Best online colleges in Pennsylvania 2022

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Online colleges in Pennsylvania offer something for everyone. 

There are schools for you whether you’re an undergraduate or graduate student; whether you want flexible or more structured online learning. 

Among the state’s fastest-growing employment sectors are business services, education, and health services. Our list of top 10 online colleges in Pennsylvania includes bachelor’s and master’s degree programs that can prepare you for careers in the state’s growth industries. 

Top 5 online schools in Pennsylvania: Quick facts

College

School stats

Thomas Jefferson University

Philadelphia, PA

  • Acceptance rate: 70% 
  • Graduation rate: 75%
  • Internship opportunities
  • Collaborative, interdisciplinary learning

Temple University

Philadelphia, PA

  • Acceptance rate: 71% 
  • Graduation rate: 72%
  • Writing and STEM help through online student success center
  • Liberal studies tracks in humanities or social sciences

Duquesne University

Pittsburgh, PA

  • Acceptance rate: 77% 
  • Graduation rate: 80%
  • Designed for working students
  • Career development services for students and alumni

Drexel University

Philadelphia, PA

  • Acceptance rate: 77%
  • Graduation rate: 68%
  • Allows transfer of up to 120 quarter credits
  • Tuition discounts through partner organizations and employers

Penn State World Campus

University Park, PA

  • Acceptance rate: 78% 
  • Graduation rate: 71%
  • World campus the second largest of Penn State’s campuses
  • No limit on number of transfer credits

The 10 best online colleges in Pennsylvania

ZDNet’s ranking methodology evaluates colleges and universities for inclusion on our lists independently and objectively. Schools do not pay for inclusion in our rankings. We assess metrics including reputation, academic quality, affordability, and number of available bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. 

Unless otherwise indicated, data is drawn from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and College Scorecard. Note that for public colleges, the average annual net price given is for in-state students.

1. Thomas Jefferson University
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

About the school: Thomas Jefferson University offers experiential-focused programs in liberal arts and science, interdisciplinary learning, and professional studies. Online students can earn degrees in business, healthcare, organizational leadership, and technology fields. 

  • Acceptance rate: 70% 
  • Graduation rate: 75% 
  • Avg. annual net price: $26,569
  • Student body population: 8,286
  • Student-to-teacher ratio: 13:1
  • Number of bachelor degree programs: Seven
  • Number of master’s degree programs: 16
  • Avg. SAT range for admitted students: Critical reading 550-630; math 540-640
  • Minimum GPA: N/A
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous and synchronous

Accreditation: Thomas Jefferson University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

2. Temple University
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

About the school: A large, urban school, Temple University offers online bachelor’s degrees in liberal studies, social work, and business with accounting, management, human resources, marketing, and supply chain management specialties. Notable master’s programs include master’s degrees in sports business and travel and tourism.

  • Acceptance rate: 71% 
  • Graduation rate: 72% 
  • Avg. annual net price: $23,888
  • Student body population: 37,236
  • Student-to-teacher ratio: 13:1
  • Number of bachelor degree programs: Three
  • Number of master’s degree programs: 15
  • Avg. SAT range for admitted students: N/A
  • Minimum GPA: Program-specific
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous, synchronous, and hybrid

Accreditation: Temple University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

3. Duquesne University
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

About the school: At Catholic Duquesne University, undergraduates can complete their bachelor’s degrees in organizational leadership online. Graduate students can choose among master’s degree programs in business, education, health science, liberal arts, and nursing.

  • Acceptance rate: 77% 
  • Graduation rate: 80% 
  • Avg. annual net price: $31,383
  • Student body population: 8,830
  • Student-to-teacher ratio: 13:1
  • Number of bachelor degree programs: One
  • Number of master’s degree programs: Eight
  • Avg. SAT range for admitted students: Critical reading 570-640; math 550-630
  • Minimum GPA: Program-specific
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous and synchronous

Accreditation: Duquesne University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

4. Drexel University
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

About the school: Drexel University offers an array of online degrees. Whether you want to focus on the arts, business, education, healthcare, or technology, Drexel likely has what you’re looking for. 

Acceptance rate: 77% 

  • Graduation rate: 68% 
  • Avg. annual net price: $35,963
  • Student body population: 23,589
  • Student-to-teacher ratio: 11:1
  • Number of bachelor degree programs: 17
  • Number of master’s degree programs: 100+
  • Avg. SAT range for admitted students: Critical reading 590-680; math 590-700
  • Minimum GPA: Program-specific
  • Course delivery method: Primarily asynchronous

Accreditation: Drexel University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

5. Penn State World Campus
University Park, Pennsylvania

About the school: Penn State World Campus offers 175+ degree programs for its 20,000 online students. Career-focused enrollees can earn degrees in business education, engineering, healthcare, and technology.

  • Acceptance rate: 78% 
  • Graduation rate: 71% 
  • Avg. annual net price: $27,530 
  • Student body population: 89,816 (Pennsylvania State University)
  • Student-to-teacher ratio: 15:1
  • Number of bachelor degree programs: 38
  • Number of master’s degree programs: 56
  • Avg. SAT range for admitted students: Critical reading 530-640; math 540-660
  • Minimum GPA: Program-specific
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous

Accreditation: Penn State World Campus is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

6. DeSales University
Center Valley, Pennsylvania

About the school: Catholic DeSales University offers online learning through its adult studies program. A rolling admissions process requires only a high school diploma or GED certificate for most degrees. 

  • Acceptance rate: 82% 
  • Graduation rate: 61% 
  • Avg. annual net price: $29,547
  • Student body population: 3,302
  • Student-to-teacher ratio: 12:1
  • Number of bachelor degree programs: 15
  • Number of master’s degree programs: None
  • Avg. SAT range for admitted students: Critical reading 510-630; math 500-610
  • Minimum GPA: 2.75-3.0 for accelerated bachelor of science in nursing
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous and synchronous

Accreditation: DeSales University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

7. Geneva College
Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania

About the school: Presbyterian-affiliated Geneva College‘s online programs are designed for working adults who want to complete their bachelor’s degrees. Areas of study include child and family services, human resources, management, and organizational leadership.

  • Acceptance rate: 73% 
  • Graduation rate: 66% 
  • Avg. annual net price: $19,1879
  • Student body population: 1,349
  • Student-to-teacher ratio: 12:1
  • Number of bachelor degree programs: Four
  • Number of master’s degree programs: None
  • Avg. SAT range for admitted students: N/A
  • Minimum GPA: 2.0 preferred
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous

Accreditation: Geneva College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

8. Robert Morris University
Moon Township, Pennsylvania

About the school: Robert Morris University is a small school in the Pittsburgh area offering online bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business, computer and information systems, leadership, nursing, and more.

  • Acceptance rate: 86%
  • Graduation rate: 58% 
  • Avg. annual net price: $27,954
  • Student body population: 4,134
  • Student-to-teacher ratio: 14:1
  • Number of bachelor degree programs: Five
  • Number of master’s degree programs: 22
  • Avg. SAT range for admitted students: Critical reading 520-640; math 520-590
  • Minimum GPA: Program-specific
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous and synchronous

Accreditation: Robert Morris University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

9. Misericordia University
Dallas, Pennsylvania

About the school: Geared to adult learners, Catholic Misericordia University‘s online programs include bachelor’s in accounting and business, healthcare management, IT, medical technology, and social work. Graduate students can pursue MBAs or master’s degrees in nursing.

  • Acceptance rate: 83% 
  • Graduation rate: 68% 
  • Avg. annual net price: $27,077
  • Student body population: 2,374
  • Student-to-teacher ratio: 10:1
  • Number of bachelor degree programs: 10
  • Number of master’s degree programs: Two
  • Avg. SAT range for admitted students: N/A — test-blind admission
  • Minimum GPA: Program-specific
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous and hybrid

Accreditation: Misericordia University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

10. California University of Pennsylvania (now Pennsylvania Western University-California)
California, Pennsylvania

About the school: Cal U lists a full spectrum of online majors and fields of study. Notable programs include master’s degrees in conflict resolution and sports management studies, along with a bachelor’s in Arabic languages and cultures.

  • Acceptance rate: 94% 
  • Graduation rate: 56% 
  • Avg. annual net price: $19,117
  • Student body population: 6,885
  • Student-to-teacher ratio: 19:1
  • Number of bachelor degree programs: 15
  • Number of master’s degree programs: 50
  • Avg. SAT range for admitted students: Critical reading 470-570; math 450-550
  • Minimum GPA: Program-specific
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous

Accreditation: California University of Pennsylvania/Pennsylvania Western University-California is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

In conclusion

Pennsylvania’s colleges and universities rank among the top online colleges and offer plenty of options for bachelor’s and master’s degree-seekers. 

Online college cost savings can include reduced tuition but also commuting, dining, and housing costs. Now that you’ve read our overview of the best online colleges in Pennsylvania, follow the links and research specific programs.



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