Best Online Colleges in Indiana

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In 2015, Indiana joined the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), which provides extended benefits for Indiana students who participate in online programs from colleges based out of their home state. This reciprocity agreement has bolstered online learning opportunities, and aims to help the state achieve its goal of providing 60% of the population with higher education degrees by 2025 as part of its “Reaching Higher, Achieving More” campaign.

Online education plays an important role in the state’s goal to fill more than 930,000 projected job vacancies by 2018, as it will provide students with a cost effective way of achieving better career opportunities. This comes at critical time, as Indiana has lagged in per-capita educational achievement against the national average. The state has responded to these challenges by increasing higher education spending by over 10% in 2013-14.

Tuition at public four-year institutions in Indiana rose by 27.1% from 2007-12, making online degrees an attractive option for working students wishing to increase their return on investment while decreasing the cost of education. Achieving these goals will be made easier as opportunities and infrastructure continue to grow across online colleges in Indiana.

2016 Online Education Trends Report: Learn how online programs are changing the face of higher education.

Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Graduation Rate Location Description

University of Saint Francis-Fort Wayne

 4/549.69%Fort Wayne, IN


A private Catholic school with 2,300 students, the University of St. Francis Virtual Campus has multiple online master’s programs, many of which are accelerated learning opportunities. These include a master of arts (MA) in teaching, an MBA in sustainability, and a master of environmental health, among other degree programs.

The online RN-BSN is an accelerated program for registered nurses with a diploma or associate degree seeking a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Teacher licensure options in secondary and special education are also fully online, making St. Francis one of the most convenient programs for prospective educators.

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Ball State University

 2/559.45%Muncie, IN


Students at BSU can choose from online bachelor’s degree programs in business administration, criminal justice and criminology, early childhood education, and general studies, as well as an online track for registered nurses to earn their bachelor’s degrees.

BSU has an extensive offering of master’s degrees, including programs in business administration (MBA), career and technical education, curriculum and educational technology, secondary education, and nursing (RN to MS). The specialist in education (EdS) in school superintendency, with a path to licensure, is also delivered online.

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Indiana University – Bloomington

 3/577.64%Bloomington, IN


IU is ranked among the world’s 50 most innovative universities, and the school boasts one of the most wide-ranging selection of degrees in the state. More than 100 degree and certificate programs are accessible online, and hundreds of online classes are available from IU’s campuses.

Those with college credits from another institution can complete a bachelor’s at IU in business administration, communication studies, criminal justice, mathematics, nursing (RN to BSN), political science, and psychology. Of note is the new bachelor of applied science (BAS) degree now available online. The school has numerous online master’s degree options, ranging from park and public lands management to music therapy.

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Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

 5/572.08%Terre Haute, IN


With a top-ranked engineering degree program, Rose-Hulman is home to more than 2,200 undergraduates and fewer than 100 graduate students majoring in engineering, science, or mathematics. RHIT offers numerous bachelor’s degree programs in biomathematics, chemistry, civil engineering, engineering physics, and software engineering.

Graduate programs have a strong focus on applied research and some, like the engineering management and software engineering programs, offer off-campus evening classes. Rose-Hulman has four certificate programs: technical translation, imaging, semiconductor, and optical communications. Course schedules, course content and sessions are all accessible via Moodle.

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Anderson University – Indiana

 4/562.78%Anderson, IN


AU is a private Christian college with more than 60 undergraduate majors and graduate programs. AU’s Department of Adult Studies is well known for offering some undergraduate classes online as well as hundreds of noncredit courses. The new BS in integrative leadership degree is offered in accelerated, face-to-face, and online formats.

A notable program is the online MA in Christian ministry for students preparing for pastoral ministry. The degree has four specializations designed for those in vocational ministry and those wishing to pursue a seminary degree.

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Butler University

 5/577.84%Indianapolis, IN

At Butler College, more than 65 academic fields of study and 18 master’s degree programs are offered through its six colleges in Indianapolis. Students here can pursue online and hybrid courses in areas including education, management, Chinese, pharmacy, and English.

Among hybrid course listings are organizational behavior, educating children with special needs, world geography through media, and career planning and development. Listings for courses fully online include principles of microeconomics, survey of digital media, special education law, innovation and program development, and introduction to the field of communication sciences and disorders.

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Taylor University

 4/574.19%Upland, IN

Taylor University Online offers more than 110 self-paced courses delivered in an independent study format. TU has a special program that allows high school juniors and seniors get a head start on college with dual credit courses from Taylor University Online.

Disciplines include math, computer science, political science, sociology, and business; the online BBA program melds independent and collaborative study courses. There are several AA programs, including AA in human services and AA in justice administration. Students can enroll in the classes at any time of the year and have four months to complete the coursework. All courses use Blackboard to facilitate communication between students and professors.

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Indiana Wesleyan University

 4/562.53%Marion, IN

IWU has more than 80 undergraduate degrees, 38 graduate degrees, and five doctorate degrees—some of them delivered online. Undergraduate listings include the BS in accounting, BS in marketing, and the BS in business information systems.

Graduate degrees include the MA in organizational leadership, the MEd in teacher leadership, and the MBA. Associate degrees are available in accounting, business, and computer information technology. Also of note is the hybrid PhD-organizational leadership degree program. With class sizes capped and learning maximized, IWU is one of the best for a personalized classroom experience.

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Indiana University – East

 2/526.8%Richmond, IN

IU East enrolls about 4,000 undergraduate students in more than 50 areas of study. The university’s online bachelor’s programs include the fields of business administration, communication studies, mathematics, and psychology.

Graduate certificates in math, early childhood teaching, composition studies, online instruction, and assessment are also delivered online. Of note is the nursing RN to BSN mobility option, which gives registered nurses a pathway to earn a bachelor’s in nursing. A partnership with Ivy Tech Community College offers a bridge to IU East’s degree programs, making it an excellent choice for students transitioning into a higher education setting.

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University of Southern Indiana

 2/540.68%Evansville, IN

More than 10,000 students are enrolled at USI in dual credit, undergraduate, and graduate programs. Several online degree programs are available, including a BS in health services, a BS in radiologic technology, an MS in nursing, a master of health administration, an RN to BSN program, and the doctor of nursing practice.

Up-and-coming online programs include the bachelor of professional studies and the online core completion program. One of the best schools for med students advancing their careers, USI delivers online certificate programs in a number of clinical areas in addition to noncredit courses and certificates for personal development.

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Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis

 2/543.43%Indianapolis, IN

A merger between the Indianapolis campuses of Indiana University and Purdue University, IUPUI has 350 undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Students have more than 100 online degrees and academic certificate programs to choose from, including undergraduate degree programs in applied science, labor studies, health information management, and nursing (RN to BSN).

Those with credits from other institutions can complete a bachelor’s degrees at IUPUI in disciplines including criminal justice, communications studies, mathematics, and political science. There are several graduate degrees to choose from, including adult education, business analytic, nursing education, and marketing.

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Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College

 4/545.45%Saint Mary of the Woods, IN

A coeducational Catholic college recognized for extending great benefits to veterans, St. Mary-of-the-Woods College also has one of the largest online degree programs in the state. Distance students at SMWC have access to campus resources, online tutoring, mentors, and support systems. Online classes are delivered in an eight-week format, and students can usually complete their degree within four years.

Online associate degree programs are offered in accounting, education, and paralegal studies, while undergraduate degree programs are available in accounting, business administration,
criminology, marketing, and healthcare administration, among others. The school offers online music therapy equivalency and transition to teaching certificates. Also of note is the online RN to BSN program for students with an associate degree and nursing license wanting to complete a bachelor’s degree.

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Huntington University

 4/558.91%Huntington, IN

HU is rated highly on student satisfaction surveys because of its affordable education in more than 70 programs of study. HU offers a wide array of online undergraduate courses each summer semester. The disciplines include computer science, education, biology, and psychology.

Other adult undergraduate programs delivered online include accounting, business administration, criminal justice, and human resource management. There are five online master’s degree programs: counseling, global missions leadership, global youth ministry, organizational leadership, and pastoral leadership. Of note is the MEd hybrid program, which blends face-to-face classes with online components.

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Valparaiso University

 5/567.18%Valparaiso, IN

Valparaiso University has more than 70 undergraduate majors, 40 master’s, two doctorate degrees, and a law school. More online courses are available in the summer to accommodate students living in their hometown, making VU’s program one of the most flexible.

Among graduate online courses are the global leadership and team, simulation and modelling, intellectual property, school and society, research methods, and animal protection. Valparaiso offers five online master’s programs: the MA in Chinese studies P-12 teacher track, MA in humane education, MEd in humane education, MS in healthcare administration, and MS in cyber security. Most online courses are delivered through the Blackboard learning system.

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Bethel College – Indiana

 4/569.83%Mishawaka, IN

Overall, more than 50 areas of study are available at Bethel College-Indiana. Bethel offers three fully online undergraduate degrees: a BS in business, a BS in behavioral and social science, and a BA in interdisciplinary studies.

To provide flexibility to graduate students, its MBA program, MEd, MA in counseling, MA in teaching, and school administration licensure are also delivered online. Course materials are delivered through the web site (text, video, audio and PowerPoint slides) and may be a simulation, video lecture, or require a reading assignment.

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Purdue University – Calumet

 2/531.41%Hammond, IN

Between its two campuses, Purdue University Northwest offers more than 70 degree programs. PNW is well-known in part because of its 15-month RN to BSN program for working nurses. The program enhances students’ decision-making and critical thinking skills in addition to honing evidence-based nursing practice, leadership, and management.

The school accommodates working adults with more than 300 online professional development and continuing education classes in areas such as accounting and finance, law, teaching and education, technology, and healthcare. Most courses are six weeks long and students work at their own pace.

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Grace College and Theological Seminary

 4/564.86%Winona Lake, IN

Grace College is a Christian institution with more than 60 fields of study. Online programming includes a BS in human services, BS in business administration, and BS in management.

Six graduate programs are available online: the MS in athletic administration, MS in nonprofit management, MS in higher education, MA in ministry studies, an MA in clinical mental health counselling, and the MBA degree. The school’s emphasis on using new technologies to promote academic excellence is what makes it one of the most innovative programs of its kind.

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Oakland City University

 3/559.92%Oakland City, IN

OCU has many classes available online and most take from five or eight weeks to complete. Two associate degrees are available, including general studies and religious studies.

Bachelor’s degrees in operations management, business administration, and criminal justice are delivered online, as are graduate degrees in strategic management and business administration (MBA). Of note is the doctor of education program consisting of at least 90 credit hours (96 for those who have not completed six hours of research in a master’s degree program), in which students can transfer up to 33 credit hours.

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Indiana University – South Bend

 2/525.87%South Bend, IN

IUSB offers excellent online programs that are delivered in hybrid form or completely online. The RN to BSN degree completion option can be completed in 12 months of full-time study or 18–24 months part time.

Courses delivered completely online include: personal finance, business and society, ethics- health professionals, and criminal law. Hybrid classes, delivered 25% to 75% online, include: personnel-human resource management, organizational informatics, nursing research, and foundations of sustainability. Distance students receive academic help through the school’s Academic Centers for Excellence.

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Indiana State University

 2/539.91%Terre Haute, IN

Indiana State Online has more than 60 programs that can be taken entirely online or with little on-campus visit. Undergrad programs include the BS in accounting, BS in adult career education, BS in business administration, and a BS in criminology and justice.

Numerous master degree programs are available, including the MPA in public administration, MS in elementary education, and an MS in electronics and computer technology. Indiana State also offers doctorate degrees in education, nursing, athletic training, education and technology management.

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Indiana University – Southeast


IU Southeast has courses available at the click of a mouse in 100% online or hybrid form. Unique fully online courses include: introduction to marketing, commercial law, the solar system, introduction to cultures of Africa, and personal finance.

Hybrid courses, in which 26% to 75% of each is delivered online, include administrative policy, business intelligence, leadership and ethics, new venture creation, and career perspectives. Online interactive courses, in which courses are delivered 76% to 99% online with some content taught face-to face, include research in reading and finite mathematics.

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Indiana University – Kokomo

 2/527.86%Kokomo, IN

IU Kokomo’s students can earn a prestigious IU degree for as little as $7,100 a year. IU Kokomo has two 100% online bachelor’s degrees: the BAS and the RN to BSN degree track in nursing.

Like other Indiana University campuses, numerous undergraduate and graduate degree courses are online at IU Kokomo. They include culture and anthropology, introduction to financial accounting, international business environment and systems of health care delivery. Among hybrid courses are web site design and development, visual communication, and labor law.

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Trine University-Regional/Non-Traditional Campuses

 4/5N/AFort Wayne, IN

Ranked one of the best online universities in Indiana, many Trine University courses and degree programs are available online or as hybrid courses. Trine notes that most of its degree programs offered through the School of Professional Studies are available fully online.

Among the online undergraduate programs is the AA degree, the ABA, and the AS in engineering technology. Available online are bachelor’s degree programs in applied management, international business, and design engineering technology, among others. Four master’s degree programs are online in criminal justice, leadership, engineering management, and the MBA.

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Indiana University – Northwest

 2/528.36%Gary, IN

Earning a highly regarded degree is only a click away at IU Northwest. The institution works diligently to increase its online course offerings every semester.

There are fully online bachelor’s degrees in applied science, health information management, RN to BSN, and labor studies. Of note is the certificate in K12 online teaching, a program with five accelerated courses, three credit hours each, with each course approximately 7.5 weeks long. IU Northwest also has numerous online courses covering many disciplines.

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University of Indianapolis

 4/551.56%Indianapolis, IN

At the University of Indianapolis, academic excellence is key, along with smaller class sizes. In UIndy’s online learning, students interact with each other online via forums and discussion boards and may be required to work together in groups to complete projects.

General education and nursing courses are available online. Online non-credit classes are available from the Institute for Leadership and Professional Development. A notable graduate course is the MS in Gerontology, a self-paced program wherein all classes are online and students have five years to complete the degree. A graduate certificate in gerontology can also be earned online.

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More About Online Colleges in Indiana

Indiana, like all states in the United States, has been experiencing an alarming drop in college enrollment over the past ten years. Following are statistics from the website College Tuition Compare on the increase in in-state tuition and fees from 2006 to 2015:

  • In-state tuition and fees: 48.24% – From $5,037 to $7,467
  • Out-of-state tuition and fees: 39.33% – From $14,399 to $20,062
  • On-campus room and board: 35.42% – From $8,622 to $11,676
  • Off-campus room and board: 61.71% – From $8,720 to $14,101
  • Total in-state tuition, fees, on-campus: 83.66% – $19,143
  • Total in-state tuition, fees, off-campus: 109.95% – $21,568
  • Total out-of-state tuition, fees, on-campus: 74.75% – $31,738
  • Total out-of-state tuition, fees, off-campus: 101.04% – $34,163

Browse our list of the best online colleges in Indiana for more insight into distance learning programs in this state.

NCES Report

The National Center for Education Statistics released the following statistics on the percentage of Indiana postsecondary education students enrolled in distance learning programs in 2012:

  • Undergraduate, exclusively online courses: 9.9%
  • Undergraduate, some, but not all online courses: 15.8%
  • Undergraduate, no online courses: 74.3%
  • Graduate, exclusively online courses: 20.7%
  • Graduate, some but not all online courses: 8.7%
  • Graduate, no online courses: 70.7%