Best Online Colleges in Louisiana

Search Colleges

Online or Campus

As a member of the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), Louisiana has access to a bevy of resources and research regarding online and distance education. These resources include policy experts who advocate for key issues facing higher education today on behalf of the 16 states that make up the SREB. According to the College Board, Louisiana in-state tuition has increased 64 percent for public two-year colleges and 53 percent for public four-year colleges over the past five years, the largest percentage increases in the nation. Due to this trend in the state — and across the country — online learning opportunities may prove to be attractive affordable alternatives for students.

As demand for online learning continues to grow, Louisiana has risen to meet student needs. One of the ways the state has done this is through a comprehensive database of online and hybrid programs called Louisiana Online. The Louisiana Board of Regents is committed to helping students decide whether online and distance learning is the right choice for them. They offer an online assessment tool called SmarterMeasure, which analyzes students’ skills and provides suggestions on what students should do to prepare for online learning success.

For many students, online education presents the most affordable option for pursuing an advanced degree. Students who choose distance learning programs can often more easily balance their studies with family and full- or part-time careers.

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

Tulane University of Louisiana

 5/582.93%New Orleans, LA


Around 20% of Tulane’s student population are enrolled online, making this university a popular choice for those who plan to study virtually. The school is known for its service learning programs as well as finance, psychology, and health programs.

Distance students can pursue a wide range of undergraduate degrees, and can choose from graduate degree programs in applied computing systems & technology, homeland security studies, and liberal arts. Tulane delivers material through the Blackboard learning platform. Most online courses do not have scheduled lessons, meaning students have the freedom to view and complete lectures at their own pace.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile

Louisiana State University

 2/567.39%Baton Rouge, LA


LSU offers online master’s degree programs in higher education, business administration, construction management, kinesiology (with a specialization in sport management), and more. Most master’s programs can be completed within one to two years.

The school also offers online professional certifications that can be completed in 6-12 months, including a post-baccalaureate certificate in construction management and a graduate certificate in human resource education and workforce development. Instructors use online message boards, videos, and presentations to make their expectations clear and their lessons more individualized.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

 2/548.36%Lafayette, LA


The University of Louisiana at Lafayette provides an extensive list of online courses and programs, and its Office of Distance Learning earned the Sloan-C Award for excellence in faculty development for online teaching. Students have access to 24-hour technical support as well as online library services.

Nursing, industrial design, and engineering are among the school’s most highly regarded programs. Distance students can choose from three undergraduate programs, including a BS in health services administration, a BS in kinesiology with a health promotion & wellness concentration, and an RN to BSN program. Graduate students can pursue an MEd in curriculum & instruction, an MEd in educational leadership, an MS in nursing, an MS in systems technology, and a doctor of nursing practice. Graduate certification is also available online.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile

University of Holy Cross

 2/528.71%New Orleans, LA


With a low 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio, OLHCC brings personalized education to its distance students. Online instructors work around a flexible calendar and facilitate communication through the Blackboard learning platform.

Online degrees are primarily focused on health and teaching. Undergraduate degrees include an RN to BSN program. Graduate degrees include an MEd in teaching and learning with a concentration in ESL, reading specialist, or religious education, as well as an MA in Catholic theology.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile

Southeastern Louisiana University

 2/537.24%Hammond, LA


Southeastern offers highly acclaimed online courses, mainly in the health and sciences department. Among these degrees, students can choose from over 280 courses. The university focuses on small, tight-knit learning groups to ensure the most personalized education possible.

The school offers a BS in family and consumer science, a BGS in general studies, and an RN to BSN program. Graduate programs include an MA in teaching, an MS in nursing, and a doctor of nursing practice. Students also have full access to the university's MOODLE computer lab, as well as tutoring services with the math lab, writing center, and center for student excellence.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile

Nicholls State University

 2/539.69%Thibodaux, LA

Students who enroll in Nicholls State’s online program are allowed an extremely flexible learning environment. Lessons span over the course of eight weeks with a maximum of three courses allowed per semester, making it possible for student to earn a degree in three years.

Nicholls State University also provides an online advising program where students can get tips on courses to take, test prep, and other resources via their Google Hangout chat, which is open 24/7. Their remote programs are all taught by highly trained faculty members who teach a wide range of topics from science to business. Online courses have no additional tuition cost for out-of-state students.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile

University of New Orleans

 2/533.72%New Orleans, LA

The University of New Orleans is one of the few public institutions to be classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a research university, with highly regarded programs in the School of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering and the Department of Planning and Urban Studies.

The school also offers quality undergraduate and graduate degrees online, with a proctoring service that allows students to take their exams from anywhere. Distance students can pursue a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies and can choose from master’s degrees in English, romance languages, and transportation. The school’s master’s program in hotel, restaurant, and tourism administration -- also available online -- has a 100% industry-specific job placement rate.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile

McNeese State University

 2/541.19%Lake Charles, LA

McNeese emphasizes “excellence with a personal touch” in order to help students succeed. Using video technology, the Burton Business Center and Farrar Hall conduct classes that students can access remotely while still getting virtual face-time with their professors. The school’s four online course options are broken down into the categories of online courses, compressed video classes, online or hybrid classes, and accelerated online classes.

Distance students can complete general election courses and complete bachelor’s or master’s degree programs in criminal justice, family and child studies, management, psychology, and sociology.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile

Louisiana Tech University


Louisiana Tech University operates on a quarter schedule for both on-campus and online classes. The school’s virtual learning program has an extensive list of courses to choose from, all available on the live “B.O.S.S” online system. Professors are dedicated to students’ virtual learning experience, keeping the classes small and engaging.

Most online programs are available through the health and information management departments, and distance students can also pursue master’s programs in English, business administration, and history.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile

Northwestern State University of Louisiana

 2/537.79%Natchitoches, LA

NSU hosts Louisiana’s first and largest online university program. The school also participates in the Louisiana Transfer Degree Program, aimed at students who want to transfer credits from an associate degree towards an online bachelor’s degree. Students can access their coursework at any time through the MOODLE online learning platform.

NSU Online offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degree programs, as well as post-baccalaureate certification and postgraduate certification. Financial aid is available for online students, and the school is now offering a special price for students who attend school exclusively online.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile

Southern University and A&M College

 2/532.11%Baton Rouge, LA

Southern University gives students the option to take courses either entirely or partially online. The school’s Online Committee is a group of credentialed professors who determine whether the teachers in their online programs are meeting and exceeding standards in online design, development, and teaching, meaning distance students are getting the best quality lessons available to them.

Online learners can pursue bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice, computer science, interdisciplinary studies, and psychology, and graduate students can choose from either an executive master of public administration program or a master of business administration program. Online classes typically last for eight weeks.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile

Centenary College of Louisiana

 5/552.03%Shreveport, LA

Centenary College is a small Methodist college in central Louisiana. Founded in 1825, it’s the oldest chartered college west of the Mississippi. The college values a global approach to education; more than 70% of its students have some sort of international experience before graduating.

The school’s experience applies to its extensive online course offerings as well. Distance students can choose from over 30 specialties. Centenary also offers special pre-professional tracks, such as healthcare and law, in addition to education and museum management. Courses are taught using the Blackboard Learning Management System and LiveText tools, allowing students to engage with learning material at their own pace and at their own convenience.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile

Loyola University – New Orleans

 5/561.94%New Orleans, LA

Loyola was chartered in 1912 as a means of furthering the Jesuit mission of education. Its students pursue degrees from five colleges: Arts and Sciences, Business, Graduate and Professional Studies, Law, and Music and Fine Arts.

Online programs include a BS in nursing, an MS in nursing, a master of pastoral studies, a master of religious studies, a doctor of nursing practice, and an RN to MSN bridge program. Material is delivered asynchronously through Blackboard, allowing students to create their own schedules for completing their degrees. Students can enroll throughout all semesters (Fall, Spring, or Summer).

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile

University of Louisiana at Monroe

 2/540.5%Monroe, LA

The University of Louisiana at Monroe was designated as a governor’s military and veteran friendly campus, and its commitment to online excellence further illustrates its accommodating approach to education.

Distance students at the school can pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in behavioral science, business, education, health science, humanities, and general studies. In total, there are more than 30 online programs available to students, who can decide whether to opt for four-, eight-, or 16-week academic calendars for their coursework. Moodle helps students access their educational tools, and students are asked to participate in online orientation before beginning their academic work.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile

Our Lady of the Lake College

 3/530.68%Baton Rouge, LA

OLOL is a small Catholic college located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The college was founded in 1923 by Franciscan missionaries to further the mission of St. Francis of Assisi, and has maintained its legacy of service through a commitment to volunteering and outreach. Our Lady of the Lake enables students to earn higher education degrees through its Distributed Learning programs.

Undergraduate students can pursue an online RN to BSN program, while graduate students can earn an online master’s degree in health administration. Top-tier faculty connect with students through the school’s Campus EAI, and students are encouraged to seek support with Our Lady of the Lake’s digital library resources and round-the-clock technical services assistance.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile

Xavier University of Louisiana

 4/543.73%New Orleans, LA

Located in New Orleans, Xavier University is the only historic black Catholic college in America. Though founded as a high school in the early 20th century, its four-year degree program was added in 1925. Online courses offered at Xavier are meant to expand learning initiatives.

More than 50 online courses are available, ranging from philosophy to African American diaspora studies. Xavier relies on Blackboard to deliver coursework, enabling students to log on and access web videos, tutorials, and more. The school also has an active Online Advisory Board for students to engage and ask questions.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile

Louisiana State University-Shreveport

 2/530.66%Shreveport, LA

Since 1967, LSU at Shreveport has offered top-quality education to students from every background. The university is known for its outstanding faculty, 80% of whom possess a terminal degree in their respective field.

Online students can pursue master’s degrees in business administration, choosing from specialities including general business, entrepreneurship and family enterprise, human resource management, and finance. They can also choose to complete a master’s degree in education, nonprofit administration, and health administration. The school offers a non-credit online certificate in nonprofit administration and online courses via Education To Go and the Learning Resource Network.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile

Southern University at New Orleans

 1/511.72%New Orleans, LA

This historically African American university is part of the Southern University System. Located in New Orleans, Southern offers online degree programs to undergraduate and graduate students off campus as well.

Distance students at Southern can pursue either a bachelor’s degree in general studies or an MA in museum studies. The university uses Blackboard to deliver course material, utilizing web videos and lectures to engage students outside of the traditional classroom setting.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile

Grambling State University

 2/530.17%Grambling, LA

Students at Grambling can choose from a handful of online courses, including undergraduate studies in social work or health promotion. Graduate students can pursue either an MS in developmental education or a doctor of developmental education. A post-master’s certificate in developmental education is also available through the school.

Grambling students enrolled in online programs learn through Moodle, an online learning platform used to engage with professors, take online quizzes, and access course notes.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile

Louisiana State University-Alexandria

 2/520.59%Alexandria, LA

LSUA encourages students to pursue higher education on their own schedules. While 56% of students are enrolled full-time, the other 44% take courses on a part-time basis. Students who don’t wish to take courses at the university’s central Louisiana campus can choose from several online associate and bachelor’s degree programs, including an associate of arts, an associate of science, a BS in psychology, a BS in criminal justice, a BS in elder care administration, and more.

Online classes at LSU Alexandria are delivered through the Moodle learning platform. Online learners have direct lines of communication with professors and are encouraged to form networks with other students.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile

More About Online Colleges in Louisiana

Online and distance learning programs at the postsecondary level continue to be a popular option for many students. According to a recent 2014 study, the growth rate of students taking online classes is slowing, but it is still much greater compared to the average growth rate for the overall postsecondary population. In 2012, 11,037 students in Louisiana attended online programs exclusively. In the 2012-2013 academic year, the average in-state tuition was $5,817, far lower than the national average of $8,070.

Louisiana has ramped up its online learning presence and programs, recognizing the value in accessibility and affordability for students both in and out of state. The Board of Regents hosts Louisiana Online, which which offers potential students access to courses and programs through the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, the Louisiana State University System, the University of Louisiana System and Southern University System. As funding and interest in distance learning grows in Louisiana, so will the amount of offerings and enrollment rates.

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

NCES Report

Recent NCES reports indicate that 3.3% (7,708) of undergraduate students enrolled in Louisiana’s Title IV institutions were in exclusively online programs.

  • 4.3% of students at public four-year institutions studied entirely online
  • 2.9% of students at two-year institutions studied entirely online
  • 91.5% were living in Louisiana
  • 8.2% were living elsewhere in the United States