Best Online Colleges in North Dakota 2023

Best Online Colleges in North Dakota 2023

Find the best online colleges in North Dakota ranked by the academic success of faculty and alumni associated with the colleges and universities and their online degree programs.

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Colleges and Universities in North Dakota

The majority of the higher learning institutes in North Dakota are public schools and almost all of the schools could be considered small schools, serving less than 5,000 students. The state’s two largest schools, however, the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks and North Dakota State University in Fargo, each have a student population around 12,000 students. Tuition at both of these schools comes in just below the national average at $9,000.

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At UND and NDSU, students can study fields such as engineering, chemistry, law, and education. Additionally, students can attend one of the state’s five private schools, three of which have religious affiliations. Students who attend these schools can pursue degrees in fields like nursing, religious studies, education, and earth sciences. North Dakota also offers a private tribal college, United Tribes Technical College, located in the state’s capital, Bismarck, where students can expect to pay around $4,000 in tuition fees.

As the country’s number one producer of honey and sunflowers, and home to part of the international Peace Garden, North Dakota’s landscape is a thing of natural beauty. This magnificent state also has its fair share of one-of-a-kind attractions, including the Badlands Dinosaur Museum, which features world-class minerals and fossils, and the Turtle Mountain Chippewa Heritage Center, which gives an inside look at this Native American tribe’s unique culture and traditions. The state also boasts 19 colleges and universities for students hoping to earn a higher education degree.

Discover more about earning your degree in North Dakota by exploring some of the state’s top programs.


What are North Dakota’s Colleges & Universities?

North Dakota’s Best Overall

Best Online Colleges in North Dakota
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Best Online Colleges in North Dakota 2022

  1. #1

    University of North Dakota

    Grand Forks , ND
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    89%

    Graduation

    62%

    Student body

    11K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1115/23

    Online Bachelor's Degrees

    BS Biomedical Engineering
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Chemical Engineering
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Civil Engineering
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Electrical Engineering
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Mechanical Engineering
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Computer Science
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Criminal Justice Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BA Communication
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Cyber Security
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Data Science
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Earth Science
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Management
    • Marketing
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Mathematics
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Nursing (RN-to-BSN)
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BA Political Science
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BA Psychology
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Political Science
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Public Health
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BA Social Science
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Social Work
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
  2. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    88%

    Graduation

    46%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    975/21

    Online Bachelor's Degrees

    BS Nursing (RN-to-BSN)
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Early Childhood Education

    Concentrations

    • Special Education
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Computer Science
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of General Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Marketing
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Entrepreneurship
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS International Business
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Management Information Systems
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BAS Applied Business Information Technology
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BAS Interpreting and Sign Language Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Cybersecurity and Operations
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
  3. #3

    University of Mary

    Bismarck , ND
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $20K

    Acceptance

    79%

    Graduation

    64%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1110/23

    Online Bachelor's Degrees

    BS Nursing (RN-to-BSN)
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Accounting
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Business Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Marketing
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Psychology
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Addiction Counseling
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Elementary Education
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Information Technology Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Respiratory Therapy (RRT-to-BSRT)
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS University Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
  4. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    99%

    Graduation

    36%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1001/19

    Online Bachelor's Degrees

    Bachelor of Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Accounting
    • Administration
    • Finance
    • Human Resource Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Business Education
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of Applied Science
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of University Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
  5. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    81%

    Graduation

    53%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    975/19

    Online Bachelor's Degrees

    BS Education

    Concentrations

    • Business
    • Composite Business
    • Career and Technical
    • Elementary
    • English
    • History
    • Mathematics
    • Spanish
    • Social Science
    • Technology
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BAS Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS/BA Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Agribusiness
    • Human Resources and Management
    • Managerial Accounting and Finance
    • Marketing
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS/BA Business Process Integration Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS/BA Communication

    Concentrations

    • Corporate
    • Digital Media Management
    • Journalism & Media
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS/BA Communication Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS/BA English

    Concentrations

    • General English
    • Literature Studies
    • Professional Writing
    • Technical Writing
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS/BA History
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS/BA Mathematics
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS/BA Music

    Concentrations

    • Audio Production
    • General Studies
    • Performance
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS/BA Social Science
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of University Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
  6. #6

    Bismarck State College

    Bismarck , ND
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    53%

    Student body

    3K

    Online Bachelor's Degrees

    BAS Cybersecurity and Information Technology
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BAS Energy Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
  7. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    61%

    Graduation

    32%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1065/20

    Online Bachelor's Degrees

    BS Nursing
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Education

    Concentrations

    • English
    • Early Childhood
    • Elementary Education
    • Mathematics
    • Physical Education
    • Special Education
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Accounting
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BAS Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Agribusiness
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Biology
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BA English
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Mathematics
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of University Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
  8. Tuition + fees

    $18K

    Acceptance

    97%

    Graduation

    40%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1030/21

    Online Bachelor's Degrees

    BA Biblical Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BA Biblical Theology
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BA New Testament Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BA Old Testament Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BA Systematic Theology
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BA Biblical Counseling
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BA Christian Counseling
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BA Christian Apologetics and Evangelism
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BA Christian Apologetics and Philosophy
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BA Christian Apologetics and Theology
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BA Philosophy of Religion
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BA Christian Education
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BA Christian Literature and Writing
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BA Christian Management and Leadership
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BA Church Planting and Revitalization
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BA Conflict Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BA Digital Ministry and Worship Arts
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BA Global Missions
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BA Life Coaching and Mentorship
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BA Pastoral Ministry
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BA Prison Chaplaincy and Ministry
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BA Pulpit Communication and Expository Preaching
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
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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.