First, let us get this longstanding confusion out of the way: the Liberal Arts and Humanities are not the same. The Humanities is a subset of the Liberal Arts, along with Anthropology, Social Science, Philosophy, History, Political Science, and English, and all other “B.A.” degrees (with a few “B.S.” degrees as well), which we will be discussed further below.
The field of Liberal Arts and the Humanities is one of the most underrated and misunderstood academic fields today. It has always carried this misconception as the college degree for the elite, a decadent academic pursuit for those with money to burn and time to spare. And as the world becomes more hinged on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM, or the “hard sciences” as some may call it), many folks, including influential personalities and beloved TV characters, think of the Liberal Arts and the Humanities as a useless and worthless college degree. But as a 2019 BBC article points out, majoring in the Liberal Arts has real lifelong benefits in the workforce, and hiring employees with such a degree can complement the highly specialized hard skills that technical resources possess.
These “useless” majors or degrees impart valuable soft skills, like the ability to communicate verbally or in writing and understanding and anticipating human behavior, which is important in developing machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies. But what many experts consider as the most important benefit from a liberal arts degree, especially in a globally interconnected economy, is the ability to develop empathy and critical thinking.
Reading between the lines and relying on human instincts are paramount qualities that many STEM graduates take for granted because of their technical hyper-specialization but are very much developed in Liberal Arts and Humanities graduates.
The Bachelor in Liberal Arts Degree and its Real-life Benefits
A typical Liberal Arts and Humanities curriculum is composed of courses such as linguistics or foreign languages, writing, art and design, social science, history, and many others. Graduates of a Liberal Arts program are well-rounded and are armed with a balanced set of skillsets.
In terms of industries, they can work in offices, academe, research, private firms, think tanks, public office, mass media, local or international for-profit or non-profit organizations, and even in highly technical industries like information technology, biomedicine, or engineering. After all, whether technological or not, every firm will always have a Human Resources department, and Liberal Arts graduates are well-equipped to fill roles within it.
They are also highly capable managers. Managerial and leadership positions require the ability to engage with their subordinates through effective communication backed by sound foresight. These are skills honed by attending courses in literature, communications, philosophy, history, and social science – all under the realm of the Liberal Arts.
There are specialized degrees within the Liberal Arts discipline as well. So, whether you are into writing, mass media, historical analysis, politics, or any of the 25 Liberal Arts specializations below, then read on. We also handpicked the best three schools for each specialized program, making sure their program offerings are accredited, have a well-rounded curriculum while focusing on important and relevant skills, are reasonably priced, and, best of all, can be taken online or in a hybrid format.
- Online Anthropology Program
- Online Communications Program
- Online English Program
- Online Geography Programs
- Online Human and Family Development Programs
- Online Liberal Arts Programs
- Online Military Studies Programs
- Online Philosophy Programs
- Online Political Science Programs
- Online Social Science Programs
- Online Telecommunications Programs
- Online Theology Programs
THE BEST BACHELOR’S IN LIBERAL ARTS AND HUMANITIES ONLINE SCHOOLS
Online Anthropology Program
Anthropology is a broad discipline that utilizes a scientific approach in studying human history and behavior from a biological, linguistic, archaeological, and cultural point of view. Unlike related fields such as Humanities, History, or Social Science, all of which analyze human behavior through cultural and social constructs, Anthropology gathers information through human remains, fossils, ancient civilizations, migration patterns, and ancient works and architecture like the Hieroglyphics of Egypt or the Machu Pachu in Peru. Schools confer the program either as a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree, depending on the student’s chosen track. Some career options include forensic anthropology, archaeology, conservationism, cultural brokerage (auctioneering), museum curation, health and natural science research, academe, and various roles in non-for-profits and international organizations like UNESCO.
THE THREE BEST SCHOOLS FOR AN ONLINE ANTHROPOLOGY DEGREE
Colorado State University
: 2545 Research Blvd. Fort Collins, CO 80526
: (970) 491-5288
With a requirement of 120 course credits for graduation, Colorado State University’s (CSU) Anthropology program allows students to tailor their curricula based on their preferences as long as it meets the minimum credit units per area of study.
Though not required for graduation, CSU also offers students an additional option to take in-person learning experiences through its summer field immersions. These immersions are conducted by CSU’s Paleontology Field School in neighboring Wyoming, the Archaeology Field School in Colorado, and the Ethnographic Field School in South Dakota. Students are encouraged to explore the rich geography, cultural and archaeological landscapes in these areas to develop meaningful real-life experiences combined with their online learnings and eventually apply them to their careers.
Tuition is at $476 per credit unit regardless of residency. The fee also includes student services.
Oregon State University
: 4943 The Valley Library, Corvallis, OR 97331
: 800-667-1465 | 541-737-9204
At 180 required credit units, Oregon State University’s (OSU) B.A. or B.S. in Anthropology offering is one of the most rigorous among its contemporaries. But think of this as an accelerated path. With OSU’s quarter-term calendar, each course lasts for just a little over two months. With due diligence and perseverance, the program can be completed in two years.
Students choose either a B.A. or a B.S. track. For the B.A. track, students are expected to take foreign languages courses and must attain a grade of at least C-. For the B.S. track, students must take courses in Computer Science, Mathematics, and Statistics. Whatever track the students choose, they should complete a minimum of 15 and 24 credits.
Students then choose to specialize in any of these four concentrations: Archaeology (33 units), Biocultural (30 units), Cultural or Linguistic (27 units), and General Anthropology (21 units). The Archaeology track is the most intensive of the four, as it also requires a 12-unit site immersion experience either with the OSU Archaeological Field School or the OSU Anthropological Ethnographic Field School.
The cost of attendance is $331 per credit unit regardless of residency. This does not include other fees such as student services, etc. A one-time matriculation fee of $350 will be charged to new students on their maiden term at OSU.
Washington State University
: PO Box 645220, Pullman WA 99164-5220: 800-222-4978, 509-335-3557
Washington State University’s (WSU) online B.A. in Anthropology program requires 120 credit units for graduation and is hailed as one of the best online programs for 2021.
Students are required to take a course in a foreign language. For the Anthropology core requirement, 34 units are required, 16 of which will be coming from the required courses, including topics on global culture, archaeology, biological anthropology, and general anthropology. The remaining 18 units can be completed through anthropology electives. Students can choose one course under the following learning areas: archaeology, biological anthropology, cultural anthropology, and linguistic anthropology. To round up the elective requirements, students can choose two courses from the general course catalog with the approval of the department head.
The program has three start dates per academic year – fall, spring, and summer. The cost of attendance is $541.50 for residents and $603.60 for non-residents. Rates are on a per credit unit basis and are exclusive for the fall and spring terms. For the summer term, tuition is at $552 per credit unit regardless of residency.
Online Communications Program
Having a degree in communications is no longer confined to landing a job in news and print alone. With the advent of new media or digital media, a B.A. or B.S. degree in Communications helps position graduates to carve careers in mass media and journalism, digital marketing and advertising, public relations, and market research. The dynamic roles include production assistants or researchers, editors (print or video), content writers, academic writers, technical writers, brand or product managers, market analysts, copywriters, campaign or political strategists, trainers, public speakers, PR managers, and digital strategists.
THE THREE BEST SCHOOLS FOR AN ONLINE COMMUNICATIONS DEGREE
University of Colorado – Denver
: 1800 Grant St. Suite 800, Denver, CO 80203: 303-860-5604
The University of Colorado in Denver offers an online bachelor’s program in Communications with a completion requirement of 120 course credits for graduation. Students can specialize in any of the tracks or pathways available. These are:
- Community Service and Public Affairs
- Media and Cultural Studies
- Global & Intercultural Communications, for those who would like to work in politics and public campaigns
- Health Communications, for aspiring public health advocates and educators
- Strategic Communications, for advertising, digital media, and corporate communication aspirants
Students must also choose any of the exit courses to culminate the program. It could be an internship, experiential learning, a capstone project, or an intensive writing piece. The cost of attendance is $330 per credit unit for residents and $444 per credit unit for non-residents.
: 201 S Grant Ave. Columbus, OH 43215
: (614) 797-4700
Another trademark school in the online learning game, Franklin University, offers an online B.S. in Communications program completed four years or less. Transfer students can accelerate their studies through a maximum of 94 credits allowed for transfer students.
The program requires 124 credit units for graduation. The great thing about Franklin’s required GE core is that it includes courses on working spreadsheets, video editing, business writing, and speech communication, which all impart practical professional skills for communications students.
The major core subjects include three noteworthy courses relevant to today’s modern media: Digital Design, Video Production, and Digital Photography. Students who are into digital arts and reporting will enjoy and excel at these courses.
As for electives, students can focus on digital marketing, data science and analytics, data visualization, public relations communications, media strategy, and many others. Any of these specialization tracks will complement the traditional required core courses.
Franklin has multiple start dates throughout the academic calendar. And most courses run anywhere from six to twelve weeks. The cost of attendance, regardless of residency, is $398 per credit unit, excluding other student fees.
Loyola University – New Orleans
: St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70118
Through its School of Communication and Design, Loyola University New Orleans offers an online B.A. program in Mass Communication with a requirement of 120 credit units to graduate. For transfer students, Loyola allows up to 90 units to be accepted for transfer.
The curriculum can also be personalized to a high degree. With the major courses, students have greater freedom to curate their tracks according to their preferred specialization. The available specializations are Visual Communication, Advertising or Public Relations, and Journalism.
Students who choose the visual communication track will learn photography, videography, print and digital layout and design, and how to apply these to digital media practices and strategies. Advertising and public relations students will learn the discipline basics, including media planning and buying, media strategy, research, and analytics. Courses for journalism students are straightforward. But similar to visual communication students, they will also learn photography and videography, which are additional practical skills that will complement any journalism student’s writing and reporting skills. They can write, create, edit and showcase their documentaries or reports with these skills.
The Accrediting Council on Education accredits Loyola University’s School of Communications and Design in Journalism and Mass Communication (ACEJMC). The cost of attendance for the online BAMC program is $450 per credit unit. An additional $225 semestral fee is charged per student for other fees.
Online English Program
A degree in English is a gateway to a wide variety of roles in many industries. Learning about literature and English composition helps develop one’s sense of critical thinking. It also teaches valuable and highly marketable soft skills such as persuasion, writing for various kinds of audience or purpose (business, creative, technical, etc.), speaking for various functions (interviews, speeches, event hosting, etc.), collaboration, and office productivity among others.
Some career options include professional writing or authorship, technical writing, business writing, corporate communications, public relations, campaign writing, advertising or copywriting, marketing, product or brand management, literary agenting, editor, journalist, medical writer, news correspondent, research, document proofing, digital marketing, web content writing, and similar others. Most online English programs can be completed in four years or less.
THE THREE BEST SCHOOLS FOR AN ONLINE ENGLISH DEGREE
University of Massachusetts – Lowell
: 839 Merrimack Street, Lowell, MA 01854
Students enrolled in UMass Lowell’s online undergraduate English program must take 40 courses, equivalent to 120 course credits. The program’s curriculum’s great thing is the in-depth focus on American, British, and modern literature. It also requires students to take courses on foreign language, history, and culture, which helps students become more holistic with a global perspective rooted in literature and the humanities.
The required courses include the classics – Shakespearean literature, the works of Chaucer, dissecting literature of different genres, English composition, and others. It also includes a timely course on English Studies in a Digital Environment, which analyzes the entire discipline and its relevance in today’s hyper-digitalized times. As for the electives, there are more than 50 courses to choose from, which represent various genres of literary works, film, media, performance art, and different writing styles, including a journalism course.
The cost of attendance is $380 per credit unit. Other fees may apply.
Indiana University East
: 2325 Chester Blvd, Richmond, IN 47374: 765-973-8200
This English undergraduate program from Indiana University (IU) East in Richmond focuses on technical and business or professional writing. Its curriculum includes required courses on professional writing, technical writing, advanced writing, digital writing, grammar and proofing, inquiry, and critical methodologies in composition.
IU also offers first-time online students the opportunity to “test drive” or experience a trial run of its online courses. Seven courses are available for the “test drive” experience and can be counted towards the degree, should the student continue at IU East Online. For students of the B.A. in English program, test drive courses on World Languages, Social Work, Health and Life Sciences, and Mathematics may count towards degree completion since the program requires students to complete general education courses as part of its curriculum.
The cost of attendance is $239.01 per credit unit for residents and non-residents whose state of origin has reciprocity agreements with the state of Indiana. Non-residents with no reciprocity will have to pay $346.89 per credit unit.
: One John Marshall Drive, Huntington, WV 25755
Marshall University’s (MU) online B.A. in English program also requires 120 credit units for graduation, similar to other universities. The major courses include composition, language structure, critical theory, textual analysis, and popular literature, which is a good course to engage younger college students who are more exposed and familiar with contemporary authors like J.K. Rowling, George R.R. Martin, and many others.
The curriculum is structured where only eight units are allotted for electives. Although this may seem restrictive, it encourages students to strategize their choice of electives well. Many courses can be taken to fulfill multiple requirements. For example, a writing or composition course can be counted towards the GE and major requirements, thus preserving the eight-unit allotment for the electives. This gives students the liberty to minor in a course that they are interested in next to English.
Students of the program can also join MU’s Writing Center. This is a free service offered to both in-
campus and online students (regardless of major) who need help in polishing their writing skills. For online students, the mode of delivery is asynchronous via email format.
The cost of attendance for the online B.A. in English program is $303.25 per credit unit, including the delivery fee. Cost is regardless of residency.
Online General Studies Program
A degree in General Studies (GS) is one of the most underrated programs in college. Yet, it is one of the few college programs that offer maximum flexibility in course choices. A GS degree can arm a graduate with sufficient skills to break into any industry if done strategically. This is perfect for incoming first-year students who have no clue yet what to major or specialize in. For these students, the answer to that question usually pops when they have had enough college experience and start to develop an interest in a specific learning area or discipline.
Generality, in today’s job market, translates to versatility, flexibility, and adaptability. The skills one gain from a GS program are transferable and can be applied to different job roles across various industries. Promising industry roles for GS graduates include corporate communications, assistantship, office work, research, content writing (news, business, technical or academic) or journalism, human resources, recruiter, academe, and liaising, and other roles depending on the course concentration they took under the program. Most GS programs can be completed in four years or less, especially if transfer credits can be credited.
THE THREE BEST SCHOOLS FOR AN ONLINE GENERAL STUDIES DEGREE
University of North Dakota
: Grand Forks, ND
The University of North Dakota (UND) offers the online Bachelor of General Studies degree through its self-paced online delivery format. The courses are available anytime and delivered asynchronously, with multiple start dates throughout the academic calendar.
The program requires 120 credit units. There are six specialization tracks to choose from: natural science, specifically biology, communication, psychology, media and culture, world film and literature studies, and world anthropology. Aside from these, UND requires all students to fulfill general education requirements or the Essential Studies requirements. Students are advised to confide with an adviser in curating the curriculum that works for them and their preferred learning areas.
The cost of attending the program online is $441.51 per credit, regardless of residency. The cost includes service and delivery fees.
: 5051 Peachtree Corners Circle, Suite 200, Norcross, Georgia 30092
Ashworth College’s BGS program is delivered fully online and requires 120 course credits for graduation. The great thing about its curriculum is that more than half is allotted for electives. The electives are diverse and grouped per discipline, making it more convenient for students to personalize their curricula.
Transfer students can enjoy generous transfer policies at Ashworth. Credits earned by previously attending another college or university, earning an Associate’s Degree, or prior learning, whether at work or through industry training and certificates, are accepted for evaluation.
The cost of attendance at Ashworth is $93 per credit unit. Ashworth College is a proud participant of the NC-SARA and an authorized post-secondary educational institution by the Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission. Additionally, it is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission, a recognized accrediting body by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
University of Arizona
: Tucson, Arizona 85721: (520) 621-0898
University of Arizona (UA) offers the online BGS program with six different specialization tracks to choose from. Students can choose to focus on multimedia arts, business, international affairs, sports science, social science, or science and technology.
The program requires 120 credit units for graduation. If you have already completed an associate’s program, this guarantees not only admission but a reduction of the required credits for graduation by as much as 50% to 60%. The university also has attractive transfer policies for credits earned at an Arizona community college, a four-year school in either Arizona or California, or elsewhere (different policies apply for each scenario). There are other ways of earning transfer credits at UA, such as military service or completing the Arizona General Education Curriculum with a 2.5 GPA.
The cost of attendance for this online program is $500 per credit unit, excluding other fees.
Online Geography Programs
The study of geography goes beyond learning the continents, countries, and capital and the bodies of land and water surrounding each. That is the elementary approach. The advanced approach to geography relates to human culture, sustenance, development, and evolution of language, governance, and politics in a specific locale or country, public utility systems such as transportation, and commerce.
A Bachelor’s degree in Geography can open the doors to a career in government or public office, with roles under demography, culture and heritage preservation, urban planning, homeland security, agriculture, energy, transportation planning, environment and sustainability, climate change research, among others. Private research is also a way to go. Academe is also an option and consultancy for private firms like construction, architecture, engineering, or real estate firms. Most online Geography programs can be completed within four years maximum. This can be shortened with accelerated or self-paced programs or with transfer credits.
THE THREE BEST SCHOOLS FOR AN ONLINE GEOGRAPHY DEGREE
Kennesaw State University
: 1000 Chastain Road, Kennesaw, GA 30144: 470-KSU-INFO
Kennesaw State University in Georgia offers an online B.A. in Geography program with a required 120 credit units for graduation. The curriculum allows more than 50 credit units for electives, with 14 allotted for university electives, 18 units for related courses, and 21 units to fulfill the major core requirements.
Some of the interesting courses in the curriculum include urban geography, geospatial techniques, cartography, information systems, and remote sensing. Students must require two foreign language and culture courses, good preparation for the international study option.
The cost of attendance is $390.40 per credit unit for all online programs. The cost includes delivery fees and other fees.
Florida International University
: 11200 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33199
Florida International University (FIU) takes a different approach to geography. Unlike the traditional approach of offering geography courses and humanities courses separately, FIU offers courses that are already integrative from the get-go. The program’s core courses present the fundamentals of geography from the lens of globalization, the changes it brought, and its effect on various cultural paradigms. Examples of these courses are Global Perspectives, World Ethnographies, Geography of Global Change, and Societies.
The program requires 120 units for graduation with three start dates – fall, spring, and summer. An outstanding feature of the program is its version of the buddy system, where every student is assigned to a class advisor, or what FIU calls a “success coach.”
The cost of attendance is $228.81 for residents and $345.87 for non-residents. Rate is on a per credit unit basis. Other fees may apply.
: 1971 University Blvd, Lynchburg, VA 24515
: (800) 424-9595
Liberty University’s (LU) online Geography program is as straightforward as it can be. Its curriculum is divided into three sets of requirements: the Foundational Topics, Majors, and Electives.
The foundational courses require students to take Liberal Arts staples like natural science, statistics, economics, and governance. The major courses focus on the various facets of geography that are relevant to today’s times. Aside from geography fundamentals, the major core offers courses on geographic information systems and technologies, special topics, and even courses on oceanography and meteorology.
The program requires 120 credit units for completion and can be completed in 3.5 years or less. LU’s online courses typically run for only eight weeks and are delivered asynchronously. Liberty also accepts transfer credits earned from another school and credits earned through life experience. Transfer students can reduce their course load by up to 75%. The cost of attendance is $390 per credit unit. Other fees may apply.
Online History Programs
A degree in History arms its graduates with a heightened ability to think and read between the lines critically. These scholars can reflect on the past use this information to understand the present and forecast the future. They have impeccable hindsight and foresight and are valuable assets to any workplace.
History graduates may carve a career in museums and the academe and government, public service and policy, political campaigns, research, foreign service, consultancy, journalism, legal work, public relations, assistantship, and law enforcement. Keep in mind that History graduates are keen on historical analysis and are great communicators, both verbally and in writing. These are transferrable soft skills that are applicable in various industries.
THE THREE BEST SCHOOLS FOR AN ONLINE HISTORY DEGREE
Nicholls State University
: 906 East 1st Street, Thibodaux, LA 70301
Nicholls State University (NSU) in Louisiana offers an online Bachelor’s program in History with 120 required credit units for graduation. It requires students to complete 36 credit units of history courses. Aside from the historic core, students must also complete computer courses, GE courses, university courses, and oral communication courses to round up the 120-unit requirement.
Courses on foreign languages are part of the oral communication core, and students are strongly encouraged to take at least two courses if they wish to pursue advanced degrees in History or other related degree programs. Students must also declare a minor.
The cost of attendance for NSU online programs is $302.13 per credit unit. Other fees may apply.
University of Idaho
: 875 Perimeter Drive | Moscow, ID 83844
The University of Idaho (UI) offers two tracks to its online History program – a B.A. track and a B.S. track. The difference lies in the minor track and the History electives the student chooses. The program requires 120 credit units for graduation.
The curriculum’s history courses cover extensive periods, from the ancient civilizations to the post-war era, the baby boomers, and the dawn of the space race in the ‘60s. UI also assists students in landing ace internships with US legislators, government agencies like the State Department, museums, renowned libraries, and historical societies and organizations. An option for the international study is also available to all UI students.
Full-time online students get to pay the same rate as in-state students. The cost of attendance for an entire academic year is $8,340. No information is available on the school’s undergraduate per-credit-unit rate, but simple math and averaging will tell you that if a typical academic year is more or less 30 credit units, the tuition comes out to a reasonable $278 per credit unit, give or take.
Grand Canyon University
: 3300 West Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ 85017: 1-855-GCU-LOPE
Grand Canyon University (GCU) in Arizona veers away from the typical spoon-feed approach to the program. It offers courses that tackle important figures, timelines, themes, and events in human history that prompt students to reflect and integrate the past, present, and future.
The curriculum includes core history courses on Women in History, U.S. History post-World War II, and Borderland History, focusing on Native Americans, the so-called “Wild, Wild, West,” and American-Latino history. It also tackles the past European, Asian, and Mediterranean histories that helped shape the present, particularly present international relations. Two Christian courses are also part of the required courses as a nod to GCU’s Christian roots.
The total requirement for program completion is 120 credit units. The course is delivered in-person, fully online, and in the evenings, which is great for working adults. The cost of attendance is similar to both residents and non-residents, at $687.50 per course credit. Other fees may apply.
Online Human and Family Development Programs
In the 2020 issue of the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook, social workers and community workers are forecasted to experience exponential job growth for the next ten years. If you are interested in a career that helps communities, families, and individuals guide them in all aspects of their needs throughout their lifespan, then a degree in Human and Family Development (or it may come in slightly variated terms) could be a good fit.
HFD programs (or HFDS, where the ‘S’ stands for ‘Studies’) are usually conferred as a Bachelor of Arts degree, although some schools offer a Bachelor of Science track, with an added focus on quantitative reasoning in-depth research work. Most HFDS programs offer at least two specialization tracks. In some programs, there are separate tracks for human development and family service. Other programs further zone in, creating a separate track for child development, early childhood development, family development, and community development. Regardless of the track and the mode of delivery (classroom or online), most, if not all, HFDS programs will require a practicum to culminate the degree.
THE THREE BEST SCHOOLS FOR AN ONLINE HUMAN AND FAMILY DEVELOPMENT DEGREE
Utah State University
: 2905 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84322-2905
Utah State University (USU) offers the online HDFS program through two tracks or specializations: the Family and Community Service track and the Human Development Lifespan track.
For the Family and Community Service track, courses include addiction, intervention, gerontology (the multidisciplinary study of aging, different from geriatrics), and social conventions. For the Human Development Lifespan track, courses are subdivided to separately tackle the different stages of human development – from infancy to early childhood or the preschool years, puberty and adolescence, and adulthood to the senior years. Gerontology can be taken as an undergraduate certificate.
The HDFS program at USU requires 120 credit units for graduation. The cost of attendance is $332.83 per credit unit for residents and $369 per credit unit for non-residents. Other fees may apply. The program takes up to four years, applicable to transfer students with accepted outside credentials.
University of Houston
: Houston, Texas 77204
: (713) 743-2255
The University of Houston offers two tracks for the online HDFS degree – a B.A. track, with an added focus on foreign languages, and a B.S. track, focusing on mathematics and quantitative reasoning. The degree requires 120 credit units for completion.
This online undergraduate program is taking a more holistic approach to this broad discipline. Courses like Parent-Child Relationships, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Early Childhood Development, Contemporary Families, Human Development and Interventions, and Individuals with Disabilities are all part of the required core.
The program takes four years or less. The cost of attendance for residents is $395.66 per credit unit and $903.66 per credit unit for non-residents. Fees are inclusive of other costs like the online education fee, etc.
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
: 1011 South Drive, Indiana, PA 15705
Indiana University in Pennsylvania offers an online B.S. in HDFS program that offers three specialization tracks:
- The Family Specialist track, with an added focus on education and speaking techniques for parents and adults,
- The Infant/Toddler Mental Health Track, with added focus on mental disabilities and intervention, and,
- The Child Life track, with similar courses as the infant/toddler track, is modified to suit a child to young adult approach better. It also educates students on early intervention for disabilities occurring during these early years of child development.
IUP also gives HDFS students the opportunity for a real-life immersion within the on-campus preschool or affiliated agencies or organizations for a more communal experience. The program has a requirement of 120 credit units for graduation. The cost of attendance to all IUP online programs is $495.20 per credit unit. Cost is inclusive of other fees.
Online Journalism Programs
What separates a Journalism degree from a Communications degree is that Journalism programs emphasize courses like ethics, research, fact-checking, history, and news writing and reporting. While the courses between these two programs often overlap, journalism has a more specific and factual approach to written works. Most journalism programs also attempt to integrate traditional journalism techniques and ethics to new platforms where one’s work can be published – print or virtual.
Journalism graduates can always find themselves starting within news and media companies, typically as a researcher, an assistant, or part of the production crew. As they move up, the next step is usually a segment or news producer or a field correspondent scouting and creating their own stories or reports. They can also crossover into the corporate world and work in advertising, communications strategy, public relations, marketing, or research. They can also work (or run) for public office. They can also do freelance work as news photographers, content writers, news writers, or even news or video editors.
THE THREE BEST SCHOOLS FOR AN ONLINE JOURNALISM DEGREE
: 1000 Regent University Drive, Virginia Beach, VA 23464
Regent University offers this Communication Studies program with a concentration in Journalism. It teaches students the fundamentals of communications such as composition and speaking while equipping them with important journalism skills such as editing, proofreading, exercising ethics, language control, writing a compelling yet factual and engaging report, and reporting.
The program requires 120 credit units. The cost of attendance is $450 per credit unit for part-time students, or those taking 11 credit units max per term, and $395 per credit unit for full-time students. Rates exclude other charges.
Southern Illinois University
: 1263 Lincoln Drive, Carbondale, IL 62901-6899
The online B.S. program in Journalism at Southern Illinois University (SIU) offers five specializations that students can focus on. These are advertising, journalism and mass communications, news-editorial, photojournalism, and sports media. Any of these specializations can also be declared as minors. The program requires 120 credit units and can be completed in as little as three years.
SIU Journalism students can take advantage of the various media facilities and workshop groups within the university. These include the WSIU newsroom, the Daily Egyptian student newsroom, the Documenting Student Illinois year-long workshop, and the SIU New Media Center and Equipment Checkout, equipped with more than twenty computer stations that can handle video production and editing, streaming, news creation, and everything else a journalism student will need.
The cost of attendance for all SIU online programs is $321.50 per credit unit, regardless of residency. Other fees may apply.
Pennsylvania State (Penn State) University
: 128 Outreach Building, University Park, PA 16802
Hailed as one of the best online programs for 2021, Penn State’s online Journalism program greatly focuses on shifting the craft and the industry from the traditional print and visual media to virtual and digital reporting. It requires 120 course credits for graduation. The program features courses on multimedia journalism, telecommunications technologies and management, strategic communications, electronic media, digital media metrics, and internet law, ethics, and policies, to name some. Students are also required to take 12 credits of foreign language courses.
The cost of attendance is $590 to $632 per credit unit, depending on the student’s enrollment status, whether full-time or part-time. Other fees may apply.
Online Liberal Arts Programs
A 2021 study conducted by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU) reveals that Liberal Arts graduates are highly sought by hiring managers these days. Their versatility and the transferability of their skills are their biggest assets, compared to the specificity of other graduates, say business, engineering, or architecture grads.
Students gain a wide range of skills with an LA degree, such as professional writing, research, reasoning, insight and critique, behavioral analysis, and many more. With these, graduates can join the workforce through any industry, and any role would be a great fit. Even IT firms hire LA graduates because of their strong background in communication and engagement, social science, behavioral science, and psychology. They even make great managers and leaders because of their great hindsight, foresight, collaborative spirit, and empathy.
THE THREE BEST SCHOOLS FOR AN ONLINE LIBERAL ARTS DEGREE
University of New Mexico
: Albuquerque, NM 87131
: (505) 277-0111
The University of New Mexico offers the online Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts (BALA) degree to be completed in four years, especially with UNM’s accelerated courses. It requires the completion of 120 credit units for graduation, including 51 credit units allotted for major courses. A GPA of 2.0 must be attained in every major course. Additionally, the program also requires the following for graduation: the maintenance of a 2.0 overall GPA, a graduation essay, and a residency amounting to a minimum of 15 credit units.
The curriculum is highly customizable to suit any student’s preferred learning areas. Students are strongly encouraged to seek the help of Liberal Arts and Integrative Studies (LAIS) advisor in choosing the courses.
The cost of attendance is $383.30 per credit unit, regardless of residency. Other fees may apply.
University of Southern Mississippi
: 118 College Drive, Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001
The University of Southern Mississippi’s bachelor’s program for Liberal Studies is offered online and takes between 2 and 4 years to complete. It requires the completion of 120 course credits, which includes 40 credits for major courses.
The curriculum is divided into several learning areas such as natural science, mathematics, social science, behavioral science, aesthetics, humanities, and communications. The program culminates with a capstone requirement. Students can choose a minimum of 18 course credits worth of electives.
The cost of attendance is $383.59, regardless of residency. Other fees may apply.
: 700 University Ave, Syracuse, NY 13244
The online Liberal Studies program at Syracuse University requires 120 credit units for graduation. It allows students to customize their learning plans, and they also have the option to take the classes fully online (with the option for accelerated pathway or weekend class delivery) or in a hybrid format.
Students learn advanced composition skills, humanities, social science, natural science, mathematical reasoning, and analyzing ethical and social issues, to name a few. Students are also allowed to take electives outside the department, with a maximum of 24 credit units to be completed.
Transfer students may have up to 90 course credits counted towards the degree. CLEP testing is also accepted for professionals with a prior learning experience. A maximum of 30 credits may be granted towards the degree.
The cost of attendance is $695 per credit unit for part-time students. Full-time students are billed differently. The breakdown of costs for full-time students can be found here.
Online Media Communications Programs
A degree in media communications teaches students to harness the power of electronics and digital communication technologies to communicate and engage various types of audiences. What sets it apart from journalism or a communications degree is that a media communications curriculum focuses on new media, technologies, and strategies used to publish stories or broadcast news. It is also a holistic program that teaches students basic industry skills such as composition, research, speech communication, video production, editing, visual storytelling, and photography. These skills can be used in various related fields such as advertising, marketing, copywriting, photojournalism, investigative journalism, digital reporting, corporate communications, campaign strategies, and many others.
THE THREE BEST SCHOOLS FOR AN ONLINE MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS DEGREE
Arizona State University
: Tempe, AZ
When it comes to online degrees, Arizona State University is one of the leaders in this delivery format. The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Media continuously produces highly esteemed Pulitzer prize-winning journalists and writers. The school is a constant recipient of the Hearst Journalism Awards and the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for investigative reporting and social issues.
The degree requires 120 credit units for graduation, with an option to fast-track the program to shorten the completion rate to 3 years (from the traditional four years). The curriculum allows for versatility in course choices, with more than half of the required credit units allotted for elective courses (63 units to be exact, or 21 courses). There are many options on the elective courses catalog, including more than ten courses on digital media and new media.
The program rolls out only every spring and fall term. The cost of attendance is $570.75 per credit unit for residents and $665.50 per credit unit for non-residents.
Full Sail University
: 3300 University Boulevard, Winter Park, Florida 32792
Full Sail University in Florida takes a different approach to its online Media Communications program. It employs a project-based approach to teach students important industry skills. It divides its curriculum into two cores: New Media Tools and Integrated Marketing.
The New Media Tools curriculum features skill-based courses like Storytelling in the Entertainment, Media and Gaming Industries, Media Communication and Technologies, New Media Tools, Advanced Audio and Video, New Media Formats, Graphic Design, and Web Design and Editing, to name some. The GE courses are carefully selected to complement the skill-based courses, such as Psychology, Composition, Aesthetics, Mathematics, and Physical Science.
The Integrated Marketing core teaches students the entrepreneurial side of media communications. It teaches them to navigate the complexities of the digital platform. Some examples of skills to gain under this core are media strategy, entrepreneurship, collaboration, digital marketing, and the ethics and logic behind digital intellectual property.
The program requires 120 course credits for graduation. It takes 29 months to complete. The cost of attendance is $533 per credit unit, regardless of residency and enrollment status.
: 3601 N. Military Trail, Boca Raton, FL 33431
Lynn University in Boca Racon offers an online bachelor’s program in media communications that expose students to the industry’s emerging technologies and techniques. Skills gained from the program can be used to carve careers in mass media, public relations, strategy, advertising, politics, social media marketing, and business or corporate communications. The program is recognized by tech giant Apple for its innovative educational practices.
The program requires the completion of 120 course credits for graduation. It has three start dates within the academic calendar and can be completed in four years or less. The cost of attendance is $325 per credit unit, regardless of residency. An annual student fee of $200 is billed on top of the tuition fee, covering the technology fees and other costs.
Online Military Studies Programs
A degree in military studies is not only for active members of the military or aspiring servicemen and women. Civilians who are targeting a career in government work, like intelligence or security advisement, politics, public service, law enforcement, corporate leadership, upper management, project management, defense contracting, investigative work, and other similar roles can benefit from the sharp and thematic curriculum of any military studies program.
Military strategies and concepts are applicable not just in military or police operations. These concepts can also be applied to civilian work. One can learn a lot from military leaders of the past, motivations for going to war, the implications of war, and so on. It provides students a real-life picture of how powerful human motivations can be and how intertwined the world is, with one or few events creating a global domino effect. Military studies programs can help students develop precise and accurate strategies in the face of crises, whether global, local or corporate.
THE THREE BEST SCHOOLS FOR AN ONLINE MILITARY STUDIES DEGREE
American Military University
: W. Congress St., Charles Town, WV 25414: 877-755-2787
American Military University (AMU) offers an online bachelor’s program in Military History that requires 120 credit units for graduation. The courses commence every month, with a duration of two to four months each. The program takes four years or less.
Students can choose between two concentrations, American Military History or General Concentration. The former contains courses on the different periods in American history, with emphasis on war periods. The latter focuses entirely on war periods involving both the US and other countries. Besides the Ancient Military History course, Readings in Military Leadership and Readings in Military Philosophy are also offered.
The cost of attendance is $285 per credit unit. Active military members enjoy a discounted rate of $250 per credit unit at AMU, a American Public University System member.
: 7 Columbia Circle, Albany, NY 12203-5159 : 1.888.647.2388
Excelsior College’s online Military Leadership program focuses on training students on the different leadership styles, especially those that apply to today’s multi-faceted organizations and issues. The program highlights the relevance of DIME – diplomatic, information, military and economic – in various scenarios, such as in war or military operations, cyber warfare, biological warfare, and other global crises.
Both service members and civilians can benefit from this program. One of the most important skills to be gained is a global perspective on various matters backed by sound military principles. This soft skill can be applied to roles in research, defense contracting, military or leadership strategies, behavioral analysis, and other roles related to leadership, strategy, middle management, and human resource management.
Some of the program’s featured courses include Military Leadership Skills for the 21st Century, Conflict Management and Human Motivation. The curriculum also requires students to take courses under the following vital learning areas: Military Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, and Terrorism/Counterterrorism.
The program requires the completion of 120 course credits for graduation. The program takes up to four years. Transfer students can have as many as 117 credits transferred and counted towards the degree. The cost of attendance is $510 per credit unit. Servicemembers can enjoy a reduced rate of $250 per credit unit. Other fees may apply.
Eastern Washington University
: 526 5th St, Cheney, WA 99004, United States
Eastern Washington University’s online Military Science program focuses on developing practical and actual military skills and tactics, some of which involve laboratory exercises. The program requires the completion of 120 course units for graduation. The program is primarily designed for students aspiring to have a military career, whether on the battleground, or administrative, intelligence, or doing advisement work for the government.
About a dozen courses from the required core focus on developing basic military skills like physical fitness, stress management, comprehension of military concepts like navigation, map reading, team building, military science and tactics, technical communication, officership, and leadership. The curriculum also offers both required and elective courses that can benefit both service members and civilians. These can also be declared as minors or pursued as certificate degrees. The electives are grouped as follows:
- The Application of Leadership
- Cultural Awareness
- U.S. Government and Policy
- Geographic Information Systems (highly recommended, helps with reconnaissance activities)
- Health Services Management
Students can pick up to two courses from the chosen elective group.
Despite the curriculum being heavy on the military side, civilians can still use this degree to break into the related industry of their minor or certificate. And they have the leverage of having basic military training as well.
The cost of attendance is $235 per credit unit, regardless of residency. Other fees may apply.
Online Ministry Programs
A career in ministry is a vocation. Earning a bachelor’s degree in Ministry is a good way to receive holistic education while concentrating on the essential learnings required of an aspiring minister or church pastor. And it also requires the completion of an undergraduate program to instill important skills such as mastery of the bible, religious counseling, leadership, organizational management, and other ministry works.
Getting a bachelor’s degree in Ministry is the first step into becoming an ordained and licensed minister. After completing the undergraduate degree, most aspiring ministers go on to undertake advanced degrees before ordination. Other career options for Ministry graduates include church leaders or pastors or directors, public speakers, life coaches, biblical or catechetical teachers, and theological researchers, to name some.
THE THREE BEST SCHOOLS FOR AN ONLINE MINISTRY DEGREE
: 1 University Drive, Campbellsville KY 42718
: (888) 506-6011
Campbellsville University offers an online program in Pastoral Ministries that provides a holistic education for aspiring ministers, church leaders, and reverends. The curriculum features courses that focus on the study of the Old Testament and the New Testament and
The program needs 120 credit units for graduation. Courses run for eight weeks on self-paced learning and are completed in four years. The school also welcomes transfer students. The cost of attendance is $399 per credit unit, regardless of residency. Other fees may apply.
Grace Christian University
: 1011 Aldon St SW, Wyoming, MI 49509
: (616) 538-2330
The online bachelor’s program in Leadership and Ministry from Grace Christian University requires 120 course units for graduation. The curriculum has a pre-set course list, with 21 units allotted for electives. Some highlight courses include a course on computer literacy and personal financial management (under the general core), a course on the letters of St. Paul, volunteerism, dispensationalism, and perspectives on wealth and poverty in the context of theology and religion.
The program can be completed in 24 months with its accelerated format. The cost of attendance is $440 per credit unit. Other fees may apply. Transfer credits and prior learning experiences are accepted.
: 13895 Highway 27, Lake Wales, Florida 33859
: (863) 638-1426
Warner University’s online bachelor’s program in Church Ministry is a 120-credit-unit program that can be completed in four years. Its curriculum highlights important skills such as biblical interpretation, Christian missioning, educating evangelism, and servant leadership, which is a great approach to tackle the skill and value of leadership in the context of the congregation or the church.
The program is also offered as an associate’s degree, with 60 required credit units for completion. The cost of attendance for both programs is $480 per credit unit. A technology fee of $100 per semester is also billed on top of the tuition fee.
Online Music Programs
The value of an online degree in Music is usually underestimated. While it is true that one can learn many of the hard skills on their own, schools deliver a holistic approach to the discipline. Music programs expose students to integrating their talent and knowledge in music with other disciplines, such as business, marketing, advertising, education, psychology, information technology, film and mass media, and many more.
The demonstration of skill or audition is an admission requirement for most music programs, although some schools accept students without it. Regardless, it is still highly recommended that students apply to such programs only if they have sufficient musical background, as it may be difficult for novice learners to cope and get by.
THE THREE BEST SCHOOLS FOR AN ONLINE MUSIC DEGREE
Berklee College of Music
Online Bachelor of Arts in Music
: 855 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02116
The Berklee College of Music is the gold standard for music programs, whether in-campus or online. Berklee’s online music programs offer various majors that expose students to all the important aspects of learning, composing, arranging, and marketing music. The curriculum will be dependent on the student’s declared major, which could be:
- Music Production
- Music Business
- Songwriting and Producing Music
- Electronic Music Production and Sound Design
- Interdisciplinary Music Studies
- Guitar Performance
- Music Composition for Film, TV, and Game
Applicants to the last three majors above are required to submit a demo in the form of a recorded video performance of either a cover or original composition. Original compositions require a notation. Demo submissions must be uploaded online. The link to the upload must be stated in the application form.
All online music programs require the completion of 120 credit units for graduation. All programs require a culminating capstone project. The cost of attendance starts at $1,497 per credit unit. Other fees may apply.
Fort Hays State University
: 600 Park Street Hays, KS 67601-4099
: 785-628-FHSU (3478)
At Fort Hays State University, its online bachelor’s offering for the Music program requires the completion of 120 credit units for graduation. Its curriculum focuses on the theatrical aspects of music. For example, within the required courses, there are two courses on Group Piano, Aural Skills, and a course on Large Ensemble. These are essential skills for orchestral performance. Additionally, 12 units are allotted to the Performing Arts core, including theater, film, art, and musical styles.
Students can choose from these four concentrations:
- Composition, with courses like Arranging and Production
- Jazz Studies, with courses like Improvisation and Jazz Ensemble
- Music Theatre, with courses like Acting, Rehearsals, Performance, and Diction
The cost of attendance is $181.46 for regional residents, $250.50 for students under the MSEP Reciprocity program, and $529.68 for non-residents. All rates are on a per-credit unit basis. Other fees may apply.
Virginia Wesleyan University
: 5817 Wesleyan Drive, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23455
: (844) 382-5052
Virginia State University (VSU) offers an online degree in Music that focuses on emerging technologies and their application in the field. The required core curriculum features courses on piano skills, different levels of musicianship, music history, and the digital music sub-core. Under this group, students will take courses on music technology, digital music composition, and recording and learn to use the popular software Ableton Live. The program culminates with a capstone project, which could be a performance or a submission of an original composition.
Students must complete 120 credit units for graduation. The program can be completed within four years. The cost of attendance is $399 per credit unit, regardless of residency. Transfer students can have as many as 96 credits counted towards the program.
Online Philosophy Programs
A bachelor’s degree in Philosophy teaches students to think critically and creatively, communicate coherently, analyze with depth, and argue logically and soundproof. It teaches valuable soft skills that apply to any industry and in any role, especially entry-level roles.
Philosophy graduates can carve careers in any of the following fields or industries: research, authorship, political or historical analysis, business or organizational management and leadership, academe, information technology (machine learning and A.I. development), ministry work, politics, strategy, human resources, behavioral management, and many more. Additionally, students who are on track to pursue an MBA or a law degree can use a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy to ace the GRE, LSAT, or GMAC exams. The degree has been proven to be a good springboard in getting into these graduate programs.
THE THREE BEST SCHOOLS FOR AN ONLINE PHILOSOPHY DEGREE
Portland State University
: 1825 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97201
The online undergraduate program at Portland State University is conferred either as a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree. The B.A. track focuses on liberal arts courses like performing arts, social science, and foreign languages. The B.S. track focuses more on science (with lab) and mathematics subjects. Additionally, the B.S. track curriculum allots more units for electives. Some featured courses in the program include logic, ethics in business, environment, biomedicine, philosophy of medicine, law, mind, language, and international human rights.
The program consists of 180 credit units. The cost of attendance starts at $692.40 per credit unit. Students under the Western Exchange Program (WUE) are billed $982 per credit unit, while non-residents are billed $1952.40 per credit unit. Other fees may apply.
American Public University
: W. Congress Street, Charles Town, WV 25414
The online B.A. in Philosophy program at American Public University exposes students to the pillars of the discipline through the required courses on metaphysics, epistemology, existentialism, and period-based philosophies like ancient philosophy, medieval philosophy, modern and post-modern (post-industrial and scientific revolution) philosophies.
The program also offers four concentrations that students can go into, these are:
- Legal Theory
Thus, graduates of this program can venture into any career field or industry, armed with viable and transferrable soft skills.
The program has a 120-unit requirement for graduation. Students can transfer up to 90 credit units earned elsewhere and have them counted towards the degree. The cost of attendance is $285 per credit unit. A fast-track option is also available. With courses starting monthly, the program can be completed in as little as two years.
University of Tennessee – Martin
: 554 University Street, Martin, TN 38238
: 800.829.UTM1 / 731.881.7000
The online undergraduate Philosophy program at the University of Tennessee Martin (UTM) tackles every known philosophy or thought known to man, not just ethics or period-based philosophies. Courses like God and happiness, love and sexuality, philosophy and film, philosophy and religion, phenomenology, and feminist studies attempt to present the discipline from a new and non-conventional perspective.
Students might also enjoy courses on symbolic logic (think Dan Brown’s “Angels and Demons”), elementary logic, and UTM’s proprietary two-level course, ‘The Adventure of Ideas,’ which is part of the required core.
To graduate, students should earn at least 120 credit units. The required number of units for each core must also be followed. The cost of attendance for residents is $426 per credit unit and $463 per credit unit for non-residents. Other fees may apply.
Online Political Science Programs
A degree in political science is not just for aspiring public servants, political pundits, or aspiring lawyers. Other career options for political science graduates include policy making, lobbying, government advisement, research, academe, international affairs or foreign service, diplomacy, advocacy, campaign strategy, public relations, and speech writing. They can also break into private or corporate practice. Aside from a law career, they can also work as communication strategists, regulatory and compliance liaisons, recruiters or human resources, and PR specialists, especially for large companies.
Political science programs teach students advanced-level composition, debate skills, public speaking skills, historical, philosophical, and political theories and analyses, local and international laws and policies, economics, and research skills. All these skills can be applied to any role in any industry, private or government.
THE THREE BEST SCHOOLS FOR AN ONLINE POLITICAL SCIENCE DEGREE
University of North Georgia
: 82 College Cir, Dahlonega, GA 30597
The online bachelor’s program in Political Science at the University of North Georgia takes a holistic approach to the discipline. Aside from traditional courses on topics like the American government or comparative politics, the program also has courses on business legalities, global ethics, journalism, and criminal justice.
The program is flexible, with about half of the curriculum devoted to electives, both free and relevant to major courses. Students can tailor-fit their curriculum according to their preferred concentration. There are two concentrations to choose from – the Pre-Law concentration and the American Politics concentration. Students also can undertake an internship, which could be credited towards the degree (up to nine credits maximum). An International immersion or study is also an option.
The program requires 120 units for graduation. Residents’ attendance cost is $336.53 per credit unit and $808.47 per credit unit for non-residents. Other mandatory fees are included in the rate.
University of Illinois – Springfield
: One University Plaza, Springfield, Illinois 62703-5407
The online bachelor’s program in Political Science from the University of Illinois Springfield is curated with aspiring law students and policymakers in mind. Some of the curriculum’s law-intensive courses include the American legal system, the American jury, trial advocacy, legislative politics, appellate advocacy, the Supreme Court, the Constitution, civil liberties, and international law.
For students set on a career in public policy, several courses will heighten their interest in the career path. These courses include topics on national security issues, LGBTQ law, politics, education and public policy, military conflict, foreign policy, immigration issues, and terrorism, to name a few.
Students must complete at least 120 units for graduation. The cost of attendance is $316.75 per credit unit for residents and $637.25 per credit for non-residents. Other fees may apply.
Southern New Hampshire University
: 2500 North River Road, Manchester, NH 03106
New Hampshire is home to the first presidential primary that kicks off the election season. Southern New Hampshire University takes advantage of this opportunity to incorporate this unique experience and perspective in its course offerings under the undergraduate Political Science program.
The curriculum of this 120-unit baccalaureate program offers major elective courses on relevant governance topics such as ethics in public administration, municipal operations, public fiscal management, and disaster recovery and response. Students interested in the optics and workings of political campaigns may take courses on public relations, communications, social media strategy, political parties and donors, and the essentials of running a campaign (fundraising, mobilization, and strategy).
The cost of attendance is $320 per credit unit, regardless of residency. Other fees may apply.
Online Public Administration Programs
A degree in Public Administration is one of the few courses that is aimed at aspiring leaders. The advantage of a public administration program over other degrees of the same nature, say, organizational leadership, is that the skills learned from the former are also transferrable to roles in the private sector. Conversely, if one is a graduate of the latter and would like to transition to the public sector, they would have to take additional courses or training to be exposed to the intricacies of civil service. Skills like managing public funds, policy development and execution, fundraising, ethics, and human resources management in the public sector can all be applied to both public sector and corporate roles. Additionally, graduates of this program can pursue advanced studies with a Master’s in Public Administration degree to further their careers.
THE THREE BEST SCHOOLS FOR AN ONLINE PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION DEGREE
Mount Vernon Nazarene University
: 800 Martinsburg Road, Mount Vernon, OH 43050
The online bachelor’s program in Public Administration at Mount Vernon Nazarene University in Ohio has a well-rounded curriculum that imparts students’ essential hard and soft skills. Equipping them to be ready for any entry-level role in any industry, whether public or private, after graduation.
The curriculum’s required core includes courses on the theories of politics, fundamentals of policymaking, spreadsheet use and techniques, accounting fundamentals, economics, management techniques, leadership strategies, behavioral analysis, and civic work and engagement.
Students need to complete 120 credit units for graduation. The program can be completed in as little as 21 months, especially if transfer credits are counted towards the degree (maximum of 90 credit units). Courses run for five weeks at a time. The cost of attendance is $398 per credit unit, regardless of residency. Other fees may apply.
Granite State College
: 25 Hall Street, Concord, NH 03301
Granite State College in New Hampshire offers a four-year online bachelor’s program for Public Administration. With a requirement of 120 credit units for graduation, the curriculum has been updated in 2021 with additional courses on public sector management such as budgeting, human resources, and policy.
The program also offers courses on data analytics, change management, statistics, the use of spreadsheets, and many other similar courses that can be useful both in public sector management and in corporate work.
The cost of attendance is $314 per credit unit for residents and $365 per credit unit for non-residents. Other fees may apply. Transfer credits and prior learning experience can be counted towards the degree. A maximum of 90 credits may be counted for transfer.
Upper Iowa University
: Fayette, Iowa
Unlike the other Public Administration programs in this list, which focus more on hard skills for back-office work, this online offering from Upper Iowa University focuses on developing civil professionals’ disaster and risk management skills.
The program requires 120 credit units for graduation and offers four areas of concentration:
- General, which focuses on fundamental public administration skills like policy-making and office management at the local and state levels
- Policy and Politics, which focuses on the fundamentals of political theory and its application to national level policy making and implementation
- Fire Science or Law Enforcement, which focuses on building relevant skills as a first respondent in disaster (specifically, fire) or felonious situations while gaining skills in documentation, drafting, and implementation of policies for disaster, risk, and crime management
- Emergency Management, similar to the preceding concentration, also hones skills in building and implementing policies for natural disasters and risk control and management.
The program is offered as a self-paced delivery through correspondence or asynchronous web learning. Courses run for eight weeks, with multiple start dates within the year. The cost of attendance is $498 per credit unit, regardless of residency. Other fees may apply.
Online Public Policy Programs
The difference between a degree in Public Policy versus one in Public Administration is the focus. Public policy focuses specifically on the intricacies of policymaking, from research and hypothesis formulation to pilot testing the feasibility of the proposed policy to drafting the final policies itself and analyzing public perception on it. In contrast, a degree in public administration takes a broader approach to civic and government work, focusing on policy implementation and other responsibilities.
A typical public policy program curriculum has courses on contemporary issues, research methods and statistics, mathematics, and basic information systems, which are foundational skills for policy research and creation. Some schools curate their PP curricula to include overlapping courses with PA courses to provide PP students with a balanced and holistic curriculum while maintaining a concentration on public policy.
Some career options for PP graduates include legislation (either as a team member or leader, and either national, state, federal, or local level), government work, advisement work or consultancy, paralegal, advocacy, lobbying, and research.
THE THREE BEST SCHOOLS FOR AN ONLINE PUBLIC POLICY DEGREE
: 320 N. DuPont Hwy, New Castle, DE 19720
Wilmington University’s Public Policy program takes a complete approach to the discipline. By adding law and political science elements to the 120-unit curriculum, students are then armed with the theoretical and legal foundations they will need to create sound policies.
The program combines legal and research writing courses, computer management, statistics, and economics to build foundational policy-making skills. Students then must choose one among the concentrations below:
- Legal Studies Concentration. This is suitable for those keen on pursuing a Juris Doctor degree, or a career in paralegal work
- Government and Public Policy Concentration. Students are exposed to various issues and existing policies in various sectors such as healthcare, social welfare, economic, environmental, securities compliance, intellectual property, national security, cybersecurity, and food and drugs, among others.
- Political Science concentration. This combines the most relevant skills from the legal studies track and the public policy track, such as knowledge of the law, creating policies, and other soft skills like analysis, research, composition, and communication (verbal and written). This track is suitable for students who would like the flexibility of working either for the government or the private sector after graduation.
The program is delivered in-classroom, via hybrid format, or purely online. Synchronous and asynchronous learning is available for the online format of the program. The cost of attendance is $390 per credit unit, regardless of residency. Other fees may apply.
St. Petersburg College
: P.O. Box 13489, St. Petersburg, FL
St. Petersburg College’s Public Policy and Administration focuses on equipping students with the skills needed for policy creation and implementation. Students must complete at least 120 credit units to graduate. A work experience or immersion is required to culminate the program.
Some featured courses in the program’s curriculum include computer literacy and management information systems, research methods, the U.S. Constitution, communication strategies in emergency and crises, urban and regional planning, negotiation, international law and policy, and many others that will equip any student for any government work in any capacity. These learnings and skills can be applied to corporate work, with the advantage of having a solid political science and legal background.
The cost of attendance starts at $111.75 per credit unit for residents taking general education courses. Non-residents are charged $386.90 per credit unit for the same. For major courses, tuition for residents is $122.70 per credit unit and $425.79 for non-residents. Other fees may apply.
St. Catherine University
: 2004 Randolph Ave, St. Paul, MN 55105
: 800-945-4599 / 651-690-6000
St. Catherine University in Minnesota offers the online Public Policy bachelor’s program through its College for Women. The faculty helming the program are all women, which provides an interesting and relevant perspective on public policy. The program accepts male and female students.
The curriculum emphasizes exposing students to contemporary issues affecting various sectors like families, communities, and individuals, especially women. With courses like economics, cost-benefit analysis, financial management, and research skills, students will be equipped to study today’s issues and create and propose sound policies based on their research.
The cost of attendance is $1,425 per credit unit, regardless of residency. Other fees may apply.
Online Social Science Programs
A degree in Social Science is as versatile as a degree in political science, humanities, and liberal arts. While the foundation is based on the study of human behavior and relationships, it also imparts skills that could take its graduates to do non -profit research, social work, advocacy, and other evidence-based community work. In the private sector, Social Science graduates are sought after in human resource management roles and, to some extent, middle management roles because of their broad perspective on human behavior and their ability to engage and rally groups of people for a common cause or goal.
Most Social Science curricula are flexible, allowing students to use electives to curate their path according to their preferences or career goals.
THE THREE BEST SCHOOLS FOR AN ONLINE SOCIAL SCIENCE DEGREE
California State University – San Bernardino
: University Parkway, San Bernardino, CA 92407
: (909) 537-5000
CalState San Bernardino offers a bachelor’s program in Social Sciences that can be taken entirely online. The curriculum is highly customizable, with the option to pursue specialization tracks according to student preferences.
Since social science is a broad discipline, the curriculum offers the following concentrations to strengthen students’ background and skills:
- Political Science, which could benefit students who aspire to go into policy-making roles or advocacy roles,
- Economics, which could benefit students who aspire to go into socio-economic research,
- Geography, which could benefit students who aspire to do community work and cultural research.
Students are required to complete 120 credit units for graduation. Students can accelerate their online learnings since courses run for only seven weeks each. The program itself is already on an accelerated path, which can be completed in two years, more or less. The cost of attendance is $420 per credit unit, regardless of residency.
Southeast Missouri State University
: One University Plaza, Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701
: 573 651-2000
At Southeast Missouri State University (SEMO), the Social Science program is flexible and can be taken remotely. This 120-unit program can be completed in as little as six semesters (fall, spring, and summer), with multiple start dates and fast-track online courses.
The curriculum’s required core consists of various courses on statistics to cater to every research objective: elementary statistics, behavioral statistics, business statistics, and social science statistics. Students need only choose one. Students can then choose a concentration from the following specialization areas:
- Political Science
- Criminal Justice
Students can still choose two major electives from any other areas of specialization that were not chosen as the concentration. For example, if a student chooses to specialize in Sociology, suggested major electives could be under the Anthropology and Psychology group of courses to complement the chosen concentration.
The cost of attendance is $317.50 per credit unit, regardless of residency. Other fees may apply.
Kansas State University-Global Campus
: 010 Anderson Hall, 919 Mid-Campus Drive North, Manhattan, KS 66506-0100
At Kansas State University, the online undergraduate Social Science program requires the completion of 120 units. The program is fully delivered online with a highly customizable curriculum.
There are 45 units allotted for electives. This is on top of the chosen concentrations, in which students are allowed to choose four from any of the nine specializations below:
- Mass Communications
- Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies
- Political Science
Suggested combinations could be Sociology, Anthropology, Economics, and Geography for students interested in combining research and applied for social work. Another combination could be Mass Communications, Psychology, Sexuality Studies, and Anthropology for students geared towards corporate work in roles like public relations, human resource management, communications strategy, or corporate leadership.
The cost of attendance is $401.90 per credit hour, regardless of residency. Other fees may apply.
Online Social Work Programs
How does a degree in Social Work differ from a degree in Social Science? The discipline of Social Science encompasses more specific fields like Social Work and Sociology (not the other way around). A degree in Social Work greatly focuses on the practical application of Social Science concepts into community work or working with families or individuals to resolve the a
A typical Social Work curriculum will involve topics on fundamental skills like field research, understanding human behavior in the context of groups and larger societies, understanding the issues that affect every sector of the society, and learning strategies to approach such issues and help the affected individuals cope. Career options include counseling for substance abuse, mental health, family and child issues, age-targeted counseling, treatment facilities counseling and management, nursing home counseling and management, research, charity work, and advocacy.
THE THREE BEST SCHOOLS FOR AN ONLINE SOCIAL WORK DEGREE
University of Louisville
: 2301 S. 3rd St. Belknap Campus, Louisville, KY 40292
The University of Louisville offers an online bachelor’s program in Social Work that requires 120 credit units for graduation. The curriculum allows 23 credit hours for electives, while the rest of the units are spread out in GE courses, the required core, and major courses.
Some of the course highlights of the program include Issues and Policies in Service Delivery, Social Justice Practice (which are both parts of the required core), Substance Use and Disorders, Mental Health, Issues in Addiction Counselling, and Motivation and Change, among others. The curriculum requires students to take four levels of practicum courses. The last practicum course should be with a treatment facility for substance abuse.
The cost of attendance is $508 per credit hour, regardless of residency. Active service members are billed half the rate at $250 per credit unit.
: 100 S Washington Ave Suite 1210, Minneapolis, MN 55401
At Walden University, the online program for Social Work requires the completion of 182 quarter credits. The school observes a quarter-based calendar. Thus, the program can be completed at an accelerated pace, especially with the school’s 130-unit maximum credit transfer policy.
Some of the curriculum’s featured courses include Policy and Advocacy, Diversity and Multiculturism, and three levels of Generalist Practice courses, from individuals and families to groups, organizations, and communities. Students must also complete two levels of Field Seminar or practicum under the wings of a licensed social worker.
The program is accredited by the CSWE – Council on Social Work Education. The cost of attendance is $325 per quarter-hour. Other fees may apply.
Wayne State University
: 5447 Woodward Avenue, Detroit MI, 48202
: (313) 577-4409
Wayne State University’s online undergraduate Social Work program requires the completion of 120 credit units for graduation. The program is accredited by the CWSE – Council on Social Work Education. Students can also choose to minor in Social Justice for a more rigorous and socially relevant curriculum.
The Social Work curriculum includes the following courses in its required core: Diversity, Oppression and Social Justice, Youth Delinquency and Juvenile Justice, Effects of Substance Abuse on Physical and Social Functioning, LGBTQ Health and Well-being, Violence Prevention and Intervention, Understanding Suicide and Early Childhood Special Education.
The electives are grouped as follows:
- African American Studies
- Criminal Justice
- Gender and Sexuality Studies
- Peace and Conflict Studies
- Political Science
Students are required to take internship or field experience courses to culminate the program and graduate. The cost of attendance for residents is $412.53 per credit unit, $453.78 per credit unit for regional non-resident students, and $944.87 per credit unit for other undergraduate students. A one-time matriculation fee of $250 will be charged to newcomers and transfer students. Other fees may apply.
Online Sociology Programs
How does a degree in Sociology differ from Social Science and Social Work degrees? A Sociology degree is similar to a Social Work degree. Both are subsets under the Social Science discipline. While Social Work involves the practical application of Social Science, Sociology focuses on research and analysis, backed by the discipline’s theories and foundational concepts. And unlike in Social Work programs where a practicum or field immersion is always required to culminate the program, with Sociology, since its focus is on research, a capstone research project is required instead.
Some career options for Sociology graduates include community work, organizational work as a researcher, government work as an advisor or consultant for social issues, hospitals and treatment facility managers, counselors or evaluators, and social services. Aside from research, Sociology graduates can also work as case managers for welfare services, organizational managers or leaders, probation officers, administrators, and counselors.
THE THREE BEST SCHOOLS FOR AN ONLINE SOCIOLOGY DEGREE
: 650 Maryville University Drive St. Louis, MO 63141
Maryville University’s online undergraduate program in Sociology requires the completion of 120 credit units for graduation. It allows students to choose a specialization track depending on their preference or passion. These specializations are:
- General, allowing students to take courses on a variety of disciplines,
- Criminology, with a focus on law enforcement and the prevention of crime and other felonious acts within communities,
- Social Justice, with a focus on substance abuse issues, mental health issues, and other socioeconomic issues affecting communities, and,
- Social Work, similar to social justice but with a narrower focus on families and individuals.
The program has three start dates. Transfer credits can count towards the degree. The cost of attendance is $500 per credit unit, regardless of residency. Other fees may apply.
Louisiana State University
: 340 E. Parker Boulevard, Baton Rouge, LA 70808
At Louisiana State University (LSU), the undergraduate program in sociology can be fully taken online. It requires the completion of 120 credit units for graduation.
The curriculum exposes students to a holistic education with a focus on social studies. The general courses range from the natural sciences, mathematics, humanities, and art to foreign languages like Spanish. Some featured courses include Psychology, Statistical Analysis, Sociological Research Methods, Sociology of Deviance, Constitutional Law, Criminology, and Political Communication.
The cost of attendance is $379 per credit unit, regardless of residency. Other fees may apply.
: 11255 N. Torrey Pines Rd., La Jolla, CA 92037
Online courses run for four weeks at National University (NU), each with multiple start dates within the year. Students can fast-track their studies, like NU’s online program in Sociology. The program requires 120 credits, but NU’s accelerated online format can be completed in less than four years.
Some featured courses in the curriculum include Marriage, Sex, and the Family, Organizational Sociology, and Power and Social Change. Transfer credits are accepted and can be counted towards the degree. The cost of attendance is $370 per quarter unit, regardless of residency. Other fees may apply.
Online Telecommunications Programs
A degree in telecommunications is a liberal arts study in nature. Albeit highly technical, such a program is built on liberal arts and humanities courses like natural science, higher-level mathematics, philosophy, composition, economics, and statistics. As a student progresses through this program, the courses become highly specialized to conform to the demands of the career field.
Although the career prospects involve highly specialized roles, these are highly in-demand with promising job growth projections and high-paying annual salaries as reported by the BLS. And with industries rapidly adapting to digitalization and automation of processes and cloud infrastructure, the demand for IT professionals specializing in networks and telecommunications across industries is steadily growing.
THE THREE BEST SCHOOLS FOR AN ONLINE TELECOMMUNICATIONS DEGREE
St. John’s University
: 8000 Utopia Parkway, Queens, NY 11439
St. John’s University in New York offers a bachelor’s degree in networking and telecommunications via a fully online format. The program requires 120 credit units, and the curriculum is a mixture of liberal arts courses and highly technical and specialized required courses.
These required courses include computer programming, digital forensics, networking essentials like routers, switches, wireless networking and design, security, and Voice Over IP (VoIP) technology. Students will get to experience St. John’s state-of-the-art workstations equipped with both PC and Mac machines so that students can apply their learnings on these two different operating systems or platforms.
The cost of attendance is $1,482 per credit unit, regardless of residency. Other fees may apply.
: 100 Summit Lake Road, Valhalla, NY 10595
Pace University partners with the National Alliance for Communications Technology Education and Learning (NACTEL) to deliver this Professional Technology Studies program. This is a fully online bachelor’s program with a concentration in Telecommunications.
Some of the featured courses in the program include topics on electric circuits, fiber optics technology, emerging broadband and wireless technologies, computer forensics, Python programming, and hardware repair and servicing. Students are required to culminate the program with a capstone project on any of the following combination of topics:
- Information Security AND UNIX Fundamentals OR Database Management Systems
- Database Management Systems AND PC Applications for Telecommunications OR Systems Development and Project Management
- Systems Development and Project Management AND Introduction to Project Manager
Students are required to complete 120 credit units for graduation. The cost of attendance is $1,347 per credit unit, regardless of residency. Other fees may apply.
Atlantic International University
: Pioneer Plaza, 900 Fort Street Mall #905, Honolulu, HI 96813
Atlantic International University (AIU) in Hawaii offers an online bachelor’s program in Telecommunications for aspiring network and telecommunications engineers, network infrastructure engineers and specialists, communication engineers, and other similar roles.
The program requires 120 credit units for graduation. Some of the program’s featured courses include engineering programming, circuits, systems, signals, signal processing, networks and system modeling, and many others. Aside from the fundamental courses on telecommunications, students are also required to take courses on calculus, differential equations, probability, random variables, and a course on Control Theory.
Students are required to present a thesis project to culminate the program. They are encouraged to publish their approved and duly defended theses online and in peer-reviewed journals. The cost of attendance is $250 per credit unit, regardless of residency. Other fees may apply.
Online Theology Programs
The difference between a degree in Ministry and Theology is that the former teaches its students how to lead a church or a congregation and all the “managerial” aspects. They also have a course or two in scriptures and theology, but the program’s scope is broader. On the other hand, theology greatly focuses on the study, analyses, interpretation, and preaching of the scriptures.
A career in ministry as a preacher or a pastor or a Bible Studies teacher are some of the options for Theology graduates. Missionary work, which usually involves many local and even international travel, is also a viable career – or vocation – option.
THE THREE BEST SCHOOLS FOR AN ONLINE THEOLOGY DEGREE
Moody Bible Institute
: 820 N. LaSalle Blvd., Chicago, IL 60610
Expect Moody Bible Institute to be on this list. Moody offers an online undergraduate program in Theology that requires 120 credit units for graduation. The curriculum can be customized to take courses under other disciplines for holistic Christian education.
Some of the featured courses of the program include topics on historical theology, philosophy, contemporary theology, theology during the Reformation, theology in the modern world, and spiritual formation. Some courses are only offered during a specific term, while some are available asynchronously, so it is best to check this guide for the complete course schedule.
The cost of attendance is $370 per credit unit, regardless of residency. Other fees may apply.
Franciscan University – Steubenville
: 1235 University Boulevard, Steubenville, Ohio 43952
: (740) 283-3771
Franciscan University’s undergraduate program in Theology is a fully online program that requires the completion of 120 credit units for graduation. The curriculum is highly customizable, with about half of the curriculum allotted to free electives.
As for the major courses, aside from the Christianity-intensive courses, students are also required to take liberal arts core courses such as literature, philosophy, American founding principles, history, social science, and natural science. A course on foreign language is also required.
The cost of attendance is $525 per credit unit, regardless of residency. Other fees may apply.
Saint Joseph’s College of Maine
: 278 Whites Bridge Road, Standish, ME 04084
The bachelor’s program in Theological Studies at Saint Joseph’s College is delivered fully online. The program requires 120 credit units to be completed for graduation. The curriculum can be customized, with 39 electives allotted for free electives and 15 credits allotted for Theological electives.
Among the required core, some of the featured courses include studies on the Sacraments, the New Testament, and the Old Testament. Some of the featured courses in the theological electives list include Judeo-Christian traditions, world religions, a thesis, and a practicum course, among many others.
The cost of attendance is $378 per credit unit, regardless of residency. Other fees may apply.
Online Writing Programs
The advantage of a degree in Writing is that it emphasizes developing students’ writing skills for any genre and audience. Unlike programs in Communications or English, which has a broader focus, or a degree in Journalism, which teaches writing and speaking but in the context of news, current affairs, and events, a degree in Writing focuses either on creative writing or technical writing.
Some career options for Writing graduates include technical writing (manual writing), content writing, theatrical writing, literary writing (both fiction and non-fiction), advertising, public relations, speech writing, news writing, and editing, to name a few.
THE THREE BEST SCHOOLS FOR AN ONLINE WRITING DEGREE
University of Arkansas – Little Rock
: 2801 S. University Avenue, Little Rock, Arkansas 72204
The University of Arkansas – Little Rock runs the undergraduate program in Professional and Technical Writing (PTW) online, with a required 120 credit units for completion. The program allows students to choose between two concentrations: Nonfiction Concentration and Technical Writing Concentration.
The courses of the Nonfiction and Technical Writing concentrations are identical. Similar courses include topics on research, persuasive writing, grant writing, and courses on ‘Technology of the Book’ and ‘Publishing Inside Out,’ among others. The Technical Writing concentration also offers additional electives on web writing, technical communication, legal writing, and writing for business and government purposes or correspondences.
The cost of attendance is $280 per credit unit, regardless of residency. Other fees may apply.
Missouri State University
: 901 S. National Ave., Springfield, MO 65897
Missouri State University offers an online program in Professional Writing with two tracks, the B.A. track, and the B.S. track. Both tracks require the completion of 120 credit units for graduation. The difference lies in the GE courses, while the required and major courses are identical for both tracks.
Some of the featured courses available for both B.S. and B.A. tracks include technical writing, electronic writing, scientific literature, writing and editing, web writing, and grant writing. A 3-unit internship is required, as well as courses on Fine Arts and Language.
The cost of attendance for residents starts at $257 per credit unit for lower-level courses and $320 per credit unit for higher-level courses. For non-residents, lower-level courses are billed at $550 per credit unit and $640 per credit unit for higher-level courses. Other fees may apply.
The New School
: West 12th Street, New York, NY 10011
The New School in New York offers an online undergraduate program in Creative Writing. It requires the completion of 120 credit units for graduation, with 30 units spent on courses in Literature and Creative Writing.
The curriculum focuses on literary writing for both non-fictional and fictional works. The Literature core discusses the works of contemporary authors, while the Workshop core tackles different literary forms, from poetry to novels, to non-fictional works, including journalistic pieces and translation. Students are also required to undertake a capstone project to culminate the program and a colloquium activity. After spending time with professionals in the field, students must submit a reflective essay about the experience.
The cost of attendance starts at $1,368 per credit unit, regardless of residency. Other fees may apply.