Top 10 Best Online Colleges in Massachusetts

Now more than ever universities are recognizing the need for flexibility in learning in order to allow students to pursue their career dreams while balancing a busy work and school schedule or while keeping other commitments like family. For this reason, it’s becoming easier to find fully accredited, fully online degree programs across the nation offered online. Major universities and colleges are participating in distance learning programs more and more and each one is unique in its degree offerings though all promise flexibility, support, and a quality education.


This particular Value Colleges Top 10 list highlights the best of the best as far as online learning in the state of Massachusetts. Tuition costs reflect the annual IPEDs listings simply because online tuition costs tend to vary program to program. Additionally, the schools are ranked by the number of fully online degree programs offered and each institution meets Value Colleges Best Value credentials with a solid ROI and institutional accreditation.


Northeastern University

Northeastern University is a private, experiential university, founded in 1898, and is globally recognized as a leading research institution located in Boston with five campuses and nine schools across North America. Northeastern is nationally ranked and accredited.

Northeastern University online offers a number of online associates, bachelor, master, and doctorate degree plus certificate programs. Rigorous online courses allow enrolled students to receive the same education as the traditional students on campus and Northeastern University is a nationally ranked, regionally accredited private, institution. The university boasts a number of fully online degrees including Bachelor degrees in Accounting and Finance, Education, Global Studies, or Data Science.

Annual Tuition:

Online Programs: 50


University of Massachusetts at Amherst

The University of Massachusetts at Amherst is nationally accredited and is New England’s largest public research university. Their online programs are an extension of the traditional campus and students can expect to get the same quality education online as they would on campus. All programs are designed to accommodate busy professionals and students or individuals who want to complete courses on their time remotely.

University of Massachusetts at Amherst online has fully online degrees such as a Bachelor of Arts in Sustainability Studies, Human Services, or Early Care and Education. All online classes, certificate programs and degrees require the same coursework and academic standards and are taught by the same faculty as the traditional campus. Additionally, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst online offers hundreds of online undergraduate and graduate classes for students not enrolled in a degree or certificate program.

Annual Tuition: $14,171

Online Programs: 28


University of Massachusetts at Lowell

The University of Massachusetts at Lowell prides itself in having over twenty years as a recognized leader in online education and has won national awards for excellence in distance learning. University of Massachusetts boasts one of the largest selection of online courses and degrees in the nation.

University of Massachusetts at Lowell online allows students to enroll year round and the accelerated courses allow enrollees to speed up or slow down their progress towards their degree, attending full or part time, in order to accommodate busy schedules or career timelines. All programs are accredited and follow the same rigorous coursework as traditional student receive on campus. Faculty and staff are available to assist students with their online needs plus 24/7 online support is available for all students. Fully online programs include, but are not limited to, Bachelor of Arts degrees in Liberal Arts and English, a Bachelor of Science degree Information Technology, plus master degree and certificate programs.

Annual Tuition: $13,427

Online Programs: 28


University of Massachusetts at Boston

University of Massachusetts at Boston is one of the oldest universities in Massachusetts and has been a leader in offering some of the most diverse programs in the state. The College of Advancing and Professional Studies, commonly referred to as CAPS, prides itself in leading University of Massachusetts of Boston to online excellence and is wholly responsible for making the universities high quality education available online. CAPS also manages the largest online summer school programs in all of New England.

The University of Massachusetts at Boston online offers fully online bachelor degree programs in a variety of subjects including a Bachelor of Arts in Global Affairs, plus graduate programs such as a Doctor of Nursing Practice, and a number of fully online certificate programs.

Annual Tuition: $12,682

Online Programs: 17


Boston University

For over 145 years Boston University has been a major pioneer in research innovation across the nation. Boston University online online’s programs bring the same renowned research programs from the classroom to the computer, making Boston University’s highly esteemed degree programs accessible to students worldwide. All courses online are taught by the same qualified faculty who teach on campus as well.

All students benefit by connecting with other online students across the globe in a variety of interactive ways. The university boasts a number of fully online degree programs including two master programs in Criminal Justice and Computer Information Systems.

Annual Tuition: $48,436

Online Programs: 16


University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth

University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth is a fully accredited, top ranked university in New England. It was founded in 1895 and shifted from a textiles focused institution to a Technological Institute in 1960. It has since become a comprehensive university, one of the best in the state, and a leading institution in producing engineers, teachers, business leaders, and healthcare professionals. The school is additionally listed as one of Value Colleges Top 50 Best Value Online Undergraduate Business Schools of 2017.

Online the university offers the same quality degree programs and courses online as are found on the traditional campus. University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth online offers five fully online undergraduate degree programs: Liberal Arts, Women’s & Gender Studies, Political Science, and two Business options, including one for Registered Nurses who hope to earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree fully online. The school also offers four fully online master degree programs: an MBA, a Master of Public Policy, plus two Masters’ of Science in Computer Science or in Healthcare Management.

Annual Tuition: $12,588

Online Programs: 12


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Worcester Polytechnic Institute, sometimes called Worcester PolyTech, prides itself in being a leader in educating desirable workforce candidates across the nation. Their famed WPI Plan started as an experiment in 1970 and led to a proven, highly effective model for undergraduate learning which starts with a students learning, leads to a sought-after young professional and ultimately impacts the life and careers of PolyTech graduates. Additionally, Worcester Polytechnic Institute is listed in a Value Colleges list as offering degrees for one of the Top 25 Best Online Degree Jobs for 2017.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute online further supports the universities mission by offering distance education for lifelong learners and traditional graduate students. The online program offers no bachelor degrees, though students can obtain one PHD degree in Systems Engineering plus a number of fully online certificate programs and master degrees. The online university strives to help working professionals advance in the career of their dreams while enjoying a flexibility of scheduling while balancing work and completing their degrees online.

Annual Tuition: $2,640

Online Programs: 12


Lesley University

Lesley University is located in the heart of Cambridge, Massachusetts. The university prides itself in producing leaders worldwide in education, mental health counseling, business, and the arts. Lesley University is one of the biggest providers of graduate programs for educators in the nation and graduate students worldwide benefit from the other accredited programs offered both on campus and online.

Lesley University online provides the same accredited and esteemed education to online distance learning students as is provided to traditional students on campus. The university offers a number of fully online programs such as a Bachelor of Science in Design for User Experience or a Bachelor of Science in Business Management, to name a few. The comprehensive online school at Lesley University proudly encourages students to learn at their own pace in a flexible and encouraging online environment.

Annual Tuition: $25,500

Online Programs: 12


Fitchburg State University

Fitchburg State is a public university offering high-quality educations to students both on campus traditionally and online. The university is nationally accredited including accreditations by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, the Council for Standards in Human Service Education. Fitchburg was founded in 1894 and now offers over fifty undergraduate and graduate degree programs to students worldwide.

Fitchburg State University online offers two fully online undergraduate degrees: a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree for Registered Nurses (RN) and a Bachelor of Business Administration (BA) with a Management Concentration. Additionally the university is listed as having one of Value Colleges Top 10 Cheapest Online MSN Programs of 2015 in the nation.

Annual Tuition: $9,935

Online Programs: 12


Westfield State University

Westfield University was founded in 1839 by Horace Mann and has since been a leader in fostering intellectual curiosity and critical thinking in their students, producing civically engaged alumni. The university is a public institution and prides itself in offering a diverse, globally aware environment for students and faculty both on campus and online.

Westfield State University online offers a number of online bachelor completion programs that specifically targets graduates of Massachusetts Community College graduates. Students can complete their bachelor degrees fully online in subjects such as Business, Sociology, History, Liberal Studies, Criminal Justice, and Psychology. Westfield State University is additionally listed as having one of Value Colleges Top 50 Best Value Criminal Justice Programs of 2016.

Annual Tuition: $8,815

Online Programs: 6