The central United States has a lot to offer in the realm of higher education opportunities.
With some of the best highways in America, the state is full of well-connected urban centers.
Picturesque landscapes seem infinite driving through quaint surroundings brimming with tradition. A bit of small-town charm comes within tightly woven communities representing some of the kindest in the country. From astronauts to daredevils, the Sunflower State serves as home to a range of intriguing American legacies. Schools standing for a century or more are waiting to guide future leaders towards their full potential.
Where east meets west, the state has a bit of something for anyone seeking an online degree. More than 50 public and private institutions offer a broad spectrum of degrees. Affordability and accessibility are key components to premium programs within the region. A network of world-class individuals and resources offers the very best to students around the world.
Top programs come to life in the home or office as education adapts to the 21st-century. Personal and professional growth is around every virtual corner as traditional institutions make the online transition. Unique platforms create interactive learning environments brimming with meaningful experiences.
Flexible coursework and assessments fit into any schedule to allow students from all backgrounds an education. Extensive post-graduate studies open the door to an endless selection of careers throughout the country. The fact is, taking the step towards enrollment in an online university is possible for anyone.
Top 10 Best Online Colleges in Kansas
||Baldwin City, KS
||Kansas State University
||Pittsburg State University
||University of Kansas
||MidAmerica Nazarene University
||Emporia State University
||Fort Hays State University
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What are the best online colleges in Kansas?
A range of online college options in Kansas helps students reach big goals. This top 20 ranking is determined by three factors: student reviews, graduate achievement, and accreditation. Responses from current and past students come from a range of online student rating sites. Feedback topics include academic selection, campus, and faculty relations. Achievement of graduates is figured by weighing financial cost, including aid, against the average salary of graduates. A school’s level of accreditation is dependent on its student/faculty ratio, entrance exam results, graduation rate, endowment, and reputation. Rankings are based on data from the National Center for Education Statistics’ IPEDS database, Payscale, individual college websites, and U.S. News and World Report.
See our rankings methodology page.
Baldwin City, KS
The top-rated private Christian University is also the very first established in Kansas. Ranking #47 in Regional Universities in the Midwest, Baker University offers undergraduate to doctoral programs throughout four schools. A strong devotion to Christianity and academic excellence allows students to reach new heights. Since 1858, Baker University has been the host to some of history’s most notable names. Political, literary, and athletic standouts alike have contributed to the growth of the celebrated institution. A favorable 13 to one student/teacher ratio keeps academic relations strong as students navigate a dynamic learning environment.
Individual courses and degrees offered entirely online through a university-wide platform. Lessons, coursework, and assessments are flexible enough to work within any schedule. Students enjoy an immersive community where bonds are built between faculty and peers via the expanses of Baker’s online campus. Leaders of tomorrow become prepared for the most demanding professions through a diverse selection of programs. Online options from Baker University include:
- Associates of Arts in Business
- Bachelor degrees in Business Administration and Criminal Justice
- Graduate level Business, Liberal Arts, Arts, and Science degrees
- Doctoral Re-certification and Professional Development courses
Proximity to Kansas City and Lawrence makes Baldwin City a hotbed of regional resources. In 2015, Baker ranked number one in private universities within Kansas on the regional list.
Over 250 academic options make Kansas State University one of the most influential institutions in the area. From associate’s degree to doctorates, a vast offering of academic programs keeps a large student population thriving. Nearly 24,000 students call the large public research university home as they grow professionally and personally. Contributing to the development of the world, research teams enjoy over 1,000 grants spread throughout more than 90 institutions and centers. One of the nation’s best college town remains a top choice for those graduating from high school in Kansas.
The campus IT department regularly updates resources found throughout an extensive network. Web, app, and full browser support put the power of an institution into the student’s hands. In 2017, Canvas became the exclusive online platform for Kansas State University students. Online instructions and interactions are enhanced by full video enhancement to make it easier than ever to learn online. KSU online coursework includes:
- Bachelor’s degrees from colleges of Agriculture, Human Ecology, Education, Business Administration, and Arts and Sciences.
- Master’s degrees in Education, Agriculture, Business, Engineering, Architecture, Human Ecology, and Arts and Sciences.
- Doctoral degree in Personal Financial Planning
- Certificate and endorsements, professional development, and minor programs
Paving the way towards a smarter future, Wildcats pride themselves on a strong KSU tradition. A rich network of current students, faculty, and alumni support learners in every field they wish to pursue.
Pittsburg State University
Number 24 of top public schools in the nation, Pittsburg State offers over 200-undergraduate and graduate programs. High placement rates and salaries for graduates makes this a strong choice for those seeking to establish themselves professionally. Extensive honors, online, and international programs give students the opportunity to expand in all directions. Six unique schools compile the latest learning resources in a community of 7,400 students within Southeast Kansas. Improving the world, the institution sees 90 percent of graduates employed or in advanced learning programs within six months. A rural, small-town setting provides a relaxing environment within proximity of several urban centers.
In-state tuition for remote learners makes Pittsburg State University an affordable choice for many. 46-degrees available entirely online give students the chance to excel in a variety of fields. Education, health, and engineering are among the many programs offered to students throughout the country. Pittsburg State online options include:
- Education Specialist degree
- Bachelors of Science in Nursing RN to BSN or Workforce Development
- Masters of Science or Arts
- Certification and professional development programs
In 2017, the institution ranks number 94 of regional universities in the Midwest. Truly a worldly bunch, Pitt State students study in over 20-countries spanning five-continents.
KU’s student body of over 28,000 students has top access to all the tools essential to success. 13-schools offer 370-degrees throughout every level of higher education. Among the most notable, pharmacy and medicine schools remain the only in the state. The city of Lawrence is a diverse community that serves as a cultural center to the state. Elements of historical, scientific, and athletic relevance come to life on a campus atop Mount Oread. Students from 50 states and 105 countries join a faculty of over 2,600 upon a pristine learning environment. Only a short distance from Kansas City, the school enjoys a small-town vibe while maintaining all the advantages of urban life.
Programs from KU are accessible to people around the globe. Interactive coursework from dedicated instructors brings lessons into the home. Assessments are upon the reliable Blackboard platform and are flexible enough to fit any schedule. University of Kansas online programs include:
- Bachelor degrees from the colleges of Liberal Arts and Science, Health Professions, and Nursing
- Undergraduate certification from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
- Graduate degrees from the schools of Business, Education, Health Professions, Journalism and Mass Communications, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Social Welfare
- Graduate certification from colleges of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, and Nursing
Amidst the struggle of slavery in the region, citizens founded KU only a few months after the Civil War. Kansas University’s halls have seen the likes of the most prolific minds in history including several Pulitzer Prize winners and a Nobel laureate.
MidAmerica Nazarene University
Traditional, professional, and remote learning possibilities become reality for students attending MidAmerica Nazarene University. The Christ-centered institution is dedicated to building a solid foundation through academic excellence and faith. The community-centered approach encourages lessons learned in the classroom to later impact the world. 40 undergraduate academic programs alongside 15 graduate and professional degrees serve over 2,000 students. One of 11 Nazarene higher education institutions on the continent, MidAmerica opens its doors to those of any religion or nation. The most popular majors are Nursing, Elementary Education, and Business Administration.
MidAmerica Nazarene University offers a collection of online degrees and certification options. Classes can adapt to anyone in need of higher education, from incoming high school graduates to working adults. Classwork and assessments are seamlessly integrated into an intuitive platform. Students have direct contact with academic departments and university programs via several social networking options. Online program options include:
- Accelerated Associate of Arts in Business and Bachelors in Business Administration
- RN-BSN or RN-MSN
- Master of Business Administration, Education, and Nursing
- Certification programs for graduate-level professionals
An ecological paradise, MidAmerica’s 100-acre campus has 1,000 trees and over 6,000 flower bulbs planted annually. Students act on an international level by joining a Go Global mission trip in one of 12-countries.
The rural-set ESU ranks 32nd of top public schools in the nation. A transformation style prepares Emporia students to become the leaders in a globalized society. Students open themselves to a lifetime’s worth of learning that includes exciting career experiences that will change the world. The university’s thorough course schedule includes many undergraduate, graduate, certification, and license programs. Founded in 1863, the university engages students on a personal level through favorable class sizes led by reputable faculty. Education, Business, Management, and Marketing are the most popular majors on a campus of nearly 4,000 students.
The rural campus southwest of Topeka utilizes the latest technology to bring higher education to the region and beyond. Affordability is the key to Emporia’s number one ranking as the best online colleges in Kansas in 2015 to 2016. Remote learners have access to graduate and undergraduate programs through ESU’s online university. Emporia State online coursework includes:
- Biological and Physical Sciences, English, Modern Language, and Journalism
- Mathematics, Computer Science, Economics, and Business
- Music, Education Health, Physical Education, and Recreation
- Sociology, Anthropology, Crime, and Delinquency Studies
An additional suburban campus outside of Kansas City adds extensive resources to a growing network of students and faculty. 24-hour, seven days per week access to syllabus, lectures, discussions, and multimedia resources creates an intuitive learning environment where there is an internet connection.
Founded in 1865, the Washburn’s liberal arts and professional programs prepare graduates to become leaders in many fields. Considered number 24 of top public schools, Washburn has an excellent 13 to one student/teacher ratio and small class sizes. Health and business-related programs are the most popular areas among a 7,500-plus student body. Located in the capital of Kansas, the campus is always contributing to the well-being of the state and nation. 1,000 faculty supports 200 academic programs ranging from Associate’s to Doctoral degrees. Washburn University regularly ranks as one of the best colleges in the Midwest.
The school’s online courses are adapted from the schools of Nursing and Applied Studies, Business, and Arts and Sciences. The Partnership for Learning and Networking, or PLAN, allows Associate degree graduates to seamlessly transition into Bachelor degree programs. From working adults to first-time students, everyone has access to a premium. Online program from Washburn include:
- Bachelor of Applied Studies in Human Services, Applied Studies in Technology Administration
- Bachelor of Integrated Studies, Health Science, and Criminal Justice
- Additional courses from the schools of Business and Nursing
- Additional courses from the schools of Applied Studies and Arts and Sciences
Leaving a positive mark on the world around them, Washburn University students excel in the fields of education and health. Graduate school placement rates in health-related studies are above an impressive 85 percent.
Creating lives of significance for students is the mission of a dedicated faculty at Southwestern College. The non-profit regionally accredited institution offers a connection to an extensive community of individuals and academic resources. A campus upon rolling wooded hills is a pleasant spot for learners from around the world to meet. 20 buildings on 82 acres support a thriving student body on location or studying remotely. Undergraduate, Graduate, Certification, and Doctorate degrees become more accessible and affordable within Southwestern’s prestigious halls.
Courses integrate lesson plans and coursework that engage students from afar. Ample service and support are available through a variety of platforms including Blackboard and Canvas. Six-week long classes give students the ability to complete a degree while working full-time or raising a family. An online orientation is ready to introduce students to this 21st-century take on the learning process.
- Undergraduate coursework in Philosophy
- Undergraduate coursework in Religion
- Undergraduate coursework in Education
- Undergraduate coursework in Sociology
Nearly 2,000 students enrolled at Southwestern College take advantage of one-on-one care from counselors and teachers. Only 30-miles from Wichita, the school offers an extensive network. Increased program flexibility makes this a top choice for those returning from military service.
Over 2,000 students meet on campuses located in Wichita, Lenexa, Topeka, and online. A liberal arts school with a strong Christian tradition, Friends University challenges students in 60 areas of study. A Quaker heritage inspires support of the community as learners develop academic and spiritual lives. Six highly acclaimed degree programs establish the skills and connections necessary for success. Friends rank seventh in undergraduate tuition amongst 17 independent universities and colleges in Kansas.
Friends University was the first institution in Kansas to offer an innovative adult education model. A collection of undergraduate and graduate online degrees continues a pattern of accessible education. Students set their own pace with the ability to structure coursework to fit any schedule. Online programs from Friends University include:
- Bachelor’s Degrees in Business Management, Human Resource Management, and Computer Information Systems
- Organizational Leadership and Transformational Change and Psychology
- Master programs in Education, Information Security, Healthcare Leadership, and Management Information Systems
- Global and Professional MBA
Religious roots are present today in the school’s commitment to high-quality, affordable education. Leading the way in diverse fields of study, Friends University has two nationally unique programs, Zoo Science and Ballet.
Fort Hays State University
The rural set Hays State University supports 5,000 on-campus students alongside another 10,000 online and abroad. Undergraduates and post-graduates study within 31 academic departments offering one-on-one support. A faculty that stresses the importance of mentor-teacher relationships enable growth at a personal level. Students become ready to lead as 95 percent of graduates go into employment or placement in post-graduate studies. Physics, Biology, and Chemistry degree-holders have a nearly 100 percent acceptance rate in health-related schools.
Education comes to life through cutting-edge technology that allows education to learners throughout the world. Online degrees offer flexibility for those keeping-up with daily demands within the office or home. Commonly voted the best online program by a variety of rating sites, FHSU delivers value within every learning opportunity. Online programs include:
- Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing, Science Degree in Tourism and Hospitality Management, and Science Degree in Business Education
- Business Teacher Licensure and Corporate Communication
- Training and further development
- Several 12-hour certificates in Applied Business
Top online programs in the nation from Fort Hays State University include Bachelors in Business and Hospitality Management. Those focusing on continuing education via MBA choose from 11 unique concentrations.
The Christian-inspired institution prepares graduates for meaningful lives. An exclusively online institution, Ottawa University offers Bachelor and Master degree programs in a variety of fields. Campuses within four states educate people throughout the country. Personal academic advisers assigned to each student encourage success in the classroom. Supportive communities built by faculty and students create an authentic learning experience.
Ottawa University online programs incorporate the School of Arts and Sciences, Angell Snyder School of Business, and the School of Education. Coursework and lectures are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for anyone ready to learn. Professional and liberal arts graduates from the innovative online school go on to fulfill a variety of roles around the world. Online programs include:
- Concurrent Associate Degree to Baccalaureate Degree Nursing Program
- Bachelor’s degrees in Addiction Counseling, Communication, English, History, Human Services, Mathematics, Nursing, Psychology, and Public Safety
- Bachelor of Arts in Accounting, Science in Business Administration, Business Economics, Education, Science in Finance, Health Care Management, Human Resources, Leadership and Management, Management of Information Systems
- Master of Accountancy, Business Administration, Counseling, Human Resources, Leadership, Education, and MBA-MAHR Dual Degree
The private, not-for-profit institution sets students upon the course towards employment within a variety of fields. A small student body is supported by an almost two to one student/faculty ratio.
Accessibility allows a diverse population of students the ability to study a variety of fields at an affordable rate. The institution drives economic development within the region through the highest quality of student and community support. Wichita State University’s welcoming 330-acre main campus provides an authentic educational experience from a dedicated faculty. Creativity and passion flow freely through coursework that inspires professional and personal growth.
The all-American school offers online degrees to people throughout the nation and the world. A virtual Wichita State University campus provides a vast number of resources to students at every level. Lessons fit seamlessly into any schedule and are easy to follow for working adults or those with families. The school offers many online options:
- Associate’s Degree
- Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, Business Management, Criminal Justice, Education, Engineering Technology Management, RDH to BSDH in Dental Hygiene Online or RN to BSN in Nursing
- Master’s in Aging Studies Online, Criminal Justice, Learning and Instructional, Special Education, Public Administration, MSN to DNP
- Online Badge Programs, Certificate Programs, Tilford Diversity Studies Certificate, and Undergraduate Leadership Certificate
Established in 1895, Wichita State University has a total undergraduate class of 11,691. The WuShock, a muscular bundle of wheat, has served as the school’s mascot since 1904.
A commitment to lifelong academic and professional growth helps students achieve results beyond the classroom. The 729 students body participates in 32 programs ranging from associates to masters. A low 12 to one student/faculty ratio allows students personal attention where it is needed the most. Maximized to fit within the schedule of working adults, program duration averages between 18 to 29 months.
Interactive lessons integrated with email and word processing programs allow students to work independently on their own time. A commitment of 6 to 12 hours per week puts individuals on course towards personal and professional growth. Tabor Online is powered via the powerful Canvas learning management platform. Learners have access to a two-week preview to see if a program is the right fit.
- Associate’s Degree in Urban Ministry and Business Administration
- Bachelor’s in Business, Business Administration, and Christian Ministry
- Nursing RN to BSN and MSN
- Master’s MBA Leadership, MBA Sales Management, and Ministry Entrepreneurship and Innovation
From Music to Theater, Tabor College continues a rich history as a contributor to the performing arts. Recently opened Shari Flaming Center for the Arts is the perfect setting to explore all creative possibilities.
The four-year Christian-inspired college prepares leaders for the challenges of the future. The school improves communities around the globe as one of five students participates in an international mission trip. A small average class size keeps lessons personable as 21 student organizations create a pleasant learning environment. Training leaders to fulfill roles of the future, Sterling College strives to improve the condition of the entire world.
Degrees and individual online courses are available for students seeking higher education on their own time. Conveniently, classes begin every 8-weeks to give students flexibility in scheduling. Virtual academic options are available within Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters. Online coursework from Sterling College includes:
- Environmental Science, Principles of Sociology, Public Speaking, and World Geography
- History of World Civilization, College Composition, and Introduction to the Old and New Testament
- Concepts of Physical Fitness and Health, American Government, and Introduction to Literature
- Contemporary Math, Music Appreciation, Physical Science, and Basic Christian Doctrine
The school has provided a liberal arts education to people of the region and beyond since 1887. 19 programs and concentrations support academic growth in a variety of fields. A diverse student body originates from 30 states and six individual countries.
More than 500 people create a diverse learning community within Newton, Kansas. With over 50 areas of study, Bethel College is a premier accredited evangelical four-year Christian institution. A rural 90-acre campus is surrounded by natural beauty and only 25-minutes outside Wichita. Spirituality, academic growth, the fine arts, and activities are emphasized to the student body. Bethel College consistently ranks near the top in best graduation rates throughout the country. A four-year graduation guarantee ensures students receive a quality education at an affordable rate.
ThresherConnect serves as Bethel’s hub for online activity for students on and off-campus. Critical thought and communication thrive through easy-to-follow coursework. Flexible scheduling allows first-time students to working adults the opportunity to work at their own pace. Online coursework includes:
- Bachelor of Arts in Peace Justice and Conflict Studies, Philosophy, Psychology, Social Science, Social Work, Spanish, Sports Management, Visual Arts and Design
- Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Biology
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing BSN
- Individualized degree or undeclared major options
The oldest Mennonite college in North America, Bethel was founded n 1887 by Russian Mennonites began arriving in Kansas. Small class sizes and a 9 to one student/faculty ratio creates meaningful learning experiences that last a lifetime.
The four-year university provides undergraduate and doctoral classes on a Leavenworth campus. On-campus and virtual degree options make higher education possible for an ever-growing population. A rich Catholic heritage inspires personal and professional goals to become reality for the young to old. Undergraduate and graduate level courses are held in the evening on the Overland Park Campus. The institution recently received 2017 Best Value School Award by University Research and Review for its dedication to accessible education.
Moral principles guide academic development to students throughout the United States and the world. The religious-centered school gives all that is needed to students via interactive lesson plans to discussion boards. A strong focus upon the individual gives students a premium educational experience at a fraction of the cost. The University of Saint Mary proudly holds the best online Graduate MBA program of 2015. Online courses include:
- RN-Bachelor of Science in Nursing
- Master of Science in Nursing
- Master of Business Administration
- Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management
Founded by the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth in 1923, the private liberal art University prepares learners to meet challenges of the future. The school’s offers accelerated eight-week sessions, with six start dates per year.
The institution in Wichita follows Catholic values to help students succeed personally and professionally. A spirit-driven community provides a realm for programs and organizations to inspire leaders in a variety of fields. Affiliated with Adorers of the Blood of Christ, a religious network dating back to 1834, the school is designed to meet the needs of distant learners and working adults. A welcoming campus in Wichita encourages growth for students through relationships with faculty and peers.
A one-on-one approach connects students on-campus or from afar via a living campus network. Interactivity with faculty and fellow students creates a lively academic environment that supports communities around the world. Undergraduate and master level coursework within a flexible schedule gives learners of all backgrounds accessibility to a premium education. Online opportunities from Newman University include:
- RN to BSN
- Business Studies
- Master of Theological Studies
- Master of Arts in Theology
The Adorers of the Blood of Christ has a membership of over 2,000 associates upon every continent. Since founding in 1834, the organization’s goal has been to empower graduates to transform the world around them.
Manhattan Christian College
Students with a Manhattan Christian College education are prepared to fulfill leadership and spiritual roles around the world. Founded in 1927, the private four-year university offers a holistic approach to academics backed by a dedicated faculty. Single, dual, and adult degree options are available to the faith-inspired student body. Utilizing a number degree path options, students set forth upon an educational journey tailor-fit to their specific needs. Proximity to Kansas State University and distance learning inspires academic growth in the center of the state.
Studying one of two undergraduate degrees, remote learners have access to accredited ministry leadership training online. Terms begin in January, March, June, August, and October of every year. Students dedicate an average of 14 to 15 hours per week over eight weeks to complete courses. Transfer credits from other institutions are accepted at the beginning of an online degree program. Manhattan Christian College online coursework includes:
- Bachelor’s in Biblical Leadership and
- Bachelor’s in Management and Ethics
- Five enrollment opportunities annually
- Flexible and manageable scheduling
Accessibility to higher education becomes reality through affordable tuition and favorable acceptance rates. A small population of students enjoys personal attention from a knowledgeable team of educators.
Central Christian College of Kansas
Students from all faiths and backgrounds are welcome to gain a degree from Central Christian College of Kansas. The Free Methodist Church affiliated school inspires a complete education that prepares learners for the future. Personal and professional development leads graduates onto leadership opportunities to better the world. The most popular majors among a small student body include Business, Education, and Exercise Science. An extensive alumni base serves as a foundation for creating student success.
A cloud-based learning management system is an intuitive platform that seamlessly brings the classroom into the home or office. Department websites, course offerings, and library access are included upon Central Christian College’s virtual campus. A service-centered approach influences coursework to students throughout the country and around the world. Communication among teachers and peers creates meaningful experiences for all those involved.
- Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration, Business in Organizational Leadership
- Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Business Administration, and Criminal Justice
- Associate of Arts
- Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice
Central Christian College of Kansas was founded in 1884 and today supports a total undergraduate population of 1,154. The four-year private school was founded in 1917 as Friends College Bible Training School by Quaker settlers. Socially responsibility, spiritual responsiveness, rational competence, and professional astuteness pushes students beyond their limits.
The College on the Prairie is a four-year institution offering a rich Bible-centered learning environment. Undergraduate and graduate degrees from a variety of fields are available upon a friendly Haviland campus. A six-block campus supports rigorous academic livelihoods with a thriving community of dedicated students and faculty. Twenty acres with eight major buildings is plenty of space for an ever-growing population to roam. Through a devotion based approach, the school prepares students to become future leaders.
Flexible scheduling and easy-to-follow coursework bring higher education into the home. Accessibility comes within an intuitive network connecting dedicated learners from all backgrounds. Programs attract adults or ongoing students who wish to study upon their own time. Online lessons available to Barclay students include:
- Bachelor degree in Biblical Studies, Business Management, Christian Ministry Leadership, and Psychology
- Associate degree in General Studies
- Certificates in Biblical Studies, Business Management, and Friends Ministry Training
- Certificates in Christian Ministry and Psychology
Support from friends and alumni around the world sets graduates on a path towards success. Development of the Ross Center for the Fine Arts creates a bright future for those interested in aesthetics and performance.