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Top 10 Online Colleges in Colorado: Denver

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Great Value Colleges - Top Online Degrees in Denver

Students all over the country are looking for a way to earn an online degree in Denver, Colorado. This may be a result of the fact that so many wonderful schools are based in and around the city, making it a great choice for students who are hoping to enter a program that will help them in their career. It’s also because the schools in the area are known for specialty fields such as STEM, nursing, and education.

But with so many choices, how is a student to choose the best school for them? They need a ranking that showcases the most important factors for them, including class sizes, tuition rates, and types of degree options available. That is exactly what this ranking does, along with providing students with more information about the online portal as a whole and features that students can expect.

Methodology

This is a points-based ranking, meaning that a lot of research went into completing this list. The initial research was completed by using the National Center for Education Statistics and its College Navigator database to search for “online degrees near Denver, Colorado.” The schools that made the list were then individually reviewed for more information. Each school’s website was used to find out the following factors:

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 10 schools that were chosen for this ranking, all of which are located within a 100-mile radius of Denver, Colorado, were selected based on their total number of points based on the above criteria. They are listed below in descending order.

10. The University of Colorado at Boulder

Boulder, Colorado

Top 10 Online Colleges in Colorado: Denver, Colorado
The University of Colorado at Boulder offers over a dozen fully online and hybrid programs at the graduate level.

Website

Students interested in online master’s programs will find what they are looking for at the University of Colorado at Boulder. This school offers over a dozen fully online and hybrid programs at the graduate level. Fields of study include organizational leadership, arts administration, civil engineering, and aerospace engineering sciences. Additionally, there are over 100 archived graduate courses that are available for students to take with the professor’s approval. One of the great features of earning a degree at CU Boulder is the fact that students can enroll in classes before deciding on applying for a degree. This enables them to see how it would be to take a course with the school prior to committing to a full program. Other online features include academic and career advising, 24/7 technical support, an online bookstore, and an online library.

Types of Degrees Available:
Master’s
Cost per credit hour: $512
Student to Faculty Ratio:
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Total Points: 4

9. Colorado School of Mines

Golden, Colorado

Top 10 Online Colleges in Colorado: Denver, Colorado
The Colorado School of Mines offers online graduate degrees.

Website

The Colorado School of Mines has recently begun offering online degrees. The school’s first offering is a master’s degree in space resources, with programs announced at the doctoral level. Students will find that these programs focus on technical expertise as well as soft leadership skills, giving them the knowledge necessary to become leaders in the field of aeronautics and engineering. Other fields of study include geoinformatics, advanced manufacturing, and mining engineering. Online features for this school include academic advising, a career center, 24/7 technical support, an online bookstore, and access to the school’s online resources.

Types of Degrees Available:
Master’s, Doctorate
Cost per credit hour: $999
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Total Points: 5

8. The University of Denver

Denver, Colorado

Top 10 Online Colleges in Colorado: Denver, Colorado
The University of Denver offers online bachelor’s and master’s programs in a wide range of fields.

Website

Students interested in online bachelor’s programs are given the chance to thrive at the University of Denver. This school offers access to online bachelor’s and master’s programs in a wide range of fields; these include professional creative writing, strategic human resources, and communication management. Most of the programs are available 100 percent online, although some are offered in a hybrid format for students who live close to campus. University College, which houses the school’s online portal, is dedicated to online learning; to this end, they have a dedicated online faculty and staff tasked with supporting all online students. Online features include 24/7 technical support, academic and career advising, smartphone and tablet apps, an online bookstore, and an online library.

Types of Degrees Available:
Bachelor’s, Master’s
Cost per credit hour: $915
Student to Faculty Ratio: 11:1
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Total Points: 5

7. Colorado State University

Fort Collins, Colorado

Top 10 Online Colleges in Colorado: Denver, Colorado
Colorado State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctorate work through the online portal.

Website

Colorado State University will be a great home for students interested in an online degree near Denver, Colorado. Students at this school will have the opportunity to complete undergraduate, graduate and doctorate work through the online portal; certificates and stand-alone courses are also available. Fields of study include business administration, computer engineering, and agriculture. This school is renown in the country for being one of the best online colleges; the portal is fully supported by a dedicated online faculty and boasts smartphone and tablet apps for the learning management system. Other features include academic and career advising, 24/7 technical support, an online bookstore, online professor hours, and an online library.

Types of Degrees Available:
Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctorate
Cost per credit hour: $476
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Total Points: 6

6. Colorado Christian University

Lakewood, Colorado

Top 10 Online Colleges in Colorado: Denver, Colorado
Colorado Christian University offers over 50 online associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees.

Website

Some of the best online programs available near Denver, Colorado, comes from Colorado Christian University. This school hosts over 50 online associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees; undergraduate and graduate certificates are also available. Non-degree seeking students or working professionals looking for continuing education opportunities can also take stand-alone courses. Fields of study include business administration, criminal justice, nursing, and education. Students will have the benefit of small class sizes and professors who have been trained in online education. Other online features include academic advising, an online career center, 24/7 technical support, an online bookstore, and an online library.

Types of Degrees Available:
Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctorate
Cost per credit hour: $469
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Total Points: 6

5. Regis University

Denver, Colorado

Top 10 Online Colleges in Colorado: Denver, Colorado
Regis University offers over 30 degrees available at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate levels.

Website

Regis University hosts a portal that will make it easy for students to complete an online degree in Denver, Colorado. There are over 30 degrees available at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate levels; students will also be able to take undergraduate and graduate certificates. Fields of study include accounting, business administration, cybersecurity, and education. Regis is known for being a great hub of online education. With a fully functioning online portal that is supported by a dedicated online faculty and staff, students can expect to have a strong connection to the school. Features for this school include academic and career advising, 24/7 technical support, an online bookstore, smartphone and tablet apps for the portal, and an online library.

Types of Degrees Available:
Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctorate
Cost per credit hour: $510
Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Total Points: 7

4. The University of Northern Colorado

Greeley, Colorado

Top 10 Online Colleges in Colorado: Denver, Colorado
The University of Northern Colorado confers degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate levels.

Website

Students interested in unique programs should check out the University of Northern Colorado. Situated close to Denver, Colorado, this school confers degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate levels. Certificates, licensure programs, and endorsements are also available, Fields of study include American sign language, curriculum studies, dance education, and psychology. Bachelor’s completion programs are a great choice for adult learners with some college experience. Online features for this degree include academic advising, 24/7 technical support, tutoring service, online office hours, an online bookstore, and an online library.

Types of Degrees Available:
Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctorate
Cost per credit hour: $400
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Total Points: 7

3. Nazarene Bible College

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Top 10 Online Colleges in Colorado: Denver, Colorado
Nazarene Bible College offers online associate’s and bachelor’s degrees.

Website

Nazarene Bible College is a great choice for students interested in earning an online degree near Denver, Colorado. This school confers an Associate of Arts in Ministry, a Bachelor of Arts in Ministry, and a Ministry Preparation Certificate, all of which are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the Association for Biblical Higher Education. This is a great choice for students who wish to work in ministry after graduation, providing them with a stepping stone path from an associate’s degree to a full bachelor’s degree. Online features for this degree include academic and career advising, tutoring services, 24/7 technical support, an online bookstore, and an online library.

Types of Degrees Available:
Associate’s, Bachelor’s
Cost per credit hour: $450
Student to Faculty Ratio: 7:1
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Total Points: 8

2. The University of Colorado at Denver

Denver, Colorado

Top 10 Online Colleges in Colorado: Denver, Colorado
The University of Colorado at Denver offers online undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

Website 

Online degrees are a big part of the University of Colorado at Denver. This school confers more than twenty-five 100 percent online degrees and a dozen hybrid degrees at all levels of education. Certificates are also available and can be paired with a degree. Fields of study include curriculum and instruction, executive leadership, education, and nursing. Students from other University of Colorado schools can also take courses at this university and vice versa, ensuring that students can always find the courses they need online. With small class sizes and a dedicated online support staff, students are set up for success here. Online features include academic and career advising, 24/7 technical support, an online bookstore, smartphone and tablet apps, and an online library.

Types of Degrees Available:
Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctorate
Cost per credit hour: $330
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Total Points: 8

1. The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Top 10 Online Colleges in Colorado: Denver, Colorado
The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs offers 20 online degrees and certificates at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate levels.

Website

The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs is home to an exceptional list of online degrees near Denver, Colorado. This school has 20 degrees and certificates at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate levels. Fields of study include engineering, nursing, health care sciences, and criminal justice. Students may also complete certificates or stand-alone courses as non-degree seeking students. As part of the University of Colorado system, students at this school can take online courses at member institutions for the same price, making it easier than ever for them to earn the credit hours needed to graduate. Online features include academic advising, a career center, 24/7 technical support, an online bookstore, and an online library.

Types of Degrees Available:
Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctorate
Cost per credit hour: $295
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Total Points: 9

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Career Options for an Online Degree?

Students will find that an online degree will help them in any career, regardless of what it might be. Everyone from teachers to active duty military members to charity workers will benefit from earning an online degree. There simply is no end to what an online degree can do, especially now that degrees are available at all levels of education.

The only exceptions to this rule are the medical and law professions. These professions require a specialist degree that can only be conferred at a brick-and-mortar college or university. Since the professions require in-person and on-hands training, students must complete the degrees on-campus; there are no online options available. However, like with other students, they can definitely earn an online undergraduate degree prior to moving into a specialist degree.

Is it Easier to be Accepted Into an Online Program than an On-Campus Program?

No; this is a myth. Online programs are just as easy or difficult to enter as their on-campus counterparts. Students who choose to apply to highly selective schools will have more competition while students who choose less selective schools will have an easier time.

There is still a misconception that online degrees are easier in general, so applying and getting accepted into the program should be easier than the same degree on-campus. However, these degrees have the exact same requirements, down to test scores and professional letters of recommendation. The only difference between the programs is the number of students accepted into the program on a yearly basis.

In fact, online programs tend to be smaller in terms of class sizes, meaning that students who choose to pursue a virtual degree may face more competition than they would if they had chosen to apply for the on-campus degree. This is true for all schools, regardless of how “selective” they are considered to be by the general public. It is just a matter of how many students one program can reasonably offer a quality education to during the academic year.

Graduate and doctorate programs can also be more difficult for online students. Most schools take less than 10 students per program every year. This means that online students will have to do an excellent job on their application to ensure that they have a fighting chance to earn a place in the program.

Keeping this in mind, it can be sometimes harder to earn placement in an online degree; this depends on the program type, degree designation, and the school itself, but it remains true. In some cases, it may be easier to apply for the on-campus program, but this is negated if a student is working full-time and does not have the time for a commute to a college or university.

Is There Anything an Online Student Should Take Into Consideration About Virtual Education Prior to Applying for a Program?

There are several things that an online student should consider prior to applying for a virtual degree. Many people think that online degrees are easier than on-campus degrees, but the truth is that it can actually be harder if students aren’t made aware of the differences between online and on-campus programs. These programs operate without a set structure and require self-motivated learners as well as an understanding of how term lengths can impact a student’s course load.

Students will need to keep in mind that online programs have no set structure. On-campus programs do; courses are held on set days, students must attend class to learn, participation is generally required, and so on. Online programs can have live or on-demand classes, participation is not always required, and assignments have flexible turn-in dates. This means that students have to create their own schedules and stick to them to ensure that they can keep up with everything they have to do for their degree.

Self-motivation is something else that online students will need to keep in mind. It is necessary for students to have enough drive to complete the degree on their own without others pushing them to do their schoolwork. This can be difficult for working professionals, especially if they have busy personal lives as well; one can only do so much in a day. That is why being motivated and keeping the goal in sight is necessary for online students.

Time management will play a large role in how successful online students will be within the program. If a student chooses to study part-time, they will need to take into consideration that they will be in the program longer than the traditional time. Those who choose to go to school full-time may find that they will have a larger course load but can finish on time.

The last thing that students will want to take into consideration is accelerated terms. Any term that is less than 16 weeks, which is the traditional academic term length, will be more intensive and require more studying from the student. This may become difficult for a full-time student who is also working full-time, so it needs to be considered prior to making any decision regarding online education.

Do Schools Require Professors to be Trained in Online Education Prior to Teaching Courses Online?

Not all schools require professors to be trained in online education, but it is becoming common to do so. It can be hard for working professors and faculty to find the time necessary to undergo training, but the training itself has proven to be very effective in ensuring that students get the education that they deserve. However, some schools do have untrained professors, which should be addressed.

Training instructors in online education is a relatively new concept; training programs began just about ten years ago. It more common to find professors with training now than it was before, but still not mainstream.

However, online education training is crucial for instructors. Students need professors who understand the difference that a delivery method can make to their education. They also need to be able to trust that a professor can help them rectify any concerns that they may come across.

Untrained professors are by no means unfit to teach. It simply means that they may not have all the knowledge and training available to be of the best use for their students. It may also mean that students feel as though their professor is not as engaged with their online students as they may be with their on-campus students. Online education training is relatively easy to come by nowadays, so more professors are eagerly taking up schools on their offer to train them for free.

Are All Online Degrees Accelerated?

No, not all online degrees are accelerated. Programs that are accelerated or have accelerated options are designated as such on the campus website. Most students will find that the acceleration aspect of the program is the most celebrated, so this information will be easy to find.

Accelerated programs are online programs that have short term lengths, enabling students to complete their degree in about half the time as it would take in a traditional program either on-campus or online. These programs tend to provide students with full-time and part-time options that will enable them to complete the degree faster than normal.

However, traditional online programs utilize the set academic term length of 16 weeks. This is normal for most schools, although in recent years, schools have chosen to go for 12-week sessions. Some even use eight-week sessions even if they are not accelerated programs.

Accelerated programs have more options to complete a degree faster than a traditional online program, so to be sure that a degree is accelerated, students should look for the designation on the school’s program website. If the answer to their question is still not clear, it is highly encouraged that they seek advice from the admissions office.

What are the Flexibility Options for Online Students?

Flexibility options are numerous for online students. From the designation of a full-time student or a part-time student, course delivery methods, accelerated or traditional programs, and the inclusion of J-term and summer sessions, students will have enough flexibility in any program to help them feel like it is possible for them to fit in a college degree in their schedule. Here is a quick look at the flexibility features that most online programs provide.

The first is part-time and full-time study. While undergraduate degrees tend to have both options, most on-campus programs at the graduate level are looking for full-time students and will not accept part-time students. Online programs rarely have restrictions on whether a student can study full-time or part-time; students will want to confirm with their school that their chosen status is acceptable for the program of their choice.

The second are the different course delivery methods. Students in online programs can choose between live or on-demand courses. These are exactly what they sound like; live classes require regular participation while on-demand classes can be accessed anytime, anywhere. The latter tends to be the most popular with online students simply because of how their schedules work.

The third is the option to take on an accelerated program. Some online programs can be accelerated and can lead a student to complete their degree in about half the time of a regular degree. Traditional online programs can also be completed sooner with the inclusion of the next flexibility option: summer sessions and J-term.

A summer session is summer school for online students. Usually, there are at least two different sessions within the summer, meaning students can complete one to four courses during that time. J-term is a short session, usually lasting just one week, that happens in January prior to the start of the spring semester. Both sessions are usually reserved for online students, but some schools allow on-campus students to take part in both sessions as well.

Finding a quality school that confers online degrees is no longer an issue; students can find that with no problem. Now the concern is sifting through all of the schools available to find the one that fits a student’s needs. With this ranking in hand of the top ten colleges for an online degree in Denver, Colorado, students can rest assured that they will be making a well-researched choice for the next step in their education.

GVC Staff
June 2019
This concludes our ranking of the Top 10 Colleges for Online Degrees Near Denver, Colorado.