Web-based learning has been a booming trend in higher education for the past decade. It's no wonder that millions of students decide to pursue their degree online as such a format offers them the opportunity to study at their own pace and in the most comfortable environment.
Currently, there are 353 schools across the country that are offering e-learning options. With such a variety, it may be tough to choose the online program that will perfectly match your expectations in terms of quality, accreditation, tuition costs, and potential payoff. So to assist you in your decision-making, we've picked seven best U.S. universities that award online degrees.
Arizona State University is No.1 among the most innovative higher education institutions in the country. Its online platform comprises 200+ research-based programs in the arts, business, engineering, sciences, education, design, and public services.
All ASU Online courses are developed by the same faculty who teach on-campus. That is a huge bonus for prospective e-learners as this school can boast of having a truly top-notch academic personnel. There are 5 MacArthur fellows, 4 Nobel Prize laureates, 7 Pulitzer Prize winners, and more than three dozen members of NAE, NAS, and American Academy of Arts and Sciences working at ASU. Students earning an online degree in Anthropology will have a chance to attend classes by renowned paleoanthropologist Dr. Donald Johanson, the man behind the discovery of Lucy — 'the mother of man.'
Penn State World Campus
Pennsylvania State University is among the nation's pioneers in e-learning. Its World Campus was launched in 1998, at the time when web-based education was still in its early days. Nowadays, it may be hard to imagine, but back then, taking university courses outside the brick-and-mortar classroom was still quite a new thing. Today World Campus enrolls over 20,000 students who can earn a degree in one of 190 programs available online.
Penn State delivers 38 bachelor's degree programs online. Some of the most popular fields are accounting, cybersecurity, criminal justice, digital journalism and media, international politics, and biobehavioral health.
Oregon State Ecampus
Oregon State University started paving its way towards the nation's top online education providers almost two decades ago. Its first online bachelor degree program was launched in 2000. Since then, OSU Ecampus has grown into a huge e-learning platform delivering 70+ degree and certificate programs and over 1,300 classes. Among its most popular undergraduate majors are computer science, business administration and management, human development and family sciences, fisheries sciences, and management.
Oregon State Ecampus learners have access to a great range of student services, including free tutoring, success coaching, career development center, and library resources. Indigenous students can also get connected with the university's native community via Native American Longhouse Eena Haws center.
The virtual campus of the University of Florida has over 200 programs, including 24 bachelor's degree options. UF Online undergraduate courses cover numerous academic fields such as business & leadership, communication, technology, Earth sciences, health & life, public safety, and social sciences.
The college provides its online students with the same high tier benefits their on-campus counterparts enjoy. E-learners become a constituent part of Gator Nation — a network of over 415,000 UF alumni, residing in all 50 states and over 150 countries worldwide. They also have access to one of the U.S. top-ranked career centers and are able to participate in the largest virtual job fairs in the Southeast.
UF treats e-learners and those who choose to attend brick-and-mortar classes equally, not only in terms of opportunities but requirements as well. All the college entrants undergo the standard admission procedure. Unlike other schools on this list, UF requires its prospective students to submit an application essay, but this issue can be easily tackled with the help of online essay service.
OU Extended Campus
Oklahoma accounts for nearly 10% of the nation's 119,000 Native American university population. A significant number of college entrants from the Sooner State decide to pursue their degrees online. The University of Oklahoma is one of their top choices. It can boast of having the sixth-largest indigenous student community in the country.
OU Extended Campus features several undergraduate programs delivered 100% online. Students can earn a BA degree in organizational leadership, integrative studies, lifespan care administration, and a BS in criminal justice. Most courses are offered on an accelerated paced schedule so that the program can be completed in as little as 18 months.
OU emphasizes a holistic approach to learning with the focus on the immediate application of gained knowledge to one's life and work. That contributes to the nationwide acknowledgment of its online bachelor's degree program, which lands in the top 10 in the country for the fourth consecutive year.
The University of North Carolina-Wilmington is a relatively new player in the e-learning market. Yet this didn't prevent it from becoming one of the best higher education institutions offering online degrees (No.8, according to the U.S. News & World Report).
UNCW launched its first online course during the 2013-2014 academic year. Today its virtual learning platform features more than 50 degree and certificate programs. Online students can take a bachelor's degree in clinical research, criminology, elementary education, international studies, middle-grade education, and nursing (RN to BS).
The University of Arizona is another higher education institution from Grand Canyon State on our list. Its numerous achievements include:
- Nobel-Prize-winning faculty members;
- a world-first Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology;
- a U.S.-first Department of Hydrology and Water Resources;
- long-term NASA partnership;
- No. 1 in the country for Native American PhDs awarded.
Arizona Online, UA's virtual campus, is among the fastest-rising universities in the rankings of U.S. best non-traditional education providers. It is offering over 100 online bachelor through doctorate level degrees. The variety of disciplines students can choose from is really impressive and includes such fields as the administration of justice, information science and e-society, cyber operations, global and intercultural understanding, sustainable built environments, geographic information systems technology.