Online learning has come a long way over the years, and distance students today can pursue degree programs that match their interests from the associate to the doctorate level. While not every program is suited to the online environment, nearly 80% of educators find that generally, online learning is equal to, if not better than, traditional classroom learning. Some of the most popular undergraduate majors for online students include:
With an emphasis on public affairs, Missouri State University-Springfield trains students to become culturally competent and community-engaged, ethical leaders. While the school has a four-year campus in Springfield, two-year campus in West Plains, and a campus in China, it is also among the top accredited online colleges in the country, boasting baccalaureate degrees in fields like communication studies, criminology and criminal justice, health services, and psychology.
About 81% of online students are also employed, so the convenience of distance education works in their favor, allowing them to complete classes around their employment schedule. While almost 63% of students say that the courses they took were to further their career, only 17% claim that taking courses was due to a desire to change careers. These responses may suggest that many online students are looking to expand their current professional skills, including the skills needed for a job promotion, rather than shift career paths entirely.
eNSU's current selection features a total of 16 online bachelor's degrees. These options include a B.S. in unified public safety administration with four available concentrations: law enforcement administration; fire and emergency medical service administration; emergency management; and public facilities management. Psychology majors can also select prevention specialist or substance abuse concentrations for their online bachelor's studies. A hybrid RN to BSN pathway offered for registered nurses features online coursework supplemented with onsite clinical training, and a similar transitional program is available for radiologic technologists seeking a B.S. in radiologic science. Additional healthcare-related options include online degrees in allied health and addiction studies. Students pursuing a liberal arts education may choose from degrees in fields like criminal justice, history, psychology and social work. eNSU also features a blended Bachelor of Applied Science degree in resource management with two possible concentrations, culinary science or environmental science.
Military personnel may require assistance during training, deployment, transition from active duty and in retirement. They may face a variety of psychological and social issues including depression and anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, substance abuse and family and marital issues.  Additionally, personnel returning home may seek support with their transition back to civilian life, including career and education assistance.
Established as an extension center in 1936, the University of Alabama at Birmingham has added a robust virtual college internationally recognized for academic excellence, research, and innovation. The school offers a comprehensive catalog of fully online and hybrid degree and certificate programs. With working adults in mind, the virtual college offers students flexible learning options. Bachelor’s degrees offered fully online include programs in accounting, criminal justice, marketing, information systems, and finance. The school’s Department of Human Studies offers a BS in community health and human services, a program that prepares students for a career as a community coordinator, outreach specialist, or drug abuse counselor. The BS in industrial distribution has two tracks: engineering and medical equipment and supplies.
The school offers bachelor's degrees in business with specializations in business management, healthcare management, and accounting. The school has an extensive teacher preparation program, including BA degrees with licensure in special education, math, science, and interdisciplinary studies. Bachelor's degrees are also available in fields like software development, data management/data analytics, health information management, and RN to BSN. The school offers an extensive catalog of master's degrees in education, including MA teacher preparation programs in English, math, science, social science, and elementary education. Notably, the school's teaching degrees are recognised in all 50 states. Other graduate programs include master's degrees in information assurance, business administration (MBA), accounting, and nursing.

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.
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.

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.
Iowa State serves around 27,000 students through its 10 schools and colleges which offer 100 different majors. Iowa State University Online and Distance Learning offers undergraduate students an opportunity for degree completion in Liberal Studies. There is a variety of master’s degrees available online and two hybrid Ph.D. programs. There are also programs for certificates and professional studies available.
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.
Each year, more than half of the 5000 students enrolled at the University of Illinois at Springfield take at least one online class each term or participate in fully online programs. The school's top five undergraduate majors are computer science, business administration, accountancy, psychology, and biology. Students can earn bachelor's degrees in fields like computer science, business administration, psychology, political science, and liberal studies. The BS in healthcare informatics is a two-year program in which students earn their general education requirements at local community colleges and complete upper-level courses online at UIS The 120-credit BS in information systems security is delivered fully online and immerses students in the study of computer science and problem solving.
The professionals who work through BetterHelp are licensed and credentialed therapists who were certified by their state's board to provide therapy and counseling. However, while the service may have similar benefits, it's not capable of substituting for traditional face-to-face therapy in every case. Please note that your provider won't be able to make any official diagnosis, to fulfill any court order or prescribe medication.
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.

Our guides to online college programs discuss key considerations for students, such as researching school accreditation, paying for tuition, and determining a major field of study. We also provide directories that allow prospective learners to browse online undergraduate and graduate programs in different fields. Read on to learn more about online college opportunities.

Binghamton University, or officially the State University of New York at Binghamton or SUNY Binghamton, is a public research university with the main campus located in Binghamton. The university was originally established in 1946 as Triple Cities College in order to serve local WWII veterans who were returning home. Binghamton University is also considered to be one of the Public Ivies.

Best known for their dominant athletics, the University of Alabama is much more than just an athletics school. Considered one of the best schools, if not the best, in the state of Alabama, The University of Alabama has a long reputation for helping educate students that go on to do great things. The same can be said about Alabama's online school. One of the best online schools in the nation, Alabama's distance learning program offers the same high-quality, accredited education that they do on campus. Along with that, the distance learning program gives students - including military personnel and adults - the chance to study at their own pace and freedom. Alabama offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees through their online school, so students at all levels can find something to fit their needs.
Professional development courses are a fantastic way to fill the gaps in your skills. University of Phoenix courses cover a variety of topics and are designed to give professionals a greater base of knowledge so they can improve their career opportunities or maintain professional certification. Our courses are also of interest to companies who want a more skilled workforce.

Within six months of return from overseas deployments, the U.S. military service branches conduct mandatory screenings for mental health conditions via the Post Deployment Health Reassessment. Installation support programs provide referrals for assessment, treatment, suicide prevention and other counseling services as deemed appropriate. Service members and their families have more options than ever before for accessing counseling assistance, including government sponsored initiatives like the Army Substance Abuse Program, Family Advocacy Program and various TRICARE support offerings.
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.
The most recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics reveals that approximately 2.6 million college students enrolled in fully online degree programs, while more than 5.5 million students were taking at least one online class. In 2013, according to AASCU, 65 percent of online students attended a nonprofit college and of those students, 45 percent attended public colleges and 20 percent attended private nonprofit institutions.
Online degree programs for graduate students at ASU are also extensive. A total of 47 online master's degrees are available. These options include seven degrees in engineering, six in education and two hybrid MBA/engineering degrees, as well as programs in cutting-edge fields like biomimicry, health innovation and sustainable tourism. Doctorate degrees in education and behavioral health are also offered through ASU Online. In addition to degrees, online students can also choose from 18 undergraduate and graduate certificate programs. Most certificates range between 15 and 20 credit hours, and can be completed in six courses or less.

Internship: Required internship hours calculate to about 600 hours. Students work under supervision and independently both in and out of sessions with clients. Counseling interns are held to the same standards as other practicing professionals at the clinical site. Interns must keep clinical records, engage in professional development, collaborate and interact with other counselors and family members as well as meeting with their assigned clients.


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.
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.
Brandman University makes it easy to transfer in college credit—whether it be from one of Brandman’s partner community colleges, alternative course credit that applies to your degree, or hands-on training from a military or professional background. Brandman has been ranked among top online schools for several years and boasts exceptionally high graduation rates—a key indicator of quality.

Online degree programs for graduate students at ASU are also extensive. A total of 47 online master's degrees are available. These options include seven degrees in engineering, six in education and two hybrid MBA/engineering degrees, as well as programs in cutting-edge fields like biomimicry, health innovation and sustainable tourism. Doctorate degrees in education and behavioral health are also offered through ASU Online. In addition to degrees, online students can also choose from 18 undergraduate and graduate certificate programs. Most certificates range between 15 and 20 credit hours, and can be completed in six courses or less.
Other online bachelor’s programs (with degree completion options) are offered in business (BBA), hotel and tourism management, sustainable food and farming, and RN to BS in nursing. Online graduate degrees are offered in accounting (MS), business (MBA), engineering (MSEM), nursing (MS and DNP), and public health (MPH). UMass Amherst also has fast-paced learning options with two six-week accelerated summer sessions and one three-week winter session.
For online counseling programs that are career specific, such as online master's in school counseling or an online master's in mental health counseling, CACREP has "entry-level specialty area" content standards for accreditation. These standards include curriculum that supports the specific profession, i.e. models of school counseling programs or addiction and mental health co-occurring disorders.
Amridge University, founded in Montgomery, AL in 1967, was among the first 15 universities to offer online degree programs as part of a U.S. Department of Education initiative. The study culminated with a change in Federal laws to allow more students to receive online degrees. Ranked among the best online schools, AU currently offers programs leading to an Associate or Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Master of Arts or Science, Master or Doctor of Ministry, and Doctor of Philosophy. Its online programs are administered by the College of Business, College of General Studies, School of Human Services, and Turner School of Theology.
Established as an extension center in 1936, the University of Alabama at Birmingham has added a robust virtual college internationally recognized for academic excellence, research, and innovation. The school offers a comprehensive catalog of fully online and hybrid degree and certificate programs. With working adults in mind, the virtual college offers students flexible learning options. Bachelor’s degrees offered fully online include programs in accounting, criminal justice, marketing, information systems, and finance. The school’s Department of Human Studies offers a BS in community health and human services, a program that prepares students for a career as a community coordinator, outreach specialist, or drug abuse counselor. The BS in industrial distribution has two tracks: engineering and medical equipment and supplies.
As members of the National Association for College Admission Counseling and the American Council on Education, the team at TheBestSchools.org has proven expertise in online education for nearly 10 years. We cover online colleges and universities more broadly and thoroughly than anyone else on the web! With over 300 online degree programs rankings, best online colleges in each state, top universities in the world rankings, and online student news and information through our magazine The Quad, we are online college experts!
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.

Online associate, bachelor’s, and graduate degrees are available from colleges and universities nationwide. These programs follow the same curriculum as their brick-and-mortar counterparts, ensuring a rigorous learning experience and job opportunities for graduates in their chosen field. However, web-based learning has certain advantages over on-campus programs. Most online programs offer a flexible schedule for completing assignments, and students rarely – if ever – need to visit their school’s campus. In many cases, earning a degree online is also cheaper.

UMC Online offers access to world-class teaching, learning, and research resources, as well as internship and undergraduate research opportunities. Students experience small class sizes and individualized attention—with a faculty that serves as true mentors for online learners. And UMC’s online courses utilize a broad variety of technological tools that make learning online intuitive and engaging. Top degree programs include:
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.
Deciding on your counseling career can occur before or after completion of your degree program. If you already know which field you would like to pursue, search for online counseling programs that offer the specialty, such as online school counseling programs. If you are unsure about which career you would like to pursue, review our guides on 10 different counseling careers! Most online counseling programs, when accredited, will offer some of the same basic counseling coursework. Keep in mind, however, that career specific online counseling programs may better prepare you for post-graduate counseling licensure.
The U.S. military employs counselors, case workers, and psychologists in a variety of roles with various levels of education and training to provide a host of support options for our military personnel and their families. In many cases, a military counselor will work as part of a team that may include social workers, psychologists, medical officers, chaplains, personnel specialists, and commanders.
A: Oddly enough, no. (Laughs). I prefer face-to-face conversations and being able to read body language and hear someone’s tone. That’s why when I receive a complaint over social media, I read the complaint over and over and over. I’m really trying to “hear” what the person is saying, so I can respond appropriately and give them the answers they need.
Well known as one of the most innovative institutions in the country, Arizona State University has established itself as a leader in online education. ASU is one of the best online colleges in terms of accessibility, degree offerings and quality, and a lot of their success is due to their innovative spirit. Students that choose to study online will find that there is no shortage of options at any level. ASU has an impressive list of online programs offered, which can be completed entirely online. The online programs are accredited, and classes start each quarter, so students can study toward a degree at their own pace. These degrees are perfect for students who are unable to commute to campus but still want to earn an ASU education.
Regis University is a private, Jesuit University with its main campus located in Denver, Colorado. The online college offers a catalogue of courses to suit students hoping to advance their career path, earn a bigger paycheck, or to fulfill their passions. A long list of flexible programs allows students to pick and choose which suits their needs best as they juggle work, family, and school. The school boasts some impressive statistics, such as 89% placement rate after graduation, and 50% higher than Colorado State average. Regis University is a excellent option for those seeking a reliable online program.
I looked at different programs but I decided on an online program because though they are challenging they are also the easiest that work with my schedule I can plan around my work. My motivation for attending college is to start a career in a field that I am interested in and help make a difference in my family as well as my career. Although it’s not easy to balance work responsibilities, life, family and school, it is manageable to do it when you don’t have to commute to a campus and commute back home after classes that takes time off your study time. Depending on the type of student I try to be an advocate to them in order to choose an online program because I know it has helped me to have a better balance of school, work, and life.
Online degree programs are typically stereotyped as boring, unengaging, and unmotivating. Watch a video, take a test, check your grades, rinse, repeat. However, the innovative and immersive online learning environment has become the hallmark of programs offered by universities. These programs allow virtual interaction with classmates and instructors from all over the country and world, easy access to knowledgeable advisors and campus resources, and incomparable networking opportunities.

Over 16,000 students attend UChicago which offers a large variety of programs across their undergraduate College, five graduate divisions, six professional schools, as well as the Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies. UChicago online offers a handful of open online courses as well as online courses quarterly through some of their divisions. There are professional certificates with online studies offered through the Graham School and online courses are offered through AlumniU free for UChicago alumni.
A public research university, the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) is a member of the four-campus University of Missouri System and home to an eLearning campus of excellence. UMKC offers well over 50 online degree programs—in diverse areas but with a special emphasis on healthcare degrees—at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels.
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.
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