Accredited Online Colleges

The U.S. News rankings evaluate degree granting online programs at regionally accredited institutions. 
Explore our rankings and directory of schools offering online bachelor’s and online master’s degree programs in seven disciplines.
Pursuing a bachelor’s degree online is a great option for students who are returning to college but are uninterested in more traditional campus life. An online undergraduate education can also help students accelerate their career as they balance work and school.
Earning a master’s degree online can help professionals get ahead in their career – whether it’s to change fields or advance into a management role.
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An online master’s degree in business can equip students with leadership skills that are vital to advancing careers. Many programs offer opportunities to network with classmates and business leaders.
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Earning a master’s degree can help graduates study criminal behavior, take on leadership roles in the justice system or work on research or policy analysis.
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Some school districts require their teachers to have a master’s degree, so earning it online can lead to career growth for current and future educators. A graduate program in education might also provide the right state teaching credential or license and lead to a bump in salary.
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There are several academic routes for those earning an online engineering degree to pursue, including specializing in specific areas such as electrical, civil or mechanical engineering.
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For anyone interested in programming, designing or sharing technology expertise, an advanced online degree in computer and information technology may be the best option, especially as demand for employees with these skills grows.
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Thanks to the growth of online nursing degree programs, students can advance their careers in one of the most in-demand health care professions. Many programs include a clinical component, often on campus or at a facility near a student’s home.
Popular Degree Profiles
Is an Online College Degree Right for You?
Online colleges offer a wide range of undergraduate and graduate degrees. As prospective students explore these online options, there are also benefits and drawbacks to consider.
Experts say the quality of an education from a reputable online college is, in many cases, just as high as one pursued in person, and that online learning offers the ability to communicate with a professor and other students through technology. Enrollment in online courses has grown each year for more than a decade.
And since many universities have embraced the flexible online format, more employers are taking these degrees – and other online credentials, like graduate certificates  seriously, experts say. It’s important, they note, to check if a degree program is accredited before enrolling to make sure that it’s legitimate; having regional accreditation will also increase the likelihood that any earned credits will be accepted at other accredited universities.
People interested in getting an online college degree, especially working adults looking to go back to school, should consider the flexibility of online learning given their responsibilities outside the classroom. Those with full-time jobs and families might find a part-time online degree program ideal, enabling them to juggle their various daily responsibilities without having to commute to a physical 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.
Prospective online college students should be aware that tuition for an online programisn’t always less expensive than an on-campus one  and federal financial aid may be available for those who take enough credits. And like at traditional colleges, admissions requirements differ for each program.
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 whethera 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.
Pursuing an online degree requires more personal responsibility from students as they learn material and complete assignments and group work based on their own schedule. Online learners therefore need to be prepared to effectively manage their time.
And though communication with instructors and students is possible through electronic means, prospective students should weigh whether they want to sacrifice face-to-face interaction for the flexibility online education provides.
Ultimately, experts say, students should choose an online degree program wisely, keeping in mind the impact it can have on a career. · Site secured by Norton has been visited by 10K+ users in the past month
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