Since the mid-1800s, Chicago, Illinois has been a hub for higher education and academic research. Some of the state’s most prominent universities and private colleges are found within the city proper. Chicago institutions are known throughout the world as research centers and leaders among the world of academia. This large network of colleges and universities caters to the needs of its student population, offering online degree options that allow students to attend school while working full time.
We carefully examined online colleges in Chicago, IL to compile a list of schools that offer at least one online degree program.
All schools are accredited with governing bodies and agencies, and many are listed in several categories on college and university rankings, such as the Princeton Review and U.S. News and World Report’s 2016 edition of Best Colleges. As stated, some schools showed up on more than one list, including the most affordable online schools in Chicago, IL. These are our selections for the top 10 colleges for an online degree in Chicago, IL.
In this article, we examine the top 8 colleges for an online degree in Chicago, IL.
#8 Loyola University
Total Enrollment: 16,673
Founded in 1870, Loyola University is a private Catholic university located in Chicago, IL with 4 campus locations. Loyola offers numerous online degrees in Chicago, including Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctorate programs. Sample Bachelor’s online degrees include a BA in Applied Criminal Justice Leadership, an RN -BSN degree, a BA in Applied Psychology, a BA in Information Technology, and a BA in Management. Online Master’s degree options include Child’s Law and Policy, Business Law, or Pastoral Studies. Students may earn a doctoral degree in Bioethics or Nursing Practice. The US News and World Report ranks Loyola University’s online Bachelor’s degree programs as #12 in the whole nation. In addition, the school is also ranked in the following areas: Best Nursing Schools, Clinical Psychology, History, English, Social Work, Sociology, Education, and Law. The School of Law has two top 10 rankings in Health Care Law and Trial Advocacy.
Out-of-State Tuition: $43,078
#7 DePaul University
Total Enrollment: 22,769
DePaul University is a private institution located in the urban setting of Chicago. While founded in 1898, today the school is recognized among the top national universities in the country. In fact, the Princeton Review’s 2019 rankings has named DePaul one of the Best Midwestern Colleges in the US, the #28 spot for undergraduate schools in video game design, and the #13 and #20 spot for undergraduate and graduate degrees in Entrepreneurship (respectively). The US News and World Report has ranked DePaul one of the Nation’s Best Colleges of 2018. among other accolades. DePaul’s distance learning programs have also earned spots among the top online colleges in Chicago, IL. Currently, only two undergraduate degrees are available for online students: a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. However, there are many graduate degrees and certification options, including a Master of Science in Computer Science, a Master of Science in E-Commerce Technology, a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership, and a Master of Science in Taxation.
Out-of-State Tuition: $39,010
#6 Illinois Institute of Technology
Total Enrollment: 7,164
As a distance education pioneer as early as the 1970s, Illinois Institute of Technology’s Office of Digital Learning offers face-to-face, online, or blended degree programs to fit the needs of every type of student. However, the online programs offered at Illinois Institute of Technology are primarily designed for graduate students seeking to advance their career trajectory. Several fully online programs include a Master of Health Physics, a Master of Analytical Chemistry, and a Master of Computer Science. Other unique options include a Master of Food Process Engineering, Master of Intellectual Property Management and Markets, and a Master of VLSI and Microelectronics. Illinois Institute of Technology’s online sector provides guidance and support through an online bookstore, library, proctoring, technical support, and center for disabilities. Since its conception, IIT, formerly known as the Armour Institute, has founded itself on the premise of providing quality industrial education to students of all backgrounds. That mission is still intact and alive today. IIT is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Out-of-State Tuition: $45,864
#5 Saint Xavier University
Total Enrollment: 3,715
Founded as Chicago’s first established Catholic university, Saint Xavier University offers many undergraduate and graduate degree programs through the college’s 3 schools: College of Arts and Sciences, Graham School of Management, and School of Nursing and Health Sciences. Four online Bachelor’s degree programs are available, including options like RN-BSN, Leadership and Public Administration, and Applied Communication. For students seeking a graduate degree, 14 online options span areas of study from Digital Marketing to Project Management to Forensic and Investigative Accounting. In addition, students can choose from various endorsements and certificate programs. Saint Xavier has a long history of accolades that encompass everything from diversity to veterans to academics. Most recently, the school’s School of Nursing and Health Sciences scored the #3 spot on the US News and World Report’s 2019 ranking for”Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs.” Saint Xavier University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Out-of-State Tuition: $$33,380
#4 Roosevelt University
Total Enrollment: 4,457
Roosevelt University, founded in 1945, provides a quality education through two physical campuses in the Chicago area and an online sector as well. The University is rooted in values that promote courage and individualism as well as an educational mission to promote inclusivity and social justice. In fact, US News and World Report ranked Roosevelt University the third most ethically diverse colleges for 2018. Currently, Roosevelt University distance education only offers online Masters degrees in the following areas:
- Conflict & Mediation
- Hospitality & Tourism Management
- Organization Development
- Performing Arts Administration
- Second Language Special Education
- Training & Development
- Teaching and Learning
Online students can expect an asynchronous course format and rigorous classes that are the same as their on-campus counterparts. RU has an impressive faculty to student ratio at 11:1, with classes size at less than 19 students.
Out-of-State Tuition: $28,963
#3 National Louis University
Total Enrollment: 4,918
Founded 130 years ago, National Louis University serves more than 8,000 students through 7 locations in both Chicago and Florida. Students looking for program variety find the National Louis University among the top online colleges in Chicago, IL. Sample online Bachelor’s degrees include a BA in Applied Communications, a BA in Criminal Justice, and a BA in Early Childhood Education. Online graduate degree programs include an MS in Human Resource Management and Development, MS in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, or a Master of Business Administration in Entrepreneurship or Non-profit Management. One online doctoral degree is available in Higher Educational Leadership. Education endorsements are also available through the school’s online programs. NLU is fully accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission (NCA-NLC). According to U.S. News and World Report, high school counselors rank National Louis University as the 230th Most Recommended College. The school is consistently ranked among Tier 2 schools in the magazine’s Best Colleges publication.
Out-of-State Tuition: $10,440
#2 Northern Illinois University
Total Enrollment: 18,045
Among the top online colleges in Chicago, IL, Northern Illinois University earns a place on our list because of the various degree programs. With 6 campuses, community college partners, and a large online selection, Northern Illinois University offers over 100 degree programs through its 7 departmental Colleges. The school is ranked among the best accredited online schools in Chicago, IL, offering almost 20 online and blended programs at the undergraduate and graduate degree level. Many undergraduate and graduate online certifications are available as well. Some of the most popular online Bachelor degree programs include Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, a Bachelor of Science in Marketing, and a BS in Nursing for RNs. Examples of graduate degrees include a Master of Public Health, MS in Nursing, MS in Digital Marketing, MS in Education, and an EdD in Industrial and Systems Engineering. Impressively, U.S. News and World Report ranks Northern Illinois University’s online graduate education program as #9 among similar programs in the United States.
Out-of-State Tuition: $23,816
#1 University of Illinois of Chicago
Total Enrollment: 30,539
The University of Illinois at Chicago offers various online degree programs designed to assist working professionals to develop skills to advance their careers. Academic rigor and flexibility with any-time access to classes make the institution a top college for earning an online degree in Chicago. In fact, the school is also considered one of the more affordable online schools in Chicago, IL. Some of the most popular online Bachelor’s degree programs offered at the University of Illinois include Bachelor in Business Administration, Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN Completion), and a Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management degree completion program. Sample online graduate degrees include a Master of Engineering, a Master of Science in Patient Safety Leadership, and a Master of Health Professions Education. Many online certifications and professional development options are available as well. The school is ranked highly by U.S. News and World Report. In fact, according to the 2018 edition of Best Colleges, University of Illinois’ online bachelor’s programs are ranked #5 in the country.
Out-of-State Tuition: $26,560
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