Colleges, Universities and Online Colleges in San Diego

Updated October 27, 2022

Online schools and colleges abound in San Diego. Our comprehensive list of accredited online schools can help you find the right one.

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The second largest city in California, San Diego is home to an array of community colleges, public universities, private colleges and universities, and law schools. These institutions strive to provide the academic preparation and workforce training needed for San Diegans to compete in a global economy. Available degree programs span a broad range of interests: Biblical Studies, Military Leadership, Health Law and Peace Studies.

AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Top Online Programs

Explore programs of your interests with the high-quality standards and flexibility you need to take your career to the next level.

Best Online Schools In San Diego

#1 Colleges, Universities and Online Colleges in San Diego

Alliant International University

  • San Diego, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Learners with busy schedules can access flexible academic options through Alliant International University's online programs. Although the school's campus is in San Diego, California, students can attend its 20 online programs from anywhere. Of all enrollees, 1,507 benefit from distance learning opportunities.

Students can access support and resources through the online learning community. During their studies, participants can build their professional network. In addition to completing internships, students can conduct original research to gain professional experience and impress employers after graduation. Online learners also benefit from numerous institutional resources, providing support throughout the duration of their degree. Career services such as mock interviews and resume assistance help enrollees prepare to secure a job after graduation.

Students with financial need often qualify for federal funding. The school's financial aid office provides information about scholarships, fellowships, and other financial aid opportunities.

Average Tuition
In-state
$15,347
Out-of-state
$15,347
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
67%
Students Enrolled
3,536
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
43% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#2 Colleges, Universities and Online Colleges in San Diego

Azusa Pacific University

  • Azusa, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

A top online school, Azusa Pacific University educates learners across disciplines. Through its 18 online programs, the private institution educates 2,750 students. Learners with personal or professional responsibilities can choose online programs that allow them to complete assignments according to their schedule.

A supportive online learning community helps distance enrollees succeed. Participants connect with colleagues and faculty through a virtual classroom environment and can collaborate on research and other academic opportunities. The institution's academic and career advisors help learners reach their academic and professional goals.

In addition to institutional funding, degree-seekers can apply for scholarships and grants from private organizations. Students can discuss their financial aid options with the institution's financial aid officers. To fund their education, 98% of the school's enrollees receive some type of financial aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$39,640
Out-of-state
$39,640
Retention Rate
80%
Admission Rate
67%
Students Enrolled
9,297
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
30% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#3 Colleges, Universities and Online Colleges in San Diego

California Western School of Law

  • San Diego, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students can pursue California Western School of Law's premiere academic programs in on-campus and online formats. In addition to on-campus programs in San Diego, California, the school delivers an online program. The flexibility of online programs can benefit learners with personal and professional responsibilities.

The institution's virtual learning platform provides opportunities for students to communicate with instructors and classmates. Research projects present opportunities for learners to bolster their resume while contributing knowledge to their field. Career counselors connect enrollees with resources such as job boards and resume assistance. Students who are apprehensive about the interview process can take advantage of mock interviews to prepare for their job search.

The institution's financial aid office is an excellent resource for applicants who need help exploring their funding options. Enrollees can submit the FAFSA to determine their eligibility for federal financial aid, including loans and grants.

Average Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
793
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
14% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#4 Colleges, Universities and Online Colleges in San Diego

National University

  • La Jolla, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

National University provides online learners with high-quality programs in various fields. The private institution delivers flexible enrollment options for its 8,769 online students. They can choose from a variety of subjects and learn at their own pace, right from the comfort of their home.

Virtual learning environments provide opportunities for enrollees to connect with professors and peers. Participants can pursue experiential learning opportunities, such as internships, to develop professional skills and improve their resume. While earning their degree, learners can use institutional resources such as academic advising to succeed in their program.

Funding options for degree-seekers include institutional scholarships, grants from nonprofit organizations, and federal financial aid. Students can discuss their financial aid options with the institution's financial aid officers. Of its enrollees, the school reports that 33% receive some type of financial aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$13,320
Out-of-state
$13,320
Retention Rate
50%
Admission Rate
89%
Students Enrolled
16,670
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
53% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#5 Colleges, Universities and Online Colleges in San Diego

Point Loma Nazarene University

  • San Diego, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Enrollees across fields can consider online academic options from Point Loma Nazarene University. The school's offerings include three online programs, through which 1,165 learners pursue their degree. Working professionals, who may not be able to attend classes during the day, often pursue flexible online programs.

Like on-campus students, online enrollees can receive individual support and guidance from instructors. To impress prospective employers, degree-seekers often complete internships and original research during their online program. The institution provides resources including career services and academic advising, which help students reach their academic and professional goals. The school organizes job fairs and hosts career workshops to help learners understand their professional options.

Educational expenses can vary based on the program. Admissions counselors can provide details about program fees and the overall cost of earning a degree. In addition to institutional funding, enrollees can apply for private scholarships based on their field and background.

Average Tuition
In-state
$36,350
Out-of-state
$36,350
Retention Rate
88%
Admission Rate
74%
Students Enrolled
4,567
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
26% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#6 Colleges, Universities and Online Colleges in San Diego

San Diego Christian College

  • Santee, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Learners who need scheduling flexibility can consider San Diego Christian College's online programs. Online students attending the California-based school can choose from 10 distance programs. The institution delivers remote programming to 456 online enrollees.

The online learning community allows remote students to collaborate with peers through discussion boards and email. With virtual communication tools, such as videoconferencing and chat, participants can develop their network and connect with classmates. Opportunities to apply learned skills include research projects and internships. With online resources such as academic advising and tutoring, the institution supports online learners. Networking opportunities and career services help enrollees prepare to succeed in the workforce.

Federal financial aid programs can help students afford higher education. Learners can contact the school's financial aid office for information about scholarships and fellowships. With many enrollees obtaining funding of some kind, the institution reports that 100% receive financial aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$23,030
Out-of-state
$23,030
Retention Rate
62%
Admission Rate
55%
Students Enrolled
551
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
83% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#7 Colleges, Universities and Online Colleges in San Diego

San Diego City College

  • San Diego, CA
  • 2 years
  • Campus

With top-quality online programming, San Diego City College provides a variety of options for students pursuing their degree online. In addition to in-person programs at its California campus, the public school's academic options include online programs. The institution provides online resources, such as tutoring, for its 4,603 online learners.

In the online classroom environment, enrollees can network with classmates and receive help from professors. After completing general education requirements, learners take advanced classes in their area of interest. Academic advisors help students choose electives that align with their professional aspirations. Experiential learning opportunities such as research projects and internships allow enrollees to gain experience while bolstering their resume.

To learn about program costs and funding options, applicants can contact the financial aid office. In addition to federal financial aid, students can apply to private scholarship programs.

Average Tuition
In-state
$1,104
Out-of-state
$7,440
Retention Rate
66%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
14,056
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
33% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
No

#8 Colleges, Universities and Online Colleges in San Diego

San Diego Mesa College

  • San Diego, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

San Diego Mesa College delivers high-quality, flexible online programs. Students can enroll in the school's online programs without relocating to California, where its main campus is located. The institution's enrollment includes 7,787 online degree-seekers, who take classes remotely.

Online students receive support and can form connections through the virtual learning community. While enrolled in their online program, participants can connect with classmates using tools such as videoconferencing. Some students complete original research in collaboration with professors, contributing to their field and gaining practical experience. Institutional resources include online academic advising to help distance learners select classes that match their professional goals. Enrollees can benefit from career services including mock interviews and job fairs.

To minimize debt, students can apply for financial aid. Learners often benefit from applying to a variety of funding programs, including those offered by private organizations. To help pay for their educational program, 62% of enrollees receive financial aid, according to the institution.

Average Tuition
In-state
$1,104
Out-of-state
$7,440
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
20,712
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
38% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
No

#9 Colleges, Universities and Online Colleges in San Diego

San Diego Miramar College

  • San Diego, CA
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Students looking for a premier online education should consider San Diego Miramar College. Along with online options, degree-seekers can pursue on-campus programs from the public San Diego-based school. The institution provides online resources to support its 5,399 distance learners, including virtual library access and tutoring.

In the virtual classroom environment, enrollees can request individual assistance from instructors. While each program features unique requirements, learners across fields take general education and advanced classes. Academic advisors help students choose electives that align with their professional aspirations. Options for gaining professional experience while enrolled include internships and research projects.

Applicants can contact the financial aid office for details about program costs and funding opportunities. Students who demonstrate financial need may qualify for federal grants, scholarships, or work-study programs.

Average Tuition
In-state
$1,104
Out-of-state
$7,440
Retention Rate
73%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
14,127
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
38% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
No

#10 Colleges, Universities and Online Colleges in San Diego

San Diego State University

  • San Diego, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Learners at San Diego State University receive a high-quality online education. A leader in distance learning, the public institution offers 10 online programs reaching 17,691 students across the globe. Online learners often save money by living in areas with lower costs of living while attending school.

Online enrollees often participate in class discussions through forums and chat. Program participants can conduct original research and pursue internships to gain practical experience. Learners can access institutional resources including academic advising and career services.

Many degree-seekers pursue external funding from sources such as nonprofit organizations and professional associations to cover the cost of their degree. Students can consult with a financial aid officer to determine their eligibility for scholarships, fellowships, and other forms of financial aid. Financial aid reduces the overall cost of earning a degree for 60% of the school's enrollees.

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,742
Out-of-state
$17,622
Retention Rate
89%
Admission Rate
34%
Students Enrolled
35,544
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
50% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

Colleges in San Diego

The San Diego Community College District serves approximately 130,000 students each year through three two-year colleges and seven Continuing Education campuses. The three colleges offer occupationally driven associate degrees and certificates to help prepare students for entry-level jobs, and arts and sciences degree programs that transfer to four-year colleges and universities.

San Diego is also home to a variety of public and private four-year colleges and universities. The University of California, San Diego is one of the top 10 public universities in the country, with six undergraduate colleges, five academic divisions, and five graduate and professional schools. San Diego State University, which offers bachelor's degrees in 84 areas, master's degrees in 76 areas, and doctoral degrees in 21 areas, has educated more of San Diego's civic leaders than any other institution – in fact, 80 percent of graduates stay in San Diego to pursue careers.

As for private nonprofit schools, the University of San Diego serves more than 8,000 students and offers a unique master's degree program in peace and justice studies. National University is the second largest private nonprofit institution of higher education in California and the 12th largest in the United States, offering 100 undergraduate and graduate degrees as well as 30 certificates and 22 credential programs. At Point Loma Nazarene University, which serves more than 3,500 students through 60 undergraduate areas of study and graduate centers, 30 percent of graduating seniors have studied abroad.

Take a glance at a few of San Diego's colleges and universities:

INSTITUTIONTYPETRAINING/DEGREES OFFERED
San Diego City CollegePublic (2-year)Certificates, Associate degrees
San Diego Mesa CollegePublic (2-year)Certificates, Associate degrees
San Diego Miramar CollegePublic (2-year)Certificates, Associate degrees
San Diego State UniversityPublic (4-year)Undergraduate degrees, Graduate degrees
University of California, San DiegoPublic (4-year)Undergraduate degrees, Graduate degrees, Continuing education
University of San DiegoPrivate NonprofitUndergraduate degrees, Certificates, Graduate degrees
Point Loma Nazarene UniversityPrivate NonprofitUndergraduate degrees, Graduate degrees, Certificates
National UniversityPrivate NonprofitCertificates, Undergraduate degrees, Graduate degrees
Alliant International UniversityPrivate NonprofitUndergraduate degrees, Certificates, Graduate degrees
Azusa Pacific UniversityPrivate Nonprofit (Christian)Certificates, Undergraduate degrees, Graduate degrees
San Diego Christian CollegePrivate Nonprofit (Christian)Undergraduate degrees, Certificates
Thomas Jefferson School of LawPrivate NonprofitJD, LLM, JSM, JD/MBA degrees
California Western School of LawPrivate NonprofitJD, LLM, MCL, JD/MBA, JD/MSW, JD/PhD, MAS-Health Law degrees

Online Colleges in San Diego

SPOTLIGHT: San Diego State University — San Diego, California

Part of the massive California State University system, San Diego State University serves the community through diverse online and hybrid programs. SDSU's College of Extended Studies administers most of the university's online programs as part of its mission to provide professional development and lifelong learning opportunities. The College of Extended Studies (CES) also reaches out to San Diegans through the Open University, which allows high school graduates, working adults and students from other colleges to sign up for classes, if space is available. While individual courses are open to the public and enrolled students, online degree and certificate programs may have specific admission requirements.

SDSU offers online master's degree programs in subjects ranging from public administration to education leadership to learning design and technology. A graduate program in regulatory affairs focuses on the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Another master's degree program in hospitality and tourism management uses a blended model, combining a week of face-to-face team-building and leadership exercises with 17 months of web-based instruction and a final on-campus capstone project. Interested individuals can ask university advisors whether online programs involve in-person participation or practical experience through internships.

Many of the online programs at SDSU's College of Extended Studies focus on career training. Business-related certificates dive into leadership, process improvement, human resources and accounting. Other areas include education and information systems, covering in-demand fields such as emerging mobile technologies. Several certificates are offered within construction management, encompassing green building practices. Additional noncredit online offerings aim to enhance professional knowledge or prepare students to sit for certification exams in areas such as project management.

Further details about SDSU's online programs are available at:
http://www.ces.sdsu.edu/Pages/Engine.aspx?id=685

COLLEGE NAMESan Diego State University
SUB-LOCATIONSan Diego
# OF ONLINE PROGRAMS23
SUBJECTSBusiness, Education, Public Administration, Technology
LEVELSMaster's, Certificate

Students at any of San Diego's community colleges can take online courses through the Online Learning Pathways website of the San Diego Community College District. Online courses are offered in subjects such as anthropology, business, music, psychology and real estate.

At the four-year public university level, UC San Diego Extension offers online courses and certificates in areas of study such as digital arts, engineering, information technology and writing. The College of Extended Studies at San Diego State boasts a wide range of online programs, from degree and certificate programs to career-building courses and personal enrichment opportunities.

Private colleges and universities provide a variety of online learning opportunities as well. The Division of Professional and Continuing Education at the University of San Diego offers online courses in areas such as business, classroom management, leadership, and Common Core standards. The University College of Azusa Pacific University offers fully online certificates, associate degrees and bachelor's degrees in health sciences, leadership, liberal studies, management and psychology. Thomas Jefferson School of Law features fully online master's degrees in law, such as the LLM and JSM, with five different concentrations.

Top Industries, Careers and Employers

The San Diego region boasts one of the most diverse, dynamic economies in the country. According to the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (EDC), the area's major industries include:

  • Clean Tech
  • Information & Communications Technologies
  • Military
  • Tourism
  • Health Care
  • Higher Education

The home port to more than 60 percent of the ships in the U.S. Pacific Fleet and more than one-third of the combat power of the U.S. Marine Corps, San Diego hosts the largest concentration of military service personnel in the world. In fact, the defense industry represents one out of every four jobs in the region.

According to the San Diego Daily Transcript, San Diego County's 10 largest employers are:

  • U.S. Department of Defense
  • Federal Government
  • State of California
  • University of California, San Diego
  • County of San Diego
  • San Diego Unified School District
  • Sharp Healthcare
  • Scripps Health
  • Qualcomm
  • City of San Diego

In addition to government-related activity, San Diego is one of the top 10 visitor and meeting destinations in the country, making tourism the third largest industry in the area. As seen from the list of top employers, education, whether postsecondary or K-12, is the focus for hundreds of thousands of San Diego professionals.

Colleges & Universities in San Diego

COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES IN SAN DIEGO

COLLEGESIZETUITIONTYPE
San Diego State University34,999$5,472Public
University of San Diego9,106$38,150Not For Profit (Private)
Alliant International University4,517$16,350Not For Profit (Private)
Point Loma Nazarene University4,330$27,700Not For Profit (Private)
Thomas Jefferson School of Law1,231N/ANot For Profit (Private)
California Western School of Law1,026N/ANot For Profit (Private)

COMMUNITY COLLEGES AND VOCATIONAL SCHOOLS IN SAN DIEGO

COLLEGESIZETUITIONTYPE
San Diego Mesa College40,844$864Public
San Diego City College29,873$864Public
San Diego Miramar College23,179$864Public

Popular Resources

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AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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