Schools of Distinction

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We are excited to introduce our Schools of Distinction! — colleges and universities that lead the way in online education through a diverse selection of accessible and rigorous academic programs. Of the more than 3,500 not-for-profit colleges and universities nationwide, over 2,100 offer online degree programs; of these, only 115 schools qualified for our inaugural Schools of Distinction list.

These top-performing institutions are consistently represented across our program rankings for their academic quality, affordability, and online learning opportunities. Schools earned a gold, silver, or bronze level of distinction based on the number of academic rankings on which they appear: Gold medalists appear on 15 or more of our rankings, Silver medalists are featured 10-14 times, and Bronze medal schools appear 5-9 times.

The Schools of Distinction have devoted time, energy, and resources to developing quality online programs, meeting a growing trend in higher education. We celebrate these institutions by recognizing that their hard work will provide flexible, customized learning alternatives for today’s nontraditional students.

Explore our Schools of Distinction below for more information about their online programs and the rankings they feature in.

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Gold Schools

Our list of Gold Schools includes colleges and universities that appear on at least 15 different BestColleges.com rankings lists. They’ve demonstrated not only a high-level of investment in online education, but also a commitment to excellence in online learning. Learn more about the degrees and subject areas offered by these schools.

Liberty University

Liberty University

Liberty University is the largest Christian University in the world and offers more than 250 online programs. The Lynchburg, Virginia school has been offering distance education since 1985. Liberty offers associate, bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. Online students can easily transfer any past credits and receive the resources needed to succeed.

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Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University offers more than 200 online programs that help students gain entry into fulfilling positions or to advance in their careers. The school has dedicated online support and allows students to transfer up to 90 credits. Since 2012, SNHU has held the same tuition rates, making it one of the most affordable online schools in the nation.

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Nova Southeastern University

Nova Southeastern University

All of Nova Southeastern's regional campuses offer online degrees. Offerings include Southern Regional Education Board certified bachelor's, master's, doctoral, educational specialist, and graduate certificate programs. Many courses feature the real-time electronic classroom, giving online students new ways to participate. Distance education is also offered through regional campuses.

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University of Central Florida

University of Central Florida

Central Florida has 20 years of experience providing an online education and offers more than 80 online degrees. This includes bachelor's, master's, and certificate programs. Online students have access to peer-assisted learning, online tutors, financial, and academic advising. The school also offers 2+2 baccalaureate completion programs.

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Drexel University

Drexel University

In 1997, Drexel became one of the first universities to offer a completely online program. The school offers more than 140 online bachelor's, master's, doctorate, and certificate programs. Online programs are offered in business, information science, legal studies, and more. Distance learners receive an array of financing options.

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Saint Leo University

Saint Leo University

Online degrees offered through Saint Leo prepare students for entry-level careers and career advancement. The school has associate, bachelor's, and master's programs. Students learn through video, audio, and textbook formats. Learners also have the opportunity to interact with professors and peers through discussion boards.

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Bellevue University

Bellevue University

Bellevue offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs. Online students can choose between taking classes in a traditional or cohort format. Learners also receive 24/7 support to academic and library resources. Students have more than 75 online programs to choose from, including accounting, cybersecurity, and graphic design.

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East Carolina University

East Carolina University

Students can earn a bachelor's or master's degree at East Carolina University. The school also offers graduate certificates, post master's nursing certificates, and teacher licensure. Distance learners have more than 90 online programs to choose from in the areas of health, education, technology, and more.

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Fort Hays State University

Fort Hays State University

Fort Hays offers more than 40 online programs through the Blackboard learning management system. Students can study in business education, computer science, marketing, and more. The school's bachelor of general studies lets students customize their studies. Associate, bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and certificate programs are offered online.

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National University

National University

National offers more than 70 of their programs in a completely online format. Students can earn bachelor's, master's, and certificate degrees in business, engineering technologies, and more. Learners have the opportunity to work closely with their peers and professors. Coursework is taught through lectures, readings, and presentations.

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Pennsylvania State University

Pennsylvania State University

Pennsylvania State has been providing online education since 1998. The school offers online programs through its World Campus. Students can earn associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees through the online school, including undergraduate and graduate certificates and minors. More than 125 program are available. Distance learners can apply for financial aid and scholarships.

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Northeastern University

Northeastern University

Northeastern University offers online bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees and certificate programs. Programs include criminal justice, graphic design, and human resources. More than 50 programs are offered. Financial aid is available for online learners, and the school offers tuition discounts for military students and veterans.

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Colorado State University - Global Campus

Colorado State University - Global Campus

Colorado State, a public nonprofit school, offers online bachelor's, master's, and certificate programs through its Global Campus. Undergraduate programs include project management, human services, and criminal justice. More than 20 degrees are offered. Classes begin every four weeks and the programs are offered entirely online. Students have the freedom to learn at their own pace.

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Indiana Wesleyan University-Marion

Indiana Wesleyan University-Marion

Indiana Wesleyan, a Christian university, offers more than 90 online programs; some programs have on-campus components. Students can earn an associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree online. Certificate programs are also available. The school's online classrooms are capped to ensure an intimate learning experience. Some programs are available in an accelerated format.

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Silver Schools

Schools in the Silver category are featured in 10 to 14 BestColleges.com rankings. These institutions provide an expanding number of options for students interested in online learning, through a wide variety of academic programs. Explore the opportunities available in your subject of interest and location at all degree levels.

Regis University

Regis University
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George Washington University

George Washington University
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Concordia University-Saint Paul

Concordia University-Saint Paul
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Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale

Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale
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University of Massachusetts-Lowell

University of Massachusetts-Lowell
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Troy University

Troy University
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University of Memphis

University of Memphis
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University of Maryland-University College

University of Maryland-University College
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Western Governors University

Western Governors University
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Old Dominion University

Old Dominion University
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LeTourneau University

LeTourneau University
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University of Florida

University of Florida
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Dallas Baptist University

Dallas Baptist University
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Brandman University

Brandman University
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Concordia University-Wisconsin

Concordia University-Wisconsin
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Florida International University

Florida International University
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University of St Francis

University of St Francis
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University of South Carolina-Columbia

University of South Carolina-Columbia
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Champlain College

Champlain College
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Arizona State University

Arizona State University
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Michigan State University

Michigan State University
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Bronze Schools

Bronze Schools are found on 5 to 9 different BestColleges.com rankings pages. These schools have established themselves as online education providers, focusing on multiple degrees and areas of study. Discover more about how these schools are supporting online learners through a growing number of programs.

Adelphi University

Adelphi University
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Amridge University

Amridge University
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Appalachian State University

Appalachian State University
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Arkansas State University-Main Campus

Arkansas State University-Main Campus
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Ball State University

Ball State University
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Benedictine University

Benedictine University
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Brigham Young University-Idaho

Brigham Young University-Idaho
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California Baptist University

California Baptist University
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Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University
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Central Michigan University

Central Michigan University
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Chaminade University of Honolulu

Chaminade University of Honolulu
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City University of Seattle

City University of Seattle
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Cleary University

Cleary University
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Colorado Christian University

Colorado Christian University
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Columbia College

Columbia College
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Concordia University-Chicago

Concordia University-Chicago
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Crown College

Crown College
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Dakota State University

Dakota State University
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Davenport University

Davenport University
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Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
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Excelsior College

Excelsior College
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Florida Institute of Technology

Florida Institute of Technology
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Florida State University

Florida State University
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George Mason University

George Mason University
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Georgia Southern University

Georgia Southern University
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Granite State College

Granite State College
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Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University
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Kennesaw State University

Kennesaw State University
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Lehigh University

Lehigh University
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Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College

Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College
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Loyola University Chicago

Loyola University Chicago
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Mercy College

Mercy College
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Mississippi College

Mississippi College
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New York University

New York University
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North Carolina State University at Raleigh

North Carolina State University at Raleigh
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North Dakota State University

North Dakota State University
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Northwestern State University of Louisiana

Northwestern State University of Louisiana
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Ohio Christian University

Ohio Christian University
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Oregon State University

Oregon State University
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Park University

Park University
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Philadelphia University

Philadelphia University
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Rowan University

Rowan University
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Rutgers University

Rutgers University
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Saint Mary's University of Minnesota

Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
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Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College
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Seton Hall University

Seton Hall University
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Southwestern Assemblies of God University

Southwestern Assemblies of God University
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Southwestern College

Southwestern College
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Texas A & M University-College Station

Texas A & M University-College Station
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The Baptist College of Florida

The Baptist College of Florida
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The University of Alabama

The University of Alabama
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The University of West Florida

The University of West Florida
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Thomas Edison State University

Thomas Edison State University
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Touro University Worldwide

Touro University Worldwide
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University of Alaska Fairbanks

University of Alaska Fairbanks
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University of Arkansas

University of Arkansas
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University of Cincinnati

University of Cincinnati
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University of Dayton

University of Dayton
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University of Denver

University of Denver
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University of Houston-Clear Lake

University of Houston-Clear Lake
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University of Houston-Victoria

University of Houston-Victoria
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University of Illinois at Springfield

University of Illinois at Springfield
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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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University of Louisiana at Monroe

University of Louisiana at Monroe
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University of Massachusetts-Amherst

University of Massachusetts-Amherst
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University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
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University of Missouri-Columbia

University of Missouri-Columbia
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University of Nebraska at Kearney

University of Nebraska at Kearney
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University of Nebraska-Lincoln

University of Nebraska-Lincoln
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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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University of North Dakota

University of North Dakota
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University of North Texas

University of North Texas
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University of Saint Mary

University of Saint Mary
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University of Southern California

University of Southern California
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University of Southern Mississippi

University of Southern Mississippi
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University of Wisconsin-Platteville

University of Wisconsin-Platteville
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University of Wisconsin-Stout

University of Wisconsin-Stout
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Webster University

Webster University
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Western Carolina University

Western Carolina University
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Wilmington University

Wilmington University
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