Our ranking methodology includes a blend of data analysis and research (in areas such as academic excellence, strength of faculty, reputation, affordability, and range of degree programs), as well as the combined professional experience of our staff and Academic Advisory Board. All of the online colleges and universities listed are regionally accredited, nonprofit, and offer a range of online degree programs. Our goal is to identify and rank the best accredited online colleges available to ensure the greatest satisfaction among online students.
California Baptist, one of the best online schools in the nation, offers a 36-credit online MBA program with emphasis areas in accounting and management. Educators may enroll in the 30- to 33-credit MS in education with specializations in early childhood studies, educational leadership, and teaching. Other master's degree programs are also available in public relations, public heath, accounting, and counselling psychology.
Brandman's online bachelor's degree programs are categorized into four core academic departments. The 'Arts and Sciences' branch features 25 B.A. degree options, including seven in criminal justice, five in psychology and four in applied studies. In the 'School of Business and Professional Studies', students can choose from three online bachelor's in organizational leadership, 11 in business administration and three in computing technology. Undergrads seeking a teaching degree can earn a B.A. in liberal studies (multiple subjects teaching), as well as two educational credentials and five authorizations in the online format. Finally, the 'Nursing and Health Professions' branch features an online RN to BSN program, as well as three BSN to Doctor Nursing Practice (DNP) pathways. The nursing and B.S. in social work tracks feature practicum course components, which require students to receive onsite training. Several of the other online bachelor's programs at Brandman culminate in a capstone project.

Online counseling programs often mirror and replicate their on campus counterparts to ensure continuity between programs. Core curriculum offered in online formats should directly reflect those offered by faculty on campus, if the program is accredited online and on campus. Faculty may instruct both on campus courses and lectures as well as moderate online counseling degrees.

Located in New York City, Pace University is a private institution with stellar online programs. With over a decade of experience in online education, Pace University is home to one of the top online Bachelor’s programs in the country (U.S. News & World Report)  as well as other high ranking programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate level.   

This private, Ivy League research university can be found in New Haven, Connecticut. The roots of Yale University, or simply Yale, can be traced as far back as the 1640s, but the school charter was not officially granted until 1701. In 1718 the school officially became Yale College, naming itself after a Welsh merchant and benefactor named Elihu Yale.
Online graduate students enrolled at Northeastern can choose from 37 master's degree pathways. These include nine degrees in business- and management-related fields, seven in health and human services and five in education. The university also offers several highly specialized programs for online master's students, including tracks in energy systems, geographic information technology, homeland security, security and resilience studies and two degrees concentrated in regulatory affairs. Doctorates in education and transitional physical therapy are also available in a primarily online format. Additionally, two undergraduate certificates and 30 graduate certificates can be earned entirely online within one year of full-time study.
Located in Riverside, California, California Baptist University (CBU)is a private, Christian, liberal arts university with extensive online programming.  CBU offers top-ranked online programs—currently, there are over 40 degree options—at the bachelor, masters, and doctoral levels. And CBU Online has been lauded by national rankings like U.S. News and World Report for their high-quality programs.
We offer undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degree programs in many high-demand fields, including business, education, nursing and technology. You can complete your degree online from anywhere or on-campus, depending upon your location. The University also offers certificate programs, as well as individual, test-preparation and non-credit professional development courses.
Online learning is the new norm, but with so many schools – including the largest and most recognizable in the nation – offering numerous distance learning options, how can you identify the best online colleges? While in the past the question may have been whether or not to pursue a degree online, current students are asking themselves how to find the right online college to attend instead. Prospective students who want to enroll in the best online program should start their journey at the school level. But what earns a school that distinction? Several variables may come into play, many of which depend on the individual student’s academic and financial needs. For many students, picking the best online college starts with accreditation and affordability.
Founded in 1870, Missouri University of Science and Technology was one of the earliest technological post-secondary schools built west of the Mississippi. It currently enrolls nearly 9,000 students who can choose from nearly 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. MUST has been ranked among the nation's top-100 best online colleges and received acclaim for its online engineering degree program, ranked 3rd in the country by USA Today. The distance degree program at Missouri S&T offers 17 graduate degrees and more than 50 graduate certificate programs. Graduate degrees require 10 courses or 30 course hours for completion. Graduate certificate requirements are comprised of four courses for a total of 12 credit hours.

The school offers an interactive online learning community that is supportive and affordable. California Baptist allows students to transfer 100 credits into a baccalaureate degree, including a maximum of 30 credits allowed for examinations like CLEP and IB. Students may use Transferology, a nationwide network, to determine the transferability of credits into California Baptist University.


Another school that is no stranger to national rankings, the University of Florida—located in the city of Gainesville—is breaking down geographical barriers to higher education. The University of Florida offers access to more than 200 online undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs. And as a student, you’ll be a member of The Gator Nation, along with thousands of students and alumni around the world.
Even if you’re applying for a job that doesn’t specify an educational requirement, be sure to list all of your degrees and relevant diplomas or certificates, starting with the highest degree you’ve earned. You do not need to include the year you graduated unless you are still taking classes, in which case you should share your anticipated graduation date and your current GPA:
Home to the world's first school of philanthropy, the school offers a 36-credit MA in philanthropic studies focused on the socio-cultural, economic, and political roles of nonprofit organizations. The institution's Credit Transfer Service makes Indiana University-Bloomington one of the best online colleges in the nation by facilitating up to 64 credits from start to finish.

The integration of Christianity and learning is central to the academic programs at Dallas Baptist University. The school offers undergraduate and graduate programs in classrooms with an 11-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. While Dallas Baptist's urban location is home to multinationals, global ministries, and artistic and athletic venues, students don't have to live in Dallas to enroll. Using Blackboard LMS, DBU delivers class content asynchronously, including baccalaureate degrees in Biblical studies, communication, criminal justice, psychology, and sociology.


Considered the largest and oldest public university in the state of Alabama, UA first opened its doors in 1820 and today boasts an enrollment of more than 37,000 students. The school's Bama by Distance program features a wide selection of degree and certificate programs delivered in fully online and hybrid formats. The university also strives to make online education more accessible through the GoArmyEd program aimed at military personnel re-entering civilian life, as well as the Back to Bama and New College LifeTrack programs geared toward adults who have completed college courses in the past without earning a degree.
The following online college ranking considers that the best online college depends on the needs of an individual student; what might be the “best” for one might not even make the short-list of another. As a result, the list below ranks schools based on many variables, including tuition, financial aid and number of online programs available. Depending on what students find most important in a school, they can tailor their college search to focus on those characteristics. By narrowing down the options with their top needs and desires, students find the best online school for them.
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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