Students are increasingly attend postsecondary schools, and the National Center for Education Statistics projects the undergraduate student population to grow from 16.8 million in 2017 to 17.2 million in 2028. By pursuing a higher education, you can benefit from better job opportunities and higher pay. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, bachelor's degree-holders earn an average of about $24,000 more each year compared to people with only high school diplomas. College graduates also enjoy a substantially lower unemployment rate.

Due in part to the high tuition and accommodation costs associated with traditional academics, college students increasingly opt to pursue education from a distance. Remote programs often provide targeted scholarships and affordable tuition rates, regardless of your residency status. Online programs also offer flexible course scheduling, which may allow you to work full time while pursuing your credentials. Some programs even offer accelerated coursework to help you earn a bachelor's degree in significantly less time.

Top 10 Online Colleges in Louisiana

  1. Louisiana Tech University - Ruston, LA
  2. McNeese State University - Lake Charles, LA
  3. Northwestern State University of Louisiana - Natchitoches, LA
  4. Louisiana State University - Alexandria, LA
  5. Louisiana State University A&M - Baton Rouge, LA
  6. University of Louisiana at Lafayette - Lafayette, LA
  7. University of Louisiana at Monroe - Monroe, LA
  8. Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University - Baton Rouge, LA
  9. Southeastern Louisiana University - Hammond, LA
  10. Nicholls State University - Thibodaux, LA

The sheer volume of degree options may seem overwhelming as you look for the right school. This guide assists your search by highlighting the 15 best online colleges in Louisiana. Below, we review factors such as accreditation, pricing, student resources, and graduation rates. Each profile also provides information related to programmatic offerings and admission requirements. If a school piques your interest, contact the institution's admissions specialists. These counselors can help you apply for scholarships and complete the enrollment process.

By attending a Louisiana college or university, you also stand to benefit from the state's robust economy. You can find lucrative career opportunities in key industries in the state, such as advanced manufacturing, agribusiness, coastal engineering, and renewable energy. Furthermore, the state boasts relatively low costs of living. Even in major cities like New Orleans and Baton Rouge, living expenses are below the national average.

2020 Best Online Colleges in Louisiana

Rank School Location Cost Graduation Rate Description Toggle

Louisiana Tech University

Ruston, LA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 53%

Louisiana Tech University is a public research institution located in Ruston. The school enrolls more than 12,000 students in comprehensive academic programs, many of which may be completed entirely online through asynchronous classes powered by Moodle.

Undergraduate students can pursue a remote bachelor of health informatics and information management, which holds specialized accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Health Informatics and Information Management. This 120-credit degree helps students develop the IT and interpersonal communication skills needed to create links between patients, clinicians, and administrators.

At the graduate level, remote programs covers fields like history, business administration, and English. Candidates may also obtain a master's degree in engineering, choosing an industrial engineering or technology management concentration. Louisiana Tech also delivers a variety of online undergraduate and graduate certificates that prepare working professionals to advance in their careers. The university bases its tuition rates on residency status and program level.


McNeese State University

Lake Charles, LA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 42%

Based in Lake Charles, McNeese State University was established in 1939 as a junior college. Today, the institution offers undergraduate and graduate programs to about 7,600 students each year. McNeese delivers two associate and seven bachelor's programs through the Moodle platform. Associate degree options include general studies and paralegal studies, while baccalaureate candidates can earn degrees in criminal justice, psychology, and social studies with a family and child studies concentration.

Graduate students may enroll in remote master's programs in nursing, health promotion, and business administration. MBA candidates pursue a research-focused education and may obtain their credentials in 18 months. McNeese also offers a master of science in instructional technology that enables learners to design and evaluate multimedia teaching methods. Additionally, the university provides online graduate and postgraduate certificates, including an education specialist track in educational technology.

Graduate applicants need a minimum 2.5 GPA. All prospective students must submit standardized test results. On top of relatively low tuition prices, McNeese provides a generous Non-Traditional Student Academic Scholarship.


Northwestern State University of Louisiana

Natchitoches, LA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 39%

Located in Natchitoches, Northwestern State University of Louisiana was the first postsecondary school in the state to offer nursing and business degrees. The institution continues this tradition by providing a remote RN-to-BSN program that is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. Online students can also earn bachelor's degrees in accounting, business administration, computer information systems, and unified public safety administration.

The majority of NSU's online offerings target graduate students. Learners may earn master's degrees in areas like homeland security and radiologic science. Students can also pursue a master of arts in teaching with pathways to alternative state certification; MAT candidates pick from seven concentration options. Additionally, the university delivers two remote doctoral programs in nursing and adult learning and development. The latter option prepares community college educators to strengthen the workforce development programs at their schools.

NSU requires all applicants to furnish standardized test scores. Graduate candidates typically need a regionally accredited bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.5 undergraduate GPA. Per-credit tuition rates for full-time students are significantly less than they are for part-time learners.


Louisiana State University-Alexandria

Alexandria, LA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 26%

Louisiana State University of Alexandria enrolls about 3,300 students across many career-focused undergraduate programs, including associate of arts and associate of science tracks. These interdisciplinary programs prepare candidates for advanced academics and entry-level administrative occupations. The school delivers remote learning through the Desire2Learn platform

LSUA offers nine online bachelor's programs, including an RN-to-BSN track that candidates can complete in 14 months. Additional options include medical laboratory science, psychology, criminal justice, and business administration. The university also provides a bachelor's degree in disaster science and emergency management. This 120-credit program helps candidates develop the leadership skills needed to respond to natural and anthropogenic disasters. Online students can also enroll in a bachelor's program for long-term care management; this degree prepares them to facilitate evidence-based services for vulnerable populations.

LSUA offers nine start dates each year. Applicants need a minimum 2.0 GPA and adequate ACT/SAT scores. The university provides affordable tuition prices to all students, regardless of residency status.


Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College

Baton Rouge, LA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 67%

Founded in 1860 as a seminary and military academy, Louisiana State University is the flagship institution for the state and serves over 30,000 students. In addition to a transfer-focused associate degree in general studies, online undergraduates can earn bachelor's credentials in 10 areas, such as world religions, accounting, construction management, and medical imaging. LSU also offers a remote bachelor of mass communication, which allows candidates to focus their degree plans on public relations or political communication. The university delivers distance education through Moodle.

The graduate catalog at LSU contains 11 online master's degrees. These offerings include social work, civil engineering, business administration, and kinesiology/sport management. Students may also enroll in a master of environmental sciences program, completing a multidisciplinary curriculum that helps them understand the relationships between social and natural systems. Additionally, LSU delivers a master's program in construction management that is accredited by the American Council for Construction Education.

Undergraduate applicants need a minimum 2.0 GPA, while prospective graduate students must possess at least a 3.0 GPA. Depending on their program, candidates with relevant career experience may ask for standardized testing exemption.


University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Lafayette, LA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 44%

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette serves more than 19,000 students each year, making it the largest member institution of the nine-campus UL System. The school offers affordable online programs through Moodle.

Undergraduate learners can earn a remote bachelor's degree in general studies, which allows them to customize their curriculum to match individual interests and goals. Additional undergraduate offerings include business management, health promotion and wellness, and health services administration. UL Lafayette also offers a 12-month RN-to-BSN track that is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Online graduate students can pick from seven programs in topics such as computer science, business administration, and systems technology. Experienced educators may pursue master's credentials leading to instructional specialist or educational leadership endorsement. The university also offers a remote doctor of nursing practice.

First-time students must submit ACT/SAT scores. Graduate admission requirements differ by program but typically include a minimum 2.75 GPA.


University of Louisiana at Monroe

Monroe, LA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 41%

The University of Louisiana at Monroe first opened its doors in 1931 as a junior college. Today, the institution offers comprehensive academic programs that include remote options delivered by Moodle. Undergraduate students can pursue bachelor's degrees in areas such as marketing, psychology, and modern languages (with a French concentration). Distance learners can also enroll in an elementary education program accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education; this degree provides candidates the theoretical foundations and hands-on training needed to secure initial certification.

Prospective teachers can also earn online master's degrees leading to alternative certification. For experienced educators, ULM provides specialized programs in educational leadership and instructional technology. Additional graduate credentials cover fields like gerontology, occupational therapy, and public administration. The university also delivers a remote Ph.D. in marriage and family therapy.

To enroll in a technical bachelor's program, candidates need to possess active state/professional certification. Graduate applicants need a minimum 2.5-3.0 GPA, depending on their program. Online students pay per-credit tuition prices based on degree level, not residency status.


Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University

Baton Rouge, LA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 40%

Located in Baton Rouge, Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University enrolls about 1,700 students in career-relevant undergraduate and graduate programs, including an accelerated bachelor of science track for licensed registered nurses. Accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, the RN-to-BSN program allows candidates to transfer in up to 90 credits toward degree completion. Coursework covers topics like health policy and evidence-based practice.

FranU also facilitates a 31-credit online master of health administration that students can complete in 18 months. The program focuses on evidence-based practices that support accessible and affordable healthcare services, particularly for individuals in underserved communities. MHA applicants need a regionally accredited bachelor's degree earned with a minimum 3.0 GPA. They must submit two recommendation letters and a 1-2-page personal statement. However, the program does not require GRE scores.

Financial aid opportunities at FranU include merit-based institutional scholarships and transfer awards. The institution delivers distance education with Moodle.


Southeastern Louisiana University

Hammond, LA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 41%

Based in Hammond, Southeastern Louisiana University was established in 1925 as a two-year school. The institution now offers comprehensive academic programs to more than 14,500 students. The school also oversees remote learning opportunities, which are delivered through Moodle.

Distance learners can enroll in bachelor's programs for general studies, family and consumer sciences, and criminal justice. They can also earn a bachelor of science in nursing through a program accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. This RN-to-BSN track focuses on professional standards of care and performance, as well as healthcare advocacy to help meet the needs of diverse communities.

Southeastern provides three online graduate degrees, including a hybrid master's degree in teaching with a concentration in special education (early intervention: birth-5). This 39-credit program leads to Louisiana teaching certification in early intervention. Graduate students can also enroll in a fully online master of science in nursing program. Alternatively, experienced nurses can earn a doctor of nursing practice that prepares them for positions as advanced clinicians and health policy experts. Graduate applicants need a minimum 2.5 GPA and adequate GRE/GMAT scores.


Nicholls State University

Thibodaux, LA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 47%

With a flagship campus in Thibodaux, Nicholls State University serves over 6,000 students as part of the UL System. Learners can access online academic programs through Moodle, with associate-level options in safety technology and petroleum services. Nicholls delivers remote bachelor's degrees in history, health sciences, sociology, and business administration. Candidates can also obtain a bachelor of arts in psychology that is accredited by the Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering. This pre-counseling track prepares students to support children and families across the lifespan.

Nicholls offers one online graduate degree -- a master of curriculum and instruction that holds specialized accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. This program explores research-based strategies for developmentally appropriate practices in early childhood education. To enroll, applicants need a minimum 2.5 GPA and an active teaching license. The university waives GRE requirements for full-time teachers. Financial aid opportunities include private awards, such as the Burt Excellence in Education Scholarship.


Louisiana State University-Shreveport

Shreveport, LA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 30%

Founded in 1967 as a junior college, Louisiana State University in Shreveport now provides over 30 undergraduate and graduate programs. The institution enrolls about 5,800 students, many of whom pursue remote education through Moodle. Distance learners can earn bachelor's degrees in general studies, marketing, management, and finance. They may also enroll in a business administration program, choosing a generalist track or an international business concentration.

LSUS delivers online graduate programs centered on business and education. The school's master of business administration program offers nine concentration options, such as data analytics and hospitality/casino management. The university also provides health and public administration degrees. Experienced educators may earn specialized endorsements in urban education, reading and literacy, and English as a second language. Additionally, they can prepare for careers as principals and instructional trainers by obtaining a master's degree in educational leadership.

To enroll as a first-year student, applicants need a minimum 2.0 high school GPA. Graduate candidates must display at least a 2.5 undergraduate GPA. The LSUS Foundation funds private scholarships, including awards for prospective and licensed teachers.


University of New Orleans

New Orleans, LA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 32%

The University of New Orleans is a public research institution that serves approximately 8,000 students each year. In addition to affordable campus-based academics, the school offers online certificates and degrees powered by Moodle.

Working professionals may advance their careers and develop specialized skills by earning certificates related to software product management and Agile application development. The university offers remote bachelor's programs in fields like philosophy and interdisciplinary studies. Students can also earn an urban studies degree and focus their training on transportation or urban planning.

At the graduate level, UNO offers remote credentials in engineering management, romance languages, and English. Learners may earn a master of fine arts in creative writing through a low-residency track that requires occasional visits to campus for readings and workshops. Graduate applicants need a minimum 3.0 GPA to qualify for unconditional admission. All distance learners pay in-state tuition rates, and they can apply for a variety of awards, like the merit-based Homer Hitt Scholarship.


Loyola University New Orleans

New Orleans, LA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 56%

Loyola University New Orleans is a private institution that operates as part of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. The school offers comprehensive academic programs to over 5,000 students, including online learning options facilitated by Blackboard. Undergraduate students can enroll in remote bachelor's programs, such as mass communication, computer information systems, psychology, and ministry and theology. Alternatively, they may design their own major through the interdisciplinary studies track.

Graduate candidates can earn online master's degrees in fields like criminology/criminal justice, pastoral studies, and music education. Loyola also delivers business administration credentials that are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Furthermore, the university provides an array of graduate nursing programs. Experienced nurses can even pursue a dual-degree track, earning their MBA and MSN concurrently to prepare for clinical management positions across healthcare settings.

Applicants usually need to furnish standardized test scores. Graduate candidates may ask for a GMAT/GRE exemption if they possess relevant work experience. The university bases its tuition prices on program type.


Southern University at New Orleans

New Orleans, LA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 20%

Established in 1956, Southern University at New Orleans is a historically black institution that receives aid from the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. The school serves about 2,700 students and offers online academics through Moodle. Learners may incorporate individual asynchronous classes into their traditional curriculum for a hybrid learning experience. SUNO also offers three fully remote degree options. Tuition prices are based on residence. The university facilitates the state-funded Go Grant and a variety of institutional scholarships.

Undergraduate students can pursue an online bachelor's degree in general studies, which enables them to customize their curriculum by choosing electives and concentrations. Alternatively, learners may enroll in a criminal justice program. Undergraduate applicants need a minimum 2.0 high school GPA and adequate ACT/SAT scores.

SUNO also offers a 36-credit, fully remote master's program in museum studies, in which students develop skills in exhibition design and collections management. They gain hands-on experience by completing internships and round out the program with a research-focused thesis or applied project.


Southern University and A & M College

Baton Rouge, LA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 29%

Located in Baton Rouge, Southern University and A&M College is the flagship institution of the SU System and the largest historically black school in Louisiana. Over 7,000 students attend SU, many of whom complete distance education through Moodle. Online offerings include associate degrees in business management and health information technology. Distance learners can earn bachelor's credentials in interdisciplinary studies, designing a curriculum that aligns with their interests and goals. The university also offers four-year programs for psychology and criminal justice.

Criminal justice professionals can extend their education by obtaining an executive master's degree that focuses on challenges related to law enforcement, corrections systems, and the courts. Additional graduate programs include public administration and business administration. The MBA track maintains specialized accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Candidates pick from concentrations like international business, supply chain management, and entrepreneurship.

To enroll in a graduate program, applicants need a minimum 2.7 undergraduate GPA. They must also furnish GRE/GMAT scores, three recommendation letters, and a personal statement.

Click here to see the best campus colleges in Louisiana.