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Top 10 Colleges For An Online Degree in Baltimore, MD

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Great Value Colleges - Top Online Degrees in Baltimore

The top colleges for an online degree in Baltimore, MD, are some of the most competitive in the state. This is because, alongside on-campus degrees, they offer a wide variety of online degrees that can be earned for less than the cost of an in-person program and give working professionals the flexibility they need in their education. With more working students looking for degrees that can fit into their schedule, the need for online degrees continues to grow, making this ranking an important addition to the discussion of online education.

Online degrees are not for everyone, but they do work wonders for working professionals. Along with lower costs and the ability to choose when and where someone studies, these programs also offer students the chance to complete a degree, bridge from undergraduate to graduate studies and earn certificates alongside their degree. While there are more than 10 schools that meet these criteria, these are among the best in the state.

Methodology

This ranking began with a cursory search for top colleges for online degrees in Baltimore, MD on the National Center for Education Statistics and its College Navigator database. After the initial list was curated, each college was independently reviewed to create a points database from which the top 10 colleges would be chosen. The factors required include:

Types of online degree options available (associate, bachelor, master’s, doctorate): 1 point per degree level.

Cost per credit hour:
Under $250 – 4 points
$251 – $350 – 3 points
$351 – $450 – 2 points
Over $451 per credit hour – 1 point

Regional Accreditation:
Present – 1 point

Student to faculty ratio:
10:1 or less – 3 points
11:1 to 15:1 – 2 points
Greater than 15:1 – 1 point

The top 10 colleges, which are listed below, were chosen based on their point ranking on the list.

10. The University of Maryland at Baltimore County

Baltimore, Maryland

Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Baltimore, MD
University of Maryland at Baltimore County offers four master’s degrees online.

Website

One of the best schools for students interested in online master’s programs is the University of Maryland at Baltimore County. This school confers four master’s programs and three graduate certificates online in a variety of fields, such as education, emergency health services, and information systems. The programs on this list are conferred through the school’s Blackboard online portal and enable students to complete their degree in small class sizes; other online services are available, such as technical support, online tutoring, and online bookstore, and access to the school’s online library. Students interested in non-credit courses will also find courses available to them through the UMBC Training Center.

Types of Degrees Available:
Master’s
Cost per credit hour: $664
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
Total Points: 4

9. Loyola University at Maryland

Baltimore, Maryland

Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Baltimore, MD
Loyola University at Maryland caps their online courses at 15 students.

Website

Loyola University at Maryland is a school that offers some of the best online programs in the state. This school offers students the chance to earn an online graduate education at the fraction of the cost of an on-campus program. Students will find the online program to be comprehensive and challenging but also a rewarding experience. Courses are capped at 15 students and the online portal offers the chance to have a close relationship with professors and other classmates. Degrees are available in education, counseling, and social work. Postgraduate certificates are also available.

Types of Degrees Available:
Master’s
Cost per credit hour: $550
Student to Faculty Ratio: 11:1
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
Total Points: 5

8. The University of Baltimore

Baltimore, Maryland

Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Baltimore, MD
University of Baltimore offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees online.

Website

Students interested in online bachelor’s programs will be interested in the University of Baltimore. This school offers an online bridge bachelor’s program along with three master’s programs, all 100 percent online. Students will not be held to any set schedule; courses are available mainly asynchronously and sometimes synchronously. In-state tuition rates are the norm for online students, providing students with the chance to earn an affordable education. Programs range from business to public administration, making this a great choice for students who are interested in becoming entrepreneurs and public officials.

Types of Degrees Available:
Bachelor’s, Masters
Cost per credit hour: $750
Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
Total Points: 6

7. Towson University

Towson, Maryland

Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Baltimore, MD
Towson University offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees online.

Website

Towson University is one of the top colleges for an online degree in Baltimore, MD, for students interested in earning licensure in either education or nursing. Students will find a range of bridge and undergraduate programs along with master’s programs that will help them complete their education in their chosen field. This school offers small class sizes, a full suite of online services, and the ability to transfer their associate’s degree into a bachelor’s degree; concurrent degrees are also available upon approval from the school. Degrees in the education and nursing departments both offer pathways to licensure, making it a great choice for interested students who are working full-time.

Types of Degrees Available:
Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctorate
Cost per credit hour: $559
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
Total Points: 6

6. Goucher College

Baltimore, Maryland

Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Baltimore, MD
Goucher College online classes are small and offer individualized attention.

Website

Goucher College confers some of the best online degrees available in Baltimore, MD. A small public school centered in the heart of Baltimore, this is a great institution for students interested in completing their graduate degree. Programs have a cap number of students, meaning that class sizes are small and everyone has individualized attention from staff and faculty. Students in this program have the chance to complete a variety of study abroad programs, even as online students, and can choose to complete field placements in the area or in their own community. This is a great college for students who wish to work for the government or an associated agency.

Types of Degrees Available:
Master’s
Cost per credit hour: $540
Student to Faculty Ratio: 10:1
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
Total Points: 6

5. Morgan State University

Baltimore, Maryland

Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Baltimore, MD
Morgan State University offers master’s and doctorate degrees online.

Website

Morgan State University is one of the top colleges for an online degree in Baltimore, MD. This school offers a suite of graduate and postgraduate programs that will fit nearly every professional’s career goals. The school offers a suite of master’s programs in engineering, project management, and public health while also offering a community college leadership doctoral program. Students will find that this school caps their online classes at 15 students per course and offers a suite of services, such as an online library and bookstore, tutoring services, and much more. Students in this program will also have the chance to complete concurrent degrees provided the school approves their study plan.

Types of Degrees Available:
Master’s, Doctorate
Cost per credit hour: $514.50
Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
Total Points: 6

4. Coppin State University

Baltimore, Maryland

Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Baltimore, MD
Coppin State University offers online bachelor’s degrees.

Website

Baltimore, MD, is home to Coppin State University, which has one of the best online programs available in the country. This school offers one of the top online bachelor’s programs in business management in the country, providing students with a state-of-the-art degree taught by a nationally renowned faculty who have experience in the field. Students in this program will benefit from small class sizes, team projects, online tutoring services, and online business hours. This is a great program for students who wish to become part of the business sector and have dreams of becoming entrepreneurs.

Types of Degrees Available:
Bachelor’s
Cost per credit hour: $370
Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
Total Points: 6

3. Stevenson University

Owings Mills, Maryland

Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Baltimore, MD
Stevenson University offers over 30 different programs.

Website

Stevenson University is home to one of the top colleges for an online degree in Baltimore, MD. This school offers virtual degrees through the Stevenson University Online portal, where degrees ranging from bachelor’s to master’s are conferred. Programs are available in fields such as nursing, education, business, criminal justice, and technology. There are over 30 different programs available, not including certificates and endorsements. And, as a regionally accredited university, students will have access to licensure pathways within their degrees. This online portal is capped off with access to a wide suite of online services including professor office hours, tutoring, a bookstore, and a virtual library.

Types of Degrees Available:
Bachelor’s, Master’s
Cost per credit hour: $360
Student to Faculty Ratio:
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
Total Points: 6

2. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, Maryland

Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Baltimore, MDTop 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Baltimore, MD
Johns Hopkins University offers over 20 online degrees.

Website

Some of the best online degrees can be found at Johns Hopkins University. Starting with its partnership with the website Coursera, this university offers a variety of online programs at all levels of university education. There are over 20 degree programs available, most with low residency options. Students will be able to learn from a variety of fields, including nursing, education, engineering, computer science, and more. Students with an associate’s degree will also be able to complete their bachelor’s degree in fields such as nursing and public health. Along with offering courses for credit, the school offers noncredit courses for adult learners.

Types of Degrees Available:
Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctorate
Cost per credit hour: $2,239
Student to Faculty Ratio: 7:1
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
Total Points: 6

1. Notre Dame of Maryland

Baltimore, Maryland

Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Baltimore, MD
Notre Dame of Maryland offers nine online degrees.

Website

Notre Dame of Maryland is one of the top colleges for an online degree in Baltimore, MD. This school offers nine degrees available online, including bachelor’s degrees in business, nursing bridge programs, and a variety of master’s degree in education and communication. Students can also earn graduate and postgraduate certificates in a variety of subjects, including education endorsements and risk assessment and management. This school has a 120-year history of excellent education, a tradition it continues in its online portal. With small class sizes and an eye towards academic achievement, this is a great school for adult learners.

Types of Degrees Available:
Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctorate
Cost per credit hour: $360
Student to Faculty Ratio: 7:1
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
Total Points: 8

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Career Options for an Online Degree?

A student’s career options are not limited in any way by earning an online degree; in fact, most employers will never ask the method in which a professional earned their diploma. Additionally, most programs do not distinguish between online and on-campus degrees. This is done because online programs are not all that different from on-campus degrees; students do the same work and meet the same requirements.

There are a variety of online degrees available, from associate’s programs all the way to a doctorate or a specialist degree. This means that students can do nearly any job with an online degree, provided they also fulfill the other requirements for the position in question. And since online degrees can also provide pathways towards professional licensure, students are well taken care of in nearly every industry.

There are, however, exceptions to this rule. Students who wish to become medical professionals, such as a doctor, dentist, or pharmacist, must complete their specialist programs on campus. Another exception is students who wish to attend law school. Since these are highly specialized fields that require consistent on-hands instruction and examinations, the only way to become a candidate in these fields is to complete on-campus degrees. There are no schools currently that offer online programs for these fields.

Are Online Degrees Different Than On-Campus Degrees?

Online degrees differ than on-campus degrees in a few ways, but it should be noted that the result is the same. All students who fulfill the requirements for graduation will earn a diploma. Currently, the majority of schools do not distinguish between on-campus and online degrees. The method of earning the degree, however, is quite different.

Online degrees are either conferred entirely, mostly, or partially online. Students will complete their coursework through the school’s online portal, which is the virtual classroom in which lectures are taught, students can speak with their professors or classmates, and where they can receive technical support. Courses generally are held live or on-demand, providing students with flexibility in how and when they study. Part-time and full-time study plans are also available.

On-campus courses are always taught on campus. They are held live and participation during class is required. Most on-campus students are not allowed to take online courses, although this depends on the school and how it manages their online and on-campus student bodies. On-campus programs also sometimes will not accept part-time students, especially at the graduate and doctorate levels. Students will not have access to the online portal and will have to go to campus in order to resolve their concerns.

The term structure for online programs also differs. On-campus programs follow the traditional academic term structure, which is 15 or 16 weeks in length. Online programs may follow this structure or work in truncated terms, which can range between four to 12 weeks in length, depending on the school and the program. Some online programs also offer accelerated courses in the summer that usually last about two weeks.

There are other differences that set online programs apart from on-campus programs. Along with flexible schedules and more room for tailoring a degree, a student will find that online degrees are substantially more affordable than on-campus programs, even if they live out-of-state. Students will also find that field experiences are more convenient for them, which makes an online degree a great choice for working professionals.

Are All Online Programs “Online Only?”

No, not all online programs are delivered 100 percent online. There is a common misconception that if a school has an online program that students will never have to attend campus; it is misleading but is usually rectified by visiting the program’s website and looking at all the requirements for graduation.

There are several categories of online method deliveries for programs. The first is 100 percent online, which is also designated as “online only.” These are programs that can only be completed online, and, in some cases, the program is not available on campus, even if a student wanted to earn the degree in person. Programs that fall under this category are clearly marked as such on the program’s website.

The second online method that is used is called “hybrid.” It is a program that is completed half online and half in person. Students would be required to attend campus for half of their coursework requirements and may also need to complete any field experiences on or near campus. These programs are also described as hybrid degrees on the program website so that students understand when they need to attend campus; usually, there are courses that are only delivered on campus and require attendance for graduation.

The last is what is called a “low-residency program.” These are mostly online programs that have stated residency requirements; this is when a student must attend campus for long weekends or summer courses. These residencies rarely last over two weeks for any given degree and are generally required about once a year; however, some degrees, especially doctorate degrees, may require attendance on campus every term. While these programs are not always described as low-residency, students can be certain about it by searching for residency requirements on the school website.

If an Online Program Requires Field Experience, Does It Have To Be Done Near Campus?

No, online programs do not require students to complete their field experiences near the campus. This is to ensure that students from all over the country can complete the degree without complication. The only time that a student has restrictions on a field experience is when a school requires that it be done within the state.

Online students often attend school outside of their state, meaning that it would be an inconvenience to complete any field experience near campus. Field experiences can include practicums, clinical hours, or an internship. All of these field experiences take quite a bit of time to complete and require about 20 hours a week focused on this alone during the last one or two years of a degree program.

Because of the time commitment, schools with online programs have come up with an alternative. Students are still required to complete the field experience but can choose a workplace setting, which is where most of these experiences take place, in their community. Sometimes employers can act as field experience, enabling professionals to work in the same place while completing their field experience.

In this case, online students are required to find an adequate workplace setting in accordance with the requirements by their school. They must find a proctor, which is a supervisor, that will lead them through the process. Then their field experience must be approved by the department or their advisor. Once all of this is completed, they can complete their field experience.

There are some cases in which an out-of-state student will need to complete their field experience within the state. This is especially true if the program is part of a pathway towards licensure, such as for a teacher or nurse. Because states have different requirements for professionals based on the state in which they will practice, some schools only accept students that live in the same state. As field experiences are a requirement for graduation and also for licensure, these programs cannot accept out-of-state students. These programs always note whether a student must be a resident of the same state as the school.

Why are Online Programs More Affordable Than On-Campus Programs?

Every college or university degree, regardless of type or field, has what is known as a tuition fee. This is the fee students pay to complete the coursework and exams necessary for graduation. Tuition fees include credit-per-hour costs, which is the cost a student pays for every credit hour they earn, technology fees, exam fees, campus facilities fees, and more. These fees rise every academic year to adjust for inflation.

On-campus programs generally have two different credit-per-hour fees: one is for in-state students, which is low, and a second for out-of-state students, which can be substantially higher than in-state fees. Some schools have what is known as a reciprocity agreement with bordering states, meaning an out-of-state student with residency in one of those bordering states can attend college in a state within the agreement at the in-state tuition rate.

Online programs, however, are different. Many schools understand that students who attend online should not be held to the same tuition rate as on-campus students because they are not using the campus facilities. Therefore, regardless of residency, most online students pay the school’s in-state tuition rate for the duration of their program.

Some schools have taken it a bit further and have introduced an online tuition rate. This is often described as a “flat rate” and means that students pay a fee that is less than in-state tuition fees and is more affordable. This provides a flat rate, which all students pay provided they are enrolled in the online program.

The online tuition rate is more affordable than most on-campus programs and provides working professionals with other obligations to be able to pay for their education. While many on-campus programs strive to provide affordable degrees, the best way is through an online program.

How Can Earning an Online Degree Be Beneficial to Working Professionals?

Working professionals have obligations that prevent them from attending an on-campus program full-time. They may have a family and other personal obligations that require them to continue working, making it difficult for them to find the time and money to attend an expensive on-campus program. Additionally, they may be interested in a graduate or specialist degree that would help them advance in their career but may be hesitant if the on-campus programs in their area have a lot of requirements that would hinder their ability to work.

Online programs have been created for all students, but most have been designed with the working professional in mind. Online degrees cost less than on-campus programs, often have part-time availability and are more flexible than on-campus programs. This makes online programs a great fit for working professionals as they are the ones in most need for a program that can be tailored to their needs.

Field experiences are also a concern for working professionals. Since many programs require these experiences for graduation, it is an unavoidable part of earning a degree. These experiences are completed in a student’s community, eliminating the need for extensive travel. In fact, many online programs allow professionals to complete their field experiences in their place of employment, provided their employer agrees.

One of the biggest advantages of completing an online degree is that in most cases, employers encourage professionals to continue their education. There are several programs available in which an employer can subsidize a professional’s education, reducing their tuition fees in exchange for the professional continuing to work. Employers support online education because it means their employee can still work while going to school.

Finding an online program that meets the requirements for career goals can be a hassle, especially if a professional is looking for a degree that leads to licensure in their state. Thankfully, more schools are offering online degrees in order to meet this demand. The above schools are the top 10 colleges for an online degree in Baltimore, MD, and will serve as a great starting point for students interested in applying for a degree.

GVC Staff
April 2019

This concludes our ranking of the Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Baltimore, MD.