Best Online Colleges in Michigan

Our experts at BestColleges have ranked the top online colleges in the state of Michigan. Read on to compare schools based on affordability, flexibility, and academic quality. Find your path forward today.
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Jennifer Lee
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Jennifer is an editor with a master’s in journalism from The University of Texas at Austin and a bachelor’s in history from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. She spent nearly 8 years working in South Korea, teaching students English conversation and ...
Updated on June 28, 2023
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The Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget projects employment in the state to increase 8.8% from 2020 to 2030, the equivalent of nearly 374,000 new positions. The field of education and health services will account for nearly a quarter of this expansion, adding more than 97,300 new jobs during this period. Computer, mathematical, and engineering occupations should also experience above-average growth, while the state's manufacturing industry is projected to see an overall decline in employment opportunities.

The most lucrative jobs in Michigan typically require some kind of postsecondary education. For example, medical and health services managers in the state earned an annual mean wage of $118,870 in 2023, or roughly $58,000 more per year than the average salary for all other occupations. That same year, the average computer and information systems manager in Michigan commanded a salary of $156,340. These careers require at least a bachelor's degree, though some specific roles may even call for a master's degree.

Featured Online Programs

Best Online Colleges in MI

  1. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

    Ann Arbor, MI



    The oldest institution of higher education in the state, the University of Michigan provides innovative and exceptional learning experiences through an array of online courses, credentials, and degrees. Online learners at U-M explore a variety of subjects, including applied data analytics, dental hygiene, energy systems engineering, and population and health sciences.

    Nine bachelor's and master's degrees are available entirely online in an asynchronous format, though some programs may require students to complete field experiences in their own communities. The same faculty who instruct on-campus students lead all online classes.

    The university's bachelor's in dental hygiene is a degree completion program, meaning prospective students must generally already hold an associate degree to apply. Admission requirements for graduate programs vary, but most require applicants to have a bachelor's degree and some professional experience in their field. Graduate applicants may also need to submit two letters of recommendation and GRE or GMAT scores.

  2. Michigan State University

    East Lansing, MI



    In addition to more than 100 individual online courses, Michigan State University offers fully online bachelor's and master's degrees in biomedical laboratory operations, electrical and computer engineering, adult and lifelong education, and youth development. The university also hosts hybrid doctoral programs in education and nursing.

    Students in most programs can watch lectures, collaborate with their classmates, and complete assignments entirely on their own schedule. However, some classes may require live participation in lab work or exams. Online students can access all of the same resources available to on-campus learners, including the university's Spartan Success internship and mentorship program.

    First-year applicants must have a high school or GED diploma and submit either ACT or SAT scores. While MSU does not set strict academic requirements for admission, the average incoming student has a high school GPA between 3.5 and 4.0 and an ACT score between 23 and 29 or an SAT score between 1130 and 1310.

  3. Madonna University

    Livonia, MI



    Online students at Madonna University can choose from 30 bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in fields such as accountancy, criminal justice leadership and intelligence, higher education administration, and nursing home management. The university also offers a fully online associate degree in general studies for students who want to quickly prepare for entry-level jobs or begin working toward the requirements of a four-year undergraduate program.

    Founded in 1937 by the Felician Sisters, Madonna provides a liberal arts education informed by the values of faith and service. Each year, students at the university spend roughly 27,000 hours volunteering in Michigan and around the world.

    To apply to Madonna as an undergraduate, you must have a high school diploma with a GPA of at least 2.8. In addition, prospective first-year students must receive a composite score of at least 18 on the ACT or at least 960 on the SAT. All admitted students receive automatic consideration for a variety of merit-based scholarships, and Madonna provides aid specifically to graduates of Catholic high schools.

  4. Andrews University

    Berrien Springs, MI



    Affiliated with the Adventist Church, Andrews University serves students looking for a flexible and Christ-centered education option. Along with a host of professional certificates, the university offers online undergraduate and graduate degrees in business administration, curriculum and instruction, physical therapy, and public health.

    Online students at Andrews can enroll in either self-paced or interactive courses. Learners in self-paced classes have up to 180 days to complete all of their assignments and enjoy the freedom to schedule their learning around work or vacations. Interactive online courses run for 15 weeks, with students meeting weekly assignment deadlines and engaging with their classmates and instructors through email and web-based discussion boards.

    Freshman applicants must have a high school diploma or GED. They must also receive a score of at least 20 on the ACT or at least 1020 on the SAT. Transfer applicants must maintain at least a 2.0 GPA in their prior college-level coursework to receive credit at Andrews.

  5. Wayne State University

    Detroit, MI



    Online undergraduate programs at Wayne State University prepare students for careers in social work and mortuary science. The university also awards fully online master's degrees in sports administration, theater and dance, library and information science, and criminal justice. All online coursework at Wayne State can be completed at a distance and asynchronously, though students may need to take proctored exams at a testing site in their area.

    Through the university's Discover Detroit Scholarship, out-of-state students can qualify for the equivalent of in-state tuition if they have a high school GPA of at least 3.5 and an ACT score of at least 24 or an SAT score of at least 1160. Wayne State also provides aid to community college students with at least 24 transferable credits and a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

    Undergraduate applicants must submit high school transcripts and entrance exam scores. Prospective graduate students need a bachelor's degree, along with results from either the GRE or GMAT.

  6. Central Michigan University

    Mount Pleasant, MI



    Central Michigan University offers more than 30 fully online degrees in fields such as fashion merchandising and design, public and nonprofit administration, entrepreneurial ventures, and nutrition and dietetics. Online classes run for eight, 12, and 16 weeks, giving students the option to quickly advance through a program or deeply explore a particular subject.

    Online learners enjoy a wealth of support services at CMU. For instance, the university's Online Ally program pairs students with peer mentors who help them develop time management skills, try out new study tactics, and connect with other academic resources. Online students can also remotely access writing assistance, math tutoring, and career counseling services.

    The university takes a holistic approach to admissions, looking at transcripts, ACT or SAT scores, recommendations, and community service activities. The average admitted undergraduate student has a high school GPA of 3.41, an ACT score of 23, and an SAT score of 1103. Personal essays are encouraged but not required.

  7. University of Michigan-Flint

    Flint, MI



    University of Michigan-Flint was founded in 1956 to bring high-quality educational opportunities to the residents of Flint and the surrounding area. Today, students around the world can learn at the university through 20 fully online bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs in healthcare administration, substance use treatment and intervention, inclusive education, and computer science and information systems. Nine additional degrees at UM-Flint are available in a hybrid format, requiring visits to campus every four to six weeks.

    Online students at the university receive 24/7 technical support, as well as tutoring, academic advising, financial aid counseling, and research assistance through the university library. All online instructors at UM-Flint also receive specialized training in leading distance education courses.

    Applying to the university as an undergraduate requires a high school diploma with a GPA of at least 2.7 or a GED with a minimum score of 170. Applicants must also receive a score of at least 17 on the ACT or 920 on the SAT.

  8. Eastern Michigan University

    Ypsilanti, MI



    Founded in 1849 as a teachers college, Eastern Michigan University now hosts over 350 undergraduate and graduate programs in diverse fields of study. More than 20 degrees and certificates at the university can be completed entirely online, giving students a flexible education to prepare for careers in information assurance and cyber defense, technology management, early childhood education, and quality management.

    Regardless of their location, online students at EMU pay the same tuition and fees as Michigan residents. Online learners can also apply for a host of institutional scholarships, including multiple awards for transfer students who have excelled academically in their prior college-level courses.

    First-year applicants must share their high school transcripts and results from either the ACT or SAT. EMU does not set minimum requirements for admission, though the average incoming freshman has a high school GPA of 3.28, an ACT score of 22, and an SAT score of 1100.

  9. Michigan Technological University

    Houghton, MI



    Online and fully accredited programs at Michigan Technological University prepare graduates for careers in electric power engineering, health informatics, applied science education, and integrated geospatial technology. The university also boasts a faculty-to-student ratio of just 12-to-1, ensuring that all learners receive personalized attention and support to succeed.

    Michigan Tech offers both online undergraduate and graduate degrees, along with a variety of professional certificates. Additionally, 4+1 programs give students the option to earn both a bachelor's and master's degree in just five years. Students on these accelerated tracks must maintain a GPA of at least 3.0, and they do not need to take the GRE.

    To apply to a standard undergraduate program at the university, you will need a high school or GED diploma. While all applicants must submit ACT or SAT scores, Michigan Tech does not set minimum requirements for these entrance exams. Nearly 90% of students admitted to the university receive some form of financial aid.

  10. University of Detroit Mercy

    Detroit, MI



    The University of Detroit Mercy hosts nine fully online master's programs in disciplines such as product development, nurse leadership, applied data analytics, and computer and information systems. Students can also pursue online post-baccalaureate and graduate certificates to develop additional skills in business turnaround and nursing education.

    Detroit Mercy has a faculty-to-student ratio of 15-to-1, and the university intentionally keeps online classes small in order to help students build relationships with their classmates and instructors. In addition, all online courses integrate both experiential learning opportunities and the values of faith, compassion, and justice that lie at the heart of a Jesuit education.

    Admission requirements vary across programs, but graduate applicants must have, at minimum, a bachelor's degree. Some programs may also require up to five years of professional experience in a relevant field. Prospective master's students must additionally submit at least one letter of recommendation and a personal statement.

Continuing your education is often critical to professional advancement, but it can be difficult for working professionals and full-time caregivers to find the time to earn a degree. Online programs, however, give you the freedom to learn on your own schedule and from the comfort of your own home. In some cases, online education can even prove less expensive than studying on campus, as distance learners can avoid paying for room and board, commuting costs, and certain student fees.

Our ranking of the best online colleges in Michigan can help you determine which program is right for you. For each school, we provide helpful information on common admission requirements, the types of degrees and programs of study available, online delivery formats, and financial aid opportunities. Additionally, all of the colleges and universities profiled below hold regional accreditation.

Click here to see the best campus colleges in Michigan. 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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