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Top 10 Colleges For an Online Degree in Seattle, WA

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Great Value Colleges - Top Online Degrees in Seattle

A huge number of students are seeking a way to earn an online degree in Seattle, WA, and for good reason: online degrees are the future of higher forms of education. With educational technology advancing exponentially, it is only a matter of time before online degrees will be considered the mainstream approach to earning a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate degree. And with more schools deciding to offer popular programs online, the future of online education is already here.

But with so many choices for an online degree, students will be hard pressed to find a way to research all the schools they come across. That’s why a ranking for the best schools for an online degree in Seattle, WA, is necessary; listing schools that have a variety of options while also including class sizes and what kinds of degrees are available will help students achieve their goals. With the rise in the number of schools offering online programs in Seattle, WA, the time to update this ranking has come.

Methodology

This is a points-based ranking; schools were chosen based on the total amount of points accrued during the research process. This ranking began with a search for “online degrees in Seattle, WA,” through the National Center for Education Statistics website and its College Navigator database. Once the initial group was created, each school’s website was reviewed based on several factors, including the following:

Number 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 can be found within a 50-mile radius of the greater Seattle metropolitan area. They are listed below in descending order.

10. Seattle University

Seattle, Washington

Top 10 Colleges For an Online Degree in Seattle, WA
Seattle University offers online master’s degree programs.

Website

A great place to look for online master’s programs is Seattle University. Focusing on graduate programs and certificates in education, this is a great place for professionals who are interested in making their mark on the United States school system. Students can choose to learn everything from educating non-native English speakers to adult education and training. The school also offers an online English Language Learners Endorsement Academy, which provides students with a certificate in ELL. Students will find that their class sizes are kept small and that they will have a combination of synchronous and asynchronous courses. Most students who take on a graduate degree will be able to complete it in about a year, cutting down on the amount of time it will take to complete the program. Online features for this program include academic and career advising, tutoring services, technical support, an online bookstore, and an online library.

Types of Degrees Available:
Master’s
Cost per credit hour: $631
Student to Faculty Ratio: 11:1
Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
Total Points: 5

9. Seattle Pacific University

Seattle, Washington

Top 10 Colleges For an Online Degree in Seattle, WA
Seattle Pacific University offers online master’s degrees in the education field.

Website

Seattle Pacific University is a great place to earn an education-specific online degree in Seattle, WA. This school has decided to provide its students with a group of online master’s degrees in the education field, with more slated for release in the next few years. Students will find that this school provides small class sizes, live and on-demand courses, as well as trained professors certified in online education, to create an online portal that was designed to help working professionals pursue their passions. Most of the graduate education programs offer students the chance to complete an accelerated degree, reducing the amount of time they actually spend in the program without sacrificing the quality of their education. Other online features offered at SPU include academic and career advising, online registration, summer sessions, an online bookstore, and access to the school’s online library.

Types of Degrees Available:
Master’s
Cost per credit hour: $602
Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
Total Points: 5

8. Western Washington University

Bellingham, Washington

Top 10 Colleges For an Online Degree in Seattle, WA
Western Washington University offers online bachelor’s degrees.

Website

Some of the best online bachelor’s degrees in Seattle, WA, can be found at Western Washington University. This school offers students the chance to complete bachelor’s degrees and certificates, all from the comfort of their own home. Fields include Teaching English as a Second Language, Human Services, and Multidisciplinary Studies. Students may also opt for contract independent study at the school as well. Courses come in two options: term-based and self-paced. Term-based courses require live participation and are offered on a quarterly schedule. Self-paced courses are available whenever a student is ready to begin the coursework. Other online features include technical support, academic advising, a career center, a bookstore, and access to the school’s electronic resources.

Types of Degrees Available:
Bachelor’s
Cost per credit hour: $255
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
Total Points: 6

7. Centralia College

Centralia, Washington

Top 10 Colleges For an Online Degree in Seattle, WA
Centralia College offers online associate’s degrees.

Website

Centralia College is an amazing place for students to study if they want to earn an online degree in Seattle, WA. This school has a variety of associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees available to students. Fields of study include applied science, science, technical arts, and more. Students may also transfer into this school, offering them the chance to complete a degree they have already begun and perhaps have not been able to complete just yet. Online degrees come with the option to complete live or on-demand classes on a traditional academic term structure. Other features of this school include 24/7 technical support, online academic and career advising, an online bookstore, an online library, and access to the school’s electronic resources.

Types of Degrees Available:
Associate’s
Cost per credit hour: $110
Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
Total Points: 7

6. Northwest University

Kirkland, Washington

Top 10 Colleges For an Online Degree in Seattle, WA
Northwest University offers online associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs.

Website

Some of the best online programs that are offered in Seattle, WA, come from Northwest University. This is a private Christian College that provides students with 100 percent online degrees at the associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s levels; certificates and endorsements are also available. Fields of study include ministry leadership, organizational management, business management, and more. Class sizes are kept small and the faculty that teach online were trained to provide online education. Students can also expect a variety of term lengths as well as the option to complete live or on-demand courses. Other online features include 24/7 technical support, academic advising, an online career center, online office hours, an online bookstore, and an online library.

Types of Degrees Available:
Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s
Cost per credit hour: $445
Student to Faculty Ratio: 12:1
Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
Total Points: 8

5. The University of Washington

Seattle, Washington

Top 10 Colleges For an Online Degree in Seattle, WA
The University of Washington offers over 50 undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Website

The University of Washington is a great place to earn an online degree in Seattle, WA. This school delivers the same curriculum to online students that on-campus students have access to but with more delivery options and a flexible schedule. There are over 50 undergraduate and graduate degrees available at this school; certificates and boot camps are also offered. Students can learn everything from education and cybersecurity to project management and engineering. This school has a dedicated online faculty and staff, meaning students will be taken care of whenever the need arises for them to engage with the school. Other online features exist as well, including varying term lengths, online academic and career advising, tutoring services, online office hours, an online bookstore, and an online library.

Types of Degrees Available:
Bachelor’s, Master’s
Cost per credit hour: $249
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
Total Points: 8

4. Peninsula College

Port Angeles, Washington

Top 10 Colleges For an Online Degree in Seattle, WA
Peninsula College offers associate’s and bachelor’s degree in over 20 different fields.

Website

There are a variety of online degrees available at Peninsula College. Students can earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in over 20 different fields, including accounting, management, computer applications, and homeland security. This school is a great starting point for students who want to earn an associate’s degree and move to a four-year school to complete their online bachelor’s program. Class sizes are small at this school and are supported by a dedicated faculty and staff. Courses are offered asynchronously, eliminating the need for students to be stuck at a computer during predetermined times during the week. Other online features include academic advising, office hours, a fully functioning chat room so they can chat with classmates, an online bookstore, and an online library.

Types of Degrees Available:
Associate’s, Bachelor’s
Cost per credit hour: $241
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
Total Points: 8

3. Central Washington University

Ellensburg, Washington

Top 10 Colleges For an Online Degree in Seattle, WA
Central Washington University offers courses both asynchronously and synchronously.

Website

Central Washington University is a great place for students interested in an online degree in Seattle, Washington. This school offers a dozen online undergraduate and graduate programs through its online portal, including degrees in psychology, public health, and information technology and administrative management. Students will find that class sizes are small, providing them with the chance to get individualized attention from their professors. Courses are also offered asynchronously or synchronously, giving students to choose whether they participate in courses or complete their work on their own time. Other online features include 24/7 technical support, online academic and career advising, office hours, an online bookstore, and an online library.

Types of Degrees Available:
Bachelor’s, Master’s
Cost per credit hour: $230
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
Total Points: 8

2. City University of Seattle

Seattle, Washington

Top 10 Colleges For an Online Degree in Seattle, WA
City University of Seattle offers online bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degree programs.

Website

Some of the best online degrees can be found at the City University of Seattle. Students at this school can find programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate levels. Fields of study include education, project management, business, and health and human services. Students will love the small class sizes and the fact that all courses are supported by a fully dedicated online faculty and staff, with professors who have been trained to dispense online education. Students will find flexible study options, including asynchronous and synchronous courses, summer sessions, J-term sessions, and more. Other online features include technical support, academic and career advising, online office hours, a bookstore, and a library.

Types of Degrees Available:
Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctorate
Cost per credit hour: $361
Student to Faculty Ratio: 9:1
Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
Total Points: 9

1. Bellevue College

Bellevue, Washington

Top 10 Colleges For an Online Degree in Seattle, WA
Bellevue College offers online associate and bachelors’ degree programs.

Website

Bellevue College is an incredible option for students interested in earning an online degree in Seattle, WA. This school offers a variety of online degrees at the associate’s and bachelor’s levels, including programs in healthcare informatics and healthcare management and leadership. Certificates in healthcare informatics and healthcare data analytics are also offered. Students will be able to complete these programs as part-time or full-time students with the option to complete live or on-demand courses so that they can complete the requirements for graduation. Class sizes are capped at 20 students to ensure that everyone receives individualized attention from the dedicated faculty and staff. Other online features include 24/7 technical support, academic advising, online office hours, a fully-functioning online portal, an online bookstore, and an online library.

Types of Degrees Available:
Associate’s, Bachelor’s
Cost per credit hour: $107.59
Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
Total Points: 9

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Career Options for an Online Degree?

There are very few careers that are not available to students who earn an online degree, making online education a great way for busy students to complete their education. Nearly all professions are open to online students. In fact, with so many professionals now engaging in graduate and doctorate education online, more programs are coming online so that students can begin and end their education virtually.

However, there are some exceptions to this. Students who wish to work as medical doctors, surgeons, dentists, pharmacologists or lawyers will be required to complete specialty education at an on-campus school. This is to be expected as these professions require hands-on instruction and laboratory or other specialized field experiences that are best taken on campus.

Students may find that it may be possible to earn an undergraduate online degree and then switch to an on-campus school. This is a good choice for students who are working to pay their way through college, enabling them to build a career while completing their degree. These exceptions are also helped by online education in some other ways as well; professional education is often completed online for those holding certification or licensure in the field.

Are Online Degrees Discouraged in the Workplace?

No, online degrees are not discouraged in the workplace. Online education has provided American employers with a workforce that is not only competent but driven to reach the heights of their career. Online degrees also provide students with the chance to complete their education without having to put their career to the side.

Online degrees are generally taken on by working professionals who have already received an undergraduate degree; this is rapidly changing, however. Working professionals who have access to online education are driven individuals who have chosen to continue their education. Most of them do so with the support and encouragement of their employers, who know they stand to benefit from supporting their employee, particularly if that employee is seeking a promotion or more responsibility in their workplace.

Employers are now demanding more education from professionals and so it would be a great benefit to welcome students who have completed or are completing an online degree. Employers who are dead-set against online education will be hard pressed to find current working professionals who will leave their career for two years to complete a degree for a job that may be gone when they return to the field.

Online degrees give working students the chance to work and study at the same time. With options that range from accelerated terms to on-demand courses, students will be able to fulfill both obligations without losing sight of either one.

In the end, online degrees are just as valuable in the workplace as an on-campus degree. In fact, most schools do not distinguish between an online and on-campus degree, eliminating any stigma that may arise in the employment process. Students, whether online or on-campus, have done the work to earn the degree; this is all that matters to employers.

Are Study Abroad Programs Available for Students Who Take on Online Degrees?

Yes, some schools offer study abroad programs for online students. However, the type of study abroad experience and the length will depend on the school itself. Students who are interested in this feature of a degree will need to contact the school directly to ensure that they understand the program and the requirements.

Study abroad options are most likely found in online business and management programs at the graduate level. The most common programs are the Executive MBA and the Global MBA, although degrees in different languages or linguistics may also require them. These programs often require an international experience for graduation.

These experiences are not as long as a year or a term; working professionals simply cannot put that much time aside for an experience. Instead, most programs require anywhere between five days to two weeks, generally in the summer. These programs can take place anywhere in the world, but most are completed in China, Europe, or parts of Latin America.

Many other schools provide study abroad options to online students. These are traditional study abroad options, meaning that students will have the option to take a summer session or a traditional academic term abroad. This may not be a great fit for all students, so it’s best to find a short international experience that can fit into their schedule.

Are Online Class Sizes Smaller Than On-Campus Classes?

Online class sizes tend to be smaller than on-campus classes, however, there are several factors that play a role in this. Students will find that larger schools may have larger class sizes while smaller schools will have smaller classes. But this is dependent on the online student body size and the number of students who are admitted every year.

Online student bodies are smaller than on-campus student bodies, especially when discussing graduate and doctorate programs. Online undergraduate student bodies can be quite large and are growing every year, but it is different with graduate degrees because fewer people earn graduate and doctorate degrees in general.

On average, online degrees admit fewer students than on-campus programs. This is especially true for selective schools and schools who do not yet have a fully functioning online portal. Usually, schools will cap acceptance depending on the popularity of a degree program; this information can be found on the program’s individual website or by contacting the school’s admissions office.

Students will find that most schools cap online class sizes at about 30 students; there are exceptions to this rule, just like every other rule, but this has been steady for the last five years. Capping class sizes enables the professor to provide individualized attention to students and ensures that the students have the ability to talk through the concepts and theories in class with everyone being heard. More information on class sizes can be found by contacting the program director.

Why Do Some Programs Restrict Admission to In-state Students?

Professional degrees often come with the need to become certified or licensed in the field prior to entering the workforce. In America, states control the requirements for these qualifications, meaning that there are very few professions that will enable a student to earn national qualification so that they can work anywhere in the country. Professions such as nursing, education, accounting and more all require students to complete a new qualification exam every time they move to a new state.

Since licensure is dictated by the state, schools who wish to earn the professional accreditation necessary to dispense the proper education must adhere to their state’s regulations for that profession. This means that students who live out-0f-state may earn an education that would lead to licensure in the resident state of the school but not their own state. It may also mean that the student may have to start all over again when it comes to their education.

Because of the state-by-state regulations, some states have prohibited schools from offering online education to students not in the state. In other cases, schools have placed the restriction upon themselves to help students choose only the schools that will be helpful to them in their career path. Either way, if a school restricts access to a program for out-of-state students, it is best that the student find another school.

How Long Does It Normally Take to Complete an Online Program?

Online programs generally take about as much time to complete as an on-campus program. However, there are accelerated options that are available to online students that do not exist for on-campus students. These may make it easier for students to complete their degrees earlier.

Accelerated terms range from four to eight weeks in length, thereby cutting the time in the program in half. These programs are distinguished as “accelerated” programs because the reduction in time also means intensive courses that require more time from an individual. This means that while the program is accelerated, students may have to devote more time to studying and less to their current career.

However, some students do not want to rush their education and would rather study part-time and complete the degree in a more relaxed manner. In this case, students usually have between five to seven years to complete their degree; some exceptions may apply based on the type of degree and its requirements.

The schools on this list are some of the best for online students, not just in the city, but in the state. Students who want small class sizes, a bevy of online features and access to a variety of programs will no doubt find that at least one of these schools will meet their needs. Regardless of whether this list points a student to the perfect school or shows them an alternative, this is a great starting point for students in search of an online degree in Seattle, WA.

GVC Staff
March 2019
This concludes our ranking of the Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Seattle, WA for 2019.