A member of the ten-school Concordia University System, Concordia University-Saint Paul is a private, nationally ranked, Christian (Lutheran) university.  Concordia Saint Paul (CSP) offers numerous degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate level to over 1000 enrolled online students. And U.S. News & World Report ranks many of their online program among the best of their kind.


As widespread acceptance of online education surges among nonprofit institutions, we predict that the number of accredited online colleges – and their quality – will increase. This rapid growth can make choosing an online college feel intimidating. To develop a short list of options that make sense for you and your goals, you need to compare a wide range of components, such as accreditation, tuition and fees, support services, faculty, and career preparation.
Second, recognize we live in a world of specialization. Industries - like transportation, communications, internet and health care can be divided and broken down into thousands of areas of specialization. An academic discipline, or field of study, is a branch of knowledge that is taught and researched at the college or university level. Disciplines cross industries –such as history, linguistics, literature, performing arts, philosophy, religion, social sciences, economics, geography, political science, natural sciences, mathematics and applied sciences. In no way was that list meant to itemize them all. 
Concordia University Saint Paul also delivers an exceptionally high return on investment—with students making the highest average salary among Minnesota private schools four years after graduation. CSP also makes transferring credit easy with Transferology—a web-based course transfer system that helps transfer students determine how courses will transfer to CSP.  And through Concordia’s Transfer Advantage program students can transfer credits from a partner institution seamlessly.
The University of Illinois Springfield takes accessibility seriously—and works to make transferring into programs as simple as possible. UIS has established relationships with many accredited institutions across the state of Illinois, making the transfer process seamless for students. And Joint Agreements mean that student in approved community colleges can be assigned a UIS advisor that help plan a course of study before they even begin studying at UIS.
To get started as a materials scientist, you typically need a bachelor’s degree, but some research positions may require you to extend your education for a master’s or doctoral degree. It might be worth the added boost. Materials scientists make a median income of $99,549 a year, well above the national median of $43,992 a year. But you can expect some competition: While the number of positions is expected to increase a modest 7.4% over the next decade, slower than the projected 9.7% growth for all jobs, the market remains small with there being just about 8,000 materials scientists currently.
Another school that is no stranger to national rankings, the University of Florida—located in the city of Gainesville—is breaking down geographical barriers to higher education. The University of Florida offers access to more than 200 online undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs. And as a student, you’ll be a member of The Gator Nation, along with thousands of students and alumni around the world.
Students in associate degree programs in education can chose from many different areas of specialization. The most common concentrations are early childhood education, elementary education, secondary education, and special education. Some students may also choose to specialize in a particular subject, such as math or biology. Regardless of the area of interest, students will learn about classroom management, curriculum development, and best practices for working with school staff and parents. Coursework typically includes topics such as education fundamentals, education technology, education psychology, and child development and growth. In addition to classroom learning, students in these programs may be required to complete internships or externships in order to graduate.
For those that want to travel as they study, UMC online students can take advantage of extensive study-abroad opportunities.  And online learners at UMC  have the opportunity to participate in hands-on internships that give you the chance to practice what you’ve learned and make contacts with potential employers. The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program also opens doors to conducting research as an online student.
Fort Hays State University has two online degree programs in education: the B.S. in Elementary Education and the B.S.in Education in Early Childhood Unified. Admission requires a diploma and SAT/ACT scores. Transfer students in the Teacher Education program need a minimum GPA of 2.75. The Unified program includes a special education component, and it leads to Kansas state certification for regular and special education, birth to grade 3. Its overall focus is on careers in teaching and administration in birth-grade 3 settings. The Elementary Education program focuses on theory, curriculum, and clinical experience. Graduates are qualified to seek Kansas state licensure in K to 6. Courses in the programs include Emerging Literacy, Literacy Assessment and Intervention, and Educational Psychology. Tuition is $218.67 per credit.
Online students at WSU Global Campus benefit from many student supports including personal academic assistance, a worldwide alumni network, and access to their unique Global Connections program. WSU is constantly expanding online course offerings—and these programs constantly garner national acclaim. WSU has ranked at the top of U.S. News & World Report’s online rankings for Bachelor’s, MBA, and Graduate Engineering programs.
The University of Arkansas at Monticello features an online Bachelor of Science in Education Studies. The program is designed for nontraditional students, and particularly for full-time public school paraprofessionals. Anyone may apply. Freshman admission requires a diploma and a minimum GPA of 2.0. The ACT is preferred. Transfer students also need a minimum 2.0 GPA. The program does not lead to licensure but on completion, graduates may choose to enroll in UAM's online MA in Teaching, which does lead to certification. Sample courses include Education, Schools and Society, K-6 Planning, Curriculum and Programming, and Needs of Diverse Learners in Inclusive Settings.

If you have a creative bent, then you know that it can be more difficult to find online programs that match your interests. The Savannah College of Art and Design—a private, nonprofit university— has addressed this need by offering high-quality online programs tailored to meet the needs of nontraditional students. And their programs, offered at the undergraduate and graduate level—have found their way to national rankings.  
It is hard to find a better school than Colorado State University - Fort Collins if you wish to study Zoology. Colorado State University - Fort Collins offers graduate degrees in zoology for those interested in an advanced degree. The location in a significant city is great for students seeking out considerable prospects for social networking, experience, and exploration.
Because Appalachian State exclusively offers degree completion programs at the bachelor's level, incoming students need at least 30 credits from another accredited institution. The school also reserves several institutional scholarships for transfer students. Appalachian State University receives regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
The tech and healthcare industries are dominant players in the job market—and this major combines the two. As a student of biomedical engineering, you can expect to learn about all the ways technology impacts medicine, whether in the development of new biomedical devices such as artificial internal organs or in working with diagnostic machines and rehabilitative exercise equipment. Of course, you need to be comfortable with math and science courses. Some specific classes you can expect to take include anatomy, biomechanics and micromachines and robotics. Also plan to put in plenty of lab time. Many degree programs even include more hands-on experience with co-ops or internships with hospitals or medical device and pharmaceutical manufacturing companies.
What is a college major? A major is simply a specific subject that students can specialize in while aspiring to a college degree. Typically, between a third and half of the courses you take in college are in your major or related to it. By completing a major, you demonstrate sustained, high-level work in one subject. In some majors, you prepare for a specific career. Depending on the college or university, you might be able to major in two subjects, have a major and a minor or even create your own major.
UCF boasts an extensive online selection that caters to those earning degrees in liberal arts fields. Undergraduates can choose from 20 different programs, including bachelor's degrees in criminal justice, international and global studies, creative writing, and Latin American studies. Other bachelor's offerings include healthcare fields such as health informatics and information management, health services administration, and nursing. Graduate students may pursue 26 different master's degrees online, most concentrated in education or engineering, and three doctoral degrees in nursing.
Central Michigan University welcomes transfer students at all stages of their academic careers and from around the country (and even the world). The school simplifies the often stressful work of assessing transfer credit and has a generous transfer policy of 64 credits per degree program. Military students are also well supported at CMU Global Campus, with Military Transfer Credits and various support programs.
Many online undergraduates at Northeastern collaborate with sponsoring organizations to complete an immersive six-week project. Working students, on the other hand, may partner with their employer to tackle a capstone project that addresses a key need or issue in their professional field. The university also offers a co-op program that allows students to work in a paid position related to their major field for up to six months.
Majoring in economics is another way to benefit from growing opportunities linked to the big data boom. Like statisticians, economists are mostly employed by the federal government, which may be a limiting factor. But you can also find work with employers specializing in consulting services, scientific research and finance—though you’ll likely need an advanced degree to move beyond entry-level positions. Economists can expect a median salary of $102,482 a year. Employers also look for people with economics degrees to fill positions as financial managers (one of our Best Jobs for the Future), purchasing agents and data analysts.
Graduate degree programs provide highly advanced education in education administration. A master’s degree program in educational leadership offers aspiring principals, deans, and other administrators an opportunity to further develop their professional skills and prepares them to effectively manage the way a school operates. Educational leadership doctorates introduce current educators to advanced theories in educational psychology, educational leadership and public relations, school law, and leadership ethics.
Our rankings of the best online colleges and universities are a jumping off point to help you build your own list of prospective programs that meet your needs. Remember, many factors that contribute to the quality of a degree program are intangible. You won't find data points here or elsewhere that fully capture the level of faculty support, peer networking or academic and professional stimulation found in one program versus another. Please contact your schools directly for more information.
A public research university, the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) is a member of the four-campus University of Missouri System and home to an eLearning campus of excellence. UMKC offers well over 50 online degree programs—in diverse areas but with a special emphasis on healthcare degrees—at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels.
The University of Nebraska at Kearney offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Education- Early Childhood Inclusive. The degree is designed for adults who work as in-service teachers, in HeadStart programs and similar settings. Admission requires a diploma and ACT/ SAT scores or the GED for freshmen, and transfer students should have a minimum GPA of 2.0. Two specializations are available: Birth through Kindergarten and Age 3 to Grade 3. The Inclusive teaching certificate allows teaching birth to age 5 in Special Ed, and birth to age 8 in standard teaching programs. Program courses include Typical/ Atypical Growth and Development, Phonics and Word Study, and Math, Science and Social Studies for Children 3-8. Online tuition is $422 per credit for nonresidents.

The WorldClassroom platform delivers online courses at Webster, allowing students to enroll anywhere across the globe and communicate and collaborate with a diverse student population. Undergraduate online degrees span 128 credits, a little longer than average; but students who take at least 16 credits per semester can complete their programs in four years or less.
Even though one big advantage of an online college or university is the fact that you can take courses anywhere in the world, most online students take classes from a school within 100 miles of where they live. Online programs offer a great deal of flexibility, but enrolling in an online degree program close to your home can offer some big advantages. If you enroll in an online program close to home, you can save money with in-state tuition, easily access campus resources like libraries, gyms or in-person office hours with professors, and you can access hybrid programs, which require you to spend some time on campus in addition to online curriculum.
eCampus, our innovative learning platform, allows you to ask questions, discuss topics and collaborate with your classmates from around the world. This gives you the ability to work in teams, talk to your instructor and access course materials any time of the day or night. Your schedule will be provided to you by your Academic Advisor and can be accessed in eCampus under the Quick Links section.
Most online master's programs can be completed in less than three years of full-time study. Many schools offer accelerated online programs, allowing you to complete your graduate degree in just 12 months. You should consider pursuing a graduate degree if you already have a bachelor's degree but want to switch careers, qualify for more advanced leadership roles, or increase your earning potential. Some fields require a master's degree and the completion of professional licensure and certification. Example careers include licensed counselors, social workers, and certified public health employees.
The University of Southern Mississippi offers an online Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. This program is designed for current teacher assistants so they can earn a B.S.and become a certified teacher. Freshman admission is determined by a combination of GPA and SAT or ACT scores. Transfer students must have a minimum 2.0 GPA. Graduates are eligible to become certified teachers in K-6. Several endorsements are also available, which will strengthen the degree and career options. They are Math K-8, Science, Social Studies, Foreign Language and English. Classes include Science for Elementary Teachers, Tests and Measurements, and Mathematics for Primary and Middle Grades. Online tuition is $355 per credit.
The need for nurses is as persistent as the common cold. In terms of demand, most health care professionals, in general, benefit from the aging population, as well as advancing technology helping people live longer, healthier lives. And prospects for registered nurses (RNs) and nurse practitioners (NPs)—both among our Best Jobs for the Future—are particularly promising with their numbers expected to grow by 16.3% and 35.2%, respectively, over the next decade. RNs earn a median $69,789 a year; NPs typically make nearly $103,947 a year. And the field is as rewarding as it is lucrative: 82% of employees with this degree report feeling a high sense of meaning in their careers, the highest share of all 102 majors included in our rankings.
OSU Ecampus students have access to a wide range of student supports—vital resources like success counseling, library services, free online tutoring, and career guidance. And OSU Ecampus is currently ranked among the top five best online bachelor’s programs for veterans—  advisors collaborate with veterans to maximize their military education benefits and find programs that work well for military service members.
With more than 90,000 online students, Southern New Hampshire University is one of the fastest-growing postsecondary institutions in the U.S. The school offers online bachelor's degrees in a total of 40 fields. These options include business administration, criminal justice, geosciences, and information technology. Graduate students can choose from 29 MBA tracks and five pathways in curriculum and instruction.
Online undergraduates at Midway University who plan to enter a teaching career can earn a bachelor's in education with eight concentration options. Other bachelor's degree options include subjects such as business administration, criminal justice, healthcare administration, marketing communications, and nursing. The school also makes online MBA, master's in education, and master's in nursing degrees available for graduate students.

A lot of problems first-year students face can be traced back to an illness that kept them away from classes for an extended period of time that led to a downward spiraling effect. Get enough sleep, take your vitamins, and eat right. If you haven't heard the jokes about college food, you soon will. And without mom or dad there to serve you a balanced meal, you may be tempted to go for those extra fries or cookies. Stay healthy and avoid the dreaded extra "Freshman 15" pounds by sticking to a balanced diet.
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