From 2016 to 2026, the Georgia Department of Labor projects employment in the state will increase by 11.7%, the equivalent of roughly 525,000 new jobs. The healthcare and social assistance fields will likely contribute the most to this economic expansion, growing at a rate of just over 20% and accounting for nearly 100,000 new positions.
No major employment sector in Georgia is projected to see a decline over the coming years, though industries like manufacturing, mining, and logging will likely experience growth considerably slower than the state average.
Top 10 Online Colleges in
- University of Georgia - Athens, GA
- Kennesaw State University - Kennesaw, GA
- University of West Georgia - Carrollton, GA
- Columbus State University - Columbus, GA
- Georgia Southern University - Statesboro, GA
- Toccoa Falls College - Toccoa Falls, GA
- Thomas University - Thomasville, GA
- Georgia Southwestern State University - Americus, GA
- Clayton State University - Morrow, GA
- Brenau University - Gainesville, GA
Nearly 32% of the jobs created during this period will require at least a bachelor's degree, and the most lucrative positions may require even further training or education. For example, human resources managers in Georgia earned an annual mean wage of $126,650 in 2018, approximately $78,000 more per year than the average salary for all other jobs in the state. Computer and information systems managers earned even more, with an average salary of $143,930 that same year. When hiring for these roles, many employers prefer candidates with a master's degree.
Continuing your education is increasingly becoming a requirement to advance in your career, but it can be difficult for working professionals and caregivers to find the time to attend college or graduate school. Online education, however, gives students the flexibility to learn on their own schedule. In many of these programs, online students can watch lectures, participate in class discussions, and complete assignments at any time and from any location with an internet connection.
To help you decide which online program is right for you, we have compiled a ranking of the best online colleges in Georgia. For each of the schools profiled below, we provide information on elements such as the types of degrees and areas of study available, common admission requirements, methods of delivery, and financial aid opportunities. All of these colleges and universities also hold regional accreditation, an important signal of academic quality.
2020 Best Online Colleges in Georgia
University of Georgia
|Athens, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 85%||
Founded in 1785 as one of the first public universities in the United States, the University of Georgia takes the top spot on our ranking of the best online colleges in Georgia. In addition to the extensive programs available at the university's main campus in Athens, UGA offers 19 fully online master's degrees in fields like educational psychology, narrative media writing, community nutrition, and avian health and medicine. Distance education students may also pursue a bachelor's in special education.
To serve students looking to hone a specific professional skill, the university hosts online certificates in clinical trials design, dyslexia education, and nonprofit management. Learners can also take more than 100 individual courses remotely, giving UGA students the option to combine the flexibility of online education with the support of a traditional classroom experience.
Students must be admitted to UGA to take any online course. To enter a graduate program, you typically must possess a bachelor's degree and submit scores from an entrance exam like the GRE or GMAT.
Kennesaw State University
|Kennesaw, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 42%||
Through both online and in-person programs, Kennesaw State enrolls roughly 35,000 students each year. Distance learners at the university enjoy the freedom to learn entirely on their own schedule as they work toward bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in fields like information security and assurance, industrial engineering technology, supply chain logistics, and sociology.
Online courses at Kennesaw State feature the same faculty who teach on campus, though these instructors also participate in additional training to develop skills related specifically to the design and delivery of online education. Online learners can take advantage of web-based tutoring, writing assistance, and research support.
Applying to the university as an undergraduate student requires a high school diploma or GED certificate, usually with a minimum 2.5 GPA. First-year applicants must also take either the ACT or SAT. All incoming students receive automatic consideration for a variety of need-based grants and merit-based scholarships.
University of West Georgia
|Carrollton, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 40%||
At the University of West Georgia, students can choose from dozens of online and hybrid programs in areas like economics, public administration, nursing education, and sport management. Online undergraduate students may also design their own major from scratch and receive college credit for prior learning, professional training, and volunteer or military experience.
To help prospective students decide whether an online program suits their learning needs, UWG hosts a free online readiness-assessment tool. Once enrolled, each online learner is paired with a dedicated advisor who helps them select a program of study, stay on track for graduation, and access student services like tutoring and mental health counseling.
First-year applicants must submit high school transcripts and entrance exam scores. While UWG does not set strict academic requirements for admission, most incoming students score at least 17 on the ACT. All online learners at UWG, regardless of residency, pay the equivalent of in-state tuition.
Columbus State University
|Columbus, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 33%||
Online bachelor's and master's programs at Columbus State allow students to explore topics like military and global issues, higher education administration, software development, and nursing. Through the university's CougarView online learning management system, learners can review course materials, engage with instructors and classmates, and complete assignments entirely on their own schedule from the comfort of their own homes.
Undergraduate applicants must hold a high school diploma with a 2.5 minimum GPA. In addition, they must earn a composite ACT score of at least 17 or a score of at least 920 on the new SAT. However, prospective students who graduated from high school more than five years prior and who do not have any previous college-level coursework do not need to submit entrance exam results.
Along with need-based and academic scholarships, Columbus State offers up to $2,500 in aid each year to students who held school leadership positions or participated in community service activities.
Georgia Southern University
|Statesboro, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 50%||
Online programs at Georgia Southern equip learners with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in business, education, and healthcare. In addition to fully online options, a host of blended offerings give students the opportunity to continue their education without needing to regularly commute to campus.
On top of the flexibility to choose from more than 30 programs of study, online students have the option to customize their learning through formal concentrations and certificates in areas like chronic care management, curriculum and instruction for gifted learners, and engineering and manufacturing management.
Applying to the university as an undergraduate requires a minimum 2.5 high school GPA. First-year applicants must also receive a composite score of at least 20 on the ACT or at least 1030 on the SAT. Some online programs, such as the bachelor's in information technology, require incoming students to have at least 60 transferable credits from another accredited college or university.
Toccoa Falls College
|Toccoa Falls, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 55%||
A Christian liberal arts school located in the foothills of northeast Georgia, Toccoa Falls College offers online bachelor's degrees in biblical studies, counseling psychology, nonprofit administration, and sport management. Students can also remotely earn associate degrees in business administration, criminal justice, and general studies.
Once an online student gains admission to TFC, the college pairs them with an academic advisor based on their major. Distance learners also benefit from personalized career counseling, research assistance from online librarians, and web-based tutoring. Additionally, online coaches help connect distance learners with community or church service opportunities, a graduation requirement across all programs.
To apply to TFC, you must possess a high school diploma and take either the ACT, SAT, or CLT. Prospective students with previous college-level classes, however, do not need to submit entrance exam scores. In addition, all applicants must share a personal testimony describing their faith.
|Thomasville, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 37%||
Although originally founded in 1950 by the Primitive Baptist Church, Thomas University now serves students as a nonsectarian institution with more than 43 undergraduate degrees and graduate programs of study. Remote learners can complete eight degrees entirely online, including an associate in law enforcement, a bachelor's in medical laboratory science, and a joint master's in nursing and business administration that prepares graduates for leadership roles in healthcare.
Online classes at TU run for eight weeks, and students typically take only one course at a time. Most programs feature multiple start dates throughout the year, making it easier to schedule your learning around personal or professional obligations.
To enter an undergraduate program at TU, you must hold a high school diploma or GED certificate with a minimum 2.0 GPA. While the university does not explicitly require applicants to submit ACT or SAT scores, those who do not do so may need to take a placement exam instead. Graduate applicants must hold a bachelor's degree with at least a 3.0 GPA.
Georgia Southwestern State University
|Americus, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 25%||
While most Georgia Southwestern State University students come from Georgia, the university also serves learners from another 25 states and 39 countries through fully online programs in business, computer science, criminal justice, and nursing. Additionally, through its participation in the eCore program of the University System of Georgia, GSW enables undergraduate students of any major to complete the first two years of their bachelor's degree entirely online.
Each year, the GSW Foundation awards roughly $600,000 in aid to incoming first-year students, with approximately 20% of each freshman class receiving some kind of merit-based scholarship. The university also provides scholarships to applicants from certain counties in Georgia, Latino students, the children of alumni, and transfer students.
Undergraduate admission requires high school transcripts and entrance exam scores. The average admitted student at GSW has a high school GPA between 3.0 and 3.15, along with a composite ACT score of 21. Graduate admission requirements vary by program but most require a bachelor's degree, three letters of recommendation, and GRE or GMAT scores.
Clayton State University
|Morrow, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 30%||
Clayton State University prides itself on providing an affordable, accessible, and personalized learning experience. The university offers both fully online bachelor's and master's degrees, with programs of study available in homeland security and emergency management, dental hygiene, archival studies, and political science. In addition, through wholly asynchronous coursework, online students can learn at any time and from any location with an internet connection.
CSU also connects each student with an academic advisor that helps them navigate the enrollment process and progress towards graduation. Online learners can also access 24/7 web-based tutoring and receive custom feedback on their writing assignments from trained peer consultants.
Undergraduate applicants must possess a high school diploma or GED certificate. They must also receive a composite score of at least 17 on the ACT or 920 on the SAT. All online students pay the eTuition rate, which excludes fees for campus-based services and activities.
|Gainesville, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 49%||
Brenau University launched its first online programs in 1998. Today, close to 40% of the nearly 3,000 students enrolled at the university study entirely online, pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees in fields such as communication and media studies, business analytics, mediation and conflict resolution, and applied gerontology. In addition, the university's Executive Women's MBA, exclusively available to female professionals, combines online experiences with weekend residencies at locations across the country.
Online classes feature accelerated, seven-week sessions. Brenau limits class sizes to 20 students to foster a more intimate learning environment and facilitate stronger connections between classmates and instructors.
Prospective freshmen must submit high school or GED transcripts. While Brenau does not require all applicants to take the ACT or SAT, entrance exam scores may be required for certain scholarship opportunities. Incoming students may transfer up to 30 credits earned at another accredited institution, provided they maintained at least a 2.5 GPA in these courses.
|Atlanta, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 91%||
Online programs at Emory University help position students for a variety of careers. For example, the school's executive MBA program mixes online and in-person learning experiences while an accelerated nursing program allows students to earn their BSN in just 54 weeks. Distance learners can also choose to pursue a bachelor's in medical imaging, a master's in healthcare law, or a doctorate in ministry.
The nature of the online experience at Emory depends on the program you select. Nursing programs, for instance, require synchronous participation, while programs in public health and the law generally allow students to complete their work on their own schedule.
Admission to an undergraduate program requires a minimum 2.5 high school GPA. While Emory does not set minimum scores for entrance exams, the school recommends that applicants receive at least a 19 on the ACT or 900 on the SAT. The university is committed to meeting 100% of the demonstrated financial need of incoming undergraduates, and the Emory Advantage program provides aid specifically to students from families with a total income of $100,000 or less.
University of North Georgia
|Dahlonega, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 29%||
The University of North Georgia delivers more than 100 programs of study including 18 fully online associate, bachelor's, and graduate degrees in fields like healthcare administration and informatics, kinesiology, international affairs, and higher education leadership. The university also hosts individual online classes and certificates in gerontology and teaching.
The UNG Online Student Ambassador program helps ensure that distance learners at the university feel connected to on-campus activities and resources. The program sponsors a peer-mentoring initiative, provides free access to online tutoring services, and helps instructors in online classes increase engagement and address challenges that specifically involve distance learners.
Freshman applicants must have a high school diploma with a minimum 2.0 GPA. The average admitted student also possesses a composite ACT score between 22 and 26 or an SAT score between 1080 and 1220. Each year, UNG awards roughly $2 million in scholarships to students, including tuition waivers to out-of-state and international students.
Valdosta State University
|Valdosta, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 37%||
At Valdosta State University, online undergraduate students can begin working toward their bachelor's degree without needing to choose a major. Instead, these learners select one of eight broad focus areas, taking both liberal arts courses and electives to explore a variety of interests. When ready, students can easily transition into bachelor's programs in areas such as criminal justice, human capital performance, management, and office administration and technology.
Students benefit from the university's SmartPath Core, which enables them to complete all of their foundational coursework in roughly three semesters of study. Online courses available through SmartPath feature unlimited enrollment, meaning learners can take the exact courses they need whenever their schedule allows.
To earn admission to VSU as an undergraduate, you must possess a high school diploma and an ACT score of at least 19. If you take the SAT, you must score 980 or higher. In addition to offering financial aid and scholarships, VSU provides the equivalent of in-state tuition to all students from Florida, South Carolina, Alabama, and Tennessee.
|Macon, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 64%||
In 1833, Mercer University enrolled just 39 students in its inaugural class. Today, the university awards roughly 2,500 bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees each year, many of which can be earned entirely online in an asynchronous format. This flexibility makes Mercer an ideal choice for students who must balance their education with the demands of a job or childcare.
At the undergraduate level, the university offers more than 30 fully online majors, including accounting, family services, mental health services, and human-computer interactions. Online learners may also pursue eight online master's degrees and an online Ph.D. in nursing. Low-residency programs, which require some visits to campus, open up dozens of additional areas of study.
Admission to a bachelor's degree completion program at Mercer requires at least nine credits from another accredited institution with a minimum 2.25 GPA. Prospective undergraduate students who hold college-level credits must submit high school transcripts, ACT or SAT scores, and one academic letter of recommendation.
Savannah College of Art and Design
|Savannah, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 65%||
Through online offerings in animation, interactive design, and photography, Savannah College of Art and Design equips students with the skills needed for a host of creative professions. Online classes at the college require no set meeting times, and learners can access course materials around the clock. Students must simply complete assignments by designated due dates and regularly contribute to class sessions by assessing and critiquing work on online discussion boards.
Full-time professors who teach on-campus courses at SCAD lead the majority of online classes. While the college does hire some adjuncts to provide supplemental online instruction, no courses are led by graduate assistants. In addition, enrollment in online studio courses caps at 16, ensuring that these distance learners can receive personalized and responsive feedback to their work.
Along with a high school diploma and ACT or SAT scores, freshman applicants must submit supplementary materials, which may include letters of recommendation, a brief statement of purpose, and a portfolio of work. Prospective performance students may also arrange an audition with faculty members and admissions staff.
Georgia State University
|Atlanta, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 53%||
At six campuses and through an array of online programs, Georgia State meets the diverse educational needs of more than 53,000 students every year. All online learners at the university begin by choosing an associate pathway, completing foundational classes and exploring the foundations of fields such as criminal justice, film and media studies, geology, and speech communication. After earning their associate degree, students can easily apply their credits toward a bachelor's program.
A dedicated team of online advisors provides support specifically to distance learners. This team remotely helps students choose a pathway, enroll in classes, and transfer credits. They also help incoming learners navigate the financial aid process and apply for various institutional scholarships.
To apply to an associate program at GSU, you need a high school diploma or GED certificate. Applicants with a high school GPA of 3.2 or higher do not need to submit entrance exam scores.
|Lagrange, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 41%||
Undergraduate students at LaGrange College can earn bachelor's degrees in business administration, nursing, and sociology entirely online. The college also offers online graduate programs in philanthropy and strength training, though a master's degree in education at LaGrange does require online students to occasionally visit campus or work with program coordinators to identify an alternative field experience location.
Both undergraduate and graduate students can customize their learning through online minors and certificates. An aspiring nurse, for example, may supplement her bachelor's with a minor in psychological science, while a physical trainer seeking an advanced degree may also pursue a certificate in aging studies to work with elderly populations.
Prospective students with less than 30 college-level credits must submit ACT or SAT scores as part of their application materials. These applicants must also maintain at least a 2.0 GPA in these courses to receive transfer credit. Prospective first-year learners must submit high school transcripts and entrance exam scores.
Truett McConnell University
|Cleveland, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 38%||
Truett McConnell University has offered a biblically centered education to students in Georgia for more than 70 years. Today, the college extends its reach to learners around the world through online bachelor's and master's programs in areas such as psychology, theology, and business administration. Students pursuing a degree in business can also choose from fully online concentrations in management, healthcare administration, sports management, and financial accounting.
Whether they plan to study online or in person, all undergraduate applicants must submit high school transcripts and entrance exam scores. TMU requires prospective students to have a high school GPA of 2.0 or higher and score at least a 15 on the ACT (or at least 800 on the SAT). Graduate admission requirements vary, but applicants typically must hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.75 GPA and submit two letters of recommendation.
All incoming freshmen at TMU receive some form of financial aid. However, the university does not offer any institutional scholarships.
|West Point, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 27%||
Point University offers an academic experience rooted in the Christian faith with more than 80 associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees available both on campus and online. Distance education programs at the university cover subjects such as medical coding and billing, social media marketing, youth ministry, and supply chain and logistics management.
Most undergraduate applicants must submit their high school transcripts, though prospective students with 12 or more transferable college credits can instead submit their postsecondary transcripts. Point does not require ACT or SAT scores.
In addition to college transcripts, a resume, and an admissions essay, master's program applicants must submit evidence of their readiness to study at the graduate level. This may include writing or research samples, professional licenses or certifications, or results from either the GRE or GMAT.
The Point Community Scholarship provides up to $15,000 in aid to online students. To qualify, you must enroll in a degree program, hold at least a 2.5 high school or college GPA, and maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA in your classes at Point.
|Demorest, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 50%||
Piedmont College offers many individual courses in either an online or hybrid format along with one fully online degree -- a bachelor of arts in leadership studies. Online undergraduates begin this program by taking six core courses related to leadership and management. After building this foundation, students shape the remainder of their learning through electives in business administration, criminal justice, mass communications, and political science.
The program caters to learners who hold an associate degree or a substantial number of credits from another accredited college or university. Incoming students may also receive credit for prior learning or experience by taking an exam, providing military training records, or submitting a portfolio of work that illustrates mastery of specific competencies.
While all applicants must submit high school and college transcripts, Piedmont does not require prospective students to take either the ACT or SAT. Learners in the fully online program generally do not qualify for institutional scholarships, though they may apply for state and federal financial aid.
|Rome, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 40%||
Although originally founded in 1873 as a women's college, Shorter University now serves both men and women through online and in-person programs. Distance learners not ready to commit to a four-year program can begin by pursuing an associate degree in one of six areas of study. The university also offers online bachelor's and master's degrees in healthcare management, nonprofit administration, and Christian studies.
Online classes at Shorter run for just eight weeks, allowing students to more quickly progress through their chosen program. Online learners do not need to log in at set times, though they typically must complete assignments by a weekly deadline. Six start dates throughout the year provide additional flexibility to working professionals and learners with family responsibilities.
To apply to an undergraduate program at Shorter with less than 24 transferable college credits, you must have a high school diploma with a minimum 2.25 GPA and an ACT score of 19 or better (or an SAT score of at least 900).
Albany State University
|Albany, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 22%||
Along with evening and weekend classes designed to fit the schedules of busy students, Albany State University hosts fully online associate, bachelor's, and master's programs. Online learners at the university can choose from nearly 50 academic pathways, including biological science, health and human performance, management information systems, and special education.
A team of distance learning specialists at ASU offers guidance to online students throughout their educational experience. These specialists help degree candidates receive credit for prior learning, take advantage of military and other educational benefits, and access the same counseling and student disability services available on campus.
Undergraduate applicants must submit official copies of their high school transcripts and ACT or SAT scores. Prospective graduate students generally must provide college transcripts, at least two letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and results from an exam like the GRE or MAT. Incoming students must apply separately for institutional scholarships.
Fort Valley State University
|Fort Valley, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 26%||
Both a member of the University System of Georgia and a historically black university, Fort Valley State University prepares future scholars and leaders in dozens of areas of undergraduate and graduate study. The university offers fully online bachelor's programs in criminal justice, organizational leadership, political science, and psychology. Distance learners at the university also can choose to earn a master of science in clinical rehabilitation counseling online.
While online students at FVSU pay slightly higher tuition than on-campus students, the university does exempt distance learners from certain mandatory fees, helping to reduce the overall cost of an online program.
To apply to FVSU as a first-year undergraduate, you need to first graduate from high school with a GPA of 2.25 or above. Freshman applicants must also earn a score of at least 17 on the ACT or 920 on the SAT. Transfer students must maintain a 2.0 GPA to receive credit for their prior college-level coursework.
College of Coastal Georgia
|Brunswick, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 13%||
College of Coastal Georgia is exclusively an undergraduate college, with online bachelor's programs available in disciplines such as business administration, French, Spanish, nursing, and nonprofit management and leadership. Most of the online offerings at the college cater to students who already hold an associate degree, though distance learners can complete their foundational coursework online through the University System of Georgia's eCore program.
Online students at CCGA must meet the same admission requirements as students seeking degrees on campus. For first-year applicants, this means a high school GPA of at least 2.0 along with an ACT score of 19 or above or an SAT score of at least 1010. Prospective students with a high school GPA of 3.2 or higher qualify for accelerated admission and do not need to submit entrance exam scores.
The college offers the equivalent of in-state tuition to residents of Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Current military personnel and veterans can take advantage of a similar tuition discount.
Georgia Military College
|Milledgeville, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 25%||
At Georgia Military College, more than 4,000 students learn entirely online in pursuit of one of 24 undergraduate degrees. In addition to general education tracks, online programs of study available at the college include cybersecurity, operations management, social work, and studio art.
The college's three bachelor's programs focus on developing skills and knowledge in business-related disciplines, such as supervision and logistics management. These programs cater to students with an associate degree in a related field, and GMC holds articulation agreements with 19 technical colleges in the state to make the credit-transfer process seamless.
To enter an associate program at GMC, you need a high school diploma or GED certificate. Applicants to a bachelor's program must have either an associate degree or a sufficient number of transferable credits from another accredited institution. GMC does not require entrance exam scores for any prospective students, and you do not need to be affiliated with the military to attend.