Best Online Colleges in Missouri
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With the vast number of online programs available to distance students today, it can be difficult to locate a program that fits each student's personal and academic needs. Because of the wide variation in scheduling options, funding opportunities, available degrees, and concentration areas, prospective online degree-seekers often face a dizzying array of information and choices.
Top 10 Online Colleges in Missouri
- Webster University - Saint Louis, MO
- University of Missouri - Columbia, MO
- Missouri State University - Springfield, MO
- Washington University in St Louis - Saint Louis, MO
- Southeast Missouri State University - Cape Girardeau, MO
- Drury University - Springfield, MO
- Lindenwood University - Saint Charles, MO
- University of Missouri - Saint Louis, MO
- Saint Louis University - Saint Louis, MO
- William Woods University - Fulton, MO
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Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.
2020 Best Online Colleges in Missouri
With this ranked list below, we provide some essential points for prospective online learners to consider when looking for a college or university. The descriptions highlight the details that make each online school unique. Learners interested in pursuing a remote degree at one of the best online colleges in Missouri can use this ranked list as a guide to quickly locate an academic program that fits their academic needs, especially in terms of degree offerings, desired timeline for completing a program, and application requirements.
Many students enjoy the myriad benefits of pursuing a degree online. In addition to scheduling flexibility, which offers advantages for both full-time and part-time learners, online programs usually position degree-seekers to save money on tuition and living expenses. Furthermore, most online programs offer students 24/7 access to course materials from virtually any location.
This increased accessibility, without the time commitment and restraints of on-campus attendance, usually helps students finish their degrees more quickly and avoid costly commutes between school, home, or work.
Distance learners at online colleges in Missouri also prepare for promising careers in the state. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports an employment growth rate of 1.8% since August 2018 in the Kansas City area, the largest city in the state. Additionally, professionals in Missouri with college degrees can pursue in-demand occupations, namely jobs as information security analysts, software developers, and statisticians, which feature an estimated growth rate of 35% or higher by 2026. As of November 2019, Missouri's unemployment rate of 3.1% is also lower than the national average of 3.5%.
Established in 1915, Webster is a private nonprofit school with nearly 14,500 students. Online learners can pursue a variety of remote degrees, including undergraduate and graduate programs and certificates. As one of the best online colleges in Missouri, Webster currently offers over 50 online academic programs in areas such as business, legal studies, healthcare, marketing, psychology, education, and technology. In many programs, students engage in a rigorous accelerated format with an eight-week course schedule.
Webster's remote offerings feature full-time and part-time options for both international and domestic students. Bachelor's degrees require 120-128 credits for graduation, which full-time learners typically complete in four years. Webster's graduate programs at the master's degree level typically take learners 2-3 years to finish.
Graduate degree-seekers can also pursue new dual master's degree offerings at Webster, such as the MBA and MS in finance program or the MBA and MS in management and leadership program.
Interested degree-seekers need at least a 2.5 or higher GPA. Incoming students may transfer up to 64 undergraduate credits toward their degree. Webster also offers active duty service members tuition discounts and generous transfer policies.
Founded in 1839, Mizzou is a public research institution and one of the best online colleges in Missouri. The Columbia campus is the largest university in the University of Missouri System, with over 30,000 students. Mizzou boasts approximately 125 online degree and certificate options. Remote learners can pursue academic programs in areas such as youth development, interactive media, biological engineering, radiologic science, veterinary public health, and care management.
Except for those majoring in data science and analytics or interactive media, students can complete the vast majority of Mizzou's online offerings entirely online with no on-campus obligations. Remote students enjoy self-paced classes at Mizzou and can participate in eight- or 16-week course schedules. The school also offers a flexible "six-month max" option that allows students to begin a course at any time and finish within six months of their chosen starting date.
Bachelor's degree-seekers often need 120 credits for graduation. Full-time students can finish their program in four years or less, depending on their number of eligible transfer credits. In many cases, incoming learners can transfer up to 60 credits toward their undergraduate degree. Online master's students often need 30 credits to graduate, which takes two years or less to complete.
Missouri State is a public institution with regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. Founded in 1905, the school is one of the best online colleges in Missouri and boasts approximately 24,000 students. The college is the second-largest university in the state.
Missouri State offers a variety of online degree options for distance students, including undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees, and certificates. Stand-out offerings at the undergraduate level include bachelor's degrees in hospitality leadership and professional writing, as well as certificates in television and film writing. Remote learners can also take advantage of undergraduate online minor concentrations in diversity studies, screenwriting, sociology, and religious studies.
Graduate students at Missouri State can explore remote master's programs in areas such as project management, cybersecurity, child life studies, and business administration. Learners may also pursue doctorates in nurse anesthesia practice or nursing practice entirely online. These remote doctorates take approximately three years to finish.
Competitive applicants for graduate programs at Missouri State possess a 2.75 or higher GPA. Undergraduate applicants need a 2.5 or higher GPA for consideration.
Established in 1853, WashU is a private research institution with approximately 16,000 students. One of the top online colleges in Missouri, WashU offers numerous online bachelor's degrees and certificate programs. Distance students can choose from options in human resources, international affairs, nonprofit management, business, and marketing.
Remote students enjoy access to WashU's flexible bachelor of science in integrated studies online. This degree best serves nontraditional learners with previous academic credits or an associate degree who wish to build their own degree path. Distance students choose between tracks in the humanities, social sciences, or arts and sciences. Learners develop the critical-thinking and analysis skills to engage with topics across disciplines.
Incoming bachelor's students can transfer prior college credits toward their online degree and usually finish in four years or less. Competitive applicants possess a 2.7 or higher GPA.
SEMO is one of the best online colleges in Missouri and holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The school offers over 30 online degrees for undergraduate and graduate students. Additionally, online learners can pursue undergraduate minors and certificates with no on-campus commitments.
SEMO delivers diverse bachelor's degree offerings such as healthcare management, interdisciplinary studies, technology management, and nursing. Online graduate majors include management, public administration, teacher leadership, secondary education, and STEM education.
Classes follow 16- and eight-week course schedules. Remote students at SEMO enjoy an asynchronous course format, which allows learners to complete course content at their own pace within the allotted time frame. SEMO delivers online courses through the Moodle system.
Competitive applicants possess a 2.0 or higher GPA with at least a 21 or 1060 on the ACT or SAT, respectively. Prospective students with a 3.5 or higher GPA do not need to submit standardized test scores with their application.
Established in 1873, DU is one of the best online colleges in Missouri. This private nonprofit university holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. Located in Springfield, Missouri, DU now boasts approximately 5,500 students and a variety of online programs.
Online associate degree options for students at DU include emergency medical science, environmental policy and regulations, and general studies. Bachelor's degree-seekers can take advantage of remote programs in areas such as English and writing, biology, human services, and graphic design.
Students pursuing a bachelor's degree need a 2.0 or higher GPA and 124 credits for graduation. Associate degree students need 62 credits, which takes most learners two years to complete. For bachelor's and associate students, at least 30 or 15 semester hours, respectively, must come from courses taken at DU.
Remote students pay the same online tuition fees regardless of their location. Military members and their families can receive substantial tuition discounts. DU offers a variety of internal scholarships, including several opportunities for evening and online students.
Lindenwood is a private liberal arts institution located in St. Charles. Founded in 1827, the school serves approximately 7,500 students and features a satellite campus in Belleville, Illinois. As one of the best online colleges in Missouri, the school offers more than 130 undergraduate and graduate programs. Lindenwood offers over 100 online courses each semester and 31 fully online degrees.
The school offers online bachelor's degrees in areas such as art history and visual culture, finance, mass communications, health management, and business administration. Distance students can also pursue less common undergraduate programs such as game design, pre-art therapy, and social media and digital content strategy. Graduate students enjoy remote access to master's programs in areas such as studio art, nonprofit administration, music education, integrated school library media and technology, and cybersecurity management.
Remote learners may enroll as either part-time or full-time students. Lindenwood delivers courses in an accelerated, asynchronous format that allows remote learners to complete required courses at their own pace from virtually any location.
Established in 1963, UMSL is a public research institution with regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. Remote learners at this online college in Missouri can pursue undergraduate or graduate degrees, many of which come in both hybrid and fully online formats. Bachelor's degree options for distance students include history, criminal justice, business administration, political science, and philosophy.
Graduate students enjoy remote access to master's programs such as elementary education, nursing, secondary education, and special education. Popular blended master's programs include gerontology, history, information systems, secondary education, and business administration.
Full-time students pursuing bachelor's or master's degrees typically take 2-4 years to complete their graduation requirements. UMSL allows distance students to enroll as part-time learners, which adds to the duration of each program.
Prospective incoming freshmen must possess a high school transcript that reflects a history of coursework in English, mathematics, science, social studies, fine arts, a foreign language, and math. Additionally, UMSL requires applicants to submit ACT or SAT scores for consideration.
SLU is one of the best online colleges in Missouri, with regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The school holds a religious affiliation with the Roman Catholic Jesuit Church and serves approximately 13,000 students. Founded in 1818, SLU is one of the oldest universities west of the Mississippi River. Remote students can take advantage of a variety of online degrees at SLU, including several programs at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels.
Online undergraduate degrees -- such as the bachelor's programs in computer information systems, emergency management, organizational leadership and technology, and leadership and organizational behavior -- take full-time learners approximately four years to complete. Students pursuing master's degrees -- such as the programs in nursing, strategic intelligence, aviation, applied analytics, or cybersecurity -- often need two years to complete requirements. Programs that require a traditional master's thesis or a final project may take longer to complete.
SLU expects incoming students to possess a history of high school-level coursework in English, mathematics, foreign languages, natural science, social science, and a variety of electives. Prospective undergraduate students must also submit their ACT or SAT scores for consideration.
Located in St. Louis, WWU is a private nonprofit university and one of the best online colleges in Missouri. The school holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission and boasts approximately 13,000 students. Established in 1818, the school holds religious affiliation with the Roman Catholic church.
WWU online learners enjoy access to both undergraduate and graduate programs. Available bachelor's degrees include programs in business administration, cybersecurity, deaf human services, paralegal studies, workforce development, and psychology. Incoming students who possess a bachelor's degree can pursue online graduate degrees at WWU, including several specialized master's degrees in education and a master of business administration.
Prospective undergraduate students need at least a 2.5 or higher GPA for consideration. Additionally, WWU requires applications to include official high school transcripts and ACT or SAT scores. Incoming students may transfer up to 70 credits toward their four-year, 122-credit bachelor's degree.
Located in Kansas City, UMKC is a public research institution established in 1933. The school is one of four campuses in the University of Missouri System and serves approximately 17,000 students. UMKC is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Remote students at this online college in Missouri can pursue master's degrees in nursing and dental hygiene. Additionally, UMKC offers a postmaster's degree certificate in nursing, a doctor of nursing degree, and an RN-to-BSN program. The RDH-to-BSDH degree completion program helps dental hygienists earn their bachelor's credentials.
Remote learners can complete the RN-to-BSN program in as little as five semesters. UMKC also offers a part-time enrollment plan for RN-to-BSN students which takes two years to finish.
Bachelor's degree students complete synchronous and asynchronous courses to prepare for careers in dental hygiene or nursing. Prospective RDH-to-BSDH students need at least a 2.75 or higher GPA for consideration. Additionally, dental hygiene students must possess an up-to-date dental hygiene state license and submit an application with three letters of reference.
Regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, UCM is a public university established in 1871. The school offers more than 150 academic programs and educates approximately 15,000 learners.
Online bachelor's degree options at this online college in Missouri include occupational safety and health, marketing, sociology, and crisis and disaster management. Graduate students enjoy remote access to master's degrees such as elementary mathematics specialist, curriculum and instruction, educational technology, criminal justice, and communication.
Students can complete many of these academic programs entirely online with no on-campus obligations. Most bachelor's degrees require 120 semester hours for graduation. Depending on the student's enrollment status and eligible transfer credits, many remote learners complete their UCM bachelor's degree in less than four years.
Prospective online students must submit their high school transcripts; ACT or SAT scores; a personal statement; letters of recommendation; and a list of their leadership experience, community involvement, and volunteer activities. Depending on the applicant's high school GPA, UCM expects incoming students to possess at least a 17 on the ACT or 1280 on the SAT.
Founded in 1875, Park is a private nonprofit school with regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. This online college in Missouri offers a variety of online degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Undergraduate degree-seekers enjoy access to Park's bachelor's programs in fields such as entrepreneurship, engineering administration, elementary education, English, finance, and fine art. Remote learners can also obtain certificates in areas such as global communications, industrial and organizational psychology, management accounting, management information systems, and marketing.
Students complete courses in flexible, accelerated, eight-week terms. Remote degree-seekers may begin at any of the five start times each calendar year. Incoming students may transfer up to 75 credits from previously attended two-year schools.
Park reserves scholarship and financial aid options for undergraduate and graduate students, including special tuition rates for active duty service members and veterans. Online students also receive discounts on computer hardware and software through the university bookstore.
Ranken is a private, nonprofit technical college in St. Louis, Missouri. With regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, the school offers programs in electrical, information, manufacturing, construction, and automotive technology.
Remote students can take advantage of Ranken's online 124-credit bachelor's degree in applied management. Learners choose an emphasis in management, management information systems, entrepreneurship, or fleet management. This flexible program best serves technicians who wish to pursue a degree online while continuing to work in a position outside of school.
Remote students at this online college in Missouri can also obtain a certificate in alarm systems technology. Alternately, learners may partake in non-credit career training in areas such as media and design, management skills, sustainable energy, information technology, and software development.
For admission to the bachelor of science in applied management program, applicants must be Ranken alumni, current ranking students, technical school graduates, experienced technical workers, union trade program participants, or military service members with technical training. At the request of the Ranken admissions office, interested online learners may need to submit a letter of recommendation from previous teachers or employers.
One of the best online colleges in Missouri, Maryville is a private institution established in 1872. The school serves 6,500 students and offers more than 90 academic programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels.
Students can choose from a wide selection of 100% online programs, including bachelor's degrees in English, criminal justice, cybersecurity, data science, forensic psychology, mathematics, Rawlings sport business management, and organizational leadership.
Available master's degrees at Maryville include programs in software development, leadership, nursing, health administration, business data analytics, and cybersecurity. Distance students can also pursue doctorates online, such as psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, nursing practice, and adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioner.
Depending on the program, undergraduate students can expect to complete approximately 128 credits for graduation. Bachelor's degree-seekers typically complete their program in four years or less.
The requirements for graduate degrees at Maryville vary significantly between programs. Master's students typically complete their programs in two years or less, while doctoral students need 3-5 years to finish degree requirements.
Northwest is a public institution located in Maryville. Founded in 1905, the school serves approximately 6,500 students and offers three online programs for remote learners.
Remote students can take advantage of Northwest's online master of business administration, master of science in education, and RN-to-BSN programs. MBA students can pursue remote concentrations in general management, human resource management, or marketing. Regardless of the concentration, MBA students typically need 12-18 months to finish the 30-credit program.
Master of science in education students choose from concentrations in educational leadership, curriculum and instruction, special education, or reading. These graduate students can complete the master's degree in as little as 12 months.
Learners in the BN-to-BSN program complete 30 credit hours for graduation. Most remote nursing students complete this degree in as little as 12 months.
Each online degree follows specific admission requirements. MBA students must submit their GMAT or GRE scores and possess a 2.5 or higher cumulative undergraduate GPA. Prospective RN-to-BSN students need a 2.0 or higher GPA and a valid RN license.
MBU is a private nonprofit institution with regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. Located in Leadington, MBU holds a religious affiliation with the Southern Baptist Church. The school boasts approximately 5,600 students and more than a dozen undergraduate and graduate online programs.
Undergraduate offerings at MBU include online programs in marketing, ministry and leadership, sport management, criminal justice, applied management, and liberal arts. Remote graduate students can pursue master's degrees in areas such as educational technology, fitness management, higher education leadership, social work, teaching, Christian ministry, and school counseling.
Distance students can take advantage of the college's generous transfer policy, which allows incoming bachelor's students to transfer approximately 95 previously earned credits toward their degree. The accelerated course format also helps distance students complete their degree in four years or less.
Prospective students must complete an online application and submit their official high school and college transcripts. Online students pay the same tuition rates regardless of their location and must submit a FAFSA with their application.
Established in 1892, ATSU was the world's first osteopathic medical school. Today, the university is a nonprofit private institution that serves approximately 4,000 students. ATSU is one of the best online colleges in Missouri for those interested in health sciences.
The university offers remote programs for master's and doctorate students. Available online programs include master's degrees in health administration, public health, kinesiology, occupational therapy, and physician assistant studies. Additionally, distance learners can pursue doctoral studies in health education, health sciences, health administration, medical science, occupational therapy, audiology, and physical therapy.
ATSU also features graduate certificate programs in health education, global health, and leadership and organizational behavior.
Depending on the program, online students may need current licensure or work experience in their area of study. ATSU online students typically need to maintain a 3.0 or higher GPA to remain in good standing.
Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, MSSU offers a variety of online academic programs, including 14 bachelor's degrees and 11 certificates.
MSSU's online bachelor's degrees do not require any on-campus obligations. Distance students can take advantage of bachelor of science degrees in business administration, criminal justice administration, environmental health and safety, dental hygiene, respiratory therapy, radiology, and paramedic studies. The school also offers degree completion programs for incoming transfer students who possess an associate of applied science degree.
This online college in Missouri also features extensive options in online business administration studies, with available emphasis areas in accounting, general business, human resource management, international business, marketing, and management.
Students residing in Kansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas, Hawaii, Iowa, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and most counties in Illinois qualify for in-state tuition. Prospective students must submit their SAT or ACT scores and possess at least a 2.5 or higher GPA. Competitive applicants have at least a 21 or 1080 on the ACT or SAT, respectively.
Established in 1833, Stephens is a private women's college located in Columbia. The college is the second-oldest women's educational establishment in the United States and serves approximately 900 students each year.
Stephens offers a co-educational online program in health information administration. This entirely online bachelor's degree and certificate program holds programmatic accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education.
Distance students at this online college in Missouri must complete 120 credits for graduation. Learners work directly with an academic advisor to create a degree plan around their personal and professional commitments. Bachelor's students must earn a "C" grade or higher to receive credit for a course and must maintain a 2.5 or higher GPA to remain in good standing.
The online bachelor's degree also requires students to participate in an internship in an approved acute care setting. Upon completion of the program, Stephens alumni often move on to careers in hospitals, clinics, and other health-related agencies.
Interested learners must submit their resume and official high school transcripts. Stephens expects applicants to possess a 2.0 or higher GPA.
HLGU is one of the best online colleges in Missouri and holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. Established in 1858, this private nonprofit university holds a religious affiliation with the Missouri Baptist Convention. The school offers more than 30 academic majors and caters to approximately 1,000 students.
Remote students at HLGU can pursue both master's and bachelor's degrees entirely online. Bachelor's degree offerings include a bachelor of science in nursing, as well as 18-month degree completion programs in business management and criminal justice. Remote graduate learners enjoy access to master's programs in leadership and education administration.
Bachelor's programs follow an eight-week schedule. RN-to-BSN students can complete the program in approximately 12 months. Graduate courses follow an accelerated five-week schedule, which allows master's students to complete their program in as little as 50 weeks.
Incoming students may transfer credit toward their degree or earn credit through Advanced Placement exams or the College Level Examination Program. While enrolled, online students receive guidance from a faculty advisor and the director of online programs to ensure they get the most out of their time at HLGU.
Founded in 1955, Evangel is a private Christian institution located in Springfield. The college holds a religious affiliation with the Assemblies of God Christian denomination and serves approximately 2,200 students.
This online college in Missouri offers associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs online. Distance students choose from online academic programs in areas such as behavioral health, church ministries, business management, crisis intervention, education, theology, and organizational leadership.
The online bachelor of science in general studies allows undergraduates to explore a variety of topics, including statistical analysis, professional writing, culture and diversity, and theology. Required courses include essential Christianity, Bible studies, culture and diversity, natural science, and composition. Bachelor's degree-seekers need 124 credits for graduation. Most students need four years or less to finish their bachelor's.
Most master's degrees at Evangel require 30 credits for graduation and take approximately two years to complete. Incoming master's students need a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and a 3.0 or higher GPA in the last 60 credits of coursework.
Jewell is a private nonprofit school with regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The four-year liberal arts institution educates approximately 800 students and offers a variety of online courses to complement on-campus degree programs.
Students pursuing undergraduate or graduate degrees in nursing, art, business, chemistry, psychology, or critical thought and inquiry can take several of their required courses online. These convenient hybrid programs offer learners more scheduling flexibility and provide them with the opportunity to earn extra credits during the summer semesters.
Students pursuing a business degree at Jewell enjoy access to online classes in accounting and economics. Other online course options in this area include human resource management, business theory, financial management, business law, marketing principles, and entrepreneurship.
Students pursuing degrees in psychology gain online access to courses such as introduction to psychological science, psychology history and systems, and personality psychology.
Hybrid students can also take advantage of online tutoring during eight-week summer sessions, regardless of their major or concentration area.
A Roman Catholic university located in Clayton, Fontbonne serves approximately 3,200 students. The school offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees for distance learners.
Remote degree-seekers at this online college in Missouri enjoy access to bachelor of science programs in business administration, cybersecurity, and special education. Bachelor's students typically need four years or less to finish their programs at Fontbonne.
Depending on the program, master's students need 30-33 credit hours to graduate and typically do so in two years or less. Undergraduate and graduate programs follow eight-week schedules.
Prospective undergraduate students must submit their ACT or SAT scores for consideration. Competitive applicants possess at least a 20 or 950 on the ACT or SAT, respectively. Interested learners must also submit official high school transcripts that reflect a history of coursework in mathematics, social science, science, visual or performing arts, and physical education. Applicants may also include an optional letter of recommendation from a high school teacher or guidance counselor.
CC is a private nonprofit school founded in 1851. The liberal arts institution features 40 extended campuses around the U.S. and 28 accredited online programs at the associate, bachelor's, and master's levels.
Learners at this online college in Missouri can pursue online degrees in areas such as business administration, computer and mathematical science, criminal justice, history, nursing, psychology, and education. Popular bachelor of arts programs for CC's remote student body include finance, management, and marketing. Graduate students can take advantage of several online degrees, including a master of arts in teaching and a master of science in criminal justice.
The majority of CC's academic programs deliver coursework entirely online. Depending on the program, learners may need to complete some hybrid or on-campus coursework to meet graduation requirements. Bachelor's degree-seekers typically need approximately 120 credits to complete their program. Online learners need a "C" grade or higher in their required major courses to remain in good standing.
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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