Pennsylvania Online Colleges & Universities – Top Schools for 2014

The sixth largest state by population, Pennsylvania has more than 400 accredited colleges, universities and vocational schools, providing post-secondary educational opportunities to just more than 1 million students annually. That ranks Pennsylvania 4th among all states in total number of colleges and 7th in total college student population. One in every 28 college students in the United States attends a Pennsylvania institution of higher education.

Top Pennsylvania Cities for Post-Secondary Education

Pennsylvania college and university campuses are numerous and can be found in all regions of the state, with the majority located in large to mid-size cities and their immediate surroundings. The busiest cities for college activity are indicated in the following two lists:

Pennsylvania College Cities by Student Population

  • Philadelphia (134,500)
  • Pittsburgh (109,600)
  • University Park (41,600)
  • Harrisburg (34,300)
  • Bethlehem (23,400)

Pennsylvania Cities by Total Number of Colleges

  • Philadelphia (45)
  • Pittsburgh (37)
  • Erie (10)
  • Harrisburg (9)
  • York (9)

Focus on Philadelphia Colleges

Philadelphia combines a long and celebrated educational tradition with contemporary learning systems in more than 90 colleges offering on-campus and online degrees. Over 40 faculty members and graduates of Philadelphia colleges and universities have captured the prestigious Nobel Prize. In all, Philadelphia is host to two Ivy League universities, 19 four-year universities, six medical schools, eight private seminaries, three women’s colleges, eight music academies, ten community colleges and career schools offering two-year degrees. According to Greater Philadelphia.com, Philadelphia colleges graduate more than 66,000 students each year. The University of Pennsylvania, founded by Benjamin Franklin, is ranked seventh in U.S. News & World Report's top private universities for 2014. Its renowned business program, The Wharton School, named first among business schools in the country by U.S. News, was the first-ever graduate business program and now counts 90,000 alumni around the globe. In contemporary technology research, Drexel University’s College of Engineering was ranked in the top 150 engineering schools by U.S. News for 2014. Other key schools include Temple University, Haverford College, Bryn Mawr College, Moore College of Art and Design, Saint Joseph's University and La Salle University.

Spotlighting Online Schools in Philadelphia

Given its technological heritage, it’s only natural that online education is thriving in Philadelphia. After all, the city’s University of Pennsylvania campus developed the world’s first computer, the ENIAC, in 1946. Among colleges, universities and trade schools offering distance education in the city, Philadelphia University was cited among the best online bachelor’s degree and best online graduate business degree programs for 2014 by U.S. News. Drexel University provides fully online, accredited bachelor’s and master’s degree and certificate programs. Popular programs are in business, communications, criminal; justice, education, nursing, professional studies, technology, engineering, legal studies and clinical research. Other schools with online programs include LaSalle University, the Community College of Philadelphia, Curtis Institute of Music, Temple University and Saint Joseph’s University.

Philadelphia has an exceptional array of student diversions, from world-class symphonic music to rowdy national sports venues, colonial historical sites and museums, and a local cuisine known for soft pretzels, cheesesteak sandwiches and hoagies. Visitors and residents alike take in the Liberty Bell Center, The Franklin Institute, the Italian Market and Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Pennsylvania Online Colleges and Universities

Probably the most exciting development in post-secondary education today is the ever-expanding world of distance learning. The Internet explosion has opened up a whole new avenue for college-level certificate and degree seekers to pursue an advanced education. More and more, traditional colleges and universities, as well as a number of primarily online for-profit institutions, are offering accredited degree programs either partially or fully online. As of 2013, 67 of the state’s four-year colleges and universities offered online education programs of one form or another. Perhaps one of the most widely recognized institutions in online education is Penn State. A leader in distance education, the university has established Penn State World Campus, which offers more than 100 in-demand degrees and certificate programs in a range of academic fields, all entirely online. Many of Penn State World Campus' programs have been nationally recognized by U.S. News & World Report.

Pennsylvania College Tuition, Fees and Living Expenses

College education costs in general fall under three distinct headings: tuition, fees and living expenses. First and foremost comes tuition. Tuition refers to the basic charges for student instruction and other teaching-related services. Tuition rates vary significantly due to factors such as geographic location, specific course programs, and whether or not a school is public or private. In-state tuition for qualifying Pennsylvania residents in 2012 averaged $17,757 per student, per year, making the state the 4th most expensive in which to attend college.

Living expenses for college students include room and board, food, clothing and other common household costs. Generally speaking, the cost of living (COL) in Pennsylvania is around one percent higher than the national average (of 100), although Philadelphia is an estimated 26 percent higher than average. The chart below breaks down COL figures by type for the biggest population areas in the state:

Urban Area Composite Index Housing Groceries Utilities Transportation Health Care Misc.
Pittsburgh -8.5% -25.6% 4.1% -3.0% 5.9% -9.9% -4.2%
Erie -7.9% -8.9% -3.6% -4.0% -1.6% -8.8% -11.6%
Johnstown -7.1% -20.6% -2.3% 1.0% 1.6% -9.6% -1.9%
Indiana County -6.7% -15.8% -0.3% -2.3% -2.3% -8.9% -3.6%
Harrisburg -0.3% -8.5% -2.2% 10.5% 0.2% -6.2% 5.1%
Williamsport-Lycoming Co. 0.7% -3.7% 3.5% 27.7% -8.2% -7.4% -1.1%
York County 2.1% 6.0% -1.6% 2.6% -2.3% -3.2% 2.0%
Lancaster 6.8% 18.4% 1.3% 11.0% -0.3% -4.9% 0.9%
Philadelphia 26.5% 41.3% 24.9% 35.9% 5.8% 8.2% 19.6%

Cost of living can be a very underrated financial element for students. For example, a high school senior from Oklahoma attending Stanford might experience a bit of sticker shock. Another often-overlooked metric is return on investment (ROI). When a student finished college, he or she wants a degree that signals value and leads to healthy salary potential. Various educational entities assess ROI by subtracting the total cost of attending a college (for four years) from the lifetime salary of that college’s average graduate. This ROI metric can be (and probably should be) a guiding factor in school selection. The Pennsylvania that led the way in ROI in 2013 were the following:

  • Haverford College
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Lehigh University
  • Swarthmore College

Scholarships, Loans, and Grants for Pennsylvania Students

Besides loans and grants, students can find an abundance of funding opportunities through the hundreds of scholarship programs in operation nationwide. These programs are typically sponsored by private businesses, non-profit associations and individual citizens. The following is a sample of the organizations providing scholarships to Pennsylvania students:

  • American Society of Travel Agencies - Allegheny Branch of the Mid-America Chapter
  • Allegheny County Medical Society
  • Atlantic American Hockey Association
  • College Opportunity Resources for Education (CORE) - Philadelphia
  • Construction Management Association of America - Mid-Atlantic Chapter
  • Lycoming County Medical Society
  • Northern Tier Hardwood Association
  • Pennsylvania Automotive Association Foundation
  • Pennsylvania Engineering Foundation
  • Pennsylvania Society of Public Accountants
  • The Roothbert Fund
  • Pittsburgh Penguins Alumni Association
  • Twin Tiers Society of Women Engineers
  • Water Works Operators' Association of Pennsylvania

Higher Education Accreditation in Pennsylvania

One factor that all students should take into account when choosing a college, university, or trade school is accreditation. For students receiving financial aid, full accreditation by a government-recognized agency is a requirement. Accreditation for a postsecondary institution may come from one of the regional agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. The regional agency responsible for accreditation of Pennsylvania colleges and universities is the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. In addition to regional accreditation, Pennsylvania schools and institutions can also receive programmatic or specialized accreditation for individual programs, schools, or departments. The University of Pennsylvania, for instance, has earned programmatic accreditation for its professional design degrees from the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), the Planning Accreditation Board, and the American Society of Landscape Architecture (ASLA).

Conclusion

Choosing a college or university to attend can be as difficult as it is exciting. Prospective students should give serious consideration to a number of factors, including where to live, what to study and how to finance it all. The above information is meant to provide Pennsylvania students with a foundation for their college search. For more information regarding individual Pennsylvania colleges and universities, and their online programs, take a look at the school profiles listed below.

Affordability is a key component of any good online program, but a college or university is more than just the numbers on its price tag. To get a closer look at online learning in Pennsylvania, we spoke to some of the state's top schools about what makes their online programs unique.

Online Departments in Pennsylvania
  • California University of Pennsylvania +

    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.

  • Gannon University +

    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.

  • Gwynedd Mercy University +

    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.

  • Harrisburg University of Science and Technology +

    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.

  • Immaculata University +

    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. 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.

  • Millersville University of Pennsylvania +

    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.

  • Robert Morris University +

    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.

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.
1
Lock Haven University
Tuition and fees: $8,564 Enrollment: 5,553 Accredited: YES Website: Lock Haven University

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.

2
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
Tuition and fees: $8,578 Enrollment: 7,234 Accredited: YES Website: Edinboro University of Pennsylvania

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.

3
Millersville University of Pennsylvania
Tuition and fees: $8,600 Enrollment: 8,575 Accredited: YES Website: Millersville University of Pennsylvania

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.

4
West Chester University of Pennsylvania
Tuition and fees: $8,620 Enrollment: 14,654 Accredited: YES Website: West Chester University of Pennsylvania

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.

5
Indiana University of Pennsylvania-Main Campus
Tuition and fees: $8,672 Enrollment: 14,398 Accredited: YES Website: Indiana University of Pennsylvania-Main Campus

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.

6
Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania
Tuition and fees: $8,748 Enrollment: 8,989 Accredited: YES Website: Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania

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.

7
Mansfield University of Pennsylvania
Tuition and fees: $8,926 Enrollment: 3,206 Accredited: YES Website: Mansfield University of Pennsylvania

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.

8
Clarion University of Pennsylvania
Tuition and fees: $9,090 Enrollment: 6,635 Accredited: YES Website: Clarion University of Pennsylvania

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.

9
Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania
Tuition and fees: $9,154 Enrollment: 7,632 Accredited: YES Website: Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania

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.

10
California University of Pennsylvania
Tuition and fees: $9,379 Enrollment: 8,413 Accredited: YES Website: California University of Pennsylvania

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.

11
Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Worthington Scranton
Tuition and fees: $13,230 Enrollment: 1,504 Accredited: YES Website: Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Worthington Scranton

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.

12
Pennsylvania State University-Penn State York
Tuition and fees: $13,238 Enrollment: 1,472 Accredited: YES Website: Pennsylvania State University-Penn State York

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.

13
Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Schuylkill
Tuition and fees: $13,238 Enrollment: 1,132 Accredited: YES Website: Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Schuylkill

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.

14
Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Fayette- Eberly Campus
Tuition and fees: $13,300 Enrollment: 1,101 Accredited: YES Website: Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Fayette- Eberly Campus

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.

15
Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Hazleton
Tuition and fees: $13,300 Enrollment: 1,268 Accredited: YES Website: Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Hazleton

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.

16
Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Mont Alto
Tuition and fees: $13,356 Enrollment: 1,328 Accredited: YES Website: Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Mont Alto

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.

17
Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Brandywine
Tuition and fees: $13,356 Enrollment: 1,853 Accredited: YES Website: Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Brandywine

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.

18
Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Abington
Tuition and fees: $13,356 Enrollment: 4,142 Accredited: YES Website: Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Abington

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.

19
Temple University
Tuition and fees: $13,596 Enrollment: 30,778 Accredited: YES Website: Temple University

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.

20
Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Altoona
Tuition and fees: $13,900 Enrollment: 4,313 Accredited: YES Website: Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Altoona

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.

21
Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Berks
Tuition and fees: $13,900 Enrollment: 3,098 Accredited: YES Website: Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Berks

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.

22
Pennsylvania College of Technology
Tuition and fees: $14,370 Enrollment: 7,313 Accredited: YES Website: Pennsylvania College of Technology

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.

23
Gratz College
Tuition and fees: $16,050 Enrollment: 151 Accredited: YES Website: Gratz College

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

24
Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus
Tuition and fees: $16,444 Enrollment: 41,614 Accredited: YES Website: Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus

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.

25
Peirce College
Tuition and fees: $16,500 Enrollment: 2,853 Accredited: YES Website: Peirce College

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.

26
University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus
Tuition and fees: $16,590 Enrollment: 20,243 Accredited: YES Website: University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus

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.

27
Valley Forge Christian College
Tuition and fees: $18,367 Enrollment: 1,277 Accredited: YES Website: Valley Forge Christian College

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.

28
Baptist Bible College and Seminary
Tuition and fees: $19,030 Enrollment: 759 Accredited: YES Website: Baptist Bible College and Seminary

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.

29
Mount Aloysius College
Tuition and fees: $19,520 Enrollment: 2,595 Accredited: YES Website: Mount Aloysius College

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.

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Keystone College
Tuition and fees: $20,400 Enrollment: 2,062 Accredited: YES Website: Keystone College

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.

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Harrisburg University of Science and Technology
Tuition and fees: $23,900 Enrollment: 238 Accredited: YES Website: Harrisburg University of Science and Technology

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.

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La Roche College
Tuition and fees: $24,058 Enrollment: 1,518 Accredited: YES Website: La Roche College

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.

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Robert Morris University
Tuition and fees: $24,064 Enrollment: 4,426 Accredited: YES Website: Robert Morris University

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.

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Neumann University
Tuition and fees: $24,232 Enrollment: 2,857 Accredited: YES Website: Neumann University

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.

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Carlow University
Tuition and fees: $24,438 Enrollment: 2,254 Accredited: YES Website: Carlow University

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.

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Geneva College
Tuition and fees: $24,480 Enrollment: 2,018 Accredited: YES Website: Geneva College

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

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Point Park University
Tuition and fees: $25,190 Enrollment: 3,907 Accredited: YES Website: Point Park University

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.

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Holy Family University
Tuition and fees: $25,590 Enrollment: 2,246 Accredited: YES Website: Holy Family University

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.

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Gannon University
Tuition and fees: $26,526 Enrollment: 3,156 Accredited: YES Website: Gannon University

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.

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Eastern University
Tuition and fees: $27,174 Enrollment: 3,169 Accredited: YES Website: Eastern University

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.

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Misericordia University
Tuition and fees: $27,230 Enrollment: 2,737 Accredited: YES Website: Misericordia University

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.

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Alvernia University
Tuition and fees: $27,950 Enrollment: 3,294 Accredited: YES Website: Alvernia University

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.

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Gwynedd Mercy University
Tuition and fees: $28,190 Enrollment: 2,641 Accredited: YES Website: Gwynedd Mercy University

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.

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Saint Francis University
Tuition and fees: $28,878 Enrollment: 1,945 Accredited: YES Website: Saint Francis University

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.

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Immaculata University
Tuition and fees: $29,000 Enrollment: 3,607 Accredited: YES Website: Immaculata University

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.

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Seton Hill University
Tuition and fees: $29,050 Enrollment: 2,535 Accredited: YES Website: Seton Hill University

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.

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King’s College
Tuition and fees: $29,174 Enrollment: 2,449 Accredited: YES Website: King’s College

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.

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Wilkes University
Tuition and fees: $29,326 Enrollment: 2,443 Accredited: YES Website: Wilkes University

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.

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Wilson College
Tuition and fees: $29,360 Enrollment: 808 Accredited: YES Website: Wilson College

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.

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Saint Vincent College
Tuition and fees: $29,846 Enrollment: 1,801 Accredited: YES Website: Saint Vincent College

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.

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Duquesne University
Tuition and fees: $30,034 Enrollment: 6,132 Accredited: YES Website: Duquesne University

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.

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DeSales University
Tuition and fees: $30,150 Enrollment: 2,925 Accredited: YES Website: DeSales University

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.

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Rosemont College
Tuition and fees: $30,450 Enrollment: 617 Accredited: YES Website: Rosemont College

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

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Chatham University
Tuition and fees: $31,532 Enrollment: 1,141 Accredited: YES Website: Chatham University

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.

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Cedar Crest College
Tuition and fees: $31,596 Enrollment: 1,759 Accredited: YES Website: Cedar Crest College

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.

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Philadelphia University
Tuition and fees: $32,064 Enrollment: 3,179 Accredited: YES Website: Philadelphia University

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.

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Thomas Jefferson University
Tuition and fees: $33,894 Enrollment: 1,243 Accredited: YES Website: Thomas Jefferson University

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.

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Arcadia University
Tuition and fees: $35,620 Enrollment: 2,393 Accredited: YES Website: Arcadia University

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.

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Drexel University
Tuition and fees: $36,090 Enrollment: 17,481 Accredited: YES Website: Drexel University

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.

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Widener University-Main Campus
Tuition and fees: $36,382 Enrollment: 3,487 Accredited: YES Website: Widener University-Main Campus

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.

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Elizabethtown College
Tuition and fees: $36,550 Enrollment: 1,873 Accredited: YES Website: Elizabethtown College

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

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University of Scranton
Tuition and fees: $37,456 Enrollment: 4,365 Accredited: YES Website: University of Scranton

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.

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Saint Joseph’s University
Tuition and fees: $37,830 Enrollment: 5,867 Accredited: YES Website: Saint Joseph’s University

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.

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Lehigh University
Tuition and fees: $42,220 Enrollment: 4,920 Accredited: YES Website: Lehigh University

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.

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Villanova University
Tuition and fees: $42,740 Enrollment: 7,804 Accredited: YES Website: Villanova University

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.

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Dickinson College
Tuition and fees: $44,551 Enrollment: 2,550 Accredited: YES Website: Dickinson College

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.