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San Diego is among the most educated cities in the country. More than 48% of San Diego's adults hold at least a bachelor's degree, and more than 18% hold a graduate degree. Home to nearly 25 colleges and universities, the city offers many options for local degree-seekers to choose from. Additionally, out-of-state students can also make the most of the city's schools through distance learning.

Online colleges in San Diego dramatically increase the accessibility of the city's schools. They also help out-of-state learners avoid San Diego's cost of living, which is 44% higher than the national average according to PayScale. To help prospective students narrow their choices, we ranked the best online colleges in San Diego and highlighted what makes each school unique.

What Are the 2021 Best Online Colleges in San Diego? Here Are Our Top 2:

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Rank School Location
1 San Diego State University San Diego, CA
2 Point Loma Nazarene University San Diego, CA
How We Rank Schools

At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you will make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering school rankings that are transparent, inclusive, and relevant for online students.

Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our Ranking Methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.

2021 Best Accredited Online Colleges in San Diego

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Rank School Location Cost Graduation Rate Description Toggle

San Diego State University

San Diego, CA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 74%

San Diego State University's Global Campus offers students more than a dozen online programs tailored to their career objectives. All online programs are put together and executed by the same lecturers and faculty experts found on campus at SDSU.

Depending on the program, coursework may be available entirely online or through a hybrid delivery format. Students can pursue undergraduate or graduate degrees. Select options include bachelor of arts degrees in American Indian studies, communication, and economics, as well as master's degrees in public health, regulatory affairs, and rehabilitation counseling.

As one of the best online colleges in San Diego, SDSU is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission.


Point Loma Nazarene University

San Diego, CA Graduation Rate: 77%

A private liberal arts school,Point Loma Nazarene University oversees a College of Extended Learning that offers nontraditional students and adult learners a variety of bachelor's degree completion programs and graduate-level options.

Online bachelor's degree completion programs are available in areas like business administration, organization leadership, and nursing. Students can also pursue a master of arts in organizational leadership or a preliminary administrative services credential online.

PLNU provides student services like career guidance, tutoring, disability services, and academic advising to online learners. Individuals can also access a personal student financial services advisor for budget counseling. The university also provides career assessments, hosted webinars and career workshops, and interview preparation help.

Best Online Colleges in California

Top Degree Programs in San Diego