Best Online Colleges in Alabama

The higher education experts at BestColleges have reviewed the top online colleges in the state of Alabama. Read on to start planning for your future today.

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Updated January 21, 2022

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The Alabama Department of Labor projects that employment in the state will increase by about 7% from 2016-2026, which would be the equivalent of roughly 147,000 new jobs. The healthcare field is projected to experience some of the most rapid expansion, adding approximately 25,000 new positions. In contrast, office administration and support employment is expected to decline slightly, while industries like farming, fishing, and forestry will likely see less than 1% overall growth in the coming years.

In 2017, the annual mean wage in Alabama was $43,171, but certain professions pay considerably more. For example, the annual mean wage for management occupations was $111,149, while architecture and engineering professionals earned almost $90,000, on average. Jobs in these lucrative fields almost always require some type of college degree.

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Top 10 Online Colleges in Alabama

  1. The University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa, AL
  2. University of Alabama at Birmingham - Birmingham, AL
  3. Auburn University - Auburn, AL
  4. Athens State University - Athens, AL
  5. Jacksonville State University - Jacksonville, AL
  6. University of Alabama in Huntsville - Huntsville, AL
  7. University of North Alabama - Florence, AL
  8. University of South Alabama - Mobile, AL
  9. Troy University - Troy, AL
  10. University of Mobile - Mobile, AL

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Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Continuing your education can help you gain entry into or advance within a career. However, for many students, living on campus or regularly commuting to and from class is not feasible. Online programs, however, offer you the flexibility to balance a college education with personal and professional obligations. Through asynchronous coursework, students can watch lectures, participate in class discussions, and complete assignments on their own schedules. Synchronous classes require students to log in at set times each week, but still allow learners to review lessons and materials from any location with an internet connection.

Our ranking of the best online colleges in Alabama can help you decide which distance education program is right for you. For each of the schools profiled below, we provide information such as admission requirements, the types of degrees and majors available, support services for online learners, and financial aid opportunities. Finally, unless otherwise noted, all of these colleges hold regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges -- a key indicator of academic quality.

Best Online Colleges in North Carolina Alabama

Best Online Colleges in Alabama

  1. The University of Alabama
    Location

    Tuscaloosa, AL

    Tuition

    $12,084

    As the state's flagship university, the University of Alabama educates more than 38,000 students each year through an array of on-campus and online programs. Through "Bama by Distance," students can pursue fully online bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in fields like criminal justice, library and information studies, public health, and social work.

    Many online classes at UA are available asynchronously, though some require live participation in discussions and group projects. Students may also choose to enroll in a blended program, combining the flexibility of distance education with the structure and support of a traditional classroom experience. Students can also elect to take their exams online or at one of the university's partner testing centers.

    Online applicants who graduated from high school within the last four years must have a GPA of at least 3.0, while those who graduated more than four years prior to applying must have a GPA of at least 2.5. Prospective students with a GED certificate must have scored at least 510 on that exam.

  2. University of Alabama at Birmingham
    Location

    Birmingham, AL

    Tuition

    $9,303

    In addition to its status as the only public university in the state's largest metropolitan area, the University of Alabama at Birmingham reaches students around the world through its online degree and certificate programs. Fully online offerings allow students to continue their education in areas like accounting, industrial distribution, and marketing, while blended programs give learners the freedom to explore subjects like health informatics and special education, taking classes both inside and outside of the classroom.

    Students can also customize their online learning by pursuing minors in areas like clinical coding and reimbursement, human resource management, and nutrition sciences. UAB also enables students to hone professional skills through certificate programs in subjects like biotechnology regulatory affairs, clinical informatics, and social media.

    To apply to UAB as an online learner, you must submit high school transcripts and ACT or SAT scores. The average admitted first-year student has a GPA of 3.73 and an ACT score of 25.

  3. Auburn University
    Location

    Auburn, AL

    Tuition

    $15,649

    Auburn University was founded in 1856 as the East Alabama Male College. Since then, it has grown to serve more than 30,000 men and women annually through more than 150 undergraduate majors and a host of graduate-level offerings. In addition to pursuing online bachelor's degrees in business, computer science, and nursing, distance learners at Auburn can earn their master's in fields like environmental science, real estate development, and clinical rehabilitation counseling.

    All Auburn students can access a wealth of support services. Academic coaches help online and on-campus students develop skills related to academic workload management, note taking, and test preparation. The university's Study Smart program also matches learners with peer and staff tutors.

    Although Auburn does not set minimum academic requirements for admission, all undergraduate applicants must submit high school transcripts, ACT or SAT scores, and a personal statement. Graduate requirements vary by program, but most require a bachelor's degree and scores from the GRE or GMAT.

  4. Athens State University
    Location

    Athens, AL

    Tuition

    $17,042

    Athens State University endeavors to provide affordable and convenient education options. Students begin by choosing one of the university's more than 50 programs of study, then decide whether to seek their degree through day or evening classes, via weekend sessions exclusively, or through fully online and asynchronous courses. In addition, all online students enrolled in a degree program are eligible for the same financial aid programs as learners studying on campus.

    The university offers roughly 20 online bachelor's and master's degrees, covering subjects like religious studies, instructional design, global logistics and supply chain management, and information assurance. To better serve learners who want to enter a new field quickly or take on additional professional responsibilities, Athens State also provides online access to certificate tracks in aviation management and project management.

    As an upper-division institution, Athens State exclusively enrolls students who have already completed at least 36 credits of college-level coursework at another regionally accredited college or university. Prospective students must hold a minimum GPA of 2.0 in these courses to qualify for admission.

  5. Jacksonville State University
    Location

    Jacksonville, AL

    Tuition

    $22,001

    Students at Jacksonville State University can earn more than 40 degrees and certificates entirely online. JSU's distance education programs are designed for working professionals seeking skills and knowledge in subjects like computer systems and software design, emergency management, family and consumer sciences, and respiratory therapy.

    Online learners who live outside of Alabama pay tuition at a rate that is approximately 40% lower than out-of-state tuition for on-campus students. The costs of graduate programs vary, but most online master's students pay the equivalent of in-state tuition. In addition, all degree-seeking students may apply for financial aid based on merit or demonstrated need.

    To qualify for admission, first-year applicants must hold a high school diploma with a GPA of at least 2.0. They must also earn a score of at least 20 on the ACT or 1030 on the SAT.

  6. University of Alabama in Huntsville
    Location

    Huntsville, AL

    Tuition

    $19,501

    The University of Alabama in Huntsville prepares students for success in the workplace. After earning one of the university's bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degrees, UAH alumni make an average starting salary of $54,000 -- significantly higher than the mean wage in the state. This enhanced earning power extends throughout a graduate's professional life, with UAH alumni commanding an average mid-career salary of approximately $98,500.

    Through the university's College of Professional and Continuing Studies, students can earn a fully online bachelor's degree in nursing, leadership strategies, or organizational studies. UAH also offers online master's and doctoral degrees in information systems, autism spectrum disorder education, aerospace systems engineering, and cybersecurity. Most online programs require no campus visits, allowing students to watch lectures and engage with their course materials through the Canvas learning management system.

    While undergraduate applicants must share high school transcripts and ACT or SAT scores, UAH does not require prospective students to submit letters of recommendation or a personal essay.

  7. University of North Alabama
    Location

    Florence, AL

    Tuition

    $14932

    The University of North Alabama participates in Quality Matters -- a voluntary program that helps to ensure online programs meet stringent academic requirements. In addition, all online courses at UNA are led by the same faculty who teach on campus.

    Online undergraduate learners can choose from majors like applied health science, criminal justice, and political science. They may also elect to customize their learning through an interdisciplinary studies major, drawing on business, humanities, and technology coursework. Online graduate programs give students the opportunity to earn an advanced degree in accounting, education, geographic information science, or writing.

    Undergraduate applicants typically need a minimum high school GPA of 2.25, along with an ACT score of at least 18 or an SAT score of at least 960. All prospective graduate students must have a bachelor's degree and take the GRE or GMAT, though some individual programs may also require a professional resume, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement.

  8. University of South Alabama
    Location

    Mobile, AL

    Tuition

    $29466

    While many of this institution's 14,000 students study at its 1,200-acre campus in Mobile, the University of South Alabama also offers 15 fully online degrees. Bachelor's completion programs cater to students who have already earned an associate degree. Online master's and doctoral programs provide advanced training in early childhood education, instructional design, sport management, and nursing.

    All online classes at USA are delivered asynchronously, meaning students enjoy 24/7 access to lecture recordings, readings, and discussion boards. Online learners also benefit from web-based technical support, remote academic and transfer advising, and personalized feedback on essays and research papers from the university's online writing center.

    To enter a bachelor's program at USA, you must submit high school transcripts and ACT or SAT scores. While the university does not set strict academic requirements, it generally prefers to admit candidates with a high school GPA of at least 2.5 and an ACT score of at least 19.

  9. Troy University
    Location

    Troy, AL

    Tuition

    $23627

    Originally founded in 1887 as a teachers college, Troy University now hosts undergraduate and graduate programs in fields like anthropology, exercise science, marine biology, and rehabilitation and disabilities studies. Through Troy Online, students can also seek degrees in applied computer science, hospitality management, and social work.

    All online courses run for nine weeks, giving students the opportunity to focus on one subject at a time while quickly progressing through their program's graduation requirements. While learners can complete their coursework at any time of the day, they must regularly interact with their instructors and classmates through forums, virtual conferences, chat, and email. Troy also partners with NetTutor to provide supplemental instruction in most subjects.

    Unconditional admission into a bachelor's program requires a minimum high school GPA of 2.0, as well as an ACT score of at least 20 or an SAT score of at least 1030. Transfer applicants must have previously earned at least 24 credits from a regionally accredited college or university.

  10. University of Mobile
    Location

    Mobile, AL

    Tuition

    $18450

    As a Christ-centered institution, the University of Mobile aims to support the intellectual and spiritual development of its students. Along with distance education programs in theological studies and Christian leadership, the university caters to working professionals and adult learners through online offerings in organizational leadership, higher education administration and policy, and psychology. Other degrees, such as a doctor of nursing practice, can be completed through hybrid study.

    Through its Freshman Academy, UMobile allows high school students to take an introductory-level college course completely free of charge. Additional courses in English, history, and math are also available at a substantially discounted tuition rate. To qualify for the program, students must be currently enrolled in high school and hold a GPA of 2.75 or above.

    Regular undergraduate admission requires high school transcripts and ACT or SAT scores. Applicants must receive a composite ACT score of at least 21 to enroll in a bachelor's program. Graduate applicants can typically waive entrance exam requirements if they have a college GPA of 2.5 or above.

Click here to see the best campus colleges in Alabama.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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