Louisiana hosts several notable public and private colleges, including Tulane, LSU, and the University of Louisiana. Students from around the country take on-campus classes at these prestigious institutions, but distance education also allows students to earn degrees from these schools online. Even students who reside in Louisiana may pursue online education for its flexibility, which enables many candidates to maintain employment while earning a degree.
For students seeking in-state tuition, Louisiana maintains several residency requirements. Residency applicants must reside in the state for at least 365 days prior to the first day of college classes and prove intent to remain in Louisiana beyond education. Students can often demonstrate residency intent by paying Louisiana state taxes, registering to vote, and obtaining a state driver's license. Even for students without residency, some Louisiana schools may offer special in-state tuition rates to online students.
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The completion time for online degrees varies by program and degree level. A bachelor's degree typically takes four years of full-time study to complete, while a master's degree takes 2-3 years.
Louisiana schools may offer online programs at the associate, bachelor's, master's, and/or doctoral levels.
While some online programs at Louisiana public colleges only admit state residents, some schools also accept online students who reside outside of the state.
Students applying for Louisiana residency must reside in the state for at least 365 days prior to the first day of college courses.
Best Online Colleges in Louisiana 2021
This guide ranks the best online degrees in Louisiana. These schools offer a mixture of affordable tuition, top-rated academics, and strong support services. All of the schools on this list also host strong online learning programs, providing flexibility for working professionals and other nontraditional students.
Based in Ruston, Louisiana Tech Online offers several bachelor's and master's programs, as well as a handful of graduate certificates for professional development.
The school offers one online bachelor's program — a bachelor of science in health informatics and information management. Master's-level students can choose from six different programs, including a master of arts in English, a master of business administration, and a master of science in engineering and technology management. The school also offers graduate certificates in valuable business skills such as technical writing and communication.
Graduate applicants must submit GMAT or GRE scores to start the application process. Undergraduate applicants must possess a minimum composite ACT score of 23 or SAT score of 1130. They need an overall 2.0 minimum GPA, or a minimum core GPA of 2.5 with a minimum composite ACT score of 15 or SAT score of 830 to apply for in-state admission. Out-of-state students must meet slightly higher requirements.
Louisiana Tech is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Based in Lafayette, UL Lafayette Online offers several online and hybrid programs, including five bachelor's programs and eight master's programs.
Students can take advantage of over 400 online and hybrid courses as either online or on-campus students. Fully online bachelor's programs include general studies, health promotion and wellness, and a registered nurse to bachelor of science in nursing. Graduate students can choose from systems technology, accounting, and educational leadership or complete a bachelor's to doctor of nursing path. Online students can take advantage of online tutoring, support staff, and an online library.
First-year applicants must submit SAT or ACT scores. Students with more than 24 transferrable credits must also possess a minimum GPA of 2.4 to qualify for admission. Graduate students must check the admission requirements for their chosen degree path before applying.
UL Lafayette is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Located in Lake Charles, McNeese Online offers one associate degree program, seven bachelor's programs, and seven master's programs.
Bachelor's options include programs in criminal justice, business administration, and sociology. Master's programs include instructional technology, psychology, nursing, or a master of business administration. The school also offers four online certificate programs: academically gifted education, applied behavior analysis, school librarian, and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner.
The school also offers one hybrid program: a master of education in curriculum instruction, which combines face-to-face instruction with online courses.
Undergraduate applicants must submit SAT or ACT scores. Graduate students must check with their individual program for application requirements, with several requiring GMAT or GRE scores.
McNeese is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Located in Baton Rouge, LSU Online offers several programs with convenient flat-rate tuition. Students can choose from over 30 bachelor's programs and over 15 graduate programs.
Bachelor's options include programs in construction management, business analytics, humanities, and health sciences. Graduate programs include civil engineering, construction management, social work, and liberal arts. Students can also pursue online graduate certificates or bootcamps for further skills and professional growth while taking advantage of LSU's academic support and learning mentors.
LSU offers prior learning credits for work experience and other higher education experiences. Most departments do not require SAT or ACT scores for undergraduate admissions. Graduate students should check with their department to determine whether their program requires GRE or GMAT scores.
LSU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Based on the Monroe campus, ULM Online offers students both undergraduate and graduate degree pathways, including professional certificates and an associate degree option.
Students beginning their college careers can pursue ULM's associate of general studies. The school also offers 15 bachelor's degree choices, including modern languages with a French concentration, elementary education, and criminal justice. Master's options include programs in education, history, and psychology. The school also offers two online doctoral degrees: a doctor of education in curriculum and instruction and a doctor of philosophy with a concentration in systemic studies.
First-year applicants must possess a minimum GPA of 2.35 with a minimum ACT score of 18 (English) and 19 (math), or their SAT equivalent. Students with an ACT composite score of 20 only need a 2.0 GPA. Graduate students should check individual departments for admissions criteria and work experience requirements. ULM offers prior learning credit opportunities.
ULM is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Accreditation for Online Schools in Louisiana
When researching the best online degrees in Louisiana, students should always check a school's accreditation status. Schools may hold regional or national accreditation, with regional accreditation generally considered the more prestigious of the two. Accreditation benefits students in several ways. For instance, only students at accredited schools qualify for federal financial aid, and many schools only accept degrees and transfer credits from accredited institutions.
All reputable four-year colleges and universities hold accreditation from one of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation's six regional accrediting organizations. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) accredits colleges in Louisiana and other southern states.
Why Study Online?
Online learning offers many benefits for students, particularly with respect to the format's flexibility. Distance education removes many of the geographical constraints of traditional campus learning, enabling students to complete coursework from anywhere with an internet connection.
Many of the best degrees online in Louisiana also offer courses fully or partially asynchronously, allowing students to access materials any time of day without required login times. Additionally, many online programs offer traditional, accelerated, and part-time enrollment, with different options available to accommodate different scheduling needs.
Online students may also save on their degree compared to on-campus students. For example, online learning typically eliminates the transportation expenses associated with commuting to the school. Additionally, the ability to maintain existing employment can reduce the overall expenses of higher education.
Professional Organizations for Students in Louisiana
Louisiana students and professionals benefit from joining professional organizations. Professional organizations often offer networking opportunities, professional development resources, and job opportunities. Many organizations in Louisiana also offer discounted student memberships. This list highlights four professional organizations for college students in Louisiana.
Young Leadership Council
Dedicated to civic engagement, leadership, and community projects, YLC enrolls members aged 21-42 throughout the greater New Orleans area. Members gain access to career development programs, mentorship and leadership development opportunities, and a strong professional network. Students also receive a discounted membership rate.
Young Nonprofit Professionals Network New Orleans
Bringing together young professionals involved in nonprofit work throughout the greater New Orleans area, YnpnGNO offers networking opportunities, professional development resources, and volunteer coordination. The organization also offers support for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Membership is open to local residents aged 18-35.
Junior League of New Orleans
Supporting women involved in community service and nonprofit work in the New Orleans area, JLNO brings together members from diverse nonprofit sectors to share information and skills. The organization offers training in areas including nonprofit management and women's leadership.
Society of Louisiana CPAs
An organization dedicated to CPAs and other accounting professionals throughout Louisiana, CPE offers conferences and workshops, continuing education opportunities, ethics training, and a variety of online courses. Members also gain access to mentorship opportunities, scholarships, and networking activities.
Scholarships for Online Students in Louisiana
Students in Louisiana can apply for scholarship opportunities to help offset the cost of their degree. Many scholarships serve students majoring in a particular field, while others serve only those enrolled in Louisiana public colleges. This list highlights three popular scholarships for college students in Louisiana.
Society of Louisiana CPAs Scholarship
Who Can Apply: The Louisiana CPA Educational Foundation offers scholarships for current LCPA members enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate accounting program in the state. Applicants must hold a minimum 3.0 GPA.
Stephen W. Cavanaugh Scholarship
Who Can Apply: The Baton Rouge Foundation offers this scholarship for any Louisiana student majoring in an insurance-related field, such as business, finance, risk management, or actuarial science.
Rockefeller State Wildlife Scholarship
Who Can Apply: The Louisiana Office of Student Financial Aid offers this scholarship for students pursuing undergraduate or graduate programs in wildlife, forestry, or marine science.