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Top 20 Online Colleges in Philadelphia 2021

For students looking for an education from the top online colleges in Philaldephia, we’ve put together some of our top picks for nonprofit colleges and universities. These online colleges in Philadelphia and the surrounding areas have been selected based on their tuition price, student population size, and program variety.

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Ranking the Top Online Colleges in Philadelphia

#1. Community College of Philadelphia

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A logo of Community College of Philadelphia for our ranking of the most affordable online schools in Philadelphia.

The Community College of Philadelphia is located on Spring Garden Street in Philadelphia. Founded in 1964, the Community College of Philadelphia has been serving downtown Philadelphia students with affordable options for degrees for decades. Currently, the Community College of Philadelphia enrolls a student population of almost 25,000 students.

Students at the Community College of Philadelphia can choose from several affordable online degree programs. As a community college, the Community College of Philadelphia primarily offers undergraduate degree programs to its students. These online degree programs are designed with the ability to be transferred to other colleges in the area. Therefore, the Community College of Philadelphia is a great option for students looking for accredited online colleges in Philadelphia.

Accreditation: Community College of Philadelphia is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#2. Gwynedd Mercy University

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A logo of Gwynedd Mercy University for our ranking of the most affordable online schools in Philadelphia.

Founded in 1948, Gwynedd Mercy University is a private university located in Gwynedd Mercy with campuses in Philadelphia. Gwynedd Mercy University was first established in association with the Roman Catholic Church. The school has since grown to become well-regarded as one of the top private colleges in the area.

Gwynedd Mercy University offers students a variety of online degree programs to choose from. These online degrees include degrees in business administration, counseling, education, nursing, and public health. Online degrees at Gwynedd Mercy University are offered to students in an accelerated format and a regularly paced format. In addition, Gwynedd Mercy University offers students in Philadelphia affordable tuition rates, helping it rank among the top online colleges in Philadelphia.

Accreditation: Gwynedd Mercy University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#3. Peirce College

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A logo of Peirce College for our ranking of the most affordable online schools in Philadelphia.Founded in 1965, Peirce College is a private university located in downtown Philadelphia. Originally established as the Union Business College, the school has grown and changed over the years to become one of the best colleges in Philadelphia for adult learners. Currently, about 1,900 students are enrolled at Peirce College.

Students at Peirce College can select from a variety of different online degree programs. These online degrees are made available to students entirely online. At this time, Peirce College is offering students almost thirty different programs, including certificates, associates, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. Courses of study at Peirce College include an online bachelor’s in business administration, an online master of science in healthcare administration, an online bachelor’s in criminal justice, and many others. This variety of online degree programs is just one of the many reasons Peirce College ranks among the top Philadelphia online colleges. Peirce College also offers students an affordable tuition rate.

Accreditation: Peirce College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#4. Eastern University

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A logo of Eastern University for our ranking of the most affordable online schools in Philadelphia.

Established in 1925, Eastern University is located just outside of Philadelphia in the St. Davids suburb. A private university, Eastern University, was founded in close association with the American Baptist Churches USA. Currently, the student body at Eastern University totals just over 3,300 students.

Eastern University offers students a variety of different online degree programs. Students at Eastern University can choose from online degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. These degrees are offered in an accelerated format as well as a traditionally-paced format. Topics of study include business, counseling, education, theology, and STEM degrees. In addition, Eastern University offers these online degrees to students with an affordable tuition rate. The breadth of degrees offered to students and the affordable tuition rate has helped Eastern University rank among our top online universities in Philadelphia.

Accreditation: Eastern University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#5. Holy Family University

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A logo of Holy Family University for our ranking of the most affordable online schools in Philadelphia.

Located in downtown Philadelphia, Holy Family University was founded in 1954. At its founding, Holy Family University was chartered by the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth. Now, Holy Family University continues its heritage as a Roman Catholic liberal arts university. Almost 2,000 students are currently enrolled at Holy Family University.

Students enrolled at Holy Family University can choose from selecting online degrees made available by the school. These online degrees include both undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Holy Family University’s online degree programs are offered flexible, allowing working professionals and students with demanding schedules to earn a degree more easily. One of the most popular online degree programs at Holy Family is the Master of Business Administration degree. Holy Family University has ranked among the top accredited online colleges in Philadelphia PA because of its commitment to quality, affordable online education.

Accreditation: Holy Family University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#6. Hussian College

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Founded in 19467, Hussian College is a private art school located in Philadelphia. Since its founding, Hussian College has offered those in Philadelphia the opportunity to advance their understanding of the arts.

Hussian College is a great option for students who are interested in earning an art degree. The primary degree offered at Hussian College is a Bachelor of Fine Arts. This degree is offered to students in concentrations in Digital Media, Graphic Design, and Visual Communications. These degrees can be completed online. Students who enroll in Hussian College will be able to earn an affordable degree in arts. Students looking for an affordable university in Philadelphia online should consider enrolling here. Hussian College also operates an additional campus in Los Angeles.

Accreditation: Hussian College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#7. University of the Sciences

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A logo of University of the Sciences for our ranking of the most affordable online schools in Philadelphia.

The University of the Sciences was first founded in 1821. Originally known as the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, the University of the Sciences has expanded its breadth to include more health-related degree programs. Located in downtown Philadelphia, the University of the Sciences enrolls a student body of over 2,200 students.

Students at the University of the Sciences can enroll in many academic programs offered to students in an online format. The University of the Sciences currently offers bachelor’s, master’s, and certification programs to its students. Students can enroll in health administration, health informatics, genomics, and many other degree types. These programs can be completed entirely online and do not require students to visit the University of the Sciences campus to complete. Tuition rates at the University of the Sciences are affordable, which has helped the school to rank among the top online universities in Philadelphia.

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

#8. Chestnut Hill College

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A logo of Chestnut Hill College for our ranking of the most affordable online schools in Philadelphia.

Located in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia, Chestnut Hill College was first established in 1924. Since its founding, Chestnut Hill College has remained an integral part of the area’s infrastructure for higher education. Founded as a women’s college in association with the Sisters of St. Joseph, the school has grown to now enroll nearly 2,000 students in a coeducational environment.

Chestnut Hill College has ranked among the top online universities in Philadelphia due to the breadth of its online programs and the affordability of its tuition rates. Students at Chestnut Hill College can choose from around a dozen different online degree programs. These online programs include business, criminal justice, human services, liberal studies, and much more. In addition, Chestnut Hill College makes these degrees available to students at an affordable tuition rate.

Accreditation: Chestnut Hill College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#9. Cairn University

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Cairn University is a small private college established in 1913. Located just outside of Philadelphia in a Middle Township, Cairn University has been helping to educate the nearby population of Philadelphia for over a century. Today, Cairn University enrolls just over 1,500 students.

Students considering an online degree should consider enrolling in Cairn University. Cairn University offers students a wide selection of online degree programs, including bachelor’s degrees, associate’s degrees, master’s, certification programs, and more. These programs can be completed entirely online and are offered with a fixed tuition rate that is very affordable. Some of the degrees offered by Cairn University include degrees in accounting, marketing, criminal justice, and much more. By offering a wide selection of online degrees at an affordable rate, Cairn University has earned its place among the top online universities in Philadelphia.

Accreditation: Cairn University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#10. University of Pennsylvania

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A logo of University of Pennsylvania for our ranking of the most affordable online schools in Philadelphia.

Founded in 1740, the University of Pennsylvania is one of the oldest universities in the country. Located in downtown Philadelphia, the University of Pennsylvania has played an integral role in shaping the city. Today, the University of Pennsylvania is home to a student body of over 22,000 students.

The University of Pennsylvania offers students many online degree programs from which to select. These online degree programs include certification programs, associate’s degrees, bachelor’s degrees, and master’s degrees. The University of Pennsylvania offers online degrees from each of its twelve different colleges. These online degrees are offered to students at a competitive tuition rate. Most of these online degrees are designed to be completed entirely. The University of Pennsylvania ranks among the top Philadelphia online colleges because of its commitment to online learning.

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

#11. Thomas Jefferson University

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Established in 1824, Thomas Jefferson University is a private university located in Philadelphia. Growing over the course of nearly two centuries, Thomas Jefferson University has recently merged with the nearby Philadelphia University. Thomas Jefferson University currently enrolls a student body of over 7,800 students.

Thomas Jefferson University has received much recognition for its commitment to online learning. Among the top accredited online colleges in Philadelphia, Thomas Jefferson University offers students various online degree programs to choose from. Currently, Thomas Jefferson University offers around two dozen different online degrees to choose from. These programs include bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs. For example, Thomas Jefferson University’s degrees include an online bachelor’s in accounting, an online doctor of nursing practice, and an online master’s in construction management.

Accreditation: Thomas Jefferson University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#12. La Salle University

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A logo of LaSalle University for our ranking of the most affordable online schools in Philadelphia.

La Salle University is located in Philadelphia and was founded in 1863. At its founding, La Salle University was established in association with the Catholic Church. Named after St. Jean-Baptiste de La Salle, La Salle University is still one of the top Catholic universities in the city. La Salle University has a student population of almost 5,200 students.

Students at La Salle University can select from a focused selection of online degree programs. La Salle University’s online degree programs focus on nursing and healthcare-related programs. Entirely online nursing programs are one of the primary offerings made by La Salle University. These programs are a great option for students who want to affordably earn a nursing degree without attending courses on the La Salle University campus. In addition, students can also enroll in an online MBA program made available in six different concentrations by La Salle University.

Accreditation: La Salle University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#13. Temple University

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A logo of Temple University for our ranking of the most affordable online schools in Philadelphia.

Founded in 1884, Temple University is a public research university. Located in Philadelphia, Temple University was originally known as the Temple College of Philadelphia. Since its founding, Temple University has grown to enroll a student body of just over 39,000 students.

Temple University offers students a great selection of online degree programs. Students enrolling at Temple University can choose from about twenty different online programs. These programs range from being offered entirely online to requiring some visits to the Temple University campus to complete. Students can choose from online undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as a few certification programs. Some of the degrees offered include a Master of Social Work, Master of Business Administration, Bachelor’s in Business Administration, Bachelor of Social Work, and more. These programs are offered at an affordable tuition rate.

Accreditation: Temple University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#14. Drexel University

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A logo of Drexel University for our ranking of the most affordable online schools in Philadelphia.

Located right in the center of Philadelphia, Drexel University has a storied legacy of being one of the top research universities in the area. Founded by Anthony J. Drexel, a philanthropist, Drexel University has grown to shape Philadelphia. Today, Drexel University enrolls a student body of over 24,000 students.

Drexel University maintains a large selection of online degree programs to choose from. Students at Drexel University can choose from online bachelor’s, online master’s, online certificate programs, and online doctorate programs. This massive selection of online degrees covers the entire breadth of college experiences. Students can find online degrees in business, education, psychology, technology, and much more. Drexel University works to ensure the quality of its online degree programs. Many of these degrees are offered entirely online, while some do require visits to Drexel University to complete.

Accreditation: Drexel University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#15. Saint Joseph’s University

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A logo of Saint Joseph's University for our ranking of the most affordable online schools in Philadelphia.

With locations in Merion and Philadelphia, Saint Joseph’s University has provided higher education to Philadelphia and the surrounding areas since 1851. One of the oldest Jesuit universities in the country, Saint Joseph’s University has grown in size and scope over the years. Today, Saint Joseph’s University enrolls a student body of over 8,000 students.

Students at Saint Joseph’s University can choose from a sizable selection of online degree programs. These online degree programs are offered to students at an affordable tuition rate helping Saint Joseph’s University rank among the top online universities in Philadelphia. Students can select from bachelor’s, master’s, and certification programs. In addition, Saint Joseph’s University offers online degrees in cybersecurity, business administration, education, criminal justice, and so many other topics.

Accreditation: Saint Joseph’s University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#16. Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

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A logo of Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts for our ranking of the most affordable online schools in Philadelphia.

Located in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts was first established in 1805. Specializing in the fine arts, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts is known for the quality of its programs and the museum that it operates.

Students at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts can select from a small catalog of online degree experiences offered by the school. The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts offers a continuing education program that allows students to work on their bachelor of fine arts and master of fine arts. Courses at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts are made available online. Still, visits to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts are needed to earn degrees. The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts offers many lectures and classes online for non-students to take part in, which has helped the school rank among the top Philadelphia online colleges.

Accreditation: Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#17. Wilmington University

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Established in 1968, Wilmington University is a private university. Founded by Dr. Donald Ross, Wilmington University is outside of Philadelphia in the nearby city of Wilmington. Today, Wilmington University enrolls a student body of just over 20,000 students.

Wilmington University offers students several online degree programs to enroll in. Students at Wilmington University can select from entirely online associate’s degrees, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees. These degrees do not require any visits to the Wilmington University campus to complete. Degrees offered by Wilmington University include degrees in accounting, computer science, finance, and much more.

Accreditation: Wilmington University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#18. West Chester University

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A logo of West Chester University for our ranking of the most affordable online schools in Philadelphia.

West Chester University is a private university established in 1871. Since its founding, West Chester University has grown to become one of the best universities in the area. Today, West Chester University enrolls almost 18,000 students in West Chester outside of Philadelphia.

Students at West Chester University can select from a wide variety of online degrees offered by the school. Online degrees offered by West Chester University include doctoral, master’s, and degree completion programs. In addition, students can choose from degrees like the Doctor of Nursing Practice, Master of Science in Community Nutrition, and several others. These online offerings are held to the same quality standard as the degrees offered on campus by West Chester University and are a great option for students looking for an affordable online education option near Philadelphia.

Accreditation: West Chester University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#19. Widener University

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Founded in 1821, Widener University is one of the top private universities in the area. Originally known as the Bullock School for Boys, Widener University has grown and changed over the course of over two centuries. Today, Widener University enrolls a student body of almost 6,500 students.

Widener University offers students a wide selection of online degree programs from which to select. Located in nearby Chester, Pennsylvania, Widener University is one of the top online colleges in Philadelphia PA for its selection of online degrees and their affordability. Online degrees at Widener University include both undergraduate and graduate degrees. Students at Widener University can choose from an RN to BSN to MSN program that is online and a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor in Psychology.

Accreditation: Widener University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#20. Villanova University

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Villanova University was first established in 1842. Founded as a Catholic university, Villanova University is now the oldest Catholic university in the state. Currently, Villanova University enrolls a student body of about 10,000 students at its campus in Villanova, a suburban area close to Philadelphia.

Students considering an online degree should consider enrolling with Villanova University. Villanova University offers some great online degree options made available at a reasonable tuition rate. Villanova University ranks among the top online universities in Philadelphia by offering these degree programs at an affordable rate. These online degrees are based on their on-campus counterparts. Students at Villanova University can choose from undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering, public administration, nursing, and more.

Accreditation: Villanova University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

NPCO Staff

June 2021

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This concludes our ranking of top online colleges in Philadelphia.