Rhode Island K-12 Online Schools

While some students in grades 9-12 have supplemental online education available to them, there are currently no public online learning opportunities available for grades K-8. The state is, however, experiencing an increase in blended learning (a combination of in-class and online instruction), with an increase of 72 percent in this activity over the past three years. The Northern Rhode Island Collaborative, in conjunction with the Jefferson County Educational Service Center in Ohio, offers 80 online courses to Rhode Island Students in grades 3–12, and 24 percent of middle and high schools in the state participate in The Virtual High School.

Rhode Island Online Colleges and Universities

Although Rhode Island is the national’s smallest state, it has an impressive selection of post-secondary options. The Community College of Rhode Island offers numerous online courses at the same cost as traditional classes. Known for being rigorous, these classes follow the standard academic calendar and are held to the same learning outcomes as those taught on campus. Some of these programs do require campus visits to supplement learning. Both of Rhode Island’s public universities offer online courses, and the University of Rhode Island’s offerings encompass over 20 undergraduate and graduate disciplines. Enrollment in online courses continues to grow, with the highest rates occurring during the summer session. Popular degrees include communication studies, library and information sciences, psychology, gender and women’s studies and writing.

State Schools in Rhode Island

Rhode Island boasts two state schools: the University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College. Over 25,000 full and part-time students are split between the universities and are enrolled in a range of bachelor’s and master’s degrees and graduate certificate programs. Popular fields include ocean engineering, finance, nutrition, theatre and creative writing. At RIC, half of undergraduates pursue education, nursing or social work degrees while the other half study liberal arts or business. RIC offers majors not common at other schools, including international nongovernmental organizations studies and labor studies.

Both URI and RIC are committed to promoting diversity, which can be seen across the campuses of both. A wide variety of student organizations and centers are focused on promoting equality and open dialogue and classroom activities work to bring these conversations to the forefront whenever possible.

Community Colleges in Rhode Island

The Community College of Rhode Island has six campuses statewide where students can earn an associate degree or gain credits for eventual university transfer. Degree programs are focused on the arts and sciences, with popular courses including energy utility technology, microcomputing and nursing. CCRI caters to both recent high school graduates and those returning to school after time in the workforce. In fact, 60 percent of the student body is over 25 years old.

Private Nonprofit Colleges in Rhode Island

Rhode Island is home to two well-known private universities: Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design. Founded in 1764, Brown is the seventh-oldest college in the country and offers many different undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Brown is unique in its program structure for undergraduates, allowing students choose from about 70 concentrations to create their own courses of study.

RISD is a highly regarded school for the arts, offering degrees in areas of architecture, design, find arts and art education. RISD requires full-time study with no part-time option available. With adjacent campuses, RISD and Brown allow their students to cross-register for classes at the other school for no additional cost.

Rhode Island Post-Secondary Spotlight

Roger Williams University

As an online school in Rhode Island, RWU caters to a wide variety of students seeking online options for undergraduate degrees, certificates and individual courses. There are eight purely online degrees available, including undergraduate programs in criminal justice, healthcare administration and industrial technology, among others. Certificate programs include digital forensics, municipal management and school nurse teaching. RWU expects a lot of its online students, requiring a high degree of involvement and participation. This typically involves eight to nine hours of weekly work per course. RWU openly distinguishes itself from other online schools in Rhode Island, claiming that its faculty is characteristically interactive with their online students. This ensures all students gain an immersive and intense, but nurturing learning experience.

To learn more about Roger Williams University’s online learning options, continue reading at: https://scs.rwu.edu/why-scs/online-learning.

Providence College

With nearly 30 courses offered across departments including economics, chemistry, philosophy and English, this online school in Rhode Island provides a robust choice of learning options. Online courses at PC are powered by Sakai, a distance learning software platform used by hundreds of universities worldwide. With a continuous focus on providing flexible study balanced with upholding expectations of online student involvement, PC is a leader of online schools in Rhode Island. Courses are offered as either fully online or in hybrid format, mixing in-class and online learning methods.

For more information about Providence College’s online learning options, visit: https://continuing-education.providence.edu/online-learning/.

University of Rhode Island

Following the same academic schedule as on campus courses, students enrolled in URI’s online classes enjoy the same assignments, group work and participation opportunities as their counterparts. URI does not offer undergraduate degrees online, however it does have both professional and graduate certificates in digital forensics offered purely online. This online school in Rhode Island does offer other courses through a hybrid model where 75 percent of the class is completed online while the other 25 percent is done in person.

To learn more about online learning at the University of Rhode Island, visit: http://web.uri.edu/learningonline/.

Best Online Colleges and Universities in Rhode Island

Best for Personal Attention

The first Rhode Island college was among the nine initial colonial post-secondary schools founded before the American Revolution, instilling a strong sense of serving individual pursuits. Online schools in Rhode Island offer a broad curriculum that should suit most every college major field of study. What sets the colleges on our list apart from other schools is their advantageous student/faculty ratio, even in schools with more than 5,000 students. All of these schools have student-teacher ratios less than 20:1.

New England Institute of Technology 16 to 1 4,086 $19,275 Private not-for-profit East Greenwich
University of Rhode Island 16 to 1 15,389 $10,878 Public Kingston
Bryant University 15 to 1 3,428 $35,591 Private not-for-profit Smithfield
Rhode Island College 15 to 1 8,795 $6,530 Public Providence
Salve Regina University 14 to 1 2,071 $33,450 Private not-for-profit Newport
Roger Williams University 14 to 1 4,911 $29,976 Private not-for-profit Bristol
Providence College 13 to 1 4,588 $41,350 Private not-for-profit Providence
Rhode Island School of Design 9 to 1 2,030 $41,022 Private not-for-profit Providence
Brown University 9 to 1 6,930 $42,808 Private not-for-profit Providence
Johnson & Wales University-Online 3 to 1 120 $16,740 Private not-for-profit Providence

Best for Women in Technology

Online schools in the small state of Rhode Island help female students of technology and engineering in a big way, connecting them to each other and to jobs throughout New England and beyond. Though women typically enroll in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) programs with less frequency than men, the online schools in Rhode Island listed here boast a high ratio of female to male students, all-female dormitories, mentorships or other special programs. Additionally, collectives and meet-ups are offered, providing students the opportunity to network with professional women with careers in technology and engineering.

University of Rhode Island $12,450 Kingston 63 13,470 Public
Brown University $43,758 Providence 53 8,346 Private Not for Profit
New England Institute of Technology $20,685 East Greenwich 12 2,556 Private Not for Profit
Roger Williams University $31,618 Bristol 8 4,030 Private Not for Profit
Johnson & Wales University-Providence $26,412 Providence 6 9,983 Private Not for Profit
Rhode Island College $7,598 Providence 5 5,995 Public
Salve Regina University $33,950 Newport 5 2,058 Private Not for Profit

Best Schools Fighting for Families

Though a small state, Rhode Island has excellent offerings for students interested in pursuing a career in social work. Social workers often take two tracks: Direct-service social workers that help individuals cope with everyday problems, or clinical social workers that diagnose mental and behavioral issues. Both types of social workers can pursue careers in which they help families and children. These online schools in Rhode Island can help provide the education, training and advocacy skills necessary for graduates to bring social and economic justice to the world.

Rhode Island College Providence 155 129 26 $7,598 5,995
Brown University Providence 35 25 10 $43,758 8,346
University of Rhode Island Kingston 35 18 17 $12,450 13,470
Providence College Providence 26 22 4 $42,206 3,967
Salve Regina University Newport 17 17 0 $33,950 2,058
Roger Williams University Bristol 8 7 1 $31,618 4,030