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Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Los Angeles, CA

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Great Value Colleges - Top Online Degrees in Los Angeles

There is a lot to be said about the top 10 colleges for an online degree in Los Angeles, CA, especially once students have seen the massive number of features and programs available through these schools. Not only are these among the most affordable programs in the state, but they also provide students with pathways to licensure, bridge programs from undergraduate to graduate work, exciting internship opportunities, and more. The sheer number of programs available online to students in the city is the top reason why this ranking was created.

Researching online programs in Los Angeles, CA, can be an overwhelming task. Students are faced with dozens of schools that offer online programs, but that can be daunting, especially when trying to sort through all the data to find the right program. This ranking was created to give students all the information they need to select a school that meets their online needs, making it a great resource when choosing a program.

Methodology

This is a points-based ranking, meaning that the schools listed here were chosen based on the number of points accrued during the research process. As always, this ranking began with a search for top colleges for online degrees in Los Angeles, CA, that was conducted through the National Center for Education Statistics’ publicly available College Navigator database. The initial group was then individually reviewed, with the information offered below taken directly from the school’s website. The top factors for this ranking 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 final 10 schools, which can all be found within a 50-mile radius of the greater Los Angeles metro area, were chosen based on the accumulation of points. They are listed below in descending order.

10. Biola University

La Mirada, California

Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Los Angeles, CA
Biola University offers 16 online degrees.

Website

Some of the best online programs in Los Angeles, CA, can be found at Biola University. This school confers three bachelor’s degrees, 13 master’s degrees, and seven certificates in fields such as biblical ministries, education, psychology, and theology. Curated for students interested in a Bible-centered online education, the school offers students the chance to complete the degree either 100 percent online or in a hybrid format if they live close to campus. Students will also have access to 24/7 technical support, academic advising, and online bookstore and library services.

Types of Degrees Available:
Bachelor’s, Master’s
Cost per credit hour: $575
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges
Total Points: 5

9. California State University at Dominguez Hills

Dominguez Hills, California

Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Los Angeles, CA
California State University at Dominguez Hills offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees online.

Website

California State University at Dominguez Hills is one of the top 10 colleges for an online degree in Los Angeles, CA. This school offers over 15 undergraduate and graduate degrees as well as certificates that can be earned at both levels. The programs are among the most popular for on-campus and online students; fields include nursing, quality assurance, business administration, and public administration. Students interested in noncredit professional courses will also find subjects of interest to them. Along with a full-service online portal, students can enjoy technical support, summer sessions, and the ability to attend campus for special events and workshops.

Types of Degrees Available:
Bachelor’s, Master’s
Cost per credit hour: $479
Student to Faculty Ratio: 21:1
Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges
Total Points: 6

8. Pepperdine University

Malibu, California

Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Los Angeles, CATop 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Los Angeles, CA
Pepperdine University offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees online.

Website

Online bachelor’s programs are some of the most popular degrees available at Pepperdine University. This school confers online programs in business, accounting, education and nursing at all levels of education. Graduate and doctoral programs are also expanding at this school in the future, ensuring that all students will be able to earn a degree from this top-tier institution. Students will find that the programs come complete with online academic and career advising, making education at this school perfect for working professionals with clear career goals. This school also offers online tutoring, a bookstore, a library, and online office hours so that they can communicate with their professors.

Types of Degrees Available:
Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctorate
Cost per credit hour: $1,530
Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges
Total Points: 6

7. Mount Saint Mary’s University

Los Angeles, California

Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Los Angeles, CA
Mount Saint Mary’s University offer both undergraduate and graduate degrees online.

Website

Mount Saint Mary’s University is home to one of the top 10 colleges for an online degree in Los Angeles, CA. This school confers flexible online programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, all with no residency requirements. Students will have access to small class sizes, all of which are taught by on-campus professors who have been certified in online education. Degrees range from business administration to pre-health sciences, enabling students to choose from a group of degrees that fit their interests. More degrees have been announced and will be rolling out next year. Students at this school have access to online tutoring, technical support, a bookstore, and online library resources.

Types of Degrees Available:
Bachelor’s, Master’s
Cost per credit hour: $573
Student to Faculty Ratio: 11:1
Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges
Total Points: 6

6. Brandman University

Irvine, California

Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Los Angeles, CA
Brandman University offers online bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

Website

Some of the best online master’s programs come from Brandman University. This school offers students the chance to enroll in their MyPath program. This is a program that offers students to complete all of their courses asynchronously and with no residency requirements. This is a unique online program because students will find their previous work experience will enable them to progress with the degree quicker than a traditional degree; students can opt out of courses if they meet the work requirement necessary. Along with affordable tuition, mobile access to coursework, a dedicated support staff, and an online suite of services, students are well prepared to complete their education at Brandman.

Types of Degrees Available:
Bachelor’s, Master’s
Cost per credit hour: $500
Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges
Total Points: 6

5. The University of Southern California

Los Angeles, California

Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Los Angeles, CA
The University of Southern California offers more than 60 online degrees.

Website

The University of Southern California is one of the top 10 colleges for an online degree in Los Angeles, CA, for students interested in online graduate programs. This school offers more than 60 graduate and doctorate programs in a wide variety of fields, such as criminal justice, regulatory science, business law, and more. As a top-tier school in the state, students will find that their online program is a harmonious combination of rigorous courses and support from the school. Along with technical support and academic advising, students can access their education through the school’s apps for the virtual portal, get support for their classes with online tutoring, and more.

Types of Degrees Available:
Master’s, Doctorate
Cost per credit hour: $2,005
Student to Faculty Ratio: 8:1
Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges
Total Points: 7

4. The University of La Verne

La Verne, California

Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Los Angeles, CA
The University of La Verne offers online degrees with no residency requirements.

Website

Some of the best online programs in the state come from the University of La Verne. This school confers associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degree online with little to no residency requirements. Students will find that available fields of study vary and include public administration, information technology, and business administration. Students have access to completely asynchronous courses, meaning they can study when it is most convenient for them. Additionally, the school offers technical support, academic advising, and a whole host of services specifically for online students.

Types of Degrees Available:
Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s
Cost per credit hour: $645
Student to Faculty Ratio: 12:1
Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges
Total Points: 7

3. Citrus College

Glendora, California

Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Los Angeles, CA
Citrus College offer’s online associate degrees.

Website

Citrus College earns the distinction of being the most affordable college for online degrees on this list. With a cost of $46 per credit hour, students will find that this is an affordable way to earn an associate’s degree that they can use in the workforce or include on their transcript when they are ready to transfer to a four-year school. Online programs include associate’s degrees in sociology, business, history and more; certificates are also available in accounting, criminal justice, and administrative office occupations. Students will find that this school is still growing its online portal; however, technical support, academic advising, online tutoring, and access to the bookstore and library are available to all online students.

Types of Degrees Available:
Associate’s
Cost per credit hour: $46
Student to Faculty Ratio: 33:1
Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges
Total Points: 7

2. Azusa Pacific University

Azusa, California

Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Los Angeles, CA
Azusa Pacific University offers online bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees.

Website

A great place for an online degree is Azusa Pacific University. This school confers online degrees in a variety of fields, such as screenwriting, nursing, and educational technology. While not all degrees at this school are offered 100 percent online, most have low-residency options and are attainable. Students will find that their degree will be accompanied by a host of online services, including online academic and career advising, tutoring services, technical support, and apps that can be used on a smartphone or tablet.

Types of Degrees Available:
Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctorate
Cost per credit hour: $1,651
Student to Faculty Ratio: 10:1
Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges
Total Points: 8

1. Concordia University at Irvine

Irvine, California

Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Los Angeles, CA
Concordia University at Irvine offers online bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees.

Website

Concordia University at Irvine is one of the top 10 colleges for an online degree in Los Angeles, CA. This school offers students a wide variety of online degrees, including programs in organizational psychology, nursing, education, and business. Students will have the option to also apply for financial aid, which is encouraged by the school. Degrees are held entirely online or as low-residency programs, giving students the option to choose to attend a program that requires events on campus or complete the degree at home. This program has a host of online options, including apps for smartphones and tablets, 24/7 technical support, an online bookstore, an online library, and more.

Types of Degrees Available:
Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctorate
Cost per credit hour: $330
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges
Total Points: 8

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Career Options for an Online Degree?

Online degrees can lead to careers in every industry, including business, engineering, computer science, education, nursing, and more. Because online degrees are mainstream, earning one does not preclude a professional from entering nearly every field. It is a great option for professionals who are already in a field and just want to complete their degree, enabling them to earn promotions or move into another career field all together. Licensure and certifications are also available in online degrees, making it even more enticing for working professionals.

Just like with all rules, this one also has exceptions: doctors, dentists, pharmacologists and lawyers will still need to complete their degrees at a physical location. This, however, refers to specialist and graduate work, meaning that even these professionals can earn a high-quality online degree from a top-tier institution prior to entering the professional portion of their education.

What are the Different Flexibility Options That Online Students Can Utilize for Their Degree?

Online students have various options available to them to help them complete their degree. These are made available to provide a flexible program that they can graduate from with little to no interruption to their schedule. While not all schools have the entire suite of options discussed below, most will have at least a few.

The first important option is residency status. This refers to whether a student is part-time or full-time in the eyes of the school. Most schools, traditional and online, have this option, but part-time study options are more available for online students. This is to ensure that these students can continue to work while completing their degree.

Another flexibility option is term length. Traditional schools follow the 16-week academic term structure. Online programs are not held to this requirement and so courses can be completed in two-week, four-week, five-week, seven-week, eight-week, and 12-week terms. This enables a student to study part-time and still complete their degree in the same amount of time as a full-time, on-campus student.

One flexibility option that is only available to online students is the delivery method for coursework. On-campus students must attend class, turn in their assignments, and complete exams on a strict schedule; it must also be done in person. Online students, on the other hand, can take live or on-demand classes, meaning they can choose when and where they study. Students in these programs may also have access to open periods for projects and exams, giving them flexibility in when they complete these necessary components of their degree.

The last flexibility option available to online students is an advancement in technology: mobile schooling. Each online course is held through a learning management system which the school operates. Many of these systems have companion applications for smartphones, tablets, and computers. Accessing lectures on-the-go means that students have the option to download lectures and assignment deadlines anywhere they have access to the internet. This is by far the most impressive flexibility option, one that is not offered to on-campus students.

What Does Residency Requirement Mean for an Online Program?

Residency requirement is a term that traditionally refers to the number of credit hours that must be earned at a school in order to graduate with a degree from that school. In the past, it was normally reserved for transfer students to ensure that they have enough credit hours from just one school in order to graduate.

With the mainstream use of online degrees, the definition has altered. Residency requirements now refer to the time online students spend on a physical campus. While not all degrees require residency, some do, meaning students must know what it means.

Low-residency programs are online programs that have a low residency requirement. This can be as little as attending orientation and graduation on campus or completing the oral defense of a dissertation on campus. It can also mean as much as two long weekends spent on campus every term. Some schools also require annual attendance on campus during the summer term.

Online-only programs have no residency requirements; they are generally described by the school as 100 percent or wholly online programs. These programs are clear on the fact that students never have to attend campus as it is not a requirement for graduation; some do offer chances to attend campus, but these are optional.

All online programs have a section in their degree requirements page that stipulates what the requirements are. Students will find these stated in the residency requirement section. If this information is not available on the program website, then it is highly advised that students contact the admissions office to learn more about the requirement.

What is a Cohort Online Degree?

A cohort online degree is defined as a program that has a set structure with the same class progressing through the courses together. This enables students to create a familial atmosphere with classmates and their professors, providing them with a sense of support that only other students can provide. This type of degree is perfect for those who are interested in getting to know their classmates.

Cohort degrees are different from traditional degrees in that students are put on a sequential course of study. This refers to their program having a set schedule every term; online degrees ensure that the class moves through the courses together, so there is no need to be concerned about a course filling up prior to registration.

These degrees often take the same amount of time to complete as traditional degrees; there are exceptions to this rule, including accelerated and bridge programs. However, it may be a good fit for students who are working and want to have a relationship with the school; it also provides a structure much like the one found in a campus program.

Is Online Learning Right For Everyone?

Online learning is a self-directed course of study; students will need to be focused and committed to finishing the program. Since there is no set structure for the program, online learning may not be a great fit for students who are not self-motivated.

One thing to keep in mind about online learning is that many schools offer open periods. These periods can refer to assignments, projects, and even exams. The open period enables students to complete their work while having flexibility in their schedules. While this is a good feature for these programs, it can mean that students put off their schoolwork and miss deadlines.

Online learning may also be difficult for students who do not have regular access to the internet. Even in America, there are many individuals who cannot access the internet on a regular basis, so in this case, it would be easier if they attended an on-campus program so that they could have access to everything that they need.

Working professionals are the best suited for online programs. This is because they are used to scheduling their time effectively and have the added incentive of advancing in their career once they have graduated. They are also self-motivated and will find the time to complete all of the requirements for graduation.

Is It Possible To Complete an Online Degree Faster Than an On-Campus Degree?

Yes, it is possible for online students to graduate faster than on-campus students. How much faster they can graduate depends on the online program itself, if it comes with accelerated tracks, how long the terms are, and the ability to take summer and J-term courses.

On-campus and online degrees have generally the same requirements; the only difference may be the residency requirement for an online degree. This means that students are doing the same amount of work online but may be quicker because of the program’s structure.

For example, many online programs come with accelerated tracks; this is not to be confused with a completion or bridge degree, which may also come with accelerated tracks. Accelerated tracks may take a number of things into consideration, such as a student’s past work experience if they can test out of different courses, and term lengths. Accelerated tracks are more rigorous than normal programs but can be completed in about half the time as a traditional degree.

Some schools don’t have accelerated programs but do offer accelerated terms. This refers to the length of the term. The traditional academic term length is 16 weeks. Online programs can have terms that can last as little as four weeks or as long as 15 weeks. The shorter the term, the more intensive the course is, so students need to keep that in mind.

Most schools have summer and J-terms that are open to just online students in order for them to complete their degree faster. Summer terms are held during the summer and can include multiple sessions for courses that are completed in just two weeks. J-term refers to an optional term that schools are now employing at the beginning of January, prior to the traditional start of the spring semester. This term is between one to two weeks in length and students can take one course during this time. This is the most intensive a course can be and will require a student’s entire focus.

Because these options exist for online students, it may be possible for a student to complete a bachelor’s in two years or a master’s in one year if they find a program with accelerated options. Students generally have a time frame that is between five to seven years to complete their degree, so those who do not care so much about completing their degree early know they have more than enough time to complete their requirements.

Are Scholarships and Other Forms of Tuition Assistance Available to Online Students?

Students will find that all forms of tuition assistance will be available to them while they figure out how they are going to pay for schooling. The type of assistance and how much aid could be given depends on the school and the student’s needs. It also depends on how a school categorizes an online student who is studying full-time or part-time.

Tuition assistance is common for online students and functions much in the same way as it does for on-campus students. Individuals can apply for federal or state financial assistance, compete for scholarships and grants, and more. It is a great way to lower the cost of even the most affordable degree, providing students with a program that doesn’t eclipse their budget.

In some cases, working professionals may have their tuition subsidized by their employer through a program called tuition reimbursement or employer reimbursement. This is a program in which the human resources department of the company pays for the courses that the professional takes. It is a common practice in the business, finance, accounting and technology fields; it is also becoming mainstream as more in-service professionals choose to go back to school.

Tuition assistance depends on the school. Regionally accredited and brick-and-mortar schools have good relationships with state and federal assistance programs due to their reputation and academic excellence. These schools can offer a great deal of tuition assistance for everyone from high school students to military veterans and more. In fact, many schools that offer online programs give tuition discounts for veterans and other government employees.

The actual amount of tuition assistance that a student can receive is informed by two factors: a student’s demonstrated financial need and whether they are full-time or part-time students. Students with higher financial needs will be prioritized, especially when it comes to state and federal aid, while full-time students may see bigger financial assistance packages than part-time students.

Online programs sometimes consider all their online students to be full-time; this provides them with an avenue to earn state and federal aid, which is generally restricted to full-time students. Not all programs do this, but the ones that do see, on average, 75 percent of their students receiving some sort of financial aid.

Online education has risen from being a novelty to becoming the mainstream way that professionals from various fields begin and complete their education in less than 20 years. With Ivy League institutions offering some of their most popular degrees online to public schools taking the initiative and creating full-service online portals, it’s no surprise that more students are choosing to research online programs. With this ranking of the top 10 colleges for an online degree in Los Angeles, CA, in hand, students can begin the search for the best degree available for them.

GVC Staff
April 2019

This concludes our ranking of the Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Los Angeles, CA for 2019.