The 25 Best Online Colleges for 2014

Online colleges provide convenience and flexibly. Online colleges can help you begin your new career or advance in your current career, but which online college is best for you? Not all online schools are created equal; the Create a Career staff members, with years of experience and expertise in the higher education and careers sectors, have created a list of the best online colleges to make your college selection easier. The list includes colleges with a strong focus on online education and traditional colleges offering a selection of online degrees.

Increasingly colleges and universities throughout the United States are adding online degrees to their list of available degrees; our list of the best online colleges focuses on colleges providing a significant number of online degree programs, thus some highly prestigious schools offering a very small number of online degrees do not meet our criteria.

We based the rankings of the best online colleges on an examination of features such as overall quality, reputation, cost, program availability, faculty credentials, student-to-teacher ratios, available financial aid, student and faculty support and technical support.

Online colleges and online universities give students the option to get a degree vital to their career not available from a traditional college in their area.

 

Best Online Colleges: #1 Penn State World Campus

Penn State is one of the most prestigious research universities on the east coast; people from all over the United States have the Penn State World Campus opportunity to conveniently obtain a Penn State World Campus online degree.

Penn State World Campus provides over 90 online degree and certificate programs in business, technology, engineering, education, healthcare and in other areas. Penn State World Campus provides degrees ranging from associates degrees to master’s degrees. The school also offers an array of minors.

The Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools has provided accreditation. Individual schools and programs have received accreditation from a large number of associations.

Penn State University ranked #8 among national public universities in the U.S. News and World Report list of Best Colleges in the United States and 34 of its individual programs are also recognized. Worldwide, Penn State University ranked the 50th best university by the Center for World University Rankings. The Wall Street Journal ranked Penn State graduates as the most prepared for work in their field.

 

Best Online Colleges: #2 UMass Online

The University of Massachusetts, also known as UMass, is one of the most respected public universities in America. Umass offersUMass Online degrees from associate’s degrees up through doctoral degrees. UMass Online has over 100 online degrees to select from. The professors who teach the on-campus classes teach the online courses; students get a world class education from anywhere with an internet connection.

The New England Association of Schools and Colleges provides accreditation. Other accreditation organizations have accredited individual programs.

The Times of London named UMass one of the top twenty universities in the world. University of Massachusetts – Amherst ranked #91 in the U.S. News & World Report 2014 edition of Best Colleges in National Universities and ranked #51 in the U.S. News & World Report Best Business Schools list and #58 in the U.S. News & World Report Best Education Schools list and ranked #20 in the U.S. News & World Report list of top computer science schools.

 

Best Online Colleges: #3 University of Florida

The University of Florida, a public research university, has more than 100 research centers and institutes. The university provides University of Florida prominent graduate programs via the Hough Graduate School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Medicine and the Levin College of law. The University of Florida provides a wide variety of online bachelor, master and doctoral degrees.

The University of Florida received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission of Colleges.

The University of Florida ranked #49 among the U.S. News & World Report list of National Universities. SmartMoney ranked University of Florida #2 in its list of universities whose graduates benefit from the highest return on investment. University of Florid ranked #3 in Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges 2013 list and ranked #7 in the Princeton Review Best Value Public Colleges list in 2012. Forbes ranks University of Florida #74 overall and #41 for research universities.

 

Best Online Colleges: #4 Northeastern University Online

Northeastern University, a private secular college, provides over 60 online programs and degrees in areas such as health sciences, Northeastern University Online business, computer and information sciences, engineering, professional studies, social sciences, humanities; art, media and design and more. Northeastern University Online provides bachelor, master and doctoral degrees and certificates.

Northeastern University receives substantial research grants every year from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health as well as from the Departments of Homeland Security, Defense and Energy.

Northeastern University received accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges Inc.

Northeastern University ranked #49 in the U.S. News & World Report 2014 edition of Best Colleges in National Universities. The school ranked #8 in International Business by U.S. News & World Report. The Northeastern University D’Amore-McKim School of Business ranked #25 in the Bloomberg BusinessWeek list of Business Schools. The Princeton Review ranks the Northeastern University career services department #2 in the country.

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Best Online Colleges: #5 Drexel University Online

Drexel University, a private research school has its main campus in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Drexel University Online, provides Drexel University Online more than 100 online degrees and certificate programs for adults in a variety of areas. Drexel University Online offers online bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice, education, business communications, general studies, information studies, nursing, professional studies, psychology, and technology. Drexel University Online also provides numerous certifications and a doctoral program in education.

The Drexel University faculty members who teach traditional classes also teach the online classes.

Drexel University has received accreditation from the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

Drexel University ranked #97 in the U.S. News & World Report 2014 edition of Best Colleges in National Universities. Drexel University ranks 7th in the U.S. News & World Report list of Up-Coming Schools.

Drexel University named a top school for producing CEOs of Fortune 100 companies. The school received the 2010 Sloan-C Award for Excellence in Institution-Wide Online Education. Drexel University included in The Princeton Review 2014 Best 378 Colleges list.

 

Best Online Colleges: #6 Boston University

Boston University, one of the nation’s largest independent nonprofit universities, provides an undergraduate degree completion Boston University program and an array of online graduate degrees, and two unique doctor programs.

Boston University offers online master’s degrees in art education, criminal justice, music education, computer science, banking and financial management, international marketing management and in other areas. Boston University also provides a variety of online graduate certificates and non-credit professional certificates.

Boston University has received accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc.

Boston University has highly ranked graduate schools such as the School of Management, School of Law, School of Medicine, and the School of Education. The College of Engineering is also highly ranked.

Boston University ranked #41 in the U.S. News & World Report 2014 edition of Best Colleges in National Universities. Boston University is a member of the Association of American Universities, an elite group of the top 60 schools in the United States. Boston University included in The Princeton Review 2014 Best 378 Colleges list. The school has a globally recognized research program.

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Best Online Colleges: #7 Colorado State University Global Campus

Colorado State University Global Campus, an online public university, provides a variety of online bachelor degree completion programs and an array of Colorado State University Global Campus online master degree programs. Colorado State University Global Campus also offers a variety of graduate certificates of completion programs.

Colorado State University, regarded as one of the leading research schools, has faculty members exploring fields such as infectious diseases, atmospheric science, environmental science and clean energy technologies.

Colorado State University Global Campus has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission which is part of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Colorado State University ranked #121 in the U.S. News & World Report 2014 edition of Best Colleges in National Universities. Colorado State University Global Campus ranked #7 by U.S. News & World Report for Best Online Bachelor Programs.

Forbes Magazine listed Colorado State University as one of the top research universities and one of the best universities in the west. Colorado State University included in The Princeton Review 2014 Best 378 Colleges list.

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Best Online Colleges: #8 ASU Online

ASU Online, part of Arizona State University, provides a wide variety of online undergraduate and graduate degree programs and certificate ASU Online programs.

Arizona State University has the nation’s largest undergraduate population.

Arizona State University provides a wide array of highly ranked graduate programs through schools such as:

  • Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law
  • W.P. Carey School of Business
  • Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College
  • Ira A. Fulton School Engineering

According to The Princeton Review, Arizona State University, is in the top 15% of all four year universities. Washington Monthly Magazine ranked ASU 7th in its list of “Best Bang for Your Buck” schools. Arizona State University ranked #142 in the U.S. News & World Report 2014 edition of Best Colleges in National Universities list.

 

Best Online Colleges: #9 Oregon State University

Oregon State University, a major research school, has nationally recognized programs in numerous fields such as nuclear Oregon State University engineering, agricultural sciences, forestry, conservation biology, community health, fisheries and wildlife management and pharmacy. The Carnegie Foundation has included Oregon State University as part of its list of top tier research institutions.

Oregon State University has received accreditation from Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Oregon State University through the OSU Ecampus offers online bachelor degree programs in fields such as agricultural sciences, environmental sciences, fisheries and wildlife sciences natural resources, liberal studies, sociology and more.

Oregon State University offers online graduate degrees and graduate certificates.

Forbes ranks Oregon State University #58 in the West. Oregon State University ranked #142 in the U.S. News & World Report 2014 edition of Best Colleges in National Universities.

 

Best Online Colleges: #10 University of Illinois

The University of Illinois (UOI), a pioneer of online higher education provides an array of high quality online degree programs University of Illinois from the Urbana-Champaign, Springfield and Chicago campuses. The University of Illinois provides online bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, certificates and a couple of doctor’s programs. The campus offering the program provides the college degree.

All of the school’s programs have received accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Many of the University of Illinois programs have received specialty specific accreditation.

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign ranked #41 in the U.S. News & World Report 2014 edition of Best Colleges in National Universities list. Forbes ranks University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign #53 overall.

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign ranked #29 in the Times Higher Education University World University Rankings list and ranked #25 in the Academic Ranking of World Universities list performed by researchers at the Center for World-Class Universities of Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

 

Best Online Colleges: #11 Florida Institute of Technology

Florida Institute of Technology offers a wide array of undergraduate and graduate online degree programs. Although Florida Florida Institute of Technology Institute of Technology is a technical university the school offers undergraduates a variety of areas of study to select from including accounting, business administration, computer technology, criminal justice, healthcare management, human resources, psychology, liberal arts and marketing. Approximately half of the students enroll in the Florida Institute of Technology’s College of Business.

The Florida Institute of Technology received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Florida Institute OF Technology ranked #167 in the U.S. News & World Report 2014 edition of Best Colleges in National Universities list. Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports the Florida Institute of Technology is the best Floridian college in regards to the graduate’s average annual return of investment. The school ranks 21st overall university for graduate salaries nationwide and the 15th in the engineering and sciences category.

 

Best Online Colleges: #12 Robert Morris University

Robert Morris University, a private school, located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, provides a variety of online graduate and Robert Morris University undergraduate degree programs. Robert Morris University also provides online continuing education programs and professional development programs.

Robert Morris University provides programs in areas such as business, information systems, nursing, communications, mathematics, engineering, education, science and social science.

Robert Morris University online degree programs provide an applied curriculum with a professional focus.

Robert Morris University has received accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Robert Morris University is among an elite group of business schools with programs accredited by the AACSB. The AACSB provides accreditation to only five percent of worldwide business schools.

Robert Morris University includes five academic schools:

  • School of Business
  • School of Education and Social Sciences
  • School of Nursing and Health Sciences
  • School of Communications and Information Systems
  • School of Engineering, Mathematics and Science

Robert Morris University ranked #85 in the U.S. News & World Report 2014 edition of Best Colleges in Regional Universities (North) and ranked #17 in the U.S. News & World Report Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs.

 

Best Online Colleges: #13 Regis University

Regis University, a private, Roman Catholic, Jesuit University, located in Denver, Colorado, is a member of the Association of Regis University Jesuit Colleges and Universities.

Regis University through the College for Professional Studies and the Rueckert-Hartman College for Health Professions provides online bachelor degrees and online master degrees in a wide array of subjects. Regis University also provides numerous online certificates.

Online programs are available in areas such as business, computers, information technology, education, criminology, social science, nursing, and health care administration.

The North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary schools provides accreditation.

Regis University ranked #27 in the U.S. News & World Report 2014 edition of Best Colleges in Regional Universities (West). Regis University ranked #90 in the U.S. News & World Report Best Online Bachelor’s Programs list.

 

Best Online Colleges: #14 North Carolina State University

North Carolina State University offers more than 50 online undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees, certificates, teacher North Carolina State University licensure and subject specializations in a variety of areas. The areas of study supported by the school’s distance learning platform include agriculture, biological sciences, business management, chemistry, criminal justice and earth sciences.

North Carolina State University reports the school ranks #3 among all public universities (without medical schools) in industry-sponsored research expenditures.

The Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s Academic Ranking of World Universities places North Carolina State University #29 among the best university worldwide for Engineering, Technology and Computer Science. North Carolina State University ranked #6 in the Princeton Review Best Value Colleges for 2013 list for public colleges.

North Carolina State University – Raleigh ranked #101 in the U.S. News & World Report 2014 edition of Best Colleges in National Universities and ranked #41 in the U.S. News & World Report list of Best Value Schools National Universities.

According to The Wall Street Journal, job recruiters reported when they seek out graduates for job placement, NC State is among their top twenty schools.

 

Best Online Colleges: #15 University of North Dakota Online & Distance Education

The University of North Dakota Online & Distance Education offers online degrees in the fields of Arts, Humanities, & University of North Dakota Languages; Business; Education; Engineering; Math & Natural Sciences; Nursing, Nutrition & Health; Social Sciences; and Technology. The University of North Dakota also provides online non-credit certificates and graduate certificates.

North Dakota University (UND) has a strong liberal arts foundation and provides an array of professional and specialized programs.

University of North Dakota is a Carnegie Doctoral Research Institution which specializes in research in fields such as:

  • Nutrition
  • Health Sciences
  • Aerospace
  • Energy and Environmental Protection
  • Engineering

University of North Dakota has a good reputation for its programs in aerospace, medicine, nursing, business, engineering, the arts and more.

The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools provides North Dakota University accreditation.

University of North Dakota ranked #173 in the U.S. News & World Report 2014 edition of Best Colleges in National Universities list. University of North Dakota included in The Princeton Review 2014 Best 378 Colleges list.

 

Best Online Colleges: #16 Auburn University

Auburn University (AU), a public research university, offers programs in the fields of pharmacy, architecture, engineering, veterinary science, business and forestry which rank among the best in the nation. Auburn University

Auburn University offers online graduate degree programs from the following colleges:

  • Agriculture
  • Business
  • Education
  • Architecture, Design and Construction
  • Engineering
  • Human Sciences

Auburn University also provides professional credit programs and undergraduate courses.

Auburn University ranked #2 in the U.S. News & World Report Best Online Education Programs list and #7 in the Graduate Business Programs list. Auburn University ranked #91 in the U.S. News & World Report Best National Universities list.

Auburn University is one of Kiplinger’s Personal Finances top 100 best values in the arena of public universities. Auburn University ranked #109 in the Forbes Research Universities list. Auburn University included in The Princeton Review 2014 Best 378 Colleges list.

 

Best Online Colleges: #17 The University of Minnesota, Crookston

The University of Minnesota, a nationally recognized public institution, part of the University of Minnesota system, offers University of Minnesota Crookston online bachelor degrees in finance, communication, applied health, information technology management, marketing, management and more. The University of Minnesota, Crookston also provides online certificates in finance, taxation, health informatics and manufacturing management.

The University of Minnesota, Crookston includes four academic departments:

  • Agriculture and Natural Resources
  • Liberal Arts and Education
  • Business
  • Math, Science and Technology

The Higher Learning Commission has provided accreditation to the University of Minnesota, Crookston.

University of Minnesota, Crookston ranked #38 in the 2014 edition of the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges in Regional Colleges (Midwest) and ranked #60 in the U.S. News & World Report Best Online Bachelor’s Programs list.

 

Best Online Colleges: #18 Liberty University

Liberty University, the largest private Christian college in the United States and the world, offers a wide range of online Liberty University programs including 10 associate’s degrees, 55 bachelor’s degrees, 117 master’s degrees, 6 postgraduate degrees and a multitude of certificates.

Liberty University enrolls over 90,000 students from all over the world in its online programs.

The school’s tuition rates are among the lowest in the country. Liberty University has high student satisfaction.

The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools provides accreditation.

Liberty University ranked #89 in the U.S. News & World Report 2014 edition of Best Colleges in Regional Universities (South).

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Best Online Colleges: #19 Saint Leo University

Saint Leo University, a Roman Catholic liberal arts school located in Florida, offers online associate bachelor and master degreesaint leo university programs. The university also offers one doctoral degree and graduate certificates.

Saint Leo University has received accreditation from the Southern Association of College and Schools Commission.

Saint Leo University named one of the U.S. News and World Report’s top universities in the south. Saint Leo University ranked #53 in the U.S. News World Report Best Online Bachelor’s Programs list.

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Best Online Colleges: #20 Florida International University

Florida International University, a public research university, is part of the State University System of Florida. Florida florida international university International University provides over 180 bachelor, master and doctoral degree programs. The university offers numerous online bachelor degrees, master degrees and certificates. Florida International University is the 7th largest university in the United States.

The Carnegie Foundation has classified Florida International University a research university with high research activity.

Florida International University ranked #74 in the U.S. News & World Report Best Online Bachelor’s Program list and Ranked #82 in the U.S. News & World Report Best Online Graduate Business Programs list and ranked #48 in the U.S. News & World Report Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs list.

Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine’s 2011 survey, 100 best Values in Public Colleges included Florida International University among the best values in public higher education in the nation. The College of Business Administration included among the top 7 percent of elite business schools worldwide accredited by the AACSB International – the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

 

Best Online Colleges: #21 Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University, a private nondenominational Christian university, offers a wide variety of online undergraduate and Grand Canyon University graduate degrees.

The university provides undergraduate degrees through the following colleges:

  • College of Arts and Science
  • College of Theology
  • College of Doctoral Studies
  • College of Education
  • College of Fine Arts and Production
  • College of Nursing and Health Care Professions
  • Ken Blanchard College of Business

Grand Canyon University has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

Fortune Small Business ranks Grand Canyon University among the top colleges providing online courses.

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Best Online Colleges: #22 Post University

Post University, a private for-profit school, located in Waterbury, Connecticut, provides classes at the main campus, at four Post University satellite locations in Connecticut and online. Post University provides highly interactive online classes.

Post University provides a large number of online graduate degrees, undergraduate degrees, graduate certificates and professional certificates.

Post University offers degree programs in areas such as human services, education, business, computer information systems and criminal justice.

Post University has received accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc.

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Best Online Colleges: #23 Walden University

Walden University, a private for profit university, provides online bachelor, master and doctoral degrees and certificates in Walden University fields such as communications and new media, business and management, information technology, education, public policy and administration, public health and health services, social work and human services and more.

Walden University consists of five schools:

  • Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership
  • College of Health Sciences
  • College of Management and Technology
  • College of Undergraduate Studies
  • College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Walden University has received accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission.

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Best Online Colleges: #24 University of Nebraska

The University of Nebraska, the flagship university in Nebraska, offers a large number of online master degree programs and University of Nebraska Lincoln graduate certificate programs.

The University of Nebraska includes graduate departments such as:

  • College of Business Administration
  • College of Law
  • College of Education and Human Sciences
  • College of Engineering

University of Nebraska-Lincoln scientists have a good reputation for their agricultural research.

Forbes ranks University of Nebraska #52 in the Midwest and #119 in research universities. University of Nebraska- Lincoln ranked #101 in the U.S. News & World Report 2014 edition of Best Colleges in National Universities and ranked #17 in the U.S. News & World Report Best Online Graduate Business Programs list.

 

Best Online Colleges: #25 Western Governors University

Western Governors University created by 19 governor’s from the western states who got together to create a distance higher Western Governors Universityeducation program available to people from all over the country.

Western Governors University offers 55 bachelor and master degrees divided among the schools of business, teaching, information technology and health professions.

The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities has provided accreditation.

Western Governors University has often received recognition for its outstanding work in online education and frequently highlighted in articles about the challenges and successes of higher education via the Internet in major print media outlets such as The Huffington Post, USA Today, and The Los Angeles Times.

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