Last updated on August 29th, 2023.
An online bachelor’s degree can help professionals advance their careers and increase their earning potential. Our list ranks the best online bachelor degree programs you should check out!
Many modern-day students are opting for online degrees due to their convenience regarding location and pace, in addition to the fact that most can be acquired for a fraction of the cost of on-campus schooling. Bachelor’s degree programs are typically the first step to a higher level of education and an important investment for students, but not all degrees are created equal.
The ten best online bachelor’s degree programs include Arizona State University, the University of Florida, and Grand Canyon University. These are only a few of the top programs available. Despite their differences in major, institution, and cost, the one thing all of these degree programs will have in common is exceptional quality.
There is a lot of information about bachelor’s degrees and online schooling, so it can be hard to know where to turn. Luckily, this article will answer common questions regarding both topics before listing ten of the best online Bachelor’s degree programs!
What Is a Bachelor's Degree?
Once you have graduated from high school and received an official diploma or your General Education Development (GED) certification, you’re ready to move on to a post-secondary school, such as a college or vocational school, for higher education. While in these institutions, students will typically pursue a degree that falls under one of four categories: Associates, Bachelors, Masters, or Doctorate.
A Bachelor’s degree is the second-highest undergraduate academic degree above the Associates’s and below the Master’s. It is typically split into two types: the Bachelor of Arts (BA), which focuses on humanitarian, and social sciences, and the Bachelor of Science (BS), which focuses on mathematics and sciences.
There is a third, albeit less common, type students can pursue through the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), which focuses on mastering the visual or performing arts.
Most Bachelor’s degree programs require students to complete 120 hours of course credit that is completed over the course of four years with an average of 15 credits per semester. However, if students complete more than 15 credits per semester, they could feasibly complete the major sooner.
Are Online Bachelor's Degrees Recognized?
A common concern and misconception people have about online Bachelor’s degrees is that they are not as valued by employers or other colleges and universities.
However, the truth is that online Bachelor’s degrees have come a long way in terms of recognition. Hundreds of accredited schools offer fully online programs for undergraduate students to choose from, with many offering financial aid options to make their studies more affordable.
In fact, the popularity of online courses has increased substantially over the past few years, especially following the COVID-19 pandemic. A year before the outbreak, in the Fall of 2018, 2,325,142 undergraduate students were exclusively enrolled in online courses, making up 14% of overall enrollment, and 6,932,074 students were enrolled in some form of distance learning, amassing to 35% of overall student enrollment.
Evidently, online schooling has become much more popular, even in the most highly accredited institutions, leading to widespread acceptance of online degrees and credits amongst employers and other colleges.
As long as the degree you receive is from an accredited institution, meaning it adheres to the standards of The US Department of Education, then they are completely valid and hold the same value as a degree acquired through on-campus learning.
What Is the Easiest Bachelor's Degree to Get Online?
Make no mistake, obtaining a college degree is hard work regardless of the level of education or major you choose to pursue. However, some Bachelor’s degree programs are arguably easier to obtain than others, either due to their requirements, course content, or degree length.
In terms of major, the seven options most agree to be amongst the easiest include:
- Business Administration
- Criminal Justice
- Social Work
- Computer Science
Of course, the degree means little if the institution you’ve chosen has above-average program expectations and places unnecessary obstacles in their student’s way before they can even obtain their degree. Therefore, here are our top recommendations for institutions that offer the easiest online Bachelor’s degree programs.
- Purdue University Global
- Southern New Hampshire University
- Capella University
- Simmons University
Many of these institutions specialize in online schooling and offer Bachelor’s degree programs you can complete in a fraction of the time it would take at competitor institutions. The courses within the programs themselves are also designed to maximize student learning without requiring the burden of excessive academic workloads.
The 10 Best Online Bachelor's Degree Programs
Considering the countless accredited Bachelor’s degree programs available in the United States alone, it was quite the task to pick only ten we could confidently list as the best of the best. Nevertheless, we rose to the challenge, and here are the fruits of our labor.
Below are ten of the best online Bachelor’s degree programs throughout the country, where you can acquire an exceptional education from the comfort of your home in your own time.
1. Strayer University
Strayer University has been around since 1892 and is currently headquartered in Washington, DC, where it offers some of the most exceptional online programs students can attend worldwide.
Strayer’s online Bachelor of Science degree program allows students to pursue one of three majors, including criminal justice, business, and information technology, all of which are thriving modern industries with plenty of career potential. Within each major are several concentrations students can choose to become experts in their desired field.
With ten different start dates throughout the year and convenient classes that are taught online according to a weekly schedule, Strayer University is a great way to earn your Bachelor’s degree without the hassle of going back and forth from school.
They even offer unbeatable resources in the form of student financial aid and the provision of a laptop to those who apply and are eligible to make their education more accessible.
2. Southern New Hampshire University
Southern New Hampshire University was founded in 1932 and is currently headquartered in Manchester, NH. SNHU’s online Bachelor of Science degree program offers students the chance to take courses that are relevant to their field no matter where they are located. The institution has one of the lengthiest lists of online programs amassing over 150 options for the Bachelor’s degree alone.
Here, students can choose majors in art & design, business, health, technology, and so many more. Especially ambitious students can even opt for accelerated programs, which will allow them to obtain their degree in a shorter timeframe to pursue their dream career that much sooner.
3. Medical University of South Carolina
The Medical University of South Carolina is located in Charleston, SC, and was initially founded in 1824 as a small private college that prioritized academic excellence and educating the world’s most exceptional physicians.
Today, MUSC offers an online Bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Studies through the College for Lifelong Learning, where they continue to focus on preparing students to work as medical professionals or to move into graduate school studies.
Students are provided every resource necessary to succeed and are only expected to complete a minimum of 72-course credits to acquire their degree, which is exceptionally lower than most online Bachelor’s degree programs.
4. University of Georgia
The University of Georgia was founded in 1785 and is located in the midst of paradise at Athens, Georgia, where its long history of creating outstanding programs is now evident in its online Bachelor’s degree programs.
Here, students can pursue a completely online degree in the Bachelor of Science in Special Education, allowing them to be certified educators in the Special Education General Curriculum for pre-K to grade 12 in the state of Georgia. This program is actually ranked 10th in the nation by US News & World Report, rendering it a significant choice for anyone passionate about being an educator in this field.
Another perk of attending the University of Georgia’s BS in Special Education program is you can pair it with their Double Dawgs Pathway, which allows eligible students to earn an accelerated Master’s in Special Education General Curriculum online as well.
5. University of Florida
The University of Florida resides in the heart of Gainesville, Florida, and has been ever since its founding in 1853. This institution has been ranked third in the nation for having the best online Bachelor’s degree programs in business, so if this is the path you plan to pursue, UF should be on your list.
However, if the business isn’t your intended major, don’t worry. UF also offers BA’s and BS’s in 24 different majors, each consisting of several concentrations, so your options are nearly limitless here.
Students generally complete their degrees within the typical four-year span, but they reap the benefits of having their program tailored to their schedule so they can study and proceed at their own pace for guaranteed success.
6. Ohio State University
Founded in 1870, Ohio State University has been consistently ranked as one of the best institutions in the nation and is often referred to as a Public Ivy due to its above-average education and percentage of students that graduate and excel after acquiring higher education here.
With a particular focus on medicinal careers, students can obtain a Bachelor’s of Science Degree completely online in the four majors listed below:
- Radiological Sciences
- Health Sciences
- Dental Hygiene
- Science in Nursing
Each program is offered and authorized nationwide with the occasional exception and guarantees students are fully prepared and certified to entire the field of their choice or pursue an even higher level of education if necessary.
7. University of Illinois-Chicago
The University of Illinois-Chicago was established in 1965 and is located in the heart of downtown Chicago. It offers a Bachelor’s degree program that can be completed completely online or blended with on-campus courses.
The school has been nationally ranked for its excellent education programs, research opportunities, and career services which are available to students after graduation to ensure job security and ultimate career success. Currently, the US News & World Report rates UIC’s online bachelor’s degree programs as number two in the nation.
At UIC, students can pursue a degree or certification in engineering, health care, project management, and more. There are ultimately twelve different majors you can choose from, rendering UIC one of the institutions with the most diverse and substantial selection of majors on this list.
8. Grand Canyon University
Grand Canyon University was established in 1949 and is located just six miles outside of downtown Phoenix. This private for-profit Christian university was the largest Christian university in the world in 2018, with 20,000 attending students on campus and 70,000 online. Evidently, the institution has mastered online schooling considering the majority of their students opt for this course over on-campus classes.
There are over 80 programs offered by GCU, many of which have a particular focus on Christian Studies, but you can also pursue a degree in communications, digital design, government, and countless more. There are even degrees that have several emphases where you can focus your interests even further.
GCU highly values collaboration between its online students, so don’t expect to learn in solitude. They strive to connect you with your professors and classmates for a diverse and social atmosphere to promote debate, cooperation, and insight.
9. Arizona State University
Arizona State University was established in 1885 and is the largest public school in Arizona. As such, the institution offers more than 200-degree programs and certificates in high-demand areas like nursing, engineering, management, and more.
Therefore, if you want a college to provide an array of choices in case the program you initially choose doesn’t connect with you, ASU is a great place to explore your interests and have the freedom to switch between majors thanks to their vast selection.
Students can obtain the BA or BS of their choice completely from home and have their degree delivered to their doorstep in years. Most of the programs require 120 credits over the span of about 40 classes, which will typically take students four years to complete.
10. Oregon State University
Oregon State University was established in 1868 and is the state’s Land Grant university. This institution strives to make their education accessible for all, which transfers over to their superb online Bachelor’s degree programs
At OSU, you can pursue a degree in over 45 programs, including some of the most unique options you won’t find elsewhere, such as a BS in Natural Resources, a BS in Kinesiology, a BS in Fisheries, and Wildlife Sciences, and many more.
This college is a great option for students interested in language, cultures, and the natural world. Of course, they also have the typical programs like business administration, history, and computer science if this is your preferred path. Regardless of which you choose, you’ll be in good hands, considering OSU’s Ecampus has been ranked top 10 in the nation for seven straight years by US News & World Report.
Attending a college institution to acquire your Bachelor’s is certainly a challenge wherever you go, but we guarantee you’ll succeed and feel your academic journey was well worth it if you attend one of the colleges we’ve listed above.
Before attending, make sure to research each choice to determine which is the best fit for your interest and end goal for both your academics and future career. While every college listed here is exceptional, it’s finding the one that fits you best that will have the most impact on your journey to obtaining an online Bachelor’s degree.