Some of Minnesota's largest employment sectors -- such as healthcare, management, and education -- offer careers with salaries that average between $56,000 and $118,000 per year. Salaries in this range compensate for the somewhat high cost of living in the state's largest cities.
In addition to lucrative career opportunities, Minnesota features a 3.3% unemployment rate. This low rate means employers cannot find enough applicants for open positions. To attract talented professionals, employers raise wages, improve benefits, and consider applicants with less experience, which may include recent college graduates.
To take advantage of these economic conditions and start a new and fulfilling career, you need some education beyond a high school diploma. Fortunately, many excellent colleges and universities and colleges in Minnesota offer bachelor's degrees and undergraduate certificates that can prepare you for an in-demand position.
- University of Minnesota-Twin Cities - Minneapolis, MN
- Minnesota State University - Mankato, MN
- Concordia University - Saint Paul, MN
- Crown College - Saint Bonifacius, MN
- Bethel University - Saint Paul, MN
- Minnesota State University - Moorhead, MN
- The College of Saint Scholastica - Duluth, MN
- University of Northwestern - Saint Paul, MN
- Metropolitan State University - Saint Paul, MN
- Oak Hills Christian College - Bemidji, MN
2020 Best Online Colleges in Minnesota
Online programs offer many benefits, especially if you work full time, raise children, or have other responsibilities that make attending courses on campus difficult. Many online courses do not have set meeting times. Additionally, online students often save thousands of dollars on a degree compared to on-campus learners.
This article highlights the 15 best colleges and universities in Minnesota. You can learn about each institution's popular programs, support services exclusive to online learners, merit-based scholarships, and transfer policies, as well as other important facts you need to select the right school for you.
Each description includes an embedded link to visit a school's website, where you can review the most up-to-date details and contact information. Make sure to contact a school directly if you have questions.
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
|Minneapolis, MN||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 80%||
The best online university in Minnesota, the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities offers 17 online bachelor's degrees and 10 online undergraduate certificates. Graduate students can select from dozens of online graduate degree and certificate programs.
Students can pursue degrees in fields such as applied health, health management, and international business. All bachelor's degrees feature a 120-credit curriculum that includes general education requirements.
In addition to one-on-one academic and career counseling, UMN offers online learners short tutorials that cover software and online learning best practices. Also, each program website includes the latest career outlook information to help prospective students decide among similar majors.
UMN accepts new undergraduates in the spring, summer, and fall semesters. Applicants can submit GED scores, and all students pay the same per-credit tuition rate regardless of residency. The university awards merit-based scholarships based on incoming students' high school GPA, intended major, and other factors.
Minnesota State University-Mankato
|Mankato, MN||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 48%||
The perfect choice for learners who already possess an associate degree, Minnesota State University - Mankato offers five online bachelor's degree completion programs in areas such as applied leadership and dental hygiene.
Learners can supplement a degree by completing one of seven minors in areas such as aging studies, marketing, and urban studies. Additionally, this top online Minnesota university boasts over two dozen online master's degrees and certificates.
Minnesota State Mankato offers 11 academic services available to online learners. The university's Career Development Center helps students explore internships, craft a resume, and apply to graduate school. Degree-seekers can also contact the Center for Academic Success to find a tutor or speak to an academic advisor.
Minnesota State Mankato uses rolling admissions, and freshmen applicants submit ACT scores. All online learners pay the in-state tuition rate, and undergraduates may qualify for up to $6,000 per year in merit-based scholarships. Other competitive scholarships award $2,500-$4,000 per year.
Concordia University-Saint Paul
|Saint Paul, MN||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 55%||
Learners at Concordia University - St. Paul can select from 43 online bachelor's programs, master's programs, and certificates. Special programs at this top online Minnesota university include a bachelor's degree in exercise science and a master's in differentiated instruction. Additionally, the university's online associate in general studies prepares degree-seekers to transfer to a four-year program at an in-state public college or university.
Each academic department offers a suite of resources to help students choose the right program and succeed academically, such as career guides and links to professional organizations. CSP also runs a career blog where industry experts discuss topics such as burnout, teaching children with ADHD, and how to address conflict in the workplace.
Freshmen applicants should possess a high school diploma with a minimum 2.0 GPA. Other application materials include an essay on an assigned topic.
Learners who work for a partner organization receive a $2,000 tuition discount. Active-duty service members and veterans also qualify for a reduced tuition rate through the Yellow Ribbon Program.
|Saint Bonifacius, MN||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 67%||
Crown College offers 10 online bachelor's degrees to prepare graduates for careers in fields such as ministry, business, and counseling. Degree-seekers can personalize their program by completing one of nine minors in areas such as marketing and psychology.
This top online Minnesota college also delivers four undergraduate certificates. Additionally, graduate students at Crown can select from eight master's degrees and five certificates.
Crown's in-depth student handbook provides learners with extensive information on how to access tutors, academic advisors, and other services. The college's Office of Career Services provides both one-on-one mentoring and FOCUS 2 CAREER software, which allows learners to research how different majors influence career prospects.
Crown does not accept GED diplomas, and applicants with fewer than 24 transferable credits must submit high school transcripts. Ministry programs require a statement of faith. All incoming learners provide FAFSA results, and Crown provides a tuition discount for active-duty service members and veterans.
|Saint Paul, MN||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 71%||
Based in Arden Hills, Bethel University provides a world-class education rooted in the Christian faith. Students can choose from 35 online undergraduate and graduate programs, including bachelor's degrees in accounting and Christian ministries.
The AA and AS programs prepare degree-seekers to transfer to a bachelor's degree completion program. Additionally, many of the master's and doctoral degrees train practicing educators for a career in administration.
The Academic Enrichment and Support Center at this top online Minnesota university features many academic support options. Online learners can attend a virtual online study skills workshop. Tutors can also help students over the phone or through videoconferencing. As learners near graduation, they can visit the Online Career Center to hone networking skills and receive a resume critique.
Application requirements include a high school diploma, statement of faith, and ACT or SAT scores. Transfer credit should reflect a minimum C grade.
Bethel awards $3,500-$20,300 per year in automatic merit-based scholarships to incoming freshmen and transfer students with an excellent high school GPA.
Minnesota State University Moorhead
|Moorhead, MN||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 46%||
With dozens of online degrees, licenses, and certifications, Minnesota State University Moorhead attracts students with a broad range of academic interests and career goals. Undergraduate degrees at this top online Minnesota university include an RN-to-BSN track, operations management, and global supply chain management. Additionally, nearly all graduate programs prepare education administrators and specialists.
Academic support at MSU Moorhead features both academic advisors and counselors. Advisors help learners create a graduate plan, while counselors provide students with academic success skills and tutoring resources through the university's Academic Assistant Program. MSU Moorhead's Writing Support Center offers both in-person and virtual 50-minute appointments.
Freshmen applicants should have either a high school diploma or GED scores, and transfer credit must reflect a minimum 2.0 undergraduate GPA.
Incoming undergraduates may qualify for up to $2,000 per year in automatic merit-based scholarships. MSU Moorhead also awards other competitive scholarships, each of which requires a separate application.
The College of Saint Scholastica
|Duluth, MN||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 67%||
A Roman Catholic college located in Duluth, the College of St. Scholastica offers eight online bachelor's degrees in topics such as computer information systems, RN-to-BSN, and organizational leadership. This top online Minnesota college also features a self-designed major where students can create a custom curriculum. Additionally, learners who already possess a bachelor's degree can earn a certificate in health information management.
All online learners work with a personal advisor, who helps them select courses and stay on track for graduation. The college caps online class sizes, which means students can typically receive individualized help from a professor. Outside of class, learners can explore careers and hone interviewing skills through the school's Career Services Department.
CSS uses rolling admissions for online programs, and freshmen applicants should have either a high school diploma or GED scores. Before applying, prospective transfer students can submit undergraduate transcripts for a preliminary review.
The college's scholarship directory posts new private scholarship opportunities throughout the year.
University of Northwestern-St Paul
|Saint Paul, MN||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 62%||
The University of Northwestern - St. Paul offers nine online programs that include undergraduate certificates, bachelor's degrees, and master's degrees. Many tracks -- such as the master's in divinity and the bachelor's in biblical and theological studies -- train aspiring lay and ordained ministers. Additionally, the university offers two online early college programs for high school students who live in and around St. Paul.
Learners who need help with coursework can set up a virtual tutoring session through UNW's ALPHA Center. Career development services at this top online Minnesota university include career fairs, interview coaching, and an in-depth career planning guide available to all students. Online learners also benefit from 24/7 IT support.
UNW admits new learners in the spring, summer, and fall semesters. Freshmen applicants should possess a high school diploma and submit ACT or SAT scores. All degree-seekers pay a flat, per-semester tuition rate.
Undergraduate and graduate students pursuing a degree may qualify for a merit-based scholarship opportunity. Each scholarship requires a separate application.
Metropolitan State University
|Saint Paul, MN||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 27%||
Online programs available through Metropolitan State University include nine bachelor's degrees, five master's degrees, and four graduate certificates.
Bachelor's programs at this top online Minnesota university include organizational administration and human resources management. Undergraduates can also create a custom degree by selecting individualized studies, while graduate programs and certificates at Metropolitan State focus on management and computer science topics.
Metropolitan State offers online learners extensive support services. Specialized service departments help Asian Americans, African Americans, and veterans succeed academically and find a fulfilling career. All students can also speak with a career advisor and explore local career opportunities through Handshake software.
Prospective students should possess either a high school diploma or GED scores. However, Metropolitan State prefers applicants who graduated high school with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Transfer credit should reflect a minimum 2.0 GPA.
Foundation scholarships require a separate application by the fall deadline.
Oak Hills Christian College
|Bemidji, MN||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 59%||
Students at Oak Hills Christian College can select from two online bachelor's degrees and two online associate degrees in business administration and ministry and leadership.
The bachelor's degrees feature a 120-credit curriculum, and both options require courses in biblical studies and Christian ministry. The 63-credit associate degrees prepare learners for both a bachelor's-completion program and an entry-level career. Additionally, all online programs at this top online Minnesota college offer full- and part-time tracks.
Through OHCC's Cummings Library, online learners can access many valuable academic support tools. Research guides include foreign language support, literary criticism, and theological dictionaries.
Applicants submit high school transcripts or GED scores and ACT or SAT scores. Transfer credit should reflect a minimum C grade, and OHCC's two online bachelor's programs accept up to 66 transfer credits.
Financial aid counselors work closely with students to explore and apply for private scholarships and grant opportunities.
|Saint Paul, MN||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 67%||
Learners who already possess an associate degree -- or significant transfer credit -- can pursue an online bachelor's degree completion program in business or psychology through Hamline University. All courses use an asynchronous curriculum, and programs feature both full- and part-time options. Additionally, some learners can graduate in just 18 months.
HU's online academic and career counselors help degree-seekers register for courses, stay on track for graduation, and explore career opportunities. Experts at the Writing and Communication Center critique student essays and teach lifelong writing skills. Other resources include free tutoring sessions and academic skills seminars.
HU offers multiple start dates per year, and online learners save 50% on tuition compared to on-campus degree-seekers. Applicants should possess at least 40 transferable credits and two years of work experience in any field. Application materials also include a short essay. Degree-seekers at this top online Minnesota university may qualify for a federally backed grant or loan.
Bemidji State University
|Bemidji, MN||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 67%||
Bemidji State University provides eight online bachelor's degrees in fields such as accounting, criminal justice, and sociology. Minors such as geography and psychology allow learners to customize a degree. Students can finish these degree-completion programs in 1-2 years. Additionally, BSU offers two online certificates in technology management and Lean Six Sigma.
BSU has an agreement with Tutor.com to provide students with up to 15 hours of free tutoring sessions. Learners who need additional assistance pay a subscription fee. The university's Writing Resource Center provides one-on-one help with essays, cover letters, and other tasks. The university's Career Services Department posts jobs for both students and alumni. Learners at this top online Minnesota university can also receive IT support during university business hours.
Prospective students must possess at least 24 transferable credits. All learners pay the in-state tuition rate, and online degree-seekers may qualify for one of three scholarship opportunities that award $1,000. These scholarships do not renew and require a separate application.
University of Minnesota-Crookston
|Crookston, MN||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 47%||
The University of Minnesota - Crookston provides online bachelor's degrees, minors, and undergraduate certificates to prepare learners for a variety of careers. For instance, students can pursue a bachelor's degree in entrepreneurship or minor in cybersecurity and information assurance.
The certificates at this top online Minnesota university employ a career-aligned curriculum that graduates can use as financial managers, home nursing administrators, and tax professionals. Additionally, UMC graduate students can earn an online MBA through the University of North Dakota.
The Career Development Center at UMC provides learners with multiple tools to turn a degree or certificate into a fulfilling job. Career assessments help students identify interests, and the center offers numerous guides and videos as well as links to local internships and job openings.
UMC accepts the Common Application and evaluates prospective learners' transfer credit free of charge. Freshmen applicants submit an essay and recommendation letter in addition to transcripts or GED scores. Freshmen and transfer students may qualify for up to $5,000 in automatic merit-based scholarships.
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
|Winona, MN||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 54%||
Learners with an associate degree can complete an online bachelor's degree completion programs through Saint Mary's University of Minnesota in four fields: business administration, human resource management, marketing, and nursing.
This top online Minnesota university created each online degree with working professionals in mind, and all four programs use an asynchronous curriculum. Additionally, Saint Mary's delivers 15 online master's programs in areas such as cybersecurity and special education.
Saint Mary's employs a student support team that works exclusively with online learners. This team includes professors, academic advisors, and career planning professionals. Distance students also benefit from 24/7 IT support.
Prospective undergraduates can attend one of Saint Mary's monthly webinars and apply for one of six annual start dates. Credit must reflect a minimum C grade to transfer, and students can earn additional credit by completing a prior learning assessment. Degree-seekers who maintain a 2.75 GPA or higher can qualify for $2,000 in merit-based scholarships. This scholarship opportunity uses a June 15 deadline.
St Catherine University
|Saint Paul, MN||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 58%||
The 14 online undergraduate and graduate programs at St. Catherine University prepare graduates for careers in public health, occupational therapy, and health informatics, among other fields. The College for Adults runs each undergraduate online program, and learners can graduate in two years if they possess adequate transfer credit. Additionally, most programs feature a hybrid option where degree-seekers take some courses on St. Kate's St. Paul campus.
Online students can contact the O'Neill Center for Academic Development to receive one-on-one tutoring help. St. Kate's also offers a unique money management program. Degree-seekers preparing for a career can access multiple university resources, including videos, private job boards, and contact information for career counselors.
St. Kate's hosts virtual information sessions for online programs each month. This top online Minnesota university accepts new students three times per year, and transfer credit should reflect a minimum C- grade.
Incoming learners submit FAFSA results and a financial aid application to apply for all university-funded scholarship and grant opportunities.