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Oklahoma is known for the Great Plains, the endless prairies and grasslands immortalized in song by Rogers & Hammerstein, but one thing most Americans would not associate with Oklahoma is high-tech education. But that assumption would be very wrong. Like other Western and Midwestern states (Oklahoma being a border region with qualities of both), Oklahoma has to respond to the needs of a diverse, widespread population, often in rural areas.
Oklahoma also has to reach working adults and career-changing professionals where they are, and further respond to issues that keep students from going to college and increasing their credentials – rising tuition costs, inconvenience, and professional pressures among them. That’s why online education options are particularly important for Oklahoma’s higher education system, both the state’s many public colleges and universities, and its private institutions.
How We Ranked the Best Online Colleges in Oklahoma
All of Value Colleges’ Best Online Colleges in Oklahoma have worked to meet all of those needs in their own, unique way – all with the common thread of affordability and quality. The VC Top 10 are determined by the number of available, fully online bachelor’s degree programs. Both figures are derived directly from the institution’s website for accuracy.
1. Oklahoma State University
Oklahoma State University offers fourteen distance-learning programs that are recognized among all online colleges as being the best online colleges in Oklahoma. These quality online undergraduate programs include several business degrees (BS, BA, plus specialty business concentrations), pre-law degrees (BS & BA), child development, computer science, nursing, and multidisciplinary studies, among others. Coursework for these online degree programs originates from the university’s six colleges/schools – Human Sciences, Arts & Sciences, Education/Aviation/Health, Agricultural Sciences, Engineering/Architecture, and Business. Additionally, OSU Online offers 32 graduate degree programs that can be completed entirely online.
Oklahoma State University – Stillwater was established in 1890 as the result of the passage of the Morrill Land Grant Act. The school’s small city campus covers nearly 1,500 acres and serves more than 25,000 students. Highlight – The Stillwater campus of Oklahoma State University is recognized as the flagship institution of higher learning in the state of Oklahoma.
Number of Online Programs: 14
2. Southeastern Oklahoma State University
Southeastern Oklahoma State University offers ten online undergraduate degree programs that can be completed 100% online, in addition to SOSU’s graduate degree programs. Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s baccalaureate-level distance learning degree programs require the completion of 124 credit units to graduate; however, each specific discipline may have different requirements for graduation. SOSU has been recognized as one of the best online colleges in Oklahoma. The duration of each degree program varies because of the flexible nature of SOSU’s online programs and distance learning platform.
Southeastern Oklahoma State University was established as a public institution (a normal school) of higher learning in 1909. SOSU’s rural campus covers more than 250 acres and serves almost 4,900 students. The university has academic facilities in Idabel, Ardmore, McAlester, and Midwest City, OK. Highlight – Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s faculty to student ratio is an impressive 19 to 1.
Number of Online Programs: 10
3. Rogers State University
Rogers State University, one of the best online colleges in Oklahoma, offers several online degree programs for students to earn their associate degree, bachelor’s degree, or master’s degree. The baccalaureate degree options include a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Business Information Technology, as an RN to BSN Nursing, Business Administration, a Bachelor of Technology (Cybersecurity or Information Assurance), or a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Liberal Arts *Global Humanities or English). Rogers State University also offers a graduate-level Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree program through the distance learning platform.
Rogers State University was established in 1909 as a public institution of higher education. The school’s suburban campus was once home to the Oklahoma Military Academy but is now home to more than 4,000 students. Rogers State University offers both associate and bachelor’s degrees for its 30 different programs of study. Highlight – In addition to its strong military history, RSU hosts two military programs at present.
Number of Online Programs: 9
4. Oklahoma Wesleyan University
Oklahoma Wesleyan University offers a number of bachelor’s degree programs that can be completed entirely online. Recognized among the best online colleges in Oklahoma, Oklahoma Wesleyan University offers distance learning degree programs at the baccalaureate level in the academic areas of Psychology, RN to BSN, Business Administration, Organizational Management, Leadership/Ministry. Each of the online bachelor-level programs offered by OKWU requires the completion of 126 credit hours to graduate. OKWU is a military-friendly school, with its faculty highlighted among the best by CBS Money Watch television show.
The Wesleyan Church (Christian) were the founding members of the Oklahoma Wesleyan University. Oklahoma Wesleyan University operates with five colleges/schools in the areas of Ministry, Arts & Sciences, Business, Exercise Science, Education, and Nursing. Highlight – Oklahoma Wesleyan University is recognized by US News among the top 85 regional universities in the country.
Number of Online Programs: 6
5. East Central University
East Central University offers five undergraduate degree programs from a university that is considered among the best online colleges in Oklahoma. East Central University’s distance learning platform offers a variety of delivery methods like video, audio, text, and PowerPoint presentations. Students interested in enrolling in one of ECU’s online degree programs have the option to select a quality bachelor’s degree in criminal justice Policy (BA), Kinesiology (BS), Human Services Counseling (BA), Interdisciplinary Studies (BA), and an RN to BSN completion program.
East Central University (ECU) was established in 1909 as an Oklahoma normal school. The university’s campus is less than 100 miles from downtown Oklahoma City and covers more than 125 acres. East Central University’s student enrollment exceeds 3,500, with the famous NFL defensive player Mark Gastineau among its alumni. Highlight – A few years before Oklahoma was adopted as a state; East Central University had been founded.
Number of Online Programs: 5
6. University of Oklahoma
The University of Oklahoma’s Extended Campus offers four flexible, innovative online learning options in five fields of study that offer lifelong learners and working adults the tools to earn the degree of their choice. US News and the Princeton Review recognize the programs the University of Oklahoma among the best online colleges in Oklahoma. OU Norman’s distance learning degree options are available in criminal justice, Organizational Leadership, Lifespan Management, and Integrative Studies. The University of Oklahoma also offers six graduate-level degree programs that can also be completed entirely online.
The University of Oklahoma was founded in 1890 as a public institution of higher education, about 1.5 decades before Oklahoma was adopted as a US state. The school’s suburban campus covers more than 2,900 acres and services more than 28,000 students. Highlight – The Norman campus of the University of Oklahoma is the flagship institution of the university system.
Number of Online Programs: 5
7. Northeastern State University
Northeastern State University, one of the best online colleges in Oklahoma, offers five bachelor’s level degree programs that are available 100% online. These include a Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) degree program, a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree program in Health Administration or Tourism Management, Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program, Bachelor of Science (BS) in Leadership of Organizations, and Bachelor of Science (BS) in Medical Lab Sciences. Northeastern State University participates in the NC-SARA program, which ensures appropriate reciprocity qualifications.
Northeastern State University was established in 1909, just after Oklahoma. NSU holds the distinction of being the oldest institution of higher learning in Oklahoma. The university’s 200+ acre campus is home to nearly 8,600 students studying and built upon what was once the campus of the Cherokee Female Seminary. Highlight – Northeastern State University operates three campuses – the main campus in Tahlequah and two others in Broken Arrow and Muskogee.
Number of Online Programs: 5
8. Oral Roberts University
Oral Roberts University, considered one of the best online colleges in Oklahoma, offers several accredited degree programs that are available that can be completed 100% online. The distance learning degree programs from ORU are derived from its six colleges/schools – Theology, Engineering, Nursing, Education, Business, and Arts/Cultural Studies. ORU’s Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Financial Management, Marketing, Management, and Human Resources (offered by the College of Business) can all be completed online.
Oral Roberts University is an evangelical institution of higher education that was established in 1965. ORU operates with six colleges/schools that offer degrees in Education Engineering, Business, Nursing, and Theology. ORU’s Tulsa campus serves more than 4,000 students studying for undergraduate, baccalaureate, graduate, doctoral-level degrees.
Number of Online Programs: 22 Undergraduate and 9 Graduate
9. Southwestern Christian University
Southwestern Christian University offers several distance learning degree programs at the baccalaureate level. They include a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Christian Leadership, Human Services, Psychology, Liberal Studies, and Business Leadership. Additionally, Southwestern Christian University, considered one of the best online colleges in Oklahoma, also offers a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA). SCU’s online programs have been developed for busy parents, working professionals, or lifelong learners. Distance learners at the Southwestern Christian University complete their exams online, learn from the same quality faculty teaching on campus, and have full access to the university’s complete library services through SCU’s distance learning portal.
Southwestern Christian University (SCU) was established in 1946 as a private institution of higher learning. The school is affiliated with the International Pentecostal Holiness Church. Southwestern Christian University is home to about 800 students. Highlight – Southwestern Christian University has received approval from the ACSI – the Association of Christian Schools International.
Number of Online Programs: 4
10. University of Central Oklahoma
The University of Central Oklahoma offers two Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree tracks that can be completed entirely online. Recognized among the best online colleges in Oklahoma, the University of Central Oklahoma’s BBA tracks include a concentration in Marketing and Human Resource Management. Marketing degree graduates work in sales, research or brand management, etc. The Human Resource Management degree graduates work in talent acquisition, employee relations, and labor relations, among other jobs.
The University of Central Oklahoma was established in 1890, on Christmas Eve, before Oklahoma was adopted as a US state. UCO’s campus covers more than 200 acres and serves nearly 17,000 students. The University of Central Oklahoma is organized into eight colleges/schools. Highlight – The University of Central Oklahoma holds the distinction of being one of the oldest institutions of higher education in the United States’ southwestern region.
Number of Online Programs: 2
What is the Value of Online College in Oklahoma?
Education holds a great deal of value in general to a student. He or she can feel proud of his or her accomplishment and so can his or her family. Additionally, higher education gives a student more opportunities for advancement. Plus, a college graduate tends to earn more money throughout his or her lifetime than someone who didn’t go to college. For students who can’t attend college on campus, online schools in Oklahoma may be an option.
Online schools in Oklahoma can benefit working adults because these individuals may complete coursework around their work schedule, such as before or after work. A first-time adult student may opt for an online program and so many individuals who are returning to school to change their professions or advance in their current fields.
Parents may not be able to attend classes on a stringent schedule due to their children, but an online program gives these individuals the ability to attend school around their children’s schedules. For instance, a parent may choose to complete classwork when his or her children go to school or bed.
Besides nontraditional students, rural citizens may benefit from online schools in Oklahoma as well. The distance a rural student has to travel to school is often a nuisance and so is having to sit in traffic. It doesn’t help if the individual has a job to attend. In addition, online schools in Oklahoma eliminate the need to travel, so a student doesn’t even need to have a car to attend college.
What Kinds of Degrees Can I Earn Online in Oklahoma?
Fortunately for students who want to pursue one of the online degrees in Oklahoma, the options are plentiful. For instance, a student may choose from one of the online degrees in Oklahoma, such as an associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate. Besides Oklahoma online degree programs, a pupil can also opt to complete a certificate degree program. When compared to Oklahoma online degree programs, certificate programs are shorter. However, they can still provide a student with a type of training that can further his or her career or help him or her entry into a field.
The options for online degree programs in Oklahoma include options in business, criminal justice, and healthcare. At an associate’s degree level, a student may earn a degree in cybersecurity, criminal justice, business, or information technology, among others. The options at a bachelor’s degree level become greater since certain programs require hands-on, in-class portions at an associate’s degree level. For example, a person who wants a teaching degree may earn an elementary teaching degree at a bachelor’s degree level but can usually only find education programs available on campus for an associate’s teaching degree. Nursing is the same way since a person must complete clinicals to become an LPN or RN.
For those who are looking for “online masters programs Oklahoma,” a person can earn a psychology degree and specialize in forensic psychology. Other options a person can find when searching for “online masters programs Oklahoma,” include marketing, human resources, healthcare information technology, and nursing administration, among others.
A student can also look into doctorate degree programs, including business, organizational leadership, and healthcare administration, just to name a few.
How Can I Save Money on an Online Degree in Oklahoma?
Unfortunately, money is an issue for many people who want to attend college. Whether they can or can’t afford student loans, they don’t want to be overwhelmed with debt after graduation and for years to come. However, students have several options to make attending school more affordable. For instance, many public universities are accredited online colleges in Oklahoma in addition to being accredited on-campus schools. These accredited online colleges in Oklahoma are usually cheaper than private universities. Ideally, a student may want to look toward the regional campuses of the public universities because a student may find one of these schools rank as the cheapest online college in Oklahoma.
Community colleges can also save a person money because many of the schools rank highly as the cheapest college in Oklahoma. Community colleges offer complete degree programs that are accredited and adequately prepare the student for a career in that field. Another possibility is for the student to attend a community college to earn credits. Often, a student wants to complete general courses at the community college. Oklahoma community college online courses may transfer to another school.
Besides choosing public schools or completing Oklahoma community college online courses, a student may save money on a degree by applying for an employer tuition reimbursement program. This option consists of a student completing a degree approved by an employer. In exchange for the student completing the program and remaining with the employer for a certain length of time, the employer will pay for a portion of the employee’s education.
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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.