Arkansas K-12 Online Schools

Arkansas is offering increased online learning opportunities for K-12 students, including one fully-online school, one supplemental program, and a digital learning requirement for graduation. The state boasts Arkansas Virtual Academy, a charter school that serviced 1,334 students during the 2013-14 school year, as well as Virtual Arkansas, through which 3,734 students in 149 schools took supplemental courses. Virtual Arkansas added two new campuses for the 2014-15 school year, while new legislation seeks to open up the online component for Arkansas K-12 students even further.

Arkansas Virtual Academy K - 8 Little Rock Both Live/On-Demand Public (866) 339-4952
Arkansas Virtual High School 9 - 12 Enola On-Demand/Asynchronous Public (501) 849-3548

Arkansas Online Colleges and Universities

Arkansas colleges provide numerous online programs in addition to campus-based education. Both the University of Arkansas and Arkansas State University systems—the state’s two largest—provide Web-based programs for students in several fields of study. Arkansas State University has received high rankings for its online engineering program, as well as its business and education graduate programs. More than 40 smaller universities and community colleges also offer online courses in various subject areas including business, arts and design, education, engineering, nursing, health and sciences, hospitality, culinary arts, law and criminal justice and social sciences. In addition, many private and religious colleges offer distance learning on some level, whether for single courses or fully-online degrees.

Career, Technical & Vocational Colleges in Arkansas

Career, technical and vocational online schools in Arkansas offer training or degrees that prepare students for specific careers or trades. These courses are also available to those who have finished other degrees, but want to change their career path. Programs involve subject theories and extensive hands-on training to develop skills. Coursework may be completed in two years or less, with some schools offering 6-month programs for certain fields. Examples of some of the top trade school disciplines in Arkansas are business, criminal justice, electronics, HVAC, paralegal, private investigation, web design/management and welding.

There are numerous technical institutes in Arkansas, although most are private, for-profit colleges. Below is a list of the largest public and private colleges that offer certificates.

Community Colleges in Arkansas

Community colleges make up the majority of higher education in Arkansas. These institutions offer two-year associate degrees and may or may not be career-specific. Upon completion of a two-year degree, students can choose to enter the working world or transfer to a four-year institution to pursue a bachelor’s degree. Some of the community colleges offer technical courses and grant certificates as well.

Arkansas State University-Newport 7648 Victory Blvd Newport +

Best Online Schools in Arkansas for 2015-2016

Score Student/teacher ratio Financial aid Cost more
1 Ecclesia College 98.37 9:1 100%

Online students at Ecclesia College gain more than just a degree and Christian education; they learn how to become more self-reliant learners who value personal development and independence. Students can earn one of two associate degrees, eight bachelor's degrees or two graduate degrees. Classes are six weeks long (with 5-week summer classes), taught by the same professors who teach on-campus classes. Online students must log in and interact with professors and peers five days of the week, asking questions, viewing lectures and making observations about what they are learning. Service learning is a requirement each semester, including local or international volunteer work and outreach services.

2 Arkansas Tech University 96.59 20:1 95%

Asynchronous classes at Arkansas Tech University allow students to fit their degree within their schedule. Using the Blackboard course management system, students can log in to watch lectures, find assignments and take exams when it's convenient for them so long as they meet instructor deadlines. ATU offers several unique online opportunities, including a bachelor's in emergency management and administration and a master's in college student personnel. Online instructors receive comprehensive training in online teaching, ensuring that the degree programs mirror those that are available on the traditional campus.

3 John Brown University 95.3 15:1 99%

A Christ-centered, online education from John Brown University helps graduates develop spiritually, intellectually and professionally while allowing students to maintain personal obligations. A comprehensive online orientation is available on JBU's website, so students can access resources and information at any time. While students can log into classes when it fits their schedule, students are expected to check email messages, discussion boards and course readings at least three times each week. Degrees are available in leadership and ethics, liberal arts, accounting and more and degree completion options are available at both the bachelor's and master's level.

4 University of Central Arkansas 95.28 17:1 95%

The online degree programs at the University of Central Arkansas require no face-to-face interaction or campus visits, making them a convenient and flexible option to earning a degree. Courses are delivered through the Blackboard course management system, where students submit assignments and view lectures. Classes are typically 8 weeks long and are not designed to be self-paced; there are specific deadlines that students must meet each term. UCA is committed to putting students first, providing direct access to a program coordinator to ensure every students' needs are met.

5 University of Arkansas 95.13 19:1 81%

Whether students seek licensure programs, a bachelor's degree, doctoral programs or a graduate certificate, the University of Arkansas has a variety of online options for students who cannot attend a traditional college setting. Many of these programs are 100 percent online, taught asynchronously so students can access lectures and course materials when it fits their schedule. Most classes run on a traditional 15-week schedule, with shorter sessions available in the summer. In some cases, students can earn credit for professional development experiences through workshops and institutes sponsored by UA. Online, self-paced correspondence courses are also available for students who want to expand their horizons while not necessarily working toward a degree.

6 Arkansas State University-Main Campus 90.66 18:1 95%

Arkansas State University's online distance learning programs include a bachelor of science in interdisciplinary, a unique program that allows students to tailor their degree program to meet their own personal and professional goals. In addition, six other bachelor's degrees, seven master's degrees and a handful of professional certifications and post-grad degrees are also available online. Students work with a teaching assistant and instructors, providing personalized attention from enrollment to graduation. A supervised internship provides real-world experience and exposure in preparation for graduation and the workforce beyond.

7 University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences 87.85 7:1 N/A

In an effort to increase the number of baccalaureate-prepared nurses in the workforce, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Nursing offers a completely online accelerated RN to BSN and an option for a MNSc. The program is 84 credit hours offered in courses that are just over 7 weeks long. There are five program start times throughout the year and students graduate in as little as 12 months. The program is rounded out with a capstone project where students demonstrate the breadth of knowledge they gained throughout the program.

Four-Year State Universities in Arkansas

There are a total of 11 public universities in Arkansas. The state’s largest university system is the University of Arkansas, also known as U of A, which has six branches located in Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Little Rock, Monticello and Pine Bluff. Its main branch at Fayetteville serves more than 20,000 undergraduate students and offers 200 fields of study at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree levels. The second largest university system is Arkansas State University. Its main campus at Jonesboro has approximately 10,000 undergraduate students and offers 150 fields of study in over 40 degree programs.

Search School Name
School Type
Degree Levels
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Arkansas Tech University Public Administration Bldg 200; 1509 N Boulder Ave Russellville +
Southern Arkansas University Main Campus Public 100 E. University Magnolia +
John Brown University Private not-for-profit 2000 W University St Siloam Springs +
University of Central Arkansas Public 201 Donaghey Ave Conway +
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Public 4301 W Markham Little Rock +
University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Public 1200 N University Mail Slot 4789 Pine Bluff +
Ecclesia College Private not-for-profit 9653 Nations Dr Springdale +
Henderson State University Public 1100 Henderson Street Arkadelphia +
Arkansas State University-Main Campus Public 2105 E. Aggie Road Jonesboro +

Spotlight: Online Schools in Arkansas

University of Arkansas Online

At the University of Arkansas Global Campus, a range of certificates, bachelor’s, master’s, professional specialist and doctorate degrees are available online. Distance learners can choose bachelor’s degree programs in fields such as nursing, education and business administration. Graduate programs include studies in engineering, special education, business administration, bioenergy and sustainable technology, information systems and social work. The University of Arkansas Global Campus also provides an extensive array of online courses for academic credit or continuing education (CEU) credits in programs offered by the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences, College of Education and Health Professions, College of Engineering, J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, Sam M. Walton College of Business and School of Law.

Courses at the University of Arkansas Global Campus may be available totally or partially online, and students earn the same academic credit as their counterparts taking classes on campus. The school also offers a unique package of online correspondence courses that allow students to set their own pace rather than forcing them to follow rigid, structured itineraries.

For more information on degree and individual course options at the University of Arkansas Global Campus, visit

Arkansas State University

The second-largest school in the state, Arkansas State University has an extensive distance learning program. Its online programs focus on degree and Arkansas-specific certification programs for K-12 educators and administrators, making it easier for working teachers to enhance their knowledge and skills. ASU offers online professional certifications for Arkansas special education director (by grade levels), Arkansas curriculum director and principals. For those who wish to complete an undergraduate degree online, ASU provides its Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies (BSIS).

At the graduate and post-graduate degree levels, online students can earn a master’s in public administration, as well as master’s degrees in instructional specialist, curriculum and instruction, and education leadership, to name a few. Post-graduate online degrees include an EdS in Education in tracks geared to developing superintendents, principals, special education teachers, curriculum directors and gifted and talented directors.

Arkansas State University has flexible payment options and financial aid available to qualified students. For more information about Arkansas State University Online, visit

John Brown University

John Brown University is the largest private, nonprofit university in Arkansas that doesn’t focus on religious studies. Its distance learning program offers both bachelor’s and master’s degrees, as well as individual courses. Graduate students can enroll in business courses or counseling classes that have been approved by the Arkansas Board of Examiners in Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy.

John Brown University provides a range of tools for prospective students to determine if online study is right for them. These include sample classes, common expectations, previews and demos designed to inform potential students about the nature of online education before they commit to a course or degree program.

For more information, visit John Brown University’s distance-learning website at

Best Arkansas Online Colleges

Best for Future Service Members

Arkansas boasts many universities that not only offer a wide range of degree options, but also enable students to give back to their community. Service-oriented students can find many ROTC programs associated with online schools in Arkansas. We’ve listed all of the four-year degree granting, nonprofit colleges that provide at least two of the following ROTC programs: Army, Navy and Air Force.

Tuition City ROTC - Army ROTC - Navy ROTC - Air Force
University of Arkansas-Fort Smith$3,120 Fort Smith Yes No Yes
University of Arkansas$6,142 Fayetteville Yes No Yes

Best for Personal Attention

Online schools in Arkansas serve up a great education in the southern state, whether students are seeking a wide range of degree options or a targeted training program. Many students hope to find a quality college education from a great school without feeling like just another number. These four-year, nonprofit Arkansas colleges offer a unique blend of high student enrollment and small classes, with fewer than 20 students per faculty member, on average.

University of Arkansas-Fort Smith 19 to 1 8,924$3,120 Public Fort Smith
Arkansas State University-Main Campus 19 to 1 11,965$5,430 Public Jonesboro
University of Arkansas 19 to 1 21,201$6,142 Public Fayetteville
Arkansas Baptist College 18 to 1 1,571$6,960 Private not-for-profit Little Rock
Henderson State University 17 to 1 3,826$4,704 Public Arkadelphia
University of Arkansas at Monticello 17 to 1 4,675$3,960 Public Monticello
Harding University 17 to 1 4,705$14,790 Private not-for-profit Searcy
Arkansas Tech University 17 to 1 11,562$4,488 Public Russellville
University of Arkansas at Little Rock 17 to 1 12,182$5,348 Public Little Rock
Williams Baptist College 16 to 1 712$12,300 Private not-for-profit Walnut Ridge
Central Baptist College 16 to 1 996$11,250 Private not-for-profit Conway
Southern Arkansas University Main Campus 16 to 1 3,315$5,880 Public Magnolia
University of Central Arkansas 16 to 1 10,827$5,498 Public Conway
University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff 15 to 1 3,395$4,110 Public Pine Bluff
John Brown University 14 to 1 2,211$20,796 Private not-for-profit Siloam Springs
Philander Smith College 13 to 1 817$11,804 Private not-for-profit Little Rock
Ouachita Baptist University 13 to 1 1,686$20,960 Private not-for-profit Arkadelphia
Lyon College 12 to 1 634$23,370 Private not-for-profit Batesville
Hendrix College 12 to 1 1,450$35,750 Private not-for-profit Conway
Ecclesia College 11 to 1 213$14,250 Private not-for-profit Springdale
University of the Ozarks 11 to 1 649$22,650 Private not-for-profit Clarksville
Crowley’s Ridge College 10 to 1 240$9,300 Private not-for-profit Paragould
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences 9 to 1 1,137$6,656 Public Little Rock

Best for Women in Technology

If you’re seeking the field of the future, look no further than technology. At these Arkansas colleges, women are making a big impact. The technology departments at many online schools in Arkansas offer programs and services to recruit and retain women. Women-only residence halls, specialized mentorship programs and support groups deliver a friendly environment for female students pursuing these traditionally male-dominated degrees. Women can more easily find their future in technology at these Arkansas colleges.

University of Arkansas$7,554 Fayetteville 144 18,343 Public
University of Arkansas for Medical SciencesN/A Little Rock 70 2,115 Public
Arkansas State University-Main Campus$7,180 Jonesboro 60 8,453 Public
University of Arkansas at Little Rock$6,854 Little Rock 49 6,942 Public
University of Central Arkansas$7,333 Conway 24 8,785 Public
Arkansas Tech University$5,286 Russellville 24 7,226 Public
University of Arkansas-Fort Smith$4,462 Fort Smith 15 5,243 Public
Southern Arkansas University Main Campus$7,146 Magnolia 15 2,628 Public
Harding University$15,240 Searcy 10 4,663 Private Not for Profit
University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff$5,724 Pine Bluff 6 2,842 Public

Best Schools Fighting for Families

Arkansas is home to numerous outstanding social work programs, designed for those pursuing a career in family service. These programs offer the essential background and knowledge for students to assist people in clinical settings, hospitals or schools. With future growth expected in the field of social work, the specialized concentrations of these top-ranking programs make them some of the best programs in the country.

Arkansas State University-Main Campus Jonesboro 139 112 27 $7,180 8,453
University of Arkansas at Little Rock Little Rock 129 103 26 $6,854 6,942
University of Arkansas Fayetteville 115 83 32 $7,554 18,343
University of Central Arkansas Conway 59 37 22 $7,333 8,785
Henderson State University Arkadelphia 52 41 11 $7,280 3,108
University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Pine Bluff 33 31 2 $5,724 2,842
Arkansas Tech University Russellville 23 16 7 $5,286 7,226
Harding University Searcy 22 20 2 $15,240 4,663
Southern Arkansas University Main Campus Magnolia 17 17 0 $7,146 2,628
Philander Smith College Little Rock 16 13 3 $12,464 680
University of Arkansas at Monticello Monticello 13 13 0 $5,560 2,698
Hendrix College Conway 8 6 2 $36,200 1,412
Central Baptist College Conway 7 5 2 $12,530 706
University of the Ozarks Clarksville 6 3 3 $23,250 595