Best Online Bachelor’s in Business Administration Degree Programs

Best Online Bachelor’s in Business Administration Degree Programs

Find top-ranked online bachelor’s in business administration degree programs to prepare students to pursue jobs in a variety of fields and positions, including roles in healthcare, human resources, sports management, nonprofit agencies, sales, transportation, and finance.

Key Takeaways

  • In higher education, a bachelor’s in business degree is the most popular choice among students as this can lead to numerous careers in the business industry.
  • A degree in business administration is a very versatile program, and it covers several topics in marketing principles, economics, accounting, business law, business statistics, leadership, and management.
  • The online bachelor’s in business administration is perfect for students who wish to improve their business acumen but need flexible coursework.

Featured Programs

Back to Top

Why A Bachelor’s in Business Administration Degree Matters Today

An online bachelor’s in business administration degree will equip students with the right skills to help them become efficient in management, administration, and analysis in the business arena, including human resource management.

The most conferred bachelor’s degrees are business degrees with nearly 400,000 graduates, according to the National Center for Education Statistics’ latest data.

Business administration majors and holders of similar business degrees can expect a 7% rise in administrative services and facilities management opportunities from 2021 to 2031, projects the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

With a business administration degree, students are equipped with the proper skills to navigate and manage crucial business issues while understanding the biggest context of business practices.

Today, most careers in business administration will require a college degree emphasizing finance or accounting. Students in this program will study the management best practices and fundamentals of business. The most reputable business schools teach students how to plan, lead, organize, and support the financial, physical, and human resources that make up a business.

Online business administration degree students will develop leadership skills, including communication, analytical, and problem-solving capabilities through training and coursework. Most importantly, learning doesn’t end once you earn your business administration degree. Rather, you need to continue learning through professional/personal development and relevant certifications.

Skills Gained with the Online Bachelor’s in Business Administration Degree

Analytical Skills: The right analytical skills go hand in hand with sound problem-solving and decision-making skills. Professionals in the field of accounting must have analytical skills so they can easily carry out their daily jobs, including computing bottom lines or investigating fraud.

Many business administration programs offer business analytics as their concentration, teaching students how to transform data into predictive information.

Math: It’s a must for business professionals in business and financial occupations to possess at least some basic knowledge of math concepts and show financial literacy. Financial accounting, one of the core courses in business administration programs, is the common “language of business.”

Project Management: Project management skills will help you advance your career path in business administration. Efficient project management entails careful planning, open team communication, and the ability to manage resources, prioritize tasks, and stay within a specified budget. In business administration degrees, project management basics are part of the curricula. However, you can always choose this field as your specialty field.

Organizational and Critical Thinking Skills: Just like analytical skills, your organizational skills will reinforce other business competencies like leadership, problem-solving, and decision-making. Careers in business management and administration will call for your organizational skills to set goals, create and assign tasks, and delegate responsibilities.

Online Bachelor’s in Business Administration Career Paths

Accounting: This career will cover all the major financial aspects of business, like the financial statement, balancing of accounts, and other transactions. Upon earning a degree in business administration, students are also expected to be well-versed in auditing, cost accounting, tax accounting, and managerial accounting.

Computer Information Systems: In this career path, students will delve into the business and technical sides of management information systems. Knowing that computer information systems managers need to earn graduate degrees and basic business proficiency, it’s best that you also earn your master of business administration (MBA) degree with a concentration in computer information systems.

Finance: A career in finance strongly focuses on raising capital, and investments, and managing risk. Finance is one of the major business areas, and students in the business administration program already study this topic in their core curriculum.

Marketing: Marketing is focused on the promotion of a brand to ensure its sustainability and success. Careers in business administration that focus on marketing skills include roles mostly in public relations and advertising. Students are taught how to evaluate consumer behaviors, build brands and brand loyalty, and tactically market goods or services.

What You Can Do With an Online Bachelor’s in Business Administration

  • Accountant and Auditor
  • Budget Analyst
  • Cost Estimator
  • Human Resource Specialist
  • Logistician

Frequently Asked Questions About Business Administration Degrees

Why get a bachelor’s in business administration?

If you enjoy problem-solving, leadership opportunities, and are good with people and numbers, earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration could be your next step toward securing a fulfilling career.

Back to top.

How long does it take to get a bachelor’s in business administration?

Students typically spend about four to five years completing this roughly 120-credit degree, which can be earned online or through a traditional on-campus program.

Back to top.

What kinds of classes will I take while getting a bachelor’s in business administration?

You may also have the opportunity to select an area of concentration that aligns with your personal interests and professional goals. While core courses cover topics like accounting, marketing, leadership practices, and business laws and ethics, concentration topics can range from digital and social media management and procurement to human resources and supply chain management.

Back to top.

What can I do with a bachelor’s in business administration?

Because this degree is so versatile, graduates go on to pursue jobs in a variety of fields and positions, including roles in healthcare, human resources, sports management, nonprofit agencies, sales, transportation, and finance.

Back to top.

Learn more about how to major in business.

Best Online Bachelor's in Business Administration Degree Programs
Back to Top

50 Best Online Bachelor’s in Business Administration Degree Programs

  1. #2

    University of Missouri

    Columbia , MO
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    77%

    Graduation

    73%

    Student body

    26K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1215/26

    Online Degrees

    BS in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
  2. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    88%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    73K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1210/24

    Online Degrees

    BA in Business

    Concentrations

    • Communication
    • Sustainability
    • Required Credits: 114-120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Educational Studies

    Concentrations

    • Business
    • Community Health
    • Family and Human Development
    • Global Studies
    • Health Innovations
    • Personal Health
    • Political Science
    • Organizational Leadership
    • Required Credits: 114-120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  3. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $16K

    Acceptance

    66%

    Graduation

    84%

    Student body

    30K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1295/29

    Online Degrees

    BBA in Bachelor Of Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
    BBA in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  4. #5

    University of Arkansas

    Fayetteville , AR
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    83%

    Graduation

    70%

    Student body

    25K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1185/26

    Online Degrees

    BS in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Accounting
    • General Business
    • Supply Chain Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
  5. #7

    University of Kentucky

    Lexington , KY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    94%

    Graduation

    68%

    Student body

    25K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1175/25

    Online Degrees

    Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Arts in General Business
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  6. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    62%

    Graduation

    78%

    Student body

    33K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1240/28

    Online Degrees

    BS in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Accounting
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
    BS in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
  7. Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    38%

    Graduation

    76%

    Student body

    34K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1195/25

    Online Degrees

    BS in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 49-55
    • Completion time: 4-5 years
    • Format: Online
  8. #10

    University of Louisville

    Louisville , KY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    75%

    Graduation

    62%

    Student body

    17K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1160/24

    Online Degrees

    BA in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  9. #11

    Pace University

    New York , NY

    Tuition + fees

    $49K

    Acceptance

    88%

    Graduation

    59%

    Student body

    11K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1150/25

    Online Degrees

    BBA in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Degree Completion
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4-5 years
    • Format: Online
    BS in Business Technology Leadership

    Concentrations

    • Degree Completion
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4-5 years
    • Format: Online
    BBA in Business Studies

    Concentrations

    • Degree Completion
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4-5 years
    • Format: Online
    BS in Business Technology Leadership

    Concentrations

    • Degree Completion
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4-5 years
    • Format: Online
  10. #12

    Saint Louis University

    Saint Louis , MO
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $49K

    Acceptance

    70%

    Graduation

    80%

    Student body

    10K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1265/28

    Online Degrees

    BS in Security and Strategic Intelligence

    Concentrations

    • Business Continuity
    • Global Corporate Security
    • Strategic Intelligence
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
  11. #14

    East Carolina University

    Greenville , NC
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    94%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    24K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1095/21

    Online Degrees

    BSBA in Management

    Concentrations

    • Management And General Business
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  12. #15

    University of Memphis

    Memphis , TN
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    95%

    Graduation

    54%

    Student body

    17K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1095/22

    Online Degrees

    BA in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Accounting
    • Business Information and Technology
    • Management
    • Marketing Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Business Administration in Business Information and Technology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Business Administration in Finance

    Concentrations

    • Business Finance
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Business Administration major in Finance

    Concentrations

    • Real Estate
    • Finance
    • Insurance
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  13. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    98%

    Graduation

    54%

    Student body

    18K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1095/20

    Online Degrees

    BS in Business Technology And Analytics
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
    BA in Business Technology And Analytics
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
  14. #18

    Golden Gate University

    San Francisco , CA

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Student body

    2K

    Online Degrees

    BS in Business
    • Required Credits: 123
    • Completion time: 4-5 years
    • Format: Online
  15. #19

    University of Maine

    Orono , ME
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    96%

    Graduation

    57%

    Student body

    10K

    Online Degrees

    BS in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
  16. #20

    Webster University

    Saint Louis , MO
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $29K

    Acceptance

    59%

    Graduation

    57%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1169/23

    Online Degrees

    BS in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Sports And Entertainment Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  17. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $18K

    Acceptance

    69%

    Graduation

    74%

    Student body

    10K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1295/28

    Online Degrees

    BS in Business
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  18. Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    97%

    Graduation

    57%

    Student body

    22K

    Median SAT/ACT

    995/18

    Online Degrees

    BBA in Accelerated Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 61
    • Completion time: 4-5 years
    • Format: Online
  19. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    96%

    Graduation

    49%

    Student body

    19K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1065/21

    Online Degrees

    BS in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  20. #25

    Mercy College

    Dobbs Ferry , NY

    Tuition + fees

    $21K

    Acceptance

    86%

    Graduation

    50%

    Student body

    8K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1020/22

    Online Degrees

    BS in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Finance
    • International Business
    • Management
    • Marketing
    • Sports Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4-5 years
    • Format: Online
  21. Tuition + fees

    $16K

    Acceptance

    85%

    Graduation

    69%

    Student body

    15K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1230/26

    Online Degrees

    BS in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 122
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
    BS in Information Technology: Business Minor
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
  22. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $15K

    Acceptance

    92%

    Graduation

    39%

    Student body

    102K

    Online Degrees

    BS in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Accounting
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Finance
    • Healthcare Administration
    • Human Resources Management
    • Industrial Organizational Psychology
    • International Business
    • Management Information Systems
    • Marketing
    • Nonprofit Management
    • Organizational Leadership
    • Project Management
    • Public Administration
    • Sports Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
    BS in Information Technologies

    Concentrations

    • Business Management For It
    • Cybersecurity
    • Data Analytics
    • Project Management For It
    • Software Development
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
    BA in Communication

    Concentrations

    • Business Communication
    • Public Relations
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
  23. #28

    Mercer University

    Macon , GA

    Tuition + fees

    $39K

    Acceptance

    75%

    Graduation

    74%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1260/28

    Online Degrees

    BBA in Business

    Concentrations

    • Accounting
    • General Business
    • Human Resources
    • Information Technology & Informatics
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 48 months
    • Format: Online
    BBA in Business

    Concentrations

    • Management
    • Marketing
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 48 months
    • Format: Online
  24. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    91%

    Graduation

    48%

    Student body

    11K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1135/23

    Online Degrees

    BBA in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 124
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
  25. Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    76%

    Graduation

    53%

    Student body

    8K

    Online Degrees

    BS in Crisis and Disaster Management

    Concentrations

    • Business Continuity
    • Emergency Management
    • Emergency Services Management
    • Environmental Hazards
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Marketing
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
  26. Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    59%

    Graduation

    71%

    Student body

    36K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1090/20

    Online Degrees

    BA in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 54
    • Completion time: 4-5 years
    • Format: Online
  27. Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    82%

    Graduation

    48%

    Student body

    15K

    Online Degrees

    BS in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Accounting
    • Finance
    • General Management
    • Human Resources Management and Organizational Behavior
    • Information Technology Management
    • Operations and Supply Chain Management
    • Required Credits: 75
    • Completion time: 4-5 years
    • Format: Online
  28. #33

    Andrews University

    Berrien Springs , MI
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $32K

    Acceptance

    82%

    Graduation

    72%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1205/24

    Online Degrees

    BS in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 124
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  29. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    89%

    Graduation

    62%

    Student body

    19K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1209/26

    Online Degrees

    BS in Management

    Concentrations

    • International Business Dynamics
    • Management Planning and Control
    • Operations Management
    • Project Managemen
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  30. #35

    Quinnipiac University

    Hamden , CT

    Tuition + fees

    $51K

    Acceptance

    88%

    Graduation

    80%

    Student body

    9K

    Online Degrees

    BBA in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  31. #36

    Catawba College

    Salisbury , NC

    Tuition + fees

    $32K

    Acceptance

    56%

    Graduation

    60%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1040/19

    Online Degrees

    BBA in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Business Management
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Information Systems
    • Professional Accounting
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BBA in Business Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  32. Tuition + fees

    $14K

    Acceptance

    92%

    Graduation

    54%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1090/23

    Online Degrees

    BS in General Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
    BS in Management Information Systems

    Concentrations

    • E-Commerce/Digital Business
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
  33. #38

    Missouri State University

    Springfield , MO

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    94%

    Graduation

    59%

    Student body

    17K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1120/24

    Online Degrees

    BS in Business Analysis
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in General Business

    Concentrations

    • Business Relationships
    • Financial and Quantitative Analysis
    • International Business Environment
    • Markets and Economies
    • Project and Technology Management
    • Risk Management and Compliance
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
  34. #39

    Rider University

    Lawrenceville , NJ

    Tuition + fees

    $36K

    Acceptance

    82%

    Graduation

    61%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1120/23

    Online Degrees

    BSBA in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
  35. #40

    Xavier University

    Cincinnati , OH
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $42K

    Acceptance

    84%

    Graduation

    75%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1155/25

    Online Degrees

    BA in Organizational Leadership

    Concentrations

    • Business
    • Communication
    • Information Systems
    • Required Credits: 105-11
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
  36. #41

    Baker University

    Baldwin City , KS
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $32K

    Acceptance

    99%

    Graduation

    62%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1040/21

    Online Degrees

    BBA in Business Leadership
    • Required Credits: 124
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  37. #43

    Arkansas State University

    Jonesboro , AR
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    63%

    Graduation

    54%

    Student body

    12K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1110/23

    Online Degrees

    BS in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
  38. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    65%

    Graduation

    38%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1160/22

    Online Degrees

    BBA in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Finance
    • General Business
    • Leadership
    • Marketing
    • Sport Management
    • Economics
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  39. #45

    University of Northern Iowa

    Cedar Falls , IA

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    86%

    Graduation

    69%

    Student body

    9K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1130/23

    Online Degrees

    BAS in Managing Business and Organizations
    • Required Credits: 126
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
  40. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    96%

    Graduation

    52%

    Student body

    13K

    Online Degrees

    BSBA in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 2-4 years
    • Format: Online
  41. #47

    Eastern Illinois University

    Charleston , IL

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    72%

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1050/20

    Online Degrees

    BS in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  42. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    91%

    Graduation

    58%

    Student body

    17K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1070/22

    Online Degrees

    BA in Business Administration (Business Studies)
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 24-30 months
    • Format: Online
  43. #49

    Liberty University

    Lynchburg , VA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $23K

    Acceptance

    99%

    Graduation

    62%

    Student body

    79K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1145/25

    Online Degrees

    BSBA in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 3.5 years
    • Format: Online
    BSBA in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Automotive Dealership Management
    • Communication
    • Data Analytics
    • Digital Marketing And Advertising
    • Economics
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Finance
    • Financial Planning
    • Green And Sustainable Management
    • Healthcare Management
    • Human Resource Management
    • International Business
    • Leadership
    • Marketing Analytics
    • Marketing: Sales Management And Professional Selling
    • Project Management
    • Public Administration
    • Real Estate
    • Strategic Marketing Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 3.5 years
    • Format: Online
    BEd in Business Education 6-12
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 3.5 years
    • Format: Online
    BS in Criminal Justice

    Concentrations

    • Business Administration And Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 3.5 years
    • Format: Online
  44. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    59%

    Student body

    25K

    Online Degrees

    BBA in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Entrepreneurship and Small Business
    • Global Business
    • Human Resource Management
    • Logistics and Supply Chain Management
    • Management
    • Marketing
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Hybrid
    BS/BA in Management

    Concentrations

    • Health Care
    • Entrepreneurship and Business Development
    • Human Resource
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Hybrid
Back to Top

Online Business Programs Looking for You

Back to Top

Online Degree Frequently Asked Questions

If this is your first time taking an online course, the experience may require a time of adjustment. Although you’ll typically learn the same material and take the same exams as your on-campus peers, going online will require greater independence and responsibility than going in person. You’ll be accountable for your own time management, for harnessing the online educational technology that you’ll need to use, and for completing the course requirements, such as listening to lectures, learning lessons, reading texts, and handing in assignments. This means you’ll need to create a suitable workspace for yourself, maintain a realistic schedule, and take the initiative in building relationships with your instructors and classmates. With online college, your goal is to find a balance between independence and engagement.

No. The only part of online education that’s easier than campus-based education is ease of access: all you need is a computer and an internet connection for online education. But even this seeming advantage of online education can be misleading: what’s easier, studying online with your computer and internet connection from your home where you need to cook, clean, pay rent, and maintain a job? Or studying on campus in a dorm where all your living needs are handled by the school, and college staff are there to help you every step of the way?

If you take the commute to campus out of the equation, campus-based education is easier. All the support structures available on campus for students, especially with real people to help you in person, are not there online. The demands on you as an online student will largely be the same as for your campus-based counterpart, but without the same helps.

In general, your online courses will present the same material and test you in the same way as traditional in-person courses. In many cases, you’ll even have the same instructors as your on-campus counterparts. In fact, if you are adjusting to the experience of independent learning with remote educational technology for the first time, online college may be considerably more challenging than campus-based college. For a few insights on how to manage this new online experience, check out our 10 Tips for Adjusting to School Online.

Accreditation is especially important when it comes to online college. This is because the online education landscape is a mix of highly-reputable non-profit institutions on the one end and less-than-reputable for-profit institutions on the other end. Accreditation gives you the power to identify the more reputable actors in online education. Accreditation is a stamp of approval from an independent accrediting agency indicating that a college or university is meeting standards of quality and credibility. School-wide accreditation falls into two major categories: regional and national accreditation. Regional accreditors generally hold jurisdiction only over schools in the states comprising their region, whereas national accreditors hold jurisdiction over schools in all states. Regional accreditation is widely regarded as a more rigorous standard of quality and credibility than national accreditation.

Attending a college or university that is not regionally accredited could limit your opportunities. For students seeking an online education, we strongly recommend that they opt for regionally accredited schools. Regional accreditation ensures eligibility for federal loans and grants, ensures your college credits can be transferred between schools, and ensures that your degree credits can be accepted if you wish to earn an advanced degree. For more on this important topic, check out our What is Accreditation and Why Does It Matter? College & University Accreditation Guide.

As long as your online college degree is regionally accredited (see the previous point), you should have little difficulty transferring most of your credits or credentials to another regionally accredited undergraduate school. Every school carries its own standards and procedures for granting a transfer of credits. In many cases, you will encounter some bureaucratic haggling in which some of your credits will be transferred and others may be refused. However, provided that you have attended an online school with recognized regional accreditation, you should be in good shape in transferring your credits earned online.

In most cases, as long you graduate from a well-regarded, regionally-accredited online college, prospective employers won’t look sideways at your degree. In fact, unless you attend an exclusively online college or university, there will likely be no specific indicator on your degree, transcript, or resumé differentiating your school from its brick-and-mortar counterpart. This means that your employer will likely only differentiate between an online and in-person degree if you mention this distinction.

Some employers may express the concern that because you did your degree online, you may need to transition from an online education experience to in-person workplace experience. But in an age of Covid, that concern seems much diminished. The fact is that much employment these days is remote. And collaboration increasingly happens online over Zoom. Many employers will therefore view your online degree as evidence of valuable 21st century professional skills such as independence, self-motivation, time management, and tech savvy.

If you are a student who thrives on the dynamic energy of in-person discussion, who requires the physical surroundings of a classroom to feel engaged, or who considers the social aspects of education to be of equal importance to the actual content of your courses, online education will be less than ideal for you (though depending on your circumstances, it may also be the only viable option).

While there is much in traditional campus-based education that can be substituted or simulated through the online medium, some students may find that there is nothing that can replace the conversation, collaboration, and motivation that occur in an actual in-person classroom setting. As you transition to online education, one of the biggest challenges you will likely face in getting the most out of your online classes is overcoming this difference between “real reality” and “virtual reality.” Fortunately, we’ve got some great Tips for Online Education Beginners.

The advantages of online classes are many. Above all, online courses give you the freedom and flexibility to attend class from anywhere that works for you, whether you’re at home, in a coffee shop, or in a quiet conference room at work. In many cases, you’ll also enjoy the convenience of asynchronous learning opportunities-educational experiences that you can complete at your own pace and on your own schedule. This may include pre-taped lectures, ongoing chat-board discussions, and 24/7 access to digital materials. And of course, just as there are some learners who prefer the energy of a live classroom, there are those who learn best when working in their own personal space, free from distractions. If this sounds like you, you might find the solitude of online learning to be a major advantage.

Resources for Online College-Bound Students

Whether you’re just getting started on your college search, you’re looking for survival tips on your way to a bachelor’s degree, or you’re preparing for the transition into grad school, we’ve got guides, how to’s and tons of other valuable resources to keep you moving forward in your educational journey.