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Private Nonprofit Colleges in California

This review covers the best online non profit colleges in California. There are more online degree programs than ever these days. And they offer the same high-quality education as those you’ll find on campus. Unlike for profit schools,  nonprofit universities reinvest revenue back into programs for students.

These excellent nonprofit colleges have been selected based on annual tuition costs. We’ve also considered the number and type of online programs available.

Are you curious about what the online colleges and universities in The Golden State have to offer? Then, read on to discover the best nonprofit schools in California.

Best Private Nonprofit Colleges California

Best Nonprofit Online Colleges in California

CollegeIn-State Tuition
California State University-Channel Islands$6,817
California State University-East Bay$6,995
California State University-Fullerton$7,176
California State University-San Bernardino$7,213
California State University-Sacramento$7,392
California State University-Chico$7,864
Golden Gate University$11,088
Pacific Oaks College$11,692
University of Massachusetts Global$12,480
National University$13,320
University of California-Santa Cruz$14,070
University of California-Berkely$14,226
Touro University $14,600
University of California-San Diego$14,700
Fresno Pacific University$33,452
San Diego Christian College$34,310
Hope International University$35,450
Simpson University$35,900
California Baptist University$37,018
Azusa Pacific University$41,510
Mount Saint Mary’s University$45,388
University of La Verne$45,850
University of San Francisco$53,472

#1. California State University – Channel Islands

A logo of California State University Channel Islands for our ranking of the top online colleges in California.

California State University – Channel Islands is located in the rural town of Camarillo. This is one of the newer non-profit universities in California, established in 2002. It was opened after California State University – Northridge. And it was created as a satellite facility for the nearby Northridge campus. As the satellite campus grew, the school became a full-fledged university within the CSU system. Today, it has grown to enroll just over 7,000 students.

California State University – Channel Islands offers just three online programs. These include:

  • BS Business Online
  • MBA Foundations
  • Business Administration Certificate (Post-bachelor)

The BS Business Administration program is a degree-completion program. It combines real-world experience with academic rigor. And it is designed to help students succeed in a global and multicultural business environment. 

The MBA Foundations program also focuses on global business, and it takes about two years to complete. In addition, the program features an optional short-term study-abroad experience. 

With the Business Administration Certificate, students learn basic business skills. The certificate gives participants a broad understanding of topics like:

  • Accounting
  • Economics
  • Ethics
  • Finance
  • Law
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Quantitative Methods

All three programs are designed for busy professionals who need a flexible learning schedule. While the certificate program does not qualify for financial aid, the degree programs do. 

Accreditation: Western Association of Schools & Colleges 

Tuition: $6,817

Related: Affordable Nonprofit Online Colleges

#2. California State University – East Bay

A logo of California State University East Bay for our ranking of the top online colleges in California.

Located in Hayward, California, CSU East Bay was founded in 1957. It is now home to over 16,000 students. East Bay is one of the most ethnically diverse campuses in California and the country. And the school has had a major influence on shaping the educational landscape of California. East Bay is one of the most affordable online not-for-profit colleges in California. Students at CSU East Bay can enroll in five online undergraduate programs:

  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Arts in Ethnic Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Hospitality and Tourism
  • Bachelor of Arts in Human Development
  • Bachelor of Science in Recreation

Additionally, there are four online master’s degree programs at Cal State East Bay:

  • eLearning
  • Education Leadership
  • Hospitality, Recreation, and Tourism
  • Healthcare Administration 

All of the professors that teach the online courses are the same respected faculty that do on-campus instruction. The format is flexible enough for you to continue working and taking care of other obligations. Through online discussions, assignments, and video lectures, you will learn at your own pace. Some of the programs are even accelerated. This allows students to earn an online bachelor’s or master’s degree in as little as two years.

East Bay is an excellent option for those looking for the top online colleges in California. Students will enjoy a top-notch online learning experience using Blackboard and Canvas. And the school offers extensive technical support plus 24/7 tutoring services. In addition, all of the online degree programs at CSUEB are eligible for financial aid.

Accreditation: Western Association of Schools & Colleges

Tuition: $6,995

#3. California State University – Fullerton

A logo of California State University Fullerton for our ranking of the top online colleges in California.

California State University – Fullerton is one of the largest colleges in the CSU system. Over 40,000 students attend each year. This non-profit university is located on 236 acres near Los Angeles in Orange County. Online students are encouraged to enjoy the school’s beautiful city campus.

CSUF’s selection of online programs is smaller than some of the other schools on our list. But, they do have some unique options. Fullerton offers nine online certificate programs and three degree completion programs. Low-income students may qualify for financial aid for certificate and degree completion programs. The degree completion programs include:

  • BA in Business Administration
  • BA in Sociology
  • BA in Humanities & Social Sciences

Each of these degree completion programs takes around three years to complete. The costs range from $425 to $500 per unit. Students earn the same degree they would earn on campus with these programs. But they can enjoy the convenience of studying online. Students who have attended California community colleges may be entitled to guaranteed admission.

The three programs are all cohort-based and have a set curriculum. This allows participants to network and build relationships. Students in the BA program may qualify for an accelerated schedule. However, they must finish the first semester with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better.

Fullerton also has several online certificate programs. They are designed to provide students with valuable and in-demand workplace skills. These programs include:

The online certificate programs take from four to 12 months and range in price from $1800 to $4950. They include:

  • Advanced Manufacturing Engineering Certificate
  • CSU Biomanufacturing Technician in Partnership with Biocom California Institute
  • Computer Forensics – Digital and Mobile
  • Data Science & Data Analytics
  • Digital Marketing
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Professional Fiduciary Management
  • User Experience (UX)

Accreditation: Western Association of Schools & Colleges

Tuition: $7,176

Related: Largest Nonprofit Online Universities

#4. California State University – San Bernardino

A logo of California State University San Bernardino for our ranking of the top online colleges in California.

Website

California State University-San Bernardino is just one of 23 CSU campuses in the state. Founded in 1965, it is home to nearly 20,000 students. Students at this non profit college can choose from several 100 percent online degree programs. There are even a few blended programs. These hybrid degree programs combine on-campus and online instruction.

The 100 percent remote programs include:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences
  • Master of Arts in Career and Technical Education
  • Master of Arts in Criminal JusticeMaster of Business Administration
  • Master of Public Administration
  • Master of Science in Accountancy

Here are the hybrid programs. These blended online degree programs show the amount of online work vs. campus work that is required:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN): 80% online and 20% on campus
  • Master of Arts in Instructional Design and Technology: 50% online and  50% on campus
  • Master of Arts in Special Education: 100% hybrid
  • Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL): 80% online and 20% on campus
  • Master of Science in Nursing: 80% online and 20% on campus
  • Master’s in Social Work: 75% online and 25% in-person

Chico is one of the cheapest online colleges in California. And online students may qualify for the same federal financial aid programs. So all candidates are encouraged to fill out the FAFSA form online. Other forms of aid are available including grants, loans, and scholarships. Financing for veterans and their families is also an option.

The school utilizes the Canva and Blackboard learning management systems for remote learners. Online students are encouraged to get active in the school’s clubs, activities, and other programs where possible.

Accreditation: Western Association of Schools & Colleges 

Tuition: $7,213

#5. California State University – Sacramento

A logo of Sacramento State University for our ranking of the top online colleges in California.

California State University – Sacramento is a four-year public, nonprofit university. The school currently enrolls over 30,000 students each year. This school resulted from decades of efforts by Sacramento citizens campaigning to create a university within the city. 

Cal State Sacramento does not have a dedicated department for online programs. Instead, the school chooses to keep most of its degree programs in person. However, they do partner with Cal State Online. Cal State Online combines online programs from all 23 campuses into one sizeable educational resource. Students attending Cal State Online can expect the same benefits as students who take programs on campus. 

Choosing a degree program with Cal State Online isn’t easy. The system offers dozens of online bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs. All are taught through the Canvas online Learning Management System. 

Online students attending Cal State Sacramento can also take advantage of the new CSU Fully Online. This unique program allows students to take one online course at another CSU campus at no additional tuition cost. 

Students who study online can utilize the same resources and facilities as those who attend in person, including: 

  • Career Center Student Organizations 
  • Student Health and Counseling Services 
  • Community Engagement Center 
  • Academic Advising 

CSU Sacramento has earned its place among the best online colleges in California. 

Accreditation: Western Association of Schools & Colleges

Tuition: $7,392 

#6. California State University – Chico

A logo of California State University Chico for our ranking of the top online colleges in California.

Chico is the second oldest school in the California State University system. Established in 1887, this non-profit public university enrolls over 16,000 students. It is the focal point of the city of Chico, California. Chico is primarily a Hispanic-serving college known for its beautiful campus and high graduation rates. 

Students at CSU-Chico can enroll in several online degrees and degree completion programs. These include:

  • BA in Liberal Studies
  • BA in Religious Studies
  • BA in Sociology
  • BA in Social Science
  • BS in Nursing for RNs
  • Career and Life Planning Certificate Program
  • MS in Agricultural Education
  • MS in Nursing
  • MS in Math Education
  • Online BS in Business Administration
  • Online MBA

Courses are entirely web-based. But some also have lectures live synchronous video streaming. All online courses are fully accredited. Students will need to be admitted to the school to participate. These programs are highly flexible, and all you need is a computer and internet access. You can combine online and distance education to meet your degree requirements. Students can often take some of their lower-division work at community colleges.

Accreditation: Western Association of Schools & Colleges

Tuition: $7,864

#7. Golden Gate University

A logo of Golden Gate University for our ranking of the top online colleges in California.

Golden Gate University is a four-year not for profit college in San Francisco. GGU is one of the oldest private institutions and has operated for over a century. From the very outset, Golden Gate University was created to serve nontraditional students hoping to gain an education. Officially established in 1901, Golden Gate University is now home to around 2500 students.

Golden Gate University offers students a wide range of educational opportunities. Several of the school’s programs are entirely online. Students can also mix on-campus and online courses to customize a hybrid program for themselves. Some of the online offerings include:

The school offers online and hybrid graduate and undergraduate degree programs in:

  • Accounting
  • Business Analytics
  • Business and Management
  • Finance
  • Financial Planning
  • General Studies
  • Human Resources
  • International Business
  • It Management
  • Law
  • Leadership
  • Marketing
  • Operations Management
  • Project Management
  • Psychology
  • Public Administration
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Taxation

Golden Gate University offers financial aid, grants, and scholarships. They also have payment programs. This is one of the best nonprofit online schools for military members, too. They offer benefits optimization programs and a range of veterans services. 

Accreditation: Western Association of Schools & Colleges

Tuition: $11,088

See Also: Top Scholarships for Online Students

#8. Pacific Oaks College

A logo of Pacific Oaks College for our ranking of the top online colleges in California.

Pacific Oaks College is a four-year, private college in Pasadena. This small nonprofit institution is home to approximately 1200 students. However, Pacific Oaks has a vast selection of online degree programs despite the school’s size. In addition, many of the programs are part-time, so students have greater flexibility than they might at some other colleges.

For those who want to study education online, the school offers several options, including:

  • B.A. Early Childhood Education
  • B.A. Early Childhood Education: Trauma Studies
  • B.A. Early Childhood Education: Elementary Education and Special Education
  • B.A. Early Childhood Education: Elementary Education
  • M.A. Early Childhood Education
  • M.A. Early Childhood Education: Trauma Studies
  • M.A. Education: Special Education
  • M.A. Education: Elementary Education

The school also offers teacher credentialing and standalone programs. Additionally, students can pursue other online bachelor’s and master’s degrees like:

  • B.A. Human Development: Early Childhood Education and Development
  • B.A. Human Development: Active Learning Across the Lifespan
  • B.A. Human Development: Social Change
  • B.A. Human Development: Working With Adults
  • M.A. Human Development: Early Childhood Education and Development
  • M.A. Human Development: Social Change
  • M.A. Human Development: Leadership in Education and Human Services
  • M.A. Human Development: Ecological Perspectives of Lifespan Development
  • B.S. in Business Administration
  • M.A. Organizational Leadership & Management
  • B.A. in Community Psychology
  • Online Bachelor of Social Work
  • Online Master of Social Work

These programs are flexible, and students can access them from anywhere. They are designed to meet the needs of those with varying schedules and learning styles. Online coursework is offered through Canvas. And most classes are offered in seven-week sessions. This is one of the top private not-for-profit colleges in California.

Accreditation: WASC Senior Colleges and Universities Commission 

Tuition: $11,692

#9. UMass Global (Formerly Brandman University)

The University of Massachusetts Global has over 25 campuses in California and Washinton. The Irvine location was most recently called Branded University. But this private, nonprofit institution merged with UMass Global in 2021. It’s one of the best online not for profit colleges in the country. And they offer dozens of 100 percent online degree programs.

Students at UMass Global can enroll in a variety of different educational opportunities. For example, the school offers a vast selection of online bachelor’s degree programs. Some of these include:

  • Communications and Media
  • Criminal Justice
  • Legal Studies, Business Law
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Supply Chain Systems
  • Sociology
  • Computing Tech
  • Information Technology, Data Science
  • Human Resources
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Psychology
  • Organizational Leadership

UMass Global is also well-known for its selection of BA concentrations. There are over a dozen specializations in the online business administration degree program. These include marketing, supply chain management, entrepreneurship, and many more. 

Those who want to pursue a graduate degree online can also attend UMass Global. The college offers over 40 online master’s degree programs and four online doctoral degrees. Financial aid is available at all levels. 

Online students at this school have a wealth of support services to take advantage of. All students have an enrollment coach to help them get started. And each student is assigned a dedicated academic advisor that stays with them throughout the entire program. Other services include:

  • Resource Library
  • Employer Matching
  • Alumni Connection
  • Military & Veteran Resources
  • Global Career Development Center

Accreditation: WSCUC Senior College and University Commission

Tuition: $12,480

#10. National University

A logo of National University for our ranking of the top online colleges in California.

National University is a private not for profit college located in La Jolla. Founded in 1971, it enrolls a student body of around 18,000. Students at National University can enroll in 100 percent online degree programs. All are delivered using the most up-to-date technology. In addition, students at National enjoy benefits like:

  • Experienced online instructors
  • Dedicated advisors
  • One on one interaction with classmates and professors
  • Four-week courses starting each month
  • Tools to support your individual learning style
  • Dedicated student support

These features make National University one of the top online universities in California. The school offers 45 online undergraduate and graduate degree programs in:

  • Teaching and Education
  • Business and Marketing
  • Health Care and Nursing
  • Social Sciences and Psychology
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Criminal Justice and Law
  • Arts and Humanities
  • Science and Math

Each year, National University holds a commencement ceremony. Typically, the commencement is held in Petco Park and hosted by well-known celebrities and musicians. All students, friends, and family are encouraged to attend. 

Accreditation: Western Association of Schools & Colleges

Tuition: $13,320

#11. University of California – Santa Cruz

A logo of University of California Santa Cruz for our ranking of the top online colleges in California.

The University of California – Santa Cruz is well known as a top research university. It is also renowned for its student body dedicated to activism. The school is part of the University of California system and is located in the suburban town of Santa Cruz.

Established in 1965, the school is home to around 19,000 students. Currently, UCSC does not offer fully online degree programs. But like some other UC schools, they offer college-level online courses through a partnership with Coursera. These courses can be accessed for free or at very affordable costs. And students may even be eligible for financial aid. 

Anyone can participate in these online educational opportunities. There are generally no requirements for admission. And this not-for-profit college even offers financial aid for some of the courses. Some of the current offerings include:

  • Children Acquiring Literacy Naturally
  • Russian History: from Lenin to Putin
  • Conspiracy Planet
  • Feminism and Social Justice
  • Bayesian Statistics: Techniques and Models
  • C for Everyone: Structured Programming
  • The Holocaust: The Destruction of European Jewry
  • Cyber-Physical Systems: Modeling and Simulation
  • AI, Empathy & Ethics
  • Ecosystems of California

Accreditation: Western Association of Schools & Colleges 

Tuition: $14,070

SEE AlSO: FREE SCHOOLING ONLINE: THE BEST FREE COLLEGES

#12. University of California – Berkeley

A logo of University of California Berkeley for our ranking of the top online colleges in California.

UC Berkeley is the flagship campus of the University of California system. The school is considered one of the best nonprofit universities in the country. Established in 1868, it has become a model of what makes a great research university. The University of California – Berkeley serves over 42,000 students each year.

UC Berkely delivers many online programs through the edX learning platform. Some are entire certification programs, while others are standalone courses. There are generally no prerequisites to participating in any of these courses. Students attending Berkely may receive credit for some of the offerings. But the public can take them for personal enrichment.

The cost to attend these online classes varies. In some cases, they are entirely free. Others have a small fee associated with certification.

Some of the UC Berkely online courses at edX include:

  • Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies
  • The Science of Happiness
  • Blockchain Technology
  • How to Write an Essay
  • Writing
  • Empathy and Emotional Intelligence at Work
  • English for Journalists
  • Introduction to Agile Software Development:
  • Writing for Social Justice

Accreditation: Western Association of Schools & Colleges

Tuition: $14,226

#13. Touro University California

A logo of Vanguard University for our ranking of the top online colleges in California.

Touro University is located on Mare Island in Vallejo, California. It is a four-year private not for profit college. This Jewish-sponsored University was founded in 1997 and is home to around 2,000 students. Touro University California has become one of California’s best private universities. And the school’s online division has plenty to offer remote students. 

Touro University Worldwide is where the school houses all of its online degree programs. Through TUW, students can pursue bachelor’s, master’s, and even doctoral programs online. The online bachelor’s degree programs include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Management
  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
  • Bachelor of Arts in Social Work
  • Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences – Health Care Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences – Health Education
  • Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences – Long-Term Care Administration

The school also features 14 online master’s degree programs and two online Ph.D. programs:

  • Doctorate of Physician Assistant
  • Doctor of Health Science

The school offers financial aid and has several scholarship opportunities. TUW does not require any GRE or GMAT for admission. Touro’s student success center offers remote students several online services, including:

  • Educational Advisement
  • Student Orientation
  • Disability Services
  • Career Resources

Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission

Tuition: $14,600

#14. University of California – San Diego

A logo of University of California San Diego for our ranking of the top online colleges in California.

University of California – San Diego is one of the top public research universities in the state. Established in 1903, almost 40,000 students are enrolled at UC San Diego. The school operates a unique online division called Digital Learning.

In some circumstances, students can take some of their required courses online. But UC San Diego caters primarily to students on campus. Digital Learning, however, opens up UCSD courses to anyone in the world. The school offers many individual courses through the Coursera and edX platforms. Many of these programs are free or low-cost. And some courses can even be completed for UC San Diego credit.

In most cases, there are no requirements for enrollment beyond an interest to learn the topic. Currently, there are hundreds of courses available across a wide range of subjects. Some of the most popular ones include:

  • Social Computing
  • Python for Data Science
  • Science of Parenting
  • Object-Oriented Programming in Java
  • Networking and Volunteerism for Career Success
  • Applied Market Research 
  • MCWP 50R: Critical Writing
  • Molecular Evolution
  • Mathematical Thinking in Computer Science
  • Introduction to Big Data
  • Internet of Things: Communication Technologies
  • Gut Check: Exploring Your Microbiome

Students of all ages and abilities can take these programs. You do not need to be a UCSD student to participate. The Digital Learning initiative makes UC – San Diego one of the best online colleges in California. 

Accreditation: Western Association of Schools & Colleges

Tuition: $14,700

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#15. Fresno Pacific University

A logo of Fresno Pacific University for our ranking of the top online colleges in California.

Fresno Pacific University is one four Christian private institutions on our list. Established in 1944, the school has a student body of just under 4000. Students at FPU can enroll in over 20 online degree completion and graduate programs. It’s considered one of the top private non profit colleges for a liberal arts education. Some of the graduate programs include:

  • Adapted Physical Education
  • Kinesiology: Physical Education Emphasis
  • Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Master of Arts in Teaching
  • Mathematics Education: Elementary/Middle School
  • School Counseling, M.A. and PPS Credential
  • School Library and Information Technology
  • Special Education
  • Sports Administration

The online degree completion programs include:

  • Business Administration: Business Management
  • Business Administration: Emergency Management
  • Business Administration: Organizational Leadership
  • Business Administration: Project Management
  • Criminology
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Health Care Administration
  • Health Care Administration: Informatics and Technology
  • Liberal Arts

Online students are encouraged to explore the campus if they live nearby. Remote learners can also access the school’s many support services and activities. These include leadership opportunities, clubs, and events. Other services include:

  • Academic Success Center
  • Career Development
  • Counseling Services
  • Health Services
  • Parent Services
  • Study Abroad Programs
  • Sunbird Food Pantry

By offering many of its courses online, the University has earned a place among our top online colleges in California. Fresno Pacific University is a private non profit college. Financial aid is available.

Accreditation: Western Association of Schools & Colleges

Tuition: $33,452

#16. San Diego Christian College

A logo of San Diego Christian College for our ranking of the top online colleges in California.

San Diego Christian College is one of California’s top evangelical Christian colleges. The school is located in the San Diego suburb of Santee and is home to under 1,000 students. SDCC features numerous on-campus and online degree programs. Online programs include:

  • BS in Business Management
  • BA in Christian Ministries
  • BA in Communication
  • BA in Human Development
  • BS in Leadership
  • AA in Liberal Studies
  • BA in Psychology

Online students at San Diego Christian College can avail themselves of many resources. This private school offers opportunities for students to enrich their spiritual lives. Plus, each student is encouraged to engage in meaningful service activities. Remote students are invited to explore these activities whenever possible. In addition, the school offers a robust career counseling program that includes:

  • Career Exploration
  • Job Searching Resources
  • Major Exploration
  • Resume/Cover Letter
  • Interview Preparation
  • Career Workshops
  • Career Advising
  • Drop-ins
  • Classroom Workshops 

Veterans are also welcome at SDCC, where they will find plenty of resources exclusive to the military community. These include veteran-specific career development resources.

Students at San Diego Christian College can apply for federal student aid. They are also invited to apply for scholarships, grants, loans, and other financial resources through the school. 

Accreditation: Western Association of Schools & Colleges 

Tuition: $34,310

#17. Hope International University

A logo of Hope International University for our ranking of the top online colleges in California.

Hope International University is a private not for profit college in Fullerton. The school has a small student population of around 1200 students. And it has grown to become one of the top private four-year nonprofit universities in California. 

Hope International University offers several online degree programs through its five colleges:

  • College of Arts & Sciences
  • College of Business & Management
  • College of Education
  • College of Psychology & Counseling
  • Pacific Christian College of Ministry & Biblical Studies

The university has many unique educational paths students can pursue. For example, BA graduates will have followed one of four pathways:

  • Major in Social Science with a Concentration in Human Services
  • Major in Social Science with a Customized Concentration
  • Major in Social Science with a Concentration in History
  • Major in Social Science with a Concentration in Political Science

Other programs have similar pathways. These programs can be further customized by taking approved courses at neighboring CSU Fullerton. Hope International University offers a wide range of scholarship, grant, and financial aid options. 

Accreditation: Western Association of Schools & Colleges

Tuition: $35,450

#18. Simpson University

Named after Albert Benjamin Simpson, Simpson University is one of the best private nonprofit universities on our list. Located in Redding, the school was established in 1921. It is now home to just over 1,000 students.

Simpson University offers several online courses. They are structured to give students creative options for achieving their academic goals. The school partners with Acadeum for these programs. And credits earned through them can transfer to whichever program the student chooses. The school also has its own list of online courses. Students can take advantage of both options.

In addition to courses, students can pursue three fully online degree programs. These include:

  • Associate of Arts in General Studies
  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
  • Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration

Online students are invited to participate in on-campus activities whenever possible. They may also explore a variety of students services, including:

  • Academic Coaching
  • Disability Services
  • ESL Resources
  • Tutoring 
  • Career Services

Accreditation: Western Association of Schools & CollegesCommission

Tuition: $35,900

#19. California Baptist University

A logo of California Baptist University for our ranking of the top online colleges in California.

California Baptist University is a four-year, private, not for profit college in Riverside. The school has served students for over half a century. Established in 1950, CBU has a student body of around 11,000 scholars. The university has been ranked as one of the top online colleges on our list. 

CBU students can enroll in many different educational programs. And the school has a robust online division featuring degrees at all levels. For example, the school offers 23 online bachelor’s degree programs, including:

  • Accounting
  • Business Administration – Logistics and Operations
  • Christian Studies
  • Computer Information Technology
  • Criminal Justice
  • Cybersecurity
  • Early Childhood Studies
  • Graphic Design and Digital Media
  • Healthcare Administration and Management
  • Kinesiology
  • Marketing
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Public Health
  • Sport and Performance Psychology
  • Strategic Communication

CBU online also features 17 master’s degree programs. Plus, they have three doctoral degrees. The school is transfer-friendly, and the online programs are flexible. Designed for working students, classes start every eight weeks. These accelerated programs are offered in a hybrid or online format. In addition, online students have a wealth of resources to tap into, including:

  • Academic Success Center support
  • Smarthinking 24/7 online tutoring support 
  • Online Faculty support
  • Online Career Services 

The school offers many Financial Aid options. These include scholarships, grants, and flexible payment plans. 

Accreditation: Western Association of Schools & Colleges 

Tuition: $37,018

#20. Azusa Pacific University

A logo of Azusa Pacific University for our ranking of the top online colleges in California.

Azusa Pacific University is another one of the top online nonprofit colleges. This private, not for profit college is located in Azusa and has a student population of around 9,000. It is an older university that was established in 1899.

Azusa Pacific University offers its students several online degree programs. Many of them are programs that are hard to find. Most are 100 percent online, although a few require limited residency in Orange County. Some of the more popular online programs include:

  • Art Education, MA
  • Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)
  • Bridge to BSN
  • Criminal Justice, BA (Bachelor’s Completion)
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • Higher Education Leadership, EdD
  • MA in Music Industry
  • MFA in Visual Art
  • MS in Healthcare Administration
  • MSN in Nursing Education
  • Master of Arts in Leadership
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Master of Organizational Psychology
  • Master of Public Administration (MPA)
  • Master of Public Health (MPH)
  • Modern and Contemporary Art History, MA
  • Physical Education, MS.
  • Psychology, BA (Bachelor’s Completion)
  • Rehabilitation and Movement Science, Ph.D.
  • Screenwriting, MA
  • Strategic Communication, MA
  • User Experience Design, MA

Online students at Azusa can take advantage of plenty of online resources. These include 24/7 tech support, writing and speaking center, and more. Many students who attend private colleges assume they are not eligible for financial aid. However, this is not usually the case. APU online students are eligible for financial aid, grants, and scholarships to offset the cost of their education. 

Accreditation: Western Association of Schools & Colleges

Tuition: $41,510

#21. Mount Saint Mary’s University

A logo of Mount Saint Mary's University for our ranking of the top online colleges in California.

Mount Saint Mary’s University is a private not for profit institution in Los Angeles. It is known as one of the most beautiful private colleges in the country. This nonprofit college is situated on a scenic and secluded campus. Because of this, the school has even been featured in many films. Today, approximately 2,700 students are enrolled at Mount Saint Mary’s University.

MSM has been ranked as one of the Best non profit Universities in the West by US News & World Report. And this private school has been recognized by Forbes and Money Magazine. Mount Mary’s offers students several evening, weekend, and online programs, including:

  • Applied Psychology
  • Business Administration
  • Criminology
  • English
  • Business Administration
  • Film and Media
  • Liberal Arts
  • Pre-Health Science
  • Professional Photography
  • Religious Studies
  • Social Work
  • Sociology

As one of the best online universities in California, MSM provides many learning formats, too. Students can choose from:

Low Residency Pathways: Attend classes one night a week and supplement with online classes.

Entirely Online: Earn your bachelor’s degree through a 100 percent online program.

Hybrid Format: Choose your own schedule. Attend weekends, evenings, in-person, or online. Combine whatever format works best for you. 

Online students at Mount Saint Mary’s are taught by the same instructors that work on campus. And they earn an identical degree to students who attend school in person. As with many private colleges, financial aid is also available for remote learners.

Accreditation: Western Association of Schools & Colleges 

Tuition: $45,388

#22. University of La Verne

A logo of University of La Verne for our ranking of the top online colleges in California.

The University of La Verne is a private, four-year nonprofit college with about 7,000 students. Known initially as Lordsburg College, it was established by the Brethren Church. Students at La Verne can enroll in several online academic programs. These include degrees at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. There are eight online bachelor’s degrees completion programs:

  • Business Administration, BA
  • Child Development, BS
  • Criminal Justice & Criminology, BS
  • Educational Studies, BA
  • Information Technology, BS
  • Nursing, RN to BSN
  • Organizational Management, BS
  • Public Administration, BS

Online graduate professional degrees at La Verne include:

  • Doctor of Business Administration, DBA
  • Business Administration, MBA for Experienced Professionals
  • Child and Adolescent Development, MS
  • Health Administration, MHA
  • Leadership and Management, MS
  • Public Administration, MPA

Online students at the University of La Verne will learn from the school’s experienced instructors in a convenient and flexible format. These programs are 100 percent online. ULV has been nationally ranked among schools with the best academic programs by U.S. News & World Report. And our publication finds it to be one of the best online California colleges on this list.  

Accreditation: Western Association of Schools & Colleges

Tuition: $45,850

#23. University of San Francisco

A logo of the University of San Francisco for our ranking of the top 25 online universities in California

Located in San Francisco, the University of San Francisco was established in 1855. A group of Jesuits founded USF as St. Ignatius Academy. This nonprofit university started in a one-room schoolhouse. Today, USF sits on a 55-acre campus between Golden Gate Park and the Golden Gate Bridge. It is home to just over 10,000 students.

Students at USF can choose from over 230 undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. However, the school only offers two online degree programs. These include:

USF is one of the top private nonprofit colleges in the nation. And these two programs are designed to deliver the same excellent academic programs students expect. They are adapted from the same curriculum. And they utilize the latest technologies to deliver assignments, lectures, and lessons. Additionally, online graduates earn the same diploma as students on campus. And they are entitled to all the same USF resources as other students, including:

  • Counseling and Psychological Services
  • Career Services Center
  • Gleeson Library/Geschke Center
  • Student Disability Services

Accreditation: Western Association of Schools & Colleges

Tuition: $53,472

You may also be interested in Best Online Graduate Schools

This concludes our ranking of the best online colleges in California.

NPO Staff