Online Schools and Colleges in Virginia 2021

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Online learning offers flexibility, accessibility, and convenience. Virginia’s top-ranked online colleges make it easier than ever to earn a degree without leaving home.

Virginians who choose an online school in their state benefit from tuition discounts, access to alumni networks, and the option to complete some requirements in person. Virginia’s online colleges also attract out-of-state students who want to earn a degree from a prestigious institution.

Our ranking helps students choose the best degree online in Virginia based on their personal and professional goals. Our ranking also considers the most affordable online degrees in Virginia, so degree-seekers can find a program that fits their budget.

Top Online Programs

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

Top 5 Online Schools and Colleges in Virginia

Rank School Location
1 Averett University Danville, VA
2 Liberty University Lynchburg, VA
3 George Mason University Fairfax, VA
4 Old Dominion University Norfolk, VA
5 Hampton University Hampton, VA


  • How long does it take to earn an online degree?

    An online bachelor’s degree typically takes four years of full-time study to complete. An online master’s degree generally takes two years to complete. Some online colleges offer accelerated programs that allow students to complete a degree faster.

  • What kinds of degrees can I earn online?

    Online students can earn associate, bachelor’s, and graduate degrees online. Online learners can study topics such as liberal arts, business, education, STEM, and healthcare.

  • Do I need to be a resident of Virginia to study at an online school in Virginia?

    Virginia’s online colleges admit students from every state. Some schools offer tuition discounts for online students regardless of residency.

  • How long does it take to become an official resident of Virginia for college?

    To qualify for in-state tuition, residents must live in Virginia for at least 12 months before enrolling in a public college or university.

Best Online Colleges in Virginia 2021

  1. Averett University

    Danville, VA

    Located in Danville, Averett Online offers programs designed for working adults. Their online catalog includes several bachelor's and master's options and one associate degree program.

    Students complete an associate in business administration online. Bachelor's options include programs in leadership studies, sociology, criminal justice, and business administration. The school also offers an accelerated bachelor of nursing program online. Motivated students can continue to master's programs in fields like education or applied data analytics. All students can take advantage of a student success counselor to answer questions throughout their time at Averett.

    Undergraduate applicants do not need to submit ACT or SAT scores. Students applying to graduate programs must check with their departments for admission requirements.

    Averett is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  2. Liberty University

    Lynchburg, VA

    A private Christian college based in Lynchburg, Liberty Online offers a variety of associate degree programs, bachelor's programs, master's programs, and doctoral programs. The school also offers several undergraduate and graduate certificate options. Courses happen in eight-week sessions.

    Students can choose from 19 associate degree programs and over 50 bachelor's programs. Notable options include an associate degree in biblical studies, an associate in military history, a bachelor of science in psychology, and a bachelor of science in aviation. Master's programs include over 50 options from in-demand fields such as education, nursing, business, and communications. Motivated students may advance to doctoral work in similar fields.

    Liberty encourages students to take advantage of transfer credit options for previous education, work experience, and military experience. Undergraduate applicants do not need to submit SAT or ACT scores. Students applying to graduate programs must check with individual programs for admission criteria.

    Liberty is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  3. George Mason University

    Fairfax, VA

    Based in Fairfax, Mason Online offers several flexible undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs.

    The school offers several bachelor's options and a selection of minors and undergraduate certificates for students seeking an undergraduate education. Notable options include a bachelor of fine arts in computer game design, a bachelor of applied science in cybersecurity, and a bachelor of science in psychology.

    Motivated students can complete master's level work in areas such as networking protocols for telecommunications, industrial and organizational psychology, or biodefense. Mason also offers graduate certificates for students working on professional development.

    Mason does not require undergraduate applicants to submit standardized test scores but considers SAT or ACT scores in conjunction with GPA for a holistic admissions process. Graduate students may need to complete the GMAT or GRE, depending on the program.

    Mason is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  4. Old Dominion University

    Norfolk, VA

    Located in Norfolk, ODUOnline offers a variety of online undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs.

    The school offers over 43 degree-completion programs and 18 bachelor's programs in fields such as education, public health, and psychology. The school also offers programs in in-demand fields such as mechatronics systems technology and fashion merchandising. Master's students can choose from programs including dental hygiene, computer science, cybersecurity, and sport management, as well as several nursing specialties.

    Doctoral options include a doctor of engineering in engineering management and systems engineering and a doctor of public administration and policy. The school also offers several certificate programs in areas like cybersecurity, supply chain management, and global health.

    Students can start in the spring, summer, or fall. Undergraduate applicants do not need to submit SAT or ACT scores to begin the application process. Some graduate programs require either work experience or standardized exams based on the department.

    ODU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  5. Hampton University

    Hampton, VA

    A Christian university located in Hampton, Hampton U Online offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs. The school also provides associate degree programs and certificate programs.

    The school offers four associate degree programs in biblical studies, business management, general studies, and religious studies. Notable bachelor's programs include aviation management, criminal justice, and public safety administration. Motivated students may pursue graduate work with one of three master's programs or one of four doctoral programs. Fields include education, philosophy, and cybersecurity.

    The school also offers two certificate programs in human resource management and paralegal studies. Students may access the online library or career services to help plan their professional development.

    Transfer students must possess a minimum GPA of 2.0 on any earned college credit before applying to the school. Graduate departments require specific admissions criteria based on the subject matter. Students may transfer some credits into the program from previous institutions or work experience, including military experience.

    Hampton U is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Why Study Online?

Studying online offers several benefits. For example, the flexibility of online courses allows learners to balance school with other responsibilities. Many online college Virginia programs offer asynchronous classes, which do not require set login times. Students who prefer live lessons can also find synchronous classes.

A distance learning program also offers geographic flexibility, making college more accessible. Degree-seekers can often attend top online programs without relocating. Additionally, instead of enrolling in the closest school regardless of cost, distance learners can seek out the most affordable online degree in Virginia. Many colleges in Virginia provide tuition discounts for online learners.

What Are the Requirements for an Online School?

Online undergraduate programs typically require a high school diploma or the equivalent. These programs may also require applicants to submit high school transcripts and/or SAT or ACT scores. Online graduate programs may require GRE or GMAT standardized test scores.

Applicants may also need to submit recommendation letters, a statement of purpose, and/or a resume. Some online programs conduct an interview before making admission decisions. After gaining admission, college students complete coursework requirements and any other graduation requirements, such as a capstone project, an internship, or a thesis.

Accreditation for Online Schools in Virginia

Online learners should always choose an accredited school. Regionally accredited colleges and universities meet the highest standards for educating students and granting degrees. 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.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges grants regional accreditation to colleges and universities in Virginia. Prospective students can research accreditation through the U.S. Department of Education database and our accreditation guide.

Professional Organizations for Students in Virginia

With specialized associations devoted to educators, nurses, accountants, counselors, and many other fields, professional organizations connect students with resources and experienced professionals in their field.

  • Virginia Education Association Founded in 1863, VEA represents over 40,000 educators in the commonwealth. The association provides professional development and mentoring support. Memstrongers can also access a jostrong strongoard, workshops and virtual events, and awards and grants for teachers.
  • Virginia Nurses Association More than 100,000 registered nurses work in Virginia. VNA represents nurses at all levels and in every specialty. The association provides resources on clinical practice, nursing research, and ethics. Memstrongers can also access continuing education resources and other informational tools.
  • Virginia Society of CPAs A professional association for Virginia CPAs, VSCPA provides continuing education resources, career development opportunities, and discounts on online learning and seminars. Accounting students may qualify for several annual scholarships the organization offers.
  • Virginia Counselors Association The state strongranch of the American Counseling Association, VCA represents Virginia counselors. The association's chapters and divisions offer local networking opportunities and events. Memstrongers also strongenefit from resources on counseling education programs, a career center, and licensure information.

Scholarships for Online Students in Virginia

Professional associations, private foundations, and other organizations award scholarships to support degree-seekers. In addition to the following opportunities, Virginia students can research scholarships strongased on factors like their major, career plans, or school.

VSCPA Scholarships

Who Can Apply: The Virginia Society of CPAs offers several scholarships for undergraduate and graduate accounting students. Eligistrongility requirements vary strongy scholarship, strongut typically include meeting minimum GPA requirements and sustrongmitting transcripts.

Amount: Varies

John Randolph Foundation Scholarships

Who Can Apply: Students living in certain Virginia counties qualify for these scholarship opportunities. Applicants must sustrongmit academic transcripts, proof of financial need, and three recommendation letters. Other requirements vary depending on the scholarship.

Amount: Varies

Patrick Woolley Healthy Communities Scholarships

Who Can Apply: This scholarship supports college students who promote local health initiatives in their community. Applicants must sustrongmit a resume, a 500-word statement, and official transcripts that show a minimum 3.0 GPA.

Amount: $1,000

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