Our team at Thriveworks has been researching, publishing, and providing online therapy services in some form since 2003. Before we began, we learned this troubling fact: Only 10% of depressed people who are referred by a physician to seek mental health services ever receive those services. We asked ourselves, “Why is this?” Is it because persons don’t want to get well, or are there other factors?
Though they used machine-readable media, Babbage's engines, player pianos, jacquard looms and many other early calculating machines were themselves analog computers, with physical, mechanical parts. The first truly digital media came into existence with the rise of digital computers.[6] Digital computers use binary code and Boolean logic to store and process information, allowing one machine in one configuration to perform many different tasks. The first modern, programmable, digital computers, the Manchester Mark 1 and the EDSAC, were independently invented between 1948 and 1949.[6][7] Though different in many ways from modern computers, these machines had digital software controlling their logical operations. They were encoded in binary, a system of ones and zeroes that are combined to make hundreds of characters. The 1s and 0s of binary are the "digits" of digital media.[8]

Hands-on experience is one of the hallmarks of learning at the University of Arizona. All students have the opportunity to participate in fieldwork internships and student leadership. The school is transfer-friendly, and the Transfer Credit Guide -- while not a complete list of all transferable courses -- gives students an idea of which courses transfer to the University of Arizona. The school charges the same tuition for online learners regardless of in-state or out-of-state residency.

Citations: For a broader account of our ranking methodology, especially as it relates to TheBestSchools.org’s underlying educational philosophy and, in other ranking articles, looks beyond academic excellence (as here) to such factors as return on investment or incidental benefit, see our article “ Ranking Methodology: How We Rank Schools at TBS.” Reputation of schools and degree programs can at least in part be gauged through the rankings of other well-known educational ranking companies. At TheBestSchools.org, we keep track of such social and peer validation: “ Making Sense of College Rankings.” For nuts-and-bolts information about colleges and universities, we look to the National Center for Education Statistics and especially its College Navigator. Insofar as salary and inflation data are relevant to a ranking, we look to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Finally, nothing beats contacting schools and degree programs directly, which our researchers often do, with the result that all the entries in this article should be considered as belonging to this citation!


Bachelor's degrees are delivered asynchronously and can be earned online in fields like Africana studies, business administration, economy and industry, geographic information systems, meteorology, informatics, and sustainable built environments. Among other notable programs is the BAS in intelligence studies, a 2+2 program in which students transfer an AAS into the program and complete the last two years at Arizona. The program provides students with a historical, political, social, and cultural understanding of national and international intelligence agencies. The BAS in cyber operations is also a transfer-only program and immerses students in hands-on study of offensive and defensive cyber security techniques they practice within the institution's Cyber Virtual Learning Environment.
The online counseling services are offered for Santa Ana College students and the general public with the understanding that counselors may provide you with personal and academic information via internet access to the online counseling website.  Therefore, in order for you to use the online counseling services, it is important for you to read, understand, and agree to all the following points:
Established in 1972, Thomas Edison State University is located in the New Jersey capital of Trenton. In addition to standard online courses delivered through the school's MyEdison portal, distance learners at TESU may also choose to take asynchronous guided study courses utilizing DVDs and streaming video, 'e-pack' self-assessment courses and TESU’s own credit-by-exam program, TECEP exams, aimed at students who wish to prepare for rigorous final exams.
You may be able to fulfill some elective, interdisciplinary and/or general education courses by going through the Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) process. To be eligible for PLA credits, you must be an undergraduate student who has already been accepted into University of Phoenix. In addition, you must have submitted any transcripts to the University, and you must have remaining general education or elective credits required to earn your degree.
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.
Graduate degree programs at Minot State include an MS in special education with several areas of emphasis, such as specific learning disabilities and early childhood special education. The school also offers an MS in information systems, an MS in management, and online graduate certificate programs in knowledge management, management concepts, and deaf/hard of hearing education, among others.
The following nine certificate and degree options can be completed 100% online. In addition to these fully online degrees, we offer single online courses that can be taken to fulfill other degree requirements. Use the Course Search Tool to see a list of online courses being offered this semester (simply choose “online only” in the “Location” section).
There are many different ways students can pursue an excellent education at the University of Virginia. Students who study on campus have access to many different schools, each with their own set of accredited degrees. Also useful for students is the online education offered by UVA. Because of the size and scope of the school, UVA offers different types of online programs. One popular option is their School of Continuing and Professional Studies, best for students that want to further their career either with a bachelor's degree, graduate degree or certificate. Also available is a master's degree in engineering. UVA is considered to be one of the best online schools in the nation for an online master's in engineering, so students who want to earn a graduate degree that fits their schedule may find this is the perfect fit.
OSU has a long history of eco-minded education, and many of the school's current catalog are concentrated in environment-related fields. These include degrees in agricultural sciences, environmental economics and policy, fisheries and wildlife sciences, horticulture, natural resources and sustainability. Online bachelor's degree programs are available in three foreign languages: French, German and Spanish. Other web-based undergraduate degrees focus on core academic subjects like business administration, computer science, economics, history, psychology and sociology. Online students who are unsure about which major to pursue are invited to enroll in OSU's University Exploratory Studies Program (UESP), a non-degree plan that allows them to try out different majors while completing standard baccalaureate courses. Additionally, students who hold a degree in certain fields (such as agriculture or natural resources management) or have relevant work experience may be eligible for the Interagency Fire Program Management plan; this primarily online interagency program enables students to earn the GS-401 fire management specialist credential.
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.
For the Overall Grade supplied by Niche, we use these grades which are then converted to a numerical scale so that they can be added together with the other values for an overall ranking score. The scale used is illustrated on the right. We find this statistic valuable as it allows students who have attended the institution a chance to voice their opinion.
Online graduate degree offerings at Appalachian State include the MA in educational media, MA in higher education, MA in elementary education, and hybrid MA in reading education. The 33-credit hybrid master of social work is a part-time program that prepares graduates for management or supervisory roles in social work services; on-campus classes are taught during the evening to provide flexibility. The 46-credit master of health administration is offered online full-time or part-time with two areas of focus: health information systems and healthcare leadership. Appalachian State also offers a series of graduate certificates online in areas of study such as instructional technology leadership, strategic communication, and gerontology.
Boston University, or BU, is a private research university that can be found in Boston, Massachusetts. Although today the university is nonsectarian, it has been historically affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Although the roots to the college go back to Newbury Biblical Institute in Newbury, Vermont which was founded in 1839, the school was not chartered in Massachusetts as Boston University until 1869.
At DeVry University, we offer online education and college course options in business, tech and health at the undergraduate certificate, associate and bachelor's degree program levels – all with the same quality education available as in our on-campus programs. Tech-infused curriculum, hands-on learning experiences and access to university-wide resources are just a few of the many benefits you can discover as one of our online education students.

The University of Alabama in Huntsville is one of the top research schools in the state with many students going on to earn a degree in science or engineering. However, many graduates realize that a bachelor's degree is no longer enough to advance through some careers. With this in mind, UAH has created one of the best online schools in Alabama to earn a master's degree. One of the popular areas of study for online students is engineering with degrees offered in seven different focuses. Some of these degrees are available at both the master's and doctoral level, giving students the chance to study toward two graduate degrees at the same online school. For students who live in the area, some of the courses offered are available entirely online or in a hybrid of both online and on-campus.
A central reason for the increasing demand for online education is flexibility. Whether the student is seeking to go back to school, is a recent high school graduate that wants to attend a college in another state, or is a career advancer who wants to pursue a graduate degree, online college allows them to complete an education on their own terms. Online education helps students to craft a schedule that fits their lives, which is typically not possible in the traditional classroom. School can be woven into the student’s working and home lives instead of the other way around, making online classes the number one option for many in pursuit of a higher education.
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.

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.
Southern New Hampshire University Online offers an unbelievable selection of online programs with 99 bachelor's degree programs and 86 master's degree programs. Of the 266 student reviews, SNHU has a 64% recommendation rate. For transfer students, a generous policy allows up to 90 credits to be applied toward an undergraduate program. Academic term start dates are spread throughout the calendar year and all online courses are accessible 24/7 at the student's own pace. Southern New Hampshire University Online also offers specialized online student resources including an online library, bookstore, tutoring services, and tech support. Tuition is an affordable $11,520 per year for undergraduate programs.
If you’re looking for an online degree in aeronautics or engineering, then look no further. Embry-Riddle has developed innovative programs which rank highly and offer exceptionally high return-on-investment. The school is also home to excellent online Business programs at the undergraduate and graduate level. And Embry-Riddle uses their long experience in distance learning to focus on engagement and critical services that help ensure student success. Some top programs include:  

UC San Diego offers students 6 residential colleges: Revelle College, John Muir College, Thurgood Marshall College, Earl Warren College, Eleanor Roosevelt College, and Sixth College. There are 9 academic departments at UCSD which are Arts and Humanities, Biological Sciences, Business, Engineering, Physical Sciences, Social Sciences, Marine Sciences, Pre-Med, and Pre-Law. There are also online programs or courses offered from UC San Diego Extension.
Counseling services within the military are also provided to military families. Military OneSource provides non-medical counseling to help military personnel and their families navigate the military lifestyle and the challenges that they may face. These services include addressing marital problems, parenting, stress management, and grief and/or loss to include a few.
Online counseling is the provision of professional mental health counseling services through the Internet. Services are typically offered via email, real-time chat, and video conferencing.[1] Some clients use online counseling in conjunction with traditional psychotherapy, or nutritional counseling, and a growing number of clients are using online counseling as a replacement for office visits.[1]
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 online Hospitality Management Degree Program is an extension of the on-campus academic experience, sharing the same policies, faculty, and student activities. It is grounded in day-to-day teaching and leadership practice and is geared at individuals who have a need for higher education, for those who struggle to maintain a work-life balance while holding full-time jobs or who because of the dictates of their lives are unable to attend classes as a full-time student. The online degree will enable individuals to apply what they learn, as they learn, work with peers facing similar challenges and take away real-world solutions, inspiration, and the support of an engaged community. The program promotes active, team-based learning that supports collaboration and sharing. The Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management is designed to produce individuals solidly grounded in business administration, with specific sensitivities and skills in application to the administration of hotels, restaurants and travel/tourism management entities. The program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration (ACPHA) 1993. To that end, the vertical curriculum is a replica of the face to face program.
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.
In terms of confidentiality and privacy, it is important to look at practitioners who use encrypted video software. You may need to download the software they are using. This is typically an easy step, but it is an important one. Skype and FaceTime may seem like obvious, easy choices for video software, but they may not meet the HIPAA standards of privacy in your state and may not meet you or your therapist’s privacy and confidentiality standards.
There are numerous reasons and a multitude of benefits that come along with an online degree compared to a traditional degree but the ones that stand out most would be the professors and the time and scheduling. At first I was wary of online professors and how they would stack up compared to in-person professors. To my surprise, at the University of Florida, some of the same professors that were in-person also taught online. This means that you know you are getting top quality teaching at a pace you enjoy as well as the amount of hours you want to put into a class rather than spending upwards of 3-4 hours in a small classroom. You are able to time out and schedule around your life as you please which has been the biggest blessing of my life.
BA degree programs are offered in fields such as criminology, educational studies, general studies, management, and religion in a global society. The school also offers baccalaureate degree completion programs in data analytics, media communications, and nursing. In order to enroll in one of the degree completion programs, students must have at least 64 transferable credits or an associate degree from a regionally accredited school. Webster University's graduate degree offerings are extensive. Areas of study include legal studies, environmental management, business administration (MBA), finance, and public relations. Of note is the 36-credit MA in gerontology, a program that addresses the needs of an increasingly aging U.S. and world population.
The traditional pitch for online degree programs is that they’re great for busy working professionals, and/or parents who need to study outside of regular hours, after the kids are in bed. But that’s limiting. Online degree programs are great for their flexibility. They don’t just fit the lifestyle of busy working professionals; they fit your lifestyle, whatever that may be. Maybe you work nights and sleep during traditional class times, or have an irregular travel schedule. Maybe you are a tornado chaser and need to head out to the Great Plains at a moment’s notice. Or maybe you’re caring for an ailing relative and need to be available to them at a moment’s notice. Not to say online degree programs aren’t great for the child-rearing and day job set, just that other lifestyles often get ignored in the online marketing materials.

Educators can use continuing education for license renewal, for professional development, toward endorsements and pay scale increases, and for personal growth. Our credit-bearing teacher curriculum is designed for new and seasoned educators who want to develop or reinforce their knowledge of classroom concepts and techniques, or to enhance their career.

Created by the Colorado State University System Board of Governors in 2007, this institution was the first and only 100% online state university in the country. The online courses offered by CSU-Global Campus are led by professors who teach the same subjects in the university's classrooms. Using the Canvas learning platform, web-based courses may contain a mix of audio, video and text-based components, as well as proctored and unproctored exams.
With more than 20 years of experience in online learning, the University of Denver has honed the art of distance education. Online classes are asynchronous, so students are not required to be online at the same time, instead logging into online class when their schedule permits. And all classes are available both online and on campus (or in a hybrid format), so students can choose the format that works best for them.
Midway offers a roster of baccalaureate teacher preparation degrees fully online with specializations in elementary education, middle school science, education studies-science, and secondary math and English. Some of the teacher preparation programs lead to certification. The 120-credit bachelor's degree in communications offers a general field-study option and two areas of specialization: graphic design and writing. Online baccalaureate students work with their advisors to augment their program with an online minor.
Why do we focus our work on accredited online colleges? With the expansion of traditionally campus-based institutions into online degree programs, there are more options than ever for prospective online students. This also increases the need for research before committing to an online college. An accredited online college will guarantee that your degree is seen as valuable by other learning institutions and future employers, providing you assurance that your online degree will be a good investment. There are many depending on the region, degrees offered and more, but the important thing is that you choose an online college with legitimate accreditation.
UA online students seeking a master's in education can select from fully online programs in four subjects: educational psychology learning and assessment; elementary education; secondary education (with a preschool to 12th grade reading specialist certification); and secondary education English language arts. Blended M.A. programs in educational psychology and special education are also available. Other fully online opportunities for master's students are available in business, communication and information sciences, aerospace engineering and mechanics, human environmental sciences, nursing and social work.
In the years since the invention of the first digital computers, computing power and storage capacity have increased exponentially. Personal computers and smartphones put the ability to access, modify, store and share digital media in the hands of billions of people. Many electronic devices, from digital cameras to drones have the ability to create, transmit and view digital media. Combined with the World Wide Web and the Internet, digital media has transformed 21st century society in a way that is frequently compared to the cultural, economic and social impact of the printing press.[2][12] The change has been so rapid and so widespread that it has launched an economic transition from an industrial economy to an information-based economy, creating a new period in human history known as the Information Age or the digital revolution.[2]
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