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Top 10 Colleges For An Online Degree Near Minneapolis, Minnesota

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Great Value Colleges - Top Online Degrees Minneapolis

Finding an online degree in Minneapolis, Minnesota, used to be something of a difficult task for interested students; there weren’t many available even just five years ago and the programs that were had very specific uses. With that changing, students are finding that it is now possible to find any type of online program within a 50-mile radius of the city. Most of these programs are offered by accredited schools, making the process of finding a quality school in the area much easier.

But with more schools offering online programs comes another concern: how are online students supposed to find a degree that is flexible enough to fit into their schedule? Most schools have a variety of options, such as part-time and full-time modes of study, live and on-demand classes, a variety of class sizes, and more. This ranking was created to answer all of these questions in one simple article.

Methodology

This ranking was developed using a points-based methodology, meaning schools received a score for various factors. To begin, however, research was done using the National Center for Education Statistics and its publicly available College Navigator database. Once a group of schools that met the criteria for offering an “online degree in Minneapolis, Minnesota,” each school was then reviewed individually using the program’s website. The schools were ranked on the following factors:

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 100-mile radius of the greater Minneapolis metro area. They are listed below in descending order.

10. The University of St. Thomas

St. Paul, Minnesota

Top 10 Colleges For An Online Degree Near Minneapolis, Minnesota
The University of St. Thomas offers online graduate degrees.

Website

Some of the best online programs available come from the University of St. Thomas. This school offers 11 graduate and doctorate degrees, a certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorders, and a license in Special Education. Students can study law, business administration and education at this school. Most programs are professionally accredited or come with the ability to earn a license or other qualification with graduation. These programs were built to be as flexible as working professionals will need them to be; asynchronous and synchronous courses are offered as an alternative to one another, part-time and full-time study is available, and most degrees can be earned in the same amount of time as a traditional program but with full-time study. Online features for this degree include online academic and career advising, professor office hours, 24/7 technical support, an online bookstore, and an online library.

Types of Degrees Available:
Master’s, Doctorate
Cost per credit hour: $660
Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Total Points: 6

9. The University of Minnesota at Twin Cities

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Top 10 Colleges For An Online Degree Near Minneapolis, Minnesota
The University of Minnesota at Twin Cities offers dozens of online  degrees, certificates, and licensing programs.

Website

The University of Minnesota at Twin Cities offers students the chance to earn an online degree in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This school is dedicated to online degrees and confers the on-campus program online with the same professors teaching the classes. There are dozens of degrees, certificates, and licensing programs available. Most programs are offered entirely or mostly online; some are offered as hybrid programs or as partially online degrees. Students can learn everything from education and nursing to business and project management. The programs are supported by a dedicated online portal faculty and staff, ensuring that students have all the assistance that they could need at any given time. Other online features include academic advising, online registration, tutoring, academic and career advising, an online bookstore, and an online library.

Types of Degrees Available:
Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctorate
Cost per credit hour: $502.25
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Total Points: 6

8. The University of Northwestern St. Paul

St. Paul, Minnesota

Top 10 Colleges For An Online Degree Near Minneapolis, Minnesota
The University of Northwestern at St. Paul offers online associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs.

Website

Some of the best bachelor’s online programs can be found at the University of Northwestern at St. Paul. This school offers entirely online programs at the associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s level. Fields of study include health psychology, divinity, business administration, and education. High school students will also find that it is possible for them to enroll at the university for dual credit, enabling them to complete their coursework faster once they enroll after they graduate high school. This school takes all of the necessary steps to ensure that students can complete the degree, including offering small class sizes so students receive individualized attention as well as providing instructors that have been trained in online education. Online features for this school include academic advising, online registration, 24/7 technical support, an online portal mobile app, an online bookstore, and access to the online library.

Types of Degrees Available:
Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s
Cost per credit hour: $440
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Total Points: 7

7. North Central University

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Top 10 Colleges For An Online Degree Near Minneapolis, Minnesota
North Central University offers undergraduate and graduate degrees online.

Website

North Central University should not be a surprise on a list for students interested in earning an online degree in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This school offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in a select range of fields; these include digital media, church leadership, strategic leadership, and business administration. The school has already announced that there are plans to bring more programs online in the near future. These programs were designed to be completed online with little to no residency requirements; courses are generally taught on-demand, but live classes bring students the chance to receive individualized attention from the faculty. Online features for this program include academic and career advising, an online portal mobile app, an online bookstore, an online library, and 24/7 technical support.

Types of Degrees Available:
Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s
Cost per credit hour: $395
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Total Points: 7

6. Minnesota State University at Mankato

Mankato, Minnesota

Top 10 Colleges For An Online Degree Near Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minnesota State University at Mankato offers online bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate programs.

Website

There are a variety of online degrees available at Minnesota State University at Mankato. These include bachelor completion programs, graduate degrees, and certificates. The fields of study are endless and include integrated engineering, dental hygiene, RN-BSN, and education. Students from other Minnesota State University campuses can also enroll in individual courses if they cannot find what they require on their own campus. This school offers relatively small class sizes in a range of subjects, making it a great choice for an online student that wants to engage with classmates and their professors. Online features for this school include academic and career advising, 24/7 technical support, online office hours, an online bookstore, and an online library.

Types of Degrees Available:
Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctorate
Cost per credit hour: $359
Student to Faculty Ratio: 23:1
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Total Points: 7

5. Martin Luther College

New Ulm, Minnesota

Top 10 Colleges For An Online Degree Near Minneapolis, Minnesota
Martin Luther College offers online graduate degrees.

Website

Martin Luther College is an exemplary school from which to earn an online degree in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Students at this school have the chance to earn an online master’s degree or certificate right from the comfort of their own home. Fields of study include education, ministry, and business. Certificates to help a student earn advanced licensure in education are also available. This school provides students with small class sizes, a dedicated online staff, and faculty that have been trained in the art of online education. Features for the online portal include a learning management system mobile app, academic and career advising, 24/7 technical support, office hours, an online bookstore, and an online library.

Types of Degrees Available:
Master’s
Cost per credit hour: $315
Student to Faculty Ratio: 12:1
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Total Points: 7

4. Metropolitan State University

St. Paul, Minnesota

Top 10 Colleges For An Online Degree Near Minneapolis, Minnesota
Metropolitan State University offers online undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Website

The online degrees available at Metropolitan State University were designed to be perfect for working students; these courses are available 100 percent online and can be found at the undergraduate and graduate levels; certificates are also available. Fields of study include business administration, organizational administration, and management information systems. All courses are taught by on-campus faculty that have been trained in online education, ensuring that students are receiving the same quality education as on-campus students. This school has taken great care with its online portal and offer a variety of online features, including academic advising, an online career center, 24/7 technical support, an online bookstore, and access to the school’s online library.

Types of Degrees Available:
Bachelor’s, Master’s
Cost per credit hour: $303.73
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Total Points: 7

3. Bethel University

St. Paul, Minnesota

Top 10 Colleges For An Online Degree Near Minneapolis, Minnesota
Bethel University offers online degrees at all degree levels.

Website

Bethel University is one of the top schools for students who are interested in earning an online degree in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is one of the only schools on this list that offer online options at all levels of higher education. Most programs are offered 100 percent online, but there are select programs that also require an intensive on-campus. Students can take on programs with majors in nursing, management information systems, business management, Christian Ministry, and more. All courses are fully supported by a dedicated online faculty and staff. Some of the online features for this school include 24/7 technical support, academic and career advising, an online bookstore, online professor office hours, and an online library.

Types of Degrees Available:
Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctorate
Cost per credit hour: $1,550
Student to Faculty Ratio: 11:1
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Total Points: 8

2. St. Catherine University

St. Paul, Minnesota

Top 10 Colleges For An Online Degree Near Minneapolis, Minnesota
St. Catherine University offers a dozen online undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate programs.

Website

Some of the best bachelor’s online programs come from St. Catherine University. This school offers a dozen undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate programs; certificates and licensure programs are also available. Students will find that most degrees are held entirely online while some clearly state that residencies will be required. Students can learn anything from occupational therapy and business management to nursing and early childhood education. Students will have access to small class sizes, dedicated online staff, and professors who have trained in the art of online education. Online features for this school include academic and career advising, 24/7 technical support, mobile apps to support the online portal, tutoring services, an online library, and an online bookstore.

Types of Degrees Available:
Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctorate
Cost per credit hour: $676
Student to Faculty Ratio: 10:1
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Total Points: 8

1. St. Cloud State University

St. Cloud, Minnesota

Top 10 Colleges For An Online Degree Near Minneapolis, MinnesotaTop 10 Colleges For An Online Degree Near Minneapolis, Minnesota
St. Cloud State University offers over 200 courses taught online every semester.

Website

St. Cloud State University is the best school on this list to earn an online degree in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The university prides itself on building an online portal that is dedicated to working and busy students. With over 200 courses taught online every semester, it should come as no surprise that it is one of the top choices for online students. There are over a dozen degrees and certificates available at the undergraduate and graduate levels; certificates and additional endorsements are also available. Students can earn a degree in criminal justice, community psychology and nursing, among other fields. Online features for this school include academic advising, small class sizes, online office hours, an online bookstore, and an online library.

Types of Degrees Available:
Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s
Cost per credit hour: $344
Student to Faculty Ratio: 21:1
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Total Points: 8

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Career Options for an Online Degree?

Online degrees can open the door to most careers. This is why so many working professionals choose to go with an online degree, especially for graduate and doctorate work. In fact, online degrees are sometimes the only option for busy students as they are already working on their career and cannot take two years away from their work in order to complete a degree.

Nearly everything is open to an online student. From teaching to nursing, engineering to homeland security, students have the option to complete a degree that will provide them with the education necessary to earn a promotion or switch careers. Students will find that there may be even more careers open to them than they first realized.

However, like with most rules, there are exceptions. Medical doctors, dentists, surgeons, pharmacologists and lawyers may begin their education online at the undergraduate level but will need to attend a campus in order to receive the education and training they require for their career. This is because students must attend laboratories and other specialized training that cannot be taught online.

Is There More Individualized Attention in an Online Course?

This depends on the school itself and how it has set up their courses. In most cases, online schooling can offer individualized attention, but it will take some effort on the part of the student. This is because students are not on a physical campus and must, therefore, schedule time with their professor. They must also keep up with correspondence inside and outside of the virtual classroom to ensure that they receive the knowledge that they were seeking.

Another thing to keep in mind is that online programs tend to be smaller than on-campus programs. Most schools have a cap on the number of students that are admitted to their online programs just like they do on-campus, meaning that these programs are smaller in general. Smaller online student bodies mean smaller class sizes, which can translate into more individualized attention.

The last thing to keep in mind is that many professors that teach online also teach on-campus. This means that they will have smaller class sizes online but larger classes on-campus. What then happens is that a lot of students need attention from the professor at any given time.

However, schools have begun to combat this by providing students with online office hours. These are dedicated times that a professor sets aside for their online students. Each school differs on how much time a professor sets aside, but it is a good way for students to be able to get in touch with their instructors during the week.

Are Field Experiences Required for an Online Program?

Field experiences are generally required based on degree focus, not on whether it is an online or on-campus program. Therefore, some online programs do require them while others do not. Students will find that experiences are required for applied and professional programs more than academic-based programs.

Applied and professional online programs refer to programs that lead to licensure, certification, or other type of qualification. Samples of applied and professional programs include education, engineering, nursing, and computer science. Because these professions consist of working with clients and working in positions that have an impact on the public, as well as needed hands-on training, these programs will require field experiences.

Academic programs, such as students who want to work as professors or researchers, do not always have field experiences. Some will require them; these programs tend to be highly selective because students often earn tenured or high-level positions straight after graduation. Many will offer field experiences on an optional basis; however, it is always recommended that a student complete a field or work experience in their field if they have the time to undertake it.

Field experiences vary for online students. In select situations, a school will require a student to take residency on campus to complete an experience. Most students, however, will complete their field experience in their community since these experiences can last up to a year and would require about 15 to 20 hours of work every week.

These experiences can be anything from an international trip that lasts a week to a practicum or internship that requires part-time work for the duration of a term or even an academic year. In some cases, such as nursing programs, students will have to rotate their experiences in order to complete the requirements for graduation. Teaching students may also have to rotate their practicums depending on their program guidelines.

Online students should be aware that completing these experiences may be time-consuming but well worth it in the end. Most students will not have to travel for these experiences; in many cases, schools approve and even encourage a student to complete the experience in their current workplace so as to ease the need for various commutes.

Are There More Fees Associated with Attending an Online College than an On-Campus College?

No; in reality, online students pay fewer fees than on-campus students. However, the fees may be different from what is required on-campus. This is because online students have different needs and use different campus facilities.

The word “facilities” is used loosely when referring to online students. In fact, the facilities used by these students are nearly always found online through the learning management system portal. However, it is an easy way to differentiate between on-campus and online fees.

On-campus students generally pay fees for use of the campus facilities. These can include, but is not limited to, the school’s library, computer labs, laboratories for their specific program, library, gym, career center, and tutoring. Since these facilities are physical and used in-person, students must pay a fee. These fees go to maintaining the facilities and upgrading tools and resources when necessary.

Online students pay a technology fee. Similar to campus facilities fees, this pays for the maintenance and upgrading of the school’s online portal. In many cases, it also helps pay the operating costs of smartphone and tablet apps that complement the learning management system. It also ensures that technical support is also paid for by the student.

Online students may also have to pay a “proctor fee.” A proctor fee is a fee that students pay to take their exams under the supervision of an approved individual who will ensure that the student completes the exam on their own. This is a normal fee as students will not take exams on campus and therefore must have an environment that is free from distraction and possible cheating.

Exam fees are also common. This is a fee that students pay to use a satellite campus or facility fee in order to take their exam in a classroom. Not all schools require this fee, but many do, so students should be made aware of this.

Online fees are different from on-campus fees, but they are also more affordable when the entire academic year is taken into account. Online students generally pay much less than on-campus students, even with the additional fees, so they should not serve as a deterrent to online education. In fact, many schools provide an estimate for the entire cost of a program by term and by academic year; this provides students with an amount they can expect to pay for the program.

Do Most Schools Have On-Campus Professors Teach Online?

Yes, most schools do have on-campus professors teach their courses online. However, in some cases, adjunct professors and teaching assistants take up the mantle. While there are not that many differences between a professor and a teaching assistant teaching online courses, it needs to be discussed.

First, adjunct professors are untenured professors. This means that while a tenured professor can make around $80,000 a year teaching, adjunct professors make about a third of that teaching in a classroom. It also means that adjunct professors need to teach more classes, both online and on-campus, in order to make a living wage. But adjunct professors are just as qualified as tenured professors, so there is no difference in the quality between the two; experience may be the only factor.

Second, teaching assistants are generally doctorate students who wish to become professors. In some cases, these students have their tuition waived by teaching classes. While they do not have the same experience as professors, they are as passionate about the subject. In general, however, these instructors are balancing teaching along with their own coursework.

Students will find that all professors and faculty that teach online are passionate about that student’s education. In fact, most of these instructors undergo training to become online educators; it is required by many schools to ensure that the quality of the program is not compromised when being taught online. If students have any concerns, they should contact the school directly and inquire about the experience of the professors who teach online.

Online degrees are not the future of higher education; it is the present. With more schools bring programs online at all levels of education, it is hard to see how these programs won’t become the mainstream way of earning a degree. With this list in hand, students will not have a problem finding an online degree in Minneapolis, Minnesota, that fits their needs.

GVC Staff
June 2019
This concludes our ranking of the Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree Near Minneapolis, Minnesota.