Most online master's programs can be completed in less than three years of full-time study. Many schools offer accelerated online programs, allowing you to complete your graduate degree in just 12 months. You should consider pursuing a graduate degree if you already have a bachelor's degree but want to switch careers, qualify for more advanced leadership roles, or increase your earning potential. Some fields require a master's degree and the completion of professional licensure and certification. Example careers include licensed counselors, social workers, and certified public health employees.

Core classes in the education program explore the structure of public education, major topics and issues in public education, cultural effects on student achievement, education around the world, and the political state of education. Other classes explore curriculum development, evaluation techniques, and teaching techniques. To earn a four-year degree in education, students also take a number of general courses in math,biology, the arts, and the humanities.
Our rankings of the best online colleges and universities are a jumping off point to help you build your own list of prospective programs that meet your needs. Remember, many factors that contribute to the quality of a degree program are intangible. You won't find data points here or elsewhere that fully capture the level of faculty support, peer networking or academic and professional stimulation found in one program versus another. Please contact your schools directly for more information.
The word “free” implies various connotations for everyone. If someone offers us a “free” car… it’s probably a clunker, what else would you expect? If someone offers us a “free” vacation… we’re all in, when do we leave? So, what should you expect if someone offers you the opportunity to earn a free college degree? Some may be skeptical. After all, how good can a free education really be? If you do your homework, you can find reputable schools that offer authentic, enjoyable and superior learning experiences at little or no cash out of your pocket!
A visa is a document that allows the holder to apply for entry into the United States. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Department of State (DoS) determine who is eligible to be admitted into the U.S. along with how long they can stay and other conditions of their visit.
The United States Military Academy, which is most commonly known as West Point, accepts 10% of applicants every year, all of whom receive free tuition, room, and board. The goal of the USMA is to create strong leaders within the military, and, in doing so, provides their students with rigorous training and education programs from day one. Students are encouraged to create a unified and supportive environment for one another in the more than 40 academic majors available. Some of the most popular degree programs at West Point include Business Administration and Management, Mechanical Engineering, and Systems Engineering. This free college provides a well-disciplined, academically challenging, and highly supportive learning environment, all of which takes place on a gorgeous campus with Norman-style academic buildings and residence halls and is situated north of New York City on the western bank of the Hudson River.
By utilizing the University of Virginia's distance learning program, students are able to stay on top of their daily commitments while still working towards a college degree. Multiple online programs are available at various levels of study, from full bachelor degree programs to grad-level certificates. These programs can be completed with a fully-online approach, or students could choose to spend part of their time studying on campus with a hybrid program. Hybrid students will be exposed to the rich academic culture that has developed at The University of Virginia, and have the opportunity to live in modern and comfortable student housing, join one of UVA's numerous student organizations, and attend campus events.
Today’s students should expect convenient access, affordability and academic value from online colleges. That’s why we only consider accredited online colleges for our rankings. The accreditation process guarantees that a school’s facilities, instructors, and curriculum meet a rigorous set of standards established by industry leaders. To ensure they invest in a universally respected degree, students should only consider accredited online colleges, like those on our list.
Texas A&M offers 1 undergraduate and 47 graduate degrees and 24 certificates in total. The undergraduate program is a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Graduate degrees are offered through all ten of the schools that comprise the university. You can earn your masters degree in fields like Forensic Nursing, Public Service Administration, Analytics, and so much more including ten different areas in education, nine areas in engineering, and even law. Certificates are available in in-demand areas like Homeland Security, Nonprofit Management, Hospitality Management, and STEM Education. Online students at TAMU have full access to their course materials any time as well as the same student services and resources as traditional students.
There are many different ways students can pursue an excellent education at the University of Virginia. Students who study on campus have access to many different schools, each with their own set of accredited degrees. Also useful for students is the online education offered by UVA. Because of the size and scope of the school, UVA offers different types of online programs. One popular option is their School of Continuing and Professional Studies, best for students that want to further their career either with a bachelor's degree, graduate degree or certificate. Also available is a master's degree in engineering. UVA is considered to be one of the best online schools in the nation for an online master's in engineering, so students who want to earn a graduate degree that fits their schedule may find this is the perfect fit.
Your favorite cookbook: your graduate may have eaten on-campus food, fast food, and overall-just-not-so-great food over the past several years. Why not buy a new copy of your favorite cookbook to help get them started as they learn to cook for themselves? Or, better yet, pass along your own cookbook, complete with notes you write in, for an even more personal touch.
Oregon State University has done an excellent job of creating one of the best online colleges in the nation. With over 1,100 courses offered entirely online, there’s no shortage of options for students. Most students who study through the online school choose to pursue one of the 45 online degree programs. However, online is also a popular option for students that want to combine online courses with on-campus courses, either to bolster their education or finish their degree faster. OSU has a proven track record with their online education as well, and they have over 21,000 students worldwide who are studying online. Whatever students are looking for out of their college experience, OSU has made itself one of the best online schools for people from all walks of life.
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:

Webster University is a private nonprofit institution that offers five online bachelor's programs. These include degrees in management and data analytics through the university's School of Business and Technology and bachelor of arts tracks in media communications and religion and global society. The school also makes an RN-to-BSN pathway available for nurses. Master's degrees include options in specialized fields such as gerontology, environmental management, advertising and marketing communications, and public relations -- along with nine business-oriented programs and four teaching tracks.


Are there other aspects of free-tuition degree programs to consider? Yes, there is. Many tuition-free degree programs focus on a particular career choice. For example, they may be limited to the field of engineering, music, or ministry. You may also find schools that will require your assistance in dairy or alfalfa farming, as well as, cattle ranching to cover your tuition costs.

Because online students aren't confined to a classroom, they can complete coursework virtually anywhere – as long as there is internet access. This makes online learning particularly appealing for working professionals and students with family obligations or other responsibilities that make it hard to travel to and from campus regularly. Additionally, most online curriculum is delivered asynchronously, meaning that students can log on at any time and complete coursework at their own pace.
Duke is committed to educating all students, and they accept students based on a “need-blind” policy, allowing students in based on merit alone, regardless of their ability to afford the tuition. As part of this, Duke has promised to meet 100% of the demonstrated need for their students. To receive a full-tuition scholarship, the student’s family must make less than $60,000 annually. However, there are additional aid programs to help students bridge the gap even if they’re ineligible for the free online school full-tuition coverage.
There are a number of ways to research your intended career path, and one of the best is by utilizing the information provided by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS is a Federal agency that monitors labor market activity, working conditions, and economic factors that affect occupations. The Occupational Outlook Handbook on the BLS website is a great resource for students looking to gather information on various careers. You can find the following topics listed in this section of the website to help you gain a broader understanding of the specific occupation:
In some cases, individual programs may also be accredited by an independent board. One example is the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, which evaluates academic programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and technology. These agencies assess the competence of both on-campus and online degree programs giving students the peace of mind that their school's department offers a reputable program.
Western Governors University offers three online Bachelor of Arts and seven online Bachelor of Science programs in education. They are the BA in Elementary Education, two BAs in Special Education (K-12 and Moderate), two BS degrees in Mathematics Education and five BS programs in Science Education. The programs are designed to lead to certification, although not all states and degrees are applicable. Students will need to take certification exams in their state. The programs focus on teaching and content skills. They can also lead into WGU's MA programs in education. Students are able to take as many credits per term as they like. The school is located in Salt Lake City.
Even though online students may never set foot on campus doesn’t mean they don’t have access to the same support and student resources. Regardless if the student is on-campus or online, nonprofit colleges traditionally offer an array of resources to their students, ranging from libraries to access to laboratories. Below is a list of commonly offered support services for online students at nonprofit colleges:
Whether your graduate is a wine lover or beer coinessouir, they’re sure to appreciate a tasting party to celebrate their graduation. For details on how to throw the ideal cheers and beers to the past 4 years party, make sure to visit our resource on wine tasting party ideas and beer tasting party ideas. And if you’re looking for something to take your party over the top, consider customizing home bar essentials with the grad’s name as a take home party favor.
Webster University strives to be a global school, so along with their main campus they've opened up locations around the world. The goal is not only to give students the chance to see something new, but to show that they are including the global community. They also connect the local and global community through their online learning program which is available to people around the world. Through their online program, students can study toward one of more than 50 degree programs, all of which can be completed entirely online. Consistently ranked as one of the top online schools in the nation, Webster does an excellent job of keeping their online curriculum challenging, making sure that their graduates are prepared for the professional world after graduation.
When Texas A&M University-College Station enrolled its first students in 1876, it became the first public post-secondary institution in Texas. The university, dubbed "Aggieland" is home to 68,625 students. A&M's 19 colleges host nearly 130 undergraduate, 268 post-graduate degrees and certificates. Three A &M graduates are recipients in the Nobel Prize and the university was ranked 3rd nationwide by Washington Monthly for its "research, service, social mobility, and contributions to society." For students who cannot get to campus in College Station, A&M offers one of best online colleges in the region. You can choose among one online undergraduate degree, 48 online graduate degrees, and 26 online certificates. Online studies are delivered as web-based, on-campus and web-based, off-campus courses. Distance-degrees at A&M include the Master of Agriculture (MAG), MED in Curriculum and Instruction, Master of Public Service and Administration (MPS), MS in Education for Health Care Professionals, Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)/Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), and Master of Jurisprudence (MJ).
Some online students prefer the self-paced schedule of asynchronous programs, along with the possibility of early graduation. Others appreciate the structure of synchronous programs and the idea of taking multiple courses with the same cohort of students. With this in mind, you should choose programs based in part on your preferred learning format.
Those looking for a creative degree will appreciate our comprehensive list of 144 degrees and 57 colleges that offer fully online degrees in art & design related areas. Graphic design degrees are a popular route for online art & design students, with 48 online graphic design degrees available at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s and certificate levels. Prospective online art students will also find a number of fine arts degrees available, as well as degrees in music and film production. An online art & design degree can lead to a wide variety of career opportunities, from positions in art education, to roles in advertising, web design, and media. Whatever your talents and interests, Guide to Online Schools has information about the online degree programs best suited to meet your career goals as an artist, fashion designer, or even architect.
Another important consideration is the cost of tuition compared to the net price of attendance. Tuition is the listed rate found on the school's website, while net price refers to the amount students pay after loans, scholarships, and other forms of financial aid are applied. For example, the College Board notes that the average student attending a four-year public institution in 2017-18 paid $21,370 in tuition and room and board. However, these students also received an average of $6,490 in financial aid, bringing their average net price to $14,880 — nearly 30% less than the listed price for tuition and room and board.
Online courses often consist of required readings and lecture videos, which may be livestreamed or prerecorded. Distance learners can complete these assignments entirely online. Some courses also include discussion elements; in these cases, students typically participate in group chats with their professors and fellow classmates. Some online courses also feature in-person components, such as site-based practicum training. These courses are known as "blended" because they integrate online and brick-and-mortar elements.

Online graduate certificates and master’s degrees in education are often used to earn a teaching credential and state teaching license. Current teachers can use these programs to advance their understanding of teaching skills. Master’s programs and certificates are available in specializations such as education technology, elementary teacher education, special education, literacy, teacher leadership, administration, and adult education.


As you move through different phases of your life you mature and your lifestyle and priorities change, so it makes sense that your career choice may change as well. Many individuals choose to pursue a new career when they’re in their 20s, 30s, 40s and even into their 50s, because the career that once suited them no longer does. It’s never too late to alter the course of your life and pursue something you’re interested in!
Cadets in the United States Air Force Academy receive free tuition and free room and board in an education that is valued at over $400,000. Students at this institution engage in military, athletic, academic, and character development programs while completing an education and training in the air force. There are over 20 majors and minors available to students and some of the more popular are, for example, Business Administration, Economics, and Systems Engineering. Acceptance is competitive at the US Air Force Academy as only 15% of applicants are accepted. The student body is a little larger than most of the schools on this list with over 4,000 students in attendance. Upon completing an education at this free college, members go on to complete 5 years of active duty and 3 years reserve. Cadets are pushed to their limits and learn to exercise all of the skill, knowledge, and strength at their command.
According to recent data, roughly 6.3 million U.S. college students took at least one online course during the fall 2016 term. This figure represents an annual increase in distance learner enrollment over the past 14 consecutive academic years. But finding great online colleges can be difficult because each institution is so different. To help find the best online college for you, we cover important topics like accreditation, financial aid, and other baseline considerations to make when choosing from top-rated online colleges below.
The online degree programs offered at East Carolina University utilize a course management system that ensures convenient accessibility for both the student and their professor. Several programs offered at ECU can be completed without ever attending any traditional, in-person classes, but some students prefer splitting their time between campus and home. This kind of hybrid program is beneficial for its flexibility, but still allows students to build the social connections that make the college experience truly rich. From point of enrollment to graduation, online students will receive academic support from several departments, including academic advisement and online tutoring to aid in their success.
Although many online colleges provide learning options in a variety of disciplines, some excel in a certain area or have special resources to facilitate the educational process. For example, institutions with strong art programs often have custom tools designed to organize, send and receive multiple types of digital media. Furthermore, online colleges that concentrate on healthcare and nursing establish strong relationships with hospitals and other medical facilities to ensure that students get the on-site, hands-on training they need to successfully transition from college to career.
One of the goals at George Washington University’s online school is to educate leaders. They understand that the best online schools are the ones that teach students everything they need to succeed, both right after graduation and in the future. Students that do end up studying toward an online degree at George Washington will find that the curriculum goes beyond the degree they’re earning. There are online options in most fields, and degrees are available at various levels. However, the graduate degree options are what sets George Washington apart from other online colleges. George Washington is home to many well-respected online programs, and they are considered one of the best online colleges for earning a master’s degree in public health.
A major in communications can be extremely versatile and apply to many different fields, including journalism, business, advertising/marketing, education, media broadcasting, public relations, theater/performing arts, politics, technology, health care, international relations, law, social and human services, labor relations, and research, according to the New Jersey Communication Association.
Today’s students should expect convenient access, affordability and academic value from online colleges. That’s why we only consider accredited online colleges for our rankings. The accreditation process guarantees that a school’s facilities, instructors, and curriculum meet a rigorous set of standards established by industry leaders. To ensure they invest in a universally respected degree, students should only consider accredited online colleges, like those on our list.
Educators must meet state requirements to maintain their license. This may include taking courses to keep your license active, change positions/subject areas or stay knowledgeable on current education topics and standards. Educators can use continuing education for license renewal, for professional development, toward endorsements and pay scale increases, and for personal growth.
Most online undergraduate degree programs and graduate programs are convenient because they give students the ability to schedule their coursework around their lives. This includes important things such as a current career, kids or other family needs. Online education may be ideal for someone who wants to switch careers, maybe wants to earn another type of degree to do so, and has to work full-time while earning that degree.
Students must meet the English Language Proficiency requirement (ELP). To meet this, a student must have completed high school in the U.S. or another English-speaking country, have 30+ transferrable semester credits from an approved English-speaking institution or pass an ELP exam from an approved testing agency (Berlitz, TOEFL, TOEIC, Pearson). For more information, contact an International Enrollment Representative.
If you plan to use your veteran’s benefits for your education, you are entitled to a Shopping Sheet in accordance with Executive Order 13607. It provides a breakdown of your education costs so you can compare costs between the institutions you select. It also shows how your benefits and any financial aid are applied to your education. The information provided in the Shopping Sheet is an estimate of your individual education cost and any financial aid for which you might be eligible. This estimate is based on the information you provided in the Financial Plan with Net Price Calculator. Please refer to your financial aid award letter for the actual amount of financial aid awarded.
North Greenville University, in Tigerville, SC, is a private institution founded in liberal arts traditions of the South Carolina Baptist Convention. Students can complete one of more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degrees at NGU's main campus, at its sister campus in Greer, SC, or entirely online. The university has one of the best online schools in the region, ranking second among the "Best Online Colleges in South Carolina." NGU offers wholly online bachelor degrees in business & leadership, Christian ministries, criminal justice, elementary education, applied psychology, and general studies. Online graduate studies lead to degrees in business, ministry, education, music education, and health science. Students can complete their Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree in as little as 18 months with classes that have five starting dates annually.
For many online students, their graduation date marks the first time they set foot on their school's campus. Online students are often invited to participate in cap-and-gown ceremonies with on-campus graduates, where they receive their official diploma. Smaller ceremonies may be held to honor online graduates in specific programs. Some online colleges hold live-streamed commencement ceremonies and will mail diplomas to each graduate at a later date.

While Wayland Baptist University was founded with Baptist roots, the school has grown into a large university that offers plenty of different degree options for students. One of the options offered by Wayland Baptist is their online program, designed to give students the flexibility to study at their own pace. Most students that choose to study through the online school are studying toward a master's degree. Wayland Baptist is considered one of the best schools in the nation to earn a master's degree in fields like divinity and Christian ministry, two popular options for online students. Aside from graduate degrees, Wayland Baptist also offers undergraduate degrees through their online school.
The cost of attending college typically depends on the type of school you attend, as well as your state of residence. According to College Board, private nonprofit institutions carry the highest price tag, on average — $35,380 for the 2019 academic year. Tuition prices are also relatively high for out-of-state students attending four-year public universities. These students will pay an average of $26,290 in tuition during the same year.
There are so many career choices that fall under the broad engineering umbrella that it's almost impossible not to find something that fits the skills and interests associated with this major. According to the University of Denver's career center, there are four main categories of engineering: electrical and/or electronic; chemical; civil; and mechanical.
The cost of attending college typically depends on the type of school you attend, as well as your state of residence. According to College Board, private nonprofit institutions carry the highest price tag, on average — $35,380 for the 2019 academic year. Tuition prices are also relatively high for out-of-state students attending four-year public universities. These students will pay an average of $26,290 in tuition during the same year.
Online two-year and four-year colleges represent some of the most affordable ways to enter higher education. Academic programs at the two-year level provide a solid foundation in the liberal arts and basics within certain major paths. Vocational programs take a more career-oriented track, helping students acquire specific skills they can apply on the job day one. Beyond the material itself, many junior and community colleges and universities have embraced online learning, opening their doors to a more inclusive student body – from working professionals and stay-at-home parents to those who may not be able to commute to a physical campus. The following two-year and four-year colleges offer some of the best combinations of online program volume, breadth, and affordability available today. See who stands out for 2019.
Specific details about licensing and certification requirements for public school teachers can be found in our guide to teaching degrees. The licensing process for public school principals is more rigorous than the process for obtaining a teaching certificate, as administrators are expected to have advanced leadership skills and knowledge about operating a school or school district. To become a principal, most states require candidates to have a master's degree from a regionally accredited school, a teaching certificate, and at least three years of teaching experience.
Brown University offers free tuition through its commitment to meet 100% of the demonstrated financial need of all students. Beginning in 2018, the university has replaced all its financial aid with free scholarships that do not have to be repaid. Going back even farther, though, the university has been offering free tuition for a decade. If a family has total earnings of less than $60,000 per year, the university does not require any financial contribution from the student, meaning the tuition is free. Additionally, if a family makes over that limit but does not exceed $100,000 each year, the university offers generous grants to help cover the cost of attendance.
Specific requirements vary by program, but most online students log into their school's learning management system (LMS) to participate in course lectures. Asynchronous programs allow students to view lecture recordings on their own time. Alternatively, synchronous programs may require students to watch live-streaming lectures. In some cases, synchronous courses feature video conferencing components that allow students to ask questions and interact with their professors and fellow students.
Distance learning has a wide appeal to a diverse population of Americans. It offers students a number of advantages, many of which dovetail with other social or lifestyle needs. Online courses and degree programs suit working professionals who are looking to move up to management roles, often with their employers paying part or all of their tuition. It's a powerful option for stay-at-home parents who are preparing for a new or re-entry career when they head back to work. Pearson Learning Solutions Senior VP Todd Hitchcock reports:
The MAPP™ (Motivational Appraisal Personal Potential) Career Assessment Test This site will can help pinpoint your strengths and passions, and then offer appropriate career suggestions. The free MAPP Match will offer 5 career matches, but paid packages offer as much as 30 page assessments and a unique ranking of more than 1000 career options according to your results.
Scuba divers build, inspect, and repair submerged structures, conduct experiments, rig explosives, and photograph sea creatures. The average salary is $53,990, and these jobs are projected to grow a whale-sized 37 percent between 2014 and 2024. Training to be a commercial diver requires only “a few months” at schools accredited by the Association of Commercial Diving Educators.
Boston's Northeastern University serves as home to a total of 10 online bachelor's programs. These include degrees in business-oriented fields such as finance and accounting management, leadership, analytics, and project management. Other options include online bachelor's degrees in digital communication and media, health management, and psychology. Graduate students can choose from 40 online master's pathways, most of which focus on management and/or education, along with doctoral degrees in education or transitional physical therapy.
×