Online Colleges and Universities by Category – 2014

Colleges and universities across the U.S. continue to add full online programs and courses to expand learning opportunities for students. Once dominated by for-profit institutions, this now includes hundreds of traditional, not-for-profit colleges with decades of demonstrated academic excellence. Small community colleges, for example, offer online diploma, certificate and associate degree programs for students looking for entry-level credentials. In contrast, major universities give both undergraduate and graduate students the chance to study online at the bachelor’s, master’s, and, in many cases, the doctorate level.

The following page organizes today’s growing collection of online colleges and their programs into several common and convenient categories. Whether new to distance education or a seasoned online learner, moving in the right direction starts with identifying career needs, and then searching for and finding academic opportunities to match.

Although many online colleges provide learning options in a variety of disciplines, some excel in a certain area or have special resources to facilitate the educational process. For example, online colleges with strong art programs often have custom tools designed to organize, send and receive multiple types of digital media. Furthermore, online colleges that concentrate on healthcare and nursing establish strong relationships with hospitals and other medical facilities to ensure that students get the on-site, hands-on training they need to successfully transition from college to career.

When searching for online programs and courses, doing so by subject helps students more easily find opportunities in line with their career goals and within the fields that interest them.

Each online degree offers unique challenges and functions specific to its level. For example, an online associate degree usually carries one of two goals: (1) to enter a new career field quickly, or (2) to gain introductory knowledge and skills at the college level with high flexibility and low cost. Online bachelor’s degrees go one step further by allowing progression to the university level. A bachelor’s degree is terminal in various disciplines, or provides great preparation for more advanced degrees.

At the master’s and doctorate levels, online students generally find more targeted programs. Online MBA programs, for example, are designed almost solely for students who already know exactly which management career track they want to pursue. Plain and simple, searching for online colleges by degree level makes it easier to find programs based on your current and desired career paths.

Associates Bachelors Masters Doctorate

Many online colleges let students enroll and learn from anywhere, no matter where the college or the student reside. Why? Maximum flexibility. The right online program for a student may be headquartered in Florida, even though he or she lives in California. When it comes to distance learning, geography shouldn’t be a barrier. Yet attending a school closer to home can open doors to hybrid programs, or simply make it easier to visit a physical campus and meet with counselors, financial aid advisors or professors when needed. Search online colleges by state to identify quality programs and courses near you.

Some colleges with online programs also have curricula, professors and peer groups tied to a specific religious entity. A portion of these institutions has strong connections to a church or faith, where students routinely engage with others about religious issues and coursework. Other schools have milder affiliations but actively support faith-based activities conducted by students and alumni. The pages below provide detailed insight into distance learning at Catholic colleges, Baptist colleges and non-denominational Christian colleges, including what they are, how they work and how to find the right one for you.

Catholic Colleges Christian & Bible Colleges Baptist Colleges

Many students look for online programs and courses with other criteria top of mind. Subject, degree level and location may take a backseat to technological resources, job placement and cost. For students pressed for cash, for example, purchasing a computer on which to work may be out of the question. To bridge this gap, some institutions either give or allow students to borrow the technology needed to complete exams, projects, research and everyday coursework.

Other students may have more interest in the bottom line. In other words, which online colleges have the cheapest tuition and fees, but still have outstanding student support and offer quality distance learning options? Finding the cheapest online college can really help certain students get their foot inside the higher educational door. Community colleges provide a similar opportunity. They often come with a lower cost and have equipment that students can borrow while enrolled. Also, many have both physical campuses and extensive collections of online courses to provide the most flexibility possible. See which online schools offer laptops, have the cheapest price tags or have their roots in community education.

Affordability is always a concern when considering any degree program. No student or parent wants to pay more than necessary, and all want to pay for a quality education that will make a difference after graduation. The following list of 54 affordable online colleges includes some of the premier colleges and universities across the country, many of which have become leaders in distance learning at both the two-year, four-year and advanced levels. See which schools excel online.

California State University-Dominguez Hills
Tuition and fees: $2,520 Enrollment: 15,909 Website:

Founded in 1960, California State University, Dominguez Hills has the largest distance learning program in California, with more than 4,000 students enrolled worldwide. Named by “Forbes” magazine as one of the top online colleges, CSUDH offers students opportunities to complete their bachelor degrees, earn graduate degrees and professional certificates, advance their careers, and complete hundreds of courses broadcast on TV and streaming online. Online master’s degrees are available in humanities, business administration, public administration, negotiation/conflict resolution and peacekeeping, quality assurance, and nursing; bachelor’s degrees are offered in applied studies, nursing, and quality assurance.

Bellevue University
Tuition and fees: $7,047 Enrollment: 15,251 Website:

Bellevue University, founded in 1966, offers a Ph.D. in Human Capital Management along with a wide range of more than 50 undergraduate programs to a student body of 16,000. Bellevue’s online college programs were ranked among the Top 10 in the 2013 Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News and World Report.

Cameron University
Tuition and fees: $7,208 Enrollment: 8,227 Website:

Begun as a high school in In 1908, Cameron University grew into a diverse college offering more than 50 programs leading to associate’s, bachelor and master’s degrees — all with a focus on small class size. Online college degrees are offered in interdisciplinary studies and organizational leadership; online graduate degrees include an MBA.

Sam Houston State University
Tuition and fees: $7,736 Enrollment: 19,710 Website:

Founded in 1879, Sam Houston State University offers over 80 bachelor’s degree programs and 56 post-graduate degree (master’s and doctoral) programs. The university received top honors from U.S. News & World Report’s 2013 rankings for its online bachelor’s degree programs, online graduate Education programs, online graduate Computer Information Technology programs, and online graduate Business programs.

The University of Tennessee-Martin
Tuition and fees: $7,773 Enrollment: 9,865 Website:

The University of Tennessee at Martin, founded in 1900, is home to UT Online, offering distance undergraduate and graduate degrees for the University of Tennessee system. The university’s graduate secondary licensure program made the National Council on Teacher Quality Prep Review honor roll released in June by U.S.News & World Report. Also, U.S. News named the university’s online business program earlier this year as one of the top-10 best online graduate business programs in 2013

Northwestern State University of Louisiana
Tuition and fees: $7,939 Enrollment: 11,688 Website:

Founded in 1884 as the Louisiana State Normal School, Northwestern State University of Louisiana serves its 9,000 students with more than 50 online college degrees. More than 30 fully accredited degree programs are offered online at the associate’s, bachelor, master’s and specialist levels.

University of South Alabama
Tuition and fees: $8,268 Enrollment: 17,544 Website:

Founded in 1963, the University of South Alabama is the only higher educational institution of the upper Gulf Coast, serving nearly 15,000 students. It is host to the Pat Capps Covey College of Allied Health Professions, Mitchell College of Business, School of Nursing and Auburn University School of Pharmacy. USA offers 250 online college courses each semester and degree programs in nursing, education, information technology and special education.

New Mexico State University-Main Campus
Tuition and fees: $8,492 Enrollment: 21,692 Website:

New Mexico State University is known for academic excellence and diversity, offering a wide range of undergraduate and graduate degrees. The school holds the distinctions of a being a Hispanic-serving institution and a NASA Space Grant College. The university is ranked in the top-tier of Best National Universities by U.S. News and World Report. NMSU online college degree programs run throughout the calendar year.

Columbus State University
Tuition and fees: $8,761 Enrollment: 10,321 Website:

Columbus State University, founded in 1958, has been ranked among the Top Universities in the South by US News & World Report, and is a top choice for online college. Its online graduate education programs were ranked best for 2013 and were recognized for arts, education, business and nursing. The music department received the Regents Teaching Excellence Award for Departments and Programs.

American Public University System
Tuition and fees: $8,782 Enrollment: 88,029 Website:

The American Public University System, founded in 1991, received national accreditation by the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council in 1995. Today it offers over 1,500 courses comprising 70 majors for undergrad and graduate students. Online college degrees are offered through the School of Arts and Humanities, School of Business, School of Education, School of Public Service and Health, School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, and School of Security and Global Studies.

Florida International University
Tuition and fees: $9,225 Enrollment: 56,288 Website:

Florida International University was Miami’s first public research university and remains the only one, offering undergraduate, post-graduate and professional degrees to its more than 50,000 students. Hallmarks include FIU’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine and the School of Computing and Information Sciences’ Discovery Lab. Online college degrees are available in communication, business administration, criminal justice, education, and nursing.

University of West Georgia
Tuition and fees: $9,414 Enrollment: 13,314 Website:

Cited by the Princeton Review as ‘one of the best overall bargains – based on cost and financial aid–’, the University of West Georgia offers online degrees in education, nursing, criminology, computer science, and business. With low student-teacher ratios, UWG offers degrees entirely through online college or in a hybrid setting. Graduate online degree programs feature majors in education/media, music, applied computer science, nursing, and an MBA.

East Carolina University
Tuition and fees: $9,514 Enrollment: 31,334 Website:

East Carolina University awards bachelor, master’s and doctoral degrees, offering small class sizes and an 18/1 student-faculty ratio for undergraduates. The university is home to the largest nurse education program in the state and the online nursing program is among the top online college degrees in the country.

Troy University
Tuition and fees: $9,813 Enrollment: 36,806 Website:

Troy University, founded in 1887 as the Troy State Normal School, was a teacher’s college for 30 years, and finally became Troy University in 2006. Students can choose among 46 bachelor degree majors and 22 master’s degrees from its online college. The university’s eTROY system offers an associate degree program in general education, 12 majors leading to a bachelor degree, and 14 master’s degree programs.

North Carolina State University at Raleigh
Tuition and fees: $9,847 Enrollment: 40,165 Website:

North Carolina State has garnered an international reputation for excellence in mathematics, technology and engineering. Founded in 1889, NC State spends more than $325 million each year on sponsored faculty and graduate student research. Fifty online college programs are available for undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees, teacher licenses and certifications.

Southeast Missouri State University
Tuition and fees: $9,986 Enrollment: 13,426 Website:

Founded as the Southeast Missouri State Normal School in 1873, Southeast Missouri State University currently serves its 10,800 students with more than 200 study areas, including programs at its specialized campus for music and theatre, dance and art. Popular online college programs lead to undergrad degrees in business, technology, nursing, criminal justice, with graduate degrees in business administration, technology management, elementary education and criminal justice.

Pittsburg State University
Tuition and fees: $10,072 Enrollment: 8,900 Website:

Students can choose among more than 100 academic programs offered at Pittsburg State University‘s Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, and Technology colleges. With a student/faculty ratio of 19-to-1, PSU provides excellent mentoring opportunities to its 7,000 students. Online college degree programs are offered in engineering technology, health science, history, nursing, teaching, and workforce development.

University of Memphis
Tuition and fees: $10,111 Enrollment: 26,312 Website:

University of Memphis was founded in 1912 as West Tennessee State Normal School. Today, more than 22,000 students pursue bachelor degrees in more than 250 fields, master’s degrees in 55 majors, and in 23 disciplines leading to a doctoral degree. Popular online college degree fields include business, communications and information technology.

Wayne State University
Tuition and fees: $10,295 Enrollment: 36,749 Website:

Detroit’s Wayne State University was founded in 1868. Today it offers its 29,000 students more than 370 undergraduate and graduate degree programs at 13 schools. Minorities comprise more than 41 percent of the student body. Students can earn online college degrees from the School of Business Administration, College of Education, School of Library and Information Sciences, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and the School of Social Work.

Utah State University
Tuition and fees: $10,373 Enrollment: 33,517 Website:

Forbes ranked Utah State University first in the state and in the top five nationally in its list of America’s Best College Buys (2011). Founded on March 8, 1888, USU’s science programs draw students from around the globe and the Space Dynamics Laboratory has rocketed more student experiments into space than any other university program. The university offers 18 online college degrees and programs.

Fort Hays State University
Tuition and fees: $10,549 Enrollment: 14,698 Website:

Fort Hays State University, located mid-way between Denver and Kansas City, offers associate, bachelor, master’s degree and certificate programs to its 13,000 students. Popular online college programs offered through the Fort Hays State Virtual College include bachelor degrees in business, education, information technology, justice studies, management, and nursing; with master’s programs including business (MBA), counseling, education leadership, nursing, and special education.

Arizona State University
Tuition and fees: $10,599 Enrollment: 79,274 Website:

Arizona State University is ranked in the top-100 world universities by the Academic Ranking of World Universities and 45th in the nation for contribution to the public good by Washington Monthly. More than a third of all students are first-generation scholars. ASU offers online college degree programs in fields including the arts, business, communication, criminal justice, engineering, social sciences, health sciences, IT, nursing, foreign languages, and education.

Old Dominion University
Tuition and fees: $10,755 Enrollment: 29,176 Website:

Old Dominion University was founded in 1930 as the Norfolk Division of The College of William and Mary. Ranked the Best Southeastern College by The Princeton Review, ODU offers 66 bachelor programs and 97 graduate and post graduate degrees. ODU also offers online college degree programs in business, communications, computer science, education, engineering, nursing and social sciences.

Park University
Tuition and fees: $10,909 Enrollment: 22,678 Website:

Founded in 1875, Park University serves more than 22,000 students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries. Students can complete degrees by attending classes at the flagship campus in Parkville, Mo., at one of its 39 other campus centers across the country or online. Park’s undergrad online college majors include business administration, management, education studies, interdisciplinary studies, information and computer science, organizational communication, geography, criminal justice administration, public administration, psychology, social psychology and sociology.

Emporia State University
Tuition and fees: $10,964 Enrollment: 7,771 Website:

Founded in 1863 as Kansas State Normal — the state’s premier institution to educate teachers — Emporia State University offers 42 undergraduate and 27 graduate degrees in the School of Business, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, School of Library and Information Management and The Teachers College. SLIM also offers a Ph.D. program. Emporia State is ranked as a Tier 1 Top 100 Regional University in the 2013 edition of “Best Colleges” compiled by U.S. News & World Report. The publication also cited the School of Business as a best value for both in-state and out-of-state students and ranked the online graduate education program in the Top 100 programs in the nation, making it a top online college choice.

Western Kentucky University
Tuition and fees: $11,077 Enrollment: 25,273 Website:

Serving more than 21,100 students across four campuses, Western Kentucky University has been recognized for its programs in education, engineering, business and communications. WKU Online offers more than 60 online college degree programs for undergraduate and graduate students, with 1,000 web-based courses each year.

Stony Brook University
Tuition and fees: $11,107 Enrollment: 29,576 Website:

Stony Brook University is renowned for co-managing the Brookhaven National Laboratory in partnership with Stanford University, the University of Chicago, Princeton and the University of California. Founded in 1957, Stony Brook is ranked in the top one-percent of world universities by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

Northern State University
Tuition and fees: $11,224 Enrollment: 3,893 Website:

Located in Aberdeen, SD, Northern State University was established in 1857. Northern offers 19 certificate programs, eight associate degrees, 41 bachelor degrees, and nine graduate degree programs to its 3,580 students. For online college students, NSU provides two associate’s degrees, six bachelor degrees, and six master’s degree programs.

Stephen F Austin State University
Tuition and fees: $11,506 Enrollment: 14,939 Website:

Stephen F. Austin State University was founded as a teachers’ college in 1923 and today has grown to offer online college degree options in more than 80 undergraduate majors, 60 graduate fields, and three PhD programs. SFA is an independent public university in Texas with a 20:1 student/faculty ratio. Online programs are available at the undergraduate level in education, nursing, and agriculture, with graduate degree programs in education.

University of Florida
Tuition and fees: $11,579 Enrollment: 58,082 Website:

Founded in in 1906, the University of Florida today is home to nearly 50,000 students spread across 16 colleges and 900 buildings. Its distinguished faculty includes 28 members who have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, or the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Online college degrees are offered at the bachelor, master’s, doctorate and specialist levels through the College of Education, College of Public Health, College of Nursing, College of Pharmacy, College of Business Administration, and College of Veterinary Medicine.

Bemidji State University
Tuition and fees: $11,609 Enrollment: 6,870 Website:

Bemidji State University is on western shore of Lake Bemidji, situated on a north woods campus. Named a top-tier Midwest university by U.S. News and World Report, BSU serves 5,000 undergrad and more than 300 graduate students. Its Center for Extended Learning, founded in 1973, offers online college degrees in fields that include accounting, technology, nursing, engineering, education, criminal justice, and business administration.

Lee University
Tuition and fees: $11,620 Enrollment: 4,913 Website:

Lee University was founded as a Christ-centered private college at Cleveland, TN in 1918. Students enjoy a student/teacher ratio of 17:1 and The Princeton Review has ranked Lee University in the “Top Tier — Best Colleges”. Online courses include history, pastoral studies, psychology, theology, general studies and computer information systems.

University of Southern Indiana
Tuition and fees: $11,650 Enrollment: 13,542 Website:

University of Southern Indiana, founded in 1965 in Evansville, serves its nearly 11,000 students by offering 70 majors for undergrads, 10 degrees at the master’s level and one doctoral program. The university offers continuing education, workforce development and non-credit courses online. Popular online education courses are in leadership, HR certification, project management, Six Sigma management, business, and paralegal studies.

Minot State University
Tuition and fees: $11,906 Enrollment: 4,810 Website:

Minot State University, founded in 1913, offers undergraduate degrees from its College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business and College of Education. Post-graduate programs in criminal justice, management, and special education have produced the greatest number of graduates. The Minot State University Center for Extended Learning offers online courses in accounting, business administration, criminal justice, economics, education, and nursing.

University of North Dakota
Tuition and fees: $11,952 Enrollment: 16,882 Website:

Founded in 1883, the University of North Dakota offers nearly 50 online college programs, including bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees as well as graduate certificates. For most online programs, students are charged the in-state tuition rate regardless of their actual residency status. Ranked in the 2012 Guide to Online Schools as one of the top military-friendly and top nonprofit online schools in the country, UND offers online programs in the areas of business, nursing, education, engineering, psychology, public administration, communication, social work and more.

Lamar University
Tuition and fees: $12,016 Enrollment: 18,537 Website:

Founded in Beaumont in 1923, Lamar University currently serves over 14,000 students with more than 100 academic programs designed for bachelor, master’s and doctoral degrees. Programs are offered on campus and through Lamar’s nationally recognized online college. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has designated Lamar as a Doctoral Research University.

Westfield State University
Tuition and fees: $12,163 Enrollment: 6,881 Website:

Westfield State University is called “The People’s College” in recognition of its commitment since 1838 to be a co-educational college without economic or cultural barriers to education. It is ranked in the Top Tier category in the latest US News & World Report’s 2013 “Best Colleges”. US News & World Reports also recognized Westfield’s PLATO online college learning system among the Top Online Programs for 2012.

Ball State University
Tuition and fees: $12,168 Enrollment: 25,777 Website:

Ball State University has roots back to 1918, but today is known for its online master’s degree in nursing and campus programs in architecture, education, entrepreneurship, telecommunications, and landscape architecture. The university offers more than 180 undergraduate majors and over 100 major fields for graduate-degree students. Choose from online college and hybrid learning programs leading to degrees, certificates and professional licenses.

Florida State University
Tuition and fees: $12,464 Enrollment: 45,876 Website:

Florida State University excels in arts and sciences across 16 colleges that offer 275 degrees at the undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral fields — as well hosting a medical school and law school. With educational roots dating back to 1823, Tallahassee’s FSU is recognized for its National High Magnetic Field Laboratory and marine research programs. More than 40 post-graduate degree and certification programs are available through its online college.

Colorado State University-Fort Collins
Tuition and fees: $12,465 Enrollment: 33,712 Website:

Colorado State University in Fort Collins, a doctoral-granting research university, was founded in 1870 as the state’s land-grant institution. Colorado State has been consistently recognized as one of the top public universities in the United States for its outstanding education and affordability. CSU offers 5 undergraduate degree completion and more than 30 graduate degree programs online and at a distance through OnlinePlus, a division of the University that combines the academic excellence of CSU with high-quality, flexible learning. Online college programs are taught by CSU faculty and carry the same regional accreditation and reputation of the university’s world-class campus degree programs.

University of Illinois at Springfield
Tuition and fees: $12,781 Enrollment: 6,269 Website:

University of Illinois at Springfield serves its 5,000 students with 23 undergraduate, 20 master’s degree, and one doctoral degree program. The average class size is 15. Popular online college degrees include business, computer science, mathematics, English and history. Graduate major fields include computer science, environmental studies, public health, teacher leadership, legal studies and management information systems.

Central Michigan University
Tuition and fees: $12,918 Enrollment: 33,352 Website:

Founded in Mount Pleasant in 1892, Central Michigan University has become a doctoral research university and the fourth-largest college in the state. It is renowned for its Global Campus unit, its online college, which has graduated 70,000 students from undergraduate, graduate and certification programs.

University of Northern Colorado
Tuition and fees: $12,936 Enrollment: 15,503 Website:

Offering distance education since 1902, the University of Northern Colorado began providing its online college degree programs more than a decade ago. Unique online bachelor degrees are offered in American Sign Language, nursing, and sociology. An extensive online graduate degree program features majors in nursing, teaching, special education, sports coaching, educational leadership, and criminal justice.

Graceland University-Lamoni
Tuition and fees: $12,997 Enrollment: 3,367 Website:

Founded in 1895, Graceland University is a private liberal arts university offering more than 50 undergraduate degrees and six master’s degrees. The university’s online Master of Education in Quality Schools program received the USDLA Award for Best Practices in Distance Learning Programming, encouraging the development of five online college Master of Education programs at the school.

Peirce College
Tuition and fees: $13,046 Enrollment: 2,722 Website:

Peirce College began developing courses for working adults in Philadelphia back in 1865. Accelerated learning programs enable students to complete an associate degree in as little as 18 months and a bachelor degree in as little as two years. Top-demand online college degree programs in business, healthcare, information technology and paralegal studies can be completed without any in-person classes.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Tuition and fees: $13,108 Enrollment: 27,443 Website:

Founded in 1869, The University of Nebraska–Lincoln is a leading teaching institution listed five straight years in the top 50 public universities in U.S. News and World Report’s annual America’s Best Colleges. The first college west of the Mississippi to develop a graduate degree program, UNL today considers its PhD and professional degree programs a key component in fulfilling its educational mission. Online college programs lead to undergrad and graduate degrees and a special online program for high school students for college credit is among popular offerings.

Northern Arizona University
Tuition and fees: $13,131 Enrollment: 28,561 Website:

The W. A. Franke College of Business draws many entrepreneurial and management students to Northern. NAU offers online college degrees in fields including business, communication, technology, engineering, health professions, mathematics and humanities.

University of Alabama at Huntsville
Tuition and fees: $13,155 Enrollment: 8,976 Website:

University of Alabama at Huntsville serves its 7,700 students with more than 70 online college degree programs for undergrads and post-graduate students at five colleges: Business, Engineering, Liberal Arts, Nursing, Science, and Graduate Studies. The College of Nursing online graduate program was selected among the top 20 in U.S. News’ 2013 America’s Best Online Education Programs.

Georgia Southern University
Tuition and fees: $13,465 Enrollment: 23,026 Website:

Founded in 1906 in Statesboro, Georgia Southern University today serves students with 117 academic majors at the undergraduate and post-graduate levels. U.S. News & World Report’s Top Online Education Programs honored GSU’s online college programs in business, nursing, education, and information technology, ranking them among the nation’s best.

Brenau University
Tuition and fees: $13,812 Enrollment: 3,480 Website:

Brenau University was founded in 1878 in Gainesville as the Georgia Baptist Female Seminary. Ranked among the 15-best college values in the South by US News & World Report (2012), Brenau offers undergraduate and graduate programs in campus and online formats. Online majors lead to degrees in accounting, business, gerontology, nursing, human resources management and organizational leaderships.

Madonna University
Tuition and fees: $13,892 Enrollment: 6,383 Website:

A Catholic and Franciscan institution, Madonna University was founded in Livonia, MI in 1937. Today the university offers programs with 100 undergraduate majors, 35 master’s degree fields, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. Its online offerings include certificate training programs in healthcare, business, IT, management, media and trades. There are 300 six-week online courses available all year.

Western Illinois University
Tuition and fees: $14,133 Enrollment: 14,649 Website:

Established in 1899 as the Western Illinois Normal and Training School, Western Illinois University today serves more than 12,000 students with undergraduate, graduate, pre-professional and certificate programs and a doctorate in education. The student/faculty ratio is 15:1. Top online programs are a bachelor in general studies, masters’ of science in education and technology, and a national fire academy curriculum.

Oakland University
Tuition and fees: $14,440 Enrollment: 23,557 Website:

Oakland University, founded in 1959, offers more than 130 bachelor degree programs and more than 120 graduate degree and certificates programs. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has ranked Oakland as a doctoral, research-intensive university. Blended and completely online programs are available at the undergrad, master’s, doctoral, education specialist and professional certification levels.

University of St Francis
Tuition and fees: $14,775 Enrollment: 4,344 Website:

Established in 1902 in Joliet, IL, the University of St. Francis is a Roman Catholic Church-affiliated school serving 3,400 students with a uniquely small student/faculty ratio of 12:1. An online business class was first offered in 1998 and recently U.S. News & World Report ranked the university’s current 129 online courses among the best in the nation.


The days of online education residing solely at for-profit institutions have disappeared. In fact, many world-renown colleges and universities have extensive collections of online courses available to undergraduates, graduate students, and even to the general public via MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). When examining distance-learning options at the post-secondary level, however, not every top school offers equal quality and quantity. AC Online leveraged multiple government data sets and a ton of research elbow grease to find the 45 U.S. colleges where online learning is a clear priority.

Fordham University
Total Cost: $42,057 School Type: Private not-for-profit Website:

Fordham University provides a Master of Social Work degree via online coursework to students that reside in NY, NJ, or CT. The admission requirements are just as rigorous as they are for on-campus students. Students are expected to complete fieldwork, and so Fordham’s Field Instruction Department assists students in finding geographically appropriate agencies for field instruction.

Harvard University
Total Cost: $39,966 School Type: Private not-for-profit Website:

Harvard University offers students distance education courses in three formats, including video courses, live web-conference courses, and hybrid courses. Hybrid courses combine an intensive weekend class on-campus with online lectures throughout the semester. Though the extension school does not offer strictly online degrees, adding online classes is an excellent way to maximize one’s Harvard education.

Yale University
Total Cost: $42,300 School Type: Private not-for-profit Website:

Yale University offers its students rigorous online courses throughout the summer. But, even more impressive is Yale’s commitment to making education accessible to all. Through Open Yale Courses (OYC), anyone can partake in free introductory Yale courses that are available online through video, audio and text transcript formats.

Columbia University in the City of New York
Total Cost: $47,246 School Type: Private not-for-profit Website:

Columbia University now offers distance learning Master’s degrees through their School of Engineering and Applied Science, CVN, and the Jewish Theological Seminary. Many e-courses are available for enrolled undergraduates. Columbia’s website also boasts a collection of “e-seminars” which are 3-5 hour multimedia versions of offered classes, available for free to Columbia students, faculty, and staff.

Stanford University
Total Cost: $42,225 School Type: Private not-for-profit Website:

Stanford University is a leader in the world of distance learning, offering online courses to enrolled students, professional certificates, and even providing free content to the public. Stanford also has online courses for high school students who are enrolled in the Education Program for Gifted Youth (EPGY). Ever committed to early education, Stanford also runs a fully accredited diploma-granting high school program known as the “Online High School” available to 7th-12th grade students around the world.

University of Chicago
Total Cost: $45,609 School Type: Private not-for-profit Website:

The University of Chicago is a newcomer to distance learning, but has recently added some certificate programs that can be completed entirely online. Through the Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies, students can now be certified in “Clinical Trials Management” and “Medical Writing and Editing” through distance learning. The school is currently planning more online courses and expects to have these available within the next couple of years.

Duke University
Total Cost: $43,623 School Type: Private not-for-profit Website:

Duke University has partnered with Coursera to offer an array of free online courses available to the public. Topics currently include astronomy, engineering, philosophy, human physiology, and cell biology. Duke also offers online certificate programs through their Continuing Studies department and credited summer online courses to enrolled students.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Total Cost: $42,050 School Type: Private not-for-profit Website:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) recognizes that in today’s current workforce, many teams must collaborate remotely. To prepare students for these real world complications, many programs offer point-to-point video conferencing and stored lectures. These programs include the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Singapore MIT Alliance, MIT International Science and Technology Initiative, and System Design and Management.

University of Pennsylvania
Total Cost: $43,738 School Type: Private not-for-profit Website:

University of Pennsylvania (PENN) has an extraordinary catalogue of online classes, with over 15 full credit courses currently offered. PENN’s distance learning also services other categories of education. PENN boasts “Open Learning,” offering free classes to the public. Penn also offers continuing education for Dental, Medical, and Nursing professionals and online English language programs for international students.

California Institute of Technology
Total Cost: $39,588 School Type: Private not-for-profit Website:

California Institute of Technology (CALTECH) has pioneered the world of “Massive Open Online Courses.” The school was one of the first to offer free education via YouTube, and iTunes U. And while CALTECH already offers free, open-access courses to the public through Coursera, the school is further expanding access to a similar online learning initiative called EdX in October of 2013.

Johns Hopkins University
Total Cost: $43,390 School Type: Private not-for-profit Website:

John Hopkins University offers dozens of free courses to the public through their “OpenCourseWare” website. And for their enrolled students, even more courses and certificate programs are available. John Hopkins even offers unique courses for younger students all over the world, from Pre-K to 12th grade, through their Center for Talented Youth Online curriculum.

Northwestern University
Total Cost: $43,779 School Type: Private not-for-profit Website:

Northwestern University takes distance learning seriously, even offering complete Master’s degrees through online courses. In keeping its prestigious reputation, Northwestern’s admissions standards are just as rigorous for their online students as for their on-campus students. Online certificate programs are also available in accounting, CPA preparation, and Museum Studies.

Brown University
Total Cost: $43,758 School Type: Private not-for-profit Website:

Brown University offers many online pre-college courses for accelerated students from grades 6-12. For the enrolled Brown student there are a variety of blended online programs for The Executive Master of Healthcare Leadership and the IE Brown Executive MBA. Blended programs combine online classes with intensive on-campus sessions.

Cornell University
Total Cost: $43,413 School Type: Private not-for-profit Website:

Cornell University recognizes the importance of distance learning and has made many lectures and professors’ live chats available to the public through their open-access “Cyber Tower” website. For the enrolled student, Cornell offers summer credit-bearing courses in many disciplines. And for the professional, eCornell boasts online project-based certificate programs.

Vanderbilt University
Total Cost: $42,118 School Type: Private not-for-profit Website:

An early adopter of distance learning, Vanderbilt University has offered digital classes for over a decade through their School of Nursing. In 2013 the school began providing free open-access courses through Coursera. In partnership with the Nashville Public Library, the school also posts academic lectures and talks on YouTube.

Rice University
Total Cost: $37,292 School Type: Private not-for-profit Website:

Rice University utilizes Blackboard Collaborate to offer fully online courses that meet in virtual classrooms. Furthermore, Rice’s Glasscock School of Continuing Studies provides online and hybrid certificate programs. Rice also prepares high school students through their AP Exam Prep classes online.

University of Notre Dame
Total Cost: $42,971 School Type: Private not-for-profit Website:

University of Notre Dame offers numerous free non-credit courses to the public through their “OpenCourseWare” initiative. For the professional, Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business provides many certificate programs complete with interactive practice sessions. Certificates available include the Executive Certificate in Negotiation, EC in Leadership and Management, EC in Business Administration, and Advanced Specialized Certificate in Intercultural Management.

Emory University
Total Cost: $42,980 School Type: Private not-for-profit Website:

Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health has been offering distance learning for fifteen years. This program allows busy professionals to earn a Masters level public health degree. Students must have a minimum of three years professional experience and can choose between Applied Epidemiology, Applied Public Health Informatics, and Prevention Science programs.

Georgetown University
Total Cost: $42,870 School Type: Private not-for-profit Website:

Georgetown University’s School of Nursing and Health Studies gives students the ability to earn a Master’s degree in Nursing online. The coursework is combined with clinical experiences near where the student lives. For other interests, Georgetown has partnered with EdX and offers free open access online classes within a number of departments.

University of California-Berkeley
Total Cost: $12,874 School Type: Public Website:

University of California – Berkeley operates the UC Berkeley Extension program that provides online courses applicable towards college credit. Programs include Art and Design, Behavioral Health Sciences, Business, Education, Humanities, Sciences, Biotechnology and Mathematics, Technology, and Writing. UCB Extension also offers courses with both, year-round continuous enrollment, and fixed date enrollment during terms.

Carnegie Mellon University
Total Cost: $45,760 School Type: Private not-for-profit Website:

Carnegie Mellon University has an array of distance learning choices focused on executive and professional education such as management, entrepreneurship, business, and Computer Science. Most programs are either online, or a hybrid format of online and on-site learning. Furthermore, Carnegie Mellon supports an Open Learning Initiative where online courses are available to the public, and also to anyone who wants to teach.

University of California-Los Angeles
Total Cost: $12,692 School Type: Public Website:

University of California – Los Angeles supports the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science – Master of Science Online program that enables students to work on the same courses and under the same instructors as students on-campus. UCLA also boasts the UCLA Extension program that offers numerous online courses in almost every field. UCLA Extension also provides certificate programs for professionals, which are taught online via the iPad Learning Center.

University of Southern California
Total Cost: $44,463 School Type: Private not-for-profit Website:

University of Southern California’s Viterbi School of Engineering offers over 40 online Master’s degree programs, in addition to certificate and non-credit professional programs. In fact, Viterbi is ranked the #1 Online Graduate Engineering Program in the ’13 U.S. News and World Report findings. Furthermore, USC’s Price School also provides students the ability to earn an online Master of Public Administration degree.

University of Virginia-Main Campus
Total Cost: $12,216 School Type: Public Website:

University of Virginia’s School of Continuing Education offers a variety of non-credit certificate programs for professionals. Classes with course credit are also available for many graduate degrees. Master’s degrees can be earned in Physics, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, and Aerospace Engineering, some of which are completed entirely online and others combine online classes with intensive residencies.

Wake Forest University
Total Cost: $43,200 School Type: Private not-for-profit Website:

Wake Forest University provides certificates in financial planning through an interactive online education. Wake Forest’s counseling program also has online options for earning either a Master of Arts degree in Counseling, Clinical Mental Health, School Counseling, or Human Services. Looking to the future, Wake Forest will be joining Semester Online to also offer for-credit undergraduate courses in 2014.

Tufts University
Total Cost: $44,666 School Type: Private not-for-profit Website:

Tufts University offers for-credit summer online courses. These classes are taught by the same professors who teach on-campus, and with the same rigorous expectations. To further increase online education, Tufts has also joined the OpenCourseWare movement, where a plethora of free online classes are offered to the public.

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Total Cost: $12,994 School Type: Public Website:

University of Michigan – Ann Arbor offers an online Master’s degree in engineering. US News and World Report currently rank this impressive online engineering program #5 in the country. The university has also partnered with Coursera to offer the public free access to online classes, taught by U-M professors.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Total Cost: $7,693 School Type: Public Website:

University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill offers numerous for-credit undergraduate courses through their “Carolina Courses Online” (CCO) program. These classes are available to the public, and even available to high school seniors pending their guidance counselor’s written recommendation. Online courses are accessible during spring, fall, and an extended summer semester.

Boston University
Total Cost: $42,994 School Type: Private not-for-profit Website:

Offering a decade of distance learning, Boston University leads the pack of schools boasting distance education. Ranked in the top 25 schools for online learning, Boston University offers many for-credit classes in seven-week intervals. In fact, BU not only has Certificate programs, but also has online-only tracks for students to earn undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Brandeis University
Total Cost: $44,294 School Type: Private not-for-profit Website:

Brandeis University’s Graduate Professional Studies focuses on online learning for active professionals. Courses use “LATTE,” the school’s online learning environment, to guide students through Certificate or Master’s degree programs. Brandeis University is also looking to the future of online learning, and will be offering undergraduate for-credit courses via Semester Online starting in 2014.

New York University
Total Cost: $43,204 School Type: Private not-for-profit Website:

New York University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies offers both Graduate and Undergraduate degree programs via the Internet. NYU’s reputation for excellence also applies to their online teachings, and therefore the admissions criteria are rigorous. NYU also offers Certificate Programs in the humanities, financial planning, and marketing, none of which require acceptance by admissions.

University of Rochester
Total Cost: $43,666 School Type: Private not-for-profit Website:

University of Rochester supports many categories of distance learning. Through their School of Nursing they offer “Fast Track” courses that are 100% online, and are more affordable than on-campus classes. The Eastman School of Music provides an online “e-Theory Course” that prepares incoming freshmen for their theory placement exams. And for everyone else, the University of Rochester has partnered with Coursera to offer free online classes to the public.

Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus
Total Cost: $10,098 School Type: Public Website:

Georgia Institute of Technology has recently increased their educational formats to include online undergraduate summer courses for enrolled students. Furthermore, in 2014 Georgia Tech will off a Master’s degree in computer science, via the Internet, at a fraction of the cost of on-campus tuition. In the spirit of MOOCs [Massive Open Online Course], the public will also be able to take the same courses, for non-credit, at no cost.

Case Western Reserve University
Total Cost: $40,490 School Type: Private not-for-profit Website:

Case Western Reserve University’s Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences is ranked in the top ten nationally by US News & World Report. This school now offers a Master’s of Science in Social Administration entirely online. Case Western is also partnered with Coursera to provide select classes online and at no cost to the public.

Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus
Total Cost: $16,444 School Type: Public Website:

Pennsylvania State University – University Park offers 100% online classes known as “Web Courses.” For students who are interested in combining online work with on-campus work, there are also blended classes known as “Hybrid Courses.” Graduate and Undergraduate degrees can be earned entirely online through Penn State’s “World Campus” program, and are considered identical to degrees earned on-campus.

University of California-Davis
Total Cost: $13,877 School Type: Public Website:

University of California – Davis offers many online classes through UC Davis Extension. These include a variety of Certificate programs, such as Autism Spectrum Disorders, Equine Event Management, Paralegal Studies, Website Design, and Winemaking. For even more flexibility, Davis offers both “Self-Paced Courses,” and scheduled “Cohort Courses.”

University of California-San Diego
Total Cost: $13,217 School Type: Public Website:

UC San Diego’s Extension program brings the classroom to you via online courses. Many online classes earn continuing education credit, and can be applied towards areas of study such as Business, Digital Arts, Education, Engineering, Foreign Languages, Law, and Life Sciences. And to make education even more accessible, UC San Diego offers select online courses for free to the public.

Lehigh University
Total Cost: $42,220 School Type: Private not-for-profit Website:

Lehigh University offers online courses to enrolled students during summer sessions. These classes carry the same credit as on-campus courses and also cost equivalent in tuition fees. In the spirit of continuing education, Lehigh University offers free online professional development courses to their alumni.

University of California-Santa Barbara
Total Cost: $13,671 School Type: Public Website:

University of California – Santa Barbara now offers many summer classes for enrolled undergraduate students that can be completed entirely online. These classes include History of Dance, Biochemistry, Living with Global Warming, and Probability and Statistics. Note that some classes involve proctored exams, though numerous proctoring locations can be found outside of campus.

University of Wisconsin-Madison
Total Cost: $10,378 School Type: Public Website:

Through University of Wisconsin’s “eCampus” program, distance learners can graduate from UW– Madison with the same degrees and certificates earned by those students on-campus. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, UW’s eCampus classes are taught by the same UW professors found in the classrooms. Note that some degrees mandate an annual week long residency on-campus.

University of Miami
Total Cost: $41,220 School Type: Private not-for-profit Website:

University of Miami offers their enrolled students a variety of courses, for both credit-earning undergraduates and non-credit earning continuing education. These classes include Calculus, English Composition, Genetics and Society, Screenwriting, and many more. Miami also allows high school students to earn credits towards college via their online courses.

Northeastern University
Total Cost: $40,086 School Type: Private not-for-profit Website:

Northeastern University offers over sixty online programs, including Bachelor’s, Master’s, and even Doctoral degrees. Fully accredited, Northeastern’s online degrees are equivalent to the degrees earned on-campus. Furthermore, online students can receive the same financial assistance as on-campus students.

The University of Texas at Austin
Total Cost: $9,790 School Type: Public Website:

University of Texas – Austin’s Extension program offers nearly fifty self-paced online classes with up to five months given to complete coursework. These classes earn credit, are transferable to other institutions, and do not require UT admission. For those students who work best with more structure, UT Austin also offers online courses that follow the semester schedule.

Pepperdine University
Total Cost: $42,772 School Type: Private not-for-profit Website:

Pepperdine University is one of the few prestigious schools that offer Doctorate degrees via online coursework. Students can earn a Doctor of Education in Learning Technologies through the 55-unit program. This program involves formal research, a dissertation, and five intensive on-campus meetings per year.

University of Connecticut
Total Cost: $11,242 School Type: Public Website:

With over a hundred online classes available, University of Connecticut’s “eCampus” boasts a huge selection of undergraduate and graduate courses. Fully accredited, the UConn credits earned are transferable and are identical to those credits earned on-campus. In fact, the same esteemed UConn faculty found in the on-campus classrooms teaches the online courses.


The fact that avid learners can find just about any course online is amazing in itself. Perhaps more amazing, the distance-learning landscape continues to evolve as far and as fast as the technology it uses. Colleges and universities across the nation routinely invent new ways to engage, assess and teach students at multiple levels. But which schools are taking the biggest leaps forward - distancing themselves from the pack in either method or mode, or both? AC Online has researched thousands of colleges in the U.S. to answer that very question. Here's what we found.

Tufts University
Total Cost: $44,666 School Type: Private not-for-profit Website:

Tufts University offers a revolutionary online course called “Simple Robotics” to enrolled and visiting students. In this course, students are loaned the tools necessary to build and program robots at home. Assignments include uploading videos of the robots and sharing projects with their cohort.

Washington University in St Louis
Total Cost: $43,705 School Type: Private not-for-profit Website:

Washington University in St. Louis has the unique distinction of offering one of the only top-tier law degrees that can be earned entirely online. Prospective students must pass the same rigorous admissions standards as on-campus law students. However, once they’ve completed the program, they earn an identical diploma.

Wellesley College
Total Cost: $42,082 School Type: Private not-for-profit Website:

Wellesley College offers “Introduction to Human Evolution,” a free open-access Anthropology course through EdX that relies on cutting-edge technology to create a virtual excavation. Students are able to examine 3-D fossils and “virtually” visit archeological sites around the world.

University of Florida
Total Cost: $6,143 School Type: Public Website:

With over one hundred online programs offered, University of Florida is committed to online learning, with credited undergraduate and graduate courses, in addition to non-credit professional development classes. In fact, their online business MBA program is ranked #1 in the state. Looking to the future, University of Florida plans on opening the country’s first online-only public university in 2014.

Berklee College of Music
Total Cost: $36,490 School Type: Private not-for-profit Website:

Berklee College of Music offers a twelve-week Jazz Improvisation course with Grammy winning musician, Gary Burton. Using audio recording equipment, students can turn in assignments and gain feedback on their improvisation work via the Internet. This course can be taken for credit or non-credit.

Clarkson College
Total Cost: $12,562 School Type: Private not-for-profit Website:

Clarkson College provides many online degrees, and even offers dual degree choices. But, what sets Clarkson apart is the “externships” that the Nursing programs rely on for field experience. With a majority of online students holding employment while enrolled, Clarkson encourages them to complete their externships while they work.

Princeton University
Total Cost: $39,537 School Type: Private not-for-profit Website:

Princeton University boasts a free, open-access class, via Coursera called “Networks: Friends, Money, and Bytes” that explores technology and networking. Structured around twenty commonly asked questions about the internet, this course has a rare added element of involving venture capitalists to judge assignments for potential funding.

The New School
Total Cost: $39,368 School Type: Private not-for-profit Website:

The New School in New York City now offers transfer students and those that have let a few years lapse in their educational pursuits, earn a bachelor’s degree online. Through their New School for Public Engagement nontraditional students can even enroll in a combined and accelerated Bachelors-Master’s degree.

Washington State University
Total Cost: $12,300 School Type: Public Website:

Washington State University is leading the way in online education regarding healthy food. Washington offers the nations’ first undergraduate certificate in “Organic Agriculture” in order to prepare students for future employment within the organic food industry.

Michigan State University
Total Cost: $12,622 School Type: Public Website:

Michigan State University offers a Master of Science in Packaging degree that can be earned through online classes. The program focuses on topics such as tamper evident packaging, permeability, and shelf life. This course can be completed in approximately three years and does not require a thesis.

Utica College
Total Cost: $31,930 School Type: Private not-for-profit Website:

Utica College provides enrolled students the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Science in Economic Crime Investigation through their online courses. The only online BS Economic Crime Investigation program in the country, students have a further choice of two concentrations, Financial Investigation or Fraud Prevention and Detection.

Purdue University-Main Campus
Total Cost: $9,900 School Type: Public Website:

Purdue’s “Extended Campus” offers distance learning through a variety of master’s level online programs. Graduate programs include Master of Science in Building Construction Management, Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics, and Master of Science in Industrial Engineering. Purdue even offers dual degrees, in collaboration with Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business to offer a Dual Master of Science in Engineering- Master of Business Administration.

Ferris State University
Total Cost: $10,354 School Type: Public Website:

Ferris State University boasts the #1 ranked online Nursing program in the country according to US News and World Report. A public institution, these graduate level programs are 100% online and specialize in Nursing Administration, Nursing Informatics, or Nursing Education.

Daytona State College
Total Cost: $3,371 School Type: Public Website:

Daytona State College offers many associate degrees and certificate programs online. But, what sets Daytona State apart is the 2+2 track for students earning an online Bachelor of Science degree. Students can complete an associate of science degree via distance learning, and then continue to baccalaureate degree courses, all via the Internet.

Pace University-New York
Total Cost: $36,614 School Type: Private not-for-profit Website:

Pace University has been ranked the best Online Bachelors Program in the country by US News & World Report. Through their iPace Degree Completion Program students can gain the same degree online as the on-campus students earn. Pace also provides their online students with a Career Services team to develop interviewing skills and a strong resume.

Yeshiva University
Total Cost: $36,500 School Type: Private not-for-profit Website:

Yeshiva University now provides students the ability to earn a Master’s degree in Jewish education online. Note that students must have access to an approved Jewish day school or yeshiva to complete student teaching requirements. Yeshiva also offers a thirty weeks long online program for Jewish educators to learn how to teach and design their own online learning environments.

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Chicago
Total Cost: N/A School Type: Private not-for-profit Website:

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is a not-for-profit accredited graduate school that offers Master’s degrees in Psychology to students earning credits online. The school offers many concentrations including Child and Adolescent, Sport and Exercise, Organizational Leadership, and Gerontology. Note: Applicants must already have a Bachelor’s degree and at least five years of relevant work experience.

Western Governors University
Total Cost: $6,070 School Type: Private not-for-profit Website:

Western Governors University is the first exclusively online university to offer an accredited Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT). Using a competency –based approach instead of accumulated credit hours, Western Governors is changing educational formats.

University of California-Irvine
Total Cost: $13,122 School Type: Public Website:

The University of California, Irvine provides many online courses through UC Irvine Extension, their continuing education unit. In fact, more than 40 of Extension’s certificate programs, such as Investor Relations, Medical Product Development, and Personal Financial Planning, are completely online. UC Irvine is dedicated to accessible education, and its director of OpenCourseWare is the current president of the global OpenCourseWare Consortium. The school offers unique classes, such as a course based on AMC’s “The Walking Dead” TV show.

New Jersey Institute of Technology
Total Cost: $14,740 School Type: Public Website:

New Jersey Institute of Technology offers many degrees and certificates online, such as Construction Management, Data Mining, and Engineering Leadership. Significant is NJIT’s tuition for these online classes. New Jersey residents can pay in-state tuition, and all other students can avoid out-of-state tuition via the new online tuition pricing.

The University of Tennessee
Total Cost: $9,092 School Type: Public Website:

The University of Tennessee Extension – Department of Family and Consumer Sciences offers a unique online program called “Love Your Money” for students to explore personal finance. Topics include 401k programs, identity theft, and building wealth. Free and open to the public, the University of Tennessee is supporting open access education.

Ohio State University-Main Campus
Total Cost: $10,037 School Type: Public Website:

Ohio State University recognizes the importance of flexibility for online students and so their Fisher College of Business offers classes in colored “Belt” certification levels. These tracks allow the student full control over schedule, progress, and on-demand access to all multi-media course content.

Clemson University
Total Cost: $12,674 School Type: Public Website:

Clemson University boasts an eight-week online course titled, “Sustainable Energy Innovation” that asserts it gives students the chance to change the course of history. The assignments are built around the development of students’ sustainable energy solutions.

Southern Methodist University
Total Cost: $41,750 School Type: Private not-for-profit Website:

Southern Methodist University is broadening its educational reach by offering approved enrolled students a chance to participate in live, online courses from other prestigious universities. SMU, a pioneer in this format, is a Charter Affiliate Partner with Semester Online. The classes will be taught via other universities, but are awarded as SMU credits.

University of Georgia
Total Cost: $9,842 School Type: Public Website:

University of Georgia has instituted a revolutionary way of transitioning non-traditional students into their collegiate careers. Through their electronic core-curriculum [eCore] students can complete their first two years of coursework via online learning. With transferable credits, low tuition rates, and flexibility, eCore is an innovative educational format.

Syracuse University
Total Cost: $39,004 School Type: Private not-for-profit Website:

Syracuse University has been a part of the online education movement from the inception. In fact, their School of Information Studies has been offering online courses for twenty years. The “iSchool” program offers identical degrees as those earned on-campus, and access to the “WISE” consortium, which allows students to take classes from other partner schools.

Texas A & M University-College Station
Total Cost: $8,506 School Type: Public Website:

Texas A&M’s AgriLife Extension program offers many online certificate programs for busy professionals. But what makes this program even more unique is a system that allows employers to verify earned certificates. Through the website, employers can confirm certificates by entering a certificate code.

University of Minnesota-Duluth
Total Cost: $12,785 School Type: Public Website:

University of Minnesota’s College of Continuing Education recognizes that learning is a lifelong endeavor. To support continuous education, Minnesota offers residents, who are 62 and older, the ability to audit classes free of charge. If the enrolled senior would like to earn credit, tuition is reduced to $10 per credit.

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Total Cost: $10,923 School Type: Public Website:

Virginia Tech is a leader in online education, offering a staggering 356 courses online. Just as impressive is the 79 entire programs that can be completed via the Internet. But the most revolutionary element of Virginia Tech’s online format is the “Math Emporium.” Virginia Tech’s largest classroom, where 8,000 students a year complete self-paced online introductory math classes.

Graceland University-Lamoni
Total Cost: $22,680 School Type: Private not-for-profit Website:

Graceland University is dedicated to early education that is exemplified in their ACE program for approved 11th and 12th grade high school students to earn college credit through online classes. In fact, ACE students are given automatic acceptance into Graceland University and up to a 50% discount on tuition.

Harvard University
Total Cost: $39,966 School Type: Private not-for-profit Website:

Harvard University has partnered with EdX to offer free, open-access courses online. One of these groundbreaking programs includes a course called “Science & Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science” where scientists and chefs work together to explore scientific principles that can be examined in the kitchen.

Rutgers University-New Brunswick
Total Cost: $13,073 School Type: Public Website:

Rutgers University, offering one of the first “iSchool” programs, is continuing to revolutionize online learning. Rutgers Center for Management Development now provides the first ever online “Mini-MBA” program, with unique courses such as “pay-per-click” advertising classes.

University of Vermont
Total Cost: $15,284 School Type: Public Website:

University of Vermont is leading the green movement with 100% online Sustainability Training certificate programs. These courses concentrate on sustainability in business settings, and also in Campus Operations.

University of Colorado Boulder
Total Cost: $9,482 School Type: Public Website:

University of Colorado – Boulder’s Center for the Advanced Engineering and Technology Education (CAETE) offers a pioneering program teaching “Cable-Supported Pedestrian Bridge Design” via the Internet. Providing this type of course to online students, CU is empowering those in developing and rural populations, and teaching them how to build access within their community.

Drexel University
Total Cost: $36,090 School Type: Private not-for-profit Website:

Drexel University offers a variety of undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees, and certificate programs through online learning. However, it is Drexel’s Educational Partnerships program that sets it apart from other institutions. Drexel currently works with over 250 corporations, schools, and professional associations to offer their employees and members reduced tuition rates.