Accredited Online Bachelor's Degrees

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Earning a bachelor's degree can help learners challenge themselves while expanding their career opportunities. In the competitive job market, bachelor's degree-holders can qualify for more advanced positions and higher salaries.

Online learning can be more convenient than on-campus programs. Learners pursuing their bachelor's degree online often enjoy flexible, self-directed scheduling options. Students can pursue online bachelor's degrees while working full time, which can help them manage the financial investment of attending college.

Top 10 Schools for Online Bachelor's Degrees

  1. LeTourneau University - Longview, TX
  2. University of Florida - Gainesville, FL
  3. Judson University - Elgin, IL
  4. Johnson University - Knoxville, TN
  5. Oklahoma State University - Stillwater, OK
  6. University of Central Florida - Orlando, FL
  7. University of Mary - Bismarck, ND
  8. Kansas State University - Manhattan, KS
  9. Maryville University - Saint Louis, MO
  10. Southwestern College - Winfield, KS

 

Best Online Bachelor's Degrees Programs for 2020

Methodology
2-Year Colleges

Students pursuing a bachelor's degree online often enjoy benefits aside from scheduling flexibility. Many online programs offer accelerated options that allow motivated students to graduate more quickly. Through asynchronous classes, learners can study at their convenience, while fulfilling personal and professional obligations.

The list below features the best online bachelor's degrees for 2020. You can use the ranking to find and research programs that fit your interests and career goals.

Rank University Title Tuition # of Online Programs Expand Enrollment Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid University Description
1 LeTourneau University $23,386 19 39% 61% 100%

LeTourneau University began as an all-male institution in 1946. Today, the university enrolls over 3,150 men and women, operates eight academic schools, and offers more than 140 undergraduate majors. LETU offers online bachelor's degrees in various disciplines, including cybersecurity, business administration, healthcare management, and human services. The university's Student Success Center provides several support services to both on-campus and online enrollees, such as career and academic counseling and tutoring assistance. LETU maintains a generous transfer credit policy and accepts different types of prior learning credits, including those certified by the College Level Examination Program and the National College Credit Recommendation Service. Military training, professional certifications, and community college courses often qualify for transfer credit. LeTourneau University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

2 University of Florida $11,313 14 45% 90% 93%

Established in 1853 and now a top-ranked national institution, the University of Florida enrolls more than 55,000 students, making it the state's third largest university. UF Students can select from several online bachelor's degrees in fields like communication sciences and disorders, environmental management, tourism event and recreation management, and health education. Distance learners can benefit from UF's Career Connections Center, which offers resume and online job interview preparation, academic planning, career counsel ing, and online workshops. Florida residents who choose to pursue an online program pay 75% of standard in-state tuition. The University of Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

3 Judson University $21,437 13 40% 64% 100%

Judson University traces its roots back to 1913 and the founding of the Northern Baptist Theological Seminary. The university served as the undergraduate division of the seminary until it became an independent institution in 1963. Judson now serves a student population of over 1,250 and offers more than 60 undergraduate programs. Students can pursue a bachelor's degree online at Judson in the following fields: applied psychology, business administration, human services, and organizational leadership. The university participates in the Illinois Articulation Initiative, which makes transferring from another accredited participating school an easy and transparent process. Students must complete at least 40% of major coursework as an enrolled student at the university. Distance learners at Judson gain access to the Student Success Center, which offers academic advising, writing and tutoring assistance, and career development coaching. Judson University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

4 Johnson University $9,583 2 57% 78% 73%

Opening its doors in 1893 as The School of Evangelists, Johnson University began with four faculty members and 40 students. The school became known as the Bible College in 1909 before finally achieving university status in 2011. Today, JUTN offers more than 70 programs across eight academic colleges. JUTN offers online bachelor's degrees in five disciplines: applied linguistics, business administration, intercultural studies, ministry leadership, and pastoral care and counseling. As part of the Tennessee Transfer Pathway, JUTN makes it easy for students to transfer credits earned at another participating institution. Distance learners can access various student services available at the university's Academic Support Center. Trained personnel and peer tutors provide academic writing tips, career counseling, and assistance in performing college-level research. Johnson University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

5 Oklahoma State University $11,862 11 75% 62% 86%

Founded as a land-grant institution called the Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College, Oklahoma State University enrolled a total of 23 women and 22 men when it opened in 1890. Today, the university serves approximately 25,000 undergraduate students and offers more than 200 majors and minors across six academic colleges. The university offers online bachelor's degrees in several disciplines, including business administration, human sciences, psychology, nursing, and computer science. The LASSO Center provides several support services to assist both on-campus and online students in their academic journey. The center offers tutoring services, academic coaching, and subject-specific supplemental instruction. Distance learners can also request assistance from the writing center for college-level research and academic writing tips. OSU maintains a generous transfer credit policy and accepts credits earned through Advanced Placement, College Level Examination Program, and the International Baccalaureate Program. Oklahoma State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

6 University of Central Florida $6,707 9 39% 61% 96%

Originally called Florida Technological University when it opened in 1963, the University of Central Florida enrolled a total of 423 students during its first year. The university currently enrolls almost 59,000 undergraduates and offers more than 220 academic majors, through 13 schools and colleges. Students can choose from over 20 online bachelor's degrees in several academic fields, including religion and cultural studies, senior living management, technical education and industry training, and health informatics and information management. Most of UCF's online programs deliver coursework asynchronously. All applicants to UCF's online programs must have completed some college coursework. On-campus students can enroll in online courses, but they must pay on-campus fees. The University of Central Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

7 University of Mary $15,539 2 45% 86% 97%

The University of Mary began as Mary College in 1959, offering undergraduate degrees in education and nursing. Today, the university offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs in five academic fields of study and enrolls close to 3,800 students. Mary also offers 13 online bachelor's degrees in areas of business, behavioral sciences, and the health sciences. The university maintains a generous transfer credit policy, awarding transfer credits for work experience, professional certifications, and previous college coursework. Many of Mary's online programs do not require any campus visits and deliver coursework asynchronously. Distance learners at Mary can access major planning, career counseling, a writing center, and tutoring services. The University of Mary is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

8 Kansas State University $5,004 10 35% 100% 100%

Founded in 1863, Kansas State University began as Kansas State Agricultural College, the first operational land-grant institution in the country. Today, K-State comprises nine schools and colleges, enrolls more than 22,000 students, and offers over 400 certificate, undergraduate, and graduate programs. Students can choose from online bachelor's degrees in several academic areas, including human development and family science, nutrition and health, applied business and technology, and early childhood education. K-State's educational resources include tutoring services, academic coaching, and writing assistance. Additionally, K-State's career center provides useful tips on resume and cover letter writing, job interviews, and salary negotiation. Kansas State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

9 Maryville University $17,845 6 39% 94% 59%

Opening its doors in 1872 as a school for young women, Maryville University now enrolls over 10,200 men and women and offers more than 90 programs. The university serves working professionals by offering an array of online bachelor's degrees in fields of communication sciences and disorders, management information systems, human development and family studies, and organizational leadership. Maryville maintains a generous transfer credit policy. Transfer students can submit college-level credits and industry-recognized professional training and/or certifications for evaluation. Many of Maryville's online programs eliminate in-person requirements and offer multiple start dates throughout the year. Maryville University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

10 Southwestern College $24,890 6 35% 61% 100%

Four years after its founding in 1885, Southwestern College hosted graduation for its initial class of three students. Today, the college serves more than 1,500 undergraduate and graduate students. Distance learners at SC can pursue an online bachelor's degree in fields like business quality management, computer programming technology, healthcare administration, and strategic leadership. Adhering to a flexible transfer credit policy, Southwestern College allows students to transfer up to 64 credits from an accredited two-year school and up to 94 credits from an accredited four-year institution. Students can also submit a Prior Learning Credit Portfolio for evaluation. SC awards up to 15 credits for prior learning per student. Southwestern College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

11 Peirce College $16,690 1 53% 70% 100%

Peirce College opened its doors in Philadelphia in 1865 as Union Business College, a school established to meet the educational needs of soldiers returning from the Civil War. To this day, Peirce continues to focus on the specific academic requirements of adult learners. More than 2,000 students enroll at the college, 92% of whom are over 21 years old. Peirce College offers online bachelor's degrees in 11 academic disciplines, including human resource management, health information administration, criminal justice, and paralegal studies. The college maintains a generous transfer credit policy. The following online bachelor's programs accept up to 102 transfer credits: liberal studies, organizational leadership, technology management, and human service leadership. The other online bachelor's programs accept up to 90 transfer credits. Peirce College also considers industry-recognized certifications and credit-by-exam results for college credit. Peirce College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

12 Mount Vernon Nazarene University $23,016 5 35% 59% 100%

Mount Vernon Nazarene University started out in 1968 as a two-year junior college. It achieved university status in 1991 and adopted its current name in 2002. The university currently serves a student population of approximately 2,200 and comprises six schools. MVNU offers five online bachelor's degrees. Students can pursue a bachelor of business administration (BBA) or a bachelor of arts in four fields: elementary education, leadership, public administration, and ministry leadership. The BBA offers concentrations in finance, human resource management, marketing, and management. The university offers a tuition guarantee to all students. Once a student enrolls at MVNU, the school locks in their tuition, thereby guaranteeing that course-by-course payments will not increase for the student's entire residency at the university. Students must maintain continuous enrollment to take advantage of the tuition lock. Mount Vernon Nazarene University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

13 Purdue University $22,390 5 38% 66% 99%

Classes began at Purdue University six years after the school was founded in 1869, with six teachers and 39 students. Today, the university enrolls a student population of approximately 43,400 and comprises 13 academic schools and colleges. Purdue University offers several bachelor's degrees online. Students can choose online programs available in disciplines like early childhood administration, environment policy and management, legal support and services, and industrial/organizational psychology. The university administers several federal financial aid programs for undergraduate online students. Purdue's Academic Success Center provides support services for both on-campus and online enrollees. The center offers supplemental instruction, academic consultations, workshops, and other online resources to help them map out their educational journey. Purdue University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

14 Florida International University $39,935 3 43% 85% 51%

When Florida International University opened on the site of an abandoned airfield in 1972, it enjoyed the highest initial enrollment numbers in U.S. collegiate history. A total of 5,667 students enrolled on the first day of registration. FIU currently serves more than 48,000 undergraduate and graduate students and offers over 190 programs across 10 academic colleges. Students can choose from 39 online bachelor's degrees in fields like sustainability and the environment, women's and gender studies, recreation and sport management, and organizational communication studies. Online programs at FIU offer several start dates throughout the school year, giving online students added flexibility and convenience. Online students at FIU also benefit from tutoring, academic counseling, and career planning. Florida International University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

15 Minot State University $17,216 12 52% 55% 98%

Established in 1913, Minot State University began as a two-year teacher-training institution. Currently enrolling more than 3,000 students, MSU now offers undergraduate coursework in over 60 fields of study and graduate programs in 10 academic areas. It comprises three academic colleges. Students at MSU can choose from 10 online bachelor's degrees in fields like applied business information technology, criminal justice, early childhood education, and human services. Learners can pursue all MSU online programs without any campus visits. The humans services program offers a concentration in intellectual and developmental disabilities. MSU delivers coursework both synchronously and asynchronously. MSU gives online learners access to e-tutoring sessions and academic writing assistance. Minot State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

16 University of Alaska Southeast $18,002 21 43% 64% 89%

The University of Alaska Southeast became part of the University of Alaska System in 1987 after the state consolidated the academic resources of three institutions. More than 5,300 students currently enroll at UAS, which comprises three colleges and offers over 75 certification and degree programs. Students can pursue an online bachelor's degree in business administration, elementary education, social science, special education, and liberal arts. The online program in business administration offers concentrations in accounting, management, human resource management, and management of information systems. UAS supports its online learners by providing academic advising, career counseling, and tutoring sessions. Some online programs require students to attend on-campus classes, but students can usually meet internship requirements within their geographical area. A transfer-friendly institution, UAS accepts prior learning experience, such as military training and professional certifications, as college credits. University of Alaska Southeast is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

17 Dickinson State University $18,653 9 45% 71% 97%

Established in 1918 as the Dickinson State Normal School, Dickinson State University originally held classes on the grounds of the local high school. It enrolled a total of 104 students during its initial year. Today, DSU comprises 10 schools and departments and serves a population of nearly 1,200 undergraduate and graduate students. DSU students can pursue a bachelor's degree online in business administration, accounting, nursing, education, and applied science. DSU also offers an online bachelor's in university studies that allows students to create their own program and enroll in classes that support their academic and professional objectives. The tutoring center provides students with help with their coursework, writing assignments, and research projects. Dickinson State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

18 Misericordia University $30,710 6 28% 80% 100%

Founded as an all-women's school in 1924, Misericordia University opened with an initial enrollment of 37 students. A coeducational institution since the 1970s, the university currently serves over 2,500 undergraduate and graduate students and consists of three academic colleges. Misericordia offers online bachelor's degrees in several academic areas, including accounting, healthcare management, information technology, and social work. Some online programs follow the regular semester formats, while others adhere to a 7.5-week delivery schedule. Most programs deliver coursework asynchronously. The university offers some online programs in an accelerated format. Students with prior college credits and professional experience can graduate from an online accelerated bachelor's program in 2.5 years. Distance learners can access services, such as peer and professional tutoring, writing assistance, and academic coaching through Misericordia's Student Success Center. Misericordia University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

19 University of Alaska Fairbanks $26,540 17 34% 72% 100%

Starting out as the Alaska Agricultural College and School of Mines in 1917, University of Alaska Fairbanks enrolled 15 students during its initial year. Currently serving approximately 8,300 students, UAF comprises 10 colleges and schools and offers more than 170 programs at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. Students at UAF can pursue an online bachelor's degree in eight academic fields, including homeland security and emergency management, sport and recreation business, business administration, and psychology. UAF charges online students in-state tuition regardless of where they actually live, which means they often end up paying substantially lower tuition rates than out-of-state on-campus enrollees. Distance learners at UAF gain access to academic advising, tutoring services, and career planning. University of Alaska Fairbanks is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

20 Bismarck State College $18,679 4 32% 64% 100%

Starting out as a junior college in 1939, Bismarck State College housed 107 students and a 12-member faculty during its initial year. BSC now enrolls nearly 4,000 students and offers associate, diploma, certification, and bachelor's programs. BSC is a leading national provider of energy education programs. BSC offers an online bachelor's degree in energy management that prepares students for management and leadership roles in the energy sector. The bachelor of applied science degree requires applicants to have an associate in applied science, diploma, or certificate in an energy-related field. The curriculum includes coursework in energy production and the environment, ethical issues in the energy industry, fundamentals of workforce safety, and new and emerging energy technologies. Each course in the program lasts eight weeks. Students never need to visit campus in Bismarck, North Dakota during their studies. Bismarck State College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

21 Drexel University $14,771 1 35% 81% 70%

Although it was established in 1891 as the Drexel Institute of Art, Science and Industry, Drexel University only began awarding bachelor's degrees in 1914. More than 24,000 learners currently study at Drexel, pursuing one of over 200 degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels. Drexel students can pursue an online bachelor's degree in 10 academic areas, including criminal justice, behavioral health counseling, communication, business, and nursing and health professions. Drexel grants college credit for related prior learning and maintains a generous transfer credit policy. Students can transfer up to 80 previously earned semester credits (120 quarter credits) toward their bachelor's degrees. Drexel delivers most online coursework asynchronously. Drexel University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

22 Thomas Edison State University $22,966 27 40% 48% 100%

From the time it was chartered in 1972, Thomas Edison State University set out to meet the unique educational needs of adult learners. Currently enrolling more than 15,000 students and comprising five academic schools, TESU offers over 100 programs. Students can pursue a bachelor's degrees online in fields like homeland security and emergency management, nuclear engineering technology, data science and analytics, and radiation technology and health physics. TESU awards college credit for prior learning, making it possible for working professionals to earn their online degree quickly. Students can take the Thomas Edison Credit-by-Exam or submit the results of another program like the College Level Examination Program. Students with a current professional license or an industry-recognized certification may also be eligible for college credits. Thomas Edison State University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

23 Concordia University-Saint Paul $6,395 16 35% 35% 100%

Founded in 1893, Concordia University, St. Paul began as a seminary for young men preparing for ministry in the Lutheran Church. Today, the university offers programs in over 80 fields of study and enrolls more than 5,000 learners. CSP currently offers 17 nline bachelor's degrees in popular disciplines, such as healthcare administration, criminal justice, information and technology management, and web design and development. Online programs at CSP deliver courses asynchronously and eliminate on-campus requirements. CSP works with several partner institutions to provide students with the financial help they need to earn their degree. Students with an associate degree from one of CSP's partner institutions receive a $2,000 scholarship toward their studies at CSP and priority admission status. Concordia Un

24 Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College $20,626 10 35% 59% 99%

Although it started out as a school for women in 1840, St. Mary-of-the-Woods College is now a coeducational institution serving more than 1,700 students. Learners can pursue an online bachelor's degree in several academic fields, including human resource management, paralegal studies, healthcare administration, and marketing. SMWC maintains a generous transfer policy, accepting credits earned at another accredited school, results from standardized college-level exams (such as the College Level Examination Program), industry-recognized certifications, and training programs evaluated by the American Council on Education. Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

25 Mercer University $11,898 3 27% 81% 69%

Starting out in 1833 as a school for boys called Mercer Institute, Mercer University enrolled 39 students during its initial year of operation. Today, the university enrolls more than 8,700 students and offers over 130 programs through 12 schools. Mercer students can pursue an online bachelor's degree in disciplines, such as information technology and informatics, human services, criminal justice leadership, and homeland security and emergency management. The human services program offers four specializations: family services, gerontology, mental health, and social services. Most of Mercer's online courses eliminate in-person requirements. Online courses at Mercer last eight weeks each. Students can take advantage of multiple start dates throughout the school year. Mercer University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

26 Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey $24,557 5 38% 53% 100%

Chartered in 1766 as Queens College, Rutgers originally held classes for a few students at a converted tavern. Today, Rutgers comprises 17 schools, serves a student population of over 50,000, and offers more than 350 undergraduate and graduate programs. Rutgers students can pursue an online bachelor's degree in business administration, nursing, and labor and employment relations. The online bachelor's in business administration is a degree completion program and only accepts applicants with at least 18 college credits. Students applying to the nursing program must hold a valid RN license and pass the NCLEX prior to admission. Rutgers is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

27 Missouri State University-Springfield $9,180 34 39% 58% 89%

Called the Fourth District Normal School when it was founded in 1905, Missouri State University enrolled 543 students during its first year. Missouri State currently serves almost 24,000 students and operates seven academic colleges. Students at MSU can complete an online bachelor's degree in fields like criminology and criminal justice, health services, communication studies, and professional writing. Many of the university's online programs do not require any campus visits. Distance learners pursuing a program in nursing, education, or business benefit from specialized academic advising for these fields. Additional student services for distance learners include career and personal counseling, writing assistance, and tutoring sessions. Missouri State maintains a flexible transfer credit policy. It does not impose a limit on the number of credits a student may transfer from another regionally accredited institution. However, transfer credits must meet the receiving academic department's equivalency criteria. Missouri State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

28 Indiana University $18,786 8 37% 59% 100%

Founded in 1891, Indiana University merged with Purdue University in 1969 to form Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. The new institution currently enrolls close to 30,000 students from all 50 states and more than 142 countries. IUPUI comprises 17 academic schools and offers over 350 programs. Students can pursue an online bachelor's degree in disciplines that include public affairs and administration, natural science and mathematics, medical imaging technology, and English. The Office of Online Education works with all Indiana University campuses to make sure distance learners can access the student services they need to complete their program. Students can take advantage of career counseling, academic success coaching, and math and writing support. IUPUI is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

29 Everglades University $7,555 17 46% 57% 64%

Established in 2002 as Everglades College, Everglades University currently serves almost 1,500 students and offers undergraduate and graduate programs across several disciplines. Students can pursue an online bachelor's degree in popular fields like hospitality management and business administration, but also in emerging disciplines like alternative and renewable energy management, environmental policy and management, and surveying management. The university assigns an academic advisor to each distance learner to help them map out their academic path from enrollment to graduation. Online students can also take advantage of employment placement assistance after graduation. The university maintains a national digital placement service, which helps graduates in their job search after they complete their program. Everglades University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

30 Amridge University $10,153 10 76% 46% 93%

Amridge University started out in 1967 as a theological seminary called the Alabama Christian School of Religion. The university has since expanded its educational programs to include degrees in academic disciplines such as business and human services. More than 1,100 learners currently study at Amridge University. Amridge offers online programs at the associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. Students can pursue eight nline bachelor's degrees in business, general studies, and theology through Amridge. Amridge's career services center helps online students develop and implement a viable career plan even as an enrolled student at the university. Trained counselors assist students in choosing the college major that reflects their interest and supports their professional objectives. Online students can also get help with resume writing and revision, interview tips, and job-hunting strategies. Amridge University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

31 McKendree University $16,856 1 45% 92% 63%

Founded in 1828 and originally called the Lebanon Seminary, McKendree University began with 72 students, holding classes in two rented sheds. Today, the university enrolls approximately 2,500 students and offers more than 60 bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. MCK is the oldest college in Illinois. Students at MCK can pursue an online bachelor's degree in five academic areas: business administration, computer information systems, nursing, psychology, and sociology/criminal justice. The online business administration program offers nine concentrations, including cyber defense, supply chain management and logistics, entrepreneurship, and human resource management. MCK's Student Success and Advising Center provides course selection and scheduling, tutoring services, and career counseling. McKendree University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

32 Valley City State University $8,927 23 69% 36% 84%

Valley City State University began in 1890 as a training school for teachers. Today, VCSU enrolls over 1,500 undergraduate and graduate students and comprises 11 departments and a school of education and graduate studies. VCSU offers online bachelor's degrees in fields like business process integration management, teacher education, social science, and communication. Students who pursue the online teacher education program can select from the following concentrations: business, career and technical, history, English, social science, and technology. At VCSU's learning center, students can receive one-on-one subject-specific online tutoring, academic and career counseling, and writing assistance. The center also helps students with non-academic concerns, such as enrollment issues, financial aid, and technical support. Valley City State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

33 University of Arizona $20,447 3 64% 70% 100%

When it was founded in 1885, the University of Arizona enrolled 32 students and conducted classes in a single building. Today, UArizona enrolls over 45,000 students on a 380-acre campus and online. UArizona offers 33 online bachelor's degrees in fields like nutritional sciences, government and public service, applied science, and geographic information systems technology. The applied science program offers seven concentrations, including early childhood education, human services, intelligence studies, and network operations. Online programs at the UA maintain six start dates per year and offer courses that last 7.5 weeks each. Academic advisors assist online students with enrollment, transferring credits, coursework selection, and career planning. The University of Arizona is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

34 Webster University $6,768 25 51% 34% 91%

Webster University began in 1915 as Loretto College, one of the first women's schools in the region. The university currently enrolls over 11,500 students, comprises five schools and colleges, and offers more than 100 programs at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. Webster offers fully online bachelor's degrees in criminology, educational studies, general studies, and management in addition to psychology and religion. Students can also pursue online degree completion programs in data analytics, media communications, and nursing. Degree completion programs require applicants to have either 64 prior college credits or an associate degree. Webster delivers all online coursework asynchronously. Distance learners at Webster can access support services, such as academic counseling and career planning. Webster University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

35 Madonna University $24,669 14 30% 69% 100%

Madonna University began as a junior college in 1937, enrolling 18 students during its first year. Today, MU serves 3,000 students and consists of five schools. MU students can pursue an online bachelor's degree in fields like hospitality and tourism management, family and consumer science, criminal justice, and organizational leadership. MU maintains a generous transfer credit policy. Students can transfer in up to 74 credits from a two-year school and up to 90 credits from a four-year institution. Distance learners at MU benefit from online one-on-one peer tutoring, writing assistance, and career planning. Madonna University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

36 University of South Dakota $7,799 2 35% 50% 100%

Founded in 1862, USD is South Dakota's oldest university. USD serves more than 10,000 learners and offers a range of bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees across eight schools and colleges. Students can pursue an online bachelor's degree in fields like business administration, criminal justice, technical leadership, addiction studies, and health sciences. USD maintains a generous transfer credit policy and accepts college-level credits earned in equivalent coursework from an accredited institution. USD charges online enrollees the same tuition as in-state students no matter where they live. Online learners can access several support services, including ESL and subject-specific tutoring, academic counseling, and career planning. Degree-seekers can also access the university's writing center, which provides interactive online workshops and training videos. University of South Dakota is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

37 George Washington University $20,217 5 44% 42% 100%

Founded in 1821 and now a top-ranked national institution, GW comprises 14 schools and colleges and enrolls approximately 26,000 undergraduate and graduate students. GW is the largest institution of higher learning in the nation's capital. Students can earn an online bachelor's degree in health science, nursing, or security studies. The health science program offers seven concentration areas, including clinical operations and healthcare management, global leadership and disaster response, clinical research administration, and emergency medical services management. GW provides comprehensive support services to online learners, including free peer-to-peer tutoring, academic counseling, and research and writing assistance. Through the university's career center, students can expand their professional network and gain tips for job interviews and resumes. George Washington University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

38 Oregon State University $10,458 34 58% 32% 84%

Although OSU was officially chartered as the Corvallis State Agricultural College in 1868, the school dates back to 1856 when it was established as a community school for primary and secondary education. OSU currently supports nearly 32,000 students and offers more than 300 undergraduate and graduate programs across 11 colleges. Students enroll in an online bachelor's program through the university's Ecampus. OSU offers more than 30 online undergraduate degrees in a range of academic disciplines, including geography and geospatial science, human development and family sciences, environmental economics and policy, and business analytics. Most online programs do not require any campus visits and provide up to four start dates per year. Oregon State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

39 DeSales University $19,704 2 59% 57% 100%

DeSales started in 1962 as the Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales, a college for men. Today, the university enrolls more than 3,400 men and women and comprises six academic divisions. Students can enroll in online bachelor's programs through the university's ACCESS program. ACCESS offers undergraduate degrees in several fields, including homeland security, criminal justice, early childhood and elementary education, and business administration. Some online programs follow an asynchronous delivery format, while others adhere to a synchronous class schedule. Online students can choose to enroll in six- or eight-week sessions. The school's Academic Resource Center provides support services for both online and on-campus enrollees. Learners can take advantage of academic planning assistance, tutoring services, and career counseling. DeSales University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

40 MidAmerica Nazarene University $10,313 2 35% 99% 100%

Two years after it was founded in 1966, MNU opened with 263 students. Now among the top regional universities in the Midwest, the school supports a student population of approximately 1,870 and comprises seven academic departments offering undergraduate, graduate, and pre-professional degrees. MNU offers online bachelor's degrees in business administration, accelerated elementary education unified, computer information systems, and nursing. Since MNU offers these programs as degree-completion programs, the number of credits a student needs to graduate depends on their academic background. The online elementary education program requires enrollees to complete a student teaching experience. Online students can fulfill this requirement in their home communities. Learners pursuing the online computer information systems program can specialize in software engineering or cybersecurity. MNU maintains specific articulation agreements with several local community colleges to help facilitate the transfer of their graduates to the university. Active, reserve, or honorably discharged service members can also earn college credit for their military training and experience. MidAmerica Nazarene University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

41 Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale $48,447 11 32% 72% 87%

Keiser began in 1977 as a career-focused school for adult learners seeking to establish careers in business or healthcare. The university now offers more than 100 programs in several academic fields. Florida's third-largest university, Keiser consists of 10 academic colleges and enrolls nearly 20,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Learners can pursue an online bachelor's degree in several academic areas, including information technology management, public safety administration, applied engineering, and homeland security. Keiser offers the same student support services to both online and on-campus students, including resume preparation and revision, job interview coaching, and professional development workshops. Individuals can access current job postings on the university's online career center both during their residency at Keiser and after graduation. Keiser University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

42 University of Iowa $19,275 5 52% 57% 83%

Founded in 1847, less than two months after Iowa achieved statehood, UI is the state's oldest university. The university serves more than 32,000 students from all 50 states and 114 countries. UI comprises 11 academic colleges and offers more than 200 programs and seven professional degrees. Learners can pursue a bachelor's degree online in applied studies, enterprise leadership, political science, liberal studies, sports and recreational management, nursing, and radiation sciences. An interdisciplinary program, the liberal studies degree offers six tracks, including health and human studies; justice and ethics; and family, community and social support. UI gives online students access to a range of helpful support services, including those available at the Pomerantz Career Center. The center offers career assessment and advising and for-credit or not-for-credit courses on leadership, improving communication skills, and workplace behavior. The University of Iowa is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

43 University of North Dakota $16,599 3 78% 69% 73%

Founded in 1883, UND is the state's oldest and largest institution of higher education. More than 13,800 students currently attend UND pursuing bachelor's, master's, professional, and doctoral programs across nine schools and colleges. Students can enroll in one of 27 online bachelor's degrees in fields like public health education, computer science, cybersecurity, and social work. UND offers several combined bachelor's and master's programs online in disciplines, such as early childhood education and chemical engineering. Degree-seekers often save both time and money by pursuing a combined degree, especially when the program is available online. Online students can access several vital support services from a distance. Resources include tutoring services, coursework planning, and academic writing guidance. UND also offers career services to help students polish their resumes, improve their job interviewing skills, and build their professional network. University of North Dakota is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

44 Thomas Jefferson University $17,974 8 67% 53% 97%

In 2017, Jefferson Medical College (founded 1824) merged with the Philadelphia Textile School (founded 1884) to form Thomas Jefferson University, often referred to simply as Jefferson. Consisting of 13 schools and colleges, Jefferson currently supports a student population of nearly 8,000 and offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. Students can pursue an online bachelor's degree in one of seven academic disciplines, including behavioral and health services, business management, and organizational leadership. Jefferson offers comprehensive support services for both online and on-campus enrollees. The Career Development Center helps students with job interviewing skills, resume writing and revision, job search strategies, and salary negotiations. Jefferson follows a rolling admissions policy for its online programs. To qualify for financial assistance, students must enroll in at least six credits during each enrollment period. Thomas Jefferson University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

45 University of Alaska Anchorage $9,390 41 35% 50% 83%

The founding of the Anchorage Community College in 1954 eventually led to UAA, now the state's largest university. From an initial enrollment of 414 students, UAA now serves approximately 18,000 degree-seekers and offers more than 200 programs at the associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. Just like the other institutions in the University of Alaska System, UAA offers many of its bachelor's programs online. Online courses follow the university's regular 16-week semester schedule. Most programs include both asynchronous and synchronous components. Online enrollees can take advantage of many of the same support services as on-campus students. Learners can seek help with career and professional advising, finding local internship opportunities, and applying to jobs. University of Alaska Anchorage is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

46 Santa Fe College $19,118 3 46% 82% 76%

Santa Fe College began in 1965 as a junior college serving approximately 1,000 students. Today, the college supports more than 22,000 students and offers associate and bachelor's degrees in several fields, including information systems technology, health services administration, industrial biotechnology, and organizational management. Santa Fe College offers its nline bachelor's degrees as completion programs. Applicants need an associate degree from an accredited institution. The online bachelor of applied science in information systems technology offers concentrations in networking, programming, and security. Most nursing courses follow an asynchronous format. Students must complete a clinical experience prior to graduating, which they can accomplish in an approved facility within their local community. Santa Fe College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

47 University of Northwestern-St Paul $11,520 15 83% 100%

Starting out in Minneapolis in 1902 as the Northwestern Bible and Missionary Training School with just seven students, UNWSP today boasts more than 3,600 enrollees and comprises eight schools and colleges. UNWSP offers nline bachelor's degrees in health psychology, business management, and Bible and Christian theology. The bachelor's in health psychology and in business management are adult degree-completion programs that require applicants to have transferable credits from an accredited college or university. Students can typically complete either program in 18-22 months. The bachelor of arts in Bible and Christian theology is designed for traditional undergraduate students. The degree meets the educational requirements for the university's master's program in divinity or in theological studies. Learners can complete these programs entirely online. Online students can access several career development services, including resume writing tips, job interview coaching, and internship opportunities. UNWSP also offers academic and career counseling. University of Northwestern-St. Paul is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

48 Southern Nazarene University $36,727 16 14% 74% 100%

The consolidation of several small colleges in 1899 resulted in the founding of SNU. Located in western Oklahoma City on a 44-acre campus, SNU currently serves just over 2,100 students. SNU offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs for adults. Learners can pursue an online bachelor's degree in business administration, criminal justice, family studies and gerontology, or organizational leadership. Online programs feature multiple start dates throughout the year. Students pursuing the online business administration or criminal justice programs can earn up to 30 college credits for prior learning, such as industry-recognized certifications or professional training. Online students focus on one course during every enrollment period to ensure material mastery. Academic advisors work with students to help them reach their academic and career objectives. Southern Nazarene University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

49 Northern Kentucky University $4,705 4 45% 54% 85%

Established in 1968 as a state college, NKU achieved university status just eight years later in 1976. NKU enrolls approximately 15,000 students and offers undergraduate, master's, and doctoral programs across seven academic schools and colleges. NKU offers online bachelor's degrees in several academic disciplines, including business administration, nursing and healthcare, communication studies, and psychological science. Students pursuing the online bachelor's in business administration can choose a concentration in general business, global supply chain management, and marketing. Some online programs at NKU adhere to the regular 16-week delivery format. Other programs follow an accelerated seven-week delivery schedule. Online enrollees can use the same support services as their on-campus counterparts, including career and academic advisement, peer tutoring services, and writing assistance through the university's online writing center. Northern Kentucky University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

50 Florida Gateway College $11,929 8 38% 37% 99%

FGC began in 1947 as Columbia Forestry School. As the school expanded its academic offerings, it became a junior college in 1961 and finally a four-year institution in 2008. FGC currently enrolls approximately 3,700 students and offers associate, certificate, and bachelor's programs. Students can pursue an online bachelor's degree in early childhood education, nursing, and water resources management. The bachelor of science in early childhood education fulfills the educational requirements for the state exam for initial teaching certification in preschool education or pre-k/primary education. Learners in FGC's undergraduate nursing program need an associate of science in nursing and a valid registered nurse license. Online students can fulfill the program's clinical requirements in their home communities. FGC offers many student support services to online and on-campus enrollees, including academic counseling, career planning, and tutoring services. Florida Gateway College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Bachelor’s Degrees: The Basics

Online and on-campus bachelor's degree programs help students gain knowledge in the arts and sciences. Learners also complete focused studies in their major field. Most students complete their bachelor's program in about four years.

Colleges and universities offer two major types of bachelor's degrees:

  • Bachelor of Arts (BA): This four-year degree typically offers major concentrations in the arts, fine arts, social sciences, and humanities.
  • Bachelor of Science (BS): Students earning this four-year degree generally focus on an area of mathematics or the physical or life sciences.

Most bachelor's programs divide courses into lower-division and upper-division classes. During the first two years, students typically complete lower-division general education coursework. Learners may also take introductory courses in their major. During their third and fourth years, students take upper-division major classes. During their final semester, students may undertake an internship or complete a senior project.

Curricula vary by school and major. However, the courses below are common to many on-campus and online bachelor's degree programs. These sample courses include general education requirements and advanced major classes.

Course Name Description
Survey in Biology This introductory course for non-science majors reviews life processes and fundamental biology concepts. Students must typically complete laboratory hours.
English Composition Students in this class explore college-level research and writing techniques. Coursework emphasizes methods for organizing ideas, drafts, and revisions.
Computer Science Fundamentals This foundational course for computer science majors introduces theories and designs used to employ algorithms and programming languages. Learners must typically have completed a prerequisite course in mathematics.
Introduction to Psychology Learners in this course explore fundamental concepts, principles, and methods of psychology. Course topics include sensory perception, personality, emotional health, abnormalities, and coping strategies.
Contemporary Global Challenges and Issues This intermediate class examines political culture, world opinion, and the role of peacekeeping institutions. Learners study topics including global warming, nuclear proliferation, starvation, energy policy, and humanitarianism.
Principles of Criminal Investigation This course examines techniques and theories related to the detection, preservation, and presentation of physical and forensic evidence. The class typically includes a laboratory component and requires prerequisite coursework in criminology.
Race, Gender, and Class in the Media Typically available through a school's departments of communication and American ethnic studies, this interdisciplinary course investigates the use and perpetration of stereotypes by media organizations. Learners explore the media's influence on public opinion.
Early Childhood Curriculum Students in this class examine evidence-based models for designing and implementing programs that support early learning. Learners explore topics including cognition, literacy, social development, and special populations.
Advanced Business Administration This class covers topics related to accounting, business organization, business law, ethics, international commerce, and marketing. Students must typically have completed multiple prerequisite courses in the field.
Undergraduate Independent Study in Urban Planning Independent study participants in the urban planning field connect with a mentor and complete an independent research project or related fieldwork. The project topic should relate to urban planning, community environment, or ethics and sustainability.

Bachelor's Degree Earning Potential

Professionals with a bachelor's degree tend to earn higher salaries than those with less education. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary for bachelor's degree-holders in 2018 was 64% higher than that of professionals with only a high school diploma. Additionally, BLS data shows that college graduates enjoy a lower unemployment rate than workers without a degree.

According to a 2012 study by The Pew Charitable Trusts, a college education improves wealth mobility, a metric that measures an individual's ability to improve their socioeconomic status. The study found that 57% of college graduates obtained more wealth than their parents. Only 10% of degree-holders from families in the lowest income brackets remained in those income brackets later in life.

Additionally, a report from The Pew Charitable Trusts shows that degree-holders enjoy increased job security during times of economic uncertainty and recession. Data from the studies demonstrates that higher education typically leads to higher earning potential and increased financial stability.

Why Get a Bachelor's Degree?

Earning online bachelor's degrees can help students expand their knowledge base and develop a well-rounded worldview. Bachelor's programs prepare learners for their career path and provide a foundation for advanced studies.

After earning a bachelor's degree, graduates can enter the workforce or enroll in a master's program. A bachelor's degree often leads to more advanced positions and learning opportunities than an associate degree.

Depending on their major, graduates of bachelor's degree programs can pursue careers in various fields. Below are some positions available to bachelor's degree-holders.

  • Auditors
  • Architects
  • Financial Analysts
  • Sales Managers
  • Insurance Underwriters
  • Cost Estimators
  • Credit Counselors
  • Teachers and Trainers
  • Tax Collectors
  • Police, Fire, and EMT responders
  • Budget Analysts
  • Personal Financial Advisers
  • Registered Nurses
  • Multimedia Specialists
  • Software Developers
  • Actuaries
  • Graphic Designers
  • Writers and Journalists
  • Interior Designers
  • Public Relations representatives
  • Civil Engineers
  • Environmental Engineers and Consultants
  • Cartographers
  • Surveyors
  • Social Workers
  • Counselors
  • Clinical and Laboratory Technicians
  • Economists
  • Mediators
  • Airline Pilots
  • Foresters and Conservation Scientists

When Transferring from a Two-Year to a Four-Year College or University

After earning an associate degree, graduates often transfer into online bachelor's degree programs. Many four-year institutions maintain transfer agreements with local community colleges. These agreements help simplify the transfer process for associate degree-holders.

Academic advisors and degree counselors can help learners prepare to transfer to a four-year school. Students who plan to pursue a bachelor's degree after earning their associate should begin researching the transfer process early. Learners should understand which credits will transfer to their chosen four-year program.

How Online Bachelor's Degree Programs Work

Most schools deliver online courses through a specialized learning management system. These learning platforms offer features and functions that allow instructors to teach using live and recorded lectures, slideshows, charts and graphs, and interactive displays. Common learning management systems include Blackboard, D2L Brightspace, and Coursera.

Course delivery methods vary, and classes may be synchronous or asynchronous. Synchronous online courses require students to participate at set times. These classes typically include live lectures and real-time interactions with classmates and instructors. Students in asynchronous courses often view recorded lectures and complete assignments at their convenience. Some programs include both synchronous and asynchronous components.

Online students in most programs complete assignments, tests, and examinations. Distance learners often participate in online chats and forums. Students often use digital textbooks and access additional course materials online.

Online Learning Q & A

Must I be a nerd to use an online classroom program?

Learners who can access the internet have all the skills necessary to begin learning online. Schools typically provide help pages and technical support to assist distance learners with the learning management system and tools such as video conferencing.

Are online classes as high quality as on-campus courses?

Most online teachers and professors also teach on campus, and many online courses follow the same syllabus as its on-campus counterpart. Plus, online schools and programs can receive accreditation, ensuring that they meet standards for academic quality.

What happens to online students who have to complete laboratories?

Programs often include labs that students can complete entirely online. In other cases, students complete lab requirements with a participating organization in their local community.

Is student aid available for online learners?

Students pursuing online bachelor's degrees from an accredited school can qualify for the same federal scholarships, loans, and grants as on-campus learners.

Will I miss the social aspects of a college education if I only study online?

Online students may miss football games, pep rallies, and campus activities. However, they often save money on fees schools charge to fund these events. Additionally, many online students build lasting friendships and professional relationships through participation in chats, emails, and conference calls.

Bachelor's Degree Accreditation

To earn accreditation, schools voluntarily undergo evaluation by an independent agency. Accreditation agencies receive approval from the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). The agency evaluates the academic quality of an institution or program to ensure it meets set standards.

Institutional accreditation applies to an entire school, while individual programs and departments can receive specialized accreditation. Degree-granting institutions typically earn regional accreditation, which is the most prestigious type of institutional accreditation. Vocational and career schools often receive national accreditation. Online programs may hold specialized accreditation from an agency such as the United States Distance Learning Association or the Distance Learning Council.

Students should choose an accredited institution to ensure that they qualify for federal aid. Additionally, employers and graduate programs often require candidates to hold a degree from an accredited school.

Take the next step towards your future with online learning.

Discover schools with the programs and courses you’re interested in, and start learning today.

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