Best Online Colleges in North Dakota

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Online degre programs are key to helping North Dakota’s working adults and other non-traditional students make the most of their opportunities. With an ever increasing pressure for students to juggle part or full time work and other commitments like family while obtaining their degree, more than ever before the need for fully online learning is pertinent.

Today students from all walks of life and in all degree levels can seek fully online degree programs from start to finish from accredited and respected universities across the nation. We see now that major universities and colleges across North Dakota are developing fully accredited and accessible online degree programs to accommodate the needs of today’s busy student and those who wish to further their careers through education.

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Ranking the Best Online Colleges in North Dakota

Value Colleges has ranked the best online colleges in North Dakota for the people who need it most – those looking for affordability, quality, and return on investment. Only trustworthy, accredited institutions were considered. The schools listed below are ranked by the number of fully online degree programs they offer.

1. University of North Dakota

The University of North Dakota offers 22 different online degrees through its distance-learning program. Online colleges in North Dakota, like North Dakota, provide flexible and convenient educational opportunities for working learners or residents who are unable to attend more traditional classes on-campus. North Dakota offers varying levels (bachelor’s, masters, doctorate) of academic degrees in the areas of business, engineering, computer science, cybersecurity, counseling, education, nursing, psychology, and health administration, to name a few.

The University of North Dakota was established in 1883 and is a space-space grant institution of higher learning. North Dakota is the flagship campus of the North Dakota University System. The school’s urban campus covers more than 500 acres and serves nearly 14,000 students.  The University of North Dakota was established several years before North Dakota became a state and is thus the oldest university in the state.

Number of Online Programs: 22

2. Dickinson State University

Dickinson State University provides thirteen online degree programs through its online division. Dickinson State University is one of the online colleges in North Dakota with distance-learning options that allows students and working learners to study at their own pace, when convenient. DSU Online’s options include associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs in the fields of agriculture, accounting, finance, applied science, and nursing, to name a few. It is also noted that DSU Online offers nine additional certificate programs in business, graphic design, marketing, and horse production.

Dickinson State University was established as a public institution of higher education in 1918. The school’s 100+-acres urban campus is home to nearly 1,400 students studying from more than the 70-degree programs the ten colleges/schools offer.  Dickinson State University was one of 130 schools that provided coursework (during WWII) that led to a naval commission.

Number of Online Programs: 13

3. University of Mary

The University of Mary is one of the best online colleges in North Dakota offering distance learning options to busy parents, working learners, or those who live too far to commute. UMary’s ten online learning options include multi-level degrees in the areas of business, criminal justice, health care, psychology, nursing, education, project management, and marketing. Students across the world take advantage of the online programs that offer professional focus by the University of Mary. 

The University of Mary was established in 1959 and is affiliated with the Catholic Church (Benedictine) and is recognized among the most affordable private institutions of higher education in the country. UMary’s 325+-acre campus serves more than 2,000 students. The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College endorses UMary.  The University of Mary holds the distinction of being the largest institution of higher education and the only Catholic University in the city of Bismarck. 

Number of Online Programs: 10

4. Mayville State University

Mayville State University provides online academic opportunities by offering ten distance-learning degree programs that can be completed entirely online. The Sr. Education Group recognizes MSU Online among the best online colleges in North Dakota for 2020. MSU Online offers convenient and flexible degree options as associates, bachelor’s, and master’s degree level programs with both synchronous and asynchronous classes. The online programs include the topics of education (online, special education, early childhood & elementary), business, mathematics, nursing, and university studies, among others. Students can also opt to earn credentials and certificates in library science and science lab education.

Mayville State University was established in 1889 as a normal school. The school’s 300+-acre urban campus serves nearly 1,200 students. Mayville State University is a member school of the North Dakota University System.  The original acreage granted to Mayville State University by the state’s first legislative assembly. 

Number of Online Programs: 10

5. Minot State University

Minot State University offers ten undergraduate-level online academic degrees that do not require any visits to the school’s campus to graduate. Online colleges in North Dakota, such as Minot State University, provide convenient and flexible learning delivery options to busy parents, rural residents, and working learners. The online bachelor’s and master’s degree programs offered by Minot State University include the fields of criminal justice, education, management, information systems, and business technology, to name a few. Minot State University has been awarded more than 30 accreditations for specific programs 

Minot State University was established in 1913 as a normal school. MSU is organized into three colleges/schools (and one graduate school) that serves more than 3,500 undergraduate and graduate students.  Minot State University holds the distinction of being the 3rd largest institution of higher education in the state of North Dakota. 

Number of Online Programs: 10

6. Valley City State University

Valley City State University offers seven convenient online undergraduate-level degree programs. VCSU Online is one of the quality online colleges in North Dakota, providing flexible learning options for working learners, rural/handicapped residents, or busy working parents. Valley City State University’s online program options include the following – Education, English, History, Communication, and Technology, to name a few. VCSU Online’s graduate programs offer specialty concentrations in education regarding technology, information technology, and Elementary education. Valley City State University also offers continuing education credits through its distance learning platform. 

Valley City State University was established in 1890 under the Morrill Land Grant Act as a two-year normal and land-grant school. Valley City State University provides a laptop to each full-time student. VCSU offers it nearly 1,500 students more than 80 different undergraduate degree programs.  Valley City State University’s campus is registered with the National Register of Historic Places.

Number of Online Programs: 7

7. University of Jamestown

The University of Jamestown offers four undergraduate online programs designed to meet the needs of working professionals and busy parents by offering flexible scheduling, asynchronous learning options 24 hours a day, seven days per week. Online colleges in North Dakota, like the University of Jamestown, allow for eligible transfer credits. The University of Jamestown boasts a placement rate of 98%. The available online classes include Financial Planning & Wealth Management, Human Resources, Industrial Management, and Emerging Media. 

The University of Jamestown was established in 1883 as a private institution of higher education with a liberal arts focus.  The University of Jamestown is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church and offers students more than 1,100 students bachelor’s, masters, and an applied doctorate program. Best Regional Colleges recognizes the University of Jamestown among the best Midwestern regional universities.  The University of Jamestown’s campus is located in the ninth-largest city in the state of North Dakota.

Number of Online Programs: 4

What Kinds of Degrees Can I Earn Online in North Dakota?

Students have many options for North Dakota online degrees. It’s possible to earn an associate’s degree in subjects like cybersecurity, healthcare administration, early childhood education, business administration, and criminal justice, among others.

The options for bachelor’s degrees in online programs are even greater. For instance, students can usually continue to complete their bachelor’s in the same major as their online associate’s. Plus, some other online bachelor’s degree options include psychology, engineering, communications, and nursing, among others. Keep in mind, North Dakota online degrees in nursing are only for individuals who currently have an LPN or RN.  

Students may also choose to earn a master’s or doctorate in fields like business management, nursing, healthcare administration, and psychology, among others. 

Another option people may select from when choosing to earn an online degree is a certificate program. Prospective students may earn a certificate to enhance their career. Certificates take less time than a degree but can enhance a person’s earning potential greatly. Some of the possible options for certificate programs include advanced cybersecurity, nursing educator, and elementary educator, among others. 

How Can I Save Money on an Online Degree in North Dakota?

Someone looking to earn an online degree in North Dakota or who is searching North Dakota online courses doesn’t have to forgo earning a higher education due to price. It’s possible to earn a degree at a low cost, even if the person doesn’t have any money saved for his or her education. One way is by choosing a regional public institution. These schools tend to have lower tuition rates than private schools. Additionally, the regional schools are usually less costly than the main branches of educational institutions. 

A student may also want to consider attending a community college to earn his or her general credits or undergraduate degree. Community colleges are much less expensive than major universities. Plus, a person still receives a high-quality education, and the credits are usually transferrable

Another option is employer reimbursement. This option is ideal for students who plan to attend college for a program that can better their ability to perform their job or can enhance their responsibilities or position within the company. Employer reimbursement programs are agreements through an employer that a person will receive compensation toward his or her education if he or she works for the company for a specific amount of time. 

Students can also receive money for college through the United State’s government. The government offers grants to students based on financial need. Grants don’t need to be paid back unless the student doesn’t complete the degree program. The U.S. government also has programs in place to help fulfill the need for in-demand fields, such as nursing and education. Students may apply for grants that help them get through school inexpensively. For instance, the U.S. has grants for nurses. On the other hand, a pupil may apply for tuition reimbursement if he or she wants to become a teacher. Students may find grants on a state level as well. 

It’s also important for people who are looking for opportunities to make their education more affordable to look into the options students have through their schools. Colleges, especially that offer programs for jobs that highly needed, offer grants. Scholarship opportunities are available as well.

Another option a person should look into is the national and local organizations that honor students with scholarships and grants to help with their education. Although these are competitive, students who qualify may have a chance to win these awards and only have to fill out an application or possibly write an essay. 

What is the North Dakota Center for Distance Learning?

The North Dakota Center for Distance Education is an organization that stresses the impact of technology on education, so it’s a vital organization to ND distance learning. This association believes in the power students may have in a North Dakota distance learning program as well as the tools, methods, and other aspects educators require as North Dakota distance learning educators. The mission of this organization is to ensure North Dakota residents have access to quality curriculum and qualified instructors. This association continuously strives to improve the services, systems, and processes within online education programs.

For ND distance learning programs, this organization is highly reputable. In fact, the North Dakota Center for Distance Education received recognition from the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction. It also has to adhere to the standards implemented by the North Dakota Department of Career and Technical Education. It has full accreditation from AdvancED — an organization that has over 100 years of experience in the field of education. AdvancED has input from the two most major accreditation agencies in the United States, the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement.

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Aya Andrews


Aya Andrews is a passionate educator and mother of two, with a diverse background that has shaped her approach to teaching and learning. Born in Metro Manila, she now calls San Diego home and is proud to be a Filipino-American. Aya earned her Masters degree in Education from San Diego State University, where she focused on developing innovative teaching methods to engage and inspire students.

Prior to her work in education, Aya spent several years as a continuing education consultant for KPMG, where she honed her skills in project management and client relations. She brings this same level of professionalism and expertise to her work as an educator, where she is committed to helping each of her students achieve their full potential.

In addition to her work as an educator, Aya is a devoted mother who is passionate about creating a nurturing and supportive home environment for her children. She is an active member of her community, volunteering her time and resources to support local schools and organizations. Aya is also an avid traveler, and loves to explore new cultures and cuisines with her family.

With a deep commitment to education and a passion for helping others succeed, Aya is a true inspiration to those around her. Her dedication to her craft, her community, and her family is a testament to her unwavering commitment to excellence in all aspects of her life.

Find your perfect value college is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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