Online Schools and Colleges in Virginia 2021

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Online Schools and Colleges Badge

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.

Advertisement AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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 10 Online Schools and Colleges in Virginia

Rank School Location
1 James Madison University Harrisonburg, VA
2 Liberty University Lynchburg, VA
3 George Mason University Fairfax, VA
4 Regent University Virginia Beach, VA
5 Virginia Tech Blacksburg, VA
6 University of Virginia-Main Campus Charlottesville, VA
7 Old Dominion University Norfolk, VA
8 Hampton University Hampton, VA
9 Radford University Radford, VA
10 Mary Baldwin University Staunton, VA

FAQ


  • 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

4 Year Colleges

  1. James Madison University
    Location

    Harrisonburg, VA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    James Madison University is host to an array of distance education alternatives. Undergraduate students can complete their RN-BSN through hybrid coursework, or earn an autism certificate through a fully online, 1-year format. The adult degree program customizes a bachelor's degree to fit your needs and interests by utilizing any academic history and life experience to count toward transferrable credits. Graduate students also have the choice to participate in 100% online master's programs in subjects such as educational technology, computer science, mathematics or speech and language pathology. If travel interests you, there are opportunities to pursue political science, business administration, science, Spanish or nursing in courses that are completed abroad with the combination of online and on-campus studies. The distance education webpage features an online readiness self-assessment to help determine if distance studies are a good fit for your lifestyle. Classes, which are semi-structured, use the web platform Canvas to implement video lectures, group projects and class discussions.

  2. Liberty University
    Location

    Lynchburg, VA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    With over 250 certificate, associate, bachelor's, master's and doctoral-level online degrees, Liberty University is a faith-based institution that is committed to providing affordable schooling. There are a number of scholarships specific to distance education students, military personnel receive a discounted tuition and all students have access to free e-books for every undergraduate course. Program options include aviation, divinity, behavioral sciences, government, nursing and more. In order to stay connected to the campus community, students can submit prayer requests via the web, take advantage of a video library, receive assistance from the writing center and find technical support for the platform Blackboard Learn. You can also sign up for webinars throughout the year, which allow you to ask questions and discuss concerns. The Online Student Advocate Office offers support for issues concerning financial aid and academic advising. Program length, tuition costs and graduation requirements vary depending on the number of credits being transferred over, as well as the degree of choice.

  3. George Mason University
    Location

    Fairfax, VA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    At George Mason University, there are over 50 hybrid and fully online programs for students to complete undergraduate and graduate degrees in subject areas of science, math, health, engineering, business or education. Some coursework is implemented on a set schedule, requiring students to access their virtual classroom at a specific time of day. Other classes are self-paced, allowing for even more flexibility. GMU faculty members teach all curriculums, and makes use of blogs, social media and discussion boards to engage their classroom. Distance education students can utilize the same resources as those studying on campus. This includes an after-hours nurse who is available for medical advice, counseling resources, and access to the Student Support and Advocacy Center, which assists in developing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. All students will also be connected to an academic advisor, who can provide information regarding transfer credits, tuition, financial aid and graduation requirements for each program.

  4. Regent University
    Location

    Virginia Beach, VA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Regent University is a Christian-based learning institution offering 129 programs to receive an undergraduate or graduate degree in hybrid or fully online formats. You can find options in business, theology, education, nursing, STEM and more. Semi-structured curriculums are delivered through the web platform Blackboard Learn and Blackboard Collaborate. Students participate in real-time lectures and discussion posts, as well as self-paced assignments, with an average of 17 other students in each virtual classroom. Undergraduate classes run for 8 weeks, and graduate course duration depends on the program of choice. If you are unsure if online coursework is the right choice, you can use the ?test drive? tool to explore a class at no cost. For students with prior credit, the school maintains a generous transfer policy by accepting up to 90 hours. Although you will be learning off-campus, the school involves distance education students in the campus community by welcoming you on mission trips and study abroad experiences.

  5. Virginia Tech
    Location

    Blacksburg, VA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Students looking to build upon their undergraduate education can pursue a master's degree or professional certificate in a hybrid or fully online format at Virginia Tech. Twelve graduate programs are available in disciplines ranging from aerospace engineering to information technology. There are 10 certificate options, which include subjects such as nuclear engineering, integrative STEM education, or security studies. As a member of the State Authorizations Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), online programs at VT are recognized within other SARA institutions and states. Most coursework can be completed at a part or full-time pace. However, certain programs require you to follow a specific plan of study. All classes combine readings, discussions, and video conferencing. Online students can take advantage of a number of resources, including career services, a women's center, counseling and academic advising. There are financial aid opportunities for all students, and military personnel qualify for additional incentives and fee waivers.

  6. University of Virginia-Main Campus
    Location

    Charlottesville, VA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    At the University of Virginia, students can earn a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies or health science management in a fully online format. You must have enough prior credit in order to transfer to UVA as a third-year student, where you will spend 3-4 years completing 60 credit hours to receive a degree. This option is also available for a master's degree in public safety, which combines both on-campus and online coursework to finish 30 credit hours. There are a number of undergraduate and graduate online certificate options in subjects ranging from accounting to public relations. Coursework is delivered in both asynchronous and synchronous formats through the platform UVaCollab, which uses interactive features such as discussion forums and video conferencing to engage students. Although you will rarely step foot on campus, admitted students are required to attend orientation in Charlottesville. In and out-of-state tuition rates are the same, and you can take advantage of scholarship, financial aid, and payment plan opportunities to help with costs.

  7. Old Dominion University
    Location

    Norfolk, VA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Old Dominion University has been providing distance education since 1994. Degree options have expanded to over 120 minors, certificates, 4-year bachelor's, bachelor's completion, master's and doctoral-level degrees since that time. Most curriculum follows the ODU on-campus schedule, with certain programs being offered at an accelerated pace. Some classes take place in real time, requiring students to stick to a specific schedule, while others can be accessed at any point throughout the day. All coursework is taught by ODU faculty, and implemented through the web platform Blackboard Learn. For active-duty service members living abroad, certain curriculum is available in DVD format. Military personnel also receive a discounted tuition. All students receive support services such as tutoring, writing center help, online study groups, and library access. Enrollment coaches are available to discuss academic planning, concerns regarding state reciprocity, and financial aid options. Students can also determine their academic standing by using the school's free transfer evaluation tool prior to applying for any program.

  8. Hampton University
    Location

    Hampton, VA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Hampton University prides itself on its virtual, online campus, which features a number of fully online academic programs. There are 29 options to receive a certificate, associate's, bachelor's, master's or doctoral-level degree in disciplines such as aviation management, counselor education and religious studies. For those interested in nursing, there are both 1 and 2-year alternatives for an accelerated RN-BSN program. Eight and 16-week courses are completed on your own schedule, and most students complete a bachelor's degree in 4 years. Transfer students are encouraged to go over their academic history with an advisor. This is because military training, credit-by-exam, and life experiences often count toward credit hours. Beyond academic advising, online students have access to financial aid and scholarship opportunities, the library, a writing center, counseling and career services, and technical support. Admissions qualifications, graduation requirements, and program length are dependent on degree of choice and student schedule.

  9. Radford University
    Location

    Radford, VA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    For those pursuing a graduate education, Radford University is host to 16 online or hybrid certificate and master's degree programs. Subject areas include criminal justice, art design thinking, cyber security, RN-BSN and educational leadership, among others. Certificate programs take 1-3 years, and require 13-18 credit hours to complete. Master's degrees can be earned in 2-3 years, and require 30-36 credit hours for graduation. Courses are mostly self-paced, and students can customize their workload to be part or full-time. Curriculum is applied through the platform Design to Learn, and combines video presentations, webinars and discussion forums to keep students engaged. There are a number of resources to help online students through their programs, including 24/7 technical support, access to the McConnell Library, and online tutoring services from NetTutor. Although you will want to confirm that your degree of choice is acknowledged in your location of residency, the university is approved by the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements.

  10. Mary Baldwin University
    Location

    Staunton, VA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Mary Baldwin University offers 27 online certificate and degree programs. Environment-based learning, health care administration and sustainable business management are just a few of the available curriculums. The courses are self-paced and implemented through the web platform Blackboard Learn, which combines lectures and discussion forms to create a sense of community. Students can transfer up to 90 credit hours, as well as opt for a half or full-time workload. As a result, the time to complete studies varies depending on the student and their program of choice. Tuition also differs for each degree. Admissions representatives are available to assist you throughout your educational experience via phone or Skype conversations. They can provide information regarding financial aid and scholarship opportunities, including multiple benefits for veterans and active military personnel. Online students can also access online tutoring support. Graduates have entered into fields of health care advocacy, pharmaceuticals, special education and social work.

2 Year Colleges

  1. Northern Virginia Community College
    Location

    Annandale, VA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

  2. Thomas Nelson Community College
    Location

    Hampton, VA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

  3. Tidewater Community College
    Location

    Norfolk, VA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

  4. John Tyler Community College
    Location

    Chester, VA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

  5. Southwest Virginia Community College
    Location

    Cedar Bluff, VA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

  6. Mountain Empire Community College
    Location

    Big Stone Gap, VA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

  7. Southside Virginia Community College
    Location

    Alberta, VA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

  8. Piedmont Virginia Community College
    Location

    Charlottesville, VA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

  9. Patrick Henry Community College
    Location

    Martinsville, VA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

  10. Rappahannock Community College
    Location

    Glenns, VA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

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

Popular Resources

Whether you’re looking to earn your online degree or you’re a parent looking for answers, you can find all of your questions covered here. Explore these resources to help you make informed decisions and prepare for whatever is thrown your way.


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Advertisement AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Shape your future with an online degree

Connect with a community of peers, and find a program that will allow you to continue your education in a fast and flexible way.