Best Online Colleges in Pennsylvania 1

For high school seniors looking forward to graduating, for older adults looking for a career change or boost, and for everyone in between, online schooling can be a great option. Online students cite a number of reasons when they explain why they chose online. Often, it has to do with their desire for a more flexible schedule, to reduce time spent commuting, and to save money. All these are good reasons. Further, the stigma that once accompanied online colleges has now largely dissipated, especially if you stick with the accredited options that we list in our ranking below of the best online colleges in Pennsylvania.

By and large, these colleges are brick-and-mortar institutions that have a long tradition of excellent teaching and scholarship. With the 21st century, however, they’ve realized that online schooling is really the way of the future. So you might be a Pennsylvania state resident looking to save on in-state tuition, or someone from out of state who has always dreamed about one of these colleges. Whether either of these – or something else – describes you, this list probably has an institution on it that can meet your needs.

As a state, Pennsylvania boasts the sixth largest economy in the country, and if the state were its own country, it would rank in the top 20 internationally. So if you’re looking to build networks for later success in business, industry, or a professional field, you’re well placed to do so, especially if you connect with professors and classmates – which is still possible, even online.

What are the best online colleges in Pennsylvania?

So how did we get our ranking? This list is the result of multi-source data aggregation, in which we scoured all the statistical sets we could get our hands on. In doing so, we looked for two things: institutional excellence and return on investment. By institutional excellence, we mean the quality of the school in question – we want to make sure you get a top-notch education. By return on investment, we mean how much this education will improve your earning prospects. Our data comes from IPEDS, Payscale, and U.S. News and World Report.

1

University of Pennsylvania

College Choice Score: 100

Average Net Price: $49,536

School Website

Overview

University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) was founded in 1740 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, by Benjamin Franklin. It is one of the founding members of the Association of American Universities. Today, the 302-acre campus supports over 165 research organizations and over 10,000 undergraduate students.

Features

Most of the classes at the University of Pennsylvania are on campus. However, the Penn Online Learning Initiative creates a unique online learning environment for students with credit and non-credit options. Types of classes include:

  • Online Credit Courses – these classes are either fully online or hybrid formats that will allow students to gain undergraduate and graduate credits.
  • Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) – non-credit continuing education course that is offered through Coursera or EdX, such as Accounting Analytics, Building High-Performing Teams, Robotics: Mobility, Robotics: Aerial Robotics and Single Variable Calculus
  • Professional Development – non-credit training program for workforce
  • Flipped Courses – a unique learning environment where content is learned before class and then discussed in class with the professor.
  • Online Student Communities – Student informational hub that connects students to peers, departments and Penn resources

Notables

The University of Pennsylvania has been the first to do many things. They are the first higher education institution to follow the European multidisciplinary model. It is the first collegiate business school (Wharton, 1881); had the first electronic, large-scale general-purpose digital computer (ENIAC, 1946); and the first Ivy League female president (Judith Rodin, 1994). Notable alumni include US President William Henry Harrison and current President Donald Trump.

2

Carnegie Mellon University

College Choice Score: 94.08

Average Net Price: $50,665

School Website

Overview

Carnegie Mellon University was founded in 1900 in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania by Andrew Carnegie. Today this 149-acre private research university provides online and on-campus educational opportunities to well over 14,000 students. It continually ranks within the top 25 US universities by the U.S. News and World Report.

Features

The Carnegie Mellon University experience is best experienced on campus. However, the university has for-credit online courses, non-credit MOOC courses and a few master-level online degrees available. The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute is one of the venues that the university uses for non-credit programming. For the online degree programs, Carnegie Mellon offers the following:

  • Master of Science in Business Intelligence & Data Analytics
  • Master of Science in Information Security & Assurance
  • Master of Science in Information Technology & Management

Notables

Carnegie Mellon University has been known for scientific research. They were the first to offer a Robotics and Drama programs as well as the first institution to offer a LAN based wi-fi network in 1993. Their alumna Stephanie Kwolek discovered the Kevlar fiber and had been used to protect personnel for decades. James Gosling is the father of Java – the programming language.

3

Lehigh University

College Choice Score: 92.66

Average Net Price: $46,230

School Website

Overview

Lehigh University was founded in1865 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania by Asa Packer, railroad construction business pioneer that was also a 2-term Democratic US House of Representatives. Today, it is one of the 24 “hidden Ivy” league schools in the Northeastern Region of the United States.

Features

Lehigh University has been offering online or distance learning programming since 1992. Today, most of the undergraduate courses are still on-site courses. However, the ones that are online follow the same curriculum offered in a physical class. At this time, Lehigh University offers 12 online graduate programs specifically created for STEM fields:

  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Engineering in Biological Chemical Engineering
  • Master of Engineering in Chemical Engineering
  • Master of Engineering in Healthcare Systems Engineering
  • Master of Engineering in Management Science and Engineering
  • Master of Engineering in Polymer Science & Engineering
  • Master of Mechanical Engineering
  • Master of Science in Management Science and Engineering
  • Master of Science in Manufacturing Systems Engineering
  • Master of Science in Molecular Biology
  • Master of Science in Polymer Science & Engineering

Notables

Lehigh University continues its Ivy League impact by being the 6th university in the world recognized as an NGO (a non-government organization that consults on international impact) by the United Nations. Lehigh’s impact is not only found in the United Nations. Their graduates have gone on to invent the escalator, founded Packard Motor Car Company, and designed and built the lock gates for the Panama Canal.

4

University of Scranton

College Choice Score: 89.88

Average Net Price: $41,044

School Website

Overview

The University of Scranton was founded in 1888 in Scranton, Pennsylvania, by Reverend William O’Hara, the first Bishop of Scranton of the Lasallian Christian Brothers (LCB). In 1942, the Jesuit order took control of the university. Today, the University of Scranton is one of the 28 Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) members.

Features

The University of Scranton offers a total of 65 Bachelor, 29 Master, and 2 Doctoral degrees for over 5,400 students. Over 75% of the degree options are only offered on campus. However, there is a small group of online degrees at the master or master certificate level:

  • Enterprise Resource Planning Certificate
  • Health Administration Executive Certificate
  • Health Informatics Certificate
  • Master of Accountancy (MACC)
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Master of Health Administration (MHA)
  • Master of Science (MS) in Education
  • MS in Health Informatics
  • MS in Human Resources
  • Supply Chain Management Certificate

Notables

The University of Scranton is one of the top 10 master’s universities for 23 years by the U.S. News and World Report. The MBA program is ranked #91 in the nation, and the University is listed as one of the nation’s best values for 4 consecutive years running.

5

Pennsylvania State University

College Choice Score: 89.27

Average Net Price: $17,514

School Website

Overview

Pennsylvania State University was founded in 1885 in University Park, Pennsylvania, as a public, land-grant, sea-grant, space-grant and sun-grant research university. In 1892, Penn State offered the first correspondence courses to farmers who were interested in higher education. (The program was delivered by the postman). In 1998, that program became known as the Penn State World Campus. Today, the World Campus offers more than 120 distance learning programs to over 6,000 students from all 50 states and over 60 countries.

Features

Today, Pennsylvania State University offers Associate, Bachelor, Master, Certificate and Doctor level degrees and certificates. Most of these degrees can be completed 100% online. However, there is a select few that require residency. Regardless of location, students have 24/7 access to the all necessary materials during their 12-15-week course. Here is a small sample of the available degrees

  • Bachelor Degrees
    • Business
    • Psychology
    • Economics/Finance
    • Agribusiness & Turfgrass Science & Management
    • Nursing
  • Masters Degrees
    • Business
    • Engineering
    • Nursing
    • Home & Security
    • IT

Notables

Pennsylvania State University ranks #77 by the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) and #50 for their undergraduate program by the U.S. News and World Report and #14 top public university of United States. This public Ivy institution has one of the best quality educations available in the United States.

6

University of Pittsburgh

College Choice Score: 89.05

Average Net Price: $18,192

School Website

Overview

University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) was founded in 1787 in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania by Hugh Henry Brackenridge (a writer, lawyer, judge and a Pennsylvania State Supreme Court Justice). Today, Pitt has four regional brick and mortar campuses in addition to its online programming. Today, they serve over 18,000 undergraduate students on campus and online.

Features

Pitt also has a staggering number of Massive Open Online Courses (MOCCS) covering topics in Nuclear Science, technology, disabilities, and disaster preparedness. Here is a sample of the Master degree and certificates available online.

  • Gerontology Certificate
  • Health Care Compliance Certificate
  • Master of Education in Elementary Education
  • Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS)
  • Master of Public Policy and Management (MPPM)
  • Master of Science for the Clinical Nurse Leader (MSCNL)
  • Post-Doctor of Nursing Practice Certificate in Nursing Informatics
  • Post-Master of Science in Nursing Certificate in Nursing Informatics
  • Security Assured Information Systems certificate

Notables

The University of Pittsburgh is a member of the Association of American Universities – there are only 62 research universities in North America in this association. Pitt is #1-best public college in the Northeast region of the US (Wall Street Journal’s Times Higher Education), #24 best public university in the US (U.S. News and World Report), and #66 in the national university list (U.S. News and World Report).

7

Villanova University

College Choice Score: 87.79

Average Net Price: $47,616

School Website

Overview

Villanova University was founded in 1842 in Villanova, Pennsylvania, by the Roman Catholic Order of Saint Augustine. Today, it is the oldest Roman Catholic university in the state serving over 10,000 students at all academic levels. They are known for their educational excellence and their Phi Beta Kappa chapter honor society. The brick and mortar campus is located 12 miles west of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Features

Villanova offers four bachelor’s degrees, over 30 masters degrees and many certificates for students to complete online. Below is just a small sample of their online programs.

  • Bachelor of Arts in Public Service & Administration
  • Bachelor of Arts in Media and Technology
  • Bachelor of Arts in Leadership Studies
  • Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies in General Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN program)
  • Master of Public Administration
  • Master of Science in Human Resources Development
  • Masters in Cybersecurity
  • Masters in various engineering niches
  • Certificates: Agile Management, Project Management, Six Sigma, Business Process Management, Business and Law of Sports, Contract Management, IS Security, Business Analysis, Software Testing, IT Service Management, Business Intelligence, Human Resources, ROI Methodology, & Organizational Leadership

Notables

Villanova School of Business is ranked #1 for their undergraduate business schools by Bloomberg’s Business Week. Their nursing program has been designated a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education by the National League for Nursing. The Economist ranks the school as a #3 in best economic value, and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance ranks it #31 nationwide for best values in private colleges.

8

Muhlenberg College

College Choice Score: 86.92

Average Net Price: $45,875

School Website

Overview

Muhlenberg College was founded in 1848 in Allentown, Pennsylvania by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and Reverend Samuel K. Brobst. The College is named after Heinrich Melchior Muhlenberg, a German Lutheran pastor and missionary known as the Father of the Lutheran Church in the United States.  Today, the College supports the educational pursuits of over 2,200 students from its 75-acre campus.

Features

Muhlenberg offers a distance education program that allows students to take courses either online, onsite or in a blended, hybrid, format for extra flexibility. This programming was recently started in 2015. Muhlenberg uses Blackboard as their student learning portal – however, most classes have a residency requirement attached to them.

Notables

Muhlenberg College has regularly ranked high with the U.S. News & World Report, Forbes and Princeton Review. They are in top 100 of the liberal arts colleges within the United States and one of the top colleges in the Northeast. Students can expect that the online courses will have the same level of rigor as their campus-based peers.

9

Saint Joseph's University

College Choice Score: 86.01

Average Net Price: $42,180

School Website

Overview

Saint Joseph’s University (SJU) was founded in 1851 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, by the Jesuits, a Catholic Order. The university is the 7th oldest Jesuit University in the United States and one of 28 Jesuit schools (AJCU) within the United States. Saint Joseph’s University serves over 9,000 students at one of its campuses in Philadelphia, PA, Bala Cynwyd, PA, or online.

Features

St. Joseph’s University’s 15 online offerings range and has rolling admission for these programs. SJU uses Blackboard for course delivery and student resources and enables students to have 24/7 access to computer, tablet or smartphones. The available online degrees include:

  • Bachelors of Science in Professional & Liberal Studies
  • Master of Business Administration – MBA
  • Master of Business Administration for Executives Pharmaceutical & Healthcare Marketing
  • Master of Science in Business Intelligence & Analytics
  • Master of Science in Education in Educational Leadership
  • Master of Science in Financial Services
  • Master of Science in Organization Development & Leadership
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Master of Science in Education, Special Education for Teachers of The Deaf & Hard of Hearing
  • Master of Science in Education, Special Education Pre K-8 Or 7-12 With Deaf And Hard Hearing Certification
  • Master of Science in Secondary Education 7-12
  • Master of Science in Special Education Pre K-8 Or 7-12
  • Master of Science in Health Administration
  • Master of Science in Instructional Technology Specialist
  • Master of Science in Managing Human Capital

Notables

Saint Joseph’s University is continually recognized by the U.S. News & World Report for their online MBA program, Graduate Programs (excluding MBA) and Graduate Education Programs. One of SJU notable degrees includes the only Master’s degree in Executive Food Marketing Master of Business Administration (MBA) in the world. This program has been offered for over 25 years, and they don’t show any signs of stopping.

10

Messiah College

College Choice Score: 86

Average Net Price: $32,240

School Website

Overview

Messiah College was founded in 1909 in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania by Brethren in Christ Church.  Messiah offers a combination of 80 campus-based and online academic programs for over 3,300 students.

Features

Messiah College does offer online courses to undergraduates during the summer months so to assist students with finishing their degrees on time or early. While most can be completed online, a few courses like General Chemistry has a residency requirement. As for their Master’s degree programs, the following degrees are offered online with no or minimal residency requirements.

  • MBA degree with focus in one of the following: Digital Marketing, Social Entrepreneurship, Organizational and Strategical Communication, Strategic Leadership or Management
  • Master of Arts in Counseling degree with focus in one of the following: clinical mental health, marriage, couple and family counseling, school counseling
  • Master’s in Music in Conducting degree with focus in one of the following: choral, orchestra, or wind instruments

Notables

Messiah College is a college of distinction as one of the best places to learn in Pennsylvania and for their return on their investment (AfforableCollegesOnline.org) and one of the “Most Environmentally Responsible Colleges in U.S. and Canada”.

11

Temple University

College Choice Score: 85.84

Average Net Price: $15,188

School Website

Overview

Temple University was founded in 1884 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, by Russell Conwell – a philanthropist, lawyer, writer and Baptist minister. The school started because Pastor Conwell started tutoring working class citizens in the evening. Today, Temple is top-ranked doctoral research university drawing over 40,000 students to pursue over 400 degrees and certificates.

Features

Temple uses Blackboard, WebEx, and digital library services to expand student learning opportunities with conferencing, video lectures, 24/7 access to materials and flexibility. Some of the degrees that are offered online are:

  • Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in accounting, business management, legal studies or marketing
  • Clinical Doctorate in Occupational Therapy (DOT)
  • Clinical Doctorate of Athletic Training (DAT)
  • Doctorate in Physical Therapy (Transitional DPT)
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Public Health (MPH) in Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Master of Social Work (MSW)

Notables

Temple University’s Fox School of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). The online MBA program is one of the top online business programs in the United States. In addition to their online programs, Temple is one of the top colleges in the nation according to Financial Times and U.S.  News & World Report.

12

West Chester University of Pennsylvania

College Choice Score: 85.65

Average Net Price: $9,462

School Website

Overview

West Chester University of Pennsylvania (WCUPA) was founded in 1871 in West Chester, Pennsylvania as a school to train teachers (normal school). In 1913, it became the first normal school to be owned by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Today, WCUPA is an accredited research university that is one of 14 universities that make up the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.

Features

The West Chester University of Pennsylvania offers a wide variety of degrees and certifications online. Most of these degrees are graduate-level degrees, or career-based certificates Students will have access to the materials 24/7 using the school platforms for class learning and research resources or support.

  • Certificate in Universal Design for Learning and Assistive Technologies
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • Doctor of Public Administration
  • Education Technology Certificate
  • Graduate Certificate in Adapted Physical Education
  • Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems
  • Graduate Certificate in Gerontology
  • Graduate Health Care Management Certificate
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Special Education
  • Master of Public Administration (MPA)
  • Master of Science (M.S.) in Human Resource Management:
  • Master of Science in Community Nutrition
  • Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Certification in Special Education

Notables

West Chester University has an impressive international study program. It doesn’t matter if you are based on campus or studying online. You will be encouraged to consider participating in studying abroad to expand your horizons and your future resume experience.

13

Eastern University

College Choice Score: 85.6

Average Net Price: $30,640

School Website

Overview

Eastern University was founded in 1952 in St. Davids, Pennsylvania, by American Baptist Churches USA. Today, Eastern’s 114-acre campus remains located near Philadelphia and tied to its Baptist roots serving over 3,616 students annually.

Features

Eastern University offers bachelor, master, doctoral and certificate online programs. Students use the Blackboard system to complete coursework and keep connected with the university. Some of the degrees do have residency requirements due to the nature of the material covered.

  • Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts -Early Childhood Education
  • BA in Organizational Leadership
  • BA in Youth Ministry Leadership
  • BS in Business Administration
  • BS in Nursing (RN to BSN completion)
  • MA in International Development
  • MA in Organizational Leadership
  • MDiv in Divinity
  • MEd in Multicultural Education
  • MEd in School Health Services
  • MS in Nonprofit Management
  • Ph.D. in Marriage & Family Therapy

Notables

Eastern University has been ranked one of the Best Online Bachelor Programs by the U.S. News & World Report. It has also been praised by other institutions, like Esperanza College, and several others have used their undergraduate program as a model for their own online programs.

14

Misericordia University

College Choice Score: 85.14

Average Net Price: $29,840

School Website

Overview

Misericordia University was founded in 1924 in Dallas, Pennsylvania, by the Venerable Catherine McAuley, a Roman Catholic Religious Sisters of Mercy nun. It began as a female only school – but it became co-ed during the 1970s. The school name is a Spanish word that roughly translates as the “Heart of Mercy.” Today, the university supports over 3,100 students towards graduation.

Features

Misericordia University uses the Jenzabar EX educational system for student coursework, multimedia needs, and connecting with peers. Students also have access to the 24/7 library. Online classes are offered in 7 or 15-week formats that can be started at any time. While the degree completion time varies from student to student – the university has a 72% graduation rate within 5 years.

  • Addictions Counseling Certificate
  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Government, Law and National Security
  • Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Applied Behavioral Sciences
  • Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Diagnostic Medical Sonography
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)
  • Diagnostic Medical Sonography Certificate
  • Patient Navigation Certificate
  • Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS) Administration certificate

Notables

Misericordia University maintains small classes (12 to 1 student-to-faculty ratio) and students are encouraged to participate in the Guaranteed Placement Program. This means that the student will have a job or enrolled in graduate school within 6 months of graduation. If this does not occur, Misericordia University is required to uphold their end of the bargain.

15

Saint Francis University

College Choice Score: 85.02

Average Net Price: $32,178

School Website

Overview

Saint Francis University was founded in 1847 in Loretto, Pennsylvania, by six Franciscan teaching brothers from Mountbellew, Ireland with the aid of Bishop Michael O’Connor, the first Bishop of Pittsburgh. Today, Saint Francis is still operated by the Franciscan Friars of the Third Order Regular of the Catholic Church and is the oldest Franciscan University in the United States supporting over 23,000 students complete their educational pursuits.

Features

Saint Francis University offers three online master’s programs and two online bachelor’s degree-completion programs. Saint Francis used the Blackboard Technology to manage the courses that include discussion forums, on-demand lectures, streaming video and group collaboration. The online classes are small. Students are strongly encouraged to interact with peers and their instructor. Here is a sample of the online degrees:

  • Bachelors of Science in Health Studies
  • Bachelors of Science in Behavioral Science
  • Master of Human Resource Management (MHRM)
  • Master of Health Science (MHSC)
  • Master of Medical Science (MMS)

Notables

Saint Francis University also has a campus in Ambialet, France in the Midi-Pyrenees. Even if you are an online student, you could take a class or two in France. Don’t worry if you don’t know French. The classes sponsored by Saint Francis are taught completely in English.

16

Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania

College Choice Score: 84.82

Average Net Price: $9,645

School Website

Overview

The Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania was founded in 1889 in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania, as a normal school – a place to train teachers. In 1926, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania purchased the school.  Today, it is a 660-acre public research university located north of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania supporting over 8,500 students pursuing online or on campus degrees.

Features

The Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania uses the Desire2Learn course management system. This system houses the course materials and communications. Students have access to their advisors and library research needs on their own schedule. The following is a sample of the available degrees:

  • Bachelors of Science in Nursing (RN To BSN)
  • Master of Science in Parks & Resource Management
  • Master of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Master of Education in Elementary Education/Early Childhood K-8 Math / Science
  • Master of Education in Special Education – All Online Programs
  • Master of Science in Environmental Education

Notables

The Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania is known for two programs: the BS in Business Administration and the BS in Nursing (RN to BSN completion). Even if you do not live in Pennsylvania, you can still achieve a degree from Slippery Rock for less money that living on campus. Many consider this possibility a great buy.

17

Elizabethtown College

College Choice Score: 83.72

Average Net Price: $41,710

School Website

Overview

Elizabethtown College was founded in 1899 in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, by the Church of the Brethren. Today, the College supports the educational endeavors of over 2,000 students both online and on campus through 19 academic departments and 53 majors.

Features

Elizabethtown College offers 13 online programs including a fully online program in business through its School of Continuing and Professional Studies. This makes for a great connection with working professionals needing extra flexibility. In addition to the online coursework, students have access to the online job board, library and student support areas. The following is a sample of the available courses:

  • Associate of Science in Accounting
  • Associate of Science in Business Administration
  • Associate of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Associate of Science in Information Systems
  • Associate of Arts in Corporate Communications
  • Associate of Science in Human Services
  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Systems
  • Bachelor of Arts in Corporate Communications
  • Bachelor of Science in Human Services
  • Bachelor of Science in Human Services – Behavioral & Addictions Counseling

Notables

The college is located 20 miles outside of Harrisburg. However, that doesn’t stop the students from having strong connections with heads of industry. The Hershey Chocolate Company is to the north of the college. The relationship between the two has raised Elizabethtown College’s reputation and has improved the Hershey Company’s workforce.

18

Arcadia University

College Choice Score: 83.5

Average Net Price: $39,560

School Website

Overview

Arcadia University was founded in 1853 in Glenside, Pennsylvania – a city located 12 miles north of Philadelphia. Today, Arcadia serves over 2,400 students within on-site and online courses. It is somewhat difficult to get into Arcadia – they only enrolled 610 freshmen out of 8883 applications.

Features

Arcadia University maintains small class sizes. The average class size is 16 students with a student-faculty ratio of 13-to-1. Residential students can take online classes to compensate their course load, but they must follow the guidelines for residential students. Distance education students might have residency requirements to complete their degree. Here is a sampling of the programs available:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies
  • Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing
  • Master of Education in Instructional Technology
  • Master of Education in Special Education
  • Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy

Notables

Arcadia University offers over 130 study abroad options for short and long-term study. It is ranked #1 for student participation by Open Doors. While the students are overseas, they must register for at least 12 credit hours at the international location. However, they can take between 2-4 credits from Arcadia while they are overseas.

19

La Salle University

College Choice Score: 83.42

Average Net Price: $41,100

School Website

Overview

La Salle University was founded in 1863 in Philadelphia, PA by the Brothers of the Christian Schools. The school is named after La Salle, the patron saint of teachers. Today, the 133-acre campus supports the academic pursuits of 6,500 students annually. La Salle University’s focus is on encouraging students to engage in civic engagement, cultivate their leadership capabilities, pursue continuous learning activities and dedicate themselves to serve the common good.

Features

La Salle University offers the following programs either 100% online or with some residency requirements. Students have regular access to the same resources as their on-campus counterparts.

  • Graduate Programs:
    • Analytics
    • Computer Information Science
    • Cybersecurity
    • Economic Crime Forensics
    • Human Capital Development
    • Information Technology Leadership
    • Instructional Technology Management
    • Nonprofit Leadership
  • Graduate Certificate Programs:
    • Cybersecurity
    • Fraud and Forensic Accounting
    • Human Capital Development
    • Instructional Technology Management
  • Undergraduate and Post-Baccalaureate Programs:
    • Organizational Leadership Program
    • Pre-Speech Language Pathology Program
    • RN to BSN

Notables

La Salle has been regularly recognized by U.S. News and World Report, the Economist, Money magazine, Brookings Institute and Forbes for excellence and value. It has a great return on investment for the student population.

20

Gannon University

College Choice Score: 83.38

Average Net Price: $29,258

School Website

Overview

Gannon University was founded in 1925 in Erie, Pennsylvania, by Archbishop John Mark Gannon to be a private, Catholic educational institution. Today, students who enter the Gannon online degree programs complete within 18 to 24 months through flexible scheduling.

Features

Gannon built their own learning management system that provides students with access to course materials, technical support, the library and assigned advisors. The following are the four degrees that are offered:

  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Master of Public Administration (MPA)
  • Master of Science in Criminalistics
  • Master of Education Curriculum and Instruction
  • English as a Second Language Program Specialist Graduate Certificate
  • Principal PreK-12 Graduate Certificate
  • Reading and Reading Specialist Master of Education in Reading / Graduate Certificate
  • Superintendent Letter of Eligibility Graduate Certificate
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • Occupational Therapy Doctorate
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)

Notables

Gannon University is regularly applauded for their affordable prices, quality education and return on the investment. U.S. News & World Report calls Gannon an “America’s Best Colleges” and “Best Value School” for the past few years.

21

Philadelphia University

College Choice Score: 82.63

Average Net Price: $36,670

School Website

Overview

Philadelphia University (PhilaU) was founded in 1884 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as a textile school that expanded beyond the trades into higher education. Today, the campus is just minutes away from Center City Philadelphia.

Features

Philadelphia University uses the Nexus Learning Method approach to coursework – all coursework contains active, collaborative, relevant to real-world situations and incorporates liberal arts elements. Courses are offered in 8-week formats 6 times throughout the year. It is possible for someone to complete a bachelor degree within two to three years. Today, they offer 9 distance learning programs through Blackboard learning management system:

  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting
  • Bachelor of Science in Health and Services
  • Bachelor of Science in Health Services Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Human Resources Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Law Enforcement Leadership
  • Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership
  • Bachelor of Science in Professional Communications and Emerging Media
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Science in Disaster Medicine and Management
  • Master of Science in Midwifery Completion
  • Master of Science in Sustainable Design

Notables

Philadelphia University proves their success with the Nexus Learning approach on an annual basis. Over 95% of PhilaU graduates are either gainfully employed or enrolled in graduate programs within 6 months.

22

Geneva College

College Choice Score: 82.27

Average Net Price: $25,450

School Website

Overview

Geneva College was founded in 1848 in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania by the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America (RPCNA). The college is named after Geneva, Switzerland, the center of the Reformed Faith movement. The online program is based out of their adult education department. According to Geneva, students could be able to complete their bachelor degree as quickly as 16 months depending on the student’s educational background.

Features

Geneva College offers accelerated online degree programs. Between the condensed classes, transfer credits and credit for prior learning, a student could finish a degree within 16 months. Geneva uses Blackboard software to deliver coursework and communication with faculty. Students also have access to all other students services at Geneva.

  • Bachelor of Professional Studies in Aging Services
  • Bachelor of Science in Child and Family Services
  • Bachelor of Science in Human Resources
  • Bachelor of Science in Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership

Notables

Geneva College is ranked the “Best Value School” as well as a “Top Regional College” by U.S. News & World Report. It is also It is recognized to be in the top 50 for their online HR program and one of the affordable small colleges for an HR degree.

23

DeSales University

College Choice Score: 82.2

Average Net Price: $33,350

School Website

Overview

DeSales University was founded in 1965 in Center Valley, Pennsylvania, by the Catholic order of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales. The university is named after St. Francis de Sales, patron saint of writers, journalists and the deaf. Today, this private Catholic university has over 2,000 students.

Features

DeSales University uses the ACCESS platform for students to access their course information. Students can self-enroll into the 6-week or 8-week courses through the WebAdvisor interface. Other courses can be pursued through the Blackboard software. Here is a sample of some of the degrees offered by DeSales online:

  • Criminal Justice (AA)
  • Accounting (BA)
  • Bachelor of Business Administration (BA)
  • Criminal Justice (BA)
  • Finance (BA)
  • HR Management (BA)
  • Nursing (RN to BSN completion) (BA)
  • Psychology (BA)
  • Theology (BA)
  • Master of Business Administration Criminal Justice (Online)
  • Master of Arts in Criminal Justice (Online)
  • Master of Education in Technology in Education
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice in Clinical Leadership

Notables

DeSales University is one of the best online colleges in Pennsylvania. They are also one of the top 100 graduate programs in the region. These programs are designed to meet academic standards but provide a personalized education grounded in faith, career preparedness and grad school preparation.

24

Marywood University

College Choice Score: 81.96

Average Net Price: $32,692

School Website

Overview

Marywood University was founded in 1915 in Scranton, Pennsylvania, by the Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It is located on a 140-acre campus and serves over 3,000 students annually.

Features

Marywood University’s primary focus is on the on-campus students. However, they do offer a few online programs for the working adults and recent graduates:

  • Master of Public Administration (MPA) with a concentration in criminal justice, general public administration, health services administration, homeland security and disaster management, non-profit management, or social work.
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in management information systems, finance, and investment, or management.
  • Master’s for Practicing Physician Assistants
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) endorsement through the Reap College of Education and Human Development

Notables

Marywood University mission is to educate students to “live responsibility in an interdependent world.” Student teams commit to community service either serving local nonprofits or as part of a semester break event.

25

Drexel University

College Choice Score: 81.67

Average Net Price: $48,791

School Website

Overview

Drexel University was founded in 1891 in northwest Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, by Anthony Joseph Drexel. Drexel was the first president of what is now known as the Association for Public Art and the founder of what is known as J. P. Morgan & Co. Today, Drexel University is a private research university that supports over 26,000 students through 3 locations in Philadelphia, a satellite location in Sacramento, California and distance learning.

Features

Since 1996, Drexel University has been offering unparalleled learning experiences to online students. Their courses are offered on the quarter schedule utilizing online learning platforms, 24/7 support services and access to current research.

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree (R.N. To B.S.N.)
  • Master of Science in Nursing in Innovation & Intra/Entrepreneurship in Advanced Nursing Practice
  • Master of Science in Nursing in Nursing Leadership in Health Systems Management
  • Master of Science in Nursing in Nursing Education & Faculty Role
  • Master of Science in Nursing Bridge Program RN to MSN
  • Master of Science in Nursing Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Master of Science in Nursing in Clinical Trials Research
  • Physician Assistant Post-Professional
  • Doctor of Health Science in Rehabilitation Sciences (DHSC)
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Notables

Drexel University is known to host over 30 centers and institutes that continually push the envelope in Information Science, Public Health, and Entrepreneurship. U.S. News & World Report ranks Drexel as 96th for US universities, #14 for Most Innovative Schools, and  10th for their Library and Information Studies program.

26

Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania

College Choice Score: 81.51

Average Net Price: $9,326

School Website

Overview

The Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania (BU) was founded in 1839 in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, as the area normal school to train teachers. The 366-acre campus is located 150 miles from Philadelphia, and New York City and serves over 10,000 students. BU is accredited by AACSB, NCATE, ABET, as well as area accreditations.

Features

The Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania has primarily focused on creating non-credit programming for their online courses. However, they do offer four degrees online:

  • Bachelor of Applied Science in Technical Leadership
  • Master of Instructional Technology
  • Master of Nursing
  • Master of School Based Speech Language Pathology

Notables

U.S. News and World Report ranks BU as #104 for Best Regional Universities. Washington Monthly says it is 125th Best Bang for the Buck in the Northeast and Money Magazine calls it 169th for education quality, affordability, and success.

27

Duquesne University

College Choice Score: 81.37

Average Net Price: $33,778

School Website

Overview

Duquesne University was founded in 1878 in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, by Father Joseph Strub, C.S. Sp. and the Congregation of the Holy Spirit. It is Pennsylvania’s first Catholic university. The university is named after Ange Duquesne de Menneville the French governor of New France and the first person to bring Catholic observances to Pittsburgh area. Today, Duquesne supported the educational careers of 10,000 students and over 75,000 alumni.

Features

Duquesne University’s online learning experience uses a combination of Blackboard and Moodle. This allows students to access live and recorded video, technical support and library services.

  • Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Systems Technology
  • Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership
  • Bachelor of Arts in Professional Communication
  • Master of Science in Leadership
  • Master of Arts in Corporate Communication

Notables

Duquesne University is rated by the U.S. News & World Report for their Bachelor programs and their online Graduate Nursing programs. They have several distinguished alumni including two Roman Catholic Bishops and two Roman Catholic Cardinals.

28

Millersville University of Pennsylvania

College Choice Score: 80.99

Average Net Price: $10,918

School Website

Overview

The Millersville University of Pennsylvania was founded in 1855 in Millersville, Pennsylvania as a normal school to train teachers. The main campus has 250 acres in Lancaster County, and over 50% of the grounds are maintained organically.

Features

The Millersville University of Pennsylvania offers their programs through the Brightspace by Desire2Learn online learning management system. Students have access to lectures, videos, discussion boards and more through the portal. The library and technical support are also available to them on their schedule.

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)
  • Business Certificate in Marketing
  • Graduate Certificate – Gifted Education
  • Graduate Certificate – Nurse Educator
  • Letter of Completion – Coaching Education (PIAA)
  • Master of Education in Assessment, Curriculum, and Teaching (Online Teaching)
  • Master of Education in Assessment, Curriculum, and Testing (STEM)
  • Master of Education in Special Education
  • Master of Science in Emergency Management
  • Teacher Certification – Online Instruction Endorsement
  • Teacher Certification – STEM Teaching Endorsement

Notables

The Millersville University of Pennsylvania has the best online Master’s degree in Emergency Management according to Bestcolleges.com. Affordable Colleges Online named it #3 for the most affordable online schools in Pennsylvania.

29

Wilkes University

College Choice Score: 80.5

Average Net Price: $32,356

School Website

Overview

The Millersville University of Pennsylvania was founded in 1855 in Millersville, Pennsylvania as a normal school to train teachers. The main campus has 250 acres in Lancaster County, and over 50% of the grounds are maintained organically.

Features

The Millersville University of Pennsylvania offers their programs through the Brightspace by Desire2Learn online learning management system. Students have access to lectures, videos, discussion boards and more through the portal. The library and technical support are also available to them on their schedule.

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)
  • Business Certificate in Marketing
  • Graduate Certificate – Gifted Education
  • Graduate Certificate – Nurse Educator
  • Letter of Completion – Coaching Education (PIAA)
  • Master of Education in Assessment, Curriculum, and Teaching (Online Teaching)
  • Master of Education in Assessment, Curriculum, and Testing (STEM)
  • Master of Education in Special Education
  • Master of Science in Emergency Management
  • Teacher Certification – Online Instruction Endorsement
  • Teacher Certification – STEM Teaching Endorsement

Notables

The Millersville University of Pennsylvania has the best online Master’s degree in Emergency Management according to Bestcolleges.com. Affordable Colleges Online named it #3 for the most affordable online schools in Pennsylvania.

30

Seton Hill University

College Choice Score: 79.76

Average Net Price: $32,420

School Website

Overview

Seton Hill University was founded in 1883 in Greensburg, Pennsylvania by Mother Aloysia Lowe and the Sisters of Charity. The university is named after Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton, the founder of the Sisters of Charity and 1st American-born Saint. Today, Seton Hill has over 200 acres and is located 35 miles east of Pittsburg, PA.

Features

Seton Hill University has a rolling admissions program for their online programs. They offer six 8-week courses each year. There are also 6 start dates throughout the calendar year. Current degrees and certificates include:

  • Master of Arts in Special Education
  • Master of Arts in Special Education – Early Intervention
  • Master of Arts in Special Education / Pre K-8 Or 7-12 Teacher Certification
  • Data Analytics Certificate
  • Software Application Development Certificate

Notables

Seton Hill is a 4-time Apple Distinguished School with a nationally recognized Career Services Center. While they move forward into the future with Big Data programs, they also are acutely aware of the past with the National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education on campus and the present with the Center for Family Therapy and the Wukich Center for Entrepreneurial Opportunities.

31

Cabrini College

College Choice Score: 79.74

Average Net Price: $29,842

School Website

Overview

Cabrini College was founded in 1957 in Radnor, Pennsylvania, by the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (MSC). Cabrini is the only higher education institution founded by the order. Today, the 112-acre campus is located 2-hours from New York City and 2.5-hours from Washington, D.C.  Cabrini supports the academic pursuits of 2,200 students.

Features

Cabrini College offers several online courses throughout the year. However, most of their programs require either a hybrid or a residency. Here is a sample of the degrees offered:

  • Masters in Education in Curriculum with a focus on instruction and assessment
  • Certificate in PreK-12 Administrative Principal.
  • Bachelor of Arts in Leadership

Notables

Cabrini College’s focus is to develop graduates that are advocates of societal change, engaged with the community and focused on leadership development. This is why they are one of the first institutions in the United States to require community service hours as a graduation requirement for all undergraduates.

32

Cedar Crest College

College Choice Score: 79.73

Average Net Price: $35,600

School Website

Overview

Cedar Crest College is a private women’s college founded in 1867 in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Today, Cedar Crest offers courses online, accelerated weekend courses and physically onsite.

Features

Cedar Crest College offers over 1,000 online courses through their School of Adult and Graduate Education. Students can access their coursework and information through Cedar Cress Online platform. While they say that they have a large selection of online courses, they do not specify any of these programs can be completed 100% online. Some of the degrees that have online courses available are:

  • Accounting (B.S.)
  • Art (B.A.)
  • Art Therapy (B.A.)
  • Art Therapy (M.A.A.T.)
  • Business Administration with a focus in Health Care Management (B.S.), Human Resources Management (B.S.), Management (B.S.), or Marketing (B.S.)
  • Criminal Justice (B.S.)
  • Early Childhood Education (B.S.)
  • Forensic Science (M.S.)
  • Master of Business Education (MBA)
  • Master of Education (M.Ed.)
  • Nursing (M.S.N.)
  • Nursing (Rn to BSN)
  • Nutrition (B.S.)
  • Pan-European MFA in Creative Writing
  • Secondary Education (B.S.)

Notables

Cedar Crest College does allow men to attend day and evening courses. However, the college still focuses on the success of its women. The U.S. News & World Report says that this college is a “Best Value School,” “Best College for Veterans” and one of the “Top Regional Colleges” in the North.

33

Gwynedd Mercy University

College Choice Score: 79.6

Average Net Price: $31,360

School Website

Overview

Gwynedd Mercy University was founded in 1948 in Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania, by the Sisters of Mercy. Gwynedd Mercy is one of 16 Sisters of Mercy higher education organizations in the United States. Today, the 160-acre campus is 25 miles from downtown Philadelphia serving over 2,600 students.

Features

Gwynedd Mercy University offers their online programs through the GMercyU School of Graduate and Professional Studies (GPS). Some of their offerings include:

  • Associate of Science in Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (completion program)
    • Organizational Management Concentration
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN Completion)
    • Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN – for students with a bachelor’s degree in another field who want to become a nurse)
  • Master of Business Administration
    • Health Care Administration Concentration
    • Strategic Management and Leadership Concentration
  • Master of Science in Education
    • Master Teacher Concentration
    • Special Education Concentration
  • Master of Science in Educational Administration
  • Post-Master of Science in Nursing – Nurse Practitioner Certificate

Notables

Gwynedd Mercy University is considered a “Best Value School” in Pennsylvania, a top 4-year university, one of the top business schools that has one of the top MBA programs. The college puts forth the best educational pursuit to ensure students are ready for life after graduation.

34

Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania

College Choice Score: 79.44

Average Net Price: $10,052

School Website

Overview

Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania (Ship) was founded in 1871 in Shippensburg as the local state normal school to train teachers. Since then the school has become a member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education that serves over 7,000 students annually. Today, it is located 40 miles southwest of Harrisburg in the Cumberland Valley.

Features

Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Professional, Continuing and Distance Education offers several online degrees and certificates. The online course load is the same as if you were sitting in a physical classroom. The difference is that these are accelerated, 8-week courses. Students are encouraged to take only one at a time. Programs include:

  • MBA
  • Master of Arts in Teaching STEM Education
  • Early Childhood Director Certificate
  • Literacy Graduate Certificate

Notables

The Wall Street Journal lists Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania in the Top 20 schools for improving student critical thinking skills. The MBA programs rank #97 for the online program and #130 for the part-time program by the U.S. News and World Report. The Grove College of Business is AACDB accredited, and it was the first school put into the database.

35

Point Park University

College Choice Score: 79.09

Average Net Price: $28,250

School Website

Overview

Point Park University was founded in 1960 in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Today, the university offers more than 100 undergraduate, master and doctoral programs to over 4,000 students. It is the only University in downtown Pittsburgh.

Features

Point Park University offers several of its programs in an accelerated 8-week course schedule. The faculty at Point Part have real-world experience, so you are going to have hands-on instruction with a direct approach to learning the material in your major.

  • Adult Learning & Training (MA)
  • Business Management (BS)
  • Communication Technology (MA)
  • Criminal Justice (BS)
  • Curriculum & Instruction (MA)
  • Educational Administration (MA)
  • Information Technology (BS)
  • Intelligence & Global Security (MA)
  • Mass Communication (BA)
  • Organizational Leadership (BA)
  • Public Administration (BS)
  • Public Relations & Advertising (BA)

Notables

Point Park University is known for its Academic Village initiative surrounding the main campus. The goal is to create the area to be a multi-block live and learn hub that redefines the learning environment. This means that they have connected with the Pittsburgh Playhouse converting it into their performing arts center updated local areas and increased incentives for small businesses to join in the project.

36

Waynesburg University

College Choice Score: 78.39

Average Net Price: $22,030

School Website

Overview

Waynesburg University was founded in 1849 in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. The university is named after Revolutionary War hero, General “Mad” Anthony Wayne. Today, the university supports over 2,500 students studying one of 70 academic majors on its 30-acre main campus and three adult centers in the surrounding area.

Features

Waynesburg University maintains a strong community with its students. The classes both online and on-campus average about 18 students. The student-faculty ratio is 12 to 1. While there are several courses that are offered online, there are two Master-level degrees that are completely online:

  • MBA
  • Masters of Education Degree in Instructional Technology

Notables

Waynesburg University is its own series of firsts: They are one of the first colleges that offered degrees to women. They had the first televised football game in the United States. Today, they continue their traditions alive by opening opportunities for students to go on international or domestic mission service trips to Africa, Ireland, etc.

37

Delaware Valley University

College Choice Score: 78.24

Average Net Price: $35,256

School Website

Overview

Delaware Valley University (DelVal) was founded in 1896 in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, by Rabbi Joseph Krauskopf. Today, over 2,000 students study either on the 550-acre property (30 miles north of Philadelphia) or via distance learning.

Features

Delaware Valley University uses the Experience360 Program (E360) as an experiential learning component of the curriculum. Faculty use E360 to have students apply classroom learning to real-world scenarios. Based on the information on the website, they offer online classes every semester. DelVal offers a flexible and student-focused MBA program with no minimum credit per term requirements and the option to take classes online, in-person or both.

Notables

Delaware Valley University has been named “Best College in the Northeast” by the Princeton Review, “30 Great Small Colleges for a Counseling Degree” by Best Psychology Degrees, and “Best Online MBA Programs” by GoGrad.org.

38

Mercyhurst University

College Choice Score: 78.14

Average Net Price: $33,314

School Website

Overview

Mercyhurst University was founded in 1926 by the Mother Borgia Egan and the Sisters of Mercy in Erie, Pennsylvania. The name Mercyhurst is a combination of words. First, “Mercy” is part of the Sisters of Mercy name; and “Hurst” is from the wooded area on the hill that was chosen to be home. Today, it is home to over 3,000 students that continually seize the day.  The 75-acre campus is 100 miles from Cleveland, OH, Buffalo and New York City.

Features

Mercyhurst University several different formats for their online programs. Some of the classes are 8-weeks, 10.5 week or 16-weeks long depending on the program. Below are a sample of the available programs:

  • Master of Science in Secondary Education
  • Master of Science in Applied Intelligence
  • Graduate Certificate in Applied Intelligence

Notables

Mercyhurst University is #41 Best Regional Universities in the North, #5 of 32 Pennsylvanian universities, and #32 out of 50 for Best Colleges for Veterans in the North. Money Magazine states that the university is also one of the most affordable private universities in the nation.

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