Careers – Traditional & Online Colleges and Degrees

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Online Undergraduate Degree Programs: The Top Schools and Their Programs

Attending classes on campuses is not the only way to get a great education anymore. Online undergraduate programs are for anyone and everyone wanting to get a degree. Many students take online courses to receive or finish bachelor’s degrees. Enrolling in online programs is a wonderful way to get your degree without the inconvenience of traveling to campus.
In this post, we have researched some of the top universities and colleges with the best online undergraduate degree programs, as of January 2015. According to the education section of U.S. News and World Report, schools were assessed based on four general categories:

  • Student engagement: This accounts for 40 percent of the assessment, and gages how easily accessible professors/ instructors are. They also focus on the number and quality of programs that enrich student experience to improve retention rates.
  • Faculty credentials and training: This accounts for 20 percent of the assessment. Much like on-campus programs, online programs employ faculty members who have stellar academic credentials and training, and who can successfully instruct distant learners.
  • Peer-reputation: This accounts for another 20 percent of the assessment. Surveys for the academic professionals help garner information about program quality where statistics fall short.
  • Student services and technology: This accounts for the last 20 percent of the assessment. The more diverse the online learning technology is in the respective programs, the more flexibility students have to take classes from afar.

So without further ado, here are the 2015 top 10 universities and colleges with the best online undergraduate programs:

  • Pennsylvania State University (University Park, Pennsylvania)—World Campus
  • Daytona State College (Daytona Beach, Florida)
  • University of Illinois (Chicago, Illinois)
  • Western Kentucky University (Bowling Green, Kentucky)
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Daytona Beach, Florida)—Worldwide
  • Oregon State University (Corvallis, Oregon)
  • Colorado State University (Greenwood Village, Colorado)—Global Campus
  • Arizona State University (Tempe, Arizona)
  • Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio)
  • Pace University (New York, New York)

Pennsylvania State University: Ranked at number one above its peers, Penn State provides online degree programs that teach students important knowledge and skills for careers and career success, and has offered said programs since 2000-2001. Online learners receive the same benefits as other students, such as academic advising, tutoring and technical support, among other perks. When enrolling and upon graduation, there is no distinction between “online” and “on-campus” students.

The majors offered online vary across several different fields. Registered Nursing is the most popular online major at Penn State. From journalism to agricultural sciences, Penn State delivers education that will ensure that students do well on their chosen career paths. The fields of study at Penn State include:

  • Legal Professions and Studies
  • Agriculture, Agriculture Operations and Related Sciences
  • Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services
  • Family and Consumer Sciences
  • Communication, Journalism and Related Programs

Penn State also guarantees that students can earn a degree entirely online and/or entirely outside the United States. Application deadlines for international and domestic students are rolling. And institutional/federal aid is available for all enrolled students.

Daytona State College: Operating online degree programs since 2006-2007, Daytona State College offers online degrees in:

  • Business, Management, Marketing, Related Support Services
  • Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services
  • Engineering Technologies and Engineering-Related Fields
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities

At 87 percent, Business Administration, Management and Operations is the most popular major at Daytona State College. Institutional/federal aid is available for all enrolled students. Application deadlines are rolling.
University of Illinois: University of Illinois in Chicago is an accredited, top-ranked research institution that opened online enrollment for the 2007-2008 academic year. UIC offers degree completion programs; students transfer in with an associate degree. The majors offered equip students, who want to go into medical fields, with invaluable knowledge and experience. Total enrollment is 171.
Eighty-two point five percent of the online student body is comprised of women, and currently Health Information/Medical Records Administration/Administrator and Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse are the only online majors offered at UIC. Enrollment dates are rolling. Students can earn a degree entirely online and/or entirely outside the United States. Also, online students take different classes from their on-campus counterparts. Federal and institutional financial aid is available.

Western Kentucky University: WKU is a regionally accredited institution that has offered online enrollment since the 1998-1999 academic year. Students can choose online minors and certificate programs to complete their major requirements. Resources available include: online presentation coaching, career services, the online writing center, IT support, an online orientation, remote proctoring of exams and library services.
The majors offered are many and varied. The most popular majors, in order are:

  • General Studies (41 percent)
  • Sociology (16 percent)
  • Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse (13 percent)
  • Management Information Systems, General (eight percent)
  • Information Technology (eight percent)

WKU online students can earn a degree entirely outside the United States, and they take different classes than on-campus students. Taking classes entirely online; however, depends on the major. For example, you could earn a Sociology degree 100 percent online but not a Technology Management degree. The WKU website outlines what majors can be earned entirely online and which ones require “face-to-face” class time. Both institutional aid and federal aid are available for enrolled students.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University: This private university started offering online bachelor’s degree programs, shortly after Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1990, in 1993-1994. Embry-Riddle prides itself on opening up higher educational options to those who are married, working, raising a family, in the military or facing a career change, by offering flexible class work that fits into everyone’s busy schedule.

All the majors offered at this esteemed institution are:

  • Business Administration and Management, General
  • Transportation/Mobility Management
  • Business Administration, Management and Operations, Other
  • Protective Services Operations
  • Fire Science/Fire-fighting
  • Aircraft Power plant Technology/Technician
  • Aeronautics/Aviation/Aerospace science and Technology, General
  • Aviation/Airway Management and Operations

Application deadlines for international and domestic students are rolling. Students can earn a degree entirely online, are considered “online students” after enrollment, and can easily earn an entire degree outside the United States. Like the UIC with female students, the student gender distribution at Embry-Riddle leans heavily toward males; 89.7 percent of the student body is male. For all students interested in applying for financial aid, both institutional aid and federal aid are available at this university as well.

Oregon State University: The Oregon State University E-campus is highly-ranked and award-winning. Providing online undergraduate degree programs since 2000-2001, this public institution offers standard majors like Computer Sciences and unusual majors like Fishing and Fisheries Sciences and Management. Other majors include:

  • Horticultural Science
  • Women’s Studies
  • German Language and Literature
  • Political Science and Government, General
  • Sustainability Studies

The application deadlines are rolling, and while Oregon State University is a public university, it is very selective. Also a student can earn his or her respective degree entirely online and/or outside the United States, if he or she wishes.

Colorado State University: This public university has offered the option for online undergraduate degree programs since 2008-2009. CSU provides free 24×7 live tutoring, tech support, career services, library access, low tuition rates, no out-of-state tuition fees and guaranteed fixed tuition through graduation. There are no student fees and every class is offered every semester. CSU offers standard degrees. The most popular online majors taken at CSU are:

  • Business Administration and Management, General
  • Information Technology
  • Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration, General
  • Social Sciences, General
  • Health/Health Care Administration/Management

Students can earn all degrees entirely online and complete degrees entirely outside the United States. Institutional /federal financial aid is available for enrolled students. Application deadlines are rolling.

Arizona State University: The online programs went live 2006-2007, and the ASU campus faculty members contribute to all online programs the university has to offer. This university boasts that online students can connect with the full university experience. Students have access to collections in the eight award-winning libraries, an extensive alumni network and interaction with faculty members.

Some of the majors offered at this public university include:

  • Graphic Communications
  • Electrical and Electronics Engineering
  • Religion/Religious Studies
  • Sociology
  • Film/Video and Photographic Arts, Other

All are welcome. ASU does not deny admittance to qualified applicants. All programs can be taken completely online and/or entirely out of the United States. Online students take different classes than on-campus students. Financial aid is available, both institutional and federal.

The Ohio State University: Home to several acclaimed on-campus programs, this university has been offering online undergraduate degree programs since the 2008-2009 academic school year. As of right now, there are only two available majors: Registered Nursing and Dental Hygiene.

Unlike the other universities and colleges, Ohio State has a set deadline for all applications, which is September 30. And whether you can complete the entirety of your degree online depends on the requirements of the specific degree. You can; however, earn your degree entirely outside the United States. Financial aid, both institutional and federal, is available.

Pace University: In 2014, Pace University—which has offered online undergraduate degree programs since 2004-2005—was ranked #3 nationally for its online programs. Anyone enrolling at Pace University can choose from several technical, business and communication majors. The three most popular majors are:

  • Telecommunications Technology/Technician (87 percent)
  • Business/Commerce, General (10 percent)
  • Communication and Media Studies (three percent)

Application deadlines are always rolling, for international and domestic students. Admittance; however, is selective. All degrees are earned entirely online and/or entirely outside the U.S., and online students take different classes than their on-campus peers. And lastly, the only financial aid available is federal aid.