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Top 10 Online Schools in Ohio: Columbus


Great Value Colleges - Top Online Degrees in Columbus, OHIn this article, we review the top 10 online schools in Ohio, with a focus on the Columbus area.

Ranked by BusinessWeek as among America’s 50 Best Cities, Columbus, Ohio is a community that offers a diverse economy based in education, government, and technology. The city is home to The Ohio State University, one of the largest colleges in the United States, and the renowned Columbus State Community College system. Several private institutions are scattered throughout Columbus and surrounding suburbs, offering an influential educational landscape to the area.


To determine our list of top colleges, we reviewed accredited universities located within an eighty-mile radius of Columbus, Ohio. From our pool of schools, we selected those that offered at least one online degree program. We then checked school rankings with major publications like Forbes magazine, The Princeton Review, and U.S. News and World Report. Schools earning multiple rankings were placed higher on our list.

Below are the top 10 online schools in Ohio: Columbus.

#10 – Franklin University

Columbus, Ohio


Franklin University - online schools in Ohio

Franklin University offers business-related degree programs that are affordable and reputable among online schools in Ohio. Undergraduate and graduate degree options are available. Since the school’s focus is accounting, business, and related fields, degree options include accounting, business administration, computer science, public administration, and risk management. The institution’s online programs are ranked with U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the 2016 edition of Best Colleges lists Franklin’s online programs as follows: #106 among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs, #148 among the Best Online MBA Programs, and #68 among the Best Online Graduate Business Programs (excluding the MBA). High rankings and multiple degree options earn Franklin University a top spot on our list of online degrees in Columbus.

#9 – Ohio University at Lancaster

Lancaster, Ohio


As part of the Ohio University system in Athens, the Lancaster campus offers flexible online degree programs designed with the working student in mind. Online program options include bachelor’s degrees in biology, criminal justice, early childhood education, history, social work, and technical and applied studies. Numerous associate’s degree programs are available online from the Lancaster campus. Ohio University is ranked among major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In the 2016 edition of Best Colleges, U.S. News and World Report lists Ohio University as the 135th Best National University in the nation. The school’s highly ranked online graduate programs include education, engineering, MBA, and nursing.

#8 – Ohio Wesleyan University

Delaware, Ohio


Since 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University has offered liberal arts studies to qualified students. Recently, the school expanded studies to include online courses and degree programs. The most popular degree programs include business management, English, and psychology. Ohio Wesleyan University is ranked by all major publications. Forbes magazine ranks Ohio Wesleyan as the #1 Most Entrepreneurial College in Ohio and #17 in the United States. U.S. News and World Report ranks the institution as the 108th Best National Liberal Arts College in the nation. The Princeton Review named the school one of The Best 379 Colleges and a Best Midwestern school.

#7 – Denison University

Granville, Ohio


Denison University - online schools in Ohio

Denison University is located approximately 25 miles from Columbus. The university offers a shuttle for students to move back and forth from the city three days a week. Denison is a small liberal arts school that offers online courses and degree programs in fine arts and mathematics. Denison offers BA, BS, and BFA degrees to qualified candidates. Denison is ranked nationally with major publications, such as U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the 2016 edition of Best Colleges lists Denison as the 55th Best National Liberal Arts College and the 40th Best College for Veterans in the nation.

#6 – Ohio Dominican University

Columbus, Ohio


Rooted in Catholic tradition and beliefs, Ohio Dominican University guides students to delve into educational truths by offering high quality curriculum in a liberal arts learning environment. The university caters to working students by offering several online degree programs. The Adult and Continuing Education department offers associate and bachelor degrees in various majors, including accounting, business administration, and insurance and risk management. Certificates and non-degree programs may also be completed online. According to U.S. News and World Report, Ohio Dominican ranks 85th among the Best Regional Universities in the Midwest and 64th among the Best Colleges for Veterans. The school’s online graduate education program earned recognition among 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News. The ranking is currently unpublished.

#5 – Ohio Christian University

Circleville, Ohio


Ohio Christian University - online schools in Ohio

Ohio Christian University offers online associate and bachelor’s degrees designed for busy adult students. All programs are accredited, affordable, and offered entirely online. Students are not required to visit the campus or complete residency obligations. Online programs include bachelor’s degrees in business, criminal justice, interdisciplinary studies, leadership and ministry, psychology, and substance abuse counseling. An online BSN in Nursing was recently implemented by the school. Ohio Christian University is nationally ranked with publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the 2016 edition of Best Colleges ranks the institution as the 62nd Best Regional College in the Midwest.

#4 – Ohio State University

Columbus, Ohio


Ohio State University - online schools in Ohio

Ohio State University at Columbus is a public university with one of the most expansive campuses in the country. The school has graduated famous actors, government officials, and well-known authors like R. L. Stine. Online graduate and undergraduate degree programs are available in various majors. Popular online degrees include the Master of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Agricultural and Extension Education, Master of Art Education, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene. Accredited and ranked as a top university, Ohio State University was listed as the 52nd Best National University in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. The school’s online programs have also been recognized. Rankings include #4 for Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs and #7 for Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.

#3 – Capital University

Columbus, Ohio


Capital University is a regionally ranked institution that offers various online degree programs in the Columbus area. With over sixty undergraduate major options, many of which are offered online, Capital University caters to working students and those who desire to balance life obligations with higher education. From nursing to law, online degree programs are available. The university is ranked with reputable publications, such as U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News ranks Capital University as the 36th Best Regional University in the Midwest and the 29th Best College for Veterans. The school’s part-time law program is also ranked as the 61st best program of its kind.

#2 – Otterbein University

Westerville, Ohio


Located approximately 16 miles north of Columbus, Otterbein University is a private university dedicated to preparing graduates to advance in their chosen professions. The school is regionally and nationally ranked with major publications. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks Otterbein as the 13th Best Regional University in the Midwest and the 13th Best College for Veterans. The school offers various online courses and bachelor’s degree programs designed with the working student in mind. Popular online business bachelor’s degrees include majors in accounting, business administration, human resources, and management. Other bachelor’s degrees available online include communication studies, organizational leadership, and psychology.

#1 – Ashland University

Ashland, Ohio


Topping our list of online schools in Ohio (Columbus), Ashland University offers online undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate degrees for working students who need to balance life obligations while attending school. Online bachelor’s degree programs include a bachelor’s in criminal justice and RN to BSN. Online master’s degree programs include the Master of Arts in Health and Risk Communication, the MBA, and M.Ed. An online doctoral level nursing program is also available and leads to a Doctor of Nursing Practice. Ashland University is ranked with U.S. News and World Report as the 199th Best National University in the United States. The school is located approximately eighty miles from Columbus and offers occasional trips to the city.

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This concludes our ranking of the top 10 online schools in Ohio with a focus on the Columbus area.