Are you weighing the pros and cons of graduate school, but overwhelmed by the decision? On the one hand, a master’s degree can help you earn a $12,000 yearly premium, as those with graduate degrees, on average, make around $68k annually (while those with just a bachelor’s make $56k). But on the other hand, the average tuition of a national university has risen 179% since the mid 90s. 

The trends are clear and unwavering—attending graduate school is increasingly and exponentially expensive. But don’t fret. It doesn’t actually have to be.

Online education is one of the most affordable, accessible, and flexible ways to earn an advanced degree. Having completely shed the stigma it once held, studying online is now recognized as an equal to traditional education—because most schools deliver the same content online, through the same faculty, as they do in the classroom. Plus, the diploma looks identical to those earned by more “traditional” students. And most importantly, online degrees can be earned at a fraction of the cost of on-campus programs. 

Many schools have committed to making graduate study an affordable option for their students, regardless of their students’ current financial, work, or family situation. Below are the fifty most affordable online graduate degrees in the country. The tuition rates at these colleges and universities make advanced education (and, therefore, an enhanced career) a possibility for almost anyone who desires it. Some of these schools even offer additional financial aid by way of scholarships, fellowships, and loans.

What are the Most Affordable Graduate Schools in the Country?

The fifty college and universities below range in size and specialty—some are elite universities committed to advancing research in the STEM fields while others are liberal arts colleges focused on interdisciplinary education—but they share one thing in common: the lowest cost per credit hour for online graduate education. Not only are these the most affordable online graduate degrees in the country, some of these schools are also the best, with regional, national, and global rankings. So whether you want to study Global Strategic Communications at Florida International University or Veterinary Medicine at Mizzou, or get your MBA at Penn State, the schools below have something for everyone at an affordable rate. Our information comes from PayScale, U.S. News & World Report, U.S. Department of Education, and the universities and colleges’ websites.

1

University of West Georgia

Credit Hour Cost: $169

School Website

Overview

Located outside of Atlanta in Carrollton, Georgia, the University of West Georgia (UWG) is a mid-sized university of approximately 13k students, a quarter of whom are in one of UWG’s many graduate programs. This is a high research institution that offers competitive education at an affordable rate.

Features

UWG offers a number of online degrees that can be completed fully from a distance or through their hybrid program, in which students take some courses in the classroom and others online. In addition to the many terminal degree offerings, UWG also provides opportunities for students to earn advanced, graduate specialization through certification programs in education, media, and health. Other online opportunities at UWG allow students to earn credit through prior learning and vocational experience, to seek out extensive advising and guidance assistance, and, of course, to pay the lowest credit hour cost in the country. Online graduate degrees from the University of West Georgia include:

  • Applied Computer Science
  • Business Administration
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Music Education
  • Nursing
  • Special Education
  • And more

Notables

Consistently recognized by The Princeton Review as one of the “Best Southeastern Colleges,” the University of West Georgia is known for its quality education in math, the sciences, nursing, technology, and education.

2

University of Texas of the Permian Basin

Credit Hour Cost: $261

School Website

Overview

Comprised of the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business and Engineering, and the College of Education, the University of Texas of the Permian Basin (UTPB) offers degrees at all levels, from undergraduate to doctorate, to its 5k students. UTPB is located in Odessa, Texas and is part of the notable University of Texas System.

Features

For those most interested in either education or business, the University of Texas of the Permian Basin offers a number of graduate degrees that can be completed fully online and at a remarkably low cost. Of the education degrees, you can specialize in ESL, educational leadership, or special education while the business programs allow you to earn a MBA, an MBA with finance specialization, or a masters in public administration degree. All of UTPB’s online programs are offered through the REACH (regional electronic academic communication highway) platform, which works with students to not only provide excellent distance education, but to:

  • Receive online tutoring through SmartThinking
  • Get fully trained on Canvas
  • Participate in REACH research labs
  • And Easily connect with faculty, staff, and administration

Notables

From its inception, UT of the Permian Basin has served its regional oil community, as campus is located in a booming oil district. In fact, enrollment has skyrocketed congruently with the oil business. Known for many things, UTPB uniquely stands apart from the crowd in one, discrete way: its Stonehenge replica.

3

Eastern New Mexico University

Credit Hour Cost: $269

School Website

Overview

A state university located in Portales (with additional campuses in Ruidoso and Roswell), Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU) houses a small number of undergraduate and graduate students, approximately 5k and 1k respectively.

Features

The global community at Eastern New Mexico University is a close one comprised of student, faculty, and advisor relationships that cultivate academic and professional growth. ENMU offers an array of graduate programs that can be completed fully online and that give students the chance to work with the same faculty and curriculum made available to on-campus students. Over a dozen online graduate degrees are offered, with even more opportunities to specialize in an area of concentration. In addition to graduate degrees in communication, nursing, business, and sports administration, ENMU offers a number of education degrees, in:

  • Educational technology
  • Elementary education
  • Secondary education
  • Pedagogy and learning
  • Technical education
  • Special education
  • Reading and literacy
  • Education administration
  • And more

Notables

Known for many things, including its athletic programs and its many academic degree offerings, Eastern New Mexico University is also home to the one of the world’s largest and most renowned science fiction collections. The Jack Williamson Science Fiction library houses over 30k volumes of manuscripts, photos, archives, and letters.

4

University of Nevada–Las Vegas

Credit Hour Cost: $269

School Website

Overview

Part of the University of Nevada System, the Las Vegas branch is a public, research institution with nearly 30k students. The school offers over 350 degrees across all levels, from bachelor’s to doctorates, in a diverse array of areas. This breadth is equally reflected in UNLV’s online program, which allows students to take classes in more than 50 areas of study.   

Features

UN Las Vegas online helps students supplement their current on-campus coursework and it gives students around the world the opportunity to study with UNLV faculty from a distance through fully online degree programs. Though there are over 200 classes offered online, UNLV has approximately a dozen online graduate degrees, in educational psychology, nursing, urban leadership, hospitality management, health care administration, and nuclear criticality safety engineering. Among the many reasons to study at UNLV, in addition to its affordable credit hour cost, are that you will get to:

  • Design your curriculum
  • Craft your own schedule
  • Learn from on-campus faculty
  • Take hybrid courses that combine online and in-class work
  • Partner with advisors and counselors

Notables

UN Las Vegas is well ranked by Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, and Washington Monthly, as are many of its academic departments and research initiatives. Similarly, the sustainability efforts and commitments put forth by the university have given UNLV a national, and even international, reputation.

5

Fort Hays State University

Credit Hour Cost: $272

School Website

Overview

Fort Hays State University (FHSU) is located in Hays, Kansas and has an enrollment of around 12k students, half of whom study online and from around the nation and world. Though small, FHSU is comprehensive and comprised of four colleges that house programs in the arts, humanities, science, business, education, health, and technology.

Features

Fort Hays State’s Virtual College has provided distance education since the late 90s, and currently offers over thirty degree programs as well as a number of certifications, all of which are online. Throughout your degree experience at Fort Hays you can expect to partner closely with a personal academic advisor to design a unique curriculum and academic experience that best fits with your needs, interests, and goals. A sampling of online graduate degrees at Fort Hays includes:

  • Business administration
  • Counseling
  • Health and human performance
  • History
  • Instructional technology
  • Nursing administration
  • School psychology
  • And more

Notables

Fort Hays State University is home to many unique student programs, research initiatives, and libraries and museums, includings its renowned Sternberg Museum of Natural history, which houses over 100k square feet of fossils, dinosaurs, prehistoric animals, and more.

6

University of Texas–Arlington

Credit Hour Cost: $273

School Website

Overview

With over 40k undergraduate and graduate students, the University of Texas in Arlington (UT Arlington or UTA) is a large, research university based near Dallas and Fort Worth. It is part of the large, reputable University of Texas System. The Chronicle of Higher Education recently recognized UTA for being one of the country’s fastest growing research universities.

Features

University of Texas at Arlington online students enter the workforce not only fully equipped by a renowned curriculum and faculty mentorship, but UT Arlington has worked to ensure most students graduate with real connections and relationship with leaders in their respective industries. Furthermore, UT Arlington goes to great lengths to give students a holistic learning environment through plenty of student services, competitive scholarships, and academic advising. UTA provides a number of online graduate degrees in the following areas:

  • Education
  • Nursing (including both practitioner and education programs)
  • and in Urban and Public Affairs

Notables

UT Arlington is consistently praised, for its academic and research contributions, by Forbes, The Princeton Review, and U.S. News & World Report. Among its many high-ranking departments and colleges, the College of Business is one of the biggest and most comprehensive in the country.  

7

Valdosta State University

Credit Hour Cost: $293

School Website

Overview

Valdosta State University is one of the four members in the University System of Georgia. It is based in the city of Valdosta and has approximately 12k enrolled undergraduates and graduate students. Valdosta offers over 60 undergraduate and over 40 graduate degrees through one of its five colleges.  

Features

One of the larger virtual colleges on our list, Valdosta State provides dozens of online academic opportunities for students, including a number of online doctoral degrees, making them stand apart from most other distance education programs. Valdosta also uniquely delivers its education through the SmartPath Core program, an online course path that allows students to complete degrees in as few as three semesters. Online graduate degrees at Valdosta include those in:

  • Criminal Justice (MS)
  • Curriculum and Instruction (Ed.D and M.Ed)
  • English Studies
  • MBA
  • Healthcare administration
  • And much more

Notables

Though a mid-sized university that specializes in providing top-notch education and vocational development opportunities, Valdosta is also notable for its fostering of student social involvement. There are over 200 student organizations at Valdosta as well as a large Greek presence consisting of more than 10 percent of the student community.

8

University of the Cumberlands

Credit Hour Cost: $315

School Website

Overview

Associated with the Southern Baptist Convention, the University of the Cumberlands is a private college located in Williamsburg, Kentucky. Approximately 6k students attend Cumberlands and are enrolled in one of the university’s four colleges: the undergraduate college, the School of Business and Management, the school of Leadership, and the graduate/professional education program.

Features

As an online Cumberlands student you will have the option of taking either synchronous or asynchronous classes. Meaning, when it works for you to join others in a structured, but still online, learning environment, you can sign up for those. Or you can take classes at your own pace and convenience. Either way, there are many opportunities to earn a graduate degree online at Cumberlands, in:

  • Business
  • Counseling
  • Criminal Justice
  • Education
  • International Studies
  • Health Sciences
  • Information Technology
  • Ministry
  • and Psychology

Notables

The University of the Cumberlands is a highly religious school with faith-based curriculum. For those who are looking for that kind of academic experience, Cumberlands proves to be an ideal (and affordable) fit.

9

Fitchburg State University

Credit Hour Cost: $319

School Website

Overview

Fitchburg State University is a public school located in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. It’s a small school with around 3k graduate students and twice as many undergraduates, and it offers degrees in 25 disciplines and across all academic levels.

Features

Through the Center for Professional Studies, Fitchburg State University provides a handful of graduate degrees that can be earned fully online. Though Fitchburg does not offer a breadth of degree options, relatively speaking—all graduate programs fall under the MBA or Special Education departments with one rogue MS in Forensic Nursing degree—the university has gone to great lengths to ensure its students have all the resources and services they need to succeed academically as well as professionally.

MBA degrees include specialization in:

  • Accounting
  • Human Resource Management
  • and General Management

Special Education degrees include specialization in:

  • Dyslexia Specialist
  • Professional Development
  • Reading Specialist
  • Teaching those with Moderate Disabilities
  • and Teaching those with Severe Disabilities

Notables

Recently regionally ranked by U.S. News & World Report, Fitchburg State University is known for providing strong education, specifically in the areas of nursing, communication, education, business administration, and industrial technology.

10

University of North Dakota

Credit Hour Cost: $320

School Website

Overview

This branch of the University of North Dakota (UND) is located in Grand Forks, and is a public research institution. With a long history of and strong foundation in liberal arts education, UND has bloomed into a large research university that has allocated its research efforts to the areas of health science, energy, aerospace, and engineering.

Features

The University of North Dakota’s extended learning program is comprised of nine doctoral degrees, a dozen graduate certificates, and over two dozen graduate degrees. All can be earned fully online. Whether you’re interested in advancing your career in business, nursing, education, public administration, or social work, UND has something for you. Among some of the more unique online graduate degrees, those that are not often found offered online at other schools, include degrees in:

  • Applied Economics
  • Aviation
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Medical Laboratory Science
  • Nutrition
  • Space Studies
  • And more

Notables

The University of North Dakota is ranked among the top 100 public universities in the country by U.S. News & World Report. It is recognized for its many renowned research centers and facilities, such as the Energy and Environmental Research Center, the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and the USDA Human Research Center.

11

Western Illinois University

Credit Hour Cost: $323

School Website

Overview

Western Illinois University is a mid-sized, public school based in Macomb and Moline, Illinois. It was founded as a teacher training school, and still maintains a strong education program, but now consists of four academic colleges: the arts and sciences colleges, the education and human services college, the fine arts and communication college, and business and technology school.

Features

Though Western Illinois University only offers four fully online graduate degrees, there are several other ways students can earn added specialization and advance their careers from a distance. For example, students can earn a post-baccalaureate certification, also online, or they can take part in the rewarding Peace Corp Fellow program, available only to graduate students. Students can also earn undergraduate as well as graduate degree simultaneously through the university’s integrated degree program. And if you’re just looking for a simple, two-year program that can be conveniently combined with working life, Western Illinois will take care of you; their online graduate programs include those in:

  • Business Administration
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Instructional Design and Technology
  • Law Enforcement and Justice Administration

Notables

Both U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review agree: Western Illinois University is one of the best universities in the Midwest. It routinely makes “Best Midwest Regional Universities” and “Best in the Midwest,” respectively.

12

University of Central Missouri

Credit Hour Cost: $324

School Website

Overview

Providing traditional and online education to over 12k students from all around the country (and even the world), the University of Central Missouri (UCM) is a public, state school that offers over 150 programs of study. These include academic degrees, professional programs, certifications, and graduate degrees. UCM is located in Warrensburg, Missouri.

Features

From criminal justice to kinesiology, aviation safety to nutrition and nursing, the online degree options at the University of Central Missouri are multitude. For those who want to pursue an advanced degree in education, they have the option of studying educational technology, curriculum and instruction, elementary education, or general teaching. UCM also has many options for those who want to study health, business, technology, and management. Similarly, the reasons to study at UCM are equally as numerous:

  • You can design your own course progression
  • You can earn a graduate certificate for added specialization (in one of four areas)
  • You have access to all the same services and opportunities as campus students
  • You can enroll in unique research initiatives, such as the PBS TeacherLine
  • And much more

Notables

UCM boasts a vibrant social atmosphere with over 200 student clubs spanning cultural, athletic, and community service interests. Students also have the opportunity to study abroad, join a sorority or fraternity, and generally build lifelong relationships with their peers.

13

Chadron State College

Credit Hour Cost: $325

School Website

Overview

Part of the Nebraska State College System, Chadron State College is a small school based in the Nebraska panhandle. Approximately 3k students attend Chadron and are enrolled in one of its fifty areas of study. From professional programming to workshops and online classes, Chadron offers a diverse array of opportunities for students to excel and specialize.

Features

Online Chadron students take classes in eight-week blocks, which helps them accelerate toward graduation while also balancing school with work and other life responsibilities. Chadron’s online graduate students also have 24/7 access to technology help and the option of connecting with advisors, career counselors, and faculty to ensure academic success. Tuition at Chadron is markedly low, hence its positioning on this ranking, but they should also be noted for their flat-rate tuition: no out-of-state tuition or add-on fees. The online graduate degrees at Chadron are:

  • Master of Business Administration
  • Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • School Counseling
  • Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction
  • Master of Education in Educational Administration
  • Organizational Management with a Human Services Focus
  • Organizational Management with a Sports Management Focus
  • Organizational Management with a Natural Resources Focus

Notables

Chadron’s campus is not only situated on 281 beautiful acres, the college is also home to five buildings that are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

14

Southeast Missouri State

Credit Hour Cost: $325

School Website

Overview

Tucked near the banks of the Mississippi, Southeast Missouri State University (SEMO) is a public university with over 10k undergraduate and 2k graduate students. This is another school that was founded as a provider of teacher education, and it has maintained some of those roots while also branching out into dozens of other disciplines and areas of study.

Features

At Southeast Missouri State University, online students are treated to individual attention and care. You can expect mentoring relationships with your professors, to be assigned an advisor who helps you navigate your academic experience, and a flexible learning experience. There are over a dozen online graduate degrees offered at SEMO, each of which comes with a number of additional concentrations and areas of specializations. Included among the diverse degree offerings are:

  • Master of Business Administration
  • MS in Management
  • MA in Elementary Education
  • MA in Teacher Leadership
  • MA in Exceptional Child Education
  • MA in Secondary Education
  • MS in Criminal Justice
  • And more  

Notables

U.S. News & World Report ranks SMSU among the nation’s top Midwestern Public schools and one of the strongest in its region. Similarly, Southeast Missouri State University is ranked among the top 30 best public schools in the country, also by U.S. News and World Report.

15

William Woods University

Credit Hour Cost: $325

School Website

Overview

William Woods University is a private, independent school located in Fulton, Missouri. It’s small, with under 4k students, but it offers a variety of academic, social, and cultural programming. Among the opportunities, students can participate in leadership initiatives, such as the LEAD program, work with the Missouri Division of Youth Services, or join one of the many student-led organizations.

Features

Just because you’re studying online through William Woods University’s distance education program doesn’t mean you’ll study alone. William Woods promotes networking, collaboration, and professional formation. This means you’ll get the same experience as on-campus students while still benefiting from the flexible eight-week structure of the online program. With a low credit-hour cost, and the promise that tuition won’t rise while you’re enrolled, William Woods is a great option for graduate study. Online programs include:

  • Master of Business Administration in Entrepreneurial Leadership
  • Master of Education in Equestrian Education
  • Master of Education in Teaching and Technology
  • Master of Education in Athletics / Activities Administration
  • Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction
  • Master of Healthcare Administration
  • Master of Education in STEM

Notables

William Woods was first founded as the Female Orphan School to meet the needs of children orphaned during the war. It then became an education school for women who wanted to be teachers, and then expanded into a four-year college that seeks to meet the individual needs and vocational goals of each student.

16

Western Governors University

Credit Hour Cost: 333

School Website

Overview

Western Governors University (WGU) is a private and nonprofit university whose nearly 80,000 students are enrolled online in one of the four colleges: the business school, the college of information technology, the education school, and college of the health professions. WGU is known for its innovative teaching model and for having the most competitive tuition rates are in the country.

Features

Western Governors offers more online graduate degrees most of the other schools on our ranking—with literally more than two dozen master degrees in a range of disciplines—and at a notably affordable price. From a MS in Data Analytics to an M.Ed. in Learning and Technology, WGU has something for nearly everyone. And as a WGU student you can anticipate working closely with faculty members while also scheduling your academic schedule in accordance with your schedule and needs. Areas of graduate study include:

  • Nursing and healthcare
  • Education
  • Technology
  • Business
  • Science and mathematics
  • Accounting

Notables

Western Governors University employs a competency-based model in which students prove through assessments that they are ready for their degree. WGU is one of the first schools in the nation to enact such an education model.

17

University of Missouri

Credit Hour Cost: $352

School Website

Overview

The University of Missouri (Mizzou) is a public, land-grant research institution of over 30k combined undergraduate and graduate students, and it is located in Columbia. Comprised of twenty colleges and schools, Mizzou is home to dozens of renowned research centers, labs, and initiatives.

Features

Mizzou offers over two dozen graduate degrees that can be earned fully online. Through the College of Agriculture, the College of Human Environmental Sciences, the College of Education, the School of Medicine, the Truman School of Public Affairs, the College of Veterinary Medicine, and the School of Health Professions, Mizzou has a degree in everything from agroforestry to economics, from youth development to coaching. And if the diversity of education options are not enough to convince you to explore Mizzou’s options, then consider these added incentives specific to studying online at the University of Missouri:

  • A 10 percent tuition reduction for vets and military service members
  • A 10 percent tuition reduction for community college graduates
  • You choose between the semester-based or self-paced format
  • A generous transfer policy
  • Several scholarship opportunities

Notables

Mizzou holds a number of impressive records and ratings, and is known for many things, such as its listing on the National Register of Historic Places. And U.S. News & World Report ranks Mizzou as among the top 100 best universities in the nation.

18

University of Illinois–Springfield

Credit Hour Cost: $362

School Website

Overview

An important factor to consider regarding the University of Illinois in Springfield is the competitive nature of their online programs. Applicants have to demonstrate to the admissions team why they are unable to attend classes on-campus, and they must have a GPA of at least 3.0. One way to think about this level of competition, however, is that it reflects the high standards and the quality of UIS’ online programs.

Features

UIS offers many renowned online graduate programs that equip students to advance their career, supplement their academic knowledge base, and gain management experience. With over a dozen online masters degrees, UIS continues to add more graduate programs each year. Their exponential growth in distance education demonstrates their commitment to flexible, affordable, but also quality education. Among their offerings are degrees in:

  • Computer Science (MS)
  • Data Analytics (MS)
  • Education (MA)
  • Environmental Health (MPA)
  • Environmental Sciences (with several concentrations)
  • Liberal and Integrative Studies (MA)
  • Legal Studies (MA)
  • Political Science (MA)
  • And much more

Notables

The University of Illinois in Springfield has earned recognition for being among the best public schools in the nation, for being among the best universities in its region, and for offering some of the best online degrees in the country.

19

University of Alabama

Credit Hour Cost: $367

School Website

Overview

A larger school, with nearly 40k undergraduates and grad students, the University of Alabama (UA) is comprised of over a dozen colleges and schools. They are a high-research university that enacts new initiatives each year and that participates in many research endeavors, communities, and projects, such as the SEC Academic Initiative, a regional membership group that promotes academic and research achievements.

Features

Like some of the other schools on our ranking, Alabama’s distance program is diverse and substantive. They have graduate degrees in the hard sciences and in library sciences, in business management and educational management. Affordable, flexible, and from a noted research university, getting your degree through the BamaByDistance program is a great way to fast-track your career. UA offers a number of degree options, with even more concentrations and certifications, in the following areas:

  • Commerce and Business Administration
  • Communications and Information Sciences
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Human Environmental Sciences
  • Law
  • Nursing
  • Social Work

Notables

The University of Alabama is the flagship school in the University of Alabama system. It is recognized annually—by Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, Washington Monthly, and QS World University Rankings—for being one of the nation’s top 50 public universities.

20

Delta State University

Credit Hour Cost: $374

School Website

Overview

Delta State University is located in Cleveland, Mississippi and is a small, public university of approximately 3,500 students. Delta offers a number of degrees and certificates through their four colleges and schools, specializing in providing professional training and formation to its diverse student population.

Features

Delta State University fully trains its students for a wide range of vocational opportunities through its highly flexible model: applications can be accepted year round, students have online access to academic advisement, and there are a number of unique degree options you won’t find at many other schools. Among their distinct degrees that can be completed fully online, and at a reasonable rate, are the:

  • Master of Commercial Aviation
  • MS in Social Justice and Criminology
  • Educational Specialist in Administration
  • Master of Applied Science in Geospatial Information
  • MS in Community Development

Plus some more traditional degrees:

  • MA in Teaching
  • M.Ed in Elementary Education or Special Education
  • MS in Nursing
  • Master of Business Administration
  • And more

Notables

Delta State University is a school founded in community relationships, social organizations, and school traditions. Its students are notably engaged in athletic programming, the arts, and cultural and recreational events. Delta State is considered among some of the best schools in its region, by U.S. News & World Report.

21

Jacksonville State University

Credit Hour Cost: $382

School Website

Overview

Approximately 10k students attend Jacksonville State University and are enrolled in one of the forty degree programs. The university is comprised of six substantive areas of education and research: the arts and sciences, commerce and business, education and professional studies, nursing and health services, graduate studies, and library science.

Features

JSU offers a number of graduate degrees that can be completed fully online. Most notable are their many degrees in education and nursing, which give students the opportunity to specialize in a range of professional areas, from early childhood education to school counseling, from nursing in population health to nursing education. Not only are JSU’s online graduate courses among some of the most affordable in the nation, the university has worked hard to ensure their students get the financial aid and assistance they need to successfully complete the degree. JSU’s graduate degrees fall under the following areas:

  • Applied Engineering
  • Business
  • Computer Science
  • Criminal Justice
  • Education
  • Emergency Management
  • Geography
  • Kinesiology
  • Nursing
  • Public Administration

Notables

JSU hosts hundreds of international students from dozens of countries each year through its International House program. This exchange program has been in place for over sixty years, providing both domestic and international students with a diverse and vibrant educational experience.

22

Kennesaw State University

Credit Hour Cost: $390

School Website

Overview

Part of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State University (KSU) is located in the Georgian city of the same name. The school offers over fifty degrees in criminal justice, business, education, engineering, sports management, nursing, and physical science. KSU is a large university of over 35k students and is well-known for its research efforts, contributions, and centers.

Features

Following the traditional semester schedule as the on-campus programs, KSU’s online degree programs give students the traditional graduate school experience with the flexibility of distance education. With two sixteen-week semesters plus the option of an eight-week summer term, KSU online students can pursue graduate school economically while maintaining a full-time job. There are many online degree options to choose from, including graduate certifications for added emphasis and speciality. All of KSU’s online degrees fall into the following categories.  

  • Business
  • Computer and Software Engineering
  • Education
  • Engineering and Engineering Technology
  • Nursing
  • Social Sciences

Notables

Kennesaw State has cultivated a reputation for providing accessible and affordable education, especially for veterans and active military personnel. In addition to being recognized as one of the best schools in the countries for vets, Kennesaw is also considered one of the top “up-and-coming” universities in the nation.

23

Columbia College

Credit Hour Cost: $395

School Website

Overview

A private, nonprofit liberal arts college, Columbia College in Missouri is a Christian university affiliated with the Disciples of Christ Christian Church. The school is comprised of dozens of academic departments holding degrees in business, humanities, the hard sciences, law, history, education, computer science, and the fine arts. Columbia is also one of the smaller schools on our list with approximately 2k students.

Features

Columbia College pairs its online students closely with advisors and mentors so they can create degree experiences that are uniquely their own. And with a small grad student population, online students are guaranteed an individualized experience: they work closely with an advisor, faculty members, library and tech staff, career counselors, and more. The following are all of the online graduate degrees proffered by Columbia:

  • Business Administration
  • Corrections Administration
  • Criminal Justice Administration
  • Law Enforcement
  • Educational Leadership
  • Instructional Leadership
  • Principal Initial Certification
  • and Teaching

Notables

While being best known for its emphasis on mentorship and close student-faculty collaboration, Columbia has also earned a reputation for its burgeoning academic and research initiatives. And thus, it was recently named by Princeton Review as a “Best Midwestern University.”

24

University of Arkansas

Credit Hour Cost: $409

School Website

Overview

Located in Fayetteville, the University of Arkansas (UA) is a land-grant, space-grant, research university and the flagship school of the state. UA offers over 200 programs of study across all academic levels to its 26k enrolled undergraduate and graduate students, as well as a plethora of online programs too.

Features

With twenty online graduate degrees, plus another dozen graduate certifications and doctoral degrees, the University of Arkansas has options for anyone looking to advance their career, whether it be in the health, business, education, or government industries. Online education at UA is markedly self-determined. Students set their own tempo of study, and move through the degree at their own pace and by implementing through the curriculum their own interests and passions. From agriculture and food safety to physical and technological education, UA has it covered. A sampling of their affordable online graduate degrees includes:

  • Business Administration
  • Secondary Mathematics
  • Educational Leadership
  • Agricultural and Food Law
  • Engineering
  • Nursing
  • Social Work
  • And much more

Notables

The University of Arkansas has been recognized by Forbes, Washington Monthly, U.S. News & World Report, Times Higher Education, and more, for its academic standing, its contributions to research, and its affordable tuition rates. It has also received international nods in ARWU, QS, Times Higher Education, and more.

25

Georgia Southern University

Credit Hour Cost: $410

School Website

Overview

Georgia Southern University (GSU) is based in Statesboro, Georgia and is part of the greater University System of Georgia. This is a land-grant school and one of the largest research universities in the state. GSU’s 20k students are enrolled in one of the 120 academic programs and participate in the school’s many research endeavors. Georgia Southern has recently gained a solid reputation for its large research contributions in the areas of energy and sustainability as well as arthropodology and parasitology.

Features

With nearly twenty online graduate degrees in education alone—plus another fifteen in business administration, health and human services, engineering and information technology, and nonprofit management—GSU has a broad distance education platform. Like many of the other universities and colleges on our ranking, Georgia Southern’s online degrees can be taken at a pace decided on by the student, as these programs were specifically designed for the working adult. Among the many graduate degree options at GSU, some of those you won’t find at many other universities include those in:

  • Applied Economics (MS)
  • Middle Grades Education (MEd)
  • Sports Management (MS)
  • Occupational Safety and Environmental Compliance (Cert)
  • Public and Nonprofit Management (Cert)

Notables

Georgia Southern holds a number of national and global rankings—for its academic standing, value, diversity, and safety—from Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, Princeton Review, Forbes, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, and even The Daily Beast.

26

University of North Alabama

Credit Hour Cost: $425

School Website

Overview

The University of North Alabama (UNA) is the oldest public institution in the state, having been founded in the early nineteenth century as a teachers college then becoming one of the nation’s first coeducational schools. UNA is now home to 8k students who study in a diverse range of fields, from criminal justice and community counseling to business administration and education.

Features

For those inclined toward independent study and self-driven academics, the online degrees at the University of North Alabama are designed to pair conveniently with the schedules of working adults. UNA also follows the Quality Matters Rubric, an international standard of quality assurance in online education, which means UNA’s distance education students can expect a high degree of individualized attention, rigorous coursework, and full training in their respective fields. Regarding the latter, UNA offers the following online programs:

  • MS in Criminal Justice
  • MA in Education
  • MS in Family Studies
  • MA in History
  • Masters in Business Administration
  • Masters of Professional Studies

Notables

UNA has recently shown up on many of U.S. News & World Report rankings, for being among the best southern universities and one of the top public schools in the nation. Additionally, UNA has received accolades for its dedication to alternative education and its distinctive academic programming (evidenced by its commercial music and the industrial hygiene majors).

27

Idaho State University

Credit Hour Cost: $426

School Website

Overview

Located in Pocatello, Idaho State University (ISU) is a public research institution with over 14k combined undergraduate and graduate students. Among the many degrees and departments comprising ISU, the university is driven by research, primarily (though not solely) in the areas of biochemistry, health, disease, and energy.

Features

Through the eISU program, students can take online courses in health, education, or business at their own pace and aligned with their specific schedule. Students can even choose between synchronous or asynchronous courses, meaning they can choose between real-time classwork or any-time access to lectures, materials, and forums. Supplementing this coursework, ISU online students also utilize an array of technological services and resources, such as online writing labs and tutoring, to ensure a successful academic experience. eISU’s graduate school is comprised of the following programs:

  • Master of Business Administration
  • Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Education in Instructional Design
  • Master of Organizational Learning
  • MS in Dental Hygiene
  • Master of Health Education
  • Master of Public Health
  • MS in Speech Language Pathology
  • MS in Nursing
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing

Notables

Idaho State University, in an effort to make school a more affordable option for its students and to fully prepare them for the work force, created the Career Path Internship (CPI) program. Through CPI students gain access to professional formations and relationships as well as financial assistance, thus altering both their academic experience and vocational outcomes.

28

University of West Alabama

Credit Hour Cost: $429

School Website

Overview

What was founded first as an all-women’s school is now a public research university with a broad range of academic colleges and schools. The University of West Alabama (UWA) is based in Livingston, has an enrollment of around 6k students, and is growing exponentially each year. UWA offers over sixty undergraduate and graduate degree programs in business, nursing, technology, math, and the arts.

Features

Online graduate courses at UWA are split into traditional semesters, with most grad students taking two classes each term. With five online terms offered within a year (each term is eight weeks long), students can potentially earn thirty credits in one year. The pace is completely decided by the student, with most finishing their graduate degree with eighteen months of starting, making UWA’s distance education one of the most flexible as well as one of the most affordable on our ranking. Online graduate programs at UWA include:

  • MBA with the option of a finance emphasis
  • A dozen education degrees spanning teaching to counseling to administration
  • Family counseling and mental health counseling degrees
  • Educational specialist certifications
  • MS in Library Media

Notables

This past year UWA received a substantial grant ($1.25 million) to enhance its workforce development and professional formation initiatives. These funds will help raise career placement rates by bolstering university programs and services, such as career development and counseling, innovative curriculums, and by adding more academic and professional opportunities.

29

University of South Dakota

Credit Hour Cost: $444

School Website

Overview

The University of South Dakota (USD) is located in small-town Vermillion (located around 60 miles southwest of Sioux Falls) and is the oldest public university in the state. Its 10k students are enrolled in one of the 200 undergraduate or 70 graduate programs, some of which are ranked among the best in the state and region.

Features

At the University of South Dakota not only can you earn a business, education, administration, fine arts, or health degree fully online, you will have many opportunities to specialize, as USD gives students dozens of concentration and certification options. For example, the MBA alone comes with the choice of four concentrations, in analytics, health services administration, marketing, and operations and supply chain management. Complementing USD’s many traditional online degrees are some more unique programs, such as:

  • Graduate certificate in Disaster Mental Health
  • Certification in Addiction Studies
  • MA in Interdisciplinary Studies
  • MA in Music Education
  • Graduate certificate in Literacy Leadership and Coaching
  • And much more

Notables

USD has the best law and medical schools in the state, and gets similar praise for the quality of its business school. The university as a whole has been included in many national rankings, as have many of its business, education, and law departments. Perhaps most notable about USD, aside from its academic accolades, is its National Music Museum, which houses over 15k instruments from all around the world.

30

East Tennessee State University

Credit Hour Cost: $444

School Website

Overview

East Tennessee State University is a public university and a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents system. Approximately 15k students attend classes on the Johnson City campus, as well as online, enrolled in one of the many offered degree programs, including the unique and nationally acclaimed majors in bluegrass, old time, and country music; a master’s in storytelling; and the Appalachian Studies program.

Features

With over two dozen online graduate degrees, ETSU joins the ranks for having one of the widest ranging distance education programs on our list. From community college leadership education to global sports management, ETSU truly has something for everyone in every industry. All of these programs can be earned fully online, at a flexible pace, and at an affordable rate. Each of the nearly thirty degree options fall into the following categories:

  • Master of Education
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Master of Professional Studies
  • Master of Public Health
  • Plus a number of graduate certification and specialist options

Notables

Praised for its affordability by The Princeton Review, for having some of the nation’s best online medical programs by U.S. News & World Report, and known for being one of the top schools nationwide for its rural medicine and primary care education programs, ETSU holds to a high standard of academic excellence and research commitment.

31

Mississippi State University

Credit Hour Cost: $456

School Website

Overview

Though generally known as Mississippi State University (MSU), its longform name reveals its academic and research priorities: the Mississippi State University of Agriculture and Applied Science is classified as a high research university and has multiple campuses throughout the state.

Features

MSU provides a number of academic scholarships to its online students as well as access to online tutoring and writing assistance, proctoring help, and campus connections, making distance education at MSU flexible, community oriented, and hands-on. MSU may not offer the same amount of breadth in terms of graduate distance education options, but they are a supportive, affordable place to enhance your career. Of the nearly two dozen online degrees are:

  • MS in Forestry
  • MS in Information Systems
  • MS in Instructional Technology
  • Master of Business Administration
  • MS in Engineering (Aerospace, Civil, Computational, Electric, Computer)
  • MA in Teaching (Multiple Emphases)
  • And much more

Notables

Mississippi State is well ranked by Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, and Washington Monthly, and is recognized for its many research efforts, contributions, and initiatives.

32

Emporia State University

Credit Hour Cost: $457

School Website

Overview

Emporia State University (ESU) is a smaller school with around 6k undergraduate and graduate students, and it is located in Emporia, Kansas. ESU is comprised of four schools and colleges: the School of Business, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the School of Library and Information Management, and the Teachers College.

Features

As an Emporia student you can anticipate working closely with teachers and other students, but still at a flexible tempo, as these degrees were specifically designed for those who have full-time jobs, family, or other responsibilities they balance with school. Emporia online means easy access to the same resources as on-campus students, such as a huge virtual library, academic counseling, tech support, career counseling, and more. So whether you’re interested in the arts or sciences, Emporia is an excellent choice for graduate study. These degrees represent the comprehensive online graduate education options at Emporia:

  • Master of Business Administration
  • MS in Forensic Science
  • MA in History
  • MS in Mathematics
  • MA in English
  • MS in Health, Physical Education, and Recreation
  • MS in Instructional Design and Technology
  • MS in Special Education

Notables

Among its many notable degrees and departments, Emporia’s Teachers College is one of only four universities nationwide (alongside Stanford, University of Virginia, and Alverno College) to be recognized as an Exemplary Model Teacher Education program.

33

Wilmington University

Credit Hour Cost: $466

School Website

Overview

Wilmington University, located in New Castle, Delaware, is a non-profit university made up of many schools and colleges, including its technical, liberal arts, science, health, and business schools. Not only is there a diverse array of programs and degree options at Wilmington (over 100 programs to choose from), but the university’s renowned faculty are known leaders in their respective industries.

Features

Wilmington University’s distance education platform boasts nearly 100 online degree programs, half of which are graduate degrees and certifications. Technology, business, education, nursing, criminal justice—each area has multiple degree opportunities and even more chances to specialize, through advanced certifications and concentration supplements. When considering Wilmington University for online graduate study, the reasons are many:

  • You can take an online course for free to see if it’s a good fit
  • Wilmington is dedicated to being military friendly
  • Access to all the same services as on-campus students (i.e., advising, research, etc.)
  • Generous credit transfer allowances
  • Affordable!

Notables

Forbes counts Wilmington University as being among the best universities in the Northeast, one of the country’s best research universities, and one of the nation’s best private colleges. Washington Monthly, among others, also ranks Wilmington regionally and nationally.

34

Arizona State University

Credit Hour Cost: $492

School Website

Overview

Topping our list in terms of scale, Arizona State University (ASU) is a huge research institution of over 72k combined undergraduate and graduate students. Spread across five campuses—that are equally spread across the state—ASU’s contributions to academic and research are nearly unquantifiable; in fact, the university is among the top twenty in the nation for its research expenditures.  

Features

With six start dates each year, over fifty online graduate degree options to choose among, and national recognition for its online education, Arizona State University is a phenomenal choice for graduate study. ASU online students engage in the same curriculum delivered by the same faculty members as on-campus students, but they are able to study at their own convenience, even personally structuring their academic experience. Of the dozen of fully online graduate degree choices, students can earn a MS or MA in:

  • Biomedical Diagnostics
  • Business Journalism
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Global Security
  • Liberal Studies
  • Nutrition
  • And much, much more

Notables

U.S. News & World Report has, for the second year in a row, ranked ASU first in the “Most Innovative Schools in America.” Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, The Daily Beast, Washington Monthly, and many others add to the voices of praise.  

35

Troy University

Credit Hour Cost: $494

School Website

Overview

With its main campus located in Troy, Alabama, Troy University is a public school with a combined undergraduate and graduate population of approximately 18k students. It is comprised of four campuses across the state, plus even more teaching sites across the country. Troy’s forty-six undergraduate and twenty-four graduate degrees are housed in the Division of General Studies, the Graduate School, and one of the university’s five academic colleges.

Features

At Troy University, even though you’re earning your graduate degree online and from a distance, you’ll create strong bonds with your cohort, as Troy stresses the importance of collaborating with classmates (as well as faculty). Students engage in vibrant online discussions, work closely with mentors, and participate in professional formation opportunities. Further, Troy is a leader in online education, as they have been a provider of such for the past twenty years. Online graduate at Troy include:

  • Counseling and Psychology with Addictions Specialization
  • History (American or European emphasis)
  • International Relations (emphases in National Security, Global Studies, or Regional Affairs)
  • Management (many emphases)
  • Second Language Instruction
  • Sports Management (multiple emphases)
  • Strategic Communication
  • Education (multiple emphases)
  • More

Notables

U.S. News & World Report ranks Troy University among the best public universities in the South. Troy has also been lauded by Forbes, Princeton Review, and Washington Monthly, for its online academic programming in addition to its traditional, on-campus degrees.

36

Indiana State University

Credit Hour Cost: $499

School Website

Overview

Located in Terre Haute, Indiana, Indiana State University (ISU) is a public school with around 10k students and nearly 200 programs of study. It is recognized as a leader in research, a provider of some of the top business degrees in the country, and for its commitment to public service. ISU is organized into six schools and colleges that house the education, arts and sciences, professional studies, health and human services, technology, and business departments.

Features

In addition to its twenty traditional, online graduate degrees in technology, education, business, criminal justice, public administration, and nursing, ISU also offers half a dozen online doctoral programs, in nursing practice, athletic training, educational administration (with varying concentrations), and technology management. There are also a number of certifications available that you can earn alongside the degree or independently. These include:

  • Genomic Advocacy Graduate Certificate
  • Human Resource Graduate Certificate
  • Teaching English as a Second Language Graduate Certificate
  • Instructional Design Graduate Certificate
  • Family Nurse Practitioner Post-Master’s Certificate
  • Among others

Notables

Consistently named by The Princeton Review as one of the “Best in the Midwest” for the last decade, and ranked among the top 100 universities in the nation by Washington Monthly, Indiana State has earned a solid reputation for academic standards and affordability.

37

Florida International University

Credit Hour Cost: $508

School Website

Overview

Florida International University (FIU) is a major public research institution based in Miami. With nearly 200 programs of study across twenty-three colleges and schools, and over 40k combined undergraduate and graduate students, FIU is the largest university in its region, and the second largest in the state.

Features

Like many other affordable online graduate programs on our list, Florida International University offers a spread of science, management, health, education, and tech degrees for those wanting to incorporate advanced study into their already bustling careers. Classes are both flexible and relational, so you’ll connect with peers while also working independently through your program. FIU is a leader in innovative and diverse education, providing distance education for many years and to many kinds of students. A sampling of their two dozen online graduate degrees includes:

  • Commuter Engineering: Network Security (MS)
  • Construction Management (MS)
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Global Strategic Communications
  • Health Services
  • And more

Notables

FIU has a solid reputation for its research, affordability, and for graduating students with the least debt in the nation. It is nationally and globally ranked by Forbes, Washington Monthly, and U.S. News & World Report.

38

Lamar University

Credit Hour Cost: $509

School Website

Overview

Part of the greater Texas State University System, Lamar University is located in Beaumont and is a mid-sized institution with around 15k students. It offers nearly 100 academic programs and is home to many museums, learning centers, and research facilities, and the newly established Honors College (a member of the National Collegiate Honors Council), which provides students added professional formation opportunities.

Features

Lamar University’s distance education program was wholly designed to meet the varying and complex needs of working professionals and adults learners. These online degrees therefore incorporate alternative approaches to education, taking into account the flexing schedules and commitments of their students. Lamar also has a Center for Military Services, housed under the LU Online department, which gives active military and vets specialized resources, support, and advising. Among the online health, administration, and education degrees at Lamar, are the:

  • MS in Nursing
  • Masters in Criminal Justice
  • Masters of Business Administration (with multiple emphases)
  • M.Ed of Educational Administration
  • M.Ed in School Counseling
  • Masters of Public Health
  • MS in Engineering Management
  • And more

Notables

Lamar is consistently recognized as having some of the best online programs in the country, in addition to its traditional academic rankings from Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, and Washington Post.

39

Ohio University

Credit Hour Cost: $527

School Website

Overview

Tucked into the Appalachian foothills in Southeast Ohio, Ohio University (OU) is primarily located in Athens and has a student enrollment of around 40k. OU has many strong, renowned academic departments and research facilities (it is classified by the Carnegie Foundation for its high research activity), but is perhaps most lauded for its medical, engineering, and education research.

Features

With an affordable price tag and a renowned reputation, studying online at Ohio University is a great option for those seeking advanced education. OU has nearly two dozen online graduate degrees—including the more traditional degrees in engineering, business, health, and education—but also several unique graduate education experiences that are hard to find online elsewhere, such as degrees in:

  • Masters of Financial Economics
  • MA in Organizational Communications
  • Master in Recreational and Sport Sciences
  • MBA in Athletic Administration
  • Master of Social of Sciences

Notables

Fortune, U.S. News & World Report, BusinessWeek, Forbes, The Princeton Review, Peterson’s, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and America’s 100 Best College Buys are just some of the publications that praise the academic initiatives and standards set by Ohio University.

40

University of South Carolina

Credit Hour Cost: $533

School Website

Overview

The flagship institution of the University of South Carolina System, the University of South Carolina is a large school with nearly 400 different programs of study. It is located in Columbia, but has multiple other satellite campuses pocked throughout the state, all of which host, in total, an enrollment of 50k undergraduate and graduate students.  

Features

Specializing in primarily online health and education degrees, the University of South Carolina, with its plethora of research opportunities, is an ideal fit for those who want to advance their careers in nursing, public health, and teaching. These programs can be earned 100 percent online (though some clinicals may be required) and are delivered through a flexible, self-pacing format. USC’s online degrees include:

  • M.Ed. in Teaching
  • M.Ed. in Educational Administration
  • Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction
  • Master of Health Information Technology
  • Master of Public Health
  • MSN in Nursing Administration

Notables

The University of South Carolina is a top-ranked school and is listed among the 100 best universities in the country by ARWU, U.S. News & World Report, and Washington Monthly. Likewise, its online degrees hold equally strong rankings. Among USC’s many notable research centers, collections, and museums is its archive of the world’s largest Ernest Hemingway collection.

41

Old Dominion University

Credit Hour Cost: $538

School Website

Overview

Old Dominion University (ODU)—located in Norfolk, Virginia—is a public research school that offers 200 academic programs to its 25k students. Though Old Dominion is a large research institution, they prioritize a liberal arts education in all departments and programs, giving students opportunities for connection and professional formation.

Features

Old Dominion boasts over thirty online graduate degrees in a range of areas and specializations. Because Old Dominion is a leader in online education and a provider of such a robust distance learning program, the opportunities are manifold. From nursing to education, engineering to business, you can probably find what you need at ODU to advance your educational and vocational goals. Some of the more unique options include:

  • MS in Dental Hygiene
  • MS in Aerospace Engineering
  • MS in Environmental Engineering
  • MS in Nurse Midwifery
  • MS in STEM Education
  • Master of Engineering in Modeling and Simulation

Notables

ODU has earned a strong reputation for its research contributions in engineering, bioelectrics, and energy conservation, among other fields. It is also known for having one of the biggest (and best ranked) online distance education programs in the country, one that mirrors the greater university, which is recognized by Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, Times Higher Education, and Washington Monthly.

42

University of New England

Credit Hour Cost: $540

School Website

Overview

The University of New England (UNE) has campuses in Biddeford and Portland, Maine and is one of the largest private universities in the state. UNE offers over seventy degrees across all levels, is the largest provider of healthcare professionals in Maine, and is a mid-sized school of over 12k undergraduate and graduate students.

Features

With a retention rate (an indicator of student satisfaction) of over 95 percent, UNE online students are clearly happy with their distance education experience. Perhaps this is because the model at UNE is markedly student-centric, with individualized advisement, professional formation opportunities, and mentoring relationships promoted by the faculty. Most of the online graduate options at UNE are in the health sciences, so if you’re looking to advance your career in nutrition, nursing, public health, or social work, UNE could be an ideal fit. Their online graduate programs are:

  • MS in Applied Nutrition
  • Master of Science in Education (with several emphases)
  • MS in Health Informatics
  • Master of Public Health
  • Master of Social Work
  • Plus a number of certification options

Notables

The Princeton Review includes UNE among the top 15 percent of national universities; the Brookings Institute ranks it top in the state; and U.S. News & World Report calls UNE one of “America’s Best Colleges.” Among the many accolades and many departmental awards, UNE is perhaps most widely known for its health and medical sciences.

43

Penn State

Credit Hour Cost: $542

School Website

Overview

Pennsylvania State University is the largest school on our list with 100k students enrolled in one of its many colleges, schools, and the global campus. Its research commitments are evidenced by its plethora of research facilities, initiatives, libraries, and centers, and it has been recognized by Carnegie as one of the highest research universities in the country. Penn State’s established online college is similarly robust, offering students dozens of online degrees at all levels.

Features

Of the many online graduate degrees from Penn State, most fall under the tech, engineering, and business umbrella. Though some degrees are housed in the social sciences, education, nursing and humanities departments—such as the psychology of leadership degree or the MA in higher education—the rest are notably hard science or engineering programs, among them:

  • Accounting
  • Data Analytics
  • Business Administration
  • Engineering Management
  • Geodesign
  • Homeland Security (with multiple emphases)
  • Learning, Design, and Technology,
  • And much more

Notables

Penn State is recognized as a leader in education on regional, national, and global levels. Dozens of its departments are well-ranked, and of its many accolades, The Wall Street Journal ranked it as being among the best at preparing its students for the demands and needs of the workforce, regardless of industry.

44

Arkansas Tech University

Credit Hour Cost: $548

School Website

Overview

Located in Russellville, Arkansas, Arkansas Tech University (ATU) is comprised of six discrete schools and colleges: the College of Applied Science, the College of Business, the College of Natural & Health Sciences, the College of Arts & Humanities, the College of Education, and the College of Professional Studies and Community Outreach. Through these schools, ATU offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in a range of subjects.

Features

Arkansas Tech University’s distance education platform, eTech, maybe be small compared to some of the other schools on our list, but it is affordable, flexible, and relational. Students work closely with faculty throughout their education and degree process to ensure not only a successful academic experience, but one that launches them into rewarding, stable careers. And though eTech offers only half a dozen graduate degrees online, there are specialist degrees and certification options to expand your area of expertise.

  • Emergency Management and Homeland Security
  • Health Informatics
  • Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
  • Educational Leadership
  • Business Administration
  • Plus a specialist degree in Educational Leadership

Notables

Arkansas Tech University is ranked among the top 40 best public schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Its business and engineering programs are similarly ranked, its faculty members award-winning, and its research commitments and lecture series renowned.

45

University of Florida

Credit Hour Cost: $552

School Website

Overview

Located in Gainesville, Florida, the University of Florida (UF) is a flagship university with a huge array of degree programs and over 50,000 undergraduate and graduate students. UF also has strong research credentials, with more than 150 research facilities, institutes, and centers, to which students (both traditional and online) have access and the opportunity to partner with faculty in new projects and initiatives.

Features

Hands down, the University of Florida offers more online graduate degrees than any other school on our list with over seventy-five options. The online graduate degrees at UF are housed in the following schools and colleges:

  • Engineering
  • Agricultural and Life Sciences
  • Public Health
  • Business Administration
  • Education
  • Design, Construction, and Planning
  • Medicine and Health
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Journalism and Communication
  • Public Health and Health Professions

Notables

The University of Florida is ranked among the best fifty universities in the country by ARWU, U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, and Washington Monthly, and globally by QS World University Rankings and Times Higher Education. Likewise, many of UF’s individual academic departments are ranked among some of the best nationwide, including its programs in aerospace, health sciences, chemistry, agricultural science,  pharmacology and toxicology, environmental/ecology, and biology.

46

Colorado State University

Credit Hour Cost: $565

School Website

Overview

Colorado State University (CSU) is the state’s flagship university and is primarily located in Fort Collins. Known for its role in STEM field research, CSU has established dozens of research centers, such as the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere, the Center for Public History and Archaeology, and the Information Science and Tech Center. For this reason, CSU is ranked 60th in the nation for the amount of funds allocated to research and development.

Features

Colorado State University’s online education platform is founded in the agricultural, natural resource, and technological sciences, but there are also multiple arts, business, and education degrees as well. And there are many ways to specialize, through certification or concentrations, making the options for online study at CSU diverse and numerous. For example, the engineering degree comes with the choice of eight concentrations, and the arts leadership and music program has four. Other online graduate degree options include:

  • Agriculture
  • Communications
  • Business
  • Computer Science and Technology (multiple emphases)
  • Dietetics
  • Natural Resource Management
  • Social Work (some classroom components)
  • Tourism
  • And more

Notables

Colorado State University is ranked 65th nationally by Washington Monthly, while many of its graduate departments are ranked among the best in their respective fields: civil engineering (39th), social work (60th), occupational therapy (8th) chemistry (45th), civil engineering (39th), mechanical engineering (67th).

47

University of Tennessee–Chattanooga

Credit Hour Cost: $590

School Website

Overview

Part of the University of Tennessee System with approximately 12,000 students attending, the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga (UTC) is organized into four colleges: the College of Business, the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Engineering & Computer Science, and the College of Health, Education, and Professional Studies. UTC is a major research university, with many notable ongoing projects in energy and engineering.

Features

Through the distance program at UT Chattanooga, graduate students can build on their engineering, health, or business skillsets. UTC only offers a handful of graduate degrees online, plus a few hybrid opportunities (in which 30 to 80 percent of the instruction takes place on campus), but the university holds itself to high standards. They ensure a quality and rigor that is equal to on-campus education, while also offering access to an economical learning alternative for busy working adults. Their online graduate degrees are:

  • Doctorate of Nursing Practice
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Master of Science in Engineering Management
  • Professional Master of Business Administration
  • Doctorate in Learning and Leadership (hybrid program)

Notables

Many of UT Chattanooga’s academic departments are nationally ranked, including its nursing, business, engineering, chemistry, psychology, and accounting programs. And for those most interested in energy and engineering, the university is home to the renowned SimCenter, the computational engineering and simulation center that ranks among the most powerful supercomputers in the world.

48

Texas Tech University

Credit Hour Cost: $608

School Website

Overview

Texas Tech University is based in Lubbock, Texas and part of the four-member Texas Tech University System. It is a large, public research university with over 35k combined undergraduates and graduate students. Though Texas Tech offers many academic subjects, the most popular programs are in medicine, education, science, and business.

Features

Texas Tech, like some of the other schools on our ranking, has a huge worldwide online learning program with many academic offerings, among them online master’s degrees in English, technical communication, engineering, education, agriculture, horticulture, multidisciplinary science, and more. Texas Tech has another half dozen online doctoral degrees plus an array of graduate certifications, all of which can be earned from a distance and at a self-designed pace. Among some of the unique certification options, which can be paired with a master’s for extended specialization, are those in:

  • Digital and Social Media
  • Agricultural Communications Leadership
  • Book History and Digital Humanities
  • Charitable Financial Planning
  • Grants and Proposals
  • Wind Energy
  • Youth Development
  • And more

Notables

Designated as having the “highest activity” of research by the Carnegie Foundation, Texas Tech’s campus is comprised of over seventy research centers and institutes, and the university has made significant research contributions to the fields of energy, computer technology, medicine, and computer science.

49

University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Credit Hour Cost: $609

School Website

Overview

The University of Nebraska in Lincoln (UNL) is the state’s flagship school, a land-grant university that is both the oldest and largest in Nebraska. Approximately 25k students attend UNL and are enrolled in one of the nearly 300 programs of study. UNL is also a research institution, with several institutes on campus, as well as half a dozen prominent research libraries (in architecture, engineering, geology, mathematics, law, and music).

Features

With dozens of online graduate degrees and certifications in a diversity of fields, at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln you can design the graduate degree of your dreams. And regardless of how you craft your graduate school experience, as an UNL online student you will receive individualized attention from the renowned University of Nebraska faculty. UNL also offers a number of online doctoral programs and endorsement programs for teachers. Some of the distinctive master’s degree programs offered online at UNL include:

  • World Language Teaching
  • Professional Journalism
  • International Family Studies
  • Entomology
  • Interior Design
  • Agronomy
  • Media Studies
  • And much more

Notables

The University of Nebraska in Lincoln is nationally ranked by Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, Washington Monthly, and more, and it is globally ranked by ARWU, QS World University Rankings, and Times Higher Education.

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University of Maryland–University College

Credit Hour Cost: $659

School Website

Overview

The University of Maryland University College (UMUC) is primarily based in Adelphi, but offers courses and programs throughout the state, internationally, and online. With over 100k students served globally and over 120 degrees offered at all levels, UMUC has one of the largest distance education programs in the country.

Features

The University of Maryland University College has a long history of providing education at a distance, and its plethora of degree options reflects this foundation in alternative learning. Over twenty online graduate degrees plus another twenty graduate certifications are available at UMUC, giving students a diversity of options. UMUC students work closely with faculty members, who also teach on campus. Students not only pay a low credit hour cost, but there are no textbook fees and UMUC awards millions of scholarship dollars each year. Some of the many online graduate degree options at UMUC include those in:

  • Biotechnology
  • Cloud Computing Architecture
  • Environmental Management
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Learning Design and Technology
  • Business Administration
  • Cyber Security

Notables

In addition to the many accolades for its academic programming (especially its engineering and computer science programs), online education, and research initiatives, UMUC is also considered one of the country’s best universities for military veterans. It is top ranked by The Military Times and has received the Institution Award from the Council of College and Military Education.

Degree Finder

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