Kentucky Online Colleges & Universities – Top Online Schools for 2015

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Quick Facts:
  • 40 Colleges

    in Kentucky offer
    full online programs

  • 766 online programs

    were available
    in 2014

  • 158 online graduate degrees

    were offered by Kentucky
    schools in 2014

Best Online Colleges in Kentucky for 2015

Those who want to earn undergraduate or graduate degrees or a certificate from online Kentucky colleges and universities have a great deal to think about before enrolling. This guide is meant to help students begin the journey, with information on the many distance learning programs available. The state’s online colleges are ranked here according to several criteria, including their documented prowess in supporting students and creating innovative degree programs. Setting the standard, the following institutions have been selected as Best Online Colleges in Kentucky for 2015.

RANK COLLEGE Tuition And Fees Enrollment Accredited MORE INFO
1 Kentucky State University$6,0963,214YES
Kentucky State University offers online degree programs through its Office of Continuing and Distance Education. Online undergraduate students can choose from Bachelor or Arts degree programs in psychology, criminal justice and public administration. An online Master of Arts degree program is also available in special education.
2 University of the Cumberlands$6,3681,853YES
Drawing upon over 125 years of academic excellence, University of the Cumberlands (UC) is committed to providing convenient, flexible, and affordable online degree and certification programs designed to accommodate the distinct needs of adult learners. Our innovative course delivery provides students with access to cutting-edge technologies, excellent resources, and professional knowledge with real-world applicability while maintaining a traditional and personal approach to education. UC is proud to remain true to its 1888 heritage of delivering quality education that is both affordable and accessible in pursuit of the life-more-abundant.
3 Murray State University$6,8409,972YES
Murray State University is one of the many online colleges in Kentucky offering undergraduate degree programs. The university has a transfer agreement with the Kentucky Community and Technical College Systems (KCTCS). Online students complete lower-level online courses for their degree through KCTCS, and then finish their upper-level online coursework through Murray State University.
4 Morehead State University$7,28410,758YES
Morehead State University offers online classes and degree programs through Blackboard Learning. Online students may participate in online discussions and chats, watch video conferences and collaborate on group projects. The university's online library services and other academic resources are available to online and traditional students.
5 Eastern Kentucky University$7,32016,064YES
Eastern Kentucky University is a regionally accredited institution that is a great options for students looking for online colleges in Kentucky. Many of the university's degree programs can be completed entirely online. Other programs may require students to meet residency requirements. Eastern Kentucky University offers six different start dates for online students.
6 Northern Kentucky University$8,06414,912YES
Northern Kentucky University offers online undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a number of fields, including criminal justice, health science, communications and business. Online students can choose from eight different bachelor's degree, three undergraduate-level certificate, five master's degree, one specialist degree, one doctorate and five graduate-level certificate programs.
7 Western Kentucky University$8,47221,080YES
Western Kentucky University, also known as WKU, is a great choice for students interested in online colleges in Kentucky. WKU offers more than 50 degree and certificate programs that can be completed entirely online. Online students can choose from a wide range of associate's degree, bachelor's degree, master's degree, undergraduate certificate, graduate certificate and undergraduate minors.
8 University of Louisville$9,66217,692YES
Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the University of Louisville offers online undergraduate degree, graduate degree and certificate programs. Students can choose from online programs in a number of popular fields, including nursing, computer science and special education.
9 University of Kentucky$9,67621,861YES
University of Kentucky (UK) offers four degree and certificate programs that can be completed entirely online and 12 hybrid courses. Students interested in completing their entire degree or certificate program online can choose from graduate programs in library and information science, distance education, rehabilitation counseling and arts administration.
10 Mid-Continent University$13,3502,790YES
Mid-Continent University offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs through MCU Online. Online students can choose from associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs in science, business management, psychology and counseling, christian ministries and human resource management. MCU Online offers some of the lowest tuition rates of all online colleges in Kansas.
11 The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary$14,774959YES
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary offers online programs through two online colleges in Kentucky, Southern Seminary Online and Boyce College Online. The Master of Divinity program can be completed almost entirely online except for a 16-day, on-campus component. Online associate's and bachelor's degree programs are also available.
12 Kentucky Christian University$16,778568YES
Kentucky Christian University, also known as KCU, is one of the Christ-centered online colleges in Kansas that offers online degree programs. KCU currently offers two online degree completion programs. Students can choose from either a Bachelor of Science in General Business or a Bachelor of Science in Biblical Studies.
13 Brescia University$19,140830YES
Brescia University offers a wide variety of online programs and courses through BUonline. Some of BUonline's most popular undergraduate programs include associate’s degree programs in business, liberal arts, or human's services and bachelor's degree programs in accounting, business and psychology. BUonline also offers a master's degree program in management.
14 Kentucky Wesleyan College$20,365803YES
Kentucky Wesleyan College offers online programs through KWC Online. KWC Online specializes in offering versatile programs for adult learners. Three Bachelor of Science programs are available in criminal justice, business administration and general studies. All three programs can be completed entirely online and are offered through a seven-week intensive format.
15 Midway College$20,8502,021YES
Midway College offers a variety of online associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs, as well open enrollment online courses. The open enrollment courses are open to all students and do not require students to be enrolled in certain degree programs. Online degree programs are available in medical assisting, medical coding, business, psychology, healthcare and a variety of other fields.
16 Lindsey Wilson College$21,2302,370YES
Lindsey Wilson College is one of the online colleges in Kansas that is offering criminal justice programs. The college offers an associate's degree program and a bachelor's degree program in criminal justice as well as other online classes in a variety of fields. Online courses are offered during the fall, spring, winter and summer semesters and terms.
17 Campbellsville University$21,6003,782YES
Campbellsville University offers online programs in three different formats. The blended format combines on-campus and online courses, while the partially online format utilizes web applications. Some programs and courses are available entirely online. Associate's, bachelor's and graduate degree programs are available online, as well a certificate program in Christian ministry.
18 Georgetown College$30,7701,375YES
Georgetown College offers a Master's of Education degree program that can be completed online. Four Kentucky Teacher of the Year have graduated from the program. Online courses are designed to be flexible while still offering one-on-one attention from accomplished faculty members. In addition to the online degree program, Georgetown College also offers a variety of online undergraduate and graduate courses.

How to Find Top Online Programs in Kentucky

Kentucky offers public four-year colleges, private universities, community and junior colleges, trade and vocational schools, online colleges and religious institutions, all with the common aim of helping students reach graduation day and their personal goals. Students with busy family and job schedules can turn to flexible, asynchronous degree or certificate programs. Finding the right online program is the first challenging research project for prospective students. Looking for a shortcut? The search tool below can save time in narrowing down potential schools by their cost of tuition, degree offerings, type of school and other key factors.

Degree Level:
Tuition:
Student Population:
School Type:
40 results TUITION ACCEPTANCE RATE STUDENT POPULATION SCHOOL TYPE
University of Louisville Louisville, Kentucky Four or more years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE 71% STUDENT POPULATION 21,444 SCHOOL
TYPE
Public
BACHELOR'S DEGREES
  • Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership And Learning
  • Bachelor of Science in Justice Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing Rn To Bsn
  • Bachelor of Arts in Communication
  • Bachelor of Science in Communication
MASTERS DEGREES
  • Master of Science in Human Resources And Organization Development
  • Master of Science in Justice Administration
  • Master of Arts in Higher Education
  • Master of Education in Special Education
  • Master of Engineering in Engineering Management
  • Master of Science in Civil Engineering
  • Master of Science in Computer Science
  • Master of Science in Social Work
Western Kentucky University Bowling Green, Kentucky Four or more years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE 92% STUDENT POPULATION 20,448 SCHOOL
TYPE
Public
ASSOCIATE DEGREES
  • Water Resource Management
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Interdisciplinary Studies
BACHELOR'S DEGREES
  • Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership
  • Bachelor of Arts in Sociology
  • Bachelor of Science in Consumer & Family Sciences, Child Studies?
  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Family &?Consumer?Sciences, Family Studies?
MASTERS DEGREES
  • MBA
  • Master of Arts (M.A.) in Criminology
  • Master of Science in Library Media Education
  • Education and Behavioral Science Studies
  • M.A.E. in Early Childhood Education/Teacher Leade
  • M.A.E. in Elementary Education
  • M.A.E. in Middle Grades Education
  • M.A.E. in?Literacy Education
  • MA in Secondary Education
  • MA in Special Education
  • Master of Arts in Education for Teacher Leaders
  • Master of Science in Instructional Design
  • Online Master of Arts in Education in Adult Education
  • Master of Science in Engineering Technology Management
  • Master of Health Administration?
  • M.S. in Biology
  • Master of Science in Recreation and Sport Administration with a concentration in Sport Media & Branding
  • Master of Science in Recreation and Sports Administration
  • Master of Arts in History
  • Master of Science in Communication Disorders
  • Master of Science in Recreation and Sport Administration
  • Master of Science in Recreation and
Eastern Kentucky University Richmond, Kentucky Four or more years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE 60% STUDENT POPULATION 16,111 SCHOOL
TYPE
Public
BACHELOR'S DEGREES
  • Bachelor's in Psychology - Forensic Psychology
  • Bachelor's of Science Degree in Corrections & Juvenile Justice Studies
  • Homeland Security (B.S.)
  • Paralegal Science (B.A.) Degree
  • Fire Protection and Safety Engineering Technology Bachelor's Degree
  • RN to BSN
  • Bachelor of Science in Fire, Arson and Explosion Investigations
  • Fire Protection Administration Bachelor's Degree Program
  • Bachelor's in Psychology - Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Bachelor's in Psychology - Brain and Cognitive Sciences
  • Bachelor's in Psychology - Child and Family Psychology
  • Bachelor's in Psychology - Substance Abuse
  • Bachelor's in Psychology - Workplace Psychology
  • Bachelor's Degree in General Studies
  • Bachelor's Degree in Occupational Safety
  • Bachelor's in Police Studies?
MASTERS DEGREES
  • Master's Degree in Adult, Juvenile & Community Corrections Leadership
  • master's degree in construction management?
  • Master's Degree with Concentration in Homeland Security (M.S.)
  • Master of Arts in Education
  • Master of Science in Nursing - Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Master of Science in Nursing - Rural Health Family Nurse Practitioner (MSN)
  • Master of Science in Nursing -Nursing Administration
  • master's degree in public administration
  • Master's Degree with Concentration in Emergency Management (M.S.)
  • Masters in Safety, Security and Emergency Management
DOCTORATE DEGREES
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice (Post-MSN DNP)
  • Doctorate in Occupational Therapy
Bluegrass Community and Technical College Lexington, Kentucky 2+ years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE NR STUDENT POPULATION 12,365 SCHOOL
TYPE
Public
ASSOCIATE DEGREES
  • Associate of Science
  • Associates in Arts
Morehead State University Morehead, Kentucky Four or more years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE 84% STUDENT POPULATION 11,358 SCHOOL
TYPE
Public
ASSOCIATE DEGREES
  • Associate of Applied Science
  • Associate of University Studies
BACHELOR'S DEGREES
  • Bachelor of Business Administration (Bba)
  • Bachelor of Business Administration (Bba) - General Business
  • Bachelor of Business Administration (Bba) - Small Business And Entrepreneurship Track
  • Bachelor of Science in Imaging Sciences - Leadership in Medical Imaging
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing - Post Licensure
  • Bachelor of Science in Technology Management
  • Bachelors of University Studies
MASTERS DEGREES
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Science in Management Information Systems
  • Master of Arts in Adult And Higher Education
  • Master of Arts in Educational Technology
  • Master of Arts in Teaching (Mat) - Middle Grades And Secondary Education
  • Masters of Arts in English
  • Master of Arts in Social Science
  • Master of Arts in Wellness Promotion
Murray State University Murray, Kentucky Four or more years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE 82% STUDENT POPULATION 10,943 SCHOOL
TYPE
Public
BACHELOR'S DEGREES
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Logistics And Supply Chain Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems
  • Bachelor of Science Degree (Rn To Bsn)
  • Bachelor of Science in Telecommunications Systems Management
  • Bachelor of Integrated Studies
MASTERS DEGREES
  • Master in Business Administration (MBA)
  • Master of Science in Human Development And Leadership (Hdl)
  • Master of Science in Library Media Education
  • Master of Arts in Teaching English To Speakers of Other Languages
  • Master of Science in Information Systems (Msis)
  • Masters of Science in Occupational Safety And Health - Emphasis in Safety Management
  • Master of Public Administration (Mpa)
  • Master of Science in Telecommunications Systems Management (Tsm)
Somerset Community College Somerset, Kentucky 2+ years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE NR STUDENT POPULATION 7,504 SCHOOL
TYPE
Public
ASSOCIATE DEGREES
  • Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Administration Systems - Accounting Track
  • Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Administration Systems - Finance Track
  • Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Administration Systems - Hospitality Management Track
  • Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Administration Systems - Human Resource Management Track
  • Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Administration Systems - Informatics Track
  • Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Administration Systems - Management Track
  • Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Administration Systems - Office Systems Track
  • Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Administration Systems - Real Estate Management Track
  • Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Administration Systems - Telecommunication Systems Management Track
  • Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Administration Systems - Turf Grass/Landscaping Management Trac
West Kentucky Community and Technical College Paducah, Kentucky 2+ years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE NR STUDENT POPULATION 7,104 SCHOOL
TYPE
Public
ASSOCIATE DEGREES
  • Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Administration Systems - Accounting Track
  • Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Administration Systems - Human Resource Management Track
  • Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Administration Systems - Management Track
  • Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Administration Systems - Office Systems Track
  • Associate of Applied Science Degree in Computer & Information Technologies - Applications Track - Business Software Specialist
  • Associate of Applied Science Degree in Logistics & Operations Management - General Track
  • Associate of Applied Science Degree in Marine Technology - Marine Logistics Operations Track
  • Associate of Applied Science Degree in Marine Technology - Wheelhouse Management Track
  • Associate of Applied Science Degree in Criminal Justice - Criminal Justice Track
  • Associate of Applied Science Degree in Criminal Justice - Law Enforcement Track
  • Associate of Applied Science Degree in Criminal
Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College Cumberland, Kentucky 2+ years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE NR STUDENT POPULATION 5,221 SCHOOL
TYPE
Public
ASSOCIATE DEGREES
  • Associate of Applied Science in Business Administration Systems - Accounting
  • Associate of Applied Science in Business Administration Systems - Finance Track
  • Associate of Applied Science in Business Administration Systems - Hospitality Management Track
  • Associate of Applied Science in Business Administration Systems - Human Resource Management Track
  • Associate of Applied Science in Business Administration Systems - Informatics
  • Associate of Applied Science in Business Administration Systems - Management
  • Associate of Applied Science in Business Administration Systems - Office Systems
  • Associate of Applied Science in Business Administration Systems - Real Estate Management
  • Associate of Applied Science in Business Administration Systems - Telecommunication Systems Management
  • Associate of Applied Science in Business Administration Systems - Turf Grass/Landscaping Management
  • Associate of Applied Science in Logistics & Operations Management - General
  • Associate of Applied Scien
BACHELOR'S DEGREES
  • Associate in Arts, Associate in Science Or Associate in Applied Science To Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Leadership
  • Associate of Applied Science in General Occupational/Technical Studies (Gots) To Bachelor of Science in Workforce Leadership
  • Associate of Arts To Bachelor of Science in Business/Business Administration
  • Associate in Applied Science in Criminal Justice To Bachelor of Science in Justice Administration
  • Aas in Information Technology To Bs in Telecommunications Systems Management
  • Associate of Applied Science in Information Technology To Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Technology
  • Aa Or As in Science To Ba in Psychology
  • Aa Or As To Ba Or Bs in Public Administration
  • Associate of Arts To Bachelor of Arts in Communication
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Insiders’ View of Kentucky Online Colleges

What are the defining traits and shared characteristics that make the top online schools unique? How do such colleges provide outstanding service for students? Administrators from Campbellsville University and Morehead State weigh in on the strengths of their online programs.

Online Departments in Kentucky

Campbellsville University

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

CU Online learning is meant to be convenient and flexible but still maintain the academic rigor one would expect with the Campbellsville University name. We offer our programs at one of the most competitive prices possible.

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

CU Online meshes over 100 years of education experience with all the modern technologies students come to expect. Campbellsville employs the largest open source learning management system in the world, Moodle. CU is unique in that it offers all the academic programs firmly rooted in the Christian experience. Faculty not only try to teach disciplines but they also attempt to help build well rounded students for future success.

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

CU Online education is on the verge of exponential growth and now is the perfect time to join the program. With more and more programs going fully online ranging from certificates to graduate degrees, CU Online looks to become the regional leader in providing, Christian, non-profit and regionally accredited education.

Morehead State University

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

Morehead State University offers quality educational programs in an online format utilizing state-of-the art instructional tools and instructional techniques. Faculty at Morehead State University are trained in the development and delivery of online instruction and benefit from a well-staffed online course support team. Faculty content experts partner with instructional designers and instructional technologists to develop and deliver top-notch online programs.

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

Morehead State University provides online students with a quality education at an affordable cost. Student to teacher ratios are low and students benefit from the active involvement of both faculty and classmates in online courses. Online programs at Morehead State University enable busy professionals and place bound individuals the opportunity to participate in a quality educational program that otherwise might not be available to them.

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

On an ongoing basis, Morehead State University seeks to understand the unique needs of online students. Morehead State University is reviewing program offerings to make sure they meet the needs of online students and is exploring alternative instructional methods, venues and delivery formats in order to meet the needs not only of today’s students, but the needs of tomorrow’s students as well.

Overview of Kentucky Colleges Online

There was a time when online colleges were mainly private and for-profit, but those days are gone, and the majority of Kentucky colleges feature at least some online courses. Numerous fully online degree programs extend the academic experience to students who might not be able to attend classes otherwise. Kentucky online colleges offer a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as certificates and continuing education opportunities. For online students, the curriculum is typically the same, but self-paced and accelerated online degree programs are also available.

From small colleges nestled in the Appalachian mountains to major universities in the sprawling metro areas, more than 384,000 students were served by Kentucky’s 114 colleges, universities and career schools in 2013, making the state 24th in the nation for the number of colleges and 25th for the number of students enrolled. One way to capture the vibrancy of Kentucky higher education is to examine the college experience in Louisville, along with the city’s distance learning options.

Spotlight on Louisville Colleges

Kentucky’s most populous city maintains a befitting collection of higher education facilities, with five four-year universities, one community college, two theological seminaries, and a handful of technical and business schools. The best-known entity is probably the University of Louisville, a state-supported research university whose Health Sciences Center has received numerous accolades for its work with artificial hearts, hand transplants and failing eyesight treatments. Its faculty contributes to research on crucial subjects like sickle-cell anemia, AIDS, cancer and spinal-cord paralysis.

Jefferson Community and Technical College is the largest of Kentucky’s 16 community colleges and second largest college in the region. With about 15,000 students across six campuses, Jefferson offers more than 70 two-year programs that lead to over 300 associate degree, diploma and certificate options. The popular Workforce Solutions program organizes collaborative projects with businesses and industries to promote customized education and professional development.

Distance Learning Options in Louisville

The University of Louisville offers several programs for those interested in earning their degree online, including both bachelor’s and master’s degrees. These off-campus programs maintain the same integrity as the on-campus experience. Online students can choose from a range of academic fields, such as communication, computer science, data mining, engineering, human resources, leadership, nursing and social work. Alternatively, learners might prefer the online options from Jefferson Community and Technical College, which hosts hundreds of online classes for students in Louisville and all across the state of Kentucky.

College Costs for Kentucky Students

Students choosing to attend college anywhere might be prepared for the sticker shock that comes with higher education today. Tuition at colleges and universities in Kentucky cost an average of $12,000 for in-state residents in 2012, with higher rates for those who were living out of state at the time of enrollment. When compared to other states, Kentucky ranks 27th in the nation for resident tuition affordability.

There are usually fees associated with the college experience, and unfortunately, many students forget to include these in their financial assessments when choosing their educational path. Kentucky colleges averaged $1,200 in fees per student per year in 2012, bringing the average cost of college – tuition plus fees – to $13,273 per year.

Now that tuition and fees are established, what about other college expenses? Things like room and board, and other living expenses, such as school supplies and the like, should also be taken into account. It helps to attend a college where living costs are manageable. Kentucky has a favorable cost of living (COL) calculated at 10 percent below the national average. The following table takes a look at the COL for metropolitan areas in Kentucky, including how they compare to the national average (100%):

Urban Area Composite Index Housing Groceries Utilities Transportation Health Care Misc.
Paducah -12.7% -24.2% -5.2% -3.5% -13.4% -9.7% -8.7%
Louisville -12.3% -21.3% -18.4% -0.9% -3.1% -12.8% -8.1%
Covington -12.2% -23.2% -14.0% 0.2% -0.1% -9.4% -9.7%
Bowling Green -9.3% -21.8% -6.7% 4.3% -3.3% -4.2% -6.0%
Lexington -7.2% -11.3% -13.1% -6.1% -2.4% -6.3% -2.9%

Accreditation Standards in Kentucky

One of the most important considerations for a college student in Kentucky is accreditation. In order to earn accreditation, a college must prove that it meets certain quality standards of education, as set by a regional or national agency. This helps ensure that students are receiving a top-notch education, no matter where they earn their degree. Whether it’s for a certificate or a degree, students should choose among two- and four-year colleges in Kentucky that are fully accredited.

Accreditation matters for students who want to receive financial assistance as federal funds are only released to schools that have current accreditation. In addition, most colleges only accept transfer credits from accredited schools, and some employers rarely consider applicants who graduate from programs that are not accredited. These are all excellent reasons to verify that the chosen school holds accreditation in good standing. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges is the primary regional accrediting body for educational institutions in Kentucky.

Resources for Online Students in Kentucky

Armed with laptops, tablets, smartphones and an Internet connection, online students have access to a wealth of information to further their education and professional development. The following websites can answer questions about college accreditation, veteran’s educational benefits and in-state financial aid programs. The state’s digital library includes college and university repositories, while the virtual library link below leads to a variety of student resources.

Major Kentucky Educational Resources: