The Kansas Department of Labor projects that employment in the state will grow by 4.3% from 2016 to 2026, adding roughly 64,000 new jobs. Just two industries in Kansas, business services and education and health services, will likely account for close to 90% of all economic growth during this period. However, the manufacturing industry in the state should experience a loss of more than 11,000 positions during those years.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual mean wage in Kansas was $45,280 in 2018. However, individuals with higher levels of education can often earn considerably more. For example, that same year, general and operations managers earned an average salary of $97,920, and financial managers made an average of $129,660. Both of these roles require at least a bachelor's degree, though some employers may prefer to hire candidates with a master's.
Top 10 Online Schools in Kansas
- Kansas State University - Manhattan, KS
- Fort Hays State University - Hays, KS
- University of Kansas - Lawrence, KS
- Emporia State University - Emporia, KS
- Wichita State University - Wichita, KS
- Newman University - Wichita, KS
- Pittsburg State University - Pittsburg, KS
- Ottawa University - Ottawa, KS
- Barclay College - Haviland, KS
- Friends University - Wichita, KS
Continuing your education can give you a competitive edge in the job market, but it can often be difficult to balance your studies with other professional or personal responsibilities. Online programs, however, give students the flexibility they need to advance in their careers. In many programs, online students can review course materials, engage with their classmates and instructor, and complete assignments on their own schedule and from their own homes.
Our ranking of the best online colleges in Kansas will help you find the program that best suits your unique academic interests and professional aspirations. For each of the schools profiled below, we provide information on things like admission requirements, available programs of study, and financial aid opportunities. We also indicate whether classes are delivered asynchronously or students must log in to their virtual classroom at set times each week.
All of the colleges on this list hold regional accreditation, an important indicator of academic quality.
2020 Best Online Colleges in Kansas
Kansas State University
|Manhattan, KS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 70%||
Featuring more than 70 fully online and accredited programs, Kansas State University ranks as the best online college in Kansas. In addition to certificates, distance learners can earn bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in fields such as animal science, electrical and computer engineering, personal financial planning, and youth development.
In an effort to make online education even more accessible, K-State offers scholarships specifically for students pursuing their undergraduate or graduate degree online. To receive consideration for one or more of the university's Global Campus Scholarships, online learners complete only one application per year. The university awards scholarships on the basis of financial need and academic merit, and additional funding is available to military service members, teachers, and female students.
Admission requirements vary across online programs, but undergraduate applicants typically must possess a high school diploma or GED certificate. Some bachelor's programs may also require ACT or SAT scores. Prospective graduate learners generally need a bachelor's degree and may also need to submit letters of recommendation and GRE or GMAT scores.
Fort Hays State University
|Hays, KS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 44%||
Through its Virtual College, Fort Hays State University provides a convenient and flexible path to undergraduate and graduate degrees. Offerings cover areas such as agricultural business, human health and performance, medical diagnostic imaging, and tourism and hospitality management. Online certificate programs at the university enable students to develop discrete professional skills in fields such as criminal justice, informatics, and nursing.
Online applicants must meet the same admission requirements as those who plan to study on campus. Prospective undergraduates must have a high school diploma with at least a 2.0 GPA. In addition, they must either rank within the top one-third of their high school class or earn a composite ACT score of least 21 (or an SAT score of at least 1080). Graduate applicants must submit bachelor's transcripts, letters of recommendation, and entrance exam scores.
While online learners at FHSU qualify for state and federal aid, they may not be eligible for certain academic and transfer scholarships.
University of Kansas
|Lawrence, KS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 63%||
At the University of Kansas, online students can explore subjects such as applied behavioral science, civil engineering, environmental geology, and occupational therapy. Many degrees and certificates at the university also offer a hybrid format, giving learners the option to supplement their online education with classroom learning experiences.
Online courses at KU run for four, eight, and 16 weeks and cost the same as on-campus classes. While students must meet weekly reading and assignment deadlines, they can study on their own schedule. In addition, all instructors host both physical and online office hours. The college facilitates student engagement and collaboration in online courses through discussion boards, wikis, and chat rooms.
To qualify for undergraduate admission, you typically must possess at least a 3.0 high school GPA and a 24 ACT score (or an SAT score of 1160). Applicants with a 3.25 GPA or higher may earn admission with a composite ACT score as low as 21 (or 1060 on the SAT).
Emporia State University
|Emporia, KS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 45%||
Along with administering regional campuses across the country, Emporia State University provides online access to bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in business administration, early childhood education, instructional design and technology, and quantitative economics. The university delivers online coursework asynchronously, making it easier to schedule your learning around personal or professional obligations.
ESU offers a host of support services to online students. In addition to 24/7 technical support, distance learners can take advantage of individual academic and enrollment advising, web-based tutoring and study skills workshops, and writing and research assistance through an online lab.
To apply to ESU as an undergraduate, you must submit high school transcripts and ACT or SAT scores. You must also hold a 2.0 high school GPA or higher and meet at least one of the following requirements: graduating within the top one-third of your high school class, an ACT score of at least 21, or an SAT score of at least 1060.
Wichita State University
|Wichita, KS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 48%||
Online programs at Wichita State University equip students with the skills and knowledge needed for careers in fields such as business administration, dental hygiene, homeland security, and special education. A fully online degree completion program also gives learners the opportunity to quickly earn a bachelor's by transferring credits from other colleges or universities and studying at their own pace. Military personnel may also receive college credit for their training and service.
WSU places a premium on experiential learning and encourages all students to participate in internships, clinical placements, and field-based capstone projects. In many cases, online learners can even earn credit for applying their classroom learning to new projects and initiatives at their current places of employment.
Although first-year applicants must submit high school transcripts and ACT or SAT scores, WSU does not require prospective students over the age of 21 to take an entrance exam. To receive credit for prior college-level coursework, transfer applicants must maintain at least a 2.0 GPA in these classes.
|Wichita, KS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 52%||
A university grounded in Catholic values and traditions, Newman University offers eight online bachelor's and master's degrees in data analytics, organizational leadership, theological studies, and education. Online students may also choose to pursue a bachelor's in interdisciplinary studies, working closely with an academic advisor to customize their undergraduate experience.
Online classes at NU begin every eight weeks, allowing students to schedule their coursework around busy times at work or home. Online learners may also take evening and weekend classes at the university's main campus in Wichita or one of five satellite locations in Kansas, Colorado, and Oklahoma.
The university's interdisciplinary studies program caters to working professionals. Prospective students must hold at least 30 credits from another accredited institution and graduate from high school at least eight years before applying. Other undergraduate programs at NU require high school transcripts and ACT or SAT scores.
Graduate applicants must possess a bachelor's degree, usually with a 3.0 GPA or higher.
Pittsburg State University
|Pittsburg, KS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 47%||
Regardless of where they live, all online students at Pittsburg State University pay the equivalent of in-state tuition. In addition, roughly 80% of all learners at the university receive some form of financial aid, including scholarships made available specifically to transfer students, the children of Pitt State alumni, and aspiring teachers and nurses.
Online programs of study include construction technology management, human resource development, sport and leisure service management, and environmental education. Pitt State also hosts hundreds of individual distance education courses and online certificates in autism spectrum disorders and language arts instruction.
Undergraduate applicants must submit official copies of their high school transcripts, though Pitt State does not require ACT or SAT scores. Individuals applying to master's programs must hold a bachelor's degree, while those applying to specialist and doctoral programs must hold a master's. Graduate programs in business may additionally require at least three years of relevant managerial experience.
|Ottawa, KS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 46%||
Since its founding in 1865, Ottawa University has prepared students for lives defined by faith, service, and leadership. Today, the Christian university operates campuses in Kansas, Arizona, and Wisconsin and offers fully online programs to learners around the world. Both bachelor's and master's degrees at OU can be earned entirely at a distance, with online programs available in areas such as addiction counseling, finance, management of information systems, and public safety.
Each online class at the university runs for eight weeks. Students can connect with their classmates and instructors through the Blackboard learning management system, and professors respond to all student emails within 24 hours.
First-year applicants must submit high school transcripts and ACT or SAT scores. If you do not possess a high school diploma, you must receive a score of at least 450 on the GED and submit an essay outlining your academic experience and goals. While not required for admission, prospective students with a GED diploma must submit entrance exam scores to receive consideration for institutional scholarships.
|Haviland, KS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 53%||
Welcoming students from all evangelical faith traditions, Barclay College offers online associate and bachelor's degrees in biblical studies, Christian leadership, and pastoral ministries. Students who hope to embark on secular career paths may instead choose to earn an online degree in either business administration or psychology.
Online classes open every six weeks, and learners can take breaks from their coursework whenever needed. Before enrolling in an online course, Barclay requires all students to complete a two-week, web-based orientation program that explains how to navigate the college's online portal, submit assignments, and communicate with both classmates and instructors. There is no charge for this program.
Online applicants must hold a high school diploma with at least a 2.0 GPA, though Barclay does not require ACT or SAT scores. Prospective students must also demonstrate a commitment to the Christian mission of the college.
Online students who enroll full time may qualify for a scholarship worth up to $600 per semester.
|Wichita, KS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 34%||
A Christian university of Quaker heritage, Friends University hosts both bachelor's and master's programs in elementary education, computer science and information systems, cybersecurity, and healthcare leadership. Business administration students can also elect to enroll in the university's 4+1 program, earning both a bachelor's and master's degree online in just five years of study.
Friends is deeply committed to the academic and professional success of students. Coaches and advisors provide personalized advice to online and in-person learners, helping them choose a major, identify internship opportunities, craft resumes and cover letters, and prepare for interviews. Online students can also participate in a job shadowing program with Friends alumni in their area.
To enter a bachelor's program, you must possess a high school diploma and take either the ACT or SAT. Applicants typically must hold at least a 2.0 high school GPA and an ACT score of at least 18, though prospective students who do not meet these requirements may still apply for conditional admission.
|Baldwin City, KS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 57%||
The very first four-year university founded in Kansas, Baker University awards online degrees in areas such as strategic business communication, instructional design and performance technology, nursing, and psychology. Online options cater to nondegree students, including several graduate business certificates and professional development courses required for teacher recertification.
All online instructors at BU receive specialized training in distance education. In addition, all faculty at the university hold at least a master's degree, and many also possess a doctorate in their teaching discipline. Outside of the classroom, online students can access 24/7 writing and research support and up to two hours of subject-specific tutoring each term.
Applicants with less than 12 transferable credits from another accredited college or university must submit high school or GED transcripts, though BU does not require any prospective students to take the ACT or SAT. Graduate applicants must possess a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.0 GPA.
MidAmerica Nazarene University
|Olathe, KS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 51%||
Online learners at MidAmerica Nazarene University work toward bachelor's and master's degrees in business administration, education, and nursing. The university also offers an accelerated associate of arts in business that learners can earn in as little as 18 months. Students in this program can opt to complete all of their coursework online or attend class on campus just one night per week.
Online coursework at the university features asynchronous formats, and professors teach from a Christian perspective. In addition to the university holding regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, individual programs at MNU receive programmatic accreditation from leading organizations like the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
First-year applicants must submit high school transcripts and ACT or SAT scores, though MNU does not set minimum academic requirements for admission. The university holds transfer agreements with five community colleges in the state, making it easier to apply credits from an associate program toward a bachelor's.
Central Christian College of Kansas
|McPherson, KS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 22%||
To help fulfill a mission of providing a Christ-centered education to any student who seeks it, Central Christian College of Kansas delivers eight undergraduate programs in an entirely online format. In addition to associate degrees in both general studies and criminal justice, online learners at the college can seek a bachelor's in healthcare administration, health and human services, organizational leadership, or psychology.
The college pairs each incoming online student with a dedicated student success advisor who provides one-on-one support from enrollment through graduation. These advisors help learners apply for financial aid, choose or design their own major, and access a variety of academic, career, and spiritual counseling services.
Applicants must possess a high school diploma or GED certificate, though CCC does not require ACT or SAT scores. Students with previous college-level courses may receive credit for this work if they maintained at least a 2.0 GPA. Currently, the college does not provide institutional scholarships to online students.
|Topeka, KS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 39%||
Students who already hold an associate degree can enroll in one of five fully online degree-completion programs at Washburn University. Options include a bachelor's in human services, technology administration, health science, and criminal justice.
Learners may also elect to pursue a bachelor's in integrated studies, working with a faculty advisor to create an individualized program of study that aligns with their academic interests and career goals.
The university also offers a fully online, four-year bachelor's program in health science, with concentrations available in health services administration, medical imaging, and medical laboratory science. Online learners not ready to commit to a full degree program can instead seek a professional certificate in respiratory therapy or diagnostic medical sonography.
Most online programs at WU require applicants to maintain at least a 2.0 GPA while earning their associate degree. To enroll in the four-year program in health science, you must submit high school transcripts and ACT or SAT scores.
Manhattan Christian College
|Manhattan, KS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 42%||
Thunder Online, a degree-completion program at Manhattan Christian College, allows distance learners to earn a bachelor's in either biblical leadership or management and ethics. While the college encourages students to synchronously participate in weekly class sessions, students can access recordings of their lectures online. Additionally, learners can interact with their classmates and instructor throughout the week on discussion boards and through other web-based tools.
To apply to this program, you must possess at least 40 transferable credits from another accredited institution. Along with high school and college transcripts, applicants must submit two letters of recommendation from church leaders, teachers, or employers.
MCC awards a variety of scholarships on the basis of academic achievement, contributions to one's community, and career plans. For example, the college's Thunder Merit Scholarship provides up to $3,500 per year to students with extensive volunteer service. And the Ministry Scholarship supports learners who plan to seek church-related employment after graduation.
University of Saint Mary
|Leavenworth, KS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 44%||
The University of Saint Mary offers three online degrees: a bachelor's in nursing for registered nurses, a master of science in nursing, and a master of business administration with a concentration in healthcare management. The college delivers all coursework for these programs asynchronously, and small class sizes allow for extensive interaction between students and instructors.
USM proactively provides support to online learners. Each admitted student works with an advisor to apply for financial aid, enroll in a program, and select classes. In addition, a student services coordinator regularly connects with online learners about their individual issues and needs. All students can access 24/7 technical support.
The RN-to-BSN program requires a current nursing license. To apply to one of the university's graduate programs, you must hold a bachelor's degree, typically with at least a 3.0 GPA. Applicants must also submit two letters of recommendation and a personal statement.
|Winfield, KS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 41%||
Southwestern College created an online learning experience for working professionals. Online classes run for six weeks, and students can choose from one of eight enrollment sessions throughout the year. In addition, the college allows incoming learners to transfer up to 94 credits into an undergraduate program, meaning you can finish your bachelor's in as little as one year of additional study.
Southwestern hosts more than 30 programs of study online, including bachelor's and master's degrees in business quality management, computer programming technology, and security administration. The college also offers an online doctorate in education, along with 10 professional certificates in fields like cybercrime investigation and enterprise risk management.
Applying to an undergraduate program at Southwestern requires a high school diploma, and graduate programs require a bachelor's degree. Applicants can also submit documentation of their military and professional experience to receive additional credit. The college does not require prospective students to take an entrance exam.
|Hillsboro, KS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 38%||
The average online student at Tabor College spends 6-12 hours each week on their coursework, a course load that ensures they can continue their education without leaving their job or giving up other outside responsibilities. In many of the college's self-paced programs, learners can choose to advance through the material as soon as they demonstrate mastery of core concepts and skills.
Online learners at Tabor explore subjects such as Christian studies, athletic administration leadership, and ministry entrepreneurship and innovation. Associate programs at the college serve students who want to quickly qualify for entry-level roles, while bachelor's and master's programs cater to learners interested in professional and managerial positions.
You must possess a high school diploma or GED diploma to enter an undergraduate program at Tabor, though the college does not require ACT or SAT scores. Graduate applicants must hold a bachelor's degree. During the admissions process, all prospective students must indicate their religious affiliation.
Kansas Wesleyan University
|Salina, KS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 32%||
Along with a fully online MBA that students can earn in just one year, Kansas Wesleyan University delivers online and accredited bachelor's degrees in emergency management, criminal justice, and nursing. Online programs at the university provide additional flexibility, but they feature the same faculty, assignments, and overall academic rigor as on-campus offerings.
Online learners can further customize their learning through various concentrations and minors. For example, the university's bachelor's in emergency management gives students the option to focus on business continuity or unmanned aircraft systems, while the undergraduate program in criminal justice allows learners to earn endorsements in domestic violence or offender management.
Undergraduate applicants must hold a 2.5 high school GPA, a GED score of at least 550, or rank within the top 50% of their senior class. They must also earn a composite ACT score of at least 18 or an SAT score of at least 860. The online MBA program requires a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum 3.0 GPA.
|Sterling, KS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 39%||
A Christ-centered institution, Sterling College hosts online and asynchronous bachelor's programs in education, criminal justice administration, history, and organizational management. The college also awards an online master of arts in sports ministry, an interdisciplinary degree that draws upon the fields of exercise science, theology, and leadership.
Although prospective undergraduate students must have a high school diploma or GED certificate, SC does not require applicants to take either the ACT or SAT.
To apply to the master's program, you must possess a bachelor's degree and submit letters of recommendation from a clergy member, professor, and professional supervisor. In addition, graduate applicants must share a personal essay that describes their personal relationship with Christ and how they integrate faith into their current work.
Through the college's Guaranteed Admission Advantage, incoming students who earned an associate degree from an accredited institution in Kansas automatically meet all of the general education requirements for a bachelor's at SC. Students must maintain at least a 2.5 GPA in their prior undergraduate studies to qualify.