The college application process begins during students’ high school years, and oftentimes with a world of opportunities ahead, it can be difficult to decide not only where to apply, but what kind of major or degree program would best suit them. This ranking explores schools that offer the best online bachelor degree programs available in higher education. It is designed to help students to find the best available online options for many popular majors.
Many students also start their college years at a 2-year college and may want to continue on to earn a higher degree. This ranking can also help these students find an online program in which they can obtain their bachelor degree and advance in their careers.
Methodology and Notes
We began by utilizing data from US News & World Report in order to find which schools rank as offering the best online programs for bachelor’s degrees using their own criteria including the amount of student debt accumulated at graduation and academic and career support offered by schools. These findings account for 33% of our total ranking. Student ratings of schools’ overall performance and offerings as well as their evaluation of the schools’ academics were researched at niche.com. We feel that student opinions should be influential in what is considered to be the best, therefore each of these accounts for 17% of our total ranking. We also took into consideration acceptance rates and graduation percentages of each school, as both are needed in order to obtain a degree. These facts were gathered from the National Center for Education Statistics and each also accounts for 17% of our total ranking.
Some online programs require exams to be taken either on-campus or at a proctored location. Also, some programs may require students to have previously earned an associate degree in the same or a similar major in order to participate. If you are unsure of any requirements, please be sure to inquire at the school of your choice prior to enrolling.
Here are the Top 12 Online Bachelor Degree Programs:
1. University of Georgia
The University of Georgia in Athens dates back to 1785 when Georgia became the first state to form a state-supported university. However, the university wasn’t established until 1801, with the first graduating class in 1804. UGA has continued to grow and keep up with modern technologies and innovations. Online programs are certainly a sign of changing times and the University of Georgia now offers two of the best online bachelor programs available to students. The top-ranked Bachelor of Science in Special Education program is a degree completion program offered through the College of Education Department of Communication Sciences and Special Education. UGA also offers a Bachelor in Business Administration available through the Terry College of Business and is accredited by the AACSB. Students who earn online degrees from the University of Georgia can rest assured that they are not just getting a terrific education, but a well-respected degree equal to one earned on-campus.
2. Ohio State University
Established in 1970, Ohio State University in Columbus began earning its reputation for excellence in higher education which stands today. The university has and continues to earn high rankings in various categories from well respected national publications such as US News & World Report, Business Insider, and The Wall Street Journal. Although there are only three bachelor degree programs offered at Ohio State University online, they are considered to be of the highest quality. The most popular program chosen by students at Ohio State online is the RN to BSN at 95%, according to US News & World Report data. Also offered is a BS in Dental Hygiene degree completion program as well as a BS in Health Sciences. Online diplomas from Ohio State University are equivalent to those earned on campus. Students can rest assured that when they choose Ohio State University for their online bachelor degree program, they are going to get one of the finest educations available.
3. University of Illinois at Chicago
To see it now, it is hard to believe that the University of Illinois at Chicago was once several private health colleges. Times have long since changed, and so has the university with them and is now one of the top 60 research universities in the U.S. The UIC Extended Campus offers students premium bachelor degree programs online. The RN to BSN completion program online is the most popular choice by students according to data from US News & World Report. UIC also offers a BS in Health Information Management as a degree completion program online and a Bachelor of Business Administration program from UIC Business which is accredited by the AACSB. While earning a degree online may give students more flexibility in schedules, they are equivalent to those earned through on-campus programs. When it comes to excellence in online bachelor degree programs, students can count on the University of Illinois at Chicago to deliver.
4. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Worldwide
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Worldwide is an online campus with headquarters in Daytona Beach, Florida. Decades of experience with distance learning help to make the programs offered at ERAU – Worldwide some of the best in the nation. The school is even ranked number one for online bachelor’s degree programs by US News & World Report. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Worldwide is dedicated to providing flexible programs and is always looking for new ways to utilize current technologies to connect with students and provide them with the best education possible.
The Bachelor of Science Degree programs at ERAU – Worldwide are currently available in 15 different majors. The list of majors is as follows, Aeronautics, Aviation Business Administration, Aviation Maintenance Science, Aviation Security, Communication, Emergency Services, Engineering Technology, Homeland Security, Interdisciplinary Studies, Logistics & Supply Chain Management, Project Management, Safety Management, Technical Management, and Unmanned Systems Applications. It is not surprising that the most popular majors chosen by students are pertaining to aviation and aeronautics. However, no matter which major a student chooses, they can rest assured that they will be receiving a superb education.
5. Temple University
Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has a history that dates back to 1884 and in 1918 established the Fox School of Business which is dedicated to educating professionals working in the business world. The Fox School is also accredited by the AACSB, which can be considered a sign of their prestige and high values in education.
The online offerings from Fox School of Business, Temple University for bachelor degree programs are of some of the highest quality available for business professionals and entrepreneurs. The majors available are Accounting, Business Management, Human Resource Management, Legal Studies in Business, Marketing, and Supply Chain Management. These majors are available to transfer students as well as freshmen and can be completed entirely online. Programs offered through Fox School are very high ranking in many publications, such as U.S. News & World Report, Business Week, Financial Times, and Entrepreneur Magazine to name a few.
6. University of Florida
The University of Florida in Gainesville has been around for more than 160 years and has many great credits to its name. In 1965 scientists at UF worked to find a way to keep their athletes hydrated better than water, and what they came up with is now widely available as Gatorade brand sports drink. The University of Florida is also credited with developing Sentricon in 1996, a termite elimination system which was used to rid the Statue of Liberty’s framework of the pests. 2 million other structures including many of the nation’s historical buildings such as the White House, were also treated with Sentricon to keep them safe from termites. Today, the terrific, inventive minds of UF are responsible for creating some of the greatest online bachelor degree programs available.
UF Online is dedicated to giving students engaged in distance education the same valuable knowledge as available through traditional courses. Bachelor of Arts Degrees are offered in the following majors, Anthropology, Biology, Criminology & Law, Geography, Geology, Psychology, and Sociology. Bachelor of Science Degrees offered online through University of Florida are available in the following 8 majors, Business Administration, Computer Science, Environmental Management, Health Education & Behavior, Nursing, Public Relations, Sports Management, and Telecommunication Media & Society. Warrington College of Business Administration which teaches the BS in Business Administration is accredited by the AACSB. Students at UF Online are able to enjoy the flexibility of online education and know that they are getting a high-quality education when they choose a program from the university’s growing selection.
7. Oregon State University
Located in one of the smallest and greenest towns, Corvallis, Oregon State University makes a large impression on the academic world. Established as a land grant university in 1868, it is now one of the leading public research universities. It has acquired sea-grant, space-grant, and sun grant designations, making it only one of two U.S. Universities to have done so. As a result, study choices at Oregon State University can be very diverse.
Oregon State’s eCampus also offers a spectrum of more than 20 major choices for online bachelor degree programs. There is even the University Exploratory Studies Program which allows students to begin classes before deciding on a major. Programs majors available include – but are not limited to -Agricultural Sciences, Business Administration, Economics, Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, History, Sociology, Psychology, and three foreign languages. Developed by faculty renowned for their expertise and excellence, it is no wonder that these are top-quality programs.
8. Western Kentucky University
Western Kentucky University is located in Bowling Green, one of the largest cities in Kentucky. While there’s plenty to do outside of the university, WKU also has plenty of options to keep students busy. Not only are their on-campus programs considered excellent, but their online offerings are also reputed to be the cream of the crop.
Online programs at Western Kentucky University are BA in Criminology, BS in Consumer and Family Sciences in either Child Studies or Family Studies concentrations, BS in Health Care Administration, BS in Organizational Leadership, BA in Sociology, BS in Computer Information Technology, and BIS with 12 available areas of emphasis. All of the aforementioned programs are available 100% online and are high quality, yet flexible enough to accommodate busy schedules.
Western Kentucky University also offers bachelor degree completion programs for those who have already earned an associate degree, referred to as 2+2. If the student meets the criteria, these can be completed wholly online. There are also flexible courses that are hybrids with at least 80% online. BS in Health Information Management and the Bachelor Degree in System Management are both offered as either 2+2 or flexible. RN to BSN, BS in Dental Hygiene, and BS in Business Management with a track in Business Administration are three offered only as 2+2. The BS in Business Management course is taught through the Gordon Ford College of Business and has dual accreditation by the AACSB for its business and accounting programs.
9. Arizona State University
Arizona State University is located in Tempe, Arizona, and is well known for being a highly innovative university, even ranked #1 by US News and World report. It’s no surprise that the online programs at ASU are also considered to be some of the best in the nation. There are 63 bachelor’s degrees offered online, which is an amazing amount. Popular choices are the RN to BSN program, Psychology programs – BA and BS, and Liberal Studies (BLS). There are also a large number of Business degree programs available in different concentrations, Communications, Marketing, Sustainability in both BS and BA, and Women and Gender Studies, just to name a few. Online courses are meant to be flexible, yet still as challenging as face-to-face programs. Arizona State University lives up to its reputation for innovation in higher education when it comes to their online selection of high-quality programs.
10. University of Wisconsin – Whitewater
The University of Wisconsin – Whitewater was first established in 1868, then later became part of the University of Wisconsin System in 1971. The university has a long-standing history of commitment to higher education and high values for students and the community. Students at the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater have a wide variety of majors and degree programs to choose from.
The variety of online bachelor’s degree programs covers several of the more popular majors. The Bachelor of Business Administration degree can be completed through two majors, Business or Marketing and is entirely online and is accredited by the AACSB. The Liberal Studies and Political Science majors can both be completed as either a BS or BA. While these are designed as degree completion programs for those who already have their associates, they can be completed entirely online through UW Colleges and UW-Whitewater.
The University of Wisconsin – Whitewater also offers a Law Enforcement Bachelor’s Degree Completion Program available as a hybrid online and face-to-face classes for law enforcement officers with three years of experience and who have previously earned their associate’s degree. UW-Whitewater’s Early Childhood Education program (ECE4U) is also a hybrid course and is designed to be convenient for busy, working lifestyles and for those who have already earned their associate degree. Students can rest assured that the online programs at UW-Whitewater are highly regarded.
11. Pace University
New York City has been home to Pace University since 1906 when the first students enrolled in this private university. Since then it has been proud to produce some of the finest graduates eager to enter the workforce, and many employed prior to graduation. New York is known to be a fast-paced and busy city, therefore it’s no surprise that Pace University’s online bachelor’s programs are designed for busy people who are dedicated to obtaining their degree. Through iPace there are several bachelor’s programs to choose from, including a BBA in Business Studies with concentrations in either Marketing and Management or Accounting and Internal Auditing. Business degrees are offered through Pace University’s Lubin School of Business which is accredited by the AACSB. A BS in Nursing which is designed for RNs who already have their associate degree or diploma is also available online. iPace also offers a BS in Professional Technology Studies with concentrations in Computer Forensics or Business Technology Leadership as well as a BS in Professional Communication Studies. Pace University’s reputation for innovation and excellence holds true with these programs.
12. University of Denver
A few miles south of downtown Denver, Colorado, you will find the University of Denver. Nearly as old as Denver itself, the university boasts a campus that spans over 125 acres with hundreds of excellent choices available for undergraduate and graduate students. While the school itself is 152 years old, DU continues growing and advancing with the modern age and offers several online bachelor’s degree programs that are among some of the best in the nation. Online bachelor’s majors offered at the University of Denver are Leadership and Organization Studies, Information Technology, Communication Arts, Global Studies, Environmental Studies, and Global Commerce and Transportation. The programs are designed to be flexible enough so that working adults with busy schedules can be able to earn their bachelor’s degree. DU also welcomes previously earned credits, up to 96 transferable quarter credits may go toward a student’s new bachelor degree.