Best Online Colleges 2023

This list of the best online colleges allows you to earn a degree based on your own schedule.

Updated September 6, 2023

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Are you ready to discover your college program?

If you're busy with a job or family, but you'd still like to earn or finish your degree, online colleges can be a great choice. By attending an online school, you can complete your studies according to your own schedule, and you'll have the opportunity to choose from a wider range of schools without having to relocate.

Colleges with online classes offer a flexible option to earn your degree while also balancing many of life's other responsibilities.

Check out the most popular online programs of 2023 below:

Popular Online Bachelor's Degrees


The best online accounting programs focus on financial concepts to prepare you for a career in business and finance. You'll learn how to create reports and tax documents, review income and expenses, and review regulatory compliance.

With this degree, you can work in many settings, including corporations, government agencies, nonprofits, and small businesses.

Popular Online Accounting Degrees

Business Administration

An online business administration program emphasizes the skills you need to become a business decision-maker, with courses in marketing, finance, accounting, and information technology.

If you pursue a career in business administration, you'll be prepared to help businesses run efficiently by directing and training lower-level employees in a variety of industries.

Popular Online Business Administration Degrees

Computer Science

Online programs in computer science offer coursework in areas to help build your knowledge in mathematics, programming, software engineering, and cybersecurity.

With a computer science degree, you'll be prepared for a career in a range of settings, in roles such as software or web developer, mobile app developer, systems architect, and information technology project manager.

Popular Online Computer Science Degrees

Criminal Justice

An online criminal justice degree provides a foundation in the different areas of the criminal justice system, including law enforcement, crime prevention and control, operation of courts, and security.

With a criminal justice degree, you can pursue careers like police officer, probation officer, private investigator, and correctional treatment specialist.

Popular Online Criminal Justice Degrees


An online education degree can prepare you to become a teacher, with courses that focus on teaching methods, classroom planning and management, psychology, and human development.

Plus, once you earn your education degree, you'll be certified to teach in public or private schools in grades 5-12.

Popular Online Education Degrees


An online degree in finance emphasizes accounting, calculus, and math skills that you'll use to complete coursework in banking, valuation, investing, and economics.

Once you complete your finance degree, you'll be prepared for a variety of careers like accountant, actuary, financial adviser, investment banker, and loan officer, among others.

Popular Online Finance Degrees

Information Technology (IT)

A degree in IT offers courses that focus on computer networking, programming, and hardware. But you can also choose to specialize on topics such as database or IT management and systems analysis.

With this degree, you can choose from careers related to developing computer systems, managing proprietary data, and storing sensitive information.

Popular Online Information Technology Degrees

Learn about the United States legal system with an online bachelor's degree in legal studies. Courses focus on practical aspects of law, including research, investigation, ethics, public policy, and more.

With a degree in legal studies, you can work in law enforcement, as a paralegal, or as a courts clerk.

Popular Online Legal Studies Degrees


An online degree in nursing includes foundational courses in ethics, psychology, and assessment.

Once your coursework is completed, you'll be eligible to take the RN licensing exam and practice in a wide range of medical specialties, including childbirth, clinical care, education, and more.

Popular Online Nursing Degrees


An online degree in psychology prepares you for work as a counselor, but many students choose to go on and obtain a graduate degree — a requirement for many careers in the field.

After earning your degree, you can work in areas including substance misuse, mental health, and behavioral disorders. Coursework focuses on psychological theory and clinical practice.

Popular Online Psychology Degrees

What Is an Online College?

Online college allows you to virtually attend class and complete your coursework from home. You can work toward associate, bachelor's, and graduate degrees at colleges with online classes, just as you can with traditional colleges.

You can also choose from many of the same career tracks in education, healthcare, and business, among many others.

Online college offers more flexibility compared to traditional college, including the ability to complete your work according to your own schedule.

Not sure if it's right for you? Typically, online college is ideal for students who cannot attend lectures or study groups during the day or at set times.

Popular Online Bachelor's Degrees

Campus vs. Online Programs

Students who attend college on campus are usually required to attend in-person lectures or classes to complete their coursework. Classes are offered on specific days and times, and attendance is generally required.

Online colleges usually include pre-recorded lectures that you can view at a time that's convenient for you. Courses can be administered either synchronously or asynchronously, so check beforehand if you'll have to meet at a designated time.

Financing Your College Degree

You can pay for school through scholarships, grants, and loans. In fact, many online students qualify for many of the same financial aid as traditional students, including federal financial aid. You can also find scholarships and grants from your school or use employee tuition reimbursement programs.

Learn more about how to apply for student loans or fill out the FAFSA to apply for federal financial aid.

Best Online Colleges in Each State


Frequently Asked Questions About Online Colleges

What can I do with an online degree?

With an online degree, you can pursue careers in fields like business, education, and healthcare. An online degree from an accredited institution meets the same licensure and certification requirements as an on-campus one.

Are online courses harder than in-person courses?

No. In fact, they cover the same material as in-person classes. But if you have trouble focusing or staying self-motivated, you may find it harder to attend college online. Many online schools offer resources to help you transition to an online learning format.

Are online degrees recognized?

Yes. Online degrees earned at an accredited online college meet the same academic standards as on-campus programs. They also meet the same licensure requirements unless otherwise stated.

Are there year-round online programs?

Yes. Many online schools have classes all year, including summer terms. Most online colleges offer multiple start dates.

Will my credits transfer to an online college?

Yes. Credits earned from a regionally accredited institution typically transfer to online colleges. However, you can call the school for clarification if you're unsure. Some online colleges also offer credit for work experience or military training.

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