The New York Department of Labor projects that employment in the state will increase by 12% from 2016 to 2026, the equivalent of roughly 1.2 million new jobs. The healthcare and social assistance sector should experience the strongest growth during this period, adding approximately 436,000 new positions. Business services, accommodation and food services, and arts and entertainment will also likely see rapid expansion, while employment in industries like mining, manufacturing, and wholesale trade is projected to decline slightly in the coming years.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual mean wage in New York was $61,870 in 2018. While New Yorkers already earn significantly more than the national average salary, those with additional education and training can find even more lucrative professional opportunities. For example, financial analysts in the state earned an average of $137,270 in 2017, while computer and information systems managers earned just over $190,000 that same year, on average.
Both of these jobs typically require at least a bachelor's, though an advanced degree may better position candidates for managerial roles at larger companies.
Top 10 Online Colleges in New York
- Fashion Institute of Technology - New York, NY
- Stony Brook University - Stony Brook, NY
- St. Joseph's College-Long Island - Patchogue, NY
- Marist College - Poughkeepsie, NY
- Syracuse University - Syracuse, NY
- SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry - Syracuse, NY
- Davis College - Johnson City, NY
- Rochester Institute of Technology - Rochester, NY
- SUNY College at Brockport - Brockport, NY
- SUNY College at Plattsburgh - Plattsburgh, NY
Earning a degree online allows you to develop the skills and knowledge needed to advance in your career without leaving your current job or sacrificing time with your family. In many online programs, students can complete all of their coursework at a distance and on schedules convenient for them. Learning online may also be less expensive than studying in person, as you can avoid paying for room and board in addition to certain fees associated with campus activities and services.
Our ranking of the best online colleges in New York can help you find the distance education program that most closely matches your interests and needs. This ranking includes information on admission requirements, online and hybrid programs of study, services available to online learners, and financial aid opportunities. Finally, each of the 25 schools listed below hold regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
2020 Best Online Colleges in New York
Fashion Institute of Technology
|New York, NY||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 77%||
Part of the State University of New York system, the Fashion Institute of Technology offers 600 online classes and two fully online degrees. A one-year associate program in fashion business management serves learners with some college-level coursework, while a two-year bachelor's program in international trade and marketing caters to applicants with an associate degree or at least 60 transferable credits.
The college delivers online classes at the institute in an asynchronous format, meaning students can watch lectures, submit assignments, and take exams on their own schedule. Distance education courses do not include entirely self-paced options, however, and learners must meet weekly deadlines and regularly interact with their classmates and instructors.
To enter the business management program, you must possess a high school diploma and at least 30 credits from another accredited college or university. Admission to the bachelor's program requires an associate degree with at least a 2.0 GPA. FIT does not require online applicants to take entrance exams.
Stony Brook University
|Stony Brook, NY||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 72%||
Each year, Stony Brook University serves more than 26,000 students through more than 340 undergraduate and graduate programs. Online learners at the university can pursue both bachelor's and master's degrees in fields like electrical engineering, higher education administration, mental health nursing, and nutrition. Students can also take individual online courses or develop professional skills through certificate programs in coaching and human resource management.
Stony Brook offers a strong network of support services for online learners. For example, students can schedule both face-to-face and virtual appointments with writing center staff, and dedicated academic advisors provide remote assistance with transferring credit, choosing a major, and enrolling in classes.
Undergraduate applicants must submit high school transcripts, ACT or SAT scores, and a letter of recommendation from a teacher or counselor. The average admitted freshman holds a high school GPA between 3.7 and 4.0. Graduate admission requirements vary, but most programs require a bachelor's degree and results from either the GRE or GMAT.
St. Joseph's College-Long Island
|Patchogue, NY||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 72%||
St. Joseph's College provides one of New York's most affordable paths to an online degree. Online undergraduates at the college receive a significant discount on tuition, while students pursuing their master's degree at a distance pay about 37% less per credit than those studying on campus.
Online programs of study offer majors in organizational management, criminal justice practice and policy, health information systems, and human services leadership. In addition to bachelor's and master's degrees, the college offers fully online certificates in applied behavioral analysis and nursing education. Online courses at St. Joseph's offer asynchronous formats.
To apply to an online bachelor's program, you need a high school diploma or equivalent with at least a 2.0 GPA. The college does not require standardized test scores. Graduate applicants must hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA, and business or management applicants must also take the GMAT.
|Poughkeepsie, NY||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 84%||
Along with two online bachelor's degree completion programs in professional studies and management, Marist College offers fully online master's degrees in business administration, public administration, educational psychology, and integrated marketing communications. Students not ready to commit to a full graduate program can also seek online certificates in information systems or business analytics.
Online classes at the college run for eight weeks, though condensed four-week courses operate during the winter session. Marist estimates that the average online learner spends three hours each week logged in to their virtual classroom and another 8-12 hours reviewing materials and completing assignments on their own schedule.
To enter a degree-completion program at Marist, you must hold either an associate degree or a high school diploma and at least two years of professional experience. If you plan to seek a master's, you generally must possess a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Some graduate programs also require GRE or GMAT scores.
|Syracuse, NY||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 83%||
For more than 150 years, Syracuse University has provided exceptional educational experiences on its campus in upstate New York. Now, students around the world can take advantage of the university's fully online courses and degrees.
They explore topics like cybersecurity administration, creative leadership, knowledge management, and applied data science. All online classes feature asynchronous formats, and some accelerated programs allow learners to move through their coursework at their own pace.
Each online student at Syracuse receives a dedicated academic advisor. In addition, through the university's Office of Online Student Success, distance learners can watch webinars to hone new study skills, access web-based tutoring services, and remotely consult with career, financial aid, and mental health counselors.
Applying to Syracuse as an undergraduate requires a high school diploma and ACT or SAT scores. Prospective students must also participate in an interview with an admissions officer. Graduate applicants must submit college transcripts, a personal statement, two letters of recommendation, and GRE scores, when applicable.
SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
|Syracuse, NY||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 78%||
An institution dedicated to preparing the next generation of environmental leaders, the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry hosts an online bachelor of science in sustainability management. Students at the college can also take dozens of individual classes at a distance, supplementing their on-campus learning through coursework in animal physiology, tropical conservation biology, and ecological literacy.
The undergraduate program in sustainability management features a degree-completion track, and most online students earn their bachelor's in just two years of additional study. If you do not currently hold an associate degree, you should contact the ESF admissions office to determine your eligibility for admission. Applicants to the college's online certificate programs in radiation curing chemistry and environmental leadership must possess at least a bachelor's degree.
Through the college's participation in the New York State Excelsior Scholarship program, online undergraduates can receive up to $5,500 in aid per year. To qualify, you must reside in the state and demonstrate financial need.
|Johnson City, NY||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 60%||
A Bible-centered institution of higher education, Davis College offers online degrees and certificates in theology, Christian ministries, and religious education. Online learners also can customize their associate or bachelor's degree through concentrations in Christian counseling, intercultural ministries, and pastoral studies. Students who already hold a bachelor's degree may also seek an online certificate in teaching English as a second language.
Online courses at Davis run for eight weeks. While most coursework can be completed asynchronously, students must meet weekly deadlines and exams typically require live participation. All online instructors at the college hold an advanced degree in their field.
All applicants must have a high school diploma or an equivalent and provide contact information for a pastor or church leader recommendation. While not required for admission, you may also need to submit ACT or SAT scores to receive consideration for certain scholarship awards.
Rochester Institute of Technology
|Rochester, NY||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 67%||
Through four international campuses and a host of online programs, Rochester Institute of Technology educates roughly 19,000 students each year from all 50 states and 100 countries around the globe. Online undergraduates can earn either an associate or bachelor's degree in applied arts and sciences, while the institute also offers fully online master's degrees in business analytics, computing security, and construction management.
In addition to graduate degree programs, RIT hosts several online "MicroMasters" and "XSeries" programs. These modular learning experiences give students the opportunity to develop a specific set of professional skills and, should they choose to continue their education, earn automatic admission into a master's or graduate certificate program.
Undergraduate applicants must possess a high school diploma or GED certificate, and graduate applicants must hold a bachelor's degree with at least a 3.0 GPA. The college does not require entrance exam scores. Once admitted, online graduate students pay 43% less tuition than on-campus students, while undergraduates learning at a distance receive a tuition discount of 36%.
SUNY College at Brockport
|Brockport, NY||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 66%||
Part of the State University of New York System, the College at Brockport administers online and asynchronous master's programs in education and human development, kinesiology and physical education, and public health and health education. In addition, two online degree-completion programs allow learners with at least 60 transferable college credits to quickly earn a bachelor's in either business administration or nursing.
Brockport also provides 24/7 access to a variety of online career tools. Through the Eagle Connect portal, for example, students can apply to internships and jobs, complete personality assessments and skill inventories, and connect with college alumni working in specific industries. Learners can access online tutoring and exam proctoring services free of charge.
To apply to a bachelor's completion program at Brockport, you generally need an associate degree with at least a 2.0 GPA. Admission requirements vary across graduate programs, but applicants often must submit undergraduate transcripts, a personal statement, letters of reference, and GRE or GMAT scores.
SUNY College at Plattsburgh
|Plattsburgh, NY||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 63%||
Learners can complete three fully accredited degrees at SUNY Plattsburgh entirely online: a bachelor's in accounting, a master's in fitness and wellness leadership, and a bachelor's designed specifically for currently licensed registered nurses. All online classes at the college are asynchronous, and distance learners can elect to study on either a full-time or part-time basis.
Both undergraduate programs require applicants to hold at least an associate degree. The nursing program also requires a current New York nursing license and a minimum 2.5 undergraduate GPA. To enter the master's program, you must hold a bachelor's degree and submit three letters of recommendation, a resume, and a statement of purpose. While graduate applicants do not need to take an entrance exam, they must participate in an interview with an admissions officer.
Each year, SUNY Plattsburgh awards approximately $3.5 million in scholarships. The Cardinal Transfer Grant, for example, provides up to $2,000 to students who transfer from one of seven qualifying community colleges in New York state.
SUNY at Albany
|Albany, NY||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 65%||
For more than 20 years, SUNY at Albany has given students the opportunity to access a high-quality education on their own schedule and from the comfort of their own home. Online undergraduates can seek a bachelor's degree in informatics, with optional concentrations in information technology or interactive user experience. Online graduate students at the university can choose from more than 20 degrees and certificates in fields such as educational policy and leadership, curriculum and instruction, and public health practice.
Through participation in the STAR-NY Consortium, UAlbany provides free online tutoring to all students. The college provides academic assistance in subjects like accounting, computer science, and writing during the evening from Sunday through Thursday, making it easier for working professionals to get the support they need outside of regular business hours.
To apply to the university's online undergraduate program, you must hold a high school diploma or GED diploma and submit ACT or SAT scores. Graduate programs generally require a bachelor's degree and results from the GRE.
CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice
|New York, NY||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 47%||
Along with a fully online bachelor's degree completion program in security management, the John Jay College of Criminal Justice offers online master's degrees and graduate certificates in disciplines such as public administration, international crime and justice, terrorism studies, and healthcare inspection and oversight. Online classes at the college feature the same faculty and curricula as on-campus courses, though distance learners can complete their coursework at whatever time is most convenient for them.
Applicants to the bachelor's degree completion program must hold an associate degree, though John Jay does not require entrance exam scores or a minimum undergraduate GPA. To earn a master's degree at the college, you need to hold a bachelor's from a regionally accredited institution with at least a 3.0 GPA. Graduate programs may also require a personal statement and letters of recommendation, though taking the GRE is generally not necessary.
John Jay holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and membership in the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration.
|Albany, NY||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 45%||
Excelsior College provides online access to hundreds of courses, giving working students and other nontraditional learners the flexibility they need to earn associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees in fields like cybersecurity, healthcare management, nuclear engineering technology, and nursing informatics. Online learners can also choose between accelerated eight-week courses or standard 15-week classes.
To help students earn their degrees even faster, Excelsior offers UExcel exams for credit. These assessments, administered both online and at Pearson VUE Test Centers located throughout the country, enable you to easily demonstrate competency in undergraduate subject areas such as anatomy and physiology or the principles of finance.
Undergraduate applicants must possess a high school or GED diploma and take either the ACT or SAT. Prospective graduate students need a bachelor's degree, and programs may additionally require results from either the GRE or GMAT. Excelsior offers discounted tuition to current military service members, veterans, and their families.
Saint Joseph's College-New York
|Brooklyn, NY||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 71%||
In addition to the programs available at campuses in Brooklyn and Long Island, Saint Joseph's College gives students the option to earn their degree entirely online. Programs of study available at a distance include health administration, human resources management, human services leadership, and religious studies. The college also hosts several dual-degree programs online, allowing students to earn both a bachelor's and master's in five years or less.
Undergraduate students with previous college-level coursework from another accredited institution can transfer up to 90 credits toward a bachelor's degree at Saint Joseph's, meaning they can potentially graduate in just one additional year of study. Transfer students must maintain at least a 2.0 GPA in their prior coursework to receive credit.
To apply to an associate or bachelor's program, you need a high school diploma or GED certificate. Graduate programs require a bachelor's degree with at least a 3.0 GPA. Earning a master's in business administration or management also requires taking the GMAT.
|Oneonta, NY||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 71%||
At SUNY Oneonta, students can earn online master's degrees in nutrition and dietetics, educational technology, and literacy education. The university also offers online certificates in bilingual education and school counseling. Oneonta delivers online coursework in an asynchronous format, though students may need to complete field experiences in their community to qualify for licensure.
To apply to a master's or certificate program, you must possess a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university and maintain at least a 3.0 GPA in your undergraduate studies. While exact requirements vary depending on the program you choose, graduate applicants typically must also take the GRE, submit three letters of reference, and participate in an admissions interview.
Each year, SUNY Oneonta offers roughly $7.5 million in scholarships. Online master's students can apply for several awards including funds specifically earmarked for current teachers and aspiring school counselors.
SUNY College at Oswego
|Oswego, NY||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 66%||
Online degree-completion programs at SUNY Oswego allow students to quickly earn a bachelor's in either business administration, broadcasting and mass communication, criminal justice, public relations, or wellness management. Students in these programs enjoy the flexibility to earn their degree on a part-time or full-time basis, learn on their own schedule, and enroll in courses at any time of year.
Transfer requirements vary across programs, but an academic planning coordinator can help you determine which previously earned credits can apply toward your bachelor's at SUNY Oswego. To enter the business administration program, for example, you must hold an associate degree with at least a 2.3 GPA. The bachelor of arts in public relations, by contrast, grants admission to students with at least 60 transferable credits, regardless of whether they have completed an associate program.
Online students who live outside of New York state receive a roughly 50% discount on tuition compared to out-of-state students who study at the university's campus.
University of Rochester
|Rochester, NY||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 55%||
The University of Rochester offers online bachelor's and master's degrees in business administration, teaching, music leadership, and nursing. While the majority of the coursework in these programs can be completed asynchronously and at a distance, some students may need to participate in brief campus residencies or live class sessions.
Along with these full degrees, Rochester hosts dozens of individual courses online, allowing students to explore academic interests, develop new professional skills, or earn certifications necessary to advance in their career. Online courses at the university cover subjects like American Sign Language, data structures and algorithms, and the principles of economics.
You must possess a high school diploma or GED certificate to apply to an undergraduate program at Rochester. As a test-optional institution, however, the university does not require undergraduate applicants to submit ACT or SAT scores. Prospective graduate students must hold a bachelor's and take either the GRE or GMAT, depending on their chosen field of study.
|Houghton, NY||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 73%||
Through a variety of online offerings, Houghton College brings a Christian-centered college experience to students both in New York and around the globe. Along with master's degrees in literacy and business administration, the college hosts fully online undergraduate programs in criminal justice, integrated marketing communication, and organizational management. Students not ready to commit to a four-year program may also elect to pursue an online associate of arts.
All online courses at the college feature asynchronous formats and run for eight weeks. Incoming students can also transfer up to 84 credits from another accredited college or university toward a bachelor's at Houghton, allowing them to graduate in as little as 18 months of additional study.
Undergraduate applicants must hold a high school or GED diploma and submit one letter of recommendation, though the college waives the entrance exam requirement for those with a 3.0 GPA or higher. Prospective graduate students must possess a bachelor's degree.
The New School
|New York, NY||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 67%||
Since its founding in 1919, the New School has worked to create a space where scholars, artists, and designers come together to create positive change in the world. In support of that mission, the university now offers fully online master's degrees in fields like fashion management, media studies, and strategic design and management. Returning learners and transfer students may also enroll in a customizable undergraduate program, earning a bachelor's in one of 26 unique areas of study.
Applicants to the university's online undergraduate program can also receive credit for prior learning and experience, allowing them to graduate faster and save money on tuition. The New School awards up to 84 credits for previous college-level coursework, foreign language skills, and professional or military experience.
You must hold a high school diploma to earn a bachelor's at the New School, though ACT or SAT scores are not a requirement. Graduate applicants must submit college transcripts, a statement of purpose, and two letters of recommendation.
Saint John Fisher College
|Rochester, NY||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 74%||
St. John Fisher College hosts two fully online degrees: an accelerated bachelor's for registered nurses and a master's in library media for students who already hold initial teacher certification. The college also offers hybrid degrees in literacy education and management, giving students the option to benefit from both the flexibility of distance learning and the real-time support offered in the classroom.
Generally, online students at SJFC complete their coursework on their own schedule, submitting assignments and contributing to class discussions on a weekly basis. Occasionally, learners may need to synchronously participate in student presentations or guest lectures. SJFC offers online courses in both seven- and 14-week formats, requiring about 10-20 hours of work per week.
To apply to the college's online bachelor's in nursing program, you must possess an associate degree and a current nursing license. Admission requirements for graduate programs vary, but you typically must hold a bachelor's degree and submit scores from either the GRE or GMAT.
Roberts Wesleyan College
|Rochester, NY||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 60%||
A Christian institution located in Rochester, Roberts Wesleyan College serves students around the world through online and asynchronous programs in strategic leadership, special education, nursing leadership and administration, and theology and social justice. Students who already hold an associate can access online bachelor's degree completion programs, while distance master's programs cater to working professionals looking to take the next step in their career.
Students who finish their bachelor's at Roberts can apply for advanced standing in one of the college's master's programs. By maintaining at least a 3.5 undergraduate GPA, qualifying learners can earn a graduate degree in as little as 14 months, saving a full semester's worth of time and tuition.
Degree-completion programs require at least 60 transferable credits from another accredited institution and a minimum of two years of professional experience. To enter a graduate program at Roberts, you need a bachelor's degree and GRE or GMAT scores.
SUNY Empire State College
|Saratoga Springs, NY||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 14%||
A wealth of online programs at SUNY Empire State College provide a flexible but rigorous path to an undergraduate or graduate degree. Students pursuing a bachelor's at a distance can choose from one of 12 areas of study, while the college's School for Graduate Studies hosts online master's degrees in business management, healthcare leadership, teaching and learning, and community and economic development.
Both online and in-person learners at SUNY ESC enjoy a variety of student support services. For example, the college matches students with professional and peer tutors, hosts an online library of writing and study skills resources, and provides 24/7 telephone access to trained mental health counselors. In addition, the college's "1-Stop" web portal allows students to easily find answers or request services.
To apply to an undergraduate program, you must hold at least a high school diploma. Applicants must also demonstrate their readiness for college-level study by submitting a brief personal essay. Graduate programs generally require a bachelor's degree and relevant entrance exam scores.
|Garden City, NY||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 68%||
Adelphi University awards online associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees in subjects such as art education, healthcare informatics, nutrition, and social work. Online students interested in honing new professional skills may also seek one of the university's certificates in autism education, translation studies, or emergency management.
Adelphi strives to provide a personalized experience to all students, regardless of how they choose to learn. The university features a student-to-faculty ratio of 10-to-1 and an average undergraduate class size of just 21, helping to ensure that all learners can interact closely with both their classmates and instructors. Benefitting from these intimate and supportive learning environments, 95% of Adelphi alumni find a job or enroll in graduate school within six months of earning their degree.
Undergraduate admission requires a high school diploma or GED certificate with at least a 2.0 GPA, but the university does not require ACT or SAT scores. Graduate applicants must have a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA, along with satisfactory scores on either the GRE or GMAT.
SUNY College of Technology at Delhi
|Delhi, NY||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 44%||
At SUNY Delhi, students can earn one of eight associate, bachelor's, or master's degrees without ever stepping foot on campus. In addition, online programs offered at the university feature both full-time and part-time formats, giving learners even more freedom to prepare for careers in culinary arts management, electrical construction and implementation, hotel and restaurant management, and nursing education.
Online courses at SUNY Delhi offer asynchronous formats, and many do not even require students to take exams. Instead, you conduct research, write papers, and engage in class discussions on your time. While online learners work largely on their own, dedicated academic advisors can help you design a course of study, enroll in classes, and access various student resources.
Undergraduate applicants must submit high school transcripts and ACT or SAT scores. The university's graduate programs in nursing require a bachelor's degree from an accredited nursing program, a 3.0 undergraduate GPA, and a current nursing license.
SUNY College of Technology at Canton
|Canton, NY||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 36%||
Through its Global Campus, SUNY Canton offers 19 fully online associate and bachelor's degrees, along with more than 450 individual online courses. Programs of study available at a distance include agribusiness management, early childhood care and management, homeland security, and legal studies. Online students hoping to transfer into a four-year program can also seek an associate degree in liberal arts.
"Flex Learning" courses at the university give online students the option to attend class on campus whenever they choose. Similarly, in-person learners in these courses can opt to watch lectures and contribute to class discussions online when their schedule requires. Instructors facilitate connections between all students using discussion boards, video conferencing, and social media.
To apply to an associate or bachelor's program, you must submit your high school or GED transcripts and ACT or SAT scores. For some programs, undergraduate applicants must also share a personal essay outlining their academic and professional goals.