Guide: Best Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs

Guide: Best Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs

Enrolling in a bachelor’s degree program costs time and money. But at least in online programs you will enjoy a level of flexibility and convenience unknown to on campus students, who must attend class and adhere to strict schedules.

The convenience and flexibility afforded to online learners fuels the popularity of online degree programs. And as a result many of the best undergraduate degree programs now offer fully online options.

So after deciding to enroll in an online bachelor’s degree, you’ll be met with hundreds of available programs to consider. But that’s what were here to help you with.

In this guide, we provide everything you need to find the ideal online bachelor’s degree program for you.

Online Bachelor’s Degree Cost


The cost of online bachelor’s degrees varies greatly from program to program.

The field of study that you choose will also greatly impact tuition costs. However due to the convenience of enrolling in an online program, students will find many affordable degree programs available to them.

But in general, online bachelor’s degree programs cost about the same amount as traditional programs. According to US News and World Report, the average cost of an online bachelor’s is $38,496 to $60,593.

For context, many online associate degree programs offer tuition costs under $10,000.

With this investment on the line, it makes sense that students would make tremendous effort to conduct research in order to find their best options.

Because the best degree programs offer the best prospects for seeing a return on students’ investment.

Is an Online Bachelor’s Degree Worth the Cost?

In this helpful video, Dr. Jed Macosko walks you through the various factors that play into whether an online bachelor’s is worth the cost.

Ultimately though, this comes down to how much you value the unique strengths of online learning. And the downsides of online education might outweigh the benefits, depending on your particular interests and preferences.

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The Pros and Cons of an Online Degree Program


You can earn a fully accredited bachelor’s degree entirely online.

But what is the real difference between an online degree program and a traditional one?

Online undergraduate programs require the same–or similar–admission standards as on-campus programs. And in some cases, they’re even more competitive!

While some online programs provide some lenience in terms of enrollment requirements, students will need a high school diploma or a Graduate Equivalency Degree (GED).

And students will enjoy similar and sometimes better financial aid opportunities as well. Some accredited online bachelor’s degrees even offer better financial aid packages to adult learners, military students, and those who will earn their degree while maintaining employment.

Let’s break down the pros and cons of online bachelor’s degrees.

Pros

  • Attend online lectures from anywhere in the country with an internet connection
  • Some programs even pre-record lectures so that you can attend them on your own time
  • Some programs assign specially trained education counselors to online students
  • Virtual learning technology allows you to interact with peers and instructors
  • Flexible schedules
  • Flexibility allows students to earn a degree while maintaining employment
  • Great for self-motivated online students

Cons

  • Little to no face-to-face contact with instructors or peers
  • Flexible schedules may cause students to procrastinate
  • May be challenging for students who are not self-motivated

The Bottom Line: While online bachelor’s degrees will be perfect for self-motivated students willing to make the most of their time, some students may benefit from the structure and intimacy of traditional programs on campus.

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Methodology of Online Bachelor’s Degree Rankings


Online students deserve the same quality of education as traditional students. But the process of their school search will differ quite a bit from that of on campus students.

Academic Influence developed advanced machine learning technology that analyzes metrics related to the quality, value, and reputation of online bachelor’s programs.

Our technology ensures that our rankings provide the most current information for each program. You can also rest assured that our rankings will only cover the best of the best accredited online bachelor’s degrees.

So what makes an online degree program one of the best, you might ask?

These factors contribute to the excellence of an online program:

  • The cost of tuition compared to starting salaries after graduation
  • The influence and reputation of a program’s faculty and instructors
  • Whether a program follows ‘best practices’ in curriculum format
  • Whether online instructors
  • Completeness and depth of study in program’s field of study
  • Time-to-graduate
  • Available specializations

Bottom Line: Researching all of these factors for each represents a titanic task for prospective students. So our rankings of the best online bachelor’s programs make this easier for you and compile everything you need to know in one place.

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Our Rankings of the Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees


With the stage now set, we are ready to discuss the fields of study for which we have ranked the best online degrees.

In the section below you will find all of our online degree rankings organized by field of study alphabetically.

Oftentimes a field of study is broken down into more specialized degree programs. So we have many rankings available for specialized online undergraduate degrees, too!

And if you need more help understanding what each field of subject involves consider our guide that lists all majors available to you.

Online Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology

In an undergraduate degree program for Anthropology you will be introduced the foundational concepts of how humans behave across time, culture, and social environments.

Anthropology students concern themselves with learning how to investigate the causes and results of behavioral differences between groups of people.

You can earn an online Bachelor’s Degree of Anthropology.

Online Bachelor’s Degree in Biology

Earning a Bachelor’s degree of biology is a popular choice for online students.

The best online undergraduate biology programs provide innovative education technology that allows online students to conduct interactive experiments that simulate a lab environment.

Online Bachelor’s of Business


Online Bachelor’s degree programs offer various types of business degrees.

Many online undergraduate business programs will offer a general business track as well as more specialized tracks such as the following:

A business administration degree program is perfect for business students interested in eventually enrollment in a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) program.

Online Bachelor’s Degree in Communications

Communications departments offer many routes of study, most if not all of which can be completed through online bachelor’s degree programs.

For general study of the communications field, consider a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications.

For students interested in a more specialized program, these online degrees may be more appropriate:

Online Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science


Computer science is a rapidly growing field. As a result universities around the country are starting to offer various online degrees in computer science.

For a general education courses in computer science consider enrolling in an Online Degree in Computer Science.

For more specialized study, consider the following online degrees:

Online Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice

Earning a Bachelor’s Degree in criminal justice will build career relevant skills for an exciting profession.

The direction your career takes will depend on the type of criminal justice degree program that you enroll in.

Here are the most popular online bachelor’s programs to consider for criminal justice education:

Online Bachelor’s Degree in Economics


Many schools offers an economics department that offers both general and specialized online degree programs. For a thorough introduction to the field of economics, consider exploring bachelor’s degrees in economics.

Online Bachelor’s Degree in Education

Earning a bachelor’s degree of education is a popular choice for many students.

The popularity of this field of study has encouraged many colleges and universities to move their most successful degree programs online. These programs provide the same academic rigor as on campus programs and will prepare students for teacher certification.

Students interested in earning an education degree online will want to consider the following programs:

Online Bachelor’s Degree in History

Undergraduate students looking to earn a history degree online will find that many of the best schools offer online degrees.

This is likely due to the fact that history education comfortably translates to the online learning environment.

Online Bachelor’s Degree in Law


Online students interested in pursuing a legal profession can jump start their undergraduate education by studying law.

Specifically, many of the most prestigious schools for pre-law studies now offer bachelor’s degrees of Legal Studies.

Online Bachelor’s Degree in English

Students who want to master the English language and study the creative elements of communication will thrive in a English Degree Program.

Today, many of the best undergraduate English degree programs can be earned entirely online.

Online Bachelor’s of Marketing

Because of the rise of digital marketing in America, marketing degree curriculum includes more and more online elements.

This makes makes marketing education naturally conducive to online learning. As such, top marketing programs around the nation now offer fully online Bachelor’s Degrees in Marketing.

Online Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics


If you’re interested in mastering numbers to build problem solving skills, then a degree in mathematics might be the perfect option for you.

The Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Mathematics offer interactive online learning technology. Specifically, they allow instructors to work through math problems with students in interactive online lectures.

Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Medicine

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in medicine it’s important that you fulfill the prerequisite degree requirements.

This process begins at the undergraduate level. Today though, this process is more accessible than ever before as there are many online undergraduate medicine programs available.

For a broader education you might consider Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Health Sciences.

Online Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy


Philosophy is one of the oldest forms of academic inquiry.

In an undergraduate philosophy degree program you will explore the ancient wisdom of mankind’s most prodigious thinkers. And what’s more – you can earn a Top Bachelor’s of Philosophy entirely online.

Some of the most reputable philosophy programs also offer a Bachelor’s of Liberal Arts that can be completed online, too.

Online Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology

Psychology students explore the inner working of the human mind to explore factors of behavior and human development.

While many specialized fields of study exist within psychology (such as forensic psychology and neuropsychology), undergraduate students most commonly begin with general study in a Bachelor’s Degree of Psychology.

Online Bachelor’s Degree in Religious Studies

Religious studies majors will investigate the origins, histories, and practices related to religions around the world.

The direction of study will depend entirely on the student’s chosen area of specialty.

Online students can enroll in any of the following:

Online Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work


Students pursuing a career in social work can earn an undergraduate degree that builds the professional skills needed to thrive.

The most common online degrees available in the field of social work are as follows:

Online Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology

Undergraduate sociology students will explore the the basis of social norms and cultural preferences.

Advanced studies in sociology dive deeper into special subjects, however undergraduate studies typically offer the following program options:

The Recent Evolution of Distance Education


If you’re still on the fence about whether online education is right for you, let’s discuss how it has evolved over recent years.

It’s undeniable that a certain stigma surrounded online degrees for some time.

However that all changed over the last five to ten years. As more of the most prestigious colleges and universities began to offer fully online degrees, the attitude toward them began to shift.

And a accredited online bachelor’s degrees began to implement better online learning technology, online instructors started to earn teacher certification that prepared them for working with online students.

And today, both adult learners and high school students use the internet so regularly that online learning seems more natural.

The Impact of the Pandemic

As schools were forced to transition to online learning in response to the pandemic, the remaining stigmas surrounding online education seemed to vanish.

Today, there’s no denying that online programs stand on the same playing field as many of the best on campus programs.

The Bottom Line: Not only are more of the best schools offering online degrees but they are more widely recognized as conferring academic excellence.

Accelerated Programs

Another recent evolution of online programs is the implementation of accelerated learning options.

Because online degrees reward self-motivated students who are able to work and study efficiently, many schools now offer accelerated tracks to make the most of students’ time.

An accelerated program typically offers the same curriculum as standard program, however students will spend less time on each topic.

In other words, an accelerated program requires students leverage their abilities to study and retain information at a much faster pace.

As a result, some accelerated online degree programs can be completed in just 12 months!

Bottom Line: If you’re able to study as a full-time student, you might consider an accelerated program to make the most of your time.