All of the online schools, at any degree level, featured on our website are accredited, ensuring that they meet high standards of quality. In order to be accredited, online colleges are evaluated based on criteria such as curricula, faculty, course offerings, facilities, financial resources, and support services. Accreditation in the United States comes from federal and state agencies as well as non-governmental bodies approved by the U.S. Department of Education. Accreditation not only demonstrates the quality of an online school, but can also determine whether credits are transferable to other accredited online colleges. To find out whether an accreditation agency is legitimate, make sure it is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
Getting a degree can be time-consuming. No matter what degree level, whether it’s an Associates, Bachelors, Masters, or Doctorate, it can be hard for anyone who works full-time to carve out three or four consecutive hours a day, multiple days a week, to attend classes at a traditional brick-and-mortar college. Luckily, you can now complete college online.
Institutions pursuing accreditation undergo a rigorous review process, which includes the examination of elements such as curriculum planning, course offerings, faculty, admissions standards, graduation rates, facilities, and financial resources. Accredited institutions and programs must undergo regular evaluation to ensure compliance with the standards set forth by the accrediting bodies.

As one of the best colleges in the state, graduate programs at Texas Tech vary widely and include master's degrees in education, civil engineering, public administration, family and consumer sciences, horticulture, and software engineering. The school has a strong MA education program with master's degrees including higher education administration, special education, instructional technology, and educational leadership and principal professional certification preparation.
Murray State University has made a point to be an inclusive institution where all people are able to learn. However, not everyone is able to commute to campus for classes, whether it be because of a job, family or location. To help with this, Murray State offers many of their degrees through their online school. Students can study for degrees at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels online, making Murray State one of the best online schools for students at any point in their education. Each of their graduate degrees is designed to help give their students a deeper knowledge of their field to help them advance in their career. Similarly, the undergrad programs at Murray State give students practical knowledge they need to begin a career. Popular options through their online school include RN to BSN, computer information systems and business administration.

The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) is home to a collaborative online environment designed specifically for nontraditional learners. Students can earn a top-ranked bachelor’s degree or an Master of Arts in an extensive offering of programs that range from painting, fashion, and interior design to photography, animation, and game development. Top online degrees include:
You can find Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Named for its original location in Wake Forest, the school is a private, independent, nonsectarian institution which was founded in 1834. The university moved to its current location in 1956 and since then has continued to grow and maintain a reputation for excellence in higher education.

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.
Western Governors University is a non-profit regionally accredited school that has a 74% recommendation rate from 572 student reviews. WGU offers 23 bachelor's degrees, 31 master’s degrees, and 3 certificates and diplomas. The most unique aspect of Western Governors University is their competency based learning policy. This policy allows students to accelerate their program if they already have the knowledge or experience regardless of how it was gained. In fact, on average students finish their programs in three years or less. Students take assessments in the form of assignments, projects, or tests to prove their competency and move forward in the program. Tuition for online undergraduate students is an affordable $6,380 per year.
Meet FAFSA®, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. If you’re applying for financial aid, and you should be regardless of whether you attend a traditional program or an online college, it’s your new best friend. Don’t quake in your boots at the thought of having to complete a federal form. Compared with doing your taxes, the FAFSA® is a piece of cake. Millions of people have gone through the process and survived. You will, too.

The University of Maryland, College Park is the state’s flagship university and one of the nation’s preeminent public research universities. A global leader in research, entrepreneurship, and innovation, the university is home to more than 40,000 students, 10,000 faculty and staff, and 280 academic programs. As one of the nation’s top producers of Fulbright scholars, its faculty includes two Nobel laureates, three Pulitzer Prize winners and 56 members of the national academies. The institution has a $1.9 billion operating budget and secures $514 million annually in external research funding.
A total of 18 online bachelor's programs are available to undergrads at IWU. Seven bachelor's options are concentrated in business; these include two business administration tracks and a degree in marketing with four possible concentrations. All of the university's business bachelor's options range from 40 to 50 credit hours in length. Aspiring teachers may pursue an online bachelor's in early childhood education; this program is offered with a licensure track that includes a practicum student teaching component, or as a non-licensure track with no on-site requirements. Clinical degree options include a bachelor's in counseling and an RN to BSN pathway for nursing students; both of these programs feature on-site practicum requirements. Other online bachelor's programs at IWU cover fields like computer science, criminal justice, communication, psychology and social work. As a faith-based university, IWU also provides an online bachelor's degree in biblical studies.
Note that some degree programs, particularly in the sciences, have prerequisite courses that may not be available online. Support services for online learners include tutoring, access to the library and writing center, and career services. The school facilitates the seamless transfer of credits from regionally accredited colleges and awards credits for military service and exams such as CLEP, International Baccalaureate, and Advanced Placement.
Today, more than 36,000 students attend the University of California, Davis. The university has 11 colleges and schools and offers over 102 undergraduate majors as well as 101 graduate programs. While UC Davis is a brick-and-mortar institution, it does offer students online course options for summer sessions and UC Davis Extension offers online programs for certificates and professional concentrations.

The University of Chicago, or UChicago, is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois. In 1890, the founders of UChicago embarked on a mission to provide a school that offered equal opportunities to students regardless of background or gender. One of the most generous benefactors, John D. Rockefeller, offered a pledge of $600,000 — that would be about $25 Million by today’s standards. There were also contributions from the American Baptist Education Society and land from Marshall Field which helped to found the school.
Meet FAFSA®, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. If you’re applying for financial aid, and you should be regardless of whether you attend a traditional program or an online college, it’s your new best friend. Don’t quake in your boots at the thought of having to complete a federal form. Compared with doing your taxes, the FAFSA® is a piece of cake. Millions of people have gone through the process and survived. You will, too.
In March 1906, the Kentucky General Assembly approved the establishment of the Bowling Green school that was to become Western Kentucky University. Today, more than 100 majors lead to the baccalaureate degree, and students can choose from 111 academic minors. U.S. News and World Report has ranked WKU 12th in The Best Online Bachelor's Programs and 12th in Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs for 2018. Among the best online schools in the region, WKU offers 20 online undergraduate degrees, 30 wholly online master's degrees, and online 45 graduate/undergraduate certificates. Students may also enroll in one of more than 100 courses offered through the on-demand program that offers for-credit classes in 7-week semesters.
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.
As with other degree levels, different subjects and majors can have different impacts on your post-graduate earning potential. In general, associate degrees in healthcare, technology, and engineering have the highest return on investment and lead to the highest-paying jobs. According to PayScale.com, professionals with an associate degree in management information systems, construction management, and economics can earn over $70,000 a year.
Online counseling has a long history. Cornell University, as early as 1986, began providing an online therapy service of sorts when they developed a program called “Dear Uncle Ezra.” With Ezra, students could anonymously write to an anonymous therapist, and receive a prompt written reply. While 1986 sounds early, if one extends the definition of “online” therapy to include any electronic or distance therapy, the Samaritans, based out of Great Britain, created their first telephone crisis helpline almost 30 years earlier—in 1953! So, while today we might think of online therapy as HIPAA-complaint videoconference (like we offer), it reality is a broad category with a rich history, and if you ask five helping professionals for a definition, you might get five somewhat different answers.
Schools featured in our rankings demonstrate a commitment to high-quality education for their students. Quality is measured and weighted through various data points that are specific to each ranking topic. Each methodology drives proprietary calculations, which are grounded in statistical information, and developed to recognize academically robust, affordable colleges and programs. Sponsored school listings are separate, paid advertisements and are clearly marked with a "SPONSORED" tag to distinguish them from editorially ranked schools. Our school rankings are editorially determined, independently vetted, and are not influenced by schools that pay for advertisements. For questions regarding our rankings or sponsored schools, please email us at contact@bestcolleges.com.
You might be surprised to hear that distance therapy practices aren't new. In fact, online mental health services are about as old at the internet itself, and other distance therapy methods—like phone counseling—have been around since the Samaritans began a hotline in the early 1950s. There is decades of research on telephone and online services that have shown that distance counseling services can benefit the client, and that clients often prefer them to traditional in person sessions.
A pioneer in distance learning, Florida’s Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has been offering online programs since the school first launched their online portal in 1993. The school, which is one of the top-ranking STEM-focused universities in the country, uses cutting-edge technology to deliver its undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs to nontraditional students.
Timing Self-paced, or asynchronous learning, is a form of instruction where students study at their own time and pace. In this format, students and teachers may not interact in real-time and instruction is conducted through self-study elements such as pre-recorded lectures, individual assignments, and reading course materials. Real-time, or synchronous learning, is a form of instruction where the instructor and students are present at the same time. Instruction is facilitated in real-time by a teacher and includes traditionally classroom-based elements such as group discussions, team projects, and lectures.
The university is composed of 17 schools and colleges and offers baccalaureate degrees in 143 fields. There are also graduate programs, including doctoral programs, in well over 100 fields as well as Professional degrees in law, pharmacy, and veterinary medicine. UGA offers a strong commitment to keeping its students inspired as they not only absorb knowledge but are able to participate in global research and hands-on experiential learning. There are currently 2 undergraduate programs available online and 16 graduate programs and a number of graduate certificates. Individual courses are also taught online.

Codes and information by machines were first conceptualized by Charles Babbage in the early 1800s. Babbage imagined that these codes would give him instructions for his Motor of Difference and Analytical Engine, machines that Babbage had designed to solve the problem of error in calculations. Between 1822 and 1823, Ada Lovelace, mathematics, wrote the first instructions for calculating numbers on Babbage engines. Lovelace's instructions are now believed to be the first computer program. Although the machines were designed to perform analysis tasks, Lovelace anticipated the possible social impact of computers and programming, writing. "For in the distribution and combination of truths and formulas of analysis, which may become easier and more quickly subjected to the mechanical combinations of the engine, the relationships and the nature of many subjects in which science necessarily relates in new subjects, and more deeply researched ... there are in all extensions of human power or additions to human knowledge, various collateral influences, in addition to the primary and primary object reached. "Other old machine readable media include instructions for pianolas and weaving machines.
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