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Online Colleges in
MINNESOTA

Online schools in Minnesota

Article Sources
  • Fun Facts about Minnesota, University of Minnesota Duluth, accessed June 21, 2015, http://www.d.umn.edu/internationalstudents/fun_facts.html
  • "U of M marks 40th anniversary of first successful bone marrow transplant," Lorna Benson, University of Minnesota, November 4, 2008, accessed June 21, 2015, http://www.mprnews.org/story/2008/11/03/bmt_anniversary
  • About the Digital Campus, University of Minnesota, accessed June 21, 2015, http://digitalcampus.umn.edu/about-digital-campus
  • College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics, accessed June 21, 2015, http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?s=MN&l=91+92&ct=1+2&ic=1+2
  • University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Forbes, accessed June 22, 2015, http://www.forbes.com/colleges/university-of-minnesota-twin-cities/
  • Overall Rankings, U.S. News & World Report, accessed June 22, 2015: University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/university-of-minnesota-twin-cities-174066/overall-rankings; University of St. Thomas, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/university-of-st-thomas-174914/overall-rankings; St. Catherine University, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/st-catherine-university-175005/overall-rankings; Bethel University, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/bethel-university-173160/overall-rankings; College of St. Scholastica, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/college-of-st-scholastica-174899/overall-rankings; Concordia University - St. Paul, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/concordia-university-st-paul-173328/overall-rankings; St. Mary's University of Minnesota, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/saint-mary-s-university-of-minnesota-174817/overall-rankings; St. Cloud State University, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/saint-cloud-state-university-174783/overall-rankings; Hamline University, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/hamline-university-173665/overall-rankings;
  • Best Online MBA Programs, U.S. News and World Report, accessed June 22, 2015, http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/mba/rankings
  • Best Online Bachelor's Programs, U.S. News and World Report, accessed June 22, 2015, http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/bachelors/rankings
  • May 2014 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Occupational Employment Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, accessed June 22, 2015, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_mn.htm
  • Minnesota, Fastest-Growing Occupations, Career InfoNet, accessed June 22, 2015, http://www.careerinfonet.org/oview1.asp?printer=&next=oview1&level=Overall&optstatus=&id=1&nodeid=3&soccode=&stfips=27&jobfam=&group=1&showall=yes
  • Fastest-Growing Occupations, Career InfoNet, accessed June 22, 2015, http://www.careerinfonet.org/oview1.asp?next=oview1&Level=Overall&optstatus=&jobfam=&id=1&nodeid=3&soccode=&stfips=&ShowAll=
  • Top Employers Statewide, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, accessed June 22, 2015, http://mn.gov/deed/business/locating-minnesota/companies-employers/top-employers.jsp
  • Registered Nurses, Occupational Outlook Handbook, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, accessed June 22, 2015, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Healthcare/Registered-nurses.htm
  • Physician Assistant Program (Minnesota), Mayo School of Health Sciences, Mayo Clinic, accessed June 22, 2015, http://www.mayo.edu/mshs/careers/physician-assistant/physician-assistant-program-minnesota
  • Online Education, St. Cloud State University, accessed June 22, 2015, http://www.stcloudstate.edu/online/programs/default.aspx
  • Online Programs, Hamline University, accessed June 22, 2015, http://www.hamline.edu/academics/online-programs.html
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Colleges and universities in Minnesota are no strangers to breaking new ground — the first open-heart surgery and first bone marrow transplant in history were performed at the University of Minnesota in the 1950s and '60s, respectively — so it was true to form when U of M jumped in as early adopters of online education in 1996. Since then, more and more online colleges in Minnesota have stepped up to the plate and started making education more accessible for students all around the state and across the country.

If you're thinking about continuing your education online, having the right environment for studying and other scholarly work can make a big difference in the experience. Not only can it help to be surrounded by other people who are also working toward their degrees, but the infrastructure of reference libraries, bookstores, greenspace, study rooms and other student-focused amenities can make your own academic journey go all the more smoothly.

The general cost of living can sometimes be more expensive in large urban areas like the Twin Cities, but the comparatively lower cost of tuition at online schools in Minnesota might give you few extra dollars each month to spend on housing and transportation. What's more, larger population centers tend to have more diverse career markets, which can be an advantage to new graduates entering the workforce for the first time. The top five cities for overall student population in Minnesota, according to 2014 enrollment numbers published by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), are Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Saint Cloud, Duluth and Winona.

Institution type No. offering bachelor's degrees No. offering associate's degrees No. offering certificates and other non-degree awards No. offering advanced degrees (master's, Ph.D., etc.)
Private nonprofit27132725
Private for-profit33325110
Public1237419

Online colleges in Minnesota

Institution type No. offering 4-year degrees No. offering 2-year degrees No. offering certificates and other non-degree awards No. offering advanced degrees (master's, Ph.D., etc.)
Private nonprofit4 - 44
Public5 - 54

NCES figures show no fewer than 115 campus-based and online colleges in Minnesota, including 53 public schools and 35 private nonprofit institutions. Among those, students seeking bachelor's, master's or doctoral degrees have more than 40 schools to choose from. Wherever in the state you choose to live, it's likely that the right degree program for you is within your reach.Students interested in exploring all the schools and institutions based in Minnesota offering online & campus-based programs can explore the map below

VIEW MAP >

The advantages to earning a degree online rather than on campus are somewhat well known by now — schedule flexibility, frequently lower tuition, professional certifications and career-focused degrees, etc. — but there are a few Minnesota-specific reasons that attending school in the virtual classroom may be the right thing for you. For one, it can be a real advantage to not have to shovel your driveway to go to class, particularly during that period of sub-zero average temperatures between November and March.

Top-ranked programs at traditional and online schools in Minnesota

Multiple national agencies rank universities according to the quality, accessibility and reputation of their educational programs, and several campus-based and online schools in Minnesota show up near the top of the rankings lists each year. In 2015, the Twin Cities campus of the University of Minnesota came within a few spots of cracking the overall top 100 on Forbes' college rankings — placing at No. 108 nationwide — and landed at No. 48 among national research universities.


Online education in Minnesota might be the way to go — it can be a real advantage to not have to shovel your driveway to go to class, particularly during that period of sub-zero average temperatures between November and March ...


Individual programs at the University of Minnesota also took some top national honors in 2015, according to the program-specific rankings calculated by U.S. News & World Report. Degrees in chemical engineering, information systems, applied mathematics, primary care medicine, pharmacy, public health and psychology at U of M all placed among the top 10 programs in their field nationwide, as did numerous teacher education specialties at the graduate level.

Best online colleges in Minnesota for education degrees

Students looking for a slightly closer-knit educational experience from the online colleges in Minnesota can check out the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, which landed at No. 113 on the national universities list and offers online graduate programs in education that ranked among the U.S. News top 200.

Plenty of other online schools in Minnesota placed among the best online graduate degrees in education in the country, as well. Here's a quick list of them all, alongside their exact U.S. News ranking if one was published:

  • College of St. Scholastica: No. 42
  • Concordia University - St. Paul: No. 60
  • St. Catherine University: No. 86
  • University of St. Thomas: No. 157
  • Bethel University
  • St. Mary's University of Minnesota

What's more, Concordia University - St. Paul also has a top-40 criminal justice graduate program available online, and it joins the College of St. Scholastica in offering online bachelor's degrees that are ranked among the 50 best in the country. The non-MBA graduate business programs at Concordia also placed in the top 75 for 2015, along with similar programs offered at St. Mary's University of Minnesota.

Of course, taking your education in the virtual classroom means that it's not necessary to apply to online schools in Minnesota only. The best online bachelor's programs in the country are offered just on the other side of the Great Lakes at the Pennsylvania State University - World Campus, and the top three national schools for online MBA programs — including Indiana University - Bloomington and Temple University in Philadelphia — are equally available to Minnesota residents as they are to qualifying students anywhere in the world.

Best degrees to get in Minnesota

According to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), the labor market in the state is poised to expand by 7 percent overall between 2012 and 2022. Certain professions, however, may see as much as five or six times more growth than the statewide average, and students with the right combination of education and experience in one of these fields may be able to capitalize on the current characteristics of demand in the regional career market.

  • It may not be a career that's on everyone's radar, but industrial-organizational psychology has the distinction of being the nation's fastest-growing career on the most recent report produced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The U.S. at large is projected to see an upswing of 53 percent in jobs for industrial and organizational psychologists by 2022, and the University of Minnesota is home to the nation's No. 1 ranked degree program in the field.
  • The health care industry is experiencing significant growth as well, and degrees in physician assisting are increasing in value all over the country. Projected growth of 35 percent in Minnesota between 2012 and 2022 should lead to around 600 new jobs in the state, and the BLS indicates a mean annual wage of $103,890 for physician assistants in Minnesota in 2014. Interested in-state students can apply to School of Health Sciences at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, which reports an excellent outlook for placement of physician assistants after graduation.
  • Registered nursing is another hot health care field in Minnesota, where DEED figures indicate 17 percent growth and nearly 10,000 new jobs by 2022. Registered nurse training typically takes two or three years, culminating in either an associate degree or a professional diploma, depending on the individual program and institution. The mean annual salary for registered nurses in Minnesota was $71,450, according to the BLS.

Industrial-organizational psychology has the distinction of being the nation's fastest-growing career on the most recent report produced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics — and the University of Minnesota is home to the nation's No. 1 ranked degree program in the field.


  • A 2011 report by the Minnesota DEED shows that two of the 10 largest employers in the state are Target and Wal-Mart, retailers who rely on a multinational supply chain to keep their business running. A bachelor's or master's degree in logistics can prepare you to help retail giants like these manage the complex system of relationships necessary to ensure a smooth flow of goods and capital across borders and into customers' hands. Raw job growth for logisticians is expected to be considerable, also; a projected 20 percent increase in employment should produce around 500 new jobs in Minnesota by 2022.
  • It's no secret that networked systems and the data sciences have turned the business world on its head in the last several years, and formal education in computer science, information systems or a related discipline can give you the knowledge, skills and context you need to tackle the challenges of this growing and changing field. Jobs for information security analysts and computer systems analysts in Minnesota are projected to grow 20 and 17 percent, respectively, between 2012 and 2022, with 2014 annual salary averages falling between $85,000 and $89,000 for both positions.

While there's no degree that can guarantee employment in any particular field after graduation, focusing your academic and extracurricular efforts toward the demands of a particular professional field might help you navigate the working world with a little more confidence.

Minnesota colleges

Here's some information about a few select traditional and online schools in Minnesota, along with a short list of degree programs available at each one that stand out from the crowd:

Institution Name
Online Degrees?
Top Programs
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Industrial-organizational psychology, developmental psychology, nonprofit management, health care management, chemical engineering, technical/vocational education, business information systems, primary care medicine, nursing informatics, computer science, law, math, economics

University of St. Thomas

Graduate education (online), social work, health care management, law, engineering, graduate business, part-time MBA

St. Cloud State University

Social work, rehabilitation counseling, graduate business, graduate education, speech-language pathology, engineering

College of St. Scholastica

Nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, MBA (online), graduate education (online)

Concordia University - St. Paul

Graduate business (online), criminal justice (online), graduate education (online), MBA (online)

Hamline University

Public affairs, health care law, part-time law, dispute resolution

Article Sources
Methodology

To get our list of the best colleges, we ranked 1,649 4-year colleges and universities in the U.S. Each school was scored on a 100-point scale, using the most recent data available from government sources. Our data points include:

  • The in-state tuition and fees for full-time undergraduates, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • The estimated cost of books and supplies, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • The average net price for students receiving Title IV grant and scholarship aid, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014-15
  • The average net price for low-income students receiving Title IV grant and scholarship aid, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014-15
  • The average amount of institutional grant aid awarded to full-time, first-time undergraduate students as a percentage of in-state tuition and fees, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014-15
  • Median debt of graduates, College Scorecard, 2014-15
  • 3-year student loan repayment rate of graduates, College Scorecard, 2014-15
  • No. of degree and certificate programs offered, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • No. of degree and certificate programs offered via distance education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • Percent of students enrolled in any distance education classes, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • Average retention rate for full-time and part-time students, National Center for Education Statistics, Fall 2015-16
  • Graduation rate within six years, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • Flexibility and student services, based on whether the school offers the following services, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
    • Dual credit
    • Credit for life experience
    • Advanced Placement credit
    • Programs of study that can be completed entirely on weekends or in the evening
    • Remedial services
    • Academic and career counseling
    • Job placement services for graduates
    • Guaranteed tuition plan
    • Tuition payment plan
    • Any other alternative tuition plan
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21st Century eSchool
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
7106 South Avenue
City
Middleton
State
WI
Zip Code
53562
Website
http://www.21eschool.com/index.html
Test Scores
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
-
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
-
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
-
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
-
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
School Type
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
0
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$
Admissions Rate
0%
Offers On-Campus Housing
In-State Tution & Fees
$0
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
0
Number of Online Programs Offered
-
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
0%
21st Century Virtual Academy
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
1829 Denver West Drive #27
City
Golden
State
CO
Zip Code
80401
Website
http://www.jeffcopublicschools.org/online/
Test Scores
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
-
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
-
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
-
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
-
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
School Type
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
0
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$
Admissions Rate
0%
Offers On-Campus Housing
In-State Tution & Fees
$0
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
0
Number of Online Programs Offered
-
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
0%
Academy Online High School
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
1110 Chapel Hills Drive
City
Colorado Springs
State
CO
Zip Code
80920
Website
http://www.asd20.org/education/school/school.php?sectionid=3858
Test Scores
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
-
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
-
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
-
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
-
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
School Type
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
0
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$
Admissions Rate
0%
Offers On-Campus Housing
In-State Tution & Fees
$0
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
0
Number of Online Programs Offered
-
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
0%
ACCESS Distance Learning
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
5351 Gordon Persons Building PO Box 302101
City
Montgomery
State
AL
Zip Code
36130
Website
http://accessdl.state.al.us/
Test Scores
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
-
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
-
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
-
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
-
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
School Type
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
0
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$
Admissions Rate
0%
Offers On-Campus Housing
In-State Tution & Fees
$0
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
0
Number of Online Programs Offered
-
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
0%
Alabama A & M University
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
4900 Meridian Street
City
Normal
State
AL
Zip Code
35762
Website
www.aamu.edu/
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
383-470
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
360-480
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
370-457
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
16-19
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
City: Midsize
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
4,505
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$30
Admissions Rate
65%
Offers On-Campus Housing
1
In-State Tution & Fees
$9,366
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
19
Number of Online Programs Offered
2
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
15%
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
Administration Bldg Suite 1070
City
Birmingham
State
AL
Zip Code
35294
Website
www.uab.edu
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
520-630
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
520-668
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
-
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
22-28
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
City: Midsize
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
11,511
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$30
Admissions Rate
60%
Offers On-Campus Housing
1
In-State Tution & Fees
$7,766
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
13
Number of Online Programs Offered
6
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
67%
Amridge University
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
1200 Taylor Rd
City
Montgomery
State
AL
Zip Code
36117
Website
www.amridgeuniversity.edu
Test Scores
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
-
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
-
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
-
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
-
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
City: Midsize
School Type
Private not-for-profit
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
308
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$50
Admissions Rate
0%
Offers On-Campus Housing
0
In-State Tution & Fees
$10,860
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
10
Number of Online Programs Offered
22
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
100%
University of Alabama in Huntsville
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
301 Sparkman Dr
City
Huntsville
State
AL
Zip Code
35899
Website
www.uah.edu
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
520-650
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
550-680
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
-
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
24-30
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
City: Midsize
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
6,013
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$30
Admissions Rate
81%
Offers On-Campus Housing
1
In-State Tution & Fees
$9,128
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
20
Number of Online Programs Offered
15
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
12%
Alabama State University
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
915 S Jackson Street
City
Montgomery
State
AL
Zip Code
36104
Website
www.alasu.edu
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
370-450
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
360-460
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
-
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
16-19
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
City: Midsize
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
4,764
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$25
Admissions Rate
46%
Offers On-Campus Housing
1
In-State Tution & Fees
$8,720
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
18
Number of Online Programs Offered
4
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
13%
University of Alabama System Office
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
500 University Blvd. East
City
Tuscaloosa
State
AL
Zip Code
35401
Website
www.uasystem.ua.edu
Test Scores
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
-
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
-
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
-
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
-
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
0
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$
Admissions Rate
0%
Offers On-Campus Housing
-1
In-State Tution & Fees
$0
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
0
Number of Online Programs Offered
-
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
0%
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