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Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Phoenix, AZ


Great Value Colleges - Top Online Degrees in PhoenixBy GVC Staff
January 2016

In this article, we highlight the top colleges for an online degree in Phoenix, AZ.

Known as the Valley of the Sun, Phoenix, Arizona is the capital and largest city in the state. Sunshine, beautiful Sonoran desert landscape, and a thriving economy routinely earn Phoenix a spot on the Best Cities in America to live. To keep up with its growing population, the Phoenix education system has exploded. The main university system, Arizona State University, has four campuses around the city and is one of the largest public universities in the country.

With increasing numbers of students attending college, accredited online schools in Phoenix have expanded programs and divisions. Universities that once offered a single online degree program now offer twenty to forty online degree options. Community colleges and public universities alike offer online degrees for students who work and attend school full time. Some of the finest online colleges in Phoenix are also budget-friendly. In fact, affordable online schools in Phoenix have become part of the educational landscape.


We reviewed online colleges in the Phoenix area. We examined only accredited institutions that offered more than one online degree program. We then looked at national and regional rankings received by reputable sources like CNN Money, U.S. News and World Report and the Princeton Review. We narrowed our list to the 10 with the highest rankings in those publications.

We hope our list of top 10 colleges for an online degree in Phoenix helps you in your research to find the school that best suits your educational needs.

#10 – Brookline College

Phoenix, AZ


Brookline College - Online Degree Phoenix

Recognized as one of the more affordable online schools in Phoenix proper, Brookline College also offers one of the most expansive online degree and diploma programs. Students may earn online diplomas, associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. Online business, criminal justice, health care, and legal studies degree programs are available, making Brookline a top online college in Phoenix. Brookline’s Phoenix campus is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools to award all degree levels. The school is licensed in Arizona by the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education. Accreditation credentials along with the number of online degree programs available to students make Brookline College a top 10 Phoenix school.

#9 – The Art Institute of Phoenix

Phoenix, AZ


Art Institute of Phoenix - Online Degree Phoenix

Finding an online degree in Phoenix in highly specialized areas can be a challenge. Thanks to the Art Institute of Phoenix, a growing number of online degree programs are available in focused areas of study. Online programs include degrees in Culinary Arts, Design, Fashion, and Media Arts. Online courses are taught by the same faculty members who provide classroom instruction. Faculty act as mentors in and out of the classroom, providing expertise in career-driven areas of study. The school’s mission is to push students outside their comfort zone to explore their creative sides more freely and without reservation. The school has earned recognition in recent years by U.S. News and World Report as a Best Fine Arts School.

#8 – Scottsdale Community College

Scottsdale, AZ


Scottsdale Community College - Online Degree Phoenix

Technically, Scottsdale Community College is located a few miles outside of the Phoenix metro area in Scottsdale, Arizona but services students from the city. Scottsdale Community College is ranked among the top 100 community colleges in the United States. Because of the school’s ranking and available online degrees in Phoenix, the college is listed in our top 10. The community college has served the Scottsdale and Phoenix area for over 45 years. Online associate degree options in various areas of study make the school one of the top career-driven online colleges in Phoenix. The school is a member of the Maricopa Community College system.

#7 – Paradise Valley Community College

Phoenix, AZ


Paradise Valley Community College - Online Degree Phoenix

CNN Money ranks Paradise Valley Community College as one of the top community colleges in the United States. The school’s ranking with reputable sources like CNN Money makes it one of the best accredited online schools in Phoenix to earn an associate’s degree. Earning an online degree in Phoenix does not have to be costly. Affordable options at career and community colleges help alleviate the high cost of education. Paradise Valley is among the top 10 colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District that is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Online classes are specifically designed with the working student in mind. Courses are flexible and provide the same instruction that on-campus students receive.

#6 – Phoenix College

Phoenix, AZ


Phoenix College - Online Degree Phoenix

While considered a career college, Phoenix College is not shy in offering online degrees in the Phoenix area. The school is sometimes confused with the University of Phoenix, but is not in any way affiliated. With over 90 years of experience in higher education, Phoenix College has supported career-minded students with educational programs. Currently the campus offers 150 degree and certificate programs, with three online degree options. Students may earn associate degrees in various areas of study. The school and programs are accredited, which is critical for quality instruction at an online college in Phoenix, as well as surrounding cities.

#5 – Thunderbird School of Global Management

Phoenix, AZ


Thunderbird School of Global Management - Online Degree Phoenix

Students who want an online college in Phoenix that offers flexible graduate level programs find Thunderbird School of Global Management a top choice. For seventy years, Thunderbird has cultivated global leaders through its educational programs. The school is consistently ranked as a top tier business and management institution. Some of the top recruiters at Thunderbird include 3M, Cisco, Ernst & Young, and Goldman Sachs. Thunderbird’s online MBA program is ranked as the 21st Best Online MBA Program in the United States by U.S. News and World Report. Other rankings include #91 among the Best Business Schools and #3 among Best International Business Graduate Schools.

#4 – Northern Arizona University – Phoenix Campus

Phoenix, AZ


Northern Arizona University - Online Degree Phoenix

Northern Arizona University’s Phoenix campus is among our top 5 online colleges in Phoenix. U.S. News and World Report ranks the university’s online programs as among the best in the country. In fact, after surveying 1,200 online programs, U.S. News and World Report named Northern Arizona University’s online bachelor’s program as the 131st best program of its kind. The school’s online graduate education program is ranked #100. The school offers over 40 online bachelor’s degrees, over 20 online master’s degrees, and a doctoral in nursing practice degree. The online degree programs are designed with the working and professional student in mind.

#3 – Western International University

Tempe, AZ


Western International University - Online Degree Phoenix

While technically located in Tempe, Arizona, yet within the Phoenix metro area, Western International University is considered a top-ranked online college in Phoenix. According to U.S. News and World Report, Western International’s online bachelor’s program is among the Tier 2 top-ranked online programs in the country. The school is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to offer various degree levels and areas of study. The online programs value student and faculty live interaction and offer a unique learning experience. Some of the most popular online degree programs include bachelor’s and master’s in Accounting, Business, Business Administration, Information Technology, Management, and Public Administration.

#2 – Grand Canyon University

Phoenix, AZ


Grand Canyon University - Online Degree Phoenix

Grand Canyon University is one of the top accredited online schools in Phoenix. The school is a private Christian university, offering a wide range of degree programs. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited the university since 1968. Students may choose from over 100 academic programs online, including the popular Master of Science in Organizational Growth, the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN), and the Master of Science in Christian Counseling. Dedicated faculty teach online courses and provide mentorship to all distance learning students. The school is nationally and regionally ranked. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks Grand Canyon University as among the top Regional Universities in the country.

#1 – Arizona State University

Phoenix, AZ


Arizona State University - Online Degree Phoenix

Our top pick for online colleges in Phoenix is Arizona State University’s Online Division. ASU Online offers various undergraduate and graduate degree programs for students who require a balance between educational goals and life obligations. The wide number of degree programs available for online study, as well as the school’s national and regional rankings puts ASU in the #1 position on our list. ASU also offers low-cost in-state tuition rates, which makes it one of the most affordable online schools in Phoenix and surrounding areas. U.S. News and World Report ranks ASU as the 129th Best National University in the country. The school’s online programs are also highly ranked. In fact, according to the 2016 edition of Best Colleges, ASU received seven ranking honors for its online programs. The school is ranked as having the 8th Best Online Bachelor’s Program, the 4th Best Online MBA Program, the 14th Best Online Graduate Engineering Program, and the 2nd Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Program in the United States.

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