Imagine yourself finally holding that certificate or degree you’ve always wanted. With it, windows can be opened to an increased salary, a promotion, or a new job opportunity, when before there was little more than a plain, wooden door that got you to where you are today. Getting that degree doesn’t have to be hard. You don’t have to completely change your life so that dream can be fulfilled. That’s why we’ve created a list of the best online colleges in Virginia.
People like you don’t have time to worry about going to class, finding a parking spot, getting days off of work (or quitting your job altogether), finding a babysitter for the kids, or giving up your favorite activities. Getting your certificate or degree online will allow you to pursue your dream of higher education at your own pace and on your own timetable. You can watch lectures, do homework, and take tests early in the morning, on your lunch break, or late at night. That’s the great thing. It’s up to you!
Best Online Colleges in Virginia
4-Year Colleges or Universities
1. Regent University
Regent University was founded in 1977 and is one of the only Christian online colleges in Virginia. It offers over 300 online programs (including all emphases for online degrees) for students to choose from and was named as the eighth best online bachelor’s program for veterans by US News & World Report. All online courses are offered in an 8-week format and are delivered through the Blackboard learning platform.
- # of Online Programs: 325
- Tuition Per Credit: $395
2. Liberty University
Liberty University is the world’s largest Christian institution of higher learning, with some of the lowest tuition rates in the nation. Online students pay the same affordable tuition rates regardless of whether they are in-state or out-of-state. It was one of the first colleges in the United States to embrace the potential of online learning, with a distance education history dating back to 1985. Liberty offers more than 150 online programs leading to certificates and degrees at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate levels. Online applicants must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 in all previously completed college or high school coursework.
- # of Online Programs: 164
- Tuition Per Credit: $390-$455
3. Virginia State University
Virginia State University was founded in 1882 and is a public, comprehensive 1890 Land Grant institution and historically black college/university. Today it offers online, self-paced, open enrollment programs to help students gain the high-demand skills needed in today’s workplace. Their courses are available anytime and anywhere from any mobile device, as long as you have access to the internet.
- # of Online Programs: 130
- Tuition Per Credit: $350
4. George Mason University
George Mason University is Virginia’s largest public research university and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity, and commitment to accessibility. Online programs at GMU follow the same format as on-campus classes and have all of the same coursework. Classes maintain the same academic rigor and integrity as their campus-based counterparts, providing students with an active and collaborative learning environment while offering greater flexibility to fit your needs. With fully online and hybrid formats available, classes are delivered in both the synchronous and asynchronous formats.
- # of Online Programs: 34 (not including hybrid programs)
- Tuition Per Credit: $488.50
5. Old Dominion University
Old Dominion University is one of the most reputable online colleges in VA. The school’s 2015-16 student satisfaction survey found that 96% of its online students were “very satisfied” with their overall experience. Online programs can be synchronous or asynchronous with synchronous courses being streamed live in real time through a web conferencing platform, and asynchronous courses giving students the option to complete coursework on a regular or accelerated schedule with few meetings. Most online classes at ODU require that students submit online homework assignments and take tests through Blackboard.
- # of Online Programs: 33
- Tuition Per Credit: $335-$369
6. Hampton University
Hampton University was founded back in the Civil War era as an institution for educating recently emancipated slaves. Its online courses include undergraduate and graduate religious studies programs, business management, and counseling. The school is consistently rated among the best historically black higher learning institutions in the United States. Out-of-state students pay the same tuition rates as in-state students, but applicants from outside Virginia are encouraged to consult Hampton’s state authorization page to ensure they are eligible to apply. HU also offers a generous re-entry scholarship program, which is available to students whose education was interrupted for reasons beyond their control and are returning to undergraduate studies after an absence of five years.
- # of Online Programs: 32
- Tuition Per Credit: $300
7. Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech has been nationally ranked in six categories by the Princeton Review, and several of its graduate programs garner top spots in US News & World Report’s latest rankings. It offers more than 20 online certificates and degrees in a variety of graduate fields, including information technology, nuclear engineering, special education and political science. All online courses are offered through the Canvas learning management system.
- # of Online Programs: 24
- Tuition Per Credit: $462.25
8. Averett University
Averett University offers a distance learning program called IDEAL, or Individually Designed Education for Adult Learners. Coursework has been created for adults wishing to continue their education after they have become employed full-time. In fact, for admission, the school typically looks for a high school GPA of 2.0 and two years of full-time work experience. AU offers bachelor’s level programs in business, criminal justice, sociology, sports management and applied science with degrees in science in business, business administration and education. It also has additional degrees at the associate and postgraduate levels. Classes are delivered via Moodle, an interactive learning platform that serves as home base for engaging with peers and professors, completing coursework and taking part in required assignments.
- # of Online Programs: 20
- Tuition Per Credit: $1,045
9. University of Virginia
The Charlottesville-based University of Virginia was founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson. It offers students the opportunity to earn recognized degrees through its online programs. Online students can pursue bachelor’s programs in interdisciplinary studies and health sciences management, with both programs accepting transfer students who enter as third-year students. Students can earn undergraduate or graduate certificates in 13 disciplines, including accounting, information technology, public administration, project management, human resource management, health sciences, and others. Coursework is completed entirely online or in blended formats that combine online and face-to-face learning. Online courses are delivered through the school’s UVaCollab digital platform, and students have the option to complete their coursework synchronously or asynchronously.
- # of Online Programs: 16
- Tuition Per Credit: $405
10. Norfolk State University
Online classes at Norfolk State University were designed for students wanting to fast-track their education, earn a degree for professional advancement, continue their advanced studies, or enhance their workplace skills. Students wanting to earn a bachelor’s degree at Norfolk State University can choose from areas such as history, education, psychology, business, and cyber security. Online management and graduate programs are also available.
- # of Online Programs: 13
- Tuition Per Credit: $411
11. Jefferson College of Health Sciences
Jefferson College of Health Sciences is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and offers online Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees in the following fields: health sciences, healthcare management, and nursing (post-licensure BSN track). There is also a health sciences program that gives qualified students the chance to complete a bachelor’s degree online in just two semesters. Applicants must have an associate’s degree and/or a minimum of 86 transferable college credits and a GPA of at least 3.0 in order to be considered for the program. There are two master-level degrees currently available: Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). There are also two doctoral programs that can both be pursued online: Doctor of Health Sciences and Doctor of Nursing Practice. Several online graduate certificates are also available.
- # of Online Programs: 12
- Tuition Per Credit: $350
12. Virginia Commonwealth University
Fully-online degrees are offered at Virginia Commonwealth University with programs from the colleges of humanities and sciences, allied health professions, education, engineering and government and public affairs. Degrees are available at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate levels, and several career development certifications are also offered completely online. VCU uses Blackboard learning management system for online instruction and collaboration.
- # of Online Programs: 12
- Tuition Per Credit: ~$1,135
13. James Madison University
James Madison University was established in 1908 as a school to train public school teachers. Today it offers students a diverse range of on-campus and online classes. JMU is a school that doesn’t believe that education should be limited by proximity to a campus or traditional “classroom hours,” which is why they offer high-quality online and distance programs. US News & World Report has ranked JMU No. 2 on its list of best public schools in the south, and JMU’s MBA programs as 12th in the nation.
- # of Online Programs: 11
- Tuition Per Credit: $361
14. Bluefield College
Bluefield College, one of the most popular online colleges in Virginia, is a liberal arts institution with a strong Christian focus. The school offers 10 online programs including education, management and leadership, human services, and entrepreneurship and small business management. Graduates enjoy strong job earnings, with a recent State Council of Higher Education for Virginia survey finding that Bluefield alumni had salaries 20.4 percent higher than the statewide average for college graduates. Bluefield is also a leading provider of advanced education for veterans and members of the armed forces. In addition to all online students qualifying to apply for financial aid, the institution offers a program called Yellow Ribbon, designed to reduce university expenses for military members. Online classes begin every eight weeks, delivering students accelerated paths to degree completion, which can be earned in 13 months.
- # of Online Programs: 10
- Tuition Per Credit: $365
15. Virginia Baptist College
At Virginia Baptist College students can get online degrees at the associate, bachelor’s, and master’s levels in fields such as ministry, Christian education, and biblical studies. Many degree programs offer several different options for personalized concentrations. For online classes, professors record sessions and post them for distance learners to access. Sessions are posted the day after they are recorded, and online learners then have a full week to complete assignments.
- # of Online Programs: 8
- Tuition Per Credit: $220
16. Marymount University
Marymount University, the first Catholic college to be established in Virginia, was founded in 1950. Through the years, it has grown from a two-year college for women into a comprehensive, coeducational Catholic university. It has four online master’s degrees available for students and is a member of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements, which enables MU to accept students from nearly every state. Students are encouraged to verify eligibility if they live out of state here.
- # of Online Programs: 4
- Tuition Per Credit: $975
17. Eastern Mennonite University
Eastern Mennonite University has online degrees available in business and nursing. The online business program is the Collaborative MBA, which has eight concentrations for students to choose from: leadership, healthcare management, accounting and financial management, leading nonprofits, conflict transformation, sustainable organizations, community development and social action, or a self-designed concentration. The MBA is a 36-credit program delivered in a cohort model and can be earned in 22 months. Most of its class work involves live video conferencing, and students must attend a one-week residency at the school in Virginia and must have a one-week international residency. EMU’s Master of Science in Nursing is an online program that has two concentrations: leadership and management or leadership and school nurse. MSN students can enroll as full-time or part-time students, and they can earn their clinical hours in their own work setting or near their home. The university also offers an RN to BSN program that is set up in a cohort format.
- # of Online Programs: 3
- Tuition Per Credit: $1,370
18. Lynchburg College
Lynchburg College has online programs leading to an MBA or a Master of Science in Nursing. The online MBA is a 36-credit program that students can complete in six semesters. All candidates end the program with a capstone course. MBA applicants must submit their GMAT score along with official transcripts of undergraduate work, three letters of recommendation, and a personal essay. The online Master of Science in Nursing is a 37-credit program that can be completed in 18 months, including clinical experiences in health care settings. Applicants must have an unrestricted nursing license in the U.S., have completed undergraduate courses in statistics and health assessment, and be certified in CPR. The nursing program follows a cohort model, with cohorts entering the program each fall.
- # of Online Programs: 2
- Tuition Per Credit: $510
19. Sentara College of Health Sciences
Sentara College of Health Sciences started as Norfolk’s first nursing school more than 125 years ago. Today, students can choose from many other programs that can be delivered in the on-campus, online, or hybrid format. Its RN to BSN program is the only degree offered entirely online, but there are many individual courses that online learners can choose from.
- # of Online Programs: 1
- Tuition Per Credit: $520
2-Year Community Colleges
20. Mountain Empire Community College
Mountain Empire Community College was established in 1971 and today has online workforce training and degree programs that are designed to reflect the school’s mission and values of providing quality educational opportunities that are accessible to everyone. The hundreds of online programs and courses that are available through MECC can be accessed on the Blackboard learning platform.
- # of Online Programs: 314
- Tuition Per Credit: program dependent
21. Thomas Nelson Community College
Thomas Nelson Community College values access to education and acknowledges how beneficial technological learning can be for time, employment, and location constraints associated with learning. Once students are enrolled in an online course at TNCC, they can access it through the web-based academic management platform Blackboard. There they can access course information, assignments and communication methods such as discussion boards and video conferencing.
- # of Online Programs: 66 bundles (several classes grouped together)
- Tuition Per Credit: $143.75
22. Northern Virginia Community College
There’s a long list of online degrees, certificates, and continuing education courses at Northern Virginia Community College. They are all offered through NOVA’s Extended Learning Institute. Many resources are available for distance learners at NOVA, including counseling, career and academic advising, and tutoring services. There’s also technical support at all hours of the day for online troubleshooting.
- # of Online Programs: 32
- Tuition Per Credit: $168.15
23. Southwest Virginia Community College
Southwest Virginia Community College has numerous resources that makes getting an education online a comfortable and efficient process! Students will be able to learn in an environment that closely resembles different classroom scenarios by utilizing previously recorded lectures. This gives them the advantage of pausing and replaying sections if they happened to miss them. Another great perk about studying online at SVCC is that online students are eligible for many of the same scholarships and grants as on-campus students.
- # of Online Programs: 19
- Tuition Per Credit: $141.75
24. Tidewater Community College
Tidewater Community College offers 100 percent online degrees and certificate programs in subject areas such as business, criminal justice, accounting and social sciences. All degree and certificate credentials are the same as on-campus courses and are taught by experienced faculty. Courses can be accessed via Blackboard, an interactive learning platform that serves as home base for engaging with peers and professors, completing coursework and taking part in required assignments
- # of Online Programs: 10
- Tuition Per Credit: $181
25. John Tyler Community College
John Tyler offers 100 percent online degrees in the subjects of Business Administration, Business Management, Criminal Justice, General Studies, and Liberal Arts. There are also seven online certificates that students can choose to pursue. Tyler also offers students Shared Services Distance Learning, a program that allows students to earn Tyler credit while taking online classes through Northern Virginia Community College, with an NVCC professor.
- # of Online Programs: 5
- Tuition Per Credit: $151.25
The Ranking Process
Schools are ranked first by the number of online programs offered, and then by tuition per credit.
If you are associated with a school on this list and would like to make edits or add additional information, or would like to add your school’s program to our list, please feel free to contact us with additional information.