Best Online Colleges in Florida

Are you ready to find your fit?

Though the reasons to attend school in Florida are innumerable (beaches, weather, outdoor recreation), there are as many reasons to enroll in an online bachelor or master’s program at one of Florida’s many universities and colleges.

There are literally hundreds of colleges, universities, and health and technical institutions in the Sunshine State, many of which offer whole degree programs that can be attained through a fully online education, recognizing that many of their students do not reflect the experience of the “traditional student.”

What kind of online degree in Florida should you get?

First off, you’ve chosen a great platform for your education: online learning! So many students these days are now working professionals, veterans, and single parents, and with the change and growth in distance learning the stigma of earning a degree online has dropped precipitously.

Furthermore, many colleges and universities do not even formally differentiate between a degree earned on campus and an online degree. So, whether you wish to complete your program fully online or to do a hybrid program—one that combines both on-campus and distance learning—there are many great reasons to consider it.

How much money can you make with a degree from an online college in Florida?

Let’s clarify something right off the bat: the difference in salary between someone who attended a “traditional” college and someone who attended an online college are nil. Each degree is equally valid in the eyes of a future employer.

A college degree in Florida is guaranteed to move you forward financially. In fact, according to Payscale.com, people with a bachelor’s degree in Florida make around $53k to $61k each year. That number goes up dramatically for individuals with an advanced degree. Earning an online degree is the perfect way to start!

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What are the requirements for an online college in Florida?

At College Choice we strongly emphasize doing the same amount of research for online programs as you would a traditional program. There are many advantages to taking classes online, completing a distance education degree, or enrolling in a hybrid program.

But you will still want to connect with admissions counselors. Inquire about what resources and services are available to you as an online student, ensuring you will receive similar if not equivalent support as traditional students. And be sure the program you enroll in is accredited by a recognized agency.

Top 10 Best Online Colleges in Florida

Rank School Location
1 University of Florida Gainesville, FL
2 Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Daytona Beach, FL
3 Florida Institute of Technology Melbourne, FL
4 Florida State University Tallahassee, FL
5 University of South Florida Tampa, FL
6 Palm Beach Atlantic University West Palm Beach, FL
7 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL
8 Saint Leo University Saint Leo, FL
9 Nova Southeastern University Fort Lauderdale, FL
10 Keiser University Fort Lauderdale, FL

Recommended Online Degree Programs

Best Online Colleges in Florida Badge

What are the Best Online Colleges in Florida?

Below are the best online programs offered by Florida universities and colleges. We have collated the average credit hour cost, the amount of financial aid students receive, the academic reputation of the university, and PayScale’s average early career salary for the school’s graduates, and have thus arrived at, hands down, the state’s best online programs. And, clearly, “best” for us means reputation, but also affordability, return on investment, and accessibility. Our information comes from PayScale, U.S. News & World Report, U.S. Department of Education, and the universities and colleges’ websites.

Rankings

See our rankings methodology page.

  1. University of Florida
    Location

    Gainesville, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Located in Gainesville, Florida with a campus population of over 50,000 undergraduate and graduate students, the University of Florida is a flagship university that offers a huge array of degree programs. It is also, impressively, home to more than 150 research facilities and centers. This access is one of the many reasons why the University of Florida tops our list for best online colleges in the state. Even though most of these research institutes, initiatives, and programs take place on campus, online students receive the same access and opportunities as “traditional” students.

    Features

    In addition to the many online bachelor’s degrees offered by the University of Florida, students can also attain masters and doctoral degrees, as well as certificates and specialist training. For those seeking either a BA or BS, there are nearly twenty online degree options, including but not limited to:

    • Business Administration
    • Computer Science
    • Sport Management
    • Nursing (RN to BSN)

    Notables

    The University of Florida also boasts the top spot on our list because its online platform incorporates the same curriculum, delivered by the same faculty, as the on-campus classrooms. Students can therefore expect the same amount of rigor. The University of Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

  2. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
    Location

    Daytona Beach, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Though its main campus is based in Daytona Beach, there are over one-hundred branches of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University located throughout the country and world. The school is most known for its aeronautical science and engineering programs, though thousands of students are also enrolled in one of its many other degree programs, from homeland security to business. Embry-Riddle has contributed in big ways to aviation research throughout its history and is currently expanding its areas of focus and research emphasis.

    Features

    In addition to the online undergraduate degrees in aeronautics, aviation business administration, aviation security and maintenance, online students can also earn several certificate, associate, masters, and doctoral degree options. A few of the stand-out online bachelor degrees include:

    • Communication
    • Engineering Technology
    • Homeland Security
    • Project Management

    Notables

    Embry-Riddle’s huge online student population is uniquely privileged by the university’s worldwide expansion efforts. With 130 campuses throughout the country and world, students can take classes online while, most likely, being in proximity to a campus. Embry-Riddle is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

  3. Florida Institute of Technology
    Location

    Melbourne, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Also known as Florida Tech, the Florida Institute of Technology is a highly regarded private research university located in Melbourne. This STEM-focused university is comprised of five academic departments, each of which offer online degrees: engineering, science, aeronautics, business, psychology, and liberal arts. The research coming out of Florida Tech has made a big impact in several areas, notably, global climate change, energy systems, biomedical science, optics, and software engineering.

    Features

    Florida Tech undergraduate degrees that can be attained fully online include computer information, criminal justice and homeland security, criminal justice, aviation management, and psychology, among others. Florida Tech online students receive individualized attention from faculty who are working professionals and experts in their respective fields. A popular major, the business administration degree, includes concentrations in some of the following areas:

    • Marketing
    • Healthcare Management
    • Computer Information
    • Accounting

    Notables

    Florida Tech receives solid accolades and rankings from Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, Times Higher Education, and Washington Monthly. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

  4. Florida State University
    Location

    Tallahassee, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    At Florida State University (FSU) you can earn an online undergraduate degree in public safety and security (with three concentration tracks to choose from), computer science, criminology, or social science. However, for the distance education student FSU requires she have sixty or more completed credit hours that can transfer first before applying to become an online student. That makes this degree a perfect option for those who already have some college under their belt but they just need to finish their degree and are looking for the most flexible, affordable option possible.

    Features

    A leader in the State University System of Florida, Florida State University is based in Tallahassee and is a public research institution with space- and sea-grant recognition. It is known for its emphasis on and contributions to research and its many well-ranked academic departments, including the the following areas:

    • Clinical Psychology
    • Criminology
    • Education
    • Library Information

    Notables

    Florida State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. It is made up of over a dozen colleges and schools, more than one-hundred research centers, and nearly four-hundred programs of study.

  5. University of South Florida
    Location

    Tampa, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Though the University of South Florida does not offer the broadest selection of online degrees, its excellence in teaching ensures its distance education students receive the best academic experience. In addition to online bachelor’s degrees, USF features programs for those lifelong learners who are fifty years or older. USF has a program that helps seniors develop computer skills or take liberal arts classes.

    Features

    In addition to the bachelor degrees, the University of South Florida provides opportunities for students to earn many graduate degrees and certificates. Undergraduate online degree options include two BA programs—in criminology and in women’s and gender studies. Among the six online BS programs are:

    • Information Systems
    • Public Health
    • Nursing (RN to BSN)
    • Criminal Justice

    Notables

    Ranked as among the top one-hundred universities nationally by ARWU and Washington Monthly, the University of South Florida’s research endeavors are growing exponentially, especially in its focus on biomedical health science, sustainability, and transportation research. USF is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

  6. Palm Beach Atlantic University
    Location

    West Palm Beach, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    A small school of approximately 2,500 undergraduates, Palm Beach Atlantic University is a interdenominational Christian institution that emphasizes leadership and service in addition to learning. Comprised of nine schools, Palm Beach Atlantic offers over fifty areas of study, though for those who wish to earn an online degree, the options are a bit smaller. Palm Beach Atlantic also proffers a fully online MS in Leadership degree.

    Features

    Many of Palm Beach Atlantic’s online students are those leading full lives, either working professionally and/or raising a family. For that reason, the university has gone to great lengths to ensure a high-quality distance program that can meet their students where they’re at and help them advance their careers. The Office of Online Learning is part of the Center for Teaching Excellence and it provides connections, resources, and services to both its students and faculty, including training on the e-learning platform. Currently, those who desire to study full-time online can earn a bachelors in the following areas:

    • Ministry
    • Organizational Management
    • Psychology
    • Nursing (RN to BSN)

    Notables

    Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, West Palm Beach Atlantic University is often regionally ranked among the best by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report. For students with a busy schedule who want a degree incorporating Christian values, West Palm Beach may be the best fit.

  7. University of Central Florida
    Location

    Orlando, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Located in Orlando, the University of Central Florida is one of the largest in the country with a total population of around 65,000 undergraduates and grad students. It is known for its close partnerships with the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. In addition to being nationally and globally ranked as a whole, many of UCF’s individual departments and programs receive accolades from U.S. News & World Report including its computer science, criminology, education, healthcare management, and psychology departments.

    Features

    Furthermore, U.S. News & World Report recognizes UCF as having one of the best online undergraduate experiences in the country. Offering twenty online majors as well as literally dozens of minors, the diversity of options at UCF is nearly unmatched. Some of the online BAs include degree programs in anthropology, communication and conflict, creative writing, history, interdisciplinary studies, Latin American studies, sociology, and much more. Online BS degrees include:

    • Nursing
    • Technical Education
    • Health Services Administration
    • Health Informatics

    Notables

    The University of Central Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. It is a high-research university that collaborates closely with corporations such as Lockheed, Boeing, and Siemens.

  8. Saint Leo University
    Location

    Saint Leo, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    A Roman Catholic university located north of Tampa, Saint Leo University is a private liberal arts school. Of all the online programs on this ranking, Saint Leo’s Center for Online Learning platform was created in 1998, making it the longest-running distance learning program on our list.

    Features

    Students can choose from among twenty fully online degree programs, in addition to four minors that can be paired with their chosen major. There are online degrees in accounting, computer information systems, cybersecurity, health care management, criminal justice, liberal studies, psychology, HR management, homeland security, and more. Within the Bachelors in Business Administration programs you’ll find four tracks:

    • Logistics
    • Management
    • Marketing
    • Project Management

    Notables

    From being named one of the “Top Universities in the South” to being recognized as having one of the best online platforms in the country, Saint Leo receives a lot of praise for a range of programs and services. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

  9. Nova Southeastern University
    Location

    Fort Lauderdale, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Nova Southeastern University is a small school located in Fort Lauderdale. Through its eighteen colleges and schools, NSU offers nearly two-hundred academic areas of study, most of which are professional programs, such as its law, business, pharmacy, dentistry, optometry, and nursing degrees. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Nova Southeastern University is recognized as a high research institution ranked by both U.S. News & World Report and Washington Monthly.

    Features

    Nova Southeastern’s SREB (Southern Regional Education Board) certified electronic campus offers four bachelor degrees and a plethora of masters degrees that can be achieved fully online. The undergrad programs include BS degrees in business management, health science, psychology, and nursing. The masters programs include everything from cross-disciplinary studies to biomedical informatics. Other master’s programs include:

    • Accounting
    • Business Administration
    • Education
    • Counseling

    Notables

    Additionally, there are options to gain specialist training online, a doctoral degree, and graduate certificates. The SREB-certified e-campus is comprised of faculty-student forums, real-time online classrooms, and access to the electronic library and online databases.

  10. Keiser University
    Location

    Fort Lauderdale, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    A private university located in Fort Lauderdale, Keiser University is most known for its degrees in the health professions—such as its nursing, administration, and health research degrees—and computer and information sciences. Keiser University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and is an active member of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida organization.

    Features

    Keiser University’s online division not only provides a number of degree options for those students desiring to earn their degree fully online, but it provides those students with professional assistance, giving resume guidance and preparation help, helping students hone interview skills, offering professional development workshops, and connecting students to the online career center for job postings. In addition to the ten associate degrees Keiser offers online, students can earn one of nearly twenty bachelor degrees. Those programs cover some of the following:

    • Accounting
    • Criminal Justice
    • Imaging Sciences
    • Legal Studies

    Notables

    There are also five post-bachelor online degree opportunities at Keiser: business administration, educational leadership, instructional design and technology, management, and nursing. Finally, unique to Keiser, is an online program for those students with very little or no proficiency in English: the course completion certificate in English for speakers of other languages. Completion of this program allows students to enroll in an academic program without having taken the TOEFL test.

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