transfer to many four-year colleges and universities in Washington. Students with a DTA degree will be considered as satisfying most, if not all, lower division general education requirements for the four-year college and university. Online students can access their current quarter classes 24/7. In order to complete a degree completely online, students must place in English 101 and Math 107 (or higher). Students participate in courses from anywhere they can access the internet.

5 Edmonds Community College 96.07 15:1 59%

While many students enroll in this college to earn a two year online certificate or degree, Edmonds Community College partners with Washington State University, Bellevue College and the Extended Learning Office of the University of Washington to offer undergraduates the opportunity to earn a bachelor degree completely online through a fully-accredited program. Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration degrees are available in Management and Operations, Management Information Systems, and Entrepreneurship. Bachelor of Arts degrees are also offered in Criminal Justice, Human Development, Humanities, and Social Sciences. With flexible formats, students can tailor their eLearning schedule to meet their specific needs.

6 Tacoma Community College 95.3 18:1 62%

Tacoma Community College offers a 106 credit Health Information Technology program, which combines medical knowledge and business applications culminating in an associate of applied science degree. The program prepares students for employment in hospitals, ambulatory health care facilities, physician practices, skilled nursing facilities, and state or federal health agencies. It is a fully accredited (CAHIIM) program and is completely online. Successful graduates are eligible to write the national certification exam for Health Information Technicians sponsored by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). Upon passing this exam, graduates will receive the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) credential from AHIMA, which are recognized nationally by health care institutions.

7 Pierce College at Puyallup 89.53 17:1 59%

Pierce College at Puyallup offers two online associate degree tracks. Track One is for science students who wish to focus on biological and environmental/resource sciences, geology and earth science, or chemistry. Track Two is for students who wish to focus on engineering, computer science, physics, or atmospheric science. A university transfer degree from Pierce College satisfies the first two years of coursework required at four-year colleges and universities, but at a fraction of the cost. Completion of any of the two-year degrees at Pierce College allows transfer to any public four-year college in Washington.

Score Student/teacher ratio Financial aid Cost more
1 Northwest University 98.9 13:1 99%

NU Online is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities to award associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. Undergraduates can choose from the six degree programs offered for bachelor's degrees which include Business Management, Criminal Justice, Organizational Management, Psychology, and Ministry Leadership. Courses occur on the Moodle platform, which lets students access and complete their coursework in their own time. The curriculum is designed to provide students the experience and skills needed to facilitate both personal and professional growth. They also offered an online MBA program accredited by the Accreditation Council of Business Schools and Programs.

2 Heritage University 97.96 8:1 100%

The liberal arts curriculum at Heritage University provides career-oriented degree programs at both the undergraduate and graduate level to students. Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, students can earn a Bachelor of Arts in English and Humanities degree program online that takes an important multiculturalism-perspective on education, and covers a wide range of subject areas including communications, history, English and philosophy. Courses are self-paced, allow students to study and complete coursework at times most convenient to their schedules. Master degree programs are also offered and can be completed online.

3 Saint Martin’s University 97.88 12:1 95%

The Extended Learning Division of Saint Martin's University, in partnerships with Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Centralia College, offers fully online bachelor degree programs for undergraduates to earn their degree in a variety of fields. Among the 150 majors available to students at this Catholic, liberal arts institution, online students can earn a B.S in Computer Science, or a B.A in Accounting, Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Political Science, or Psychology. The university takes a broad-based approach to education, offering a dynamic collection of courses that are completed via Moodle management system. The programs also include a 15-week required internship. Teacher and education certificate programs are also offered online.

4 Seattle Community College-North Campus 97.43 17:1 60%

North Seattle Community College's e-Learning department offers over 100 different e-Learning courses and students can complete their associates of arts degree through convenient online and hybrid courses. Not all courses are offered every quarter. NSCC offers transfer degrees for students who are looking to complete a 4-year bachelor's degree or career degrees, which are designed to prepare students for an entry-level position in the workforce. A fully online associates of arts degree can be completed online in two years or a hybrid associates program is also available. Courses are delivered using Canvas learning management.

5 Washington State University 96.33 15:1 79%

This public research university belongs to an elite group of colleges in the nation to offer an accounting degree program that has a respective AACSB accounting accreditation. In addition to business and accounting, online degrees can also be earned in Criminal Justice, Human Development, Social Sciences, Psychology, and more. The distance education platform is structured in a way to help students receive the same academic rigor as traditional through the combination of Global Connection webinars and eLearning Consultants. Course materials are available 24/7 through the streaming Media Center and Blackboard Learn.

6 City University of Seattle 95.62 7:1 64%

Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, the degree programs offered at CityU are specifically designed for working adults and students of distance education to earn their degree, either entirely online or through the Mixed Mode model. Undergraduates can earn a degree in Computer Science, Information Systems, Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Teaching and Education, Project Management, Information Technology, Professional Leadership, and Health and Human Services. The virtual classrooms use Blackboard Learn, an interactive and integrated learning management system that allows for maximum flexibility. Online graduate and doctoral programs are also available.

7 Central Washington University 95.06 19:1 85%

Students from nearly state can attend Central Washington University by enrolling in an online program. They can choose from seven fully online bachelor's degrees (and one hybrid program in paramedicine) and seven online master's degrees. Online programs follow a modified year-round schedule with two sessions during each traditional semester. This flexible scheduling allows students to speed up the time to graduation, if desired. Online students have a variety of support systems available to them, including a full resource center, a number of online readiness checklists and the same tutoring and library services available to on-campus students.

8 Green River Community College 94.33 13:1 46%

Green River Community College offers an associates of art degree completely online. Students must complete their developmental and/or pre-college classes before registering for the online program. All classes that are fully online require no on-campus visits. Not every class is offered every quarter. Some professors in online classes require proctored tests but they can be proctored anywhere in the world. If on-campus attendance is required, the class is listed as Hybrid in the Class Schedule. GRCC uses the Canvas system to deliver online courses. Many students transfer to four-year colleges and universities after receiving their AA from GRCC.

9 Western Washington University 93.63 20:1 73%

The Distance-Learning Program of WesternOnline offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Services that can be earned entirely online through the Department of Health and Community Studies. The program is delivered through flexible formats, including online term-based and self-paced courses. When taking term-based courses, students follow a quarterly schedule, with weekly interactions and meetings; whereas the coursework of self-paced courses can be completed at the times chosen by the student. Courses are 7 weeks and use Canvas learning platform for virtual education.

10 Seattle Central College 92.5 16:1 66%

With Distance Education and e-Learning, Seattle Central classrooms have no walls. Distance Education courses are flexible and students can choose when and where to study. Courses are offered online, by correspondence or via video or DVDs. Flexible course options are a great solution for students with busy schedules, family responsibilities or who are currently working full time. Students can take courses for college credit and apply them to a degree program or certificate and/or enroll in courses that interest them while improving knowledge and skills. A 90 credit associate of arts degree is available completely online.

11 University of Washington-Seattle Campus 89.76 15:1 55%

At the University of Washington's division of professional and continuing education, students can finish their bachelor's degree, earn a master's degree or certificate or simply take an individual class-all online. The online degree completion program allows students who hold an associate degree or already have general education requirements under their belts to finish their degree in two to four years (depending on their enrollment status). Online courses are flexible and engaging, with curriculum designed specifically for a distance environment by professional advisory boards and leaders in the industry.

12 University of Washington-Tacoma Campus 87.34 17:1 83%

The University of Washington at Tacoma Social Work Program now offers a fully online Criminal Justice major. The Criminal Justice degree offers a multidisciplinary understanding of crime and justice within the framework of broader social processes within our society. The program examines all major aspects of the justice system from an ecological systems approach rather than a specialization in one narrow content area. The curriculum provides a theoretical understanding of the discipline, combined with an understanding of the scientific method as it applies to criminal justice. Students must have a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA and have completed at least 90 UW or transferable college-level credits by the time of enrollment in the program.

4 Year Colleges in Washington

Search School Name
School Type
Degree Levels
11 Results
Seattle Community College-Central Campus Public 1701 Broadway Avenue Seattle +
Saint Martin's University Private not-for-profit 5000 Abbey Way SE Lacey +
Whitworth University-Adult Degree Programs Private not-for-profit 300 W Hawthorne Rd Spokane +
Gonzaga University Private not-for-profit E 502 Boone Ave Spokane +
University of Washington-Seattle Campus Public 1400 NE Campus Parkway Seattle +
Western Washington University Public 516 High Street Bellingham +
Seattle Pacific University Private not-for-profit 3307 3rd Ave W Seattle +
University of Washington-Tacoma Campus Public 1900 Commerce St Tacoma +
Northwest University Private not-for-profit 5520 108th Ave NE Kirkland +
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Best Online Colleges and Universities in Washington

Best for Future Service Members

The Northwest is an excellent choice for post-secondary education, but not all online schools in Washington offer equivalent advantages for students interested in serving their country. To shine a light on some of the stronger choices, this list records Washington institutions that also provide at least two Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) programs. Here, undergraduate and graduate students can combine their academic endeavors with duty to the U.S. Army, Navy or Air Force. Congratulations to these colleges and universities for focusing on both affordable education and civic-mindedness.

Tuition City ROTC - Army ROTC - Navy ROTC - Air Force
Washington State University$10,874 Pullman Yes Yes Yes
University of Washington-Seattle Campus$11,305 Seattle Yes Yes Yes
Central Washington University$7,941 Ellensburg Yes No Yes

Best for Personal Attention

Washington has a demonstrated commitment to providing educational opportunities for all students, no matter their backgrounds or future goals, and this is evidenced in the number of institutions placing importance on individualized student attention. These online schools in Washington not only offer multiple degree programs, but also keep class sizes smaller than 20 students per faculty member, on average. What’s more, several of these high-contact schools have well over 5,000 students and still manage to keep class sizes small.

Bellevue College 20 to 1 22,452$3,523 Public Bellevue
University of Washington-Tacoma Campus 19 to 1 3,856$11,305 Public Tacoma
Centralia College 19 to 1 5,730$3,523 Public Centralia
Seattle Community College-South Campus 18 to 1 9,163$3,523 Public Seattle
Seattle Community College-Central Campus 18 to 1 11,828$3,523 Public Seattle
Peninsula College 17 to 1 4,470$4,126 Public Port Angeles
Lake Washington Institute of Technology 16 to 1 6,113$2,869 Public Kirkland
Washington State University 16 to 1 25,588$10,874 Public Pullman
Faith Evangelical College & Seminary 15 to 1 195$7,200 Private not-for-profit Tacoma
Seattle Pacific University 14 to 1 3,417$31,701 Private not-for-profit Seattle
Pacific Lutheran University 14 to 1 3,425$32,800 Private not-for-profit Tacoma
Northwest University 13 to 1 1,473$24,180 Private not-for-profit Kirkland
Saint Martin’s University 13 to 1 1,543$28,400 Private not-for-profit Lacey
Walla Walla University 13 to 1 1,815$24,360 Private not-for-profit College Place
Seattle University 13 to 1 5,065$34,200 Private not-for-profit Seattle
University of Washington-Seattle Campus 13 to 1 34,266$11,305 Public Seattle
Northwest Indian College 12 to 1 1,234$3,420 Public Bellingham
University of Puget Sound 12 to 1 2,736$40,040 Private not-for-profit Tacoma
Whitworth University 11 to 1 2,435$33,676 Private not-for-profit Spokane
Gonzaga University 11 to 1 5,135$33,160 Private not-for-profit Spokane
Whitman College 10 to 1 1,676$41,790 Private not-for-profit Walla Walla
Bastyr University 9 to 1 253$21,090 Private not-for-profit Kenmore
Heritage University 9 to 1 1,011$16,440 Private not-for-profit Toppenish
Trinity Lutheran College 8 to 1 173$23,400 Private not-for-profit Everett
Antioch University-Seattle 8 to 1 383$19,620 Private not-for-profit Seattle
Cornish College of the Arts 8 to 1 852$31,980 Private not-for-profit Seattle
City University of Seattle 8 to 1 1,224$14,440 Private not-for-profit Seattle
Whitworth University-Adult Degree Programs 7 to 1 467$11,400 Private not-for-profit Spokane

Best for Women in Technology

Certain technology programs from online schools in Washington provide an ideal environment for female students interested in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) studies. Women continue to be underrepresented in STEM fields, but these schools are trying to supply what women in those programs need to succeed. Whether they provide mentorship or create classroom gender ratios that are the same as for other programs, these schools go the extra mile for their female tech students.

University of Washington-Seattle Campus$12,383 Seattle 325 36,548 Public
Washington State University$12,300 Pullman 94 23,035 Public
Seattle University$34,800 Seattle 19 5,950 Private Not for Profit
Central Washington University$8,925 Ellensburg 17 9,826 Public
Eastern Washington University$7,933 Cheney 15 10,056 Public
Gonzaga University$33,652 Spokane 15 5,630 Private Not for Profit
University of Washington-Bothell Campus$11,911 Bothell 13 2,859 Public
Saint Martin’s University$28,740 Lacey 9 1,227 Private Not for Profit
Cornish College of the Arts$32,380 Seattle 9 814 Private Not for Profit
Western Washington University$8,805 Bellingham 5 13,400 Public

Best Schools Fighting for Families

Many social work students are drawn to the field in hopes of helping children and families, and now there may be more opportunities to do so than ever before. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts above average growth in this occupation between 2012 and 2022 thanks to an increased need for health care and social services. Work environments include hospitals, nursing homes, colleges and military bases, as well as private practices and the state or local government. Listed below are some of the best online schools in Washington for social work, where students experience the best of the Pacific Northwest while learning how to improve the lives of others.

University of Washington-Seattle Campus Seattle 606 448 158 $12,383 36,548
Eastern Washington University Cheney 226 189 37 $7,933 10,056
Walla Walla University College Place 113 90 23 $24,900 1,729
Western Washington University Bellingham 99 74 25 $8,805 13,400
University of Washington-Tacoma Campus Tacoma 90 80 10 $11,902 2,758
Washington State University Pullman 85 46 39 $12,300 23,035
Central Washington University Ellensburg 77 48 29 $8,925 9,826
Seattle University Seattle 54 43 11 $34,800 5,950
Seattle Pacific University Seattle 42 34 8 $32,067 3,438
Pacific Lutheran University Tacoma 38 30 8 $33,100 3,213
Gonzaga University Spokane 33 25 8 $33,652 5,630
University of Puget Sound Tacoma 28 22 6 $40,250 2,819
Whitman College Walla Walla 25 20 5 $42,105 1,566
Whitworth University Spokane 21 14 7 $34,346 2,259
Seattle Community College-Central Campus Seattle 15 12 3 $3,893 4,137
Heritage University Toppenish 14 12 2 $16,515 815