At the graduate level, Excelsior allows business students to take their pick from 10 MBA specializations and four management specializations. Specialized Master of Health Sciences degrees are also available in health professions education, public health and healthcare informatics. In addition to the RN to BSN pathway, registered nurses may also enter an RN to MSN track with three specializations; these specializations are available in the standard MSN program, as well. Additional possibilities for online grad students at Excelsior include master's degrees in criminal justice, public administration and cybersecurity.

Regent University maintains a dual commitment to academic excellence and flexible scheduling. This combination makes the school highly attractive to working adults who need to continue working as they study—and who want an education grounded in faith. Through Regent Online, students  receive instruction and mentoring from the same prestigious professors who teach on campus. Top degree programs include:
Located in Tempe, Arizona, Arizona State University (ASU Online) is one of the top providers of online education in the country. The University serves a huge online student body, with over 25,000 students enrolled in one of their 150+ undergraduate and graduate programs. Through their multiple online education platforms, ASU Online is constantly removing barriers for students to attend a nationally-ranked university.
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.

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:
Undergraduate online students can choose from 63 different bachelor's degree programs. These include 28 B.A. and 26 B.S. degrees, as well as applied science bachelor's degrees in health sciences, Internet and web development and operations management. A total of 22 online minors are available, as well; these include niche fields such as family and human development, global health and sustainability. ASU Online also features 'exploratory' undergraduate degrees in four areas: health and life sciences; humanities, fine arts and design; math, physical sciences, engineering and technology; and social and behavioral sciences. These programs are geared toward students who have an interest in certain academic areas but have not yet chosen a major. In 2015, ASU Online announced a new partnership with EdX titled the 'Global Freshmen Academy'. This program is open to all incoming freshmen; candidates do not need to formally apply for enrollment in GFA, and will only asked to pay for courses that they complete with a passing grade.
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.
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.

One form of digital media that is becoming a phenomenon is in the form of an online magazine or digital magazine. What exactly is a digital magazine? Due to the economic importance of digital magazines, the Audit Bureau of Circulations integrated the definition of this medium in its latest report (March 2011): a digital magazine involves the distribution of a magazine content by electronic means; it may be a replica.[42] This is an outdated definition of what a digital magazine is. A digital magazine should not be, in fact, a replica of the print magazine in PDF, as was common practice in recent years. It should, rather, be a magazine that is, in essence, interactive and created from scratch to a digital platform (Internet, mobile phones, private networks, iPad or other device).[42] The barriers for digital magazine distribution are thus decreasing. At the same time digitizing platforms are broadening the scope of where digital magazines can be published, such as within websites and on smartphones.[43] With the improvements of tablets and digital magazines are becoming visually enticing and readable magazines with it graphic arts.[44]


Undergraduates seeking an industrial studies program can select from several online bachelor's degree options. B.S. in industrial technology degrees are available in six specialized fields: bioprocess manufacturing; health information logistics; industrial distribution logistics; industrial supervision; information and computer technology; and manufacturing systems. A B.S. in industrial distribution and logistics is also offered. Business majors can take their pick from multiple degrees, as well. These include a B.S. in business management with concentrations in general business, management, management information systems and operations and supply chain management, as well as B.S. degrees in health services management and hospitality management. ECU's online options for teachers include a hybrid 'part-time cohort' program for students transferring from community colleges; elementary education, middle grades education and special education degrees are available with this track. Other online bachelor's programs include degrees in communication, university studies and an RN to BSN pathway for registered nurses.

The impact of the digital revolution can also be assessed by exploring the amount of worldwide mobile smart device users there are. This can be split into 2 categories smart phone users and smart tablet users. Worldwide there are currently 2.32 billion smartphone users across the world.[17] This figure is to exceed 2.87 billion by 2020. Smart tablet users reached a total of 1 billion in 2015, 15% of the world’s population.[18] The first mobile phone was released in 1973 by a senior engineer in Motorola [19] and was only affordable by the incredibly wealthy. The fact that such a large proportion of the world’s population own smart devices demonstrates the rapid level of growth achieved throughout the digital revolution.
With a focus on flexibility and accessibility,  CityU’s online classes are designed for working adults and students who need an education that will fit into their busy lives. CityU offers their online programs through a virtual classroom where students can log-in to check assignments, video, and discussions. Online students collaborate and discuss topics with one another and faculty on a portal within this virtual classroom and through the Blackboard system.

Online learning also has its downsides, and not every subject is suited for online education, though even some surprising fields like fine arts are starting to embrace it. Prospective students should be on the lookout for scams; in addition to checking whether a program has accreditation, they should research university faculty and support services at colleges where they plan to apply, such as the ability to interact with advisers virtually.
The methodology behind our rankings is grounded in statistical data and a few consistently applied guiding principles. Our 2017 rankings reflect the most recent data compiled from IPEDS and the College Navigator, both of which are hosted by the National Center for Education Statistics. Our goal is to objectively assess relative quality based on academic outcomes, affordability, and the breadth and depth of online learning opportunities. The following criteria was used to make these assessments:
If one thinks of those leaders who made a distinctive impact, who changed their organizations, communities and the world for the better, who were ethical and value-centered, who made informed data-driven decisions, who saw things no one else could see, who solved problems few might risk addressing who not only managed but transformed, then one might ask, can this be taught? Is there a place to acquire these skills? Is there a place where leadership is cultivated, and where the sheer effectiveness of a collaborative approach is honed, refined, and understood deeply so as to be applied to the most challenging situations one might face? The master's in Transformative Leadership Program is a rigorous four-semester on-line program that unreservedly shows that the answer is yes.
Babson College offers students on-campus, blended, and online courses and programs as well as several MOOCs on the edX platform. Both undergraduate or graduate degrees earned from Babson are well respected and carry prestige in the business world. The school is often called the “Entrepreneur’s College” due to its business focus and the long list of successful graduates.
The largest public university in the state of Oregon by total enrollment, OSU is a land-, sea-, space- and sun-grant institution located in the town of Corvallis. All online courses offered through the university are developed and taught by on-campus faculty members, and the university's current catalog includes more than 1,000 fully or partially online courses.
Online Counseling gives practical insight into how professionals can translate and extend their practice to the electronic online medium. The volume provides an overview of current research on the use and effectiveness of counseling online and data on the idiosyncrasies of online behavior and communication. The practical aspects of and skill sets required for counseling online are discussed at length, as are technological, ethical, legal and multicultural issues, treatment strategies, and testing and assessment.
In many online degree programs, students can access course material on their own time and in a location of their choice, regardless of their distance from a university. In others, students might attend live lectures through videoconferencing. Some programs have both. How long it takes an online learner to finish a degree program varies depending on the structure of a program’s academic calendar and the number of classes a student takes each term.
Currently, the university serves more than 34,000 students. SDSU has 7 colleges and offers a wide variety of degree programs for both undergraduate and graduate students. San Diego State University offers BS in Business Administration degree completion program online, an Educational Leadership (MA Ed) online program, an online Masters of Public Health program and other graduate programs. In addition to these, the College of Extended Studies at SDSU offers online training programs, personal enrichment, certificate programs, and professional development.

The Average Net Price of Attendance is converted to an Affordability Factor using our formula shown in the chart on the right. Online colleges with the lowest in-state COA are given the highest numbers for their affordability. For many students, affordability of a college degree is a huge factor. Taking on great amounts of debt in order to pursue their career is often not part of their future plan. Finding an affordable online college is a priority.


We review hundreds of colleges every year to help you find an online program that best meets your needs. Our final list includes 50 of the best online schools in the country. Each ranked school is a fully accredited, nonprofit institution that offers at least ten online bachelor's degrees and three online master's degrees. Our assessments use qualitative measures and data provided by the National Center for Education Statistics. Review our complete methodology here.


Home to the Red Wolves athletics teams, Arkansas State University is a learning community of 14,000 students privy to world-class faculty, research, and student-friendly instruction. The school offers academic programs in classrooms with a 17-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. Arkansas State is one of the oldest virtual colleges in the state. Courses are delivered asynchronously to both undergraduates and graduate students. Distance learners can earn bachelor's degrees in fields like general studies, communication studies, nursing, sociology, and political science.

Those seeking to attend graduate school have an even larger catalog of degree programs from which to choose. Fields included are business administration (MBA), the MSE in early childhood education or reading, media management, public administration, and sports administration. The 36-credit MS in college student personnel services prepares professionals hoping to enter residential life, career service, or admissions positions in higher education.
The Bachelor of Arts in International Studies is an interdisciplinary program that focuses on the study of social sciences, business, and the humanities at international levels. Mindful of the current level of globalization, this degree program prepares students for the demands of global politics, economics, and security, emphasizing the interactions of the different cultures, religions, and ethnicities. The Bachelor of Arts in International Studies includes courses in History, International Relations, Political Science, Economics and International Law among others. The Bachelor of Arts in International Studies is designed to prepare students for Graduate Studies in International Affairs, International Relations, Political Science, Diplomacy, Security Studies, Development Studies, International Business, and Economics. This program also prepares students for public service, especially for international agencies. The Study Abroad Program is not required but is strongly encouraged, and Bethune-Cookman University has an outstanding Study Abroad Program. A minor in International Studies is also offered.
Lastly, assess how well, or even whether, the school trains its faculty to teach online. Not every professor is cut out for online teaching. He or she needs to be comfortable with technology and be able to engage a virtual audience. Looking at a school's faculty website pages might give you a sense of the resources and training related to online teaching that are available to faculty, as well as the school’s expectations of faculty who teach online.
On the contrary, distance counseling services have been around in some form for more than 60 years! The field has a long and rich history thanks to both skilled providers and researchers. Today, ethical codes or statements have been thoroughly developed by professional organizations including the American Counseling Association (ACA), the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC), the American Psychological Association (APA), and many others. What’s more, you might be surprised to learn that these ethical guidelines aren’t new—they too have been around for more than a decade.
Those seeking to attend graduate school have an even larger catalog of degree programs from which to choose. Fields included are business administration (MBA), the MSE in early childhood education or reading, media management, public administration, and sports administration. The 36-credit MS in college student personnel services prepares professionals hoping to enter residential life, career service, or admissions positions in higher education.
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.

Founded in 2007, Colorado State University-Global Campus (CSU-Global)is the online campus of the Colorado State University system. CSU-Global was the first independent, 100% online state university in the U.S. and now has an online student body of over 15,000 students. CSU-Global currently offers 24 accredited degree programs at the Bachelor’s and Master’s level.
Counselors who support active duty military must be able to accept TRICARE, the healthcare program for military personnel and their families. To be able to do so requires a master’s degree or higher in mental health counseling or related field from an accredited university and passage of the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE) or the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE).
For more than 160 years, the University of Florida has consistently grown in status as a major research university. Last year, UF received $724 million in research awards. UF was ranked second among all AAU institutions in the number of baccalaureate degrees awarded to Hispanic students. U.S. News also ranked UF Online among the nation's best online colleges, singling out high marks for the Best Online MBA Programs, Best Online Bachelor's Programs, and Best Online Graduate Education Programs. In addition to more than 200 college degree programs, UF Online also offers certificate programs at both undergraduate and graduate levels.
One of the top online colleges in the nation, Arkansas State ensures that its faculty members are trained in the online mode of delivery. Online learners have access to a diverse network of peers and support services, including tutoring and a help-desk. Note that online degrees are only available in some states, so students should check availability.
One thing you should expect from online counseling, and counseling in general, is that results are not instant. It may take months for your counseling to be effective. Also, it's often up to you. The therapist online that you work with can't force you to do anything but instead offers suggestions and strategies. If you don't take their advice, don't be surprised if life doesn't improve.
Sometimes it's hard to open up to a counselor in person about sensitive issues. If you've experienced severe trauma, for example, such as sexual assault or domestic violence you might feel vulnerable or scared to reveal your experience to anyone. An online counselor is used to working with clients who are frightened due to trauma. They can help you work through that fear in the privacy of your own home, or anywhere you feel the most comfortable.
CSU-Global Campus has worked hard to earn a reputation as one of the best online schools for working professionals. The school is constantly pushing innovation in teaching methods, making online learning both rigorous and engaging. And CSU-Global emphasizes individualized support for students from registration to graduation, with a wide range of student resources—from tutoring to tech support. Top online degrees include:
University of Virginia notable alumni includes 53 Rhodes Scholars, which is the most from any state-supported institution as well as 8th overall. 14 Governors of Virginia and 14 Governors of other U.S. states and territories are among a few of the distinguished UVA alumni who have had political careers. 8 NASA astronauts, as well as 8 Pulitzer Prize winners, are also alumni of UVA.
All of LeTourneau's online master's programs are concentrated in three academic departments. The 'Business and Technology' branch features five online master's degrees, including two MBA tracks with five possible specializations and innovative management pathways in engineering, strategic leadership and health care administration. The online Master of Education program includes four possible specializations: curriculum and instruction; education administration; teaching and learning; and teacher leadership. Finally, the 'Psychology' branch features a general Master of Psychology degree, as well as a Master of Counseling with specializations for licensed professional counselors, marriage/family therapists and school counselors.

The Center for Online Education understands online colleges have a dynamic future as new technologies and new uses for existing tools change the way we communicate, connect, and collaborate. In the coming years, virtual reality, blended program delivery, makerspaces, predictive learning platforms, gigabit Internet speeds, and other emerging technologies will push the limits of what was once thought possible at online colleges. Social media and networking sites will continue to impact online teaching and learning, providing a virtual space for authentic interaction, relationship building, and participation in professional communities. Our in-house team, and panel of contributors, are all graduates of accredited colleges and are here to help inform your online college journey.

In developing the ranking for the 100 Best Online Colleges, several pieces of data were collected in order to evaluate the institutions. A list of all colleges offering online degrees or courses was obtained from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). In addition, data and information for online colleges and universities considered for this college ranking was obtained from Payscale, CollegeData, Niche, and individual school websites.


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!
Another reason why more than 30,000 individuals have signed up to Breakthrough is because of their health insurance acceptance. They are the only large online therapy service to accept major insurance plans. Though with Breakthrough, the initial ‘listing’ cost is similar to what in-office therapy costs, which can be up to $300/hour if not higher. Subtract insurance coverage and most people end up paying a fairly affordable rate per session.

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.

An online master's degree is an ideal choice for those who want to jumpstart their career or make a career change without having to give up their full-time job. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, almost one quarter of graduate students were enrolled in exclusively online courses in 2013, and the number of online courses offered has grown since then.

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.

Established in 1820, Indiana University-Bloomington is a world-class hub of innovation, creativity, and research. The university's virtual campus features approximately 100 degree and certificate programs from the Indiana University system, with approximately 7,950 students in the system participating in full-time distance learning. Indiana University-Bloomington has a catalog of degree completion baccalaureate programs for students with transferable credits. Fields of study include math, nursing, criminal justice, communication studies, psychology, and English technical and professional writing.

At the graduate level, a total of 11 online master's degrees are offered in different academic fields. The engineering master's field is particularly robust, with degree pathways available in seven specialized subjects. Six other disciplines feature multiple online master's options: agriculture; arts leadership and music; computer science and technology; higher education and student affairs; human resources and organizational development; and natural resource management. Additional online master's programs at CSU-Global include degrees in adult education, business administration, dietetics, social work and tourism. Most of CSU-Global's online master's tracks consist of 30 to 40 required credit hours, and can be completed within one to two years.
Before you even sent a resume in response to a job posting, you should have researched the company to find out exactly what products or services it offers, where it operates, how it’s structured, and other important details. During the interview, you can use this knowledge to demonstrate you know how you and your job skills can help the company meet its goals.
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]
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