15 Best Online Colleges in Louisiana

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Louisiana is a collision of cultures, languages, and landscapes. Even in the melting pot that is America, Louisiana is like no other state in terms of its historical and cultural background.

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The combination of French, Spanish, Native American, and African influences has produced a vibrant and dynamic location to live, work, and study.

The economy of Louisiana is varied and diverse, with extensive agricultural production of sugarcane, soybeans, cattle, seafood, and more. Energy is another important industry; the state is rich in resources like natural gas and petroleum, both onshore and offshore.

Another major driver of economic growth is tourism, particularly in the New Orleans area. The city’s famous French Quarter, Jazz Fest, and Mardi Gras celebrations draw in visitors from all over the world to admire the city’s rich history, unique architecture, and exceptional cultural attractions.

Louisiana has also been named one of the top states in the nation for small businesses, based on data from more than 12,000 small business owners.

All of these factors, taken together, make Louisiana an incredible choice for students who plan to earn a degree and launch a career in the Bayou State. Online colleges have opened up educational opportunities for people who otherwise may not have the chance to earn a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate degree.

For anyone who has a full-time job, family commitments, or any other limitation that prevents them from regularly attending in-person classes, the many online colleges in Louisiana put higher education back in reach.

Top 10 Best Online Colleges in Louisiana


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What are the best online colleges in Louisiana?

In our ranking of the best online colleges in Louisiana, we take into account two overarching factors: institutional excellence and return on investment. The institutional excellence determination is based on factors such as the test scores of incoming students, graduation rate, institutional reputation, endowment size, and student-faculty ratio. We also rate each college for return on investment based on tuition costs, average financial aid packages, student indebtedness after graduation, and expected early career salary for graduates. Using data provided by individual college websites, U.S. News & World Report, Payscale, and the IPEDS database, we’ve compiled the following ranking to help you choose among the best online colleges in Louisiana.

Rankings 

See our rankings methodology page.

  1. Tulane University of Louisiana
    Location

    New Orleans, LA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Tulane University is one of the premier higher education institutions in the United States. The campus is set in the historically and culturally vibrant city of New Orleans, just four miles from the world-famous French Quarter. Acclaimed faculty and a diverse student body make up the intellectual community of Tulane, earning the university the #39 slot in National Universities as ranked by U.S. News World Report.

    Features

    Tulane s Distance Learning program offers numerous acclaimed academic programs for graduate level students. The university has a ten-year history of providing outstanding learning opportunities for practicing professionals to further their careers. Online degree tracks, available through Tulane s renowned School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, include the following:

    Master of Public Health in Occupational Health and Safety Management Master of Public Health in Occupational and Environmental Health Master of Public Health in Disaster Management Master of Science and Public Health in Industrial Hygiene

    Details

    Classes for Tulane s Distance Learning programs are presented synchronously, meaning that students will sign on and participate in coursework at the same time as their classmates and teachers. Typically, students will take two courses each semester, including summers, for three years. Each class meets at least once a week. All students will complete a Practicum and Culminating Experience at the conclusion of their program.

  2. University of Louisiana at Lafayette
    Location

    Lafayette, LA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    High standards for the faculty who design and teach online courses have been a key component to the success of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette s online degree program. An emphasis on student-focused, learning-centered academic programs has led to UL-Lafayette being a top choice for students in the Lafayette region as well as across the country who are looking to further their careers in healthcare administration, nursing, or physical health education.

    Features

    The online and hybrid course catalog at UL-Lafayette is extensive and includes numerous resources to ensure student success, including access to 24/7 technical support, online tutoring, digital library services, and other high-impact tools. The three fully online bachelor s degree programs at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette include:

    Physical Education Teaching and Coaching Health/Health Care Administration and Management Registered Nursing

    Details

    Each of the 82 full-time faculty members at UL-Lafayette who teach online courses have been certified through the nationally recognized ULearn Online Teacher or ULearn Course Designer program. The online bachelor s degree tracks at UL-Lafayette have been available since the 2011-2012 academic year; they now enroll a total of roughly 1,700 students as of 2017. Online courses feature responsive design for access on tablets and phones, integrated audio and video recordings, and in-house course development.

  3. Louisiana Tech University
    Location

    Ruston, LA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Named by Kiplinger s 2017 Best College Values Report as Louisiana s best value in higher education, and one of the 75 best values in the country, Louisiana Tech University is an excellent choice among regional and national colleges for low tuition costs and rigorous academic programs. According to Times Higher Education and World University Rankings, LTU is one of 20 universities that is set to challenge the elite universities and become globally renowned by the year 2030.

    Features

    Fully online programs at Louisiana Tech are numerous, and include bachelor s degrees, master s degrees, add-on certificates, and post-baccalaureate certificates. Students may pursue a Bachelor of Science in Health Informatics Information Management, or one of the popular graduate degree programs, including:

    Engineering Technology Management (M.S.) Engineering, Industrial Engineering Concentration (M.S.) Master in Business Administration

    Details

    LTU s online portal is known as Global Campus, which provides academic and professional development opportunities for students, employers, and organizations. All of the needed classroom material is archived through the online learning platform for access at any time. Close to 100% of students are employed full-time when they enroll in LTU s graduate engineering programs, a testament to the program s flexible scheduling and adaptability for work and home obligations.

  4. University of New Orleans
    Location

    New Orleans, LA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of New Orleans is a mid-sized public institution located on New Orleans bustling lakefront. The university has a pedigree of inclusion and diversity; it opened in 1958 as the very first fully integrated public university in the South. Besides its outstanding academic rankings (UNO is highly ranked by the Princeton Review, Forbes, and U.S. News World Report), the institution is also a driving force of the region s business growth, generating a $470.5 million dollar economic impact for metropolitan New Orleans in the 2014-15 fiscal year.

    Features

    UNO offers a number of fully online degree programs, primarily at the graduate level. Undergraduate students can pursue either a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies or a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy. Master s degree students have some additional options, including the following particularly popular programs:

    English (M.A.) Engineering Management (M.S.) Romance Languages (M.A.) Hospitality and Tourism Management (M.S.)

    Details

    Some of UNO s online programs allow students to take a certain number of credit hours on campus to supplement their online coursework, an ideal option for students who prefer a more hybrid educational experience instead of a fully remote one. UNO consistently ranks as one of the colleges with the lowest amount of student debt at graduation, helped by low tuition costs and the $41 million awarded annually in financial aid and scholarships to students.

  5. McNeese State University
    Location

    Lake Charles, LA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Located in Lake Charles, McNeese State University was founded in 1939 as a junior college and today offers undergraduate and graduate degrees across the full breadth of academic fields, from engineering and computer science to nursing to agriculture to visual arts. The university serves a total of 7,500 students, about 600 of which are online students. The 121-acre main campus is complemented by nearly 800 acres of donated farmland that the university uses for research and agriculture.

    Features

    A variety of associate s degrees, bachelor s degrees, master s degrees, and specialty certificates are available through McNeese s Online Learning program. Some of these academic tracks are fully online and require students to work through the course material independently, while some are available as hybrid programs with limited in-class time to round out students academic experience. The wholly online degree programs at McNeese include the following popular options for undergraduates:

    Criminal Justice (B.S.) Business Management (B.S.) Nursing (B.S.) Psychology (B.S.)

    Details

    McNeese State University prides itself on being a regional institution with roots in the local community. Whether students attend McNeese online or through traditional enrollment, they ll benefit from the university s partnerships with the Southwest Entrepreneurial and Economic Development Center and the Louisiana Environmental Research Center, which provide plentiful research opportunities and networking connections for MSU students.

  6. Loyola University New Orleans
    Location

    New Orleans, LA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The Jesuit tradition is closely intertwined with the history of the city of New Orleans. When the Jesuit order was restored in 1837 after having been banned from all French colonies, seven priests arrived and established what was then called the College of the Immaculate Conception. Today, Loyola University New Orleans is a nationally renowned institution; it s been named #4 in the region for diversity and #12 Best Value in the South by U.S. News World Report.

    Features

    Among its impressive list of distinctions, LUNO was named as one of the Top 150 online education programs nationwide. The online offerings at Loyola are primarily degrees at the graduate level, including these top programs:

    Master of Science in Nursing Master of Pastoral Studies Master of Religious Education Doctor of Nursing Practice

    Details

    Loyola uses the Blackboard learning management system to let the classroom come to you. For most academic tracks, all classes will be offered asynchronously, meaning that students can access and work through course material at any time (not just during designated class times). However, that doesn t mean that earning an online degree through LUNO is easy: the majority of Loyola students report that the remote online courses are just as challenging, and just as engaging, as in-person classes.

  7. Southeastern Louisiana University
    Location

    Hammond, LA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The campus of Southeastern Louisiana University is located on 363 acres in Hammond, LA. SLU is the third-largest public university in the state, with a student body of over 15,000. The Division I Athletics, 94 student organizations, and 20 Greek organizations encourage a vibrant and involved student community, making Southeastern a popular choice for students who live on campus, as well as students who commute or who study from home.

    Features

    SLU offers two different types of distance learning: one is composed of 50% to 99% online courses, while the other is 100% online. The suite of fully online degree and certificate tracks are primarily for those pursuing a career in nursing, with BSN, MSN, and DNP programs available. In addition to nursing programs, hybrid degrees are offered for the following fields:

    Family and Consumer Science (B.S.) General Studies (B.G.S.) Master of Arts in Teaching, Special Education/Early Intervention, Birth-5 (M.A.T.)

    Details

    The university makes it a priority to ensure that students are ready for online learning and that they receive the support and guidance they need to succeed. To that end, SLU offers a Readiness Quiz to help students determine whether they re prepared for the specific challenges of distance education. SLU utilizes the Moodle learning platform to deliver course content, so students are able to access class material at any time.

  8. Grambling State University
    Location

    Grambling, LA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The motto of Grambling State University is Where Everybody is Somebody, exemplifying the university s commitment to supporting the growth and success of each individual student. GSU has grown and prospered greatly since its initial founding in 1901, and particularly in the last four decades, which has seen the addition of numerous academic tracks to the university s catalog. Today, GSU is especially well known for its nursing, computer science, and teacher education programs.

    Features

    While Grambling State offers an array of online and blended courses that can be used to earn credits toward nearly any of the university s 47 degree programs, the degree tracks that are fully remote are focused around the field of teacher education. Online degree programs include:

    Developmental Education (M.S.) Post Master s Certificate in Developmental Education Developmental Education (Ed.D)

    Details

    Starting in August 2017, Grambling State will transition its learning platform to Canvas, a state-of-the-art learning management system. A number of different types of online and nontraditional courses are available at Grambling. Students may sign up for fully online courses, web-enhanced courses (traditional on-campus instruction augmented with digital coursework), blended courses (a combination of face-to-face classroom instruction and computer-based learning), and videoconferencing courses (which are primarily conducted in the on-campus and remote campus videoconferencing suites).

  9. Northwestern State University of Louisiana
    Location

    Natchitoches, LA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Established in 1884, Northwestern State University of Louisiana is a public institution serving just over 9,000 total students. The main campus of NSUL is located in Natchitoches, while satellite campuses are located in Leesville and Alexandria. A separate campus for the nursing program is located in Shreveport.

    Features

    Fully online programs at Northwestern State include a wide variety of degrees for students at every stage of their academic career, from associate s degrees to doctorate degrees. Numerous blended or hybrid degree and certificate tracks are also offered, including a Bachelor of Applied Science in Resource Management and Post Master s Certificate in Family Nurse Practitioner. Popular undergraduate online programs include:

    Criminal Justice (B.A. with optional concentration in Prelaw and Paralegal Studies) Business Administration (B.S.) Computer Information Systems (B.S.) Liberal Arts (B.A.)

    Details

    In addition to traditional class schedules for online courses, NSUL also offers fast-track courses, which allow students to focus on just one or two classes at a time. These classes run for eight weeks during spring or fall semesters, or three, five, or six weeks during the summer term. The majority of online courses will feature a combination of recorded lectures and textbook readings. Some may also feature online class meetings via WebEx and posting on discussion forums.

  10. Louisiana State University of Alexandria
    Location

    Baton Rouge, LA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    It s fitting that Louisiana State University of Alexandria is located in the geographic center of the state; just as the physical campus puts students within easy reach of anywhere they want to go in Louisiana, it also puts a wide variety of degree programs and academic resources within their grasp. LSU Alexandria provides an excellent balance of challenging, rigorous academics and low cost. In 2014, the school earned the #2 slot in terms of the lightest debt load incurred by students upon graduation by U.S. News World Report.

    Features

    A number of bachelor s and associate s degrees are available through LSU Alexandria s extensive online learning program. Most of these programs are focused on business, nursing and health care, criminal justice, and liberal arts and sciences. Some of the most popular online degree programs include:

    Medical Laboratory Science (B.S.) English (B.A.) Business Administration (B.S.) Elder Care Administration (B.S.)

    Details

    Students who are studying remotely will have full access to the university s extensive online library, featuring thousands of journals, articles, and ebooks. LSU Alexandria utilizes the learning management system Moodle to deliver course content, and provides plentiful video tutorials and technical resources, as well as easily accessible support staff, to help students navigate the online learning platform.

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