Best Online Colleges in Kentucky

Search Colleges

Close
Online or Campus

Kentucky’s membership in the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) provides ample resources for students pursuing a nontraditional route to higher education. SREB’s Electronic Campus — which focus on adult learners — makes searching for and choosing the best online colleges in Kentucky easy and stress-free for students. Students can browse through over 2,000 degree programs and 300,000 courses in 16 states, as well as learn more about financial aid for online learning.

Online and distance learning is a top priority for the state of Kentucky and other members of SREB. The SREB Educational Technology Cooperative keeps its members at the forefront of e-learning changes and urges policymakers to designate online education a top priority in the South. With a focus on education technology, the SREB seeks to improve e-learning support and encourages innovation in the instructional technology space. Interest and enrollment in online higher education has been growing across the country. According to the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, nearly 1 million distance learning hours were completed in the state in 2013, up from just 4,475 completed in 2006.

Kentucky’s dedication to online learning makes it ideal for adult learners, full- or part-time job holders, and students with families to pursue advanced degrees. Students experience the flexibility and convenience of studying at their own pace from home, while avoiding traditional course-scheduling conflicts.

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
1

Midway University

 4/543.33%Midway, KY

campus-midway-college

Midway UNiversity, a private, liberal arts Women’s institution accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, awards associate, baccalaureate, and master’s degrees.

Midway’s programs are co-ed. Accelerated eight-week courses, starting five times a year, help students complete their degrees quickly. Asynchronous teaching through the Moodle System lets students fit their studies to their schedules. Online majors include an associate degree in Business Administration and graduate degrees in Business and Education. Bachelor degrees are available with 25 majors, including Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Health Care Administration, Marketing Communications, Nursing, and Sports Management.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile
2

Asbury University

 4/567.73%Wilmore, KY

campus-asbury-university

Asbury University is a four-year, multi-denominational institution in the Wesleyan tradition, accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, baccalaureate, and master’s degrees.

Asbury offers in online degree programs include:

  • Associate of Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Instructional Design
  • Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
  • Bachelor of Science in Leadership and Ministry

Additionally, Asbury offers an Online Degree Completion program for students seeking degrees in business, education or ministry in an accelerated format.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile
3

Northern Kentucky University

 2/536.18%Highland Heights, KY

campus_northern_kentucky_university

Northern Kentucky University, accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, offers online classes taught by the same faculty teaching on campus. NKU uses Blackboard in online learning.

Online bachelor’s degrees include:

  • Business Information Systems
  • Communication Studies
  • Criminal Justice
  • Health Science
  • History
  • Integrative Studies
  • Library Informatics
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Respiratory Care
  • RN to BSN

Graduate degrees are offered in:

  • Education
  • Nursing
  • Business Informatics
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Science
  • Education Specialist in Education Leadership
  • Doctorate of Nursing Practice

Through the Gateway2NKU Online Program, students can complete their associate degrees, earn guaranteed admission to NKU, and start classes having fulfilled all their General Education requirements.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile
4

University of Louisville

 2/553.53%Louisville, KY

campus-university-of-louisville

The University of Louisville is a state-supported research university. UofL is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and offers 16 different online programs.

Online majors for undergraduates include:

  • Organizational Leadership and Learning
  • Criminal Justice
  • Communication
  • RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Master’s degrees available online include:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Social Work
  • Human Resources and Organization Development
  • Engineering Management
  • Civil Engineering

Delivered through Blackboard, online programs follow the same semester schedule as traditional courses.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile
5

Murray State University

 2/552%Murray, KY

campus-Murray-State-University

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited Murray State every year since 1928. Courses are delivered in an asynchronous format through Blackboard.

Undergraduate degrees available online include:

  • Associate of Arts - General Studies
  • Business Administration
  • Computer Information Systems
  • Integrated Studies
  • Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Online graduate degree programs include:

  • Agriculture
  • Business Administration (MBA)
  • Human Development and Leadership
  • Information Systems
  • Library Media
Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile
6

University of Kentucky

 3/561.39%Lexington, KY

The University of Kentucky consists of 16 colleges and professional schools and has more than 200 academic programs. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees.

Hybrid programs, combining online and face-to-face courses, are offered through five different colleges:

  • Nursing
  • Education
  • Fine Arts
  • Health Education
  • Social Work

Fully online graduate degrees offered include:

  • Library and Information Science
  • Distance Education Graduate Certificate
  • Manufacturing Systems Engineering
  • Arts Administration
  • Digital Mapping
Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile
7

Eastern Kentucky University

 2/541.86%Richmond, KY

Eastern Kentucky University, accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees online. Certificates and non-degree options are also available from EKU. Six start dates each year help students achieve educational goals quickly.

Associate degrees are available in:

  • General Studies
  • Paralegal Studies
  • Police Studies

EKU offers 14 different Bachelor’s degrees online, including:

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Nursing (RN to BSN)
  • Occupational Safety
  • Police Studies

Online graduate degrees include doctorates in Nursing Practice and Occupational Therapy, as well as master’s degrees in:

  • Education
  • Public Administration
  • Nursing
Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile
8

Western Kentucky University

 2/543.55%Bowling Green, KY

Western Kentucky University offers more than 1,700 online classes and 80 online degree programs.

Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, WKU’s online offerings include:

  • Associate degrees in Early Childhood Education, Interdisciplinary Studies, LPN to ASN
  • Undergraduate certificates in subjects ranging from Brewing & Distilling Arts and Sciences to Manufacturing and Logistics
  • Bachelor’s degrees in 13 majors, including Criminology and RN to BSN
  • Graduate certificates in 25 programs, from Adult Education to Nonprofit Administration
  • Master’s degrees in 28 subjects, including Business and Health Administration
Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile
9

Morehead State University

 2/542.73%Morehead, KY

Morehead State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

The University uses Blackboard for its 17 different online programs, including:

  • Business Administration
  • Career and Technical Education - MS
  • Computer Information Systems
  • Doctor of Education (EdD)
  • Early Childhood Education - MAT

Morehead State has an online completer option for students who have completed their general education and Business prerequisites and seek a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile
10

Brescia University

 3/525.66%Owensboro, KY

Brescia University is a Catholic liberal arts university. With accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, it awards associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees.

Brescia University’s online programs include:

  • Associate degrees in Liberal Arts, Graphic Design, Human Services, Business, and more
  • Bachelor’s degrees in Accounting, Business, Psychology, Political Science, Integrated Studies,Theology, Social Work
  • Master’s degrees in Management, Teacher Leadership, Social Work, Accounting

Most online courses are offered in an accelerated, eight-week format. Weekly “live” chat sessions with professors and students are required in all online courses.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile
11

Campbellsville University

 4/539.37%Campbellsville, KY

Campbellsville University is a private, Christian, liberal arts institution, accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Online offerings include:

  • Certificates in Christian Ministry
  • Associate degrees in Business Administration, Christian Studies, Criminal Justice and General Studies
  • Bachelor’s degrees in Social Work, Business, Criminal Justice, Pastoral Ministries, RN to BSN
  • Master’s degrees in Education, Special Education, Sport Management, Business, Social Work and Theology

More than 90% of Campbellsville University students receive some form of financial aid.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile
12

Kentucky Wesleyan College

 3/540.64%Owensboro, KY

Kentucky Wesleyan College is a United-Methodist-related academic institution, accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

The college offers three 100% online Bachelor of Science degrees in:

  • Business Administration
  • Criminal Justice & Criminology
  • General Studies

Online courses at Kentucky Wesleyan have an accelerated format, which makes it possible for students to complete their degrees quickly. Classes follow a seven-week format, and new terms begin six times a year. Students enrolled in online programs are assigned an academic advisor from the Adult and Online Education office who helps them achieve their educational goals.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile
13

Kentucky Christian University

 3/534.38%Grayson, KY

Kentucky Christian University is a private, non-profit Christian university. With accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, the university awards baccalaureate and master’s degrees. More than 75% of KCU faculty have earned the terminal degree in their respective fields.

KCU online courses use the Sakai Learning Management System. KCU offers three online undergraduate degree completion programs for students who already have some college credits.

These programs are:

  • Bachelor of Science in Biblical Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in General Business
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile
14

Bellarmine University

 5/567.55%Louisville, KY

Bellarmine University is an independent Catholic University located near Louisville. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, it offers a 100% online Master of Health Science degree which can be completed in five semesters.

The Master of Science in Taxation degree can be completed in 15 months by full-time students. Bellarmine offers a RN to BSN online program for registered nurses seeking a bachelor’s degree in Nursing. One of the longest running such programs in the state, this program is designed for part-time students.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile
15

University of the Cumberlands

 3/535.56%Williamsburg, KY

The University of the Cumberlands provides students with a liberal arts education in a Christian context. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, baccalaureate, master’s, education specialist, and doctorate degrees. Ninety-seven percent of students receive some form of financial aid.

Cumberlands online program offerings include:

  • Business -- Bachelor, Masters, Ph.D.
  • Counseling -- Masters, Ed. D.
  • Criminal Justice -- Bachelor, Masters
  • Health Science -- RN to BS, Masters
  • Human Services -- Bachelor
Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile
16

Thomas More College

 4/546.21%Crestview Hills, KY

Thomas More College is a liberal college founded as a teacher’s college by Benedictine Sisters. Thomas More College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission. It is listed as a “Military Friendly” campus. Ninety-six percent of 2014-15 graduates were employed or in graduate school within six months after graduation.

The Thomas More College Adult and Professional Program (TAP) offers online options for MBA, Communications, and Healthcare Management students. The RN to BSN program also has an online component.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile
17

Kentucky State University

 2/519.79%Frankfort, KY

Kentucky State University is a public land-grant, liberal arts institution with 135 full-time faculty. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, baccalaureate, master’s, and professional doctorate degrees.

Undergraduate students not currently enrolled at KSU can take individual online courses as Visiting Students. Most online courses use the Blackboard learning management system.
Kentucky State University online offerings include:

  • Bachelor degree programs -- Criminal Justice, Psychology, Public Administration
  • Master’s degree programs -- Special Education
  • Doctoral degree programs -- Doctor of Nursing Practice (BSN to DNP)
Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile
18

The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

 3/543.35%Louisville, KY

The first seminary of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1859, today the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary is one of the largest seminaries in the world. TSBTS brings an interactive approach to school. while offering students the opportunity to take online classes in six 8-week sessions throughout the year.

TSBTS offers two completely online degrees:

  • Master of Divinity
  • Master of Arts in Theological Studies

Online courses are available to students living more than 50 miles from Louisville, KY, or whose schedules require the flexibility of an online format. Online courses may be taken to satisfy requirements in any master’s program.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile
19

Union College

 4/531.97%Barbourville, KY

Union College’s online courses use the uLearn Learning Management System. Special programs help veterans and military personnel pursue their educations. Institutional aid is provided to 100% of Union College Students. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Students seeking to complete their degrees online at Union College apply to the UlSUCCEED

Online Undergraduate Program. Online programs at Union College include:

  • Bachelor’s degrees in Nursing, Business Administration, and Multidisciplinary Studies
  • Master’s degree programs in Psychology and Education
  • Certificate program in Chemical Dependency Counseling
Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile
20

Lindsey Wilson College

 1/534.92%Columbia, KY

Lindsey Wilson College is a four-year liberal arts institution, affiliated with the United Methodist Church. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Using an eight-week course format helps online students complete their degrees more rapidly.

The fully online degree programs at Lindsey Wilson College include:

  • BA Business Administration - Management or Marketing Concentration
  • BA Criminal Justice
  • BA Sustainability and Energy Applications
  • BA User Experience Design
  • BS Nursing - RN to BSN
  • BA Human Services and Counseling
  • MA Interactive Design
  • M.Ed. Counseling and Human Development
  • M.Ed. Teacher as Leader
  • MBA Business - Lean Systems Concentration
Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile

More About Online Colleges in Kentucky

Tuition costs in Kentucky have increased recently. In-state tuition in public 4-year schools has jumped by 38.2% over the past five years, while state spending on education fell by 1.5%. Accordingly, college students have increasingly turned towards online education options, where tuition and auxiliary costs are considerably lower.

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

NCES Report

According to an NCES report from 2012, 56,067 of Kentucky’s postsecondary students (19.7%) were enrolled exclusively in distance education programs or courses. Additionally:

  • 79.4% of distance learners were undergraduates
  • 21.3% were in public, four-year institutions
  • 12.9% of online students were at private, not-for-profit schools
  • 85.9% of students were living in Kentucky while enrolled

Online Education in Kentucky

Online learning in Kentucky has become significantly more popular in recent years, and online enrollments should grow throughout the decade. In response to the demand for web learning options, over half of the state’s accredited colleges and universities now offer online programs of some kind.

To help bridge the gap in college graduation rates and the professional workforce, Kentucky’s educational department is working to make online education more accessible. The Kentucky Virtual Campus (KYVC) helps by offering affordable college credit and professional program training to recent high school graduates and adult workers alike. This allows students to earn academic or continuing education credit online through the KYVC.