Best Online Public Universities 2021

online public universityRecent years have witnessed an explosion of online colleges, with many state universities and other higher education institutions now offering online degrees. Many students enroll in online degree programs because of the time advantages and flexibility that online degree programs offer. Many adults pursuing the advantages of higher education simply cannot afford to leave their careers behind while going to school. Balancing the demands of full-time work and part- to full-time school thus requires a great deal of flexibility. Online schools can provide that much-needed flexibility, allowing anyone to enroll in degree programs that can take their careers to the next level.

These advancements have been vital in opening up possibilities to those who, 10 to 15 years ago, simply would not have had the opportunity to advance their education or career. Thus, the perception of online education is dramatically shifting from being second-rate when compared to traditional, on-campus programs of study, to, in many cases, causing greater satisfaction rates among graduates.

This ranking looks particularly at public or state colleges and universities that have put significant resources into developing their online programs. Whether this is through the establishment of independent online universities such as Colorado State University Global and Pennsylvania State University Global, or dedicated online divisions connected to brick and mortar schools—we believe those public schools that are working to increase the accessibility of their academic and professional programs through extensive online programming are using their resources most responsibly. In this ranking, we feature the top 50 public universities with well-developed online programs.

To qualify for this ranking, schools must be regionally accredited, and they must be publicly-funded colleges or universities with at least 20 online program offerings and a recognizable online division. Our ranking takes into account various data in areas such as academic excellence, faculty, reputation, affordability, and range of degree programs. We have included a range of degree programs, and we are particularly interested in featuring schools whose dedication to expanding the accessibility of education is evidenced through the resources they have put into the development of online programs.

Ranking the Best Online Public University Programs

#1. Arizona State University Online

Arizona State University is located in Tempe, Arizona, and was founded in 1885. Enrolling over 100,000 students, Arizona State University is the largest public university in the United States of America. Arizona State University is highly-esteemed and has been recognized by many different publications, including U.S. News & World Report.

Through the school’s ASU Online platform, students can enroll in 269 different online academic programs. These programs include bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and certification programs. The undergraduate offerings in this program cover topics like business, film, marketing, and many more. Students enrolling in ASU Online get access to the same academic support as they would on-campus, including access to counselors, academic advisors, and success coaches. The majority of online courses are offered in an asynchronous format, allowing students to tackle their coursework on their own time.

Accreditation: Arizona State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

Online Programs: 269

#2. University of Missouri Online

Founded in 1839, the University of Missouri is a public research university located in Columbia, Missouri. Known as Mizzou to its over 30,000 students, the University of Missouri comprises nineteen different colleges. The University of Missouri offers hundreds of different academic programs to its students.

Students who want to study online can access the Missouri Online platform. This platform offers entirely online degrees, including bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and certification programs. As of this writing, the Missouri Online platform hosts 260 online degree programs. The vast majority of these programs are entirely online and do not require any visits to any of the University of Missouri campuses. Courses in this program are offered in both synchronous and asynchronous formats.

Accreditation: The University of Missouri is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Online Programs: 260

#3. Fort Hays State University Online

Located in Hays, Kansas, Fort Hays State University was established in 1902 as a public research university. Today, Fort Hays State University enrolls a little over 15,000 students across its four colleges. Students enrolled at Fort Hays State University can select from a variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

Those looking for online education can choose to enroll in Fort Hays State University Online. At the time of publishing, Fort Hays State University Online offers approximately 200 different online programs. These programs are offered across undergraduate and graduate levels and span various study topics, including accounting, computer science, health studies, philosophy, and many, many more. These programs are offered in both asynchronous and synchronous formats, offering students a great deal of flexibility with regards to their coursework.

Accreditation: Fort Hays State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

Online Programs: approx. 200

#4. UMass Online

Established in 1863, the University of Massachusetts has grown into a five-campus university system. With its flagship university located in Amherst, the University of Massachusetts enrolls a total of 71,000 students. The University of Massachusetts is frequently recognized nationally for its achievements in academic excellence.

The University of Massachusetts offers over 200 different online degree programs to students via its UMass Online platform. UMass Online offers students undergraduate and graduate degree programs, including bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and certification programs. These programs are offered in business, management, education, information technology, health sciences, science, and much more. Students enrolled in UMass Online have access to all the same resources and services as their on-campus counterparts.

Accreditation: The University of Massachusetts is accredited by the New England Association of Schools & Colleges.

Online Programs: approx. 200

#5. Purdue University Global

Located in West Lafayette, Purdue University is the flagship public university in the Purdue University System. Established in 1869, Purdue University enrolls nearly 46,000 students across its seven campuses. Purdue University also has one of the largest international student populations of any university in the United States.

Purdue University offers students online degree programs through its Purdue University Global campus. Purdue University Global is built on industry-leading online education technologies and offers students a selection of approximately 175 different online degree programs to enroll in. These programs include bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and certification programs. Purdue University boasts a wide variety of different programs ensuring that students will find the perfect degree to fit their needs.

Accreditation: Purdue University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Online Programs: approx. 175

#6. Indiana University Online

Founded in 1820, Indiana University is a public university with its flagship campus located in Bloomington, Indiana. Today, Indiana University enrolls over 110,000 students across its various campuses. The Bloomington campus is the school’s largest, with 40,000 students enrolled.

Indiana University operates IU Online, which is the school’s online education platform. This program is geared towards working adults and students who wish to study online. Students enrolled at IU Online can select from 170 different online academic programs. These programs include bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and certification programs. Degree subjects in this program include labor studies, informatics, philanthropy, business, education, and much more.

Accreditation: Indiana University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Online Programs: 170

#7. Penn State World Campus

Pennsylvania State University is a public university located in University Park, Pennsylvania. Established in 1855, the University of Pennsylvania has grown to become one of the largest universities in the nation, with over twenty-four campuses and a staggering 100,000 students.

With nearly 20,000 students enrolled, Penn State World Campus is the school’s online education campus. Students attending courses through Penn State World Campus can enroll in more than 170 different academic programs. Whether you’re interested in a bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, or certification program, Penn State World Campus has a degree for you. All the courses at Penn State World Campus are asynchronous, meaning that students can do their course work at any time they like.

Accreditation: Pennsylvania State University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Online Programs: approx. 170

#8. University of Nebraska Online

Originally founded as one campus in Lincoln, Nebraska, the University of Nebraska has grown to become the state of Nebraska’s top public university. Founded in 1869, the University of Nebraska now operates four campuses and an additional agricultural and technical college.

The University of Nebraska also operates the University of Nebraska Online. This platform collects programs from all the various University of Nebraska campuses and offers them online. This platform currently offers over 150 different academic programs, including bachelors, master’s, doctoral, and certification programs. Students enrolled at the University of Nebraska Online can enroll in many topics, including agriculture, business, engineering, family studies, and much more.

Accreditation: The University of Nebraska Online is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Online Programs: 150

#9. University of Wisconsin eCampus

The University of Wisconsin is the flagship university of the UW System. Currently, the UW System is one of the largest public university systems in the country, with over 170,000 students. These students attend courses at any of the thirteen different UW System campuses.

Students who would like to enroll at the University of Wisconsin for online education can enroll in the University of Wisconsin eCampus. The University of Wisconsin eCampus is a collection of different online programs offered across the school’s various campuses. These programs are offered in both an asynchronous and synchronous format. They are also offered entirely online or in a flexible, hybrid format if students wish to take only some of their courses online.

Accreditation: The University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

Online Programs: 150

#10. University of Arizona Online

Founded in 1885, the University of Arizona was the first university established in the region. Now, the University of Arizona has grown to be one of the top public universities in the state and country. Nearly 46,000 students are currently enrolled at the University of Arizona.

Students interested in enrolling in online courses can choose to enroll at the University of Arizona Online. The University of Arizona Online currently offers students 124 different academic programs to choose from. These programs are designed with working professionals in mind. Many of the programs are made available asynchronously to ensure that students can take them on their own time. Students can enroll in bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, or certification programs, all offered by the University of Arizona Online.

Accreditation: The University of Arizona is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Online Programs: 124

#11. University of North Dakota

The largest and oldest public university in North Dakota, the University of North Dakota currently enrolls a student body of over 15,000 students. Founded in 1883, the University of North Dakota predates North Dakota’s statehood. Since then, the University of North Dakota has grown to become one of the best schools in the region.

The University of North Dakota offers its students the opportunity to enroll in online education through UND Online. UND Online has its roots in the University of North Dakota’s correspondence courses that date back to 1911. Now, UND Online offers over 120 different academic programs from which to choose. Some of the most popular programs offered by the University of North Dakota include its engineering programs, its online master’s in public health, its various education certifications, and many others. UND Online offers programs in either a self-paced enroll-anytime format or a semester-based format.

Accreditation: The University of North Dakota is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Online Programs: 124

#12. University of Alabama at Birmingham Online

Founded in 1969, the University of Alabama at Birmingham is the flagship institution in the University of Alabama System. The University of Alabama at Birmingham is made up of 12 different colleges enrolling almost 21,000 students. The school is also home to the UAB Health System, one of the largest university-affiliated medical centers in the country.

Students at the University of Alabama at Birmingham who wish to study online need to look no further than UAB Online. The school’s online campus is designed for all types of students. Whether you’re a working professional or a full-time student, UAB Online is designed to offer degree programs and class formats that best suit your scheduling needs. UAB Online students can choose from many different academic programs, including bachelors, masters, doctoral, and certification programs.

Accreditation: The University of Alabama at Birmingham is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools.

Online Programs: approx. 100

#13. California University of Pennsylvania Online

A member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, California University of Pennsylvania is one of the state’s most prominent public universities. Founded in 1852, California University of Pennsylvania is located in California, Pennsylvania, and now enrolls a student body of just over 7,000 students.

Aspiring online students can enroll in California University of Pennsylvania’s Cal U Online. Students enrolled in Cal U Online can choose from over 100 different online academic programs. These programs are designed to be affordable and flexible. Programs offered through Cal U Online are entirely online and are designed in an asynchronous format. Students can choose from bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and certification programs offered by Cal U Online.

Accreditation: California University of Pennsylvania is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Online Programs: approx. 100

#14. University of Cincinnati Online

Originally known as Cincinnati College, the University of Cincinnati is the oldest higher education institution in Cincinnati. Founded in 1819, the University of Cincinnati is now home to a student body of over 46,000 students. The University of Cincinnati is highly lauded and has been recognized countless times for academic excellence.

UC Online is the University of Cincinnati’s online learning campus. Students enrolled at UC Online can choose from over 100 different academic programs. These programs include bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and certification programs. UC Online courses are offered in an asynchronous format to ensure that students can work their education into their schedule in a way that is easy and flexible. These programs are based on the same high-quality curriculum offered on their own campus.

Accreditation: The University of Cincinnati is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Online Programs: approx. 100

#15. East Carolina University

Founded in 1907, East Carolina University is one of the top public research universities in North Carolina. Currently, East Carolina University enrolls over 29,000 students.

Students at East Carolina University can enroll in courses offered through ECU Online. ECU Online offers over 100 different academic programs to its students, including bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and certification programs. These degree programs are great options for working professionals, as many of the courses are offered in an asynchronous format. The online instructors also teach these courses on-campus.

Accreditation: East Carolina University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools

Online Programs: approx. 100

#16. Texas Tech University Worldwide

Located in Lubbock, Texas, Texas Tech University was first founded in 1923. Now, Texas Tech University has grown to become one of the largest public universities in the state of Texas. Over 30,000 students are currently enrolled at Texas Tech University.

Students at Texas Tech University can enroll in courses offered online through the TTU Worldwide eLearning platform. TTU Worldwide eLearning is designed to offer students the opportunity to complete over 100 different academic programs online. These programs include bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and certification programs. TTU Worldwide eLearning has designed many of these programs to be completed entirely online. These courses are offered in tandem with their on-campus counterparts.

Accreditation: Texas Tech University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools.

Online Programs: approx. 100

#17. Kansas State University Global

Founded in 1863, Kansas State University is a public university. Located in Manhattan, Kansas, Kansas State University is the first public institution of higher learning in Kansas. More than 20,000 students are currently enrolled at Kansas State University.

Kansas State University offers students the opportunity to enroll in online courses through Kansas State University Global Campus. Students enrolled in Kansas State University Global Campus can enroll in many degrees, including bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and certification programs. These programs are designed with many different students in mind, including both full-time students and working professionals. Students can choose from over 100 programs offered by Kansas State University Global Campus.

Accreditation: Kansas State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Online Programs: approx. 100

#18. University of Memphis Global

Located in Memphis, Tennessee, the University of Memphis was established in 1912. Today, the University of Memphis has grown to become one of the state’s best schools, and it enrolls almost 21,000 students.

Students at the University of Memphis can enroll in online courses offered through the University of Memphis Global campus. Operating for over twenty years, the University of Memphis Global campus offers some of the most consistently high-ranked online degree programs. Currently, students can select from over 100 different undergraduate and graduate programs. These programs are all offered entirely online, and many of them are offered asynchronously, adding flexibility in course scheduling.

Accreditation: The University of Memphis is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools.

Online Programs: approx. 100

#19. Florida International University Online

Founded in 1965, Florida International University is located in Miami, Florida. One of the top public universities in the state, Florida International University enrolls over 54,000 students.

Florida International University offers online degree programs to students via FIU Online. On this platform, students can choose from over 100 different academic programs. These programs include bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and certification programs. FIU Online programs are designed with various types of students in mind. Working professionals and full-time online students can both create learning schedules to suit their needs.

Accreditation: Florida International University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools

Online Programs: 100

#20. Ball State University Online

Ball State University was founded in 1918 and is now one of the top public universities in Indiana. Located in Muncie, Ball State University enrolls nearly 22,000 students. Ball State University has also received a “high research activity” classification from Carnegie Classification.

Ball State University offers students online degrees through Ball State Online. Ball State Online offers over 100 different academic programs for students to choose from. All of these programs are offered to students 100% online. Students can choose from a library of bachelor’s, associate’s, master’s, certification, and doctoral programs. Degrees offered by Ball State Online are offered in both part-time and full-time formats. All of the courses offered by Ball State Online are offered in an asynchronous format.

Accreditation: Ball State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

Online Programs: approx. 100

#21. University of Arkansas Global Campus

Located in Fayetteville, the University of Arkansas was founded in 1971. As one of the state’s top public universities, the University of Arkansas enrolls a student population of over 27,000 students. The University of Arkansas is the flagship university of the University of Arkansas System, which has six campuses.

Students wishing to pursue a degree online can enroll in the University of Arkansas Global Campus. The University of Arkansas Global Campus offers students 96 different online degree programs to choose from. These degrees include bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and certification programs. These degrees are designed to be completed entirely online, and many of them feature asynchronous classes.

Accreditation: The University of Arkansas is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

Online Programs: 96

#22. University of Illinois Online

The University of Illinois is one of the largest public universities in the state of Illinois. Founded in 1867, the University of Illinois’s flagship location is Urbana-Champaign, Illinois. Currently, over 52,000 students are enrolled at the University of Illinois.

For those interested in pursuing an online degree, the University of Illinois offers online degrees through Illinois Online. Illinois Online currently features a catalog of 120 academic programs to enroll in. Students enrolled in these programs can choose from high-quality undergraduate and graduate degrees. All the programs offered through Illinois Online can be completed entirely online. Illinois Online designs its programs with working professionals in mind, allowing students greater control over their course schedule.

Accreditation: The University of Illinois is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Online Programs: 120

#23. Texas A&M University Distance Education

Located in College Station, Texas, Texas A&M University was originally founded in 1876. The flagship of the Texas A&M University System, Texas A&M University enrolls just over 68,000 students.

Texas A&M University offers students the opportunity to earn online degrees through its Distance Education department. Students enrolled through the Distance Education platform can choose from nearly 100 different online degree programs. These programs include 53 graduate degrees, 45 certificate programs, and one undergraduate program. Texas A&M University has designed its online platform with working professionals in mind, so many of the programs are offered in an asynchronous format.

Accreditation: Texas A&M University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools.

Online Programs: 99

#24. Upper Iowa University Distance Learning

Founded in 1857, Upper Iowa University is a public university located in Fayette, Iowa. Upper Iowa University is one of the oldest universities in Iowa. Today, Upper Iowa University has grown to become one of the brightest academic institutions in the state, with a student body of just over 6,000 students.

Students at Upper Iowa University can enroll in online courses through Upper Iowa University Online. Upper Iowa University Online offers 90 different academic programs for students to choose from. The school uses rolling start dates throughout the year, meaning that online students never have to wait more than two months for a new class to start. The online degrees offered by Upper Iowa University are offered in a self-paced format, allowing students to accomplish their learning on a schedule that works best for them.

Accreditation: Upper Iowa University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

Online Programs: 90

#25. Oregon State University eCampus

Located in Corvallis, Oregon, Oregon State University is a public land-grant research university. Founded in 1868, Oregon State University is now home to a student body of just over 32,000 students. As the largest university in Oregon, Oregon State University offers over 200 different academic programs on-campus.

For students wishing to pursue an online degree, Oregon State University offers online programs through its Oregon State University eCampus. Students choosing to enroll in the Oregon State University eCampus can select from over 80 different online programs. These programs range from 100% online to hybrid degree programs. These degrees include both undergraduate and graduate degrees and are offered across more than 110 different academic subjects. Students can visit the Oregon State University eCampus website to get a feel for their online learning platform.

Accreditation: Oregon State University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges & Universities.

Online Programs: approx. 80

#26. New Mexico State University Online

Founded in 1888, New Mexico State University is a public research university located in Las Cruces, New Mexico. One of the oldest public institutions of higher education, New Mexico State University has become one of the most important universities in the country. Currently, just over 24,000 students are enrolled at the school.

New Mexico State University offers students online degrees through its NMSU Online campus. Students enrolled in NMSU Online can choose from a selection of about seventy different degree programs. Many of these programs are offered entirely online. Students can choose from 100% online bachelor’s degrees and online graduate degrees that have some on-campus components. These degrees are designed for working professionals and full-time students alike, and many of the courses in this program are offered asynchronously.

Accreditation: New Mexico State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Online Programs: 70

#27. University of Central Florida

The University of Central Florida was founded in 1963. A part of the State University System of Florida, the University of Central Florida is a public research university that enrolls just over 69,000 students.

Aspiring online students can choose to enroll in a degree program offered through the school’s UCF Online platform. Students enrolled in UCF Online can choose from a catalog of over 100 different academic programs. These programs include both undergraduate and graduate degree options. Some of the most popular online degrees offered by the University of Central Florida are a bachelor of arts in legal studies, a bachelor of science in psychology, and a master of social work. These programs are offered in a variety of different formats to best suit students’ different needs.

Accreditation: The University of Central Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools.

Online Programs: 70

#28. University of Alabama – Bama By Distance

Founded in 1820, the University of Alabama is located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Home to over 37,000 students, the University of Alabama is the largest public university in the state.

The University of Alabama offers students online degree programs through their Bama By Distance program. Bama By Distance boasts a catalog of over 70 different academic programs, including bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and specialist programs. These programs are made up of online courses and streamed videos. Most of these programs are offered entirely online, but others are hybrid degrees. Most of the courses offered by Bama By Distance are offered asynchronously.

Accreditation: The University of Alabama is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools.

Online Programs: approx. 70

#29. Utah State University Online

Located in Logan, Utah, Utah State University is the flagship university of the Utah State University System. Founded in 1888, Utah State University is currently home to a student body of nearly 27,000 students, making it the largest public university in the state.

Students at Utah State University can enroll in online degrees through the school’s USU Online platform. USU Online is made up of over 60 different academic programs. These programs include both undergraduate and graduate degree programs that are 100% online. USU Online has been operating for 25 years and has had over 150,000 students pass through their programs. Online degrees offered by USU Online are designed for full-time students, part-time students, working professionals, and anyone else who wants to take their education online.

Accreditation: Utah State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges & Universities.

Online Programs: approx. 60

#30. Florida State University

The oldest public university in Florida, Florida State University was founded in 1851. Located in Tallahassee, Florida, Florida State University is part of the State University System of Florida. Currently, the school has a student body of almost 42,000 students.

Florida State University offers online degrees to students through Distance@FSU. Distance@FSU offers students 60 different online degree programs to choose from. These programs include bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and certification programs. Many of these programs are 100% online, but some are hybrid. Online courses through Distance@FSU are offered in synchronous and asynchronous formats, allowing students to get the best of both learning formats.

Accreditation: Florida State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools.

Online Programs: 60

#31. Mississippi State University Online

Established in 1878, Mississippi State University now enrolls over 21,000 students. Located in Starkville, Mississippi, Mississippi State University is one of the top universities in the region.

Students at Mississippi State University can enroll in Mississippi State University Online for an online degree. Over 60 different online degrees are offered to students through Mississippi State University Online. These programs include bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and certification programs. Courses offered by Mississippi State University Online are offered synchronously and asynchronously. Mississippi State University has designed its online degrees with full-time students and working professionals in mind.

Accreditation: Mississippi State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools.

Online Programs: approx. 60

#32. Northern Arizona University Online

One of the top public universities in Arizona, Northern Arizona University was established in 1899. The first public university in the Arizona territory, Northern Arizona University now enrolls a student body of just under 30,000 students.

Northern Arizona University students can pursue a degree online through Northern Arizona University Online. Students enrolled in Northern Arizona University Online can choose from fully accredited bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs that are offered entirely online. Online degree programs at Northern Arizona University are offered in two different formats: traditional online and competency-based online. Traditional online leverages a more synchronous format, while competency-based online uses more asynchronous courses.

Accreditation: Northern Arizona University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Online Programs: 50

#33. University of Louisville Online

Established in 1798, the University of Louisville is a public research university located in Louisville, Kentucky, and it enrolls over 21,000 students. The University of Louisville has received Carnegie Classification as having high levels of doctoral research.

Aspiring online students at the University of Louisville can enroll at the University of Louisville Online. Consistently rated among the top online universities, the University of Louisville Online offers students over 50 online degrees to select from. These programs include bachelor’s, master’s, and certification programs. All the programs offered by the University of Louisville Online are offered entirely online. Courses offered online can be either synchronous or asynchronous.

Accreditation: The University of Louisville is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools.

Online Programs: approx. 50

#34. Central Michigan University Global Campus

Located in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, Central Michigan University is one of the largest universities in the nation. Founded in 1892, Central Michigan University is now home to a student body of almost 22,000 students.

Central Michigan University students can enroll in an online degree program offered by the Central Michigan University Global Campus. Students enrolled in Central Michigan University Global Campus can choose from over 50 academic programs. These programs include bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and certification programs. Some of these programs are offered in an accelerated format, allowing students to complete their education more quickly. Central Michigan University Global Campus offers courses in different lengths, including an eight-week, twelve-week, and sixteen-week format. Many courses offered through Central Michigan University Global Campus are offered asynchronously.

Accreditation: Central Michigan University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

Online Programs: approx. 50

#35. University of Oklahoma Online

Established in 1890, the University of Oklahoma is located in Norman, Oklahoma. A public research university, the University of Oklahoma enrolls a student body of just under 29,000 students.

Students at the University of Oklahoma can enroll in OU Online to earn an online degree. Currently, OU Online offers students over 50 different online degree programs. Of these programs, over 30 are graduate programs, and 15 are certificate programs. These programs include undergraduate, graduate, and certification programs. Many of these programs are offered entirely online. Courses in these degrees are offered in both asynchronous and synchronous formats.

Accreditation: The University of Oklahoma is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Online Programs: approx. 50

#36. University of South Carolina

The University of South Carolina is a public university located in Columbia, South Carolina. Founded in 1801, the University of South Carolina is one of the best universities in the region. Over 52,000 students are currently enrolled at the University of South Carolina.

Online degree-seekers can enroll in the University of South Carolina Online program. Students enrolled with the University of South Carolina Online program can choose from almost 50 different online academic programs. These programs are offered in a flexible online format, allowing students to earn an online degree either part-time to full-time. Degrees offered include master’s, doctoral, and bachelor’s programs.

Accreditation: The University of South Carolina–Palmetto College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools.

Online Programs: 49

#37. Western Kentucky University Online

Located in Bowling Green, Kentucky, Western Kentucky University is home to over 21,000 students. Founded in 1906, Western Kentucky University is now widely regarded as one of the top public universities in Kentucky.

Students at Western Kentucky University can enroll in online degrees through WKU Online. WKU Online students can choose from a large selection of online degree programs. These programs include bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs, many of which are offered entirely online. Courses in this program are typically offered in an accelerated format and often made available in an asynchronous format.

Accreditation: Western Kentucky University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools.

Online Programs: 46

#38. Ohio State University Online

Ohio State University is one of the top public research universities in the state of Ohio. Located in Columbus, Ohio State University was first established in 1870. Today, Ohio State University has over 67,000 students.

Those interested in earning an online degree from Ohio State University can attend Ohio State Online. Ohio State Online offers students a wide variety of online degree programs. Students can earn certificates, associate’s degrees, undergraduate degrees, master’s degrees, and doctoral degrees. Many of these programs are offered entirely online, but some are made available in a hybrid format.

Accreditation: Ohio State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Online Programs: 42

#39. Colorado State University Global

Located in Fort Collins, Colorado, Colorado State University currently enrolls over 34,000 students. Established in 1870, Colorado State University is now the flagship university of the Colorado State University System.

Students interested in earning an online degree from Colorado State University can enroll in Colorado State University Global, which offers more than 40 different online degrees. These online degrees include both undergraduate and graduate degrees. Courses in this program are offered in an accelerated format and have no set times or locations. Students can join in on monthly start dates, allowing for even more flexibility over how and when they earn their degree.

Accreditation: Colorado State University Global is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Online Programs: approx. 40

#40. Southeast Missouri State University Online

Founded in 1873, Southeast Missouri State University is a public university located in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Southeast Missouri State University has earned the reputation of being one of the best schools in the state, and it currently enrolls over 10,000 students.

Southeast Missouri State University students can enroll in an online degree through Southeast Online. Students enrolled with Southeast Online can select from 40 different online degree programs. Online degrees available include bachelor’s, master’s, certification, and specialist degrees, many of which are available entirely online. Southeast Online is constantly updating its online degree offerings, and it offers rotating start dates throughout the year. These programs are designed with both working professionals and full-time students in mind.

Accreditation: Southeast Missouri State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

Online Programs: 40

#41. Sam Houston State University Online

Located in Huntsville, Texas, Sam Houston State University is one of the oldest public universities in Texas. Founded in 1879, Sam Houston State University is a member of the Texas State University System. Currently, Sam Houston State University enrolls over 21,000 students.

Students at Sam Houston State University can enroll in online programs from SHSU Online. SHSU Online offers a selection of over 40 different undergraduate and graduate online degrees. Many of these are made available entirely online and do not require students to visit the Sam Houston State University campus for their completion. Online degrees offered by SHSU Online are identical to their on-campus counterparts. SHSU Online allows students to schedule their courses however they want, which is a great option for working professionals hoping to earn an online degree.

Accreditation: Sam Houston State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools.

Online Programs: approx. 40

#42. Kennesaw State University

Established in 1963, Kennesaw State University has a student body of over 32,000 students. A public university, Kennesaw State University is located in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Kennesaw State University offers students online degrees through its Kennesaw State University Online platform. Students enrolled in Kennesaw State University Online can choose from over 40 different online degrees. These programs include two online doctoral programs, 20 online master’s programs, and 15 online bachelor’s programs. Kennesaw State University makes many of these programs available to students entirely online.

Accreditation: Kennesaw State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools.

Online Programs: approx. 40

#43. West Virginia University

Located in Morgantown, West Virginia, West Virginia University currently enrolls over 29,000 students. Founded in 1867, West Virginia University is one of the best public universities in the region.

Those who wish to pursue an online degree at West Virginia University can enroll in WVU Online. WVU Online offers students over 40 different online degrees to select from. Alongside those online degrees, students can also choose from over 20 different certificate programs. Some of the most popular degrees at WVU Online include an Online RN-BSN, a master of social work online, and many others. WVU Online offers many of these degrees in an entirely online format. Courses in these programs are offered both asynchronously and synchronously.

Accreditation: West Virginia University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Online Programs: approx. 40

#44. University of Louisiana at Monroe Online

Part of the University of Louisiana System, the University of Louisiana at Monroe was founded in 1931. Located in Monroe, Louisiana, the University of Louisiana at Monroe has a student population of just over 8,800 students.

Students interested in attending the University of Louisiana at Monroe can enroll in a degree from ULM Online. ULM Online offers a catalog of over 35 degrees to select from, all of them online. Students enrolled at ULM Online can choose from online associate’s, online bachelor’s, online master’s, and online doctoral programs. Courses in this program are offered in an eight-week format. Most of the online degrees offered by ULM Online utilize a synchronous format.

Accreditation: The University of Louisiana at Monroe is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools.

Online Programs: approx. 35

#45. Washington State University Global Campus

Located in Pullman, Washington, Washington State University enrolls over 29,000 students. Founded in 1890, Washington State University has grown to become one of the best universities in the Northwest.

Washington State University offers students a selection of online degree programs through its WSU Global Campus. Students enrolled at the WSU Global Campus can choose from 21 online undergraduate degrees, 13 online graduate degrees, 13 certificate programs, and one online teaching endorsement. These programs are all offered to students entirely online. Washington State University has designed its WSU Global Campus online degrees with flexibility in mind, and these online degrees leverage the latest online learning technologies to ensure that students get the same quality education as they would on-campus.

Accreditation: Washington State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges & Universities.

Online Programs: 48

#46. North Dakota State University Online

Established in 1890, North Dakota State University is the flagship of the North Dakota University System. Located in Fargo, North Dakota, North Dakota State University enrolls over 13,000 students.

Students interested in earning an online degree from North Dakota State University can enroll in NDSU Online. NDSU Online offers students over 30 different online degree programs to choose from. The majority of the NDSU Online degrees are graduate-level programs. These online graduate degrees are designed with both working professionals and full-time students in mind. Online degrees cover topics like education, merchandising, public health, software engineering, and many others.

Accreditation: North Dakota State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

Online Programs: approx. 30

#47. Eastern Kentucky University

Founded in 1906, Eastern Kentucky University is one of the top public universities in Kentucky. Located in Richmond, Eastern Kentucky University enrolls over 17,000 students.

If you are interested in earning an online degree from Eastern Kentucky University, EKU Online offers a selection of over 30 online degree programs. These programs are designed so that they can be completed entirely online. EKU Online degrees are designed to be flexible for working professionals. Courses are offered in an eight-week format, and EKU Online allows students to make their schedules as flexible as they’d like.

Accreditation: Eastern Kentucky University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools.

Online Programs: approx. 30

#48. University of Colorado at Denver

A public university, the University of Colorado at Denver currently enrolls over 18,000 students. Established in 1912, the University of Colorado at Denver has grown to encompass two different campuses.

To earn an online degree from the University of Colorado at Denver, students must enroll in CU Denver Online. Students enrolled in CU Denver Online are given access to 25 different online programs. These programs are entirely online and include undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs. Students enrolled at CU Denver Online are given access to the same academic support and student services that on-campus students are. Courses in this program leverage the latest in distance learning and online learning technologies.

Accreditation: The University of Colorado at Denver is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Online Programs: 25

#49. University of Florida Online

Established in 1853, the University of Florida is a land-grant and space-grant public university. Located in Gainesville, Florida, the University of Florida is one of the most prominent schools in the State University System of Florida. Currently, the University of Florida enrolls over 56,000 students.

The University of Florida offers many online degrees to students via UF Online. By enrolling in UF Online, students can choose from over 20 different entirely online academic programs, including both undergraduate and certificate programs. Some of the popular degrees offered by UF Online include a bachelor of arts in criminology, a bachelor of arts in business administration, a bachelor of arts in computer science, and several others.

Accreditation: The University of Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools.

Online Programs: 24

#50. University of New Mexico Online

The University of New Mexico is one of the top public universities in New Mexico. Located in Albuquerque, the University of New Mexico was founded in 1889. Today, the University of New Mexico has a student population of just over 27,000 students.

Students enrolled at the University of New Mexico can enroll in online degrees offered by UNM Online. UNM Online offers students over 20 different online degrees to choose from. Online degrees offered by UNM Online are made available with flexible scheduling and leverage the latest in online learning technologies. Undergraduate and graduate programs are available, including entirely online master’s programs, bachelor programs, and more. Courses are offered in an eight-week format, allowing for accelerated completion of these programs.

Accreditation: The University of New Mexico is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

Online Programs: approx. 20

 

Related:

Free Colleges

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Best Online Graduate Schools

Top Scholarships for Online Students

Affordable Nonprofit Online Colleges

 

NPCO Staff:
April 2021

This concludes our ranking of the Best Online Public Universities.