Pennsylvania Online Colleges & Universities – Top Online Schools for 2014

AC Online: Ranking the Most Affordable Online Colleges in Pennsylvania

Education has been paramount in Pennsylvania since the days of the founding fathers, and it’s no surprise that the state has so many offerings when it comes to new online distance learning degrees. Because these degrees and certifications often mirror those granted on campus, expect equivalent admissions requirements, identical curriculum, and even the same professors. The number of four-year fully accredited, completely online degree programs in Pennsylvania is astounding. To compare possibilities, we’ve collected all of the top-ranking online schools in Pennsylvania and listed them for you. Browse these online degree programs to find your best match in on of Pennsylvania’s online colleges.

Click here to see our methodology.

Lock Haven University

401 North Fairview Street, Lock Haven, Pennsylvania 17745-2390

Lock Haven University offers master's degree programs as well as general education courses and high school programs. The University's Center for Legal Studies also provides non-credit certificates for paralegals and legal secretaries. Classes use the Desire2Learn learning management system, eCourse and eCompanion for class material, Mediasite for web casting, Wimba for video conferences as well as podcasts and instant messaging, Bridgit for conferencing, as well as other services.


Edinboro University of Pennsylvania

219 Meadville Street, Edinboro, Pennsylvania 16444-0001

The Edinboro University of Pennsylvania offers graduate-level degree programs and certificates online with the Desire2Learn online campus. Edinboro has offered online college degrees since 2001 and, in 2013, The U.S. News and World Reports ranked Edinboro's online college program as 32nd in the nation for best online graduate education programs.


Millersville University of Pennsylvania

1 South George Street, Lyle Hall, Millersville, Pennsylvania 17551-0302

Millersville University's College of Graduate and Professional Studies has individual courses and workshops as well as degree and certificate programs online. Students can access class material 24/7. In order to be eligible to register for an online college course, students must first be admitted to the University as a degree-seeking student, a visiting student, or a student who has matriculated elsewhere and is just interested in individual coursework.

Approach to Online Learning

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

Every online course at Millersville University is taught by a distinguished Millersville instructor and reflects our tradition of a broad-based and responsive education curriculum. Requirements for successful completion of any online course are similar to other college courses that might be taken.

The Millersville University's online "campus" is very much like a traditional university environment. There is a library, a bookstore and all the administrative offices of the University - admissions, advising, registration, bursar, financial aid, etc. - are present online. Instructors are available for private consultation by telephone during regular office hours (posted on line) as well as by e-mail. Our approach is to provide a comprehensive learning environment.

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

Participating in an online course is intellectually challenging and personally rewarding. Each time students attend class (at their convenience, by Internet connection through their home or office computer) they will find a discussion in progress. The instructor provides lectures and offers resources, asks and answers questions, gives assignments, assesses student progress and gives feedback, in class and privately, in the electronic classroom. Fellow students discuss topics by posting comments, questions and observations. Student responses and contributions become part of the ongoing interaction. Each session is recorded and archived. Distance learning at Millersville University is a proud part of an academic institution that is committed to providing learning opportunities for those who--by choice or by circumstance -- are looking for alternate ways to fulfill their academic and professional development goals.

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

Through its distance learning and off-campus programs, Millersville University offers degrees, certificates and individual courses to its students - in southeastern Pennsylvania, across the Commonwealth, and around the world. Millersville University continually strives to prepare students for success in the 21st century, a time when lifelong learning is essential and coping with change is a necessity. The future has no boundaries - so why should education? We are committed to expanding and refining our distance-learning program to meet the needs of our students--now and in the future.


West Chester University of Pennsylvania

University Avenue and High Street, West Chester, Pennsylvania 19383

West Chester University offers graduate and doctorate degrees in business, education, and nursing as well as graduate-level certificates online. West Chester University of Pennsylvania is accredited by the Middle States Association and is approved by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Board of Governors. Degrees obtained with the online college are identical to those obtained through an in-person program.


Indiana University of Pennsylvania-Main Campus

1011 South Dr 201 Sutton Hall, Indiana, Pennsylvania 15705-1098

Indiana University of Pennsylvania's distance learning program includes undergraduate and graduate programs as well as individual online college classes. Part-time and full-time students are welcome, as are students taking credits to transfer to another institution or those who are just interested in taking an individual class. Students can access course material 24/7.


Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania

1 Morrow Way, Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania 16057-1383

Slippery Rock University provides graduate-level programs for online college students. Though students are allowed to being their program at any time, others have specific start dates. Students have 24/7 access to course materials through the University's Desire2Learn online learning system. Distance learning students are also able to access the school's library virtually.


Mansfield University of Pennsylvania

Academy Street, Mansfield, Pennsylvania 16933

Mansfield University has online credit courses for college and high school, an associate decree, bachelor's degrees, and master's degrees online. Some master's degree courses are hybrids, meaning some face-to-face time may be required. The University also runs six-week, non-credit programs through ed2go. Students can register for undergraduate, online college courses without first being admitted as a student.


Clarion University of Pennsylvania

840 Wood St, Clarion, Pennsylvania 16214

Clarion University's Virtual Campus includes associate, bachelor, and graduate degrees as well as certificate programs. Online college classes are taught with the Desire2Learn platform. Students have virtual access to the University's library, career services, writing center, tutoring services, and orientation. A scholarship is available specifically to Clarion University Virtual Campus students enrolled in the bachelor of science in liberal studies program.


Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania

1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, Pennsylvania 17257-2299

Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania's Office of Continuing and Distance Education offers online college classes. The distance learning courses usually do not require students to be online at the same time or to attend campus, but some faculty may require that students attend an in-person session. Tests and group work can typically be completed online.


California University of Pennsylvania

250 University Ave, California, Pennsylvania 15419-1394

California University of Pennsylvania's Cal U Global Online college program provides letters of completion, undergraduate and master's degrees, and certificates online. Cal U is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, and other program-based agencies.

Approach to Online Learning

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

  • Rooted in history: Cal U Global Online is built on a brick-and-mortar tradition of academic excellence that reaches back over 160 years. As an online student at California University of Pennsylvania, you earn the same diploma as graduates from Cal U’s traditional degree programs.
  • Committed to quality: Cal U Global Online courses are taught by university professors who are experts in their fields and highly skilled at teaching online. These challenging courses have the same objectives, content and learning outcomes as those taught on campus.
  • Dedicated to service: With Cal U Global Online’s “one-stop” support model, our dedicated staff is always ready to answer your questions and respond to your needs.

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

Cal U Global Online programs can help you achieve your personal and professional goals. More than 35 specialized, career-focused programs lead to a certificate, letter of completion, bachelor’s degree or master’s degree. Many include program-specific relationships with industry-leading organizations that can add value to your degree.

Through our ‘Cal U for Life’ program, Global Online graduates join an alumni network that extends across the country and around the world. Like all our 55,000 alumni, you’ll enjoy lifetime access to career services and other alumni benefits.

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

Cal U Global Online is continually assessing the marketplace to keep its programs relevant and career-focused. In the coming years we plan to develop new undergraduate and graduate programs in specialized fields, and we may explore adding doctoral programs.

But some things will never change: Cal U Global Online will continue to strive for excellence, focus on student needs, and deliver quality academic and professional programs at a price you can afford.


Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Worthington Scranton

120 Ridge View Dr, Dunmore, Pennsylvania 18512-1602

The Penn State World Campus includes more than 90 degree programs and certificates. Students can access class material at any time and courses are taught with Blackboard, Skype, and other online college tools. Though classes are taught entirely online, instructors may require students who can't take tests on campus to find a local proctor.


Pennsylvania State University-Penn State York

1031 Edgecomb Ave, York, Pennsylvania 17403-3326

Pennsylvania State's Penn Online program includes more than 90 degree programs and certificates. Students can access class material at any time and courses are taught with Blackboard, Skype, and other online tools. Instructors may require that students complete group work online and that students either take tests on-campus or find a proctor if they must take tests off-campus.


Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Schuylkill

200 University Dr, Schuylkill Haven, Pennsylvania 17972-2202

Penn State's World Campus program includes dozens of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in addition to minors and certificate programs. Class material is available at any time and is presented using the Blackboard learning management system. Penn State instructors also utilize Skype, forums, and other tools to facilitate class discussion.


Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Fayette- Eberly Campus

One University Dr, Route 119 North, Uniontown, Pennsylvania 15401-0519

The Penn State World Campus, or Penn Online, provides more than 90 undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificate programs. Students can access course material, which is presented using the Blackboard learning system, at any time. Instructors may require students to use Skype, complete group projects, and participate in discussion forums.


Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Hazleton

76 University Drive, Hazleton, Pennsylvania 18202-8025

Students can choose from more than 90 degree and certificate programs with Penn Online. Though classes are taught entirely online, proctored exams may be required for students who can't take tests on campus. Classes are taught using the Blackboard learning management system, Skype, and other online tools.


Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Mont Alto

One Campus Dr, Mont Alto, Pennsylvania 17237-9700

Penn Online offers completely online associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees as well as certificates and minors. Students can access class material at any time and courses are taught with Blackboard, Skype, and other online tools.


Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Brandywine

25 Yearsley Mill Rd, Media, Pennsylvania 19063-5522

The Penn State World campus offers completely online associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees online in addition to certificates and minors. Students can access class material at any time through the Blackboard learning system. Instructors may utilize Skype, discussion forums, and group projects. Some proctored exams may be required for students who can't take tests on campus.


Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Abington

1600 Woodland Rd, Abington, Pennsylvania 19001-3918

Penn State's World Campus provides more than 90 degree and certificate programs. Students can access course material at any time. Classes are taught using the Blackboard learning management system and also utilize Skype and discussion forums. Group work and proctored exams may be required depending on the instructor.


Temple University

1801 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19122-6096

Temple University's Fox School of Business provides online bachelor of business administration degrees for part-time and full-time students. Classes, which are targeted at adults, include interactive, multimedia learning tools such a real-time web conferencing using WebEx technology. Classes are taught around asynchronous video lectures and online assignments. The Temple University site offers sample lectures and a virtual tour.


Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Altoona

3000 Ivyside Pk, Altoona, Pennsylvania 16601-3777

Penn Online offers students close to 100 degree and certificate programs. Most course material can be accessed at any time and classes are taught using Blackboard software, Skype, and discussion forums. Some instructors require group work online, or proctors for off-campus test taking.


Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Berks

Tulpehocken Rd, Reading, Pennsylvania 19610-1016

Students have access to more than 90 degree and certificate programs with the Penn State World Campus. Course material is available 24/7 through the Blackboard learning system. Classes may use Skype and forums to facilitate discussions. Online group work and off-campus, proctored exams may be required.


Pennsylvania College of Technology

One College Ave, Williamsport, Pennsylvania 17701-5799

Pennsylvania College of Technology offers bachelors of science in applied health studies, dental hygiene, health information management, and nursing. The online programs are for students who have already completed associate degrees to finish their B.S. online. Programs can be completed in as little as two years and students can enroll as full or part-time students.


Gratz College

7605 Old York Rd, Melrose Park, Pennsylvania 19027-3010

Gratz College offers online students to obtain degrees and certificates, including a master's program in Holocaust and Genocide Studies. The school is the oldest pluralistic college for Jewish studies in North America as well as the oldest independent college for Jewish studies. Gratz is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education


Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus

201 Old Main, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802-1589

The Penn State World Campus, or Penn Online, has more than 90 degree and certificate programs. Most course material can be accessed 24/7 and online college classes are taught using Blackboard software, Skype, and discussion forums. Some group work may be required and students may need to acquire a proctor for off-campus test taking.


Peirce College

1420 Pine Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19102-4699

Peirce College offers associate, bachelor's, and master's programs online in business, healthcare, and information technology. Hybrid programs are available for paralegal studies. Classes are asynchronous, meaning that students can access material at anytime, and online students have the option to also study on campus. Accelerated online courses begin every month and last for seven weeks.


University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus

4200 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260

Pitt Online offers fully online programs. Students can access course material at any time, though courses follow the same schedule as the school's traditional classes. Degrees obtained online are not considered Òonline degreesÓ once students have graduated. The University of Pittsburg also has a virtual open house for prospective students.


Valley Forge Christian College

1401 Charlestown Road, Phoenixville, Pennsylvania 19460

Valley Forge Christian College's degrees in Christian Ministries, an Associates of Arts in Bible, and an Associate of Arts in Children's Ministries are available online for distance learners. Valley Forge also provides online, college-level courses in youth studies. In addition to their Phoenixville campus, the college has a satellite campus in Virginia and two virtual online campuses.


Baptist Bible College and Seminary

538 Venard Rd, Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania 18411-1250

The Baptist Bible College and Seminary has online programs for those seeking college credit in high school or those who are looking to obtain an undergraduate degree. The College also has six master's degrees and a Ph.D. available through the graduate program and the seminary. The school is accredited by The Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.


Mount Aloysius College

7373 Admiral Peary Hwy, Cresson, Pennsylvania 16630-1999

Mount Aloysius College provides online degree completion for three undergraduate degrees as well as four certificates. Classes, which are taught using the Blackboard learning management system, are split into modules that include a combination of reading, discussion boards, online quizzes, and more. Course material is asynchronous, though students are asked to meet scheduled deadlines.


Keystone College

One College Green, La Plume, Pennsylvania 18440-0200

Keystone College has degrees in accounting and business available online. Classes can be taken in asynchronous and synchronous formats, meaning that students can choose to go at their own pace or to spend classes online at the same time as other students. Courses are taught using Moodle Room. Keystone College offers a free self-assessment test for those wondering if online learning will work well for them.


Harrisburg University of Science and Technology

326 Market Street, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17101-2208

The Harrisburg University of Science and Technology provides their Learning Technologies Master of Science program online. Students can complete the program in as few as 16 months. All students are required to be online at the same time for instructor-led sessions over Adobe Connect, which is provided free of charge by the University.

Approach to Online Learning

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

Online learning is an extension of our face-to-face classroom philosophy. There are different instructional strategies needed in the online environment, but we believe online learning should be an engaging, personal and motivating experience – the same experience we strive for in the classroom.

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

Our online courses are still small course experiences for students. So, there is a lot of personal attention and opportunities for creating a learning community between students and professors. And, in the Learning Technologies Master of Science (LTMS) program online students are directly connected to the face-to-face classroom through our E2C format. Online LTMS students join class from any location, but at the same day and time that students are in the classroom. Online students and classroom students talk, text, answer polls and collaborate with each other during each class.

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

Online programs will include more blending of formats as well as an increase in games and simulations as tools for learning, analysis, assessment and discussion.


La Roche College

9000 Babcock Blvd, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15237-5898

La Roche College offers bachelor's and master's degree completion programs for distance learners. Some programs are accelerated and many are Òtransfer credit friendly.Ó La Roche also provides more than 75 individual courses online in more than 18 areas of study. Classes use the Blackboard and Moodle learning management systems.


Robert Morris University

6001 University Boulevard, Moon Township, Pennsylvania 15108-1189

Robert Morris University has bachelor's, master's, continuing education, and professional development courses online. Online courses last eight weeks, but degrees can be taken at an accelerated pace and students can access class material at any time. Robert Morris is accredited as a university by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

Approach to Online Learning

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

RMU offers students the opportunity to enroll in online programs that offer the same high level of quality as our on ground programs. In addition, we are a student centered university that believes in supporting our students throughout every step of their education. We offer a highly supportive environment with student services counselors available seven days per week to all online students. We have a teacher-scholar model of education--our faculty members are interested in and focused on being scholars but with research that is able to be applied to teaching professional skills to our students.

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

We are not newcomers to educating the adult learner. We have been doing this since 1921 and have been providing online options since 1998. We understand what the adult learner needs and wants. We also provide them with a professional skills based approach--skills that will help them to get them ready for a career, a career enhancement, or a career change.

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

We will continue to expand the number of programs offered online--ones that students want and need. We will continue to enhance and widen our supportive services. We will also continue to have faculty members and our instructional designers utilize best practices in online teaching and design.


Neumann University

One Neumann Drive, Aston, Pennsylvania 19014-1298

Neumann University's Division of Continuing Adult and Professional Studies offers two programs completely online: Undergraduate liberal studies program and master of science in strategic leadership. The University has offered online classes for more than nine years. Programs are accelerated, meaning that their master's program takes just 18 months to complete and the bachelor's degree can be obtained in half the time of a traditional degree.


Carlow University

3333 Fifth Ave, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213-3165

Carlow University has fully online master's programs, certificate programs, and individual classes. Most instructors require students to stick to set schedule for readings, assignments, and class discussions. Students submit assignments, access class material, take tests, post projects, and have discussions through the Blackboard learning management system. The University provides an online learning readiness quiz for prospective students.


Geneva College

3200 College Ave, Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania 15010-3599

Geneva College offers online adult degree programs in human resources, Christian ministry leadership, and organizational leadership. Courses are accelerated and degree programs can be completed in as few as 17 months for students with some previous college experience. Classes only have 10 to 15 students each. Geneva College is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools


Point Park University

201 Wood St, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222-1984

Point Park University allows students to complete three bachelor of science, an associate in science, and three different certificate programs completely online. Classes are taught using the Blackboard learning management system. Students can access the University library at any time and have access to disability services, tech help, writing tutoring, and other services.


Holy Family University

9801 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19114-2009

Students can access bachelors degrees, nurse training, and M.B.A. programs as well as free, individual online classes with Holy Family University. The school's learning platform utilizes videos, 3D animation, and online testing. Students are also encouraged to study abroad while taking online classes with Holy Family.


Gannon University

109 W Sixth St, Erie, Pennsylvania 16541-0001

Gannon University provides an accredited RN-BSN program as well as a master's programs in business administration, public administration, and education. Technical support and class material is available at any time, though students are expected to meet weekly deadlines.. The RN-BSN degree includes a clinical requirement.

Approach to Online Learning

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

Gannon University’s goal is to expand access to its quality, values-based, online programs that are targeted to high demand fields and meeting students’ needs. Gannon’s online programs provide affordable, flexible, educational opportunities and comprehensive support services so that students at a distance will be equipped to expand their career options. Engaging, student-centered instruction is a part of all the online programs at Gannon University.

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

Gannon’s online programs are asynchronous which means students can work through weekly assignments and activities any time of the day or night. This approach is especially convenient for working students. All online courses follow a 16-week instructional design process before the online course is taught for the first time. Course design philosophies are focused on engaging, student-centered instruction that promotes significant and meaningful interactive learning to meet course outcomes. Gannon’s online courses utilize active discussion activities to promote learning communities with the close participation of Gannon’s faculty. A number of services are offered to students including a new online student orientation, online tutoring, online career services, online library services, and technical support.

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

Gannon University plans to increase access to students at a distance. A particular focus looking ahead will be adding future online programs in high demand disciplines and potentially offering hybrid programs that include intensive face-to-face campus components.


Eastern University

1300 Eagle Rd, Saint Davids, Pennsylvania 19087-3696

Eastern University provides online and hybrid programs as well as summer classes. Online learning through Eastern University is accredited by the Middle States Commission of Higher Education. Classes utilize discussion boards, Skype, GChat, Wimba, and Adobe Connect. Depending on the course, instructors will utilize either the Blackboard or Moodle learning systems.


Misericordia University

301 Lake St, Dallas, Pennsylvania 18612-1098

Misericordia University, or MU, offers adult distance learners part-time undergraduate and graduate level degrees as well as undergraduate level certificates. MU's bachelor's programs are designed for those who have earned an associate's degree, are registered radiologists, or are certified diagnostic medical sonographers. Classes are taught using the Blackboard learning management system.


Alvernia University

400 Saint Bernardine St, Reading, Pennsylvania 19607-1799

Alvernia University offers an online, accredited MBA degree. Students begin and complete the program as a group with classes offered in eight-week modules, though instruction is asynchronous. The program is set to last two years. Alvernia University's Business Department is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs and by the Middle States Association of the Commission on Higher Education.


Gwynedd Mercy University

1325 Sumneytown Pike, Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania 19437-0901

Gwynedd Mercy University, or GMercyU has accelerated and online degree programs for students interested in seeking an associate degree, bachelor's degree, master's degree or certificate in business, education, or nursing. Students can access classes, which are taught using Blackboard learning management software, and other online services through the GMercyU portal.

Approach to Online Learning

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

Our adult and graduate online programs have a practical focus that aims to support working professionals in the short-term, while also supporting long-term goals after graduation.

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

Our online programs are designed to produce graduates with deep theoretical understanding of their field of study, along with the practical skills necessary for putting it to work.

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

Our online programs will continue to grow in offerings and adjust to market demands so that we can continue offering degrees of the highest quality.


Saint Francis University

117 Evergreen Dr, Loretto, Pennsylvania 15940

Saint Francis University provides its Master of Health Science, Master of Medical Science, and Master of Human Resources Management programs online. Instructors facilitate classroom discussion with chat rooms, discussion boards, and videoconferencing. Students have remote access to the University library at any time. Courses are taught using the Blackboard learning management system.


Immaculata University

1145 King Rd, Immaculata, Pennsylvania 19345-0702

Immaculata University, or IU Online, offers degree completion programs completely online. Students can take their associate or bachelor's degree programs at an accelerated pace, finishing in as few as two years. The University offers a discount for members of the military as well as advisement about balancing life outside of class with an online degree.

Approach to Online Learning

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

Immaculata University redesigned all IU Online courses to have the same look, feel, design, and navigation. Using best practices for online course development we developed a template that was incorporated into all IU Online courses. Research indicates that schools who attempt to go online and don’t centralize the administration for online course development and quality control (rigor) don’t succeed. So our approach is to enrich faculty to student, student to faculty, student to content, and student-to-student interaction incorporating multimedia strategies and using best practices for the online facilitation of online courses.

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

We have an online orientation that has the same look, feel, design and navigation as an IU Online course. It gives the students a nonthreatening introduction to the world of online without having the fear of “can I do this?” There are five modules titled: 1. All About Moodle (practice drop box assignment), 2. Principles of Online Learning (practice discussion and a good video on andragogy) 3. IU Student Services (Library access to research, info about OWL Writing and Math Centers, and advising) 4. Policy and Procedure Guide, and 5. Survey and Reflections.

Immaculata University developed an Online Student Readiness Assessment tool to help prospective students assess if they would be a good fit for a fully online degree program. The assessment tool is also used for students who primarily take courses in the classroom but want to try an online course. Here is the URL to our newest version of the Online Student Readiness Assessment: All the IU Online degree programs are Bachelor of Sciences and can be earned fully online.

Immaculata University is a member of the Returning to Learning Partnership with the City of Philadelphia and we offer fulltime city employees a 25% discount. The courses are also delivered in a seven-week format Fall Term I & II, Spring Term I & II, and Summer I & II. Students can accelerate through the program depending on how many courses they take each term. Students have a real option to accelerate their online degree if they choose to do so!

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

Immaculata University recently launched two new degree programs: Emergency Planning and Management (Fall of 2012) and our award winning RN to BSN program is now fully online (Fall of 2013). The program was intentionally not grown until we knew that we could deliver a quality product that replicates the rigor in the classroom for which Immaculate is known! The quality control of the courses, the professional development of online faculty, the use of multimedia and instructional technology software, and to continually assess how satisfied your online students are all the keys for success in scaling enrollments upwards. Over the next five years Immaculata will continue to have steady and controlled enrollment growth, and will continue to develop new degree programs to meet the needs of the job market.


Seton Hill University

1 Seton Hill Dr, Greensburg, Pennsylvania 15601

Seton Hill offers online courses and degree programs, as well as traditional courses with some online components. Classes are taught through two learning management systems, GriffinGate and Moodle, and classes are often taught on Seton Hill's ÒislandÓ in Second Life. Full-time students receive iPad Minis and MacBook Airs, and students are allowed to take their products with them when they graduate.


King's College

133 N River St, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania 18711-0801

King University Online has associate, bachelor's, and master's degree programs, which includes RN-BSN and M.B.A. programs. All programs are completely online and some have options for special concentrations. Online courses are the same as those taught on campus. Advisors are available for live chats with prospective students on the King University Online site.


Wilkes University

84 West South Street, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania 18766

Wilkes University has online master's degree and graduate-level certificates available online. Courses utilize online discussion and chats. Typically, classes are split into units or learning modules with a set due date to complete different discussions and components of the class. Students interested in taking a few classes, but who are not interested in obtaining a degree, may do so through a separate application process.


Wilson College

1015 Philadelphia Ave, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania 17201-1285

Wilson College offers its Master of Education program online. The degree is applicable to elementary and secondary teachers in all areas of certification, and the program can be completed at an accelerated pace in as few as 24 months. Students can also take courses at a slow pace to accommodate their work schedule, but all degree requirements must be completed within six years of the first course taken in the program.


Saint Vincent College

300 Fraser Purchase Rd, Latrobe, Pennsylvania 15650-2690

Students can complete St. Vincent's College's RN to BSN completion program, BSRS program, healthcare management certificate, and health promotion certificate online. All course work is online, though students are required to come to campus for a student orientation session. The College also offers dozens of individual classes online.


Duquesne University

Administration Bldg 600 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15282

Duquesne University offers both fully online and hybrid graduate and adult undergraduate accelerated programs. Students from Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin are not eligible to apply. Some online college courses may require students to be available at the same time for a live-streamed webinar. Tests are administered online.


DeSales University

2755 Station Avenue, Center Valley, Pennsylvania 18034-9568

DeSales University offers totally online bachelor's degrees in addition to their online MBA, Master of Arts in Criminal Justice, and Master of Education in Technology. The University also has a hybrid Doctor of Nursing Practice in Clinical Leadership program. DeSales uses a new version of the Blackboard learning management system called Blackboard Collaborate.


Rosemont College

1400 Montgomery Ave, Rosemont, Pennsylvania 19010-1699

Rosemont College's online program offers a Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in Leadership degree in addition to graduate-level certificates in entrepreneurship, e-publishing, forensic psychology, and more. Some courses can be taken at an accelerated pace. Rosemont College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education


Chatham University

Woodland Rd, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15232

Chatham University's College for Continuing and Professional Studies has a distance learning undergraduate, masters, and doctoral level programs for working students. The University also offers certificate programs and non-degree programming. Students from Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin are not eligible to apply for the online college and student from Massachusetts are not eligible for the RN-Bachelor of Science in Nursing program or the Masters programs in Infant Mental Health.


Cedar Crest College

100 College Drive, Allentown, Pennsylvania 18104-6196

Cedar Crest College offers completely online degrees and certificates as well as a vast selection of individual online courses. All business courses are available in regular and accelerated formats, and students do not need to be enrolled in a degree program at Cedar Crest College to take the course. The School of Adult and Graduate Education also has more than 500, eight-week long courses taught through a partnership with the Online Consortium of Independent Colleges and Universities.


Philadelphia University

School House Lane and Henry Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19144-5497

Philadelphia University Online, or PhilaU Online, offers accelerated, accredited undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Courses for bachelor's degrees are on eight-week term schedules with six terms per year. Classes are presented using the Blackboard learning management system. Philadelphia University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Thomas Jefferson University - Online

Thomas Jefferson University

1020 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107

Thomas Jefferson University provides distance learners with degrees and certificates online. Their programs are accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Students have access to tech help and the school's library, and can expect to complete their degree program in two to four years.


Arcadia University

450 S Easton Rd, Glenside, Pennsylvania 19038-3295

Arcadia Online offers fully online bachelor's and master's programs as well as certificates through the University's MyArcadia web portal. Students have virtual access to the Arcadia library and 24/7 tech support. All online courses are evaluated for quality using the Quality Matters standards and are vetted by Arcadia's academic programming committee.


Drexel University

3141 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104

Drexel University Online provides regionally and nationally accredited bachelor's, master's, doctorate, and certificate programs for distance learners. Drexel has offered online courses since 1996 and co-founded National Distance Learning Week in 2007. A 20-minute, interactive demo video for prospective distance learning students is available on the Drexel site.


Widener University-Main Campus

One University Place, Chester, Pennsylvania 19013-5792

Widener University offers online bachelor's and associate degree programs as well as minors through the school's Continuing Studies Division of the School of Education, Innovation and Continuing Studies. Online courses are delivered over a 14-week semester through the WebStudy management system. Students interested in hybrid study can take classes in an accelerated format.


Elizabethtown College

One Alpha Dr, Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania 17022-2298

The School of Continuing and Professional Studies at Elizabethtown College provides online, accelerated courses in addition to degrees in business administration, human services, and human services with a focus on behavior and addictions counseling. Course material is offered in an asynchronous format, though some classes require attendance at live chat sessions. Elizabethtown College is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools


University of Scranton

800 Linden Street, Scranton, Pennsylvania 18510-4629

Scranton offers graduate programs for online students in business administration, science in education, and science in human resources. In addition to a general M.B.A. program, the University offers four more specific program tracks or specializations as well as a certificate in enterprise resource planning. Prospective students are invited to attend a virtual open house.


Allegheny College

520 N Main St, Meadville, Pennsylvania 16335-3902

The Community College of Allegheny County offers six associate degrees and five certificates online. Many degrees require a course in oral communication, which is a hybrid class that meets both online and in-person. Individual personal and professional courses are also available for non-credit students. Students communicate with their instructors and each other via audio and video streaming, email, live chat sessions, and teleconferencing.


Saint Joseph's University

5600 City Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19131-1395

Saint Joseph's online programs include a bachelor's in liberal studies as well as a variety of master's degree programs through the business, leadership, criminal justice, health services, and education departments. The University also offers online certificate programs. Students have instant access to course materials, assignments, group discussion boards, and instructor assistance.


Lehigh University

27 Memorial Drive West, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18015

Lehigh University provides graduate-level programs in business, engineering, science, and interdisciplinary studies for distance learners. The University uses two platforms for their online programs: Classroom LIVE, a virtual environment that delivers programs in real time from campus, and Classroom Online, which is offered in an asynchronous format for those who can't view material at a specific time.


Villanova University

800 Lancaster Avenue, Villanova, Pennsylvania 19085-1699

Villanova University has partnered with the University Alliance to provide professional certificates and degrees entirely online. Courses use online chat rooms, streaming video, audio and video lectures, shared virtual whiteboards, and faculty-hosted message boards. The University also offers 24/7 tech support for its students. A virtual tour of the online classroom is available on the school's site.


Dickinson College

College and Louther Streets, Carlisle, Pennsylvania 17013-2896

Farleigh Dickinson University, or FDU, offers associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees online as well as graduate-level certificates. FDU online classes use the Blackboard system. Instructors post lecture weekly lecture notes and homework assignments online, and students have access to discussion forums to discuss questions and answers.

Finding an Affordable Higher Education in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is a great state with beautiful forests and farmland interspersed with large cities such as Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Residents of the state put an emphasis on getting a good education, as you can see when you look at the percentage of high school graduates in the state. 87.9 percent of those in the state are high school graduates, and 26.4% of the residents have at least a bachelor’s degree. That’s not all, as 10.2% of the residents also have advanced degrees. Having a degree is important, and it is going to help make it easier to get a high quality job in the future. Getting the right education could start with a traditional school, but many students today are looking at the advantages that affordable online schools in Pennsylvania are going to be able to offer.

Pursuing a Degree in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is a large state with a robust population, so it should come as no surprise that they have quite a large number of traditional colleges and universities from which students are going to be able to choose. The state has 134 two-year or more schools, and 159 four-year or more schools. The traditional offerings are certainly not the only way that someone in the state is going to be able to go to college though. In fact, you will find that going to school with affordable online colleges in Pennsylvania could actually be quite a benefit to you. The technology in use today is making it easier than ever to get started, and you will find that it is possible to earn everything from an associate’s degree to a bachelor’s, master’s and even doctoral degree.

Benefits of Choosing Online Classes in Pennsylvania

Choosing to attend affordable Pennsylvania online colleges is growing in popularity with students, and with good reason. The online studies are going to be able to provide you with a great learning experience that is equal to traditional classes, but it can do it in a setting that is going to be far more convenient for you. When you look at the amount of time that you would spend commuting to class and worrying about being late to class, you can see that the online option is going to be much easier. You can simply log onto the web and go to class when you have the time. You could even keep your part time or full time job. Online schooling is about more than mere convenience though. It is also about choice. When you go to an online school, you are going to have many options for your field of study. Consider getting a degree in education, art, business, information technology, or psychology.

Saving Money with Online Education

Many students who are looking to go to school wonder if they are going to be able to pay for their college. Parents today are not always able to kick in quite as much money toward schooling, and that means the students could face more debt. The cost of a two-year public school’s tuition and fees on average is $4,202 in the state. The four-year public schools average $12,330. This is going to be higher than many are able to afford. Going to affordable online colleges in Pennsylvania is going to be a much better option for most people.

You need to have a great education and you need to make sure that you have a degree from a reputable online school. Research the schools you are considering and make sure that they are accredited. Start earning your degree today so that you can earn more money tomorrow.

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

To invest in one’s education is to invest in one’s self. To make true this adage, first invest in a little information. We have created a list of Pennsylvania institutions of higher learning that give you the best return on investment: low net costs (tuition + fees) plus high lifetime earnings. We used information only from the most trusted sources, including the NCES (National Center for Education Statistics), IPEDS (Integrated Post-Secondary Education Data System),, and the Carnegie Foundation. Look below to see what schools made our exclusive list:

Click here to see our methodology.
Pennsylvania Colleges Analyzed: 402
Pennsylvania Colleges Ranked: 81
# College Name City ROI Tuition Type Photo
1 Haverford College Haverford $1,222,000 $43,702 Private not-for-profit
2 Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) Pittsburgh $1,222,000 $45,760 Private not-for-profit
3 University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia $1,220,000 $43,738 Private not-for-profit
4 Lehigh University Bethlehem $1,145,000 $42,220 Private not-for-profit
5 Swarthmore College Swarthmore $1,139,000 $43,080 Private not-for-profit
6 Lafayette College Easton $1,119,000 $42,980 Private not-for-profit Lafayette College
7 Bucknell University Lewisburg $1,094,000 $45,378 Private not-for-profit
8 Drexel University Philadelphia $1,019,000 $36,090 Private not-for-profit
9 Villanova University Villanova $1,019,000 $42,740 Private not-for-profit
10 Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) - Main Campus University Park $789,300 $16,444 Public (In-State)
11 Dickinson College - Carlisle, PA Carlisle $787,600 $44,551 Private not-for-profit
12 Saint Joseph's University (SJU) - Philadelphia, PA Philadelphia $775,000 $37,830 Private not-for-profit
13 Muhlenberg College Allentown $736,900 $41,510 Private not-for-profit
14 La Salle University - Philadelphia, PA Philadelphia $733,100 $36,650 Private not-for-profit
15 Gettysburg College Gettysburg $703,700 $44,210 Private not-for-profit
16 Wilkes University Wilkes-Barre $689,400 $29,326 Private not-for-profit
17 University of Pittsburgh - Main Campus Pittsburgh $684,700 $16,590 Public (In-State)
18 Saint Francis University Loretto $682,600 $28,878 Private not-for-profit
19 Holy Family University Philadelphia $680,900 $25,590 Private not-for-profit
20 Albright College Reading $623,400 $35,320 Private not-for-profit Albright College - campus shot
21 University of Pittsburgh - Johnstown Campus Johnstown $619,200 $12,892 Public (In-State)
22 Grove City College Grove City $604,000 $14,212 Private not-for-profit
23 Neumann University Aston $597,000 $24,232 Private not-for-profit
24 Temple University Philadelphia $589,400 $13,596 Public (In-State)
25 Millersville University of Pennsylvania Millersville $586,200 $8,600 Public (In-State)
26 Moravian College and Moravian Theological Seminary Bethlehem $568,900 $34,484 Private not-for-profit
27 University of Scranton Scranton $567,400 $37,456 Private not-for-profit
28 Allegheny College - Meadville, PA Meadville $565,700 $37,610 Private not-for-profit
29 Rosemont College Rosemont $563,700 $30,450 Private not-for-profit
30 Gwynedd-Mercy College Gwynedd Valley $560,400 $28,190 Private not-for-profit
31 Gannon University Erie $556,600 $26,526 Private not-for-profit
32 West Chester University West Chester $555,800 $8,620 Public (In-State)
33 King's College - Wilkes Barre, PA Wilkes-Barre $550,100 $29,174 Private not-for-profit King's College
34 Franklin and Marshall College Lancaster $545,800 $44,260 Private not-for-profit
35 Ursinus College Collegeville $532,400 $43,270 Private not-for-profit
36 Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania Bloomsburg $517,000 $8,344 Public (In-State)
37 Elizabethtown College Elizabethtown $505,200 $36,550 Private not-for-profit
38 Duquesne University Pittsburgh $490,900 $30,034 Private not-for-profit
39 York College - York, PA York $487,000 $16,520 Private not-for-profit
40 Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania Shippensburg $484,700 $9,154 Public (In-State)
41 Lebanon Valley College Annville $482,200 $34,470 Private not-for-profit
42 Philadelphia University Philadelphia $465,900 $32,064 Private not-for-profit
43 Misericordia University Dallas $463,800 $27,230 Private not-for-profit
44 Cabrini College Radnor $463,200 $29,000 Private not-for-profit
45 Geneva College Beaver Falls $458,300 $24,480 Private not-for-profit
46 East Stroudsburg University (ESU) East Stroudsburg $443,900 $8,758 Public (In-State)
47 Lycoming College Williamsport $441,500 $32,756 Private not-for-profit
48 Robert Morris University (RMU) - Moon Township, PA Moon Township $439,300 $24,064 Private not-for-profit
49 Washington & Jefferson College Washington $435,100 $38,310 Private not-for-profit
50 Immaculata University Immaculata $432,300 $29,000 Private not-for-profit
51 Westminster College - New Wilmington, PA New Wilmington $428,800 $31,510 Private not-for-profit
52 Arcadia University Glenside $412,200 $35,620 Private not-for-profit
53 Susquehanna University Selinsgrove $409,400 $37,280 Private not-for-profit
54 Delaware Valley College Doylestown $408,500 $30,840 Private not-for-profit
55 Juniata College Huntingdon $390,900 $35,780 Private not-for-profit
56 Bryn Mawr College Bryn Mawr $383,100 $42,246 Private not-for-profit
57 DeSales University Center Valley $381,300 $30,150 Private not-for-profit
58 Eastern University Saint Davids $378,500 $27,174 Private not-for-profit
59 Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) Indiana $372,000 $8,672 Public (In-State)
60 Point Park University Pittsburgh $364,300 $25,190 Private not-for-profit
61 Alvernia University Reading $342,400 $27,950 Private not-for-profit
62 California University of Pennsylvania (Cal U) California $330,600 $9,379 Public (In-State)
63 Messiah College Grantham $294,600 $29,460 Private not-for-profit
64 Edinboro University of Pennsylvania Edinboro $293,100 $8,578 Public (In-State)
65 Carlow University Pittsburgh $274,900 $24,438 Private not-for-profit
66 Cedar Crest College Allentown $269,700 $31,596 Private not-for-profit
67 Slippery Rock University Slippery Rock $262,500 $8,748 Public (In-State)
68 Kutztown University of Pennsylvania Kutztown $259,300 $8,596 Public (In-State)
69 Waynesburg University Waynesburg $257,600 $19,810 Private not-for-profit
70 Marywood University Scranton $253,200 $29,380 Private not-for-profit
71 Thiel College Greenville $239,500 $26,012 Private not-for-profit
72 Clarion University of Pennsylvania Clarion $228,100 $9,090 Public (In-State)
73 La Roche College Pittsburgh $192,600 $24,058 Private not-for-profit
74 Lock Haven University Lock Haven $182,000 $8,564 Public (In-State)
75 Chestnut Hill College Philadelphia $176,700 $30,165 Private not-for-profit
76 Baptist Bible College and Seminary - Clarks Summit, PA Clarks Summit $155,200 $19,030 Private not-for-profit
77 Mansfield University of Pennsylvania Mansfield $129,900 $8,926 Public (In-State)
78 Chatham University Pittsburgh $125,000 $31,532 Private not-for-profit
79 Seton Hill University - Greensburg, PA Greensburg $123,600 $29,050 Private not-for-profit
80 University of the Arts (UArts) - Philadelphia, PA Philadelphia $55,030 $34,840 Private not-for-profit University of the Arts
81 Mercyhurst College Erie $53,000 $29,037 Private not-for-profit