Best Online Colleges in Massachusetts

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

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Updated January 21, 2022

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Higher education enrollment continues to climb as individuals of all backgrounds increasingly pursue college credentials for job entry and long-term professional success. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the number of undergraduate students in the U.S. is projected to grow from 16.8 million in 2017 to 17.2 million in 2028.

By obtaining a postsecondary education, you stand to benefit from more job opportunities and higher pay. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that professionals with bachelor's degrees earn about $24,000 more in average annual salary than people with only high school diplomas. They also tend to experience a much lower unemployment rate.

www.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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Top 10 Online Colleges in Massachusetts

  1. Northeastern University Professional Advancement Network - Boston, MA
  2. Harvard University - Cambridge, MA
  3. University of Massachusetts-Amherst - Amherst, MA
  4. University of Massachusetts-Lowell - Lowell, MA
  5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Cambridge, MA
  6. Boston University - Boston, MA
  7. Brandeis University - Waltham, MA
  8. Bentley University - Waltham, MA
  9. Fitchburg State University - Fitchburg, MA
  10. Westfield State University - Westfield, MA

Featured Online Programs

Best Online Colleges in Massachusetts

Due to escalating tuition prices and mounting loan debt, more and more college students prefer to earn their degrees and certificates online. Distance education often offers distinct perks like relatively affordable tuition rates that may ignore residency status. Online schools usually operate asynchronous courses, which allows you to access materials and collaborate with peers at your convenience. This flexibility can also let you maintain job and family responsibilities while going to school.

The plethora of educational options can prove overwhelming as you look for institutions that align with your academic interests and career goals. This guide supports your search by detailing the 25 best online colleges in Massachusetts with regard to variables like accreditation, cost, student resources, and graduation rates.

The following profiles cover degree offerings and general admission requirements. Additionally, do not hesitate to contact admissions offices directly if schools interest you. Advisors can help you navigate the enrollment and financial aid processes.

By attending a Massachusetts university, you can take advantage of the state's robust economy. Ample career opportunities exist in key industries like manufacturing, health sciences, education (particularly higher education), and hospitality and tourism. The state's workforce is also one of the techiest in the nation, with nearly 20% of professionals working in telecommunications and software development. As of November 2019, Massachusetts had a 2.9% unemployment rate -- well below the national average of 3.5%.

Best Online Colleges in Massachusetts

  1. Northeastern University Professional Advancement Network
    Location

    Boston, MA

    Tuition

    $30784

    Northeastern University enrolls about 26,000 students at its main Boston campus and five satellite locations. The school delivers career-focused distance education through Blackboard. Learners choose from more than 80 fully online programs, which include bachelor's completion tracks in psychology, digital communication and media, and health management. The university also offers a remote bachelor of science in information technology that comes with optional concentrations in cybersecurity and applications development.

    Master's degree candidates can enroll in programs in sports leadership, health informatics, and applied nutrition. Northeastern also offers a dual-degree track that enables distance learners to earn a master of business administration and a master of finance in 2.5 years.

    For students who want to obtain terminal credentials, the university provides a doctor of education emphasizing research that investigates and transforms institutional landscapes. Ed.D. candidates foster networking and career success by completing yearly residencies.

    Most graduate applicants need at least three years of relevant work experience. Northeastern charges per-credit tuition rates based on program type. Financial aid opportunities include private awards like the MacFarland Scholarship for public school educators.

  2. Harvard University
    Location

    Cambridge, MA

    Tuition

    $17030

    Based in Cambridge, Harvard University is an Ivy League research institution that serves about 20,000 students annually. The school facilitates online learning through Canvas, allowing students to combine asynchronous classes and campus-based coursework for a hybrid learning experience.

    Distance learners can take courses in subject areas like data science, business, art and design, and computer programming. They may also delve into health and medicine, examining the U.S. opioid crisis or developing the skills needed to strengthen community health programs.

    Active teachers can take online classes that work toward specialty endorsement and certificate renewal requirements. Topics include culturally responsive literature instruction and educating global citizens.

    Additionally, through the Harvard Extension School, working professionals may enroll in a hybrid, dual-degree track that lets them earn bachelor's and master's degrees in liberal arts over five years. Candidates personalize their curriculum by pursuing concentrations like dramatic arts, biotechnology, software engineering, and industrial-organizational psychology. Tuition price varies by class.

  3. University of Massachusetts-Amherst
    Location

    Amherst, MA

    Tuition

    $21281

    Founded in 1863 as an agricultural school, the University of Massachusetts Amherst stands as the flagship institution in the UMass system. The school serves more than 30,000 students, many of whom pursue hybrid or fully online academics through Blackboard Learn.

    The school's online degree catalog contains a bachelor of business administration completion track that is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. BBA candidates must transfer in at least 27 credits earned with a minimum 3.0 GPA. The program enables learners to customize their degree plan with majors in accounting, marketing, and hospitality and tourism management.

    At the graduate level, remote programs cover fields like public health, plant and soil sciences, historic preservation, and labor studies. Business students may extend their education by earning an MBA that comes with five emphasis areas. They can also enroll in an accelerated master of alternative financial investments program. Through a one-year curriculum, finance students develop the asset management skills needed to work for consulting companies and private equity firms. Graduate applicants typically need 3-5 years of relevant work experience.

  4. University of Massachusetts-Lowell
    Location

    Lowell, MA

    Tuition

    $18375

    The University of Massachusetts Lowell supports more than 18,000 students annually, making it the second-largest public higher education institution in the state. In addition to on-campus programs, the university offers flexible distance education through Blackboard.

    Distance offerings include bachelor's degrees for psychology, information technology, English, and criminal justice. Students may also design their own course of study through the liberal arts track. Additionally, working professionals can prepare for career advancement by earning online certificates in areas like new venture creation and website design and development.

    UMass Lowell offers online master's degrees in areas like health informatics and management, business analytics, and accounting. Graduate candidates may pursue national studies credentials, picking from a homeland defense or international studies concentration. The university also offers a variety of master's degrees centered on educational administration and instructional leadership.

    All applicants must submit standardized test scores. Online students pay per-credit tuition prices based on program type and level. Financial aid opportunities include the Leo F. King Endowment Fund for returning learners.

  5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Location

    Cambridge, MA

    Tuition

    $22230

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private research university situated in Cambridge. The institution offers a variety of online learning opportunities powered by Canvas. Options include massive open online courses that enable students to pursue topics like supply chain analytics and global warming science. While individual MOOCs are free, candidates may need to pay a small fee to receive a verified certificate of completion.

    Through MIT xPRO, working professionals can develop career-advancing competencies in technical and leadership areas. Courses include big data analytics, quantum computing fundamentals, and architecture of complex systems. Students may also enroll in a six-week class on entrepreneurial negotiations that helps them protect and increase the value of their ideas.

    For distance learners who want to work toward a graduate degree, MIT offers MicroMasters programs in five areas. Options include supply chain management; data, economics, and development policy; and manufacturing principles. Students who complete designated coursework and pass a proctored exam obtain credentials that enable them to apply for master's degree completion at MIT and other universities.

  6. Boston University
    Location

    Boston, MA

    Tuition

    $33728

    Boston University enrolls over 34,000 students across 18 colleges and schools located on two urban campuses. In addition to acting as one of the largest employers in the metropolitan area, BU delivers comprehensive academic programs that include online degrees facilitated by Blackboard Learn.

    The university offers a fully remote bachelor's degree completion track in interdisciplinary studies. Designed for working professionals, the 16-course curriculum enables candidates to align their studies with their career goals. Most students finish in 30 months. To enroll, applicants must possess at least 52 transferable credits.

    BU provides 15 online master's degrees, such as taxation law, software development, and art education. Learners can also enroll in a 40-credit global marketing management program that is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The university also delivers a master of health communication that synthesizes public health, digital media, and technical writing competencies.

    Graduate applicants must submit a personal statement, a resume or CV, and three recommendation letters. BU charges tuition based on enrollment status. The university offers low-interest loans and graduate assistantships.

  7. Brandeis University
    Location

    Waltham, MA

    Tuition

    $32714

    Located in Waltham, Brandeis University is named after the first Jewish justice of the U.S. Supreme Court: Louis Brandeis. The institution serves about 5,800 students and offers online academics through Moodle. Remote classes last 10 weeks and are capped at 20 students, enabling learners to effectively build relationships with peers and instructors. In addition to individual asynchronous courses, candidates may pursue fully online graduate degrees related to information technology and data analytics.

    Graduate students may enroll in master's programs in technology management, bioinformatics, robotic software engineering, and project/program management. They can earn digital marketing and design credentials, learning how to create engaging campaigns for website, mobile, and social media platforms. Brandeis also offers an online master's degree in information security leadership, which helps candidates develop the skills needed to plan, acquire, and maintain secure infrastructures.

    Degree applicants must submit official academic transcripts, a resume, a personal statement, and a recommendation letter. Depending on their program, candidates may need to fulfill additional prerequisite requirements. Brandeis charges a per-credit tuition rate that disregards residency status.

  8. Bentley University
    Location

    Waltham, MA

    Tuition

    $36613

    Bentley University was established in 1917 as a finance and accounting school. The institution carries on this tradition by offering business-centered academic programs to more than 5,000 students every year.

    Bentley offers blended and hybrid classes through the Zoom platform, which enables graduate candidates to accommodate full-time employment. Learners pay per course and may apply for financial aid if they take classes as part of a degree plan.

    Online course topics include managerial statistics, marketing management, and strategic innovation. Students can enroll in a global strategy course, learning how to leverage their ideas and create project proposals on an international scale. Bentley also facilitates a financial statement analysis class that helps learners with decision-making.

    In addition to individual online classes, the university oversees a remote master of business administration program that is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Online MBA candidates take one course at a time. They pick from eight concentrations, including accountancy, law and taxation, and information systems and technology.

  9. Fitchburg State University
    Location

    Fitchburg, MA

    Tuition

    $14649

    Founded in 1894 as a teacher training school, Fitchburg State University now operates as a comprehensive public institution that provides undergraduate and graduate academics. Blackboard powers distance education at Fitchburg State, enabling students to earn an online bachelor of business administration with a management concentration.

    Undergraduate learners can also pursue a bachelor of nursing if they possess unencumbered RN licensure. This 12-month BSN program maintains specialized accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

    At the graduate level, online programs cover fields like forensic nursing and business administration. MBA candidates personalize their degree plan by taking on an accounting, management, or human resources concentration. Fitchburg State offers a variety of education credentials, including a master's degree in curriculum and teaching. Teachers may also prepare for special education endorsements in reading specialist and moderate-severe disabilities.

    Undergraduate transfer applicants need a minimum 2.0 GPA. Graduate applicants must display a 2.8 GPA or higher. Admission materials include a resume, three recommendation letters, and official school transcripts.

  10. Westfield State University
    Location

    Westfield, MA

    Tuition

    $15967

    Westfield State University opened its doors in 1838 as the first coeducational higher education institution in the U.S. without barriers based on race, gender, or economic status. Today, the school supports about 5,500 students and facilitates distance education through the PLATO platform.

    Incoming first-year students may enroll in a fully online bachelor of history program. Westfield State also delivers baccalaureate completion tracks in areas like psychology, business, criminal justice, and sociology. Additionally, licensed RNs can earn a bachelor of nursing in 12 months through a completionist track that blends online and campus-based coursework.

    Similarly, Westfield State offers two hybrid master's programs in accounting and social work. The two-year MSW option prepares students for entry-level professional certification. In addition to clinical practice, candidates engage in research that focuses on substance abuse treatment, gerontology, or healthcare management. To enroll, MSW applicants must display a minimum 2.8 GPA. They also need to furnish a current resume and three professional references.

Click here to see the best campus colleges in Massachusetts.

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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