List of 10 Best Accredited Online Colleges and Universities

It is easier to get an education in the 21st century than it ever was years ago. Today there are many high quality online colleges and universities where you can earn your bachelor’s, master’s and even your doctoral degree in some cases.

By earning your degree online, you generally can take the very same program that you would have taken online, but you can save all of that commuting time. Plus, you can attend a program across the country from where you live. You also will often be able to earn your degree faster, which can save you money.

With those facts in mind, we have conducted extensive research to bring you a list of best, accredited, online colleges and universities. Most of these programs offer plenty of choices for people with diverse career interests in undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate degrees.

#1 University of North Carolina

The University of North Carolina has hundreds of degree programs available online, as well as many thousands of online courses. It has a total of 17 campuses and approximately 400 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees available on the Internet.

Depending upon which degree and program you choose, you may actually take your courses through one of these 17 universities in North Carolina. Among them are:

  • University of North Carolina Asheville
  • Winston Salem State University
  • North Carolina State University
  • Appalachian State University
  • North Carolina Central University

The major speciality areas that most online students choose are:

  • Business
  • Agriculture
  • Criminal Justice
  • Engineering
  • IT
  • Nursing
  • Medicine and Health
  • Public Administration
  • Behavioral Sciences

The University of North Carolina enjoys a particularly strong reputation for the quality of its online master’s degree programs. The university especially has an excellent selection of engineering degree programs online in these areas:

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Software Engineering

The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

#2 University of Wisconsin

The University of Wisconsin System Online currently offers more than 30 undergraduate programs and at least 40 master’s programs. The entire online system has 26 different official campuses in which it participates to some degree. The online portal of the University of Wisconsin allows the online student to search all of these different campuses for the program that is of interest.

Some of the most popular degree options for master’s students are:

  • Engineering
  • Education
  • Criminal Justice
  • Data Science
  • MBA
  • Administrative Leadership
  • Information and Communication Technologies
  • Construction Management
  • Environmental Safety and Health

The University of Wisconsin also has what is called the UW Flexible Option that is available for most of its online degree programs. This education option allows the student to enjoy a more convenient yet personalized and affordable education option.

This option allows you to:

  • Get your degree at your own pace, and not on a set schedule.
  • Receive personal support from a success coach at UW.
  • Start your program any time you like, at the beginning of every month.
  • Learn the skills that the most demanding employers value the most.

The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#3 Northeastern University

Northeastern University offers many high quality online degree programs, and has been doing so for more than 15 years. Northeastern University Online now has more than 70 degree programs that are offered by six different colleges in the state of Massachusetts.

The university offers both bachelor’s and master’s degrees online from the following colleges and schools:

  • D’Amore McKim School of Business
  • College of Arts, Media and Design
  • College of Engineering
  • School of Law
  • College of Health Sciences
  • College of Professional Studies
  • College of Social Sciences and Humanities

Northeastern University is located in Boston, and is one of the biggest private research universities in the state. All of the programs online are taught by the very same faculty as the on campus versions.

The university is fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

#4 Colorado State University – Global Campus

Colorado State University was one of the very first universities in the US to embrace online degree programs. The highly streamlined online system of degree programs makes it very easy to browse all of the available programs available at CSU online.

There currently are 13 online, undergraduate programs available, such as:

  • Accounting
  • Management
  • Business
  • Communication
  • Public Management
  • Marketing

On the master’s degree side, the most popular specialities are:

  • Finance
  • Accounting
  • MBA
  • Nurse Administration
  • Project Management
  • Psychology

The online learning program at CSU is well known to be very easy to use and intuitive, that makes it easier for you to learn the material in your degree program. Each program features the following resources and assignments for easy online use:

  • Video: recorded classes from on campus sessions
  • Audio: podcast recordings of your professor; audio recordings from other online sources
  • Text: Articles, research and journals posted online; blog posts, textbooks both in print and online
  • Assessments: Quizzes and tests; projects done both in a team and alone

This university is accredited by the Western Association of Colleges and Schools.

#5 University of Cincinnati

The University of Cincinnati has a strong reputation as a high quality and affordable online university. UC now offers more than 30 online degree programs and more than 40 certificate programs. Some of the most well attended online degree programs are:

  • BSN and MSN in Nursing
  • BS in Substance Abuse Counseling
  • MS in Information Technology
  • MEd in Educational Leadership
  • MS in Health Informatics
  • MHA – Health Administration
  • MS in Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • MS in Drug Development Sciences

The university currently has 260+ professors teaching online, and there are more than 74 different degrees awarded. Statistics from the university state that 5594 students are enrolled online in the US and around the world.

This university is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#6 Central Michigan University

Central Michigan University Online offers both bachelor’s and master’s students the quality and convenience that they need to accelerate their career.

Each of the online degree programs at the bachelor’s and master’s level are rigorous and challenging, just as the on campus programs are. The only real difference is that you can get your degree without stopping work or taking care of your personal obligations.

The university offers the following degree programs:

  • Bachelor’s in Political Science
  • Bachelor’s in Psychology
  • Master of Arts in Education
  • Master of Arts in Special Education
  • Master of Health Administration
  • Master of Science in Nutrition
  • MBA
  • Master of Arts in Educational Technology

This university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#7 Ohio University

The Ohio University eCampus offers many high quality, online bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

On the bachelor’s side, these are the top majors:

  • Applied Communication
  • Applied Management
  • Criminal Justice
  • Customer Service
  • RN to BSN – Nursing
  • Technical and Applied Studies
  • Technical Operations Management

The university online also offers many popular master’s programs, most of which can be earned without visiting the campus:

  • Master of Athletic Administration
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Science in Civil Engineering
  • Master of Engineering Management
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Master of Public Administration

Ohio University also offers several blended master’s degrees, where you can take most of your classes online, but also have face to face meetings with students and faculty.

This university is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#8 University of Massachusetts

UMass Online has one of the most rapidly growing online programs in the US, at both the master’s and bachelor’s level. UMass Online connects 5 different campuses in the state and allows you to search for an online degree program from one central web location. UMass will provide you with access to the highest quality, affordable, online education.

The university has 150 degree and certificate programs, and 1500 courses online.

All four of the undergraduate campuses for Umas are among the top in the country, according to US News and World Report. UMass also is very highly ranked in the R&D department, with more than $629 million spent in 2015.

The most popular degree programs online at UMass are:

  • MBA
  • MHA
  • Bachelor’s in Business
  • Master’s in Psychology
  • Bachelor’s in Education
  • Master’s in Software Engineering

This university is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges

#9 Oregon State University

The Oregon State University eCampus provides both bachelor’s and master’s degree students with many exciting educational opportunities, which can be earned entirely online.

All of the classes in both types of programs are taught by the renowned faculty at Oregon State, many of whom are well known around the world for their expertise, research and innovation.

The university reports that these master’s programs are in the most demand:

  • MBA in Business Analytics
  • MBA in Organizational Leadership
  • Master of Natural Resources
  • Master’s in Environmental Sciences
  • Master of Science in Data Analytics
  • Master of Public Policy
  • Master of Education

Oregon State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

#10 University of Missouri

The University of Missouri features more than 95 degree and certificate programs, and 900 courses that will provide you with the same quality of education as you will get in person. The most popular bachelor’s and master’s degrees at this university include:

  • Master’s in Public Affairs
  • Master’s in Early Childhood Education
  • Bachelor’s in Respiratory Therapy
  • Bachelor’s in Health Sciences
  • Master’s in Technology in Schools
  • Master’s in Academic Medicine
  • Master’s in Social Work
  • Master in Arts Education
  • Bachelor’s in Educational Studies

The University of Missouri is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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Written by Melissa Hart
Melissa Hart is's Special Features Editor. She has over 8 years of career guidance experience in the healthcare field and continues to mentor students and young adults today.

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