If you’re thinking about enrolling at a college in Massachusetts, you’re not alone. There’s a reason, after all, that Boston is called “America’s College Town.”
Boston, of course, isn’t the only hot spot for education in the state, but the city does boast the neighborhood of Kendall Square, which has been named “the most innovative square mile on the planet.” This innovative spirit bodes well for online education in Massachusetts, so if you’re thinking about getting an online degree here, you’re looking in the right place. Education in Massachusetts is really something of an historic tradition—the state boasts the oldest schools in the country!
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What kind of Online College in Massachusetts should you attend?
It seems like we’ve narrowed down a few factors: you want an advanced degree, you want to earn it in Massachusetts, and you want to attend online. Great! We can work with that!
Of course, in an online program, you don’t have to actually be living in the same city (or even the same state!) as the college you enroll in, but at many schools, tuition rates are discounted for in-state students, including for online programs. In addition, where you study also helps determine the educational and professional networks that will help you succeed later on. So, location might not be everything, but it does count for something.
How much money can you earn with a degree from an Online College in Massachusetts?
Let’s establish one thing right off the bat: you won’t earn any less money in the long run just because you earn a degree online . . . or more for that matter! The bottom line is that earning a college degree in Massachusetts is one way to guarantee a solid career and a secure income. Overall, the median income in Massachusetts is a solid $15k higher than the national average. But having an advanced degree just solidifies your chance to be in the top earning bracket.
In fact, our friends over at Payscale.com have figured out that the average person with a bachelor’s degree in Massachusetts earns anywhere from $62k to $71k. And folks with a master’s degree make an average annual salary of $81k. Those figures can fluctuate plus or minus a few thousand, but the big takeaway is that you’ll be earning a comfortable living in Massachusetts after you graduate.
What can you do with a degree from an Online College in Massachusetts?
Regardless of whether you earn it the “traditional” way or online, an advanced degree can open doors for you that you didn’t even know were closed. If you already have a sense for what industry or sector you want to go into, then full steam ahead! But if you’re having trouble deciding on a career, we’re here to help!
The Boston Business Journal recently came out with a list of the top 25 most in-demand jobs in Massachusetts. This could be a perfect starting point for your big decision. You can breathe easy, then, knowing that your degree will lead you straight into a job when you graduate. Here’s a look at a few of the jobs from the list:
Accountants and Auditors
Information Technology Managers
What are the Best Online Colleges in Massachusetts?
We’ve put together this ranking of the Best Online Colleges in Massachusetts with an eye toward helping out people who are common prospective online college students: working professionals with busy schedules who are also trying to balance a budget. So we’ve taken into account the academic quality of the online colleges in our ranking, but we’ve also kept an eye on price. More specifically, we’ve calculated a “return on investment” score, that weighs tuition against the expected early career income of graduates. That way, you can know if the money you pay up front will worth it later on. With that, scroll on down and feel free to explore!
Northeastern University, known as NU to students, is a private research institution with four campuses in the Boston, Massachusetts, area. Students also can find online degrees and programs on the school’s website. This school holds regional accreditation by the NEASC.
This university confers an astounding 18 undergraduate degrees, 18 graduate degrees, and six doctoral degrees, all which can be completed mostly or wholly online. In addition, there are over 20 certificates that can also be conferred online. While most of these programs are available online, there may be residency requirements, so students are encouraged to seek assistance from an admissions counselor. The top three programs here are:
Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration
Master of Science in Global Information Systems
Doctorate of Education, Curriculum and Instruction
Northeastern is a top-tier university and that reputation follows it online. Students are given the choice between asynchronous and synchronous courses and traditional or accelerated terms in order to give them flexibility in their study schedule. Student support services, such as academic advising and tutoring, are also available, as is around-the-clock technical support.
The University of Massachusetts at Lowell is a public, urban research university. It is a member institution of the University of Massachusetts System and is the second-largest public university in the state. This school also offers a large selection of online programs, many of which have been ranked by U.S. News and World Report. This school holds regional accreditation by the NEASC.
This university confers over 50 online programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels, including the award-winning MBA program. Most degrees are available 100 percent online and never require a campus residency, ensuring that students across the country can earn a degree from this nationally recognized university. Here are the top online programs:
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Master of Business Administration
Master of Science in Criminal Justice
Courses at UMass Lowell are taught asynchronously and in traditional or accelerated term schedules. The school’s online learning management system is supplemented by the school’s online library and a mobile app so students can learn anywhere. Students also have access to online tech support around the clock, academic advising, and program coordinators in order to ensure they finish their degree on time.
The University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, known as UMass Dartmouth, is a public research university that is a member institution of the University of Massachusetts System. It is best known for its online business programs and for being the home of the University of Massachusetts law School. This school is located in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, and holds regional accreditation by the NEASC.
This school confers two undergraduate degrees, two graduate degrees, and three business certifications, all 100 percent online. These programs are for busy professionals who would benefit from the asynchronous delivery of the courses and the eight-week term schedules that accompany them. Students will note, however, that the undergraduate accounting degree delivered by this school requires at least one campus residency. Some of the most popular online degrees are:
Bachelor of Science in General Business Administration
Master of Business Administration
Master of Science in Health Care Management
UMass Dartmouth, like many other schools, prides itself on its online education services. While the school does not offer many online programs, the degrees that are available here are supported by the newest and most innovative technology available. Students also have access to a wide variety of online support services, including around-the-clock technical support, academic advising, online office hours, and an online bookstore.
The University of Massachusetts at Amherst is a public, land-grant research university that is located in Amherst, Massachusetts. It is the flagship institution of the University of Massachusetts System and is currently nationally ranked in the top 30 best public universities in the country. It is regionally accredited by the NEASC.
This school confers five undergraduate degrees, seven graduate degrees, and two terminal degrees, all of which are available mostly online. Some programs may require campus residency. Most courses, however, are asynchronous and do not require residency for completion. Here’s a look at some of the top online programs:
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN program)
Master of Business Administration (Isenberg MBA)
Doctor of Nursing Practice
As part of the University of Massachusetts System, UMass Amherst continues to strive for online education excellence. The school provides its online students with access to an online library and bookstore, academic advising and career counseling services, technical support, and even online office hours for faculty who teach courses online.
Westfield State University is a public, comprehensive research institution. It is best known as the first public university in the country to admit people without discrimination to their race, gender, or economic class. This school is located in Westfield, Massachusetts and holds regional accreditation by the NEASC.
This university offers six online undergraduate completion programs, one hybrid undergraduate program, and two hybrid master’s degrees. Certifications and non-degree programs are also available at Westfield. Students are encouraged to speak to an admissions advisor to see what program will fit their needs best prior to applying. You’ll find top online programs such as:
Online Bachelor Degree Completion Program in Business
Online Bachelor Degree Completion Program in Psychology
Online Bachelor Degree Completion Program in Criminal Justice
Online learning at Westfield State is a serious business; that’s why the school has put in a lot of time and resources into its virtual portal. Students will benefit from individualized academic and career advising services, around-the-clock technical support, and an online learning management system that a student can carry around with them on their smart device.
Fitchburg State University, known as Fitchburg State to students, is a public, four-year research university that is located in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. It is known for a strong online portal that focuses on business and education professional degrees. This school is regionally accredited by the NEASC.
Fitchburg State confers two undergraduate degrees, three graduate degrees, and one specialist degree in education with six concentrations. Certificate programs are also available in business and forensic nursing. Students are encouraged to speak with an enrollment advisor about any campus residencies that may be required in order to graduate with a degree. Here’s a look at a few popular online degrees:
Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration, Concentration in Management
Master of Business Administration, Concentration in Human Resources Management
This university utilizes Blackboard, the most popular online learning management system in the country, for all of its online courses. Additionally, the school also offers around-the-clock technical support, library services for research and paper assignments, and an online student resource center that offers students the chance to speak to an academic advisor or get tutoring help, all from the comfort of their own home.
Fisher College is a private, not-for-profit institution that has a reputation for having 90 percent of its faculty holding terminal degrees in their specific field of study. This school is located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is regionally accredited by the NEASC.
This school confers three undergraduate degrees and two certificate programs. There are other degrees that may also be available as hybrid programs; however, students will have to discuss this possibility with an admissions advisor. Additionally, elective courses are available to supplement an on-campus student’s degree. When it comes to online learning, here are a few of the most popular degrees:
Associate in Science in Health Information Technology
Bachelor of Science in Management, Health Information Management
Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing
The online courses at Fisher are delivered asynchronously and in eight-week terms. Students are also given access to online library resources and academic advising services. Around-the-clock technical support and tutoring services are also available via the school’s mobile app that complements the online learning management system.
Worcester State University is a public liberal arts and sciences institution that is carving a name out for itself as one of the best distance education schools in the state. This school offers online courses for all of its students. It is located in Worcester, Massachusetts, and holds regional accreditation by the NEASC.
This school does not offer any online programs. However, it does offer a large variety of courses that can be taken online. These courses are either asynchronous or synchronous and can be completed in as little as five weeks or taken at the traditional academic calendar term pace. Students are advised to look up a course’s delivery method prior to registering for that subject. Here’s a look at a few online classes:
Ethical Decision Making in Business
Gender and the Media
Introduction to Macroeconomics
Worcester knows the value of a good college education doesn’t come from whether the knowledge was taught on campus or online; to this end, the school is expanding its current online offerings to make way for student support services. This includes the newly renovated online tutoring center, academic advising office hours, and an online library and bookstore.
Wentworth Institute of Technology is a private, independent engineering institution that focuses on career education in the STEM fields. This school is located in Boston, Massachusetts, and has a reputation for requiring work experience as a requirement for graduation. This school holds regional accreditation by the NEASC.
This university offers one undergraduate degree and four graduate degrees, all of which are completed entirely online. The work requirement that these programs include for graduation is done within a student’s area of residence under the supervision of a faculty member. Most, but not all, courses are asynchronous, so students are encouraged to look closely at the delivery method of courses prior to registering for classes. Here’s a sampling of the online degrees:
Bachelor of Science in Project Management
Master of Science in Applied Computer Science
Master of Science in Technology Management
This school knows that adult learners need flexibility in order to reach their goals. That’s why the school offers so many options to online learners, including an online resource library, access to the online bookstore, faculty and advising office hours, and more. Around-the-clock technical support is also available for all students.
Boston University is a private, not-for-profit, research university that is historically affiliated with the United Methodist Church. It is one of the most respected institutions in the state, both for its commitment to excellence in on-campus and online programs and for the sheer number of Nobel Laureates and Pulitzer Prize winners it has produced. This school is located in Boston, Massachusetts, and is regionally accredited by the NEASC.
This school confers just one undergraduate degree, 23 graduate degrees, and 15 certificates, most of which can be earned wholly online. Students who live in the Boston area are also welcome to earn their degree through a hybrid program. Many of the programs listed are nationally ranked as the best online programs in that field by the Princeton Review and U.S. News and World Report. Here’s a look at a few online degrees:
Master of Science in Applied Business Analytics
Master of Science in International Marketing Management
Master of Science in Computer Information Systems
An online education at Boston University is a unique experience. All programs were created by the school’s Distance Education team and are taught by the same BU faculty that teaches the courses on-campus; no teaching assistants ever teach online. Students also have access to new and innovative technology as well as academic and student support services, an online library, an online bookstore, and around-the-clock technical support.
Dean College is a small, private institution that has a reputation for excellent business programs, including its online version of the degree. This school is located in Franklin, Massachusetts and is considered one of the best independent colleges in the state. This school holds regional accreditation by the NEASC.
This college only confers two undergraduate degrees: a business degree with a concentration in management. This is a pilot program for Dean College’s rollout of online degrees and will be expanded in the next few years. For now, however, online-only students are eligible to participate in online courses. Here are your options:
Bachelor of Science in Business, Concentration in Management
Associate of Science in Business, Concentration in Management
Dean’s College offers much more than just academic advising and around-the-clock technical support for its students; the school has organized a list of a dozen apps that can be utilized right alongside the school’s online learning management system. Online library and bookstore services are also available.
Endicott College is a private, not-for-profit institution that offers online and blended learning opportunities for busy professionals. This school is located in Beverly, Massachusetts and has a growing reputation for an innovative and elegant online portal. This school holds regional accreditation by the NEASC.
This school provides seven undergraduate degrees and five graduate degrees 100 percent online with no campus residency requirements. The school also confers a further nine programs in a hybrid format, including all of the undergraduate programs at the Van Loan School. Additionally, the school offers the chance to earn a graduate degree in education with international opportunities in a blended format. You’ll find popular degrees such as:
Bachelor of Science in Business Management
Master of Science in Homeland Security
Master of Education in Applied Behavior Analysis
Endicott College knows that online students are busy and have a lot of personal and professional obligations to meet while continuing their studies. That’s why the school offers a large range of student support services, including writing and tutoring support, disability services, and around-the-clock technical support. Students can even call the library on campus for help navigating the online library, making Endicott one of the best schools for online students.
Framingham State University is a public, comprehensive university that has provided online courses since 1998, earlier than any other school on this list. It continues that tradition today with an exceptional listing of online degrees. This school is located in Framingham, Massachusetts, and is regionally accredited by the NEASC.
Framingham State offers one undergraduate degree, five graduate degrees, and two certificates 100 percent online. There are also four graduate hybrid degree programs available for students. Additionally, there are online courses that students can take for non-credit within the virtual portal. Here’s a look at a few of the degrees:
Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies
Master of Education concentration in Curriculum and Instructional Technology
Master of Science concentration in Merchandising
This university utilizes Blackboard, the most popular online learning management systems in the country. It is here that students can access their asynchronous courses, turn in assignments and exams, speak with instructors, and access the off-campus library. The school also provides academic advising and around-the-clock technical support.
Bay Path university is a private, women’s-only university that is located in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. It is a member of the Cooperating Colleges of Greater Springfield. The school is known for its online programs that are aimed specifically at women. This school holds regional accreditation by the NEASC.
This school confers over 20 degrees at the undergraduate level that can be completed 100 percent online. Most of the programs focus on psychology, criminal justice, and the health sciences. At this time, this portal, known as the American Women’s College, is open only to women; men cannot apply for this program. Some of the top degrees include:
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
Bachelor of Arts in Leadership and Organizational Studies
Bachelor of Arts in Offender Rehabilitation and Victim Advocacy
Bay Path University believes that by offering asynchronous courses that meet just once a week for five weeks, students with busy lives and personal obligations will be able to meet their goal of completing a degree. The school also takes the time to provide students with academic advising and student support services, online education resources, and around-the-clock technical support.
Newbury Colleges is a private institution that is located in Brookline, Massachusetts. It is a career-based college that focuses on experience-based teaching, ensuring that all of its students, both online and on-campus, become global-minded and compassionate professionals. This school is regionally accredited by the NEASC.
This school confers two undergraduate online degrees. There are no graduate degrees available at this school. Additionally, it is important for students to note that these are degree completion programs; some previous college credit is required in order to be accepted into either program. Here are the two degree options:
Bachelor of Science in Business Management
Bachelor of Science in Hospitality and Restaurant Management
Courses are taught asynchronously and in accelerated terms. This allows for students in either program to complete the requirements in as little as 22 months. Students will also have the benefit of online office hours, tutoring sessions, and study groups to help them as they work through the courses. Technical support is also available around the clock.
Cambridge College is a private, not-for-profit institution that has a focus on adult and distance education. This school offers a variety of degree programs for busy students at its main campus in Lawrence, Massachusetts and all across the United States. This school holds regional accreditation by the NEASC.
This school does not currently offer any standalone online programs; however, in April of 2014, it was announced that Cambridge College would be joining forces with Granite State College to build an online consortium. While no online degrees have yet been announced, the school has begun offering online courses for its most popular programs, allowing students the chance to take some courses online while they work. Here are some of the most popular areas of study:
As a leader in distance education, Cambridge has been dedicated to providing all the necessary services that a student might need. This includes a strong online library and bookstore service as well as the option for tutoring sessions and academic advising. More features are expected in the very near future.
Western New England University is a private, not-for-profit institution that focuses on professional programs, STEM subjects, and online degrees. This school is a member of the Cooperating College of Greater Springfield and is located in Springfield, Massachusetts. It is regionally accredited by the NEASC.
This university confers five online degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels. Certificate programs are also available. Online students will be pleased to note that all courses, both online and on-campus, are taught by WNE faculty and never by teaching assistants; teachers are also certified to teach online as per the school’s standards. Here’s a look at some programs:
Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration
Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction
Doctor of Occupational Therapy
Online class sizes are small at this university, ensuring that students have adequate time with their instructors and feel comfortable asking questions during lectures. Courses are taught asynchronously for the student’s benefit; however, it is possible to talk with instructors during their scheduled office hours. Other benefits to a WNE online education include individualized academic counseling, around-the-clock technical support, and access to the school’s online library and bookstore.
Becker College is a private, not-for-profit institution that offers busy professionals the chance to earn a degree completely online. It is best known for being the home of the Massachusetts Digital Game Institute and for its affordable online programs. This school, which is located in Worcester, Massachusetts, is regionally accredited by the NEASC.
This university offers two undergraduate degrees and one certificate program; all other degrees do have options for some online coursework to be completed but cannot be fully completed online. These programs are delivered asynchronously and in eight-week terms to ensure that students finish the degree requirements in time to graduate. Here are some of the most popular degrees:
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Management Concentration
Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood and Youth Education
Certificate in Project and Human Resource Management
This school may have a selective group of programs available, but it does not skimp on online resources. Students who attend Becker College are given access to all of the school’s online resources, including the online library and bookstore, academic advising, tutoring, and around-the-clock technical support.
Salem State University is a public, four-year institution that has a reputation for delivering distance education for working adults. This school, which is located in Salem, Massachusetts, offers a variety of online programs for all of its students. It is regionally accredited by the NEASC.
This university confers two undergraduate degrees and one graduate degree 100 percent online. There are plans to offer more degrees online within the next five years. There is also a rotating course schedule of online courses that change every academic term, ensuring that students who are interested in asynchronous delivery methods for their courses find what they need. You’ll find popular degree programs such as:
Bachelor of Science in Fire Science Administration
Bachelor of Liberal Studies in Intercultural Communications
Master of Education in Library Media Studies
Salem State has a variety of student support services, including academic advising and one-on-one tutoring services. The school also has a robust bookstore and online library, making it easier for any student who needs online resources to find it, all within the online portal at Salem State University.
Anna Maria College is a private, not-for-profit, Catholic, liberal arts college that was founded by and still affiliated with, the Sisters of Saint Anne. It is a member of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities. It is located in Paxton, Massachusetts, where faculty members routinely teach online courses through the school’s online portal. This school holds regional accreditation by the NEASC.
This school confers three undergraduate degrees and one graduate degree. Courses are small to simulate the same experience that on-campus students enjoy and are delivered asynchronously. This school also offers elective online courses to its on-campus students as well. Top programs include:
Bachelor of Science in Fire Science
Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Master of Public Administration
Anna Maria College provides a strong foundation for online learning. The school uses Moodle, a popular online learning management system, so that students can easily attend lectures, take notes, turn in assignments, and discuss topics with their classmates and instructors. Students also have access to the online library and bookstore, tutoring services, and around-the-clock technical support for all of their online needs.
The University of Massachusetts at Boston is a public, urban research university that is a member of the University of Massachusetts System. It has a sterling reputation as an online education destination. It is located in Boston, Massachusetts, and holds regional accreditation by the NEASC.
This school offers two undergraduate degrees, 14 graduate degrees, and one postgraduate degree, all through its online portal. There are also over a dozen certificate and licensure programs available, as well as professional development programs. Students will find that the courses for these programs do not require campus residency. Here’s a look at some of the most popular programs:
Master of Public Administration, Global Comparative Public Administration
Master of Education in Instructional Design
Post Master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice
UMass Boston knows the value of hard work, ambition, and commitment. That’s why the school does everything possible to make earning an online degree easier. This includes providing students with asynchronous courses in an accelerated term schedule, around-the-clock technical support, academic advising, and access to the school’s online bookstore and library. There are also opportunities for one-on-one tutoring sessions and online study groups.
Lesley University is a private, not-for-profit comprehensive university that is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It is a member of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design and the New England Collegiate Conference. This school holds regional accreditation by the NEASC.
Lesley confers six undergraduate degrees and seven graduate degrees, all 100 percent online. There are also an additional ten graduate certificate programs available for teachers who are seeking licensure in the state. Students will find that the courses are available asynchronously and that there are no campus residency requirements for any of these degrees. The most in demand online degrees include:
Bachelor of Science in Business Management
Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction: Elementary Education Generalist
Master of Education in Individually Designed Program for Educators
This school understands that with a large selection of online programs comes the need for support services to complement them. That’s why Lesley has built an incredible suite of online services, including academic advising and tutoring sessions, for all virtual portal users. Along with the exceptional online learning management system that the school uses, students also have access to an online library and around-the-clock tech support.
The Berklee College of Music is a private, independent college of contemporary music and is the largest institution of its kind in the world. It is best known for its alumni, which to date have won a total of 266 Grammy Awards. It is also home to Berklee Online, the largest online portal of music degree programs in the country. This college is located in Boston, Massachusetts, and is regionally accredited by the NEASC.
Berklee College offers eight undergraduate degrees, all within the field of music. This includes music production, songwriting, and instrumental instruction. All programs are 100 percent available online; there is never any need to attend campus. This makes it a great choice for musicians who don’t live in the state but would love an education from the college that has partnered with the Boston Conservatory. Here’s a quick look at a few options:
Bachelor of Arts in Music Production
Bachelor of Arts in Writing and Producing Music
Bachelor of Arts in Music Composition for Film, TV, and Games
This school offers students an online education like no other. Students benefit from online workshops with industry professionals, online apps built just for the school, and individualized academic advising. Technical support is also available around the clock.
Elms College is a private, Catholic, liberal arts college that provides degree completion programs for busy students. This school, which is located in Chicopee, Massachusetts, and is affiliated with the Sisters of St. Joseph. It is regionally accredited by the NEASC.
This college has an incredible online education reputation and was ranked as one of the top 25 best colleges in the North by U.S. News and World Report. It confers undergraduate degrees and certificates in a variety of fields, including speech pathology, management, and marketing. Students will take note that the majority of the bachelor’s degrees provided by this college are completion programs; previous college experience is required. Three popular programs include:
Bachelor of Science in Speech Language Pathology
Bachelor of Arts in Health Care Management
Bachelor of Arts in Management and Marketing
Elms College delivers all of its coursework asynchronously and in eight-week sessions, ensuring that students will have an accelerated path towards graduation. Courses are supplemented with access to the online bookstore, academic advising services, and around-the-clock technical support. It is a great school for students who need to complete their undergraduate degree and needs the flexibility that online education provides in order to meet that goal.
Mount Ida College is a private institution that is as well known for its pre-professional programs as it is for its online portal. This school is located in Newton, Massachusetts. This school is regionally accredited by the NEASC.
This school confers one degree completion program at the undergraduate level, five graduate degrees, and one dual degree program. Only the undergraduate program is fully online; the graduate degrees are hybrid programs that require campus residencies. Students are encouraged to speak to an admissions counselor to learn more. Three popular degree programs are:
Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene (Degree Completion Program)
Master of Science in Management with a Concentration in Business Management
Bachelor of Science to Master of Science in Management Five Year Accelerated Track
Mount Ida takes the time to ensure that students have everything they need in order to be successful during their time at the school. This university offers asynchronous courses on a learning management system that uses mobile apps to make learning available wherever a student might be when studying. Technical support and a whole host of other student support services are also available.
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