Specific requirements vary by program, but most online students log into their school's learning management system (LMS) to participate in course lectures. Asynchronous programs allow students to view lecture recordings on their own time. Alternatively, synchronous programs may require students to watch live-streaming lectures. In some cases, synchronous courses feature video conferencing components that allow students to ask questions and interact with their professors and fellow students.
Demand for expertise in this field is building. Expectations for population and business growth in the U.S. for the next several years fuels the need for new homes, office buildings, hospitals, schools and structures of all kinds, as well as the improvement and maintenance of existing buildings and infrastructure, such as roads, bridges and sewer pipe systems. That means growing opportunities for construction managers, an obvious professional goal for this academic path. Plus, their median income is a solid $71,781 a year.
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.
The 1930s witnessed the appearance of first interdisciplinary major: American studies. Culture was the grounding concept and orchestrating principle for its courses. 1960s to 1970s experienced a new tide of interdisciplinary majors and a relaxation of curriculum and graduation requirements. (Civil Rights Movement spawned Women’s studies and Black Studies, for example.)  In the 1980s and 1990s, "interdisciplinary studies, multiculturalism, feminist pedagogy, and a renewed concern for the coherence and direction of the undergraduate program began to assail the Baccalaureate degree dominated by the academic major."
The University of Florida is one of many online colleges that offers a comprehensive selection of online degrees at the bachelor's level, master's level, and doctoral level. Opportunities for undergraduates include bachelor's degrees in popular fields such as business administration, computer science, nursing, and psychology. Students also enjoy online options in specialized fields such as fire and emergency services, microbiology and cell science, and sport management. Graduate students can choose from a total of 77 online master's degrees, most of which focus on STEM fields and specializations, and nine online doctorate programs.
Affordability is an important aspect of access to higher education, and UCF has been recognized (by both Forbes and Kiplinger’s) for being one of the most affordable and best-value universities in the U.S. And online students have access to a wide range of student supports—from peer-assisted tutoring and online tutors to library services, academic advising, and career services.
Most online programs at the university follow a fast-track schedule consisting of eight-week terms in the fall and spring and four-week or eight-week sessions during the summer semester. This timetable enables students to focus on 1-2 courses at a time and potentially graduate at a faster pace. Most online bachelor's pathways are asynchronous and do not require any campus visits, but some may include mandatory on-campus exams or presentations.
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.
Earning an online college degree requires a substantial investment. While some students choose to pay for college out-of-pocket using savings or loans from their parents, many must seek financial aid to offset the costs of tuition, housing, food, and other necessary expenses. Many online schools also allow students to pay for tuition and housing in monthly installments, rather than paying one lump sum for each semester or quarter term. These deferred payment plans carry little to no interest, but the balance must be paid off by the end of each term.
A nationally-ranked public university, Washington State University fulfills its mission to reach beyond campus boundaries through its online portal—WSU Global Campus. The University has been offering online programs since 2010 and currently serves over 2000 online students with over 20 high-quality, accredited degree possibilities at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Through its development, scholars, academics, and educators have disagreed on the purpose and nature of the undergraduate major. Generally, proponents of the major and departmental system "argue that they enable an academic community to foster the development, conservation and diffusion of knowledge." In contrast, critics "claim that they promote intellectual tribalism, where specialization receives favor over the mastery of multiple epistemologies, where broader values of liberal learning and of campus unity are lost, and where innovation is inhibited due to parochial opposition to new sub-specialties and research methods."
WGU was the right choice for me to earn my MSN-Edu. It was challenging to do, but WGU has the right resources to support the students during their journey. I could not have done it without my great program mentor Hillary Poor. She was always there for me when I needed her. She did support and encouraged me whenever I felt overwhelmed. The tuition is another plus, it is very affordable and its flexibility fits anyone's schedule. Thank you WGU for your support to the students.
The field of education is constantly evolving – and as a new or current teacher, you must be equipped to successfully navigate the developments. Impact student learning with the skills you'll need to individualize instruction, address State Standards, incorporate technology into your lesson plans – and more with an education degree. You’ve realized your potential – and now you have the opportunity to help others realize theirs.
Brandman University maintains a core commitment to delivering a real-world curriculum to their students—one that will be applicable to day one in the marketplace. Brandman’s faculty members are professionals currently working in their fields, so students can feel assured that they are receiving current best-practices. And students receive support from application to graduation through enrollment coaches, academic advisors, and career services. Top degrees include:
The Center for Online Education understands online colleges have a dynamic future as new technologies and new uses for existing tools change the way we communicate, connect, and collaborate. In the coming years, virtual reality, blended program delivery, makerspaces, predictive learning platforms, gigabit Internet speeds, and other emerging technologies will push the limits of what was once thought possible at online colleges. Social media and networking sites will continue to impact online teaching and learning, providing a virtual space for authentic interaction, relationship building, and participation in professional communities. Our in-house team, and panel of contributors, are all graduates of accredited colleges and are here to help inform your online college journey.
Since 2006, the University of Alabama—a public research university—has been offering high-quality online programs through Bama by Distance, their distinctive online portal. Bama by Distance currently offers around 60 accredited online degrees and certificates—primarily in the areas of education, engineering, healthcare, and business—at the undergraduate through the doctoral levels.
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.
Online students face a set of unique issues. Whether you’re wondering about online student disability services, LGBT support at online colleges, or paying for your online degree, our library of guides is here to help you. Planning to transfer credits from an online college? We’ll walk you through the importance of enrolling in accredited online colleges to ensure your hard work does not go to waste. We collected questions from parents, educators, and students to discover the most pressing issues they faced, and then put our team of experts to work finding in-depth answers.
You can find faculty and other students who share your discipline at our SAS research centers. These scholarly communities help students and faculty find others with similar research interests and build relationships. You can take advantage of research courses that help to inform you about methodologies, writing style and requirements. If you have specific questions that require a quick response while you write your dissertation, you can contact a research faculty member who will answer within 24–48 hours.
All those in-demand tech majors and workers noted earlier need something to work on. Enter the computer hardware engineers. These workers research, design, develop and improve computer systems, as well as components including circuit boards, networks and routers. And they’re not limited to working on PCs and Macs. Computers can be found everywhere, from in your car and coffee maker to medical equipment and airplanes, helping to drum up demand for these kinds of engineers across a variety of industries. That helps drive their projected job growth rate to 9.4% over the next decade. Their median income is $115,045 a year.
At the University of Central Florida, online courses combine an outstanding learning experience with personalized convenience and flexibility. With top online degrees in areas like Criminal Justice and Graduate Nursing, UCF is establishing a reputation for excellent online programming for working professionals. Not content to rest on their laurels, UCF ranks among the top 25 most innovative schools in the country (U.S. News and World Report). Top online degrees include:
Graduates of these programs often become professors in universities and colleges, teaching classes in general education, teaching, education policy, education administration, and educational psychology and counseling. Professors of education also participate in research studies, often with the goal of publishing their findings in academic journals; they may also advise graduate students as they write their theses and dissertations. Some graduates will work in education policy and reform, while those who studied education administration can become principals, headmasters, deans, superintendents, or employees for state and national departments of education.
Due to its commitment to superior educational standards and an annual price of $22,128, Oregon State University is an excellent value for your money. This school understands how to work with the specific requirements of international students; 8.6% of its undergraduate population is from other countries. Go on a virtual tour to explore Oregon State.
FIU provides a wide range of online undergraduate and graduate degrees. A total of 42 online bachelor's options include five hospitality management tracks and degrees in specialized fields such as crime science, internet of things, and sustainability and the environment. Offerings also include 17 online undergraduate minors and three combined bachelor's and master's pathways. FIU's online graduate options include 31 master of science tracks and MBA, master of public administration, and doctor of nursing practice pathways.