Top 10 Best Online Colleges in Pennsylvania

Today more than ever distance learning is considered a viable and respected avenue for obtaining degrees from associates to doctorates and more and more students are choosing the online route knowing that the flexibility afforded with an online education is invaluable. In particular, students who are required to work full or part time, who have families to care for, or who have a homeschool background, find the flexibility and value of an online education their best option.


The  colleges and universities on this Value Colleges Best Top 10 list  offer degrees that students can obtain 100% online. They are all located in Pennsylvania though students across the nation, even across the globe, can enroll. With strong ROIs and accreditations, Value Colleges states that these institutions offer value, quality education, flexibility and fully online degree or certificate programs.


California University of Pennsylvania

California University of Pennsylvania online is located in the borough of California, Pennsylvania, just south of Pittsburgh and is part of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. In fact, California University has been included in the Princeton Review for over a decade as one of the Best in the Northeast colleges listing. California University of Pennsylvanian online offers various graduate degree programs including master degrees in Science, Exercise Science & Health Promotions, Business Administration, and Legal Studies to name a few.

Priding itself as a diverse, inclusive, and progressive institution, California University of Pennsylvania online offers global undergraduate and graduate degree, continuing education and certificate programs worldwide. The university offers over thirty graduate degrees and over ten undergraduate, in addition to the doctorate, associates, and certificate degree options.

  • Tuition: $9,936
  • Online Degree Programs: 10+

Pennsylvania State University

Pennsylvania State University online has proudly been offering distance learning courses for over 125 years; in 1892 Penn State founded the first correspondence course in the nation. The university’s online learning program ensures that students who have family, part or full time work, or other obligations outside of school are able to complete the degree or courses of their choice on their own timeline successfully.

Offering more than 125 accredited graduate and undergraduate degrees, certificates and minors, the Penn State World Campus is one of the best online universities in the nation. Taught by the same faculty that lead on campus classes, students enrolled in the online program receive the same, one-on-one, quality education as traditional students. Pennsylvania State University offers online degree programs in Homeland Security, Technology and Sciences, and Engineering to name a few.

  • Tuition: $17,514
  • Online Degree Programs: 40+

Robert Morris University

Robert Morris University was founded in 1921 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and the university is a pioneer in emphasizing engaged learning, encouraging students to explore service learning, global studies, campus leadership and undergraduate and graduate research programs. Robert Morris prides itself in consistently delivering affordable, accredited, and practical educational opportunities to students both online and on-campus.

Robert Morris University online has specifically designed its program to serve students from all walks of life who juggle busy, active lifestyles. Additionally, the courses online are taught by the same professors as the courses on campus traditionally, ensuring students enrolled in the online program receive the same quality education as the students at the Robert Morris University campus. The online programs boast 8-week terms and an accelerated degree completion option. Plus courses are available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, making flexibility for students a top priority.

  • Tuition: $27,194
  • Online Degree Programs: 10+

DeSales University

DeSales University is a private, co-ed, Catholic university, located in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania. The university has a strong history of delivering a top-notch liberal arts education though a variety of degree and certificate programs both online and on-campus. Additionally the university offers a unique leadership scholarship program. The Leadership Scholarship, offered to just six students annually, is a four-year, full-tuition scholarship for individuals who have a proven record of outstanding leadership during their high school years, and who plan to continue in roles of leadership at DeSales University.

DeSales University online is committed to offering the same quality education online as they do traditionally on campus. Currently the university offers a number of bachelor, master and doctorate degrees online including a Master of Arts in Criminal Justice and a Doctor of Nursing Practice in Clinical Leadership. DeSales online boasts online student support, flexible course work, and accessible online materials with state-of-the-art technology.

  • Tuition: $33,350
  • Online Degree Programs: 10+

Duquesne University

Duquesne University of the Holy Spirit is a private, Catholic university with over 135 years of experience as a higher education institution and a Spiritan approach to leading and advising students. Located in Pittsburgh, the school is a leader in Catholic adult learning in Pennsylvania. Duquesne University is additionally one of Value Colleges Top 10 Most Affordable Online Catholic Colleges for 2017.

Duquesne University online prides itself as having one of the few ‘student-centric’ online university degree programs in the nation. They distinguish their online programs by nurturing close relationships between professors and classmates through small online classes, accessible advisors and strong online support services. Online degree programs include a number of Fully Online Programs as well as some Combined Online/On-Campus courses.

  • Tuition: $33,778
  • Online Degree Programs: 10+

Saint Joseph's University

Saint Joseph’s University is a Jesuit, Catholic institution with a learning philosophy rooted in a liberal arts education, which promotes an environment of open-minded exploration. Saint Joseph’s University is one of Value Colleges Top 10 Most Affordable Online Catholic Colleges for 2017 and serves students of both Catholic and other faiths proudly and inclusively.

Saint Joseph’s University online offers both undergraduate and graduate degree programs and certificates, and with over 160 years of experience as a leader in higher education, Saint Joseph’s extends their core learning values from their traditional, on-campus classrooms to their online distance learning programs as well. Online graduate degrees and certificates can be earned in Education, Leadership, Business, Criminal Justice, Health Services, and Liberal Studies.

  • Tuition: $42,180
  • Online Degree Programs: 10+

Lehigh University

Lehigh University online has been offering online distance learning programs since 1992, with graduate degrees and certificate programs, plus professional development courses, which appeal largely to working professionals. With an ever-changing economy and students facing more and more family, full or part time work and other commitments, Lehigh is proud to have a distance learning program that provides students with a flexible schedule while still obtaining a degree or certificate from a top-notch, nationally accredited university.

Most courses students enroll in online at Lehigh University are developed directly from the campus classroom and even include all the same assignments and requirements, thus equally providing the same opportunities for interaction between students and faculty. No distinctions are made between a diploma awarded online or on-campus at Lehigh University, sometime alumni from both sectors are proud to don when applying for work and following their career dreams in an increasing competitive job market.

  • Tuition: $46,230
  • Online Degree Programs: 10+

Villanova University

Villanova University strives to combine classroom learning with hands-on practical application in order to produce well-rounded graduates who are ready to succeed and prosper in an increasingly competitive worldwide workforce. Villanova University online is a strong extension of the university’s traditional campus, located in Radnor Township, a suburb of Philadelphia.

The private research university is additionally a Roman Catholic, Augustinian institution. The distance learning program offers a variety of master degrees and certificates including a Master of Public Administration (MPA) and two Master Certificates in Agile Management. The undergraduate learning options have recently been expanded at Villanova University and the college now offers programs for full-time working professionals in addition to traditional college students.

  • Tuition: $47,616
  • Online Degree Programs: 10+

Drexel University

Drexel University, founded in 1891, is a top research facility in the nation, and known as an academic center of excellence nationwide. Located in Philadelphia, the university has bee privileged to offer online courses and distance learning programs for over twenty years. Today Drexel University online offers more than 140 online degree and certificate programs to students of all walks of life, all ages, nationwide. Each program follows the same accredited curriculum and is taught by the same faculty as on campus.

Students enrolled in online learning courses receive the same level of experiential learning and academic quality as students enrolled at Drexel attending classes traditionally on campus. Online programs include degrees in Criminal Justice, Education, Legal Studies, Sports, and much more. Additionally, Drexel University is also one of the Value Colleges Best Value Online Undergraduate Business Schools for 2017.  

  • Tuition: $48,791
  • Online Degree Programs: 30+

Carnegie Mellon University

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Carnegie Mellon University, located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is proud to boast some of the best higher education schools in the nation, including the College of Engineering, the College of Fine Arts, the Mellon College of Science and the Tepper School of Business to name a few.  Carnegie Mellon is a private, global research university and is listed alongside some of the  most renowned educational institutions in the world.

Carnegie Mellon University online offers a number of online degree and continuing education programs, including degree and certificate programs. Additionally, serving adults who wish to continue their education, The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) gives Pittsburgh adults a chance to continue their learning in non-credit, peer-led classes.

  • Tuition: $50,665
  • Online Degree Programs: 10+