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.

If you find yourself generally immersed in some book—anything from Shakespeare to Cheryl Strayed—you will likely find others just like you in the English department studying the trochaic octameter of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven," the stunning word choices of narrative nonfiction author Annie Dillard, or the experimental elements of the writings of Walter Abish. English programs focus on literature, language, and writing, and an English major will encounter a wide array of absorbing works of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction from around the world and throughout history. Analyzing the works of the greatest minds and imaginations that human civilization has produced will surely sharpen your critical, emotional, creative, and moral faculties. The study of literature also helps to shed some light on the answers to the enduring questions of the human condition. This degree is tremendous preparation for a future in law, journalism, publishing, graduate studies, and just about anything else.
UIC offers a range of student supports to ensure your success as an online student. Live technical support is available, as well as access to tutorials on how to access information within your online courses. And students can access learning software from computers and mobile devices. UIC also offers flexible scheduling so students can attend lectures, complete assignments, and engage in discussions at their convenience.

One-year education administration or education leadership graduate certificate programs are available for students who are currently earning or have already earned a master's degree. They are typically designed for education professionals who would like to advance into a career as a school leader or school district leader. Associate and bachelor’s degrees in educational administration give a broader and more in-depth liberal arts experience. An undergraduate degree program in early childhood education administration provides students with an understanding of the education industry, helps them gain advanced organizational management skills and trains them in the theories of child development.
WGU’s teaching degrees require students to complete a thorough degree plan of rigorous online coursework, before completing observation hours, and demonstration teaching in a live classroom setting. Once we review your previous transcripts for transfer credits we will set your degree plan, based on what remains to be completed on our standard path degree plan. As you approach the end of your coursework we will help you find a local school in which to do 75-115 classroom observation hours as you prepare for your demonstration teaching. The last component of your degree plan will be a 4-6-month demonstration teaching position in your area. WGU will assist with placement for this position. Upon completion of demonstration teaching you will be prepared to graduate and apply for your teaching license!

UMKC Online makes the educational process both collaborative and supportive. As an online student, you’ll be able to take advantage of a wide range of student supports like online tutoring, academic advising, and disability services. And all faculty who teach online at UMKC must complete UMKC Online Teaching Certification, so you know that not only are your instructors experts in their area of specialization but are specifically trained to teach in an online environment. Top online degree programs at UMKC include:


If you have credits to transfer to a university program, Pace University may be a good fit. Pace University Online maintains a generous transfer credit policy that aims to give students the maximum amount of transfer credit from previous college experience towards your desired program. And U.S. News & World Report currently ranks Pace University’s online Bachelor’s program as one of the top ten best programs for veterans.
Dallas Baptist University is a private Christian liberal arts school that offers online degrees for undergraduate and graduate students. In addition to degrees in biblical studies and Christian ministries, those seeking an online bachelor's can choose from subjects including psychology, sociology, healthcare management, and eight business disciplines. The school's 15 online master's degrees include six tracks for aspiring teachers, six ministry pathways, and an MBA with concentration options.
Depending on the state and grade level the student intends to instruct, the bachelor's degree may be sufficient to launch a teaching career. In some states, secondary school teachers are required to complete graduate training. Private schools set their own standards for teachers, and a bachelor's degree may be sufficient for employment in certain schools. Prospective teachers should investigate their state's teaching licensure procedures to understand the rules that apply to them.
Missouri State University offers a handful of online bachelor's degrees suitable for first-time undergraduates or transfer students. A total of 10 major options include criminology and criminal justice, finance, health services, hospitality leadership, and an RN-to-BSN. The school also offers two undergraduate certificates and 12 bachelor's degree minors fully online. Graduate students can choose from 14 online master's programs, including seven pathways for teachers, and two doctorate in nursing tracks.
Considered the oldest and largest online degree-providing institution in the state, Northwestern State University of Louisiana offers web-based programs at all degree levels. Bachelor's options include degrees in fields such as addiction studies, business administration, and social work; the psychology and unified public safety administration fields offer multiple concentrations.
Most nationally accredited colleges are for-profit and meet lower academic standards than their regional counterparts. Students considering a nationally accredited online college should research the school's reputation and understand how academic standards differ from regionally accredited schools. It's important to note that most nationally accredited schools will accept transfer credits from regionally accredited colleges and universities, but the opposite is not always true.
Further positions within the education world that may be open to those with a degree in teaching include: guidance counselor, instructional coach, positions within the Department of Education, school administrator, educational consultant, college or university academic advisor, school librarian, school technology specialist, private tutor, museum educator, after-school program coordinator, or positions within educational tools companies – i.e. textbook companies and companies that develop educational resources.
To learn the basics of Photography, students often enroll in certificate programs at technical schools, colleges and universities. You’ll learn how to operate a single lens reflex camera and a variety of lens. Classes will also cover darkroom developing, digital editing, lighting and color techniques. Two-year associate career training degrees include more advanced techniques, and may cover digital effects, portfolio development or marketing yourself as a photographer.

Third, majors help demonstrate how you learn to focus and apply yourself - much like a baseball player is assigned a position to play on defense or a lineup position in the batting order.  Yet, the major does not actually prepare you for a specific job or position in the real world.  In a hypothetical setting, colleges and universities utilize majors as a means to segment instruction across a range of academic departments.  And, the major and departments, through concentrations, can then assess comprehension and learning outcomes.
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.
Liberty University is one of many online colleges that offers flat-rate tuition for all online undergraduates regardless of their state residency status, and some RN-to-BSN students qualify for lower tuition rates. Additionally, police officers, EMS personnel, and other first responders receive a 25% tuition discount. Liberty University receives regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Online certificates and associate degrees in education can provide an introduction to the field and preparation for later college-level work. These degrees cover general liberal arts topics, as well as courses in curriculum design, child development, and instructional methods. Stand-alone undergraduate certificates are usually available in early childhood education areas, while certificates that are part of bachelor’s degrees cover a wider range of topics, such as education policy or adult education.
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.
The University of North Carolina at Wilmington features an online Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education. The program focus is on developing professional competency for teaching and school leadership. It will result in North Carolina licensure to teach K-6. Admission requires a minimum of 24 credits with a 2.5 GPA. In addition to the core curriculum, an 18 hour concentration is required, chosen from science and health, fine arts, ESL, international studies, math, and technology. The field requirements include some on-campus practicums and the student teaching must be done in North Carolina. Classes in the program include Teaching Diverse Learners K-6, Social Studies Curriculum and Instruction K-6, and Psychological Foundations of Teaching. Online tuition for state residents is $150.10 per credit and $625.27 per credit for nonresidents.
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.
Some schools automatically deduct tuition and housing payments from the disbursements, and provide students with the remaining balance. Other colleges disburse all of the financial aid, requiring students to make tuition and housing payments themselves. The aid money that is left over may be used for books, food, transportation, and personal expenses.
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.
But not all college degrees are created equal. To determine which majors typically come with the best hiring prospects and pay, we studied the data for 102 popular college majors. We looked for courses of study that tend to lead to fat paychecks—both right out of school and further along your career path. We also sought out majors that are in high demand based on recent online job postings as well as long-term growth expectations for related occupations. Plus, we factored in the percentage of workers with given degrees who feel their jobs have a positive impact on the world because having a sense of purpose can be just as important as having a good payday.
Another liberal arts degree proves its worth. Just like with classics majors, American studies majors are attractive to employers in a host of industries because of their proven ability to do in-depth research and perform critical analysis. Developing these skills helps prepare them for work in law, journalism, academics, government, museum curation, business, finance and other fields, as well as further education including law school.
Chemical engineers harness chemical reactions to produce things people want. It's a very broad field that overlaps considerably with other branches of engineering , chemistry , and biochemistry . Chemical engineering majors learn how to reorganize the structure of molecules and how to design chemical processes through which chemicals, petroleum, foods, and pharmaceuticals can undergo. You'll learn how to build and operate industrial plants where raw materials are chemically altered. You'll learn how to keep the environment safe from potential pollution and hazardous waste, too. Paper mills, manufacturers of fertilizers, pharmaceutical companies, plastics makers, and tons of other kinds of firms will be looking for your expertise.
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.
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.
You'll find little risk in pursuing an actuarial career. These professionals—who work in the insurance and finance industries, analyzing the costs of risk and uncertainty—are in high demand. New and ever-changing health care laws and financial regulations help drive companies' needs for their services, and their usefulness is well compensated: Actuaries enjoy a median salary of $101,566 a year. For even better pay, an actuarial degree can also lead you to becoming a financial manager, who typically earns nearly $122,733 a year (and is one of our Best Jobs for the Future).
Regis University is a private nonprofit institution affiliated with the Jesuit order of Roman Catholics. The school offers a total of 25 bachelor's degrees online, including nine pathways in business-related fields, three nursing programs, and an elementary education licensure track. Standard online bachelor's programs consist of 16-week courses or accelerated formats of eight-week courses. The 33-credit online master's degrees offer tracks in education, nursing, and business administration, and doctoral degree options include concentrations in nursing and occupational therapy.

UMKC is renowned for their high-quality online programs and is home to one of the top 20 online Graduate Nursing Programs in the country, as well as highly-ranked online Bachelor’s and Graduate Education programs (U.S. News & World Report). And UMKC has recently been awarded the SANsational award by the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET) for their online presence in the State Authorization area.
A big reason for the growth in online education is demand. Online college programs make college more accessible to a much larger population than traditional on-campus learning. Thanks to technology, you can earn an online associate degree, online bachelor's degree or online master's degree without having to sacrifice your job or time caring for your family.

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.

Wilmington University, located in Wilmington, Delaware, has four online Bachelor of Science in Educational Studies programs. They are in Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education K-6, Middle School Education 6-8, and in Skilled and Technical Sciences. The programs are designed for people working with children in positions that do not require licensure or certification (the programs do not lead to licensure). The curriculum combines general education with teaching skills. Wilmington has an open admissions policy and welcomes applications from interested students. Credit transfers and evaluation of prior experience for possible credit policies are generous. Sample courses include Family, Community and School Partnerships, Learner Development and Numeracy, and Multicultural Education. Online undergraduate tuition is $372 per credit.

Traditional degree programs in instructional technology revolve around group discussion, helping students build ideas off of one another. This is not easily done through online programs, so instructional technology students will be asked to complete a lot of reading and writing assignments. Many online programs (as well as some traditional programs) require that all students be full-time, licensed teachers. 


The coursework in the education certificate will vary, depending on the program’s goals. Many programs are designed to certify teachers in a particular subject area, such as elementary or secondary education. These programs discuss instructional abilities and teaching theory. Some programs are aimed at experienced educators and discuss education administration and leadership topics, such as human resources issues and professional communication techniques. Other certificates are useful for seasoned teachers who want more knowledge in a particular teaching area, such as teaching students with disabilities or using educational technology.
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.
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