Online degree programs are quickly becoming the best way for professionals to advance their education, boost their resume and credentials, or get the education they need to enter a new field. If you’ve never attended a post-secondary program or already have a full-time job, it might seem like an impossible task. Luckily, there are plenty of part-time, online degree programs that are available today that make it easy for students to get a great education. Many universities and colleges offer fully online programs, which give students the opportunity to learn from accredited instructors on their own time, complete assignments, and study at home, then receive the same diploma as their in-class peers. You can even get a master’s degree or MBA online — you just have to find the right school.
When it comes to picking the right school, there are many factors to consider. Most online degree programs are 100 percent online, but there are some that require you to visit the campus in person once or twice a semester. Some programs offer remote classes but require that students log in at the same time on a daily or weekly basis, while other courses use pre-recorded lectures that students can watch on their own time. When you’re looking at schools, check out their graduation rate (for some online schools, the graduation rate is often under 50 percent), and ask if they have any programs in place to support recent grads.
To start your search, we’ve profiled some of the best and most affordable part-time online degree programs available today.
1. Ohio State University – Columbus
Ohio State University at Columbus offers a ton of online degree programs, ranging from certificates and associate degrees to a Doctor of Nursing Practice. Currently, they have the best-rated online degree programs in the United States. They offer Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees in Health Science and Nursing (BSN), which is a popular program for RNs who want to earn their BSN while they’re working full-time.
Students studying online pay in-state tuition rates, regardless of where they’re situated, and the school has waived many of the traditional class-based fees (like the recreational fee) for their online students. Students can expect to pay around $4,858 per semester.
After graduation, research has shown that nurses that hold a BSN get paid around $10,000 more than their counterparts who only hold certificates. Some hospitals and clinics are even offering bonuses for nurses who have gone back to school to get their BSN.
2. Temple University
If you’re interested in starting your journey towards an MBA, but aren’t able to leave your job, Temple University’s Bachelor in Business Administration (BBA) is a great online option. It’s administered by Temple University’s Fox School of Business and offers a ton of flexibility to students. There are several start times throughout the year, and they offer classes in both the traditional 15-week semester and an accelerated seven-week option. That means that you can complete your degree at the pace that works for you. Plus, there are a number of majors to choose from (such as business management, accounting, and marketing), so you can master the basics while building a knowledge base that suits your career. Tuition for their online BBA program costs $595 per credit hour.
After graduation, many students take entry-level positions within the banking, communications, or finance industries, where they can expect to earn around $43,000 annually. Once they have a few years of experience, many people return to school for their MBA.
3. University of Florida
The University of Florida opened their online learning program in 2014 and offers more than 415,000 students the opportunity to study online. They have more than 200 online programs, which include Bachelor of Arts degrees in subjects like psychology, sociology, criminology, and geology. They also offer Bachelor of Science degrees in everything from computer science to nursing. Plus, there are dozens of options for master’s degrees and even doctorates.
In particular, their Doctorate of Education (Ed.D) in Teachers, Schools, and Society is designed for teachers and educators who are mid-career and want to study some of the issues facing the educational system today. Each credit hour costs $631.86, and the program is designed so that teachers can learn online while they work. Once you graduate with your Ed.D, you’ll be able to work in educational institutions, government agencies, and even the private sector, shaping educational policy and practices for the next generation. Typically, administrators and development managers with Ed.D degrees collect salaries of between $90,000 to $107,000.
4. Arizona State University
Another online school that offers a diverse range of Bachelor of Business Administration programs is Arizona State University (ASU). Their BBA program allows students to specialize early on as they can choose whether to focus on a specific industry like food, tourism, or retail, or keep their knowledge general. Students will need to complete 120 credit hours to graduate, but courses only take 7.5 weeks, as opposed to the standard semester length of 15 weeks. This gives students a lot more freedom to work at their own pace.
ASU is considered one of the best business schools in the country, and once students complete their BBA, they can transition seamlessly into ASU’s online MBA program. Typically, one year of tuition for their online BBA program will cost $12,702.
After graduation, many students work in administration, advertising, or finance, where the median salaries range from $59,000 to $168,000.
5. Utah State University
Utah State University offers both bachelor’s and master’s degrees online, in subjects ranging from agribusiness to human resources. One of their most popular is their Bachelor of Science in Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education, which many people take if they already have a BA or a BS but need to fulfill the necessary prerequisites for a master’s degree in speech and language pathology or audiology. This program only costs $338 per credit hour, which adds up to a total of $40,560 for a 120-credit undergraduate degree.
Many people who graduate with this degree work in hospitals, schools, or rehabilitation centers, helping people who have communicative disorders, or are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Utah State offers career counseling to all their students, including students taking classes online, which can help secure a meaningful career path. Speech and language pathologists typically make around $49,000 per year.
6. Northeastern University
There are 10 bachelor’s degrees and 37 master’s degrees currently offered through Northeastern University’s online learning program. One of their top offerings is Human Services, which is available at both the undergraduate and graduate level.
In this program, students learn all about organizational communication and leadership, as well as best practices for care and service for at-risk populations. The program involves work-based study, and a capstone service-learning project, which could give part-time students the chance to apply what they’ve learned to their current job. Tuition for this program starts around $31,400, but the average student is eligible for $2,900 of financial or merit-based tuition aid.
After graduation, students often work in community outreach, public policy, and research within the rapidly growing health care and education industries.
7. Oregon State University
Unlike many other online universities, Oregon State University has a wide variety of offerings that go far beyond the traditional business and communication-focused programs.
One of their most interesting program options is their Bachelor of Arts or Science in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Students can choose whether to get a BA or BS in this subject, depending on which approach they’d like to take. Students, even those who study online, can also add a minor, which allows them to focus their electives on another related topic, which creates a hyper-specific knowledge base that will be a real asset in today’s job market. Oregon State offers four starting terms per year, and credit hours only cost $297, for a total of $53,000 for the degree.
After graduation, students will be equipped to work in a variety of fields, such as academia, advocacy, or social work.
8. Pennsylvania State University – World Campus
Pennsylvania State University administers all their online courses under their World Campus, which offers more than 150 degrees and certifications to prospective students. Considering World Campus opened in 1998, they were one of the first state colleges to provide online courses. Some of their degrees including Bachelor of Science in Accounting, Economics, and Software Engineering, and Bachelor of Arts in Law, Arts and Letters, and Psychology. If you want the option of getting either a BA or a BS, Economics is a great option and is a great stepping stone on the way to an MBA. They offer students a flat rate of $6,742 per semester if they’re taking a full-time course load, or individual credit hours are $555 each.
After graduation, many students go on to careers in finance, market research, or statistics. The average salary for people with a BA or BS in Economics is $67,000 annually.
9. University of North Carolina Wilmington
The University of North Carolina Wilmington is proudly ranked seventh in the nation for their online bachelors’ programs. They have a respected roster of dozens of online undergraduate and graduate degree programs and are adding to their course offerings every year.
One of their newest programs is their BS in Exercise Science, which operates in an accelerated online format. There are six different start dates per year, and students can take as few as one course per semester, studying at their own pace. Tuition costs between $167 and $642 per credit hour, depending on whether you’re a resident of North Carolina. Graduates of this program typically obtain jobs such as exercise physiologist or physical therapist, which pay between $20 and $40 per hour.
10. Colorado State University – Global Campus
The online education programs at Colorado State University’s Global Campus are 100 percent online and are designed for working adults. They offer accelerated courses over an eight-week period, and students can start at any time. Unlike many other schools, their tuition is the same no matter where you live in the United States, which makes CSU affordable even if you’re not a Colorado resident.
They offer a variety of bachelor and master’s degrees, including Interdisciplinary Professional Studies, which means that students can take advantage of their large course catalog to build their own Bachelor of Science degree. This is an ideal degree for someone who already knows their career path and wants to further their education with soft skills like critical thinking, communication, and global awareness. Annual tuition is only $8,400, with zero fees.
After graduation, students should be able to work in any sector of the business world.
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