Illinois Online Colleges & Universities – Top Online Schools for 2014

In 2013, an estimated 1.5 million students enrolled in classes at one of the 315 accredited post-secondary institutions in Illinois. This placed the state 7th in the nation for total number of colleges and universities and 5th for the total number of students. In addition to quantity, the state offers a diverse set of educational opportunities, with 53 public colleges and more than 120 private schools (both denominational and non-denominational). This excellent combination of volume and diversity gives Illinois students -- or students who wish to study in the state -- a wide range of higher educational opportunities.

Top Cities in Illinois for College Education

The mid-size and larger cities in Illinois accommodate most of the colleges and universities, creating an urban or semi-urban environment for the bulk of the students. Look below for details on the layout of the colleges in Illinois:

Highest Student Populations (Total)

  • Chicago (285,000)
  • Champaign (57,615)
  • Glen Ellyn (46,500)
  • Joliet (34,200)
  • Palos Hills (33,300)

Locations with Most Colleges (Total)

  • Chicago (89)
  • Rockford (8)
  • Springfield (8)
  • Skokie (8)
  • Quincy (7)

City in Focus: College in Chicago

The Second City routinely appears on lists of the most educated cities in the United States. According to the Brookings Institute, 34 percent of Chicago residents had a college degree in 2010, a 21 percent increase from 1970. At least part of this growth can be attributed to the city's outstanding collection of world-class universities, city colleges and vocational schools. Regarding the former, U.S. News and World Report ranked the University of Chicago the fifth best university in the nation (tied with Stanford), highlighting its 99 percent freshman retention rate. The institution also earned top honors in the social sciences, with 36 percent of its graduates earning a degree in that field. Chicago's collection of city colleges adds another dimension this hub of higher education. At seven locations domestically and various places abroad, the city colleges graduate close to 10,000 students each year. Individual institutions include Richard J. Daley College, Malcolm X College, Olive-Harvey College, Kennedy-King College, Harry S. Truman College, Harold Washington College and Wilbur Wright College.

Online Schools and Courses in Chicago

The city of Chicago also boasts a number of online schools for interested students. In addition to its campus-based solutions, City Colleges of Chicago has a Center for Distance Learning, which offers more than 85 online courses, an online tutoring service and numerous distance-learning seminars, all for the same tuition and fees as their traditional classes. Other institutions in the city offer remote options, as well. DePaul University, for example, continues to grow its collection of fully online programs, which now includes ten online master's degrees offered by its College of Computing and Digital Media. Like DePaul, other colleges in Chicago provide students with full degree programs via distance learning, including University of Illinois at Chicago, Loyola University - Chicago, Northwestern University and Saint Xavier University.

Academics aside, Chicago has culture: food, entertainment, sites, sounds and more. Students taking classes or living downtown have the chance to explore outstanding museums, restaurants and a vibrant nightlife found in very few places. And the city's El makes it easy to travel on the cheap.

Other Online Colleges in Illinois

Many traditional colleges are incorporating online learning into their existing programs. Once merely a new fad in education, online degrees have become a staple of the Illinois learning experience, opening the door to opportunities by allowing students to complete school from a distance and with fewer scheduling constraints. Colleges and universities throughout the state provide certificates and both undergraduate and graduate degrees through the online platform. In addition to the aforementioned City Colleges and distance learning, The University of Illinois continues to increase its presence in the online educational landscape. The university now offers students more than 100 online certificates, bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs, as well as dozens of free classes in partnership with Coursera. It also makes a concerted effort to help community college students transfer from two-year programs to their fully or partially online four-year programs.

Tuition, Fees and COL in Illinois

Dealing with the number and weight of college costs is something which every Illinois college applicant needs to consider, and tuition is more often than not the largest portion of those expenses, varying by school locale and residency. While the dollar numbers for tuition shift from school to school, the average resident student in Illinois paid $15,250 per year in tuition in 2012.

To envelope their students in the best possible college experience, many institutions go beyond the classroom and provide further social and learning opportunities. On top of tuition, they maintain parking, student activities, labs and technology facilities by charging students a small to medium amount for each. Student fees in Illinois averaged $950 in 2012, resulting in a bottom line for tuition plus fees of $16,200.

In addition to tuition and fees, potential Illinois students need to consider living expenses: food, housing, transportation, etc. In general, Illinois has a cost of living index 4 percent below the national average. Below you can find a breakdown of the major cities and their COL indexes as they relate to the national average (100%).

Urban Area Composite Index Housing Groceries Utilities Transportation Health Care Misc.
Springfield -14.2% -29.9% -10.3% -20.2% 4.5% 6.5% -8.3%
Danville -8.9% -25.8% -5.4% 16.4% 9.3% -4.2% -9.3%
Decatur -8.6% -11.8% -10.9% -7.8% -3.3% -8.1% -6.7%
Rockford -7.6% -25.3% -7.4% 11.2% 5.8% 3.3% -3.2%
Galesburg -7.0% -20.0% -0.3% 3.1% -3.9% -2.7% -2.8%
Quincy -4.5% -5.5% -2.6% -4.5% -5.8% -0.2% -4.5%
Peoria -3.7% -5.0% -6.6% -2.8% 1.4% -4.2% -3.2%
Champaign-Urbana -3.1% -9.2% -1.5% -2.9% -1.8% 0.5% 0.7%
Joliet-Will County 2.2% 2.3% 0.9% 16.1% 11.3% 6.5% -4.8%
Chicago 16.9% 34.8% 11.2% 17.3% 16.5% 8.5% 4.4%

Return on investment (ROI) is another cost-related element to think about when exploring colleges. ROI not only looks at the front-end of the college investment (tuition, fees, etc.), but also examines the back-end (salary potential after graduation). The following five schools boast the highest ROI in Illinois today:

  • Illinois Institute of Technology
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Bradley University
  • DePaul University
  • University of Chicago

Finding College Funding Opportunities

Potential Illinois students have a few options when it comes to making college more manageable: federal aid and scholarships. Based on financial need, funding from the federal government provides an opportunity for many who would otherwise be unable to attend college, and it begins with filing the proper FAFSA forms. On average, 68 percent of the Illinois student population received governmental assistance while pursuing undergraduate degrees in 2012.

Scholarships offer another option for degree financing and often come from non-profit organizations or private companies. These scholarships may be merit or background based and can usually be used in conjunction with federal financial aid. Here are a few of the major college fund contributors in Illinois:

  • Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation
  • Illinois Counties Association
  • Golden Apple Foundation
  • TELACU Education Foundation
  • Illinois National Guard
  • Minority Teachers of Illinois
  • Illinois Veteran Grant (IVG) Program
  • Norwegian National League of Chicago
  • Italian Catholic Federation
  • The Parkersburg Area Community Foundation
  • Chicago Scholars Program
  • Illinois CPA Society
  • Elmhurst Garden Club
  • Palumbo Family Foundation

Accreditation Standards in Illinois

Every accredited college or university has a governing body that holds the school to certain standards. Accreditation also makes it possible for schools to accept federal aid and scholarships for their students. Organizations such as the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (http://www.northcentralassociation.org/) ensure that Illinois colleges provide quality education and degrees. In addition to this regional accreditation (the most common among top institutions), Illinois colleges may ask various specialized accrediting bodies to vet their programs. For example, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education awarded Western Illinois University's School of Nursing a five-year accreditation in early 2014.

Affordability is important, but it's not the only factor to consider when choosing an online college. We asked the University of Illinois-Springfield to tell us a little more about what distance learning at their school is really about. Find out what they say:

Online Departments in Illinois
  • University of Illinois at Springfield -

    How would you describe your institution's approach to online learning?

    The University of Illinois at Springfield has been the recipient of numerous national awards for online learning. Our approach to online learning is to provide faculty with encouragement, empowerment, and excellent support to allow each faculty member to engage and interact with students in a manner that allows students to learn the content and build relationships with each other and their faculty members. UIS prides itself on reaching out to others to build strong partnerships and to collaborate with other institutions globally while providing an excellent educational experience to students.

    What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

    Students find our online programs valuable through the relationships that are built with faculty. We have a number of individuals who have taken our programs while serving in the military, as well as working professionals, students finishing their first degrees, working parents, and others in a variety of life situations. Online learning can be very flexible and this is helpful to students in a variety of situations. The most important aspect of value for students is becoming connected to their university. We have chosen to provide Online Program Coordinators who assist students with making strong connections on campus. Students are able to visit with their faculty members, receive help from the Online Program Coordinators, request tutoring services, library services, and participate in student scholarship presentations at a distance. All of these connection points helps to create a valuable online learning experience for students and assists with breaking down any barriers or feelings of isolation that can occur when students are separated in distance from the campus.

    Where do you see your online programs in the next five years? Beyond?

    Our online programs will continue to grow through planned strategic growth and measured assessment of our programs. I believe we will continue to add programs as faculty see the need and advocate for new programming and there is student demand. Additionally, I see a number of partnership opportunities that will allow for stronger collaborations between universities in the future. At the University of Illinois Springfield we look forward to continuing to do what we do best, serving students with excellence in education by providing intellectually rich learning experiences to students who live on campus, in near by communities, around the United States, and internationally.

Illinois boasts some of the best four-year, fully online college degree programs in the country. Many of these programs utilize the same curriculum, professors, and degree expectations as courses on campus. With such similar demands, it comes as no surprise that online students can work toward the same certifications and degrees as their on-campus peers. Online schools in Illinois are fully accredited, and yet offer the most flexibility found in higher education. As you search for a quality online college in Illinois, check out our list of the most exceptional programs in the state. We’ve organized the colleges from lowest tuition to highest to ease value-based comparisons. Enjoy the array of Illinois online colleges.

Click here to see our methodology.
1
University of Illinois at Springfield
Tuition and fees: $8,077 Enrollment: 3,631 Accredited: YES Website: University of Illinois at Springfield

University of Illinois-Springfield offers undergraduate and graduate online college degrees in addition to certification programs and certificates. The college has formal partnerships with dozens of other institutions that help provide online programming. Courses include Blackboard software, and the University of Illinois' YouTube channel has informational videos for students interested in online learning.

2
Governors State University
Tuition and fees: $8,936 Enrollment: 4,171 Accredited: YES Website: Governors State University

Governors State University allows students to combine online college and campus courses to complete their degree. All courses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and include Blackboard software.

3
Eastern Illinois University
Tuition and fees: $9,794 Enrollment: 10,579 Accredited: YES Website: Eastern Illinois University

Eastern Illinois University offers four online college degree programs and one hybrid degree program. The university is a military-friendly school, and online programs are designed for adults students who work full time or have other obligations. Students can choose from two Bachelor's of Arts programs, two Bachelor of Science programs and one Master of Science program.

4
Western Illinois University
Tuition and fees: $9,837 Enrollment: 11,892 Accredited: YES Website: Western Illinois University

Western Illinois University offers online college degree programs and online courses through WesternOnline. Students can choose from three different online degree programs: a Bachelor of Arts in General Studies, a Master of Science in Instructional Design and Technology or A Master of Science in Education. Online students may have to take proctored exams.

5
Methodist College
Tuition and fees: $10,394 Enrollment: 661 Accredited: YES Website: Methodist College

UnityPoint Health-Methodist offers practicing nurses who have passed the NCLEX, or National Council Licensure Examination, to obtain a fully-online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-BSN) degree. The online college program can be completed in as few as four semesters, though students have up to five years to complete their studies.

6
Moody Bible Institute
Tuition and fees: $10,526 Enrollment: 3,753 Accredited: YES Website: Moody Bible Institute

The Moody Bible Institute offers two graduate-level programs in Biblical Studies. The school has a free trial course with sample lessons and tools to explore the Blackboard software features. Online courses follow two-month long or self-paced formats and students can enroll in multiple online college courses at once.

7
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Tuition and fees: $10,581 Enrollment: 17,448 Accredited: YES Website: Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Southern Illinois University offers online college degree, certificate, certification and diploma programs through SIU Online. Degree-seeking students can choose from five online bachelor's degree programs and five online master's degree programs in variety of fields, including accounting and business administration. SIU Online is partnered with the Center for Teaching Excellence.

8
Northern Illinois University
Tuition and fees: $10,981 Enrollment: 18,830 Accredited: YES Website: Northern Illinois University

Northern Illinois University offers online and blended courses for undergraduate and graduate students. Online college students can choose from bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs, as well as certificate programs. Online coursework includes online games, discussions and simulations. Many online courses still require students to come to some meetings on campus.

9
University of Illinois at Chicago
Tuition and fees: $12,771 Enrollment: 18,698 Accredited: YES Website: University of Illinois at Chicago

University of Illinois at Chicago offers more than 30 online degree, non-degree and certificate programs through UIC online. Students can choose from online college programs offered through nine of the university's on-campus colleges. Online students can access their courses at any time and have access to all of the University's online and on-campus educational resources.

10
Ellis University
Tuition and fees: $13,560 Enrollment: N/A Accredited: YES Website: Ellis University

John Hancock University, formerly Ellis University, is accredited through the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC). Online graduated degree programs include master’s in Communication Arts, Education, Business Administration, Computer Science, Human Resource Management, Instructional Technology and Management. JHU’s courses are designed specifically for online learning allowing students flexibility and accessibility to their courses.

11
Lincoln Christian University
Tuition and fees: $14,580 Enrollment: 716 Accredited: YES Website: Lincoln Christian University

Lincoln Christian University's Hargrove School of Adult and Graduate Studies offers associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees in addition to a certification program. Lincoln's seminary program offers hybrid degree options where students can take up to two-thirds of a degree or degree specialization online. The University is accredited through the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

12
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Tuition and fees: $14,581 Enrollment: 33,400 Accredited: YES Website: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

University of Illinois offers online college undergraduate degree, graduate degree, certificate and continuing education programs. Some of the university's online courses may require students to take tests on campus or at a local community college, while other courses allow students to take tests online. Online lectures may combine several learning methods, including video and text.

13
American InterContinental University-Online
Tuition and fees: $15,660 Enrollment: 27,100 Accredited: YES Website: American InterContinental University-Online

American InterContinental University Online offers accredited online undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Online college students can choose from associate’s, bachelor’s and master's degree programs in a range of popular fields, including education, business and criminal justice All of the university's online courses utilize the My Unique Student Experience (M.U.S.E.) learning platform.

14
Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing
Tuition and fees: $16,100 Enrollment: 468 Accredited: YES Website: Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing

Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing is committed to utilizing a combination technology, classroom and online college programs to help students achieve their education goals. All graduate degree programs are conducted online. The successful candidate for an online degree requires self-management and self-motivation. The college provides access to the resources and training necessary for completing the degree.

15
National Louis University
Tuition and fees: $18,895 Enrollment: 1,870 Accredited: YES Website: National Louis University

National Louis University offers online accredited degree programs for students who are unable to commit to coming to on-campus classes. Students can choose from four online master's degree programs and four online bachelor's degree programs. Online students may be able to complete some credits through credit by examination, credit by proficiency or credit by portfolio.

16
Aurora University
Tuition and fees: $19,450 Enrollment: 3,183 Accredited: YES Website: Aurora University

Aurora University has online degree options at the bachelor's and master's degree levels, as well as bilingual/ESL and special education endorsement programs. Bachelor's and master's level courses are accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Though a few courses require face-to-face meetings, most are delivered entirely online. Aurora provides a 24/7 help center for students and instructors are available during virtual office hours.

17
North Park University
Tuition and fees: $21,050 Enrollment: 2,440 Accredited: YES Website: North Park University

The North Park University's schools of adult learning, theological seminary, and business/nonprofits all offer online college courses and degree programs. Students can access classes at any time and all course material is delivered through the Moodle platform. North Park University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

18
Greenville College
Tuition and fees: $22,198 Enrollment: 1,453 Accredited: YES Website: Greenville College

Greenville College offers bachelor's degree, master's degree, and endorsement programs. While most are fully online, between 10 to 50 percent of a course may require in-person participation. Greenville College also offers a jump start program for high school juniors and seniors interested in earning online college credits. Online tutoring is available through the college's Student Success Center.

19
Resurrection University
Tuition and fees: $22,616 Enrollment: 392 Accredited: YES Website: Resurrection University

The BSN for RNs at Resurrection University offers a hybrid online college learning program for working nurses whose schedules require more flexibility than traditional classroom education entails. Face-to-face classes meet only one night per week, while 50% of the course meets online. The curriculum is streamlined to allow for quick completion.

20
Lincoln College
Tuition and fees: $23,000 Enrollment: 1,395 Accredited: YES Website: Lincoln College

Lincoln College of New England has online bachelor's and associates degrees in criminal justice and health information. Online college classes include audio/visual lectures in addition to live demonstrations, slideshows, video clips, and photos. Students can access classes at any time and some programs are offered in a -- blended -- format for those interested in also taking on-campus sessions.

21
Benedictine University
Tuition and fees: $23,184 Enrollment: 4,750 Accredited: YES Website: Benedictine University

Regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), Benedictine University offers a range of online college degree programs for nontraditional students. Online students can choose from graduate degree programs, doctoral degree programs, bachelor's degree programs, associate's degree programs and graduate certificate programs.

22
Quincy University
Tuition and fees: $24,140 Enrollment: 1,425 Accredited: YES Website: Quincy University

Quincy University offers five master's online college programs and a Bachelor of Human Services Degree, with a sixth master's program due to be added in Fall 2014. Quincy University is accredited as a four-year university by the Higher Learning Commission.

23
McKendree University
Tuition and fees: $24,190 Enrollment: 2,755 Accredited: YES Website: McKendree University

McKendree University has undergraduate and graduate level online college courses available in education, business, nursing, and psychology. The University also offers a dual Master of Science in Nursing and Master of Business Administration program. A self-assessment quiz for those interested in finding out if online learning is best for them on the McKendree University site.

24
Trinity International University-Illinois
Tuition and fees: $24,610 Enrollment: 1,286 Accredited: YES Website: Trinity International University-Illinois

Trinity International University's Online Campus offers three online college degree programs in business, Christian ministries, and psychology, as well as certificate programs. The programs are intended for students who have completed some coursework at the college or university level, and credits from other universities may transfer to the online programs at Trinity University.

25
Lewis University
Tuition and fees: $24,770 Enrollment: 5,242 Accredited: YES Website: Lewis University

Lewis University offers undergraduate, adult-accelerated undergraduate, and graduate programs. Some tracks have customized curriculum and all online courses are also taught on campus in a classroom-based format. Lewis University offers a self-assessment quiz on their website for those interested in finding out if online college is the best choice for them.

26
Roosevelt University
Tuition and fees: $25,200 Enrollment: 4,486 Accredited: YES Website: Roosevelt University

Roosevelt University offers 16 online college programs through RUOnline. Online students can choose from six bachelor's degree programs, three master's degree programs, one undergraduate minor, one undergraduate credential and five graduate credentials. The school also offers Guided Independent Distance Education (GuIDE) courses, which can be completed online. RUOnline courses use Blackboard as an online learning system.

27
Rush University
Tuition and fees: $25,402 Enrollment: 106 Accredited: YES Website: Rush University

The Rush University College of Nursing offers several fully online college programs and courses with limited on-campus visits required. In addition to a Master's of Science in Nursing, Rush University has Doctor of Nursing Practice programs with specialty certifications and leadership tracks. The Rush University Medical Center is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

28
Concordia University-Chicago
Tuition and fees: $25,456 Enrollment: 1,552 Accredited: YES Website: Concordia University-Chicago

Concordia University-Chicago offers bachelor's, master's, endorsement, and doctoral level courses online in business, education, and other areas. The school is accredited through the Higher Learning Commission, National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, and the National Association of Schools of Music

29
Judson University
Tuition and fees: $26,110 Enrollment: 1,213 Accredited: YES Website: Judson University

Judson University offers online college general education or elective credits for transfer toward a Judson University degree or for another college/university. Degree-seeking students of Judson University can take a full-time, 12-credit load of online courses. The university also offers online certificates in application software, studies in human behavior, Web administration and design, and an advanced certificate in management and leadership.

30
Dominican University
Tuition and fees: $26,610 Enrollment: 2,142 Accredited: YES Website: Dominican University

The Dominican University School of Education offers online master's degrees and certification programs with six session start dates throughout the year. Students can attend online college classes at any time. For those interested in taking an accelerated track, some of Dominican's master's degree programs can be completed in as little as 18 months.

31
Saint Xavier University
Tuition and fees: $27,060 Enrollment: 3,432 Accredited: YES Website: Saint Xavier University

Saint Xavier University offers regionally accredited online graduate programs in nursing and education. The online college also has free online tutoring from Smarthinking for those who need assistance with writing, reading, math, science, business, Spanish, or English.

32
Olivet Nazarene University
Tuition and fees: $27,590 Enrollment: 3,442 Accredited: YES Website: Olivet Nazarene University

Programs through Olivet Nazarene University are completed entirely online and are considered accelerated. Students conclude their online college studies in two years or less. The University offers a bachelor's of business administration and five master's programs, with others launching soon.

33
Elmhurst College
Tuition and fees: $30,054 Enrollment: 3,508 Accredited: YES Website: Elmhurst College

Elmhurst College's Online Center has online programs at the undergraduate, graduate and certificate level. The Online Center provides a management system for course readings, lectures, exams, technical help, student discussion forums, and more. Courses last one or two months depending on the term.

34
DePaul University
Tuition and fees: $30,618 Enrollment: 19,088 Accredited: YES Website: DePaul University

DePaul University offers online bachelor's degree, master's degree and certificate programs as well as online CPA review courses. DePaul's School for New Learning offers a versatile Bachelor's of Arts degree program designed for students aged 24 an older. Many of the online college programs do not require students to ever come on campus.

35
Loyola University-Chicago
Tuition and fees: $33,294 Enrollment: 11,095 Accredited: YES Website: Loyola University-Chicago

Loyola University Chicago Online offers a variety of programs that can be completed entirely online or through a combination of on-line and on-campus meetings. Students can choose from a range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs from ten of the university's schools, including the School of Nursing and the School of Law.

36
Illinois Institute of Technology
Tuition and fees: $34,260 Enrollment: 2,999 Accredited: YES Website: Illinois Institute of Technology

Illinois Institute of Technology offers degree and certificate programs in ten different fields, including biological and chemical sciences, engineering and physics. The online college's courses utilize the Blackboard Learning Management System and may use asynchronous video lectures or synchronous video conferences. Online courses follow the same schedule as traditional, on-campus courses. Exams may need to be taken local testing centers.

37
Knox College
Tuition and fees: $34,464 Enrollment: 1,457 Accredited: YES Website: Knox College

Knox College offers a Master of Divinity degree in a hybrid program consisting of online college courses and on-campus classes. Of the 30 credits required for graduation, 10 are taken online and 10 are taken in residency on campus. Another eight credits comprise summer intensives at Knox and two credits come from Theological fieldwork in the student’s own community.

38
Northwestern University
Tuition and fees: $41,983 Enrollment: 11,076 Accredited: YES Website: Northwestern University

Northwestern University offers online master's degree and certificate programs through its School of Continuing Studies (SCS). Students can choose from a range of accredited online courses in a variety of disciplines, including accounting and museum studies. The University's online degree programs and degrees are the same as the on-campus versions.

39
The John Marshall Law School
Tuition and fees: N/A Enrollment: N/A Accredited: YES Website: The John Marshall Law School

Students enrolled in The John Marshall Law School can obtain graduate level eDegrees through the online college in estate planning, information technology and privacy law, intellectual property law, and employee benefits. The only graduate-level employee benefits degree in the country is also available online for both lawyers and non-lawyer employee benefits professionals. Students can access course material at any time.

40
Adler School of Professional Psychology
Tuition and fees: N/A Enrollment: N/A Accredited: YES Website: Adler School of Professional Psychology

The Adler School of Professional Psychology offers graduate-level courses in criminology, industrial and organizational psychology, and psychology with a specialization in military psychology. The Adler School's online programs are accredited through the Higher Learning Commission and the Illinois Board of Higher Education. Most online college courses are between seven and a half to eight weeks in length. Students take part in discussion and video forums, role-playing, educational games, and other exercises.

41
Chicago Theological Seminary
Tuition and fees: N/A Enrollment: N/A Accredited: YES Website: Chicago Theological Seminary

Students can earn master's degrees and certificates in various religious studies through the Chicago Theological Seminary's online college, or CTS Online. The Seminary uses the Moodle platform and WebEx virtual classrooms. Students have access to a live chat help desk and a broadcast of weekly chapel services. Student mentoring groups are also open to online students.

42
Catholic Theological Union at Chicago
Tuition and fees: N/A Enrollment: N/A Accredited: YES Website: Catholic Theological Union at Chicago

The Catholic Theological Union offers certificates, a master's, and individual courses in ministerial skills. The school is certified for online instruction by the Catholic Distance Learning Network of the National Catholic Education Association's Seminary Department. While certificates can be earned entirely online, the Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies Degree includes blended courses. Online courses are taught using the Moodle platform.

43
Erikson Institute
Tuition and fees: N/A Enrollment: N/A Accredited: YES Website: Erikson Institute

The Erikson Institute's distance learning program offers a master's degree, certificate programs, specialist courses, and webinars for early childhood professionals. Course material on EriksonOnline, the school's online college teaching platform, is available 24/7. The Institute offers a self-assessment quiz on their website for those interested in finding out if distance learning is best for them.

44
Institute for Clinical Social Work
Tuition and fees: N/A Enrollment: N/A Accredited: YES Website: Institute for Clinical Social Work

The Institute for Clinical Social Work, or ICSW, offers an accredited Clinical Ph.D. program for those interested in distance learning. Classes meet online during five evenings throughout the semester and students must attend two live, on-site classes in Chicago each semester. The online college coursework is spread over a four-year span. Students have access to ICSW's physical and digital library.

45
Knowledge Systems Institute
Tuition and fees: N/A Enrollment: N/A Accredited: YES Website: Knowledge Systems Institute

The Knowledge Systems Institute, or KSI, graduate program offers an online master's degree in computer science. The program is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. KSI instructors utilize discussions forums, blogs, chat rooms, video conferencing, and other multimedia tools for classes.

46
Lake Forest Graduate School of Management
Tuition and fees: N/A Enrollment: N/A Accredited: YES Website: Lake Forest Graduate School of Management

The Lake Forest's Graduate School of Management offers an iMBA program. Students spend 75 percent of their time in a virtual-reality environment that simulates work at a real company with a variety of departments. The rest of the students' time is spent in online discussions and completing group projects. Manager avatars in the virtual company assign students work and instructors can see student progress in real time.

47
Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
Tuition and fees: N/A Enrollment: N/A Accredited: YES Website: Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science

Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science offer a number of online programs leading to graduate and post-graduate degrees. The MS in Health Professions Education, the MS in Health Administration, the PhD in Interprofessional Studies, the MS in Nutrition and the Post Professional Doctor of Physical Therapy. Some courses of study may require on-campus attendance in addition to online participation.

48
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Chicago
Tuition and fees: N/A Enrollment: N/A Accredited: YES Website: The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Chicago

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology has master's, doctoral, and certificate programs. The school is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Courses require students in a course to be online at the same time for one to two hours each term. Online courses are self-paced and offered through Pearson eCollege with GotoMeeting software and SocialCourse instant messaging.