Massachusetts Online Colleges & Universities – Top Online Schools for 2014

AC Online: Ranking the Most Affordable Online Colleges in Massachusetts

Massachusetts is home to the oldest institution of higher learning in the nation, but it’s also home to some of the newest formats of education. For instance, Massachusetts has a plethora of fully online four-year degree programs to serve all students. These online schools in Massachusetts are accredited and boast esteemed faculty, exceptional curriculum, and even tuition assistance. Even more impressive is that many of these online colleges in Massachusetts also grant degrees and certifications that are indistinguishable from those earned from on-campus programs. We’ve done the research for you and compiled a list of the very best online degree programs in Massachusetts, organized based on tuition costs. Starting with the lowest tuition price, we think this will benefit anyone looking for an outstanding Massachusetts online college.

Click here to see our methodology.

Salem State University

352 Lafayette St, Salem, Massachusetts 1970

Salem State University provides those students who are working toward a degree the option to take both undergraduate and graduate level courses as part of their online college opportunities. The university boasts offering and conduct their online college courses on a schedule that runs simultaneously with in-classroom courses for continuity and convenience.

Bridgewater State University - Online

Bridgewater State University

131 Summer Street, Bridgewater, Massachusetts 2325

Bridgewater State University’s online course selection gives students added flexibility to earn course credit while taking classes from a distance. An online college in Massachusetts, Bridgewater State University continually adds course listings to its online selection to help students working toward an online degree. The cost for online courses runs the same as it would for a student taking an on-campus course.


Framingham State University

100 State Street, Framingham, Massachusetts 01701-9101

Online course offerings at Framingham State University consist of scheduled classes in over 18 degree concentrations. All online college degrees achieved through Framingham State University are accredited and follow the same fee schedule as those courses offer in a classroom setting. Bachelor’s, master’s and graduate certificates comprise the structure of online degrees offered.


Worcester State University

486 Chandler St, Worcester, Massachusetts 01602-2597

Students can use the Worcester State University online course program for working through their undergraduate coursework. Credit earned via the online program does count towards a bachelor’s degree. Course types vary in discipline from history to communications to sciences to business and are offered at various times of the day for convenience.


Westfield State University

577 Western Ave, Westfield, Massachusetts 01086-1630

Referred to as simply PLATO, Westfield State University’s online learning system offers a deeply diverse array of courses for students to take as part of their undergraduate degree work. The bachelor’s degree options available through this online college option in Massachusetts range from business and criminal justice to sociology and liberal arts. A number of online minor options are also offered.


Fitchburg State University

160 Pearl St, Fitchburg, Massachusetts 01420-2697

An option for online colleges in Massachusetts, Fitchburg State University conducts online courses that lead to select bachelor’s or master’s degrees, in addition to a number of certifications. An online student resource center is available to those taking courses which allows for access to Blackboard for coursework and even to academic advisors via instant messaging.


University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth

285 Old Westport Rd, North Dartmouth, Massachusetts 02747-2300

The University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth is part of the UMass network of colleges that offer online coursework opportunities. The university offers individuals direct access to a myriad of online college degree programs that are available through UMassOnline, creating a path toward one of their offered bachelor’s or master’s online degrees.


University of Massachusetts-Lowell

1 University Ave, Lowell, Massachusetts 01854-5104

The University of Massachusetts – Lowell connects students to over 100 degree and certificate programs that are available via the UMassOnline distance learning program. Students can use this flexible college learning option to enroll in and take courses toward an accredited online bachelor’s or master’s degree that is offered by the university.


University of Massachusetts-Boston

100 Morrissey Boulevard, Boston, Massachusetts 02125-3393

The College of Advancing and Professional Studies (CAPS) at University of Massachusetts Boston uses the Blackboard Learn platform for distance learning, offering students access to more than 600 online courses per year. Credits earned may go toward certificates and degree programs offered through various disciplines at UMass Boston. Instructional technologies such as online message boards and podcasts are used in the digital classrooms.


University of Massachusetts Amherst

374 Whitmore Building, Amherst, Massachusetts 1003

The University of Massachusetts Amherst offers online courses through the UMassOnline platform. Students who are interested in pursuing a degree online can choose from both undergraduate and graduate level degree programs, such as the master’s in business administration or bachelor’s in political science. All online degree programs are accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

Approach to Online Learning

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

Through Continuing & Professional Education, the University envisions online degree programs as another effective avenue to better meet students’ needs and expectations.

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

The courses in these online degree programs mirror the ones presented to the campus’ residential students with many of the same faculty. Quality is high.

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

Online degree programs are expected to grow in order to meet a broader range of students and their educational needs – both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. More online certificate programs (five courses of complementing topics) will be more prevalent and focused to address specific career needs.


Boston Architectural College

320 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02115-2703

Boston Architectural College offers those students interested in seeking out and attaining a degree in the areas of architectural and design studies with the option of taking coursework in the specialized field online. The school boasts over 100 available courses and the use of VoiceThread technology to connect students and instructors.


Fisher College

118 Beacon Street, Boston, Massachusetts 2116

Fisher College conducts distance learning through its online learning program. Fast-paced in nature, the college offers coursework within six 8-week terms, allowing convenience and expediency in achieving an online degree. Work done within the online degree programs does involve learning and interaction via the Blackboard program.

Approach to Online Learning

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

Fisher College approaches online learning as a student-centered environment that makes it convenient to obtain a degree. The College strives to provide distance education students with the same individualized attention and superior support services as their counterparts on campus.

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

Students at Fisher College are able to complete degree programs and reach their professional goals without compromising a quality education, and while simultaneously fitting coursework into their busy lives. Our courses are taught by highly educated faculty members who are experts in their given field, have a true desire to help students succeed, and are dedicated to the ongoing success of online learning.

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

Our online programs will continue to provide students with relevant, quality degree options in both the undergraduate and graduate level. We will continue to see technology aid in the development of student learning, and the College will adapt with the changes in technology to ensure our students are well prepared upon graduation.


Wentworth Institute of Technology

550 Huntington Ave, Boston, Massachusetts 2115

Wentworth Institute of Technology offers students the option of pursing a college degree online in the following areas: project management at the bachelor’s level and construction management at the master’s level. Coursework includes both theory based topic matter as well as applied knowledge within its curriculum.


Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

179 Longwood Ave, Boston, Massachusetts 02115-5896

This online college in Massachusetts offers potential distance learners access to coursework related to a degree and career in the healthcare industry. Referred to as MCPHS Online, the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences features available online courses in programs like dental hygiene, nursing, healthcare administration and healthcare policy.


Endicott College

376 Hale Street, Beverly, Massachusetts 1915

Online coursework through Endicott College is offered and conducted throughout the course of the school year through the Endicott College’s Van Loan School of Graduate and Professional Studies. Working through the GullNet platform, students enrolled in one of the school’s online college courses may work to interact and connect with fellow classmates and instructors alike.


Bay Path College

588 Longmeadow Street, Longmeadow, Massachusetts 1106

Bay Path College offers an online degree path for women interested in seeking out their higher education in a distance learning arrangement. Students utilize the Canvas program to assist them with their coursework during their studies within the online program. Unique to the college is their Online Degree Completion Program, the first specifically tailored to and geared towards women.


Lasell College

1844 Commonwealth Avenue, Newton, Massachusetts 2466

Online students seeking their degree can find a broad spectrum of course and program offerings via the Lasell College online education option. The online coursework offered features highly specialized classes in topic and program areas such as sport leadership, non-profit management and integrated marketing communication. Online degree plans include master of science in communication, management or sport management.


American International College

1000 State Street, Springfield, Massachusetts 1109

Students taking courses through the American International College’s online program will have the experience of conducting class through the Blackboard program and platform. The college offers different courses online to students studying from a distance, including those related to their Master of Science degree in nursing.


Anna Maria College

50 Sunset Lane, Paxton, Massachusetts 01612-1198

Anna Maria College offers individuals an online college choice in Massachusetts that provides access to a bevy of both undergraduate and graduate degree options. Online programs feature unique degree choices such as their bachelor’s of fire science and of EMS administration that proceed alongside more classical degrees such as the college’s master’s of public administration.

Approach to Online Learning

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

We stay true to our mission regarding the addition of new academic programs and our attention to students. Class sizes remain small so that students can receive the support they need to be successful. In addition, faculty are prepared to work in on online setting so that the students' experiences are positive and they benefit from the virtual learning environment.

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

Our programs are designed to help students advance in or change their careers. The courses include current trends in the respective disciplines, as well as content that will be valuable to students in their careers. Faculty are also experts in their fields of study bringing real world experiences to the virtual classroom.

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

Anna Maria will remain on the cutting edge of online education by continuing to pursue opportunities to provide quality academic programs that meet the needs of current and prospective students. Emerging technologies and educational practices within the field of virtual education will continually be explored and new programs that will prepare students to meet the challenges of the future marketplace will be added as needed.


Laboure College

2120 Dorchester Ave, Boston, Massachusetts 02124-5698

Laboure College, an online college in Massachusetts, offers those interested in pursuing a degree in the nursing field with an almost entirely online option to help them further their studies. Coursework that is done under the bachelor of science in nursing program is done 80% online and is accredited by The Commission on Collegiate Nursing.


Suffolk University

8 Ashburton Place, Boston, Massachusetts 02108-2770

Suffolk University provides both those seeking out undergraduate and graduate course listings online with access to classes that can be taken throughout the year, including both summer and winter break timeframes. Classes offered focus on liberal arts and business courses. The university’s master’s in business administration is also offered as a degree option via online class work.


Wheelock College

200 the Riverway, Boston, Massachusetts 02215-4176

Wheelock College offers students who are looking for an online course study arrangement resources to meet that goal. Those online distance learners are able to use study resources like those of their on-campus contemporaries, such as access to the Wheelock College library network and reference materials for completing related coursework.


Lesley University

29 Everett St, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138-2790

Lesley University offers online bachelor’s degree options in business management and psychology, as well as an extensive array of master’s degree choices for graduate coursework. Lesley University’s online information system allows prospective online learners to navigate through available course offerings which are set on an eight-week course schedule as opposed to a full spring/fall semester based schedule.


Western New England University

1215 Wilbraham Rd, Springfield, Massachusetts 01119-2684

Western New England University gives potential students access to online college courses. Courses work towards a bachelor’s degree in business administration and can be completed by those individuals already maintaining an associate’s degree or coursework towards a bachelor’s degree that totals up to 60 hours. Students in the university’s online program also gain access to the school’s D’Amour Library as an added resource.


Regis College

235 Wellesley St, Weston, Massachusetts 02493-1571

Regis College offers two major online programs for students seeking an online degree. Programs cover the following disciplines: professional studies and health professions. This online college in Massachusetts offers a large variety of degree options on both a bachelor’s and master’s level of study ranging from liberal arts to business to various health sciences.


Emmanuel College

400 The Fenway, Boston, Massachusetts 2115

Emmanuel College on-campus and online degree programs at the graduate level. Programs such as Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Science in Nursing, and Master of Science in Human Resource Management, among others, rounds out the highly rated Education, Management and Nursing programs online from Emmanuel College.


Simmons College

300 The Fenway, Boston, Massachusetts 02115-5898

The Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences gives distance learners access to higher education programs that focus on graduate and post-graduate coursework. Online course offerings are coupled with online support services and access to the college’s advisory staff and bookstore - all combining to help students seeking online degrees in these health- and medical-related topic areas.

Approach to Online Learning

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

  • Online is the same rigor as on-the-ground - as it is the same curriculum and taught by the same faculty
  • We lead with pedagogy and use technology to enable the desired student outcomes
  • We have tremendous student and faculty support and require all to have taken training before teaching online
  • Our Nursing Faculty have been teaching and innovating online for years

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

  • Our Nursing Faculty have been teaching and innovating online for years
  • Student to faculty ratios are 1 to 14 on average
  • We design with both synchronous and asynchronous sessions - enabling both faculty to student interaction and peer to peer interaction

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

  • Growing
  • Having impact and reach nationally and internationally
  • Changing the dynamics of the shortage of nurses
  • Bringing change and opportunity through education to people and communities that might otherwise not have had access


Berklee College of Music

1140 Boylston St, Boston, Massachusetts 2215

Berklee College of Music offers an online branch of its formal program, called Berklee Online, which works to extend the reach of music degree programs beyond its in-classroom offerings. The college offers bachelor’s degrees in two areas of study: music production and music business. Students proceed through online courses that include constant interaction with their respective instructors.


Harvard University

Massachusetts Hall, Cambridge, Massachusetts 2138

Through the Harvard Extension School, Harvard University offers students access to college courses and program concentrations via an online platform. Students may take up to three online courses in their degree program of choice before submitting their formal commitment and application to that school of study. Certifications are also available through the Harvard University online program and do not require a formal application.


Northeastern University

360 Huntington Ave, Boston, Massachusetts 02115-5005

With over 60 programs available to students, Northeastern University is an online college in Massachusetts that offers a large array of degree and course options to distance learners. The university not only offers degree work on the associate and bachelor’s levels, but also provides options for completing master’s and doctorate program courses.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

100 Institute Road, Worcester, Massachusetts 01609-2280

Technical in name and in the online course options and resources offered, the Worcester Polytechnic Institute provides students who seek to complete coursework online in technical areas with class offerings on topics such as robotics engineering, mechanical engineering and system dynamics. The institute also exposes students to advanced technologies within its online classroom experience.


Boston University

One Silber Way, Boston, Massachusetts 2215

Online learning at Boston University takes traditional in-classroom learning and translates it into an interactive distance learning experience. Program facets include online dialogue with classmates and instructors, access to class materials 24/7 and personal discussion space during each course. Programs are available on both the undergraduate and graduate levels of study and for certification in specific course areas.


College of the Holy Cross

One College Street, Worcester, Massachusetts 01610-2395

Providing potential students with an online college option in Massachusetts, Our Lady of Holy Cross College offers distance learning opportunities for students who are seeking to achieve their degree online. Coursework done within the school’s online learning platform is conducted and completed using the Blackboard program.

Finding an Affordable Higher Education in Massachusetts

Massachusetts might not be the largest state in the country, but they have a long and interesting history that dates back to before the Revolution. The city of Boston, the countryside, and the people make the state a special place to be, and the residents are very proud of the wonderful educational system they have. 89% of the residents of the state have a high school diploma or higher and 38.2% of the residents has at least a bachelor’s degree. 16.4% of the residents have an advanced degree, which is one of the highest percentages anywhere in the country. People in the state understand the importance of having a great educational system. Many students today are getting their schooling through affordable online colleges in Massachusetts.

Pursuing a Degree in Massachusetts

The state has a reputation for having a great system for postsecondary education, and even though it might not be a large state, they do have quite a few schools. Students will find 32 two-year or more schools, and 100 four-year or more schools in Massachusetts. Of course, many students today find that they do not want or need to go through the traditional route of schooling. Instead, they are looking for affordable online colleges in Massachusetts that will be able to provide them with the same great education that they need. With the ease that students are going to be able to connect with classes and learn over the web, it makes quite a bit of sense for those who are in need of a degree. When you choose online classes, it is possible to earn an associate’s degree, a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, and even a doctorate.

Benefits of Choosing Online Classes in Massachusetts

More and more students are looking for the affordable online colleges in Massachusetts for their learning needs, and you will find quite a few benefits when you start doing the same. By going to school online, you are going to experience more convenience for starters. Instead of trying to get to each of your classes on time while you are juggling a job and home life, you can control when you take your lessons since you are doing everything online. You can take the courses when you have the time. When you study at an online school, you are not going to be giving up any options either. You will still find that you can get your degree in a wide range of different subjects such as business, early childhood education, criminal justice, and art.

Saving Money with Online Education

Fear of paying for a school is another one of the reasons that so many people worry about going to traditional schools. The cost can be outrageous. The average cost of a two-year school in the state is going to be $5,118, while a four-year public school is going to be $10,619. Private schools are going to be far more expensive, and these numbers do not include the room and board. When you look at affordable online schools in Massachusetts, you will find that they are generally going to be quite a bit friendlier to your budget, and you will not have to go deep into debt for an education.

You know that you need to have a degree, and you deserve to get a higher education so that you can better your position in life with a job that you really want to do. It is possible to find affordable options for schooling, and you have the convenience of doing it all right online, so there is no excuse to keep waiting. Make sure that you find a school that has accreditation and a great reputation

Previous Rankings
AC Online: Ranking the Highest ROI Colleges in Massachusetts
AC Online: Ranking the Highest ROI Colleges in Massachusetts

A college education is often regarded as an investment. Not all investment choices bear fruit, so being prepared is crucial in getting the most out of your college education. To help students make wise financial decisions, we’ve highlighted the top colleges in Massachusetts with low net costs (tuition + fees), and whose graduates enjoy the highest lifetime earnings when compared to non-degree holders. Our statistics came from the National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Post-Secondary Education Data System, and the Carnegie Foundation. See which colleges made our exclusive list:

Click here to see our methodology.
Massachusetts Colleges Analyzed: 201
Massachusetts Colleges Ranked: 51
# College Name City ROI Tuition Type Photo
1 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Cambridge $1,606,000 $42,050 Private not-for-profit
2 Harvard University Cambridge $1,334,000 $39,966 Private not-for-profit
3 Massachusetts Maritime Academy Buzzards Bay $1,316,000 $7,202 Public (In-State)
4 Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) Worcester $1,316,000 $41,380 Private not-for-profit
5 Williams College Williamstown $1,254,000 $44,920 Private not-for-profit
6 Babson College Wellesley $1,228,000 $41,888 Private not-for-profit
7 University of Massachusetts Lowell Lowell $1,094,000 $11,847 Public (In-State) University of Massachusetts Lowell
8 Tufts University Medford $1,045,000 $44,666 Private not-for-profit
9 Amherst College Amherst $1,024,000 $44,610 Private not-for-profit
10 Wentworth Institute of Technology Boston $958,800 $27,108 Private not-for-profit
11 Bentley University Waltham $919,800 $39,628 Private not-for-profit
12 Brandeis University Waltham $866,500 $44,294 Private not-for-profit
13 Boston College Chestnut Hill $844,600 $43,878 Private not-for-profit
14 College of the Holy Cross Worcester $840,900 $43,400 Private not-for-profit
15 Boston University Boston $799,000 $42,994 Private not-for-profit
16 Merrimack College North Andover $781,600 $33,920 Private not-for-profit
17 Northeastern University Boston $771,600 $40,086 Private not-for-profit
18 Western New England University Springfield $721,200 $31,912 Private not-for-profit Western New England University
19 University of Massachusetts (UMass) - Amherst Campus Amherst $701,500 $13,415 Public (In-State)
20 University of Massachusetts (UMass) - Dartmouth Campus North Dartmouth $698,400 $11,681 Public (In-State)
21 Stonehill College Easton $637,800 $35,110 Private not-for-profit
22 Nichols College Dudley $612,000 $31,700 Private not-for-profit
23 Clark University - Worcester, MA Worcester $570,000 $38,450 Private not-for-profit
24 Smith College Northampton $541,400 $41,460 Private not-for-profit
25 Anna Maria College Paxton $534,000 $30,676 Private not-for-profit
26 Simmons College Boston $510,900 $34,350 Private not-for-profit
27 Assumption College - Worcester, MA Worcester $504,600 $33,805 Private not-for-profit
28 Fitchburg State College Fitchburg $503,600 $8,710 Public (In-State)
29 Wheaton College - Norton, MA Norton $492,300 $44,780 Private not-for-profit Wheaton College Norton MA
30 Framingham State University Framingham $484,300 $8,080 Public (In-State)
31 Suffolk University Boston $456,400 $30,792 Private not-for-profit
32 Emerson College Boston $451,700 $34,198 Private not-for-profit
33 Endicott College Beverly $446,900 $28,166 Private not-for-profit
34 Worcester State University Worcester $443,600 $8,157 Public (In-State)
35 Bridgewater State College Bridgewater $428,000 $8,053 Public (In-State)
36 Massachusetts College of Art and Design Boston $412,200 $10,400 Public (In-State)
37 Curry College Milton $378,900 $33,465 Private not-for-profit
38 Salem State University Salem $363,500 $8,050 Public (In-State)
39 Wellesley College Wellesley $348,100 $42,082 Private not-for-profit
40 Westfield State University Westfield $329,400 $8,297 Public (In-State)
41 Emmanuel College - Boston, MA Boston $300,300 $33,650 Private not-for-profit
42 Gordon College - Wenham, MA Wenham $287,300 $32,100 Private not-for-profit
43 Mount Holyoke College South Hadley $275,000 $41,456 Private not-for-profit
44 Berklee College of Music Boston $262,700 $36,490 Private not-for-profit
45 Lesley University Cambridge $243,200 $31,575 Private not-for-profit
46 College of Our Lady of the Elms Chicopee $194,000 $29,112 Private not-for-profit
47 Regis College - Weston, MA Weston $185,400 $33,060 Private not-for-profit
48 Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) North Adams $87,920 $8,525 Public (In-State)
49 Mount Ida College Newton $86,930 $26,909 Private not-for-profit
50 Bay Path College Longmeadow $66,610 $28,532 Private not-for-profit
51 Wheelock College Boston $43,060 $30,955 Private not-for-profit