The 10 Best Online Bachelor Degree Programs

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Key Infor­ma­tion:

  • Embry-Rid­dle Aero­nau­ti­cal Uni­ver­si­ty has the #1 best online bach­e­lor’s for its Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence in Engi­neer­ing Tech­nol­o­gy program.
  • These top-ranked pro­grams cov­er a wide range of fields includ­ing busi­ness, tech­nol­o­gy, and health­care, reflect­ing grow­ing industries.
  • Many of these online bach­e­lor’s are not­ed for their afford­abil­i­ty and the flex­i­bil­i­ty they offer.
  • Designed to pro­vide stu­dents with the skills need­ed for suc­cess­ful careers, these pro­grams focus specif­i­cal­ly on fields with high salary poten­tials and job growth.

Fin­ish­ing a bach­e­lor’s degree is a momen­tous step­ping stone to open­ing high­er-skilled and bet­ter-pay­ing jobs in today’s com­pet­i­tive mar­ket! Research has sup­port­ed that bach­e­lor’s-lev­el work­ers enjoy improved job secu­ri­ty, eco­nom­ic sta­bil­i­ty, and satisfaction.

This arti­cle was orig­i­nal­ly pub­lished in July 2023 and last updat­ed in March 2024.

The Amer­i­can Jour­nal of Pub­lic Health even showed that earn­ing a bach­e­lor’s boosts your health. Not all bach­e­lor’s pro­grams are cre­at­ed equal though. Online stu­dents need to care­ful­ly watch out for so-called diplo­ma mills offer­ing unac­cred­it­ed education. 

Although fol­low­ing your dreams is impor­tant, side­step­ping col­lege majors with low grad­u­ate prospects is equal­ly so. In this arti­cle, we’ll high­light the Top 10 Online Bach­e­lor’s Degree Pro­grams offer­ing qual­i­ty prepa­ra­tion for grow­ing industries.

In the Unit­ed States, more than 2.6 mil­lion stu­dents (NCES) are enrolled exclu­sive­ly in online cours­es. Study­ing in an online bach­e­lor’s pro­gram is an excel­lent way to fit col­lege class­es with­in your jam-packed schedule.

With the best online bach­e­lor’s pro­grams, you’ll gain 24/7 access to course­work and an inter­ac­tive vir­tu­al class­room for self-paced learn­ing. Whether you’re a recent high school grad­u­ate, trans­fer stu­dent, or career chang­er, con­sid­er pur­su­ing one of these online bach­e­lor’s degrees on our Top 10 Online Bach­e­lor’s Degree Pro­grams to ensure you max­i­mize your bach­e­lor’s degree edu­ca­tion and experience! 

We fea­ture only online edu­ca­tion insti­tu­tions accred­it­ed by the Col­leges and Schools Commission.

Methodology: The Best Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs

To cre­ate our rank­ing, we began by review­ing Forbes’ list of the bach­e­lor’s degrees with the high­est salary poten­tial. We focused on fields where mid-career income is above-aver­age for a good return on investment. 

Since job prospects after grad­u­a­tion are cru­cial, we then looked for fields with fast employ­ment growth accord­ing to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

Next, we con­sult­ed the U.S. News and World Report’s sur­vey of online bach­e­lor’s pro­grams. We scoured these high-rank­ing col­leges for 100 per­cent online under­grad­u­ate degrees in lucra­tive, in-demand majors. For afford­abil­i­ty, we nixed any pro­grams cost­ing above $2,000 per credit. 

We also focused on online uni­ver­si­ties with aver­age reten­tion rates bet­ter than 35% to judge stu­dent satisfaction.

With­out fur­ther delay, here are our picks of the Top 10 Online Bach­e­lor’s Degree Programs.

1. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Degree at a Glance

Online Pro­gram Offered: Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence in Engi­neer­ing Tech­nol­o­gy
Cred­its Required to Grad­u­ate: 122
Costs per Cred­it Hour: $1,767
Accep­tance Rate: 72%
Grad­u­a­tion Rate: 62%
Reten­tion Rate: 82%

Rec­og­nized for Amer­i­ca’s #1 online bach­e­lor’s pro­grams, Embry-Rid­dle Aero­nau­ti­cal Uni­ver­si­ty is locat­ed in Day­tona Beach and is the largest avi­a­tion-focused col­lege glob­al­ly. The 122-cred­it Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence in Engi­neer­ing Tech­nol­o­gy is par­tic­u­lar­ly notable for using vir­tu­al labs to pre­pare for the Fun­da­men­tals of Engi­neer­ing exam. In-demand con­cen­tra­tions are offered like: 

  • Avi­a­tion Safety
  • Man­age­ment Infor­ma­tion Systems
  • Occu­pa­tion­al Health
  • Unmanned Aer­i­al Systems

What makes this pro­gram great is qual­i­ty aca­d­e­mics in a lucra­tive career field that pre­pares online learn­ers for the Nation­al Coun­cil of Exam­in­ers for Engi­neer­ing and Sur­vey­ings Fun­da­men­tals of Engi­neer­ing exam.

2. Penn State World Campus

Degree at a Glance

Online Pro­gram Offered: Bach­e­lor of Arts in Ener­gy and Sus­tain­abil­i­ty Pol­i­cy
Cred­its Required to Grad­u­ate: 120
Costs per Cred­it Hour: $626
Accep­tance Rate: 54%
Grad­u­a­tion Rate: 70%
Reten­tion Rate: 62%

Enrolling over 100,000 glob­al learn­ers, Penn­syl­va­nia State Uni­ver­si­ty is a pre­mier pri­vate, research insti­tu­tion with the nation’s sec­ond top online bach­e­lor’s degrees. The World Cam­pus offers the Bach­e­lor of Arts in Ener­gy and Sus­tain­abil­i­ty Pol­i­cy, a pro­gram that won the Sloan‑C Out­stand­ing Pro­gram Award. 

Online stu­dents com­plete 120 cred­its to pre­pare for fast-grow­ing “green” jobs pro­tect­ing the envi­ron­ment with sus­tain­abil­i­ty in a rapid­ly grow­ing indus­try. Com­ple­tion of this pro­gram pro­vides the edu­ca­tion­al basis need­ed to per­form with­in both gov­ern­men­tal and pri­vate agen­cies, ener­gy com­pa­nies, and ener­gy trade commissions/organizations.

The Sloan Con­sor­tium des­ig­na­tion as an Out­stand­ing Online Pro­gram proves this is a great learn­ing oppor­tu­ni­ty with­in a dynam­ic major.

3. Western Kentucky University

Degree at a Glance

Online Pro­gram Offered: B.S. in Com­put­er Infor­ma­tion Tech­nol­o­gy
Cred­its Required to Grad­u­ate: 120
Costs per Cred­it Hour: $551
Accep­tance Rate: 99%
Grad­u­a­tion Rate: 48%
Reten­tion Rate: 92%

Locat­ed in Bowl­ing Green, West­ern Ken­tucky Uni­ver­si­ty is an accred­it­ed pub­lic col­lege serv­ing over 21,000 stu­dents. The U.S. News ranked West­ern Ken­tucky Uni­ver­si­ty third for online pro­grams, includ­ing its B.S. in Com­put­er Infor­ma­tion Technology. 

This 120-cred­it degree opens doors for high-tech careers like net­work engi­neer­ing, com­put­er secu­ri­ty, web devel­op­ment, and data­base admin­is­tra­tion. There’s a 2+2 track for online stu­dents with an asso­ciate tech­nol­o­gy degree who want to advance to high­er degree fields. 

All pro­grams at West­ern Ken­tucky Uni­ver­si­ty are accred­it­ed by the South­ern Asso­ci­a­tion of Col­leges and Schools Com­mis­sion on Col­leges and all online bach­e­lor pro­grams ranked #55 for the Best Online Bach­e­lor’s of 2022 by the U.S. News and World Report.

4. Arizona State University

Degree at a Glance

Online Pro­gram Offered: Online Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence in Engi­neer­ing in Elec­tri­cal Engi­neer­ing
Cred­its Required to Grad­u­ate: 120
Costs per Cred­it Hour: $561–$1,343 per cred­it hour depend­ing on the pro­gram cho­sen
Accep­tance Rate: 88%
Grad­u­a­tion Rate: 66%
Reten­tion Rate: 68%

Ari­zona State Uni­ver­si­ty is a met­ro­pol­i­tan, pub­lic RU/VH research insti­tu­tion edu­cat­ing over 13,750 online stu­dents from its sun­ny Tempe cam­pus. Among the nation’s 11th best online pro­grams is the B.S.E. in Elec­tri­cal Engi­neer­ing. The ABET-accred­it­ed pro­gram uses sim­u­la­tion tools to equip stu­dents for lucra­tive jobs in pow­er production. 

Over 10 terms, online learn­ers take tech­ni­cal elec­tives from dig­i­tal cir­cuits to wire­less com­mu­ni­ca­tions. Pro­grams avail­able online at Ari­zona State Uni­ver­si­ty are accred­it­ed by the High­er Learn­ing Com­mis­sion of the North Cen­tral Asso­ci­a­tion of Col­leges and Schools. 

Addi­tion­al­ly, the B.S.E. in Elec­tri­cal Engi­neer­ing is accred­it­ed by the Engi­neer­ing Accred­i­ta­tion Com­mis­sion of ABET.

5. Pace University

Degree at a Glance

Online Pro­gram Offered: B.B.A. in Busi­ness Stud­ies
Cred­its Required to Grad­u­ate: 120
Costs per Cred­it Hour: $1,075
Accep­tance Rate: 88%
Grad­u­a­tion Rate: 57%
Reten­tion Rate: 73%

Found­ed in 1906, Pace Uni­ver­si­ty is a pri­vate, non-sec­tar­i­an insti­tu­tion in New York City with 12,700 stu­dents which is in a tie for Amer­i­ca’s 11th Best Online Bach­e­lor’s Pro­gram per the US World & News Report. 

With­in the Asso­ci­a­tion to Advance Col­le­giate Schools of Busi­ness (AACSB) accred­it­ed Lubin School of Busi­ness, there’s a 100% online B.B.A. in Busi­ness Stud­ies suit­able for every stu­dent inter­est­ed in an online degree. 

Con­cen­tra­tions Available:

  • Mar­ket­ing and Management
  • Finance

Orig­i­nal­ly designed for asso­ciate busi­ness degree hold­ers, this three-year part-time degree pro­gram, teach­es online stu­dents the research and crit­i­cal think­ing skills to assess con­sumer behav­ior as well as the the­o­ries for fast-grow­ing mar­ket­ing jobs.

6. Regent University

Degree at a Glance

Online Pro­gram Offered: B.S. in Cyber­se­cu­ri­ty
Cred­its Required to Grad­u­ate: 120+
Costs per Cred­it Hour: $395
Accep­tance Rate: 41%
Grad­u­a­tion Rate: 29%
Reten­tion Rate: 77%

Giv­en an “A” rat­ing from the Amer­i­can Coun­cil of Trustees and Alum­ni (ACTA,) Regent Uni­ver­si­ty is an accred­it­ed pri­vate, non-prof­it Chris­t­ian insti­tu­tion serv­ing over 6,000 diverse stu­dents from Vir­ginia Beach. The U.S. News rec­og­nizes Regent for the 17th Top Online Bach­e­lor’s Studies. 

One par­tic­u­lar­ly in-demand pro­gram is the Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence in Cyber­se­cu­ri­ty. This 120-cred­it, online cur­ricu­lum trains stu­dents as dig­i­tal foren­sics experts to safe­guard net­works against cybercrime. 

Par­tic­i­pants learn, through eth­i­cal prin­ci­ples, the the­o­ret­i­cal and crit­i­cal think­ing skills need­ed to cre­ate, exe­cute, and pro­tect the integri­ty of data through a dig­i­tal secu­ri­ty strategy. 

7. University of Nebraska — Omaha

Degree at a Glance

Online Pro­gram Offered: Bach­e­lor of Gen­er­al Stud­ies in Geron­tol­ogy Online
Cred­its Required to Grad­u­ate: 121
Costs per Cred­it Hour: $268
Accep­tance Rate: 87%
Grad­u­a­tion Rate: 49%
Reten­tion Rate: 77%

Con­cen­tra­tions Offered: 

  • Geron­tol­ogy: Administration
  • Healthy Aging
  • Pre-Health

Serv­ing over 12,200 stu­dents, the Uni­ver­si­ty of Nebras­ka-Oma­ha is a pub­lic, urban doc­tor­al-grant­i­ng research insti­tu­tion hous­ing the coun­try’s 17th Best Online Bach­e­lor’s per the U.S. News and World Report. The Divi­sion of Con­tin­u­ing Stud­ies offers a Bach­e­lor of Gen­er­al Stud­ies in Geron­tol­ogy online. 

This 120-cred­it inter­dis­ci­pli­nary major pre­pares stu­dents for fast-grow­ing human ser­vice jobs with aging baby boomers. At least 156 practicum hours are arranged in local place­ment agen­cies guar­an­tee­ing the real-life work expe­ri­ences need­ed to advance as a pro­fes­sion­al after graduation.

8. University of Central Florida

Degree at a Glance

Online Pro­gram Offered: Online Health Ser­vices Admin­is­tra­tion, BS
Cred­its Required to Grad­u­ate: 120
Costs per Cred­it Hour: $179.19
Accep­tance Rate: 41%
Grad­u­a­tion Rate: 76%
Reten­tion Rate: 90%

Endowed for $155 mil­lion, the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cen­tral Flori­da has the Unit­ed States’ largest under­grad­u­ate enroll­ment with 52,500 pupils study­ing in Orlan­do and online. The B.S. Health Ser­vices Admin­is­tra­tion stands out among the coun­try’s 20th online bach­e­lor’s programs. 

Upper-divi­sion stu­dents in this 120-cred­it pro­gram devel­op man­age­r­i­al skills for prof­itable careers man­ag­ing health orga­ni­za­tions. The Asso­ci­a­tion of Uni­ver­si­ty Pro­grams in Health Admin­is­tra­tion (AUPHA) approved degree includes one on-cam­pus, real-life work expe­ri­ence-based internship.

9. Fort Hays State University

Degree at a Glance

Online Pro­gram Offered: Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence in Com­put­er Sci­ence
Cred­its Required to Grad­u­ate: 120
Costs per Cred­it Hour: $242.76
Accep­tance Rate: 90%
Grad­u­a­tion Rate: 68%
Reten­tion Rate: 78%

Relat­ed Degrees Offered:

  • Bach­e­lor’s Degree (B.S. or B.A.) in Infor­ma­tion Net­work­ing and Telecommunications
  • Bach­e­lor’s Degree (B.S. or B.A.) in Infor­ma­tion Net­work­ing and Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions, Infor­ma­tion Systems

Gov­erned by the Kansas Board of Regents, Fort Hays State Uni­ver­si­ty is a pub­lic, co-ed col­lege edu­cat­ing over 11,200 stu­dents and grant­i­ng Amer­i­ca’s 24th Best Online Bach­e­lor’s Degrees. The Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence in Com­put­er Sci­ence will be online with an empha­sis on tracks in Busi­ness or Networking. 

The 120-cred­it pro­gram devel­ops the tech­ni­cal know-how for the thriv­ing com­put­ing industry.

10. Indiana University

Degree at a Glance

Online Pro­gram Offered: Online Bach­e­lor of Arts in Eng­lish
Cred­its Required to Grad­u­ate: 120
Costs per Cred­it Hour: $
Accep­tance Rate: 85%
Grad­u­a­tion Rate: 79%
Reten­tion Rate: 91%

Con­cen­tra­tion Offered:

  • Tech­ni­cal and Pro­fes­sion­al Writing

Named Newsweek’s “Hottest Big State School” in 2005, Indi­ana Uni­ver­si­ty serves over 7,300 stu­dents ful­ly online in over 100 online pro­grams, includ­ing the coun­try’s 39th Best Online Bachelor’s. 

The Tech­ni­cal and Pro­fes­sion­al Writ­ing B.A. is a unique degree com­ple­tion pro­gram teach­ing stu­dents to write with accu­ra­cy, clar­i­ty, and finesse. Unlike most Eng­lish majors, this 20-course pro­gram focus­es on the fast-grow­ing demand for tech­ni­cal writers.

Why Are Some Bachelor’s Degrees Better Suited to Online Learning Than Others?

If you have been search­ing for degree pro­grams to meet your needs, you will soon find that schools do not offer every degree with an online option. The rea­son for this is that some degrees are sim­ply bet­ter suit­ed to an online mod­el than oth­ers. There can be a few dif­fer­ent fac­tors that con­tribute to this.

Degrees that do not require any prac­ti­cals or clin­i­cals are often con­sid­ered the best online degree pro­grams. Prac­ti­cals and clin­i­cals will require stu­dents to spend time out­side of the class­room get­ting on-site train­ing. This is often seen with teach­ing degrees and med­ical degrees. If you are look­ing for the best online degrees, you will want to find pro­grams that do not require this type of addi­tion­al training.

Many stu­dents want to com­plete their entire degree online and this is pos­si­ble with some of the best online bach­e­lor degrees from rep­utable online universities.

Many stu­dents want to com­plete their entire degree online and this is pos­si­ble with some of the best online bach­e­lor degrees from rep­utable online uni­ver­si­ties. High­er edu­ca­tion doesn’t just have to be full-time, in-state, and in-per­son — the best online col­leges offer four-year and grad­u­ate degree pro­grams for all. Start with a diplo­ma or an asso­ciate degree. 

Online school can be asyn­chro­nous for out-of-state dis­tance learn­ers and still be high-qual­i­ty. Whether you want a pub­lic uni­ver­si­ty or a pri­vate non­prof­it, there is an online mas­ter’s or bach­e­lor’s pro­gram for you. Social sci­ences, busi­ness admin­is­tra­tion, social work, minors, and any spe­cial­iza­tion you can imag­ine are available.

What Makes a Good Online Degree Program?

Some of the best online bach­e­lor’s degree pro­grams will have cer­tain char­ac­ter­is­tics in com­mon. You will want to look for a degree pro­gram that is offered by a rep­utable school.

Usu­al­ly, a rep­utable school will have a phys­i­cal cam­pus in oper­a­tion as well as online class­es. On-cam­pus stu­dents are one way of rec­og­niz­ing a rep­utable col­lege. You will also want to look for a school that is ful­ly accred­it­ed for under­grad­u­ate stu­dents. This will ensure that the edu­ca­tion you are get­ting will trans­late into a degree that is respect­ed and rec­og­nized by employers.

You also want to find a school that works with fed­er­al finan­cial aid pro­grams. A school that does not work with these pro­grams may not be rep­utable and you may find it dif­fi­cult to pay for edu­ca­tion­al expens­es with­out the help of fed­er­al edu­ca­tion­al programs.

Anoth­er fac­tor will be the types of expens­es that will be includ­ed. Prospec­tive stu­dents should be aware of many online pro­grams that come with a lot of hid­den fees. Any under­grad­u­ate stu­den­t’s tuition or fees you pay should be rel­e­vant to the online pro­gram you are receiving.

The best online bach­e­lor’s degrees will also part­ner with many employ­er reim­burse­ment pro­grams. These are pro­grams that work with employ­ers to cov­er part of your tuition. Be sure to talk with your employ­er to find out if they par­tic­i­pate in these pro­grams to cov­er your online bach­e­lor’s degree.

Good online degree pro­grams will also pro­vide an online learn­ing mod­el that is easy to fol­low and is very acces­si­ble to all stu­dents. Prospec­tive stu­dents, beware of pro­grams that might require you to pur­chase expen­sive tech­nol­o­gy or down­load soft­ware that comes at addi­tion­al expense. 

Most qual­i­ty online degree pro­grams can be con­duct­ed with a qual­i­ty com­put­er and a qual­i­ty inter­net connection.

Do Public or Private Colleges Have Better Online Degrees?

Both pub­lic and pri­vate col­leges offer online bach­e­lor’s degree pro­grams. The qual­i­ty of an online pro­gram is often com­pa­ra­ble to the qual­i­ty of the school. A good qual­i­ty pub­lic school can offer a good qual­i­ty online edu­ca­tion, just as a qual­i­ty pri­vate school can as well; accred­it­ed online col­leges will have sim­i­lar quality. 

The best way to know if you are enrolling in the best online bach­e­lor’s degree pro­grams will be to read reviews and talk with under­grad­u­ate stu­dents who have expe­ri­ence with the pro­gram you are considering.

Cost is impor­tant, though. If you have a high school diplo­ma, on-cam­pus pro­grams might be the old stan­dard, but online stu­dents pay less for the same edu­ca­tion. An online bach­e­lor’s degree cost is usu­al­ly low­er at a pub­lic col­lege, and accred­it­ed online col­leges can save you a lot. An online col­lege degree can be a great value!