After its only virtual school closed in 2012, the state of Kentucky now offers no fully-online schools, although there are three supplemental and full-time course providers included in the Kentucky Virtual Campus. The Barren Academy of Virtual and Expanded Learning offers a fully-online learning program for students in grades 6-12, and Kentucky Education Television offers courses to students who don’t have ready access to electives. The JCPSeSchool of Jefferson County, a district program, serves more than 23,000 students. There is currently no legislation to allow virtual schools, but some alternative paths to graduation for at-risk students might eventually be implemented.
|SCHOOL NAME||GRADE LEVELS||CITY||SCHEDULE||TYPE||PHONE NUMBER|
|Kentucky Virtual Schools||K - 12||Frankfort||Both Live/On-Demand||Public||(866) 590-9240|
|Barren Academy of Virtual and Expanded Learning||9 - 12||Glasgow||On-Demand/Asynchronous||Public||(270) 670-3739|
The outlook for higher education in Kentucky emphasizes online opportunities. The Kentucky Council on Post-Secondary Education supports publicly funded online learning initiatives, including the Kentucky Virtual Campus (KYVC), a consortium of state universities offering online courses and degree programs, as well as the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) Online, which offers Web-based courses and degrees from community and technical colleges. According to the Council’s official website, more than 100,000 public students, or about 35 percent of the system’s total student population, enrolled in public distance-learning programs in 2011. Public schools are not the only colleges to embrace distance learning; private online schools in Kentucky run the gamut from small liberal arts colleges to targeted career and vocational schools.
The Kentucky Community & Technical College System (KCTCS) governs 16 two-year colleges serving more than 90,000 students each year. Some of these students enroll in career-targeted certificate and associate degree programs designed for quick entry into the workforce; others pursue more academic degrees that can serve as stepping stones to four-year institutions. KCTCS also offers non-traditional credit options for students with military service experience, and dual-credit options for high school students.
Because Kentucky community colleges often cater to working professionals, plenty of evening, weekend and online courses are available. Some students can even complete entire programs through KCTCS Online, a system-wide virtual consortium of online courses and degrees.
|SCHOOL NAME||ADDRESS||CITY||SEE PROGRAMS|
|Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College||700 College Rd||Cumberland||+|
|Henderson Community College||2660 S Green St||Henderson||+|
|Owensboro Community and Technical College||4800 New Hartford Rd||Owensboro||+|
|Bluegrass Community and Technical College||470 Cooper Drive||Lexington||+|
|West Kentucky Community and Technical College||4810 Alben Barkley Drive||Paducah||+|
|Somerset Community College||808 Monticello Street||Somerset||+|
The Kentucky Council on Post-Secondary Education oversees a two-tiered system of public universities that serve more than 100,000 total students each year. The first tier is comprised of the state’s two top research institutions: the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville. Both schools are known for their medical curricula and selective admissions process. The second tier includes regional universities. Tiers do not necessarily indicate quality; tier 2 schools offer some of the nation’s most respected academic programs, like Eastern Kentucky University’s forestry school and Cave Management at Western Kentucky University’s nationally ranked School of Journalism & Broadcasting. Many Morehead State University Department of Earth and Space Science alums move on to successful careers with NASA and other aerospace agencies.
All public universities in Kentucky, regardless of tier, offer undergraduate and graduate programs designed to meet the needs of the state’s evolving workforce. Popular disciplines include agriculture, business, education, finance, management, marketing, nursing, technology and many more. Most of these public institutions offer online schools in Kentucky, which means some students can complete their educations with little to no classroom work. Visit the Kentucky Virtual Campus online to learn more.
Kentucky has nearly as many private schools as public institutions. The Kentucky Council on Post-Secondary Education licenses more than 30 nonprofit, independent or private institutions, which together serve nearly 28 percent of the state’s undergraduate student population. These diverse institutions include private liberal arts schools, highly targeted career colleges and everything in between. Some have religious affiliations or other distinguishing characteristics. Transylvania University, a private liberal arts school in Lexington, is the 16th oldest college in the United States.
KCPE oversees the licensing of private, nonprofit institutions, but each has its own governing board. This translates to an impressive degree of variety among these colleges, especially with respect to programs and learning goals. Many offer majors in traditional fields like business, liberal arts, medicine, science and technology, but others feature more specialized programs, like theological studies programs for aspiring ministers. Prospective students should contact individual schools to learn more.
Kentucky Community and Technical College System Online (KCTCS)
The Kentucky Community & Technical College System offers online courses, diplomas, certificates and degrees through KCTCS Online. Students can choose from Web-enhanced, blended, hybrid and fully-online courses. Online courses are available in two formats: Learn by Term and Learn on Demand. The Learn By Term program delivers online courses in a traditional, semester-long format; Learn on Demand offers classes in 15-week and accelerated 3-5 week formats. Students in both programs can earn degrees in areas like business administration systems, computer and information technologies, criminal justice and health information technology.
All Web courses are delivered through KCTCS Online, but students must be enrolled with the campuses hosting their chosen programs. Some fully-online classes may require students to take proctored exams at a testing site. KCTCS Online maintains partnerships with five public universities, making it easier to transfer to four-year programs upon earning an associate degree.
To learn more about KCTCS Online’s degree programs, visit their website at http://www.kctcs.edu/KCTCS_Online.aspx.
Eastern Kentucky University
Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) offers online undergraduate and graduate degrees in 15 subject areas, along with several certificate and non-degree options. Some programs have on-campus requirements. Students in the paralegal program, for example, are required to complete a two-week research session on campus, and students in the fire investigation program must complete a two-week fire lab session on campus. Online courses at EKU are delivered through Blackboard in six or eight-week sessions. Technical requirements vary by course, but EKU recommends that all students have computers with high-speed Internet access, Mozilla Firefox and Flash Player.
All online undergraduate programs require applicants to hold at least a high school diploma or GED for admission. Online graduate-level admissions requirements vary by department, and some require students to complete GRE or GMAT exams.
For more information about EKU’s online certificate and degree programs, visit the EKU Online website at http://ekuonline.eku.edu.
University of Louisville
The University of Louisville (U of L) offers online bachelor’s and master’s degrees in a number of academic areas. Undergraduate students can earn online bachelor’s degrees in nursing, organizational leadership and learning, justice administration or communication. This online school in Kentucky also offers online graduate certificate programs in data mining and network and information security. All online degree programs have the same credit requirements as traditional degree programs: bachelor’s degree programs usually require 123 credits, while master’s degree programs require 30.
Online courses at EKU are delivered through the Blackboard learning management system, but students will also need access to Microsoft Office and Java. Some courses may have additional requirements such as QuickTime, RealPlayer or Adobe software.
A full listing of online programs can be found at U of L’s Online Learning homepage at http://louisville.edu/online/programs.
|Score||Student/teacher ratio||Financial aid||Cost||more|
|1||Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College||98.56||13:1||97%|
This community college offers a diverse collection of academic and applied degrees through its virtual campus. Students can complete an associate of arts or science degree, or take one of a number of specialized programs. The Associate of Applied Science in Energy Management educates students in critical thinking and communication, along with providing technical skills like assessing carbon footprints, analyzing data, and evaluating energy use patterns. The school offers two online learning formats: Learn By Term, where students complete courses on a traditional semester basis, and Learn on Demand, where students work through modules, which can be started any time, at their own speed.
|2||Henderson Community College||98.3||10:1||94%|
Along with earning associate degrees in arts and science, online students at this community college can specialize in career-focused programs like agricultural technology, business administration and information technology. Students in the agricultural technology program study field management, equipment maintenance, animal care, and other subjects that prepare them for careers in farming and agriculture. This associate in applied science can be complete in two years with full-time enrollment in the school's Learn By Term program. Learn By Term has set start and end dates and students move through their courses alongside classmates. The college also offers a Learn on Demand option for some programs, where students begin classes at any time throughout the year and complete them at their own pace.
|3||West Kentucky Community and Technical College||97.64||13:1||94%|
This community's college's Associate of Applied Science in Marine Technology is ideal for professional mariners aiming to upgrade their credentials, as well as new students interested in working on the country's inland waterways. The program gives students the opportunity to specialize in one of four tracks: marine culinary management, marine engineering, wheelhouse management, and marine logistics operations. Along with marine technology, the school offers career-focused degrees like information technology and criminal justice. Students can also earn associate degrees in the general arts and sciences. Online classes are provided on a semester-basis, through the school's Learn by Term program. A Learn on Demand option, where students begin courses at any time and complete coursework at their own pace is available for certain degrees.
|4||Bluegrass Community and Technical College||95.17||15:1||94%|
Two means of completing an online degree are available at this community college: Learn by Term and Learn on Demand. Students who choose the demand option work their way through modules, which can be started at any time throughout the years, at their own speed. Credits are rewarded once a module is completed. Meanwhile, the Learn by Term program operates more traditionally, with students moving through online courses on a semester basis. Numerous online associate degrees are available, including general arts and sciences, as well as specialized programs like business administration, marine technology, medical information technology and more. More options are available by term than on demand.
|5||Somerset Community College||94.18||18:1||99%|
The online Associate of Applied Science in Business Administration Systems prepares graduates for a variety of careers in business. In addition to learning a core curriculum, students can specialize in accounting, hospitality management, finance, and numerous other areas. Along with business, the school offers several other career-oriented programs online, as well as associate degrees in arts and science. The school has two options for online learning: Learn By Term, where classes run on a traditional semester schedule, and Learn on Demand, where students have the freedom to begin classes at any time and complete their coursework at their own pace. Not all programs taught by term are available on demand.
|6||Owensboro Community and Technical College||92||13:1||97%|
The Learn By Term program at this community college offers a wide number of career-focused associate degrees in diverse fields like criminal justice, energy management, marine technology and more. Associate degrees in arts and science can also be completed 100-percent online. Learn By Term classes are delivered through the Blackboard learning management system and are completed in a traditional semester format. Students interact with instructors and classmates through online discussions, and classes sometimes require synchronous sessions where students attend at a set time. Certain programs are also available through Learn on Demand, where students are rewarded credits for completing modules they can begin at any time throughout the year and complete at their own pace.
|Score||Student/teacher ratio||Financial aid||Cost||more|
Numerous online bachelor's and master's degrees are available through this Catholic university. Programs are designed for adult students and most degrees can be completed in two academic years, with students receiving the same quality of education as those studying on-campus. Ministers and church volunteers can deepen their understanding of their faith through the university's Bachelor of Arts in Theology with Emphasis in Pastoral Studies. The university also provides bachelor's degrees in liberal arts fields like psychology and political science, which prepare students for a variety of careers as well as graduate studies. Online courses have a live chat once a week where students go over presentations and have discussions with professors and classmates over the Internet.
This independent, liberal arts university provides six online bachelor's degrees and a Master of Business Administration, aimed at accommodating working adults. Students interested in managerial roles in the health care profession can receive the educational background they need through the university's Bachelor of Arts in Health Care Administration. The curriculum tackles topics like ethics, economics, policy and program implementation. The school also has bachelor's degrees in psychology, public safety, business administration, education and interdisciplinary studies. The university offers most of its online programs in five-week terms and an accelerated format, letting students move toward their career goals quickly and flexibly.
|3||University of Louisville||94.43||11:1||97%|
This nationally renowned research university's Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice provides graduates with the skills and theory they need to succeed in careers as police officers, criminal investigators and more. Students study the criminal justice system, learn how to link theory with policy, and gain the ability to recognize and understand relevant legal issues. Along with its criminal justice program, the school offers five online bachelor's and eight online master's degrees in fields as diverse as nursing, engineering and communication. Students receive their assignments and communicate with instructors and classmates through the Blackboard learning management system. Courses follow the same semester-based schedule as traditional classes.
This private, Baptist university offers high-quality and convenient online programs at the undergraduate and graduate level, with an emphasis on the liberal arts. For students looking at a religious career, or a deeper understanding of their faith, the school provides a Bachelor of Science in Pastoral Ministries and a Master of Theology. The former program explores subjects like biblical studies and church history, while the latter takes those subjects deeper, preparing students for careers in the faith like minister, religious research and policymaking. In addition to theology, the university offers 100-percent online degrees in nursing, business, education and other professional fields, from a perspective rooted in Christian values. Most online programs can be completed in as little as two academic years.
|5||Lindsey Wilson College||91.35||15:1||100%|
This Methodist-affiliated school concentrates on adult education and has designed its programs around balancing work and family. Online students can complete four undergraduate and two graduate degrees at their own pace without sacrificing quality. Its cutting-edge Bachelor of Arts in User Experience (UX) Design concentrates on understanding and improving the interaction between human beings and technology such as video games, wearable devices, and the Internet of Things. Students learn how to communicate with multiple technologies and think creatively - and critically - about their uses. Undergraduate degrees in nursing, business administration and criminal justice are also offered at the university. Eight-week courses are available in most online programs to speed up graduation.
|6||Eastern Kentucky University||91.35||17:1||97%|
Students can easily keep working while completing their post-secondary education at this public university. The school offers several online bachelor's degrees. These include applied degrees like occupational safety as well as liberal arts degrees like political science. Courses are usually offered every eight weeks, making it easy to enroll throughout the year. Students do not have to log in at any set time to attend class, letting them complete their work on their own schedule. The school's online degrees are no different than those achieved on campus and graduates are full alumni. Students use the Blackboard learning management system to submit assignments, take tests and have discussions with classmates and instructors.
|7||Murray State University||91.35||16:1||99%|
Murray is one of Kentucky's top public universities and its online nursing program is particularly extensive, with students able to complete both their BSN and master's over the Internet. Students in the master's program can choose between two options: academic nurse educator and clinical nurse specialist. The former concentrates becoming an educator in the field while the latter emphasizes the care of adult patients suffering critical or acute illness. The university's online courses are offered asynchronously and require six to eight hours of work per week. Along with nursing, adult students can receive an array of undergraduate and graduate degrees. These include computer information systems, business administration and agriculture.
|8||Western Kentucky University||90.56||17:1||93%|
With more than thirty fully online bachelor's and master's programs, students have a wide selection at this public university. The academically inclined can study areas like sociology while those looking for an applied have options like health care administration and computer information technology. The university's Master of Arts in Education - Teacher Leader Program offers eight master-level specializations, including elementary education, literacy, special education and more. The school's online programs follow the same semester-based timetable as on-campus classes and use the Blackboard online learning management system. Courses require about three hours of time online and nine hours of offline work each week, similar to traditional classes.
|9||University of the Cumberlands||90.28||14:1||100%|
This 125-year-old, private liberal arts college strives to provide its online students with modern and convenient lifelong learning while maintaining a personal touch. Its undergraduate programs prepare graduates for the workplace as well as further education. Students receive a solid foundation in the liberal arts while concentrating in one of six areas, such as business, education and health science. A host of world-class graduate programs are also available, including a Master's in Criminal Justice Administration, aimed at both pre-career students and professionals already in the field. The school uses a user-friendly learning management system and students can complete their work and interact with instructors on their own schedule.
|10||Morehead State University||89.95||18:1||99%|
With 20 online education programs, Morehead State's distance education promises flexibility and support to students whether they are looking to complete a degree or just take a few courses. Programs include: Accounting, Career and Technical Education, Computer Information Systems and a Master of Arts in Sports Management, among many others. The Morehead State online program is a learning environment designed to support working adults. Online classes use the Blackboard learning management program and use discussion boards, video conferencing, and chats. Students are given the option of participating in group projects with fellow students via phone, email, chat, wiki, blog or video conferencing.
Spalding's Adult Accelerated Program (AAP) offers an engaging, online option designed especially for adults. Designed for adults ages 23 and older, these programs are constructed to help students gain upward mobility, make a career change, maximize earning potential and gain personal fulfillment. Classes follow the same six-week session format as on-campus undergraduate offerings and use the Moodle Learning Management System. Online classes embrace the same academic rigor as Spalding's face-to-face classes. Flexible session formats allow students to begin classes at any one of seven times throughout the year. Classes meet once a week for four hours in the evening or on Saturday for six weeks.
Offering associates, bachelors, and master's degree programs in business, education and ministry, Asbury University caters to adult learners. The Online Degree Completion program is designed to provide adults with the opportunity to finish college in an accelerated format. Online students personally engage with Asbury faculty who are committed to academic excellence and spiritual vitality. Students complete an entire online program in collaborative learning environments using engaging learning technologies. The program is designed to bring a new level of professional skills, leadership, and ethical values to those desiring to make a difference in their work, church, and world.
4 Year Online Colleges in Kentucky
|SCHOOL NAME||TYPE||ADDRESS||CITY||SEE PROGRAMS|
|Georgetown College||Private not-for-profit||400 East College Street||Georgetown||+|
|University of Louisville||Public||2301 S 3rd St||Louisville||+|
|Morehead State University||Public||University Blvd||Morehead||+|
|Campbellsville University||Private not-for-profit||1 University Dr||Campbellsville||+|
|Lindsey Wilson College||Private not-for-profit||210 Lindsey Wilson St||Columbia||+|
|Murray State University||Public||218 Wells Hall||Murray||+|
|Thomas More College||Private not-for-profit||333 Thomas More Parkway||Crestview Hills||+|
|Spalding University||Private not-for-profit||901 S Fourth Street||Louisville||+|
|University of the Cumberlands||Private not-for-profit||6191 College Station Drive||Williamsburg||+|
Best for Future Service Members
Almost anyone could benefit from the convenience of online schools in Kentucky, but this flexibility is especially valuable for military service members and spouses who want to continue their studies through deployments, relocations and other major transitions. Many schools offer additional programs to help these students succeed, such as military tuition discounts, special funds and scholarships, and online tutoring and advising.
Students attending online schools in Kentucky with campus-based locations may have access to additional resources, like on-site centers offering academic, financial and civilian transition advising services. Other services that may benefit active and retired military personnel include credit-by-exam options that allow students to earn college credit for established military skills and training.
|Tuition||City||ROTC - Army||ROTC - Navy||ROTC - Air Force|
|Kentucky State University||$5,496||Frankfort||Yes||No||Yes|
|Northern Kentucky University||$7,872||Highland Heights||Yes||No||Yes|
|Western Kentucky University||$8,472||Bowling Green||Yes||No||Yes|
|University of Kentucky||$8,610||Lexington||Yes||No||Yes|
|University of Louisville||$9,466||Louisville||Yes||No||Yes|
Best for Personal Attention
Online schools in Kentucky make college accessible to students who otherwise may not be able to attend, but that doesn’t mean they have to sacrifice personalized learning for flexibility. Many distance learning schools integrate technologies into their programs that help students feel connected to instructors and peers. These might include online video conferencing tools like Skype, cloud-based collaboration tools, scheduled chats and virtual office hours. Live-streamed, interactive lectures allow students to ask questions in real-time, and many online schools in Kentucky cap course enrollment to guarantee more personalized feedback. Here are some of the best online schools in Kentucky for students seeking a more personal learning experience.
|Western Kentucky University||19 to 1||21,080||$8,472||Public||Bowling Green|
|Morehead State University||18 to 1||10,758||$7,284||Public||Morehead|
|Northern Kentucky University||18 to 1||14,912||$7,872||Public||Highland Heights|
|University of Kentucky||18 to 1||21,861||$8,610||Public||Lexington|
|University of Pikeville||17 to 1||1,618||$17,050||Private not-for-profit||Pikeville|
|Alice Lloyd College||16 to 1||640||$8,500||Private not-for-profit||Pippa Passes|
|Saint Catharine College||16 to 1||1,197||$17,976||Private not-for-profit||Saint Catharine|
|Murray State University||16 to 1||9,972||$5,880||Public||Murray|
|Eastern Kentucky University||16 to 1||16,064||$7,320||Public||Richmond|
|Kentucky Mountain Bible College||15 to 1||81||$6,300||Private not-for-profit||Vancleve|
|Kentucky Christian University||15 to 1||568||$16,448||Private not-for-profit||Grayson|
|Brescia University||15 to 1||830||$18,500||Private not-for-profit||Owensboro|
|Thomas More College||15 to 1||1,927||$25,390||Private not-for-profit||Crestview Hills|
|Kentucky State University||15 to 1||3,214||$5,496||Public||Frankfort|
|Asbury University||14 to 1||1,592||$25,140||Private not-for-profit||Wilmore|
|University of the Cumberlands||14 to 1||1,853||$18,640||Private not-for-profit||Williamsburg|
|Midway College||14 to 1||2,021||$20,700||Private not-for-profit||Midway|
|Lindsey Wilson College||14 to 1||2,370||$21,000||Private not-for-profit||Columbia|
|Kentucky Wesleyan College||13 to 1||803||$19,640||Private not-for-profit||Owensboro|
|Campbellsville University||13 to 1||3,782||$21,100||Private not-for-profit||Campbellsville|
|University of Louisville||13 to 1||17,692||$9,466||Public||Louisville|
|Bellarmine University||12 to 1||2,895||$31,990||Private not-for-profit||Louisville|
|Union College||11 to 1||917||$19,990||Private not-for-profit||Barbourville|
|Transylvania University||11 to 1||1,054||$28,645||Private not-for-profit||Lexington|
|Centre College||11 to 1||1,328||$35,000||Private not-for-profit||Danville|
|Georgetown College||11 to 1||1,375||$30,770||Private not-for-profit||Georgetown|
|Spalding University||11 to 1||1,576||$20,550||Private not-for-profit||Louisville|
|Berea College||11 to 1||1,734||$20,900||Private not-for-profit||Berea|
|Clear Creek Baptist Bible College||9 to 1||209||$5,482||Private not-for-profit||Pineville|
|Simmons College of Kentucky||8 to 1||122||$4,320||Private not-for-profit||Louisville|
Best for Women in Technology
The technology industry is growing quickly, but studies suggest that women represent a smaller percentage of students in tech degree programs and the field at large. Some online schools in Kentucky focus on attracting and supporting young women in tech. They might staff more seasoned female professors to serve as role models, or host mentorship programs connecting new and graduating students. Some distance learning programs host professional and networking events specifically for women in technology. Student organizations for women in tech with a strong virtual presence are also helpful. Here are some of the best online schools in Kentucky for women pursuing tech careers.
|TUITION + FEES||CITY||WOMEN IN TECH DEGREES AWARDED||TOTAL ENROLLMENT||TYPE|
|Murray State University||$6,840||Murray||118||7,543||Public|
|University of Kentucky||$9,676||Lexington||106||24,269||Public|
|University of Louisville||$9,662||Louisville||81||16,044||Public|
|Eastern Kentucky University||$7,320||Richmond||46||11,968||Public|
|Morehead State University||$7,284||Morehead||36||5,869||Public|
|Western Kentucky University||$8,472||Bowling Green||22||14,890||Public|
|Asbury University||$25,311||Wilmore||17||1,388||Private Not for Profit|
|Northern Kentucky University||$8,064||Highland Heights||11||10,699||Public|
|Berea College||$21,880||Berea||6||1,619||Private Not for Profit|
|Bellarmine University||$33,270||Louisville||5||2,594||Private Not for Profit|
|Kentucky State University||$6,096||Frankfort||5||2,096||Public|
Best Schools Fighting for Families
Social science degrees can be a catalyst to careers in helping families, children and other citizens in need. Many online schools in Kentucky offer high-quality certificate and degree programs for students in these disciplines, but some extend their support even further. For example, programs that offer supervised, for-credit internship opportunities within students’ local communities provide practical knowledge and experience that could never be conveyed through courses alone. Some Web-based programs offer student and professional clubs for aspiring social services professionals that have a strong virtual presence, or special scholarships and grants specifically within this discipline. Optional campus-based seminars, career fairs and professional and networking conferences can also prove beneficial. Here are some of the top online schools in Kentucky for future community service professionals.
|CITY||SOCIAL DEGREES AWARDED||WOMEN||MEN||TUITION & FEES||TOTAL ENROLLMENT|
|University of Louisville||Louisville||274||219||55||$9,662||16,044|
|University of Kentucky||Lexington||242||182||60||$9,676||24,269|
|Western Kentucky University||Bowling Green||226||162||64||$8,472||14,890|
|Morehead State University||Morehead||140||107||33||$7,284||5,869|
|Murray State University||Murray||72||56||16||$6,840||7,543|
|Northern Kentucky University||Highland Heights||62||54||8||$8,064||10,699|
|Eastern Kentucky University||Richmond||57||51||6||$7,320||11,968|
|University of Pikeville||Pikeville||15||13||2||$17,050||1,495|
|Kentucky State University||Frankfort||9||9||0||$6,096||2,096|
|Kentucky Christian University||Grayson||8||7||1||$16,778||549|
|Thomas More College||Crestview Hills||7||6||1||$26,595||1,402|