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Today’s Best Online Colleges in Pennsylvania

Today’s Best Online Colleges in Pennsylvania

Learn what you need to know about the best online colleges in PA and find the degree program that can help you reach your career goals on your schedule.

As a prospective college student in Pennsylvania, you have plenty of school and program options. Your state hosts 14 public universities and 15 community colleges, with six universities ranked in the top 100 nationwide, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development. And many of their accredited degree programs are now offered online.

Enrolling in an online college in Pennsylvania gives you the flexibility to learn on your schedule. You’ll spend less time on campus (or no time at all) while saving money and preparing to enter your desired career. Even better, you’ll remain eligible for in-state tuition and scholarship opportunities.

Ready to get started on your online program search? This detailed guide highlights the best accredited online college programs in Pennsylvania and offers valuable resources to help you find the right program for your needs. 

Top Online Colleges in Pennsylvania for 2023

To help you find the right online program, we’ve ranked the best online colleges in Pennsylvania for 2023. We focused on colleges that put students first by offering affordable tuition, generous financial aid opportunities, low student-to-teacher ratios, valuable student support and career placement services, and a variety of online degree options to choose from. Explore our college rankings below to find the best online program for you. 

    or

    Base Methodology for OnlineColleges.me’s 2023 Online College Rankings

    1. Create List of Eligible Schools and Programs

    To be eligible for this ranking, schools were required to meet the following criteria based on government data provided by The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

    • Institutional accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
    • At least one program in subject area offered partially or fully online.

    2. Assign Weightings

    After creating the list of eligible schools, OnlineColleges.me data scientists assigned weights and ranked schools based on a mix of affordability, support services, and online program availability metrics. Online program availability and overall affordability metrics received the heaviest weightings.

    Online Program Availability

    • Number of online programs in subject area reported by school to the U.S. Department of Education. Because exact numbers change often and can be difficult to verify, we use a range-based scoring system: 0-5 online programs = 1 star; 6-10 = 2 stars; 11-15 = 3 stars; 16-20 = 4 stars; 21+ = 5 stars. In our design, laptop icons = stars.

    Affordability

    • Cost – Relative cost of attendance compared to peer schools on the list. Based on tuition and fees per academic year.
    • Students w/ Institutional Aid – Percentage of students who receive financial aid from the school itself.

    Support Services

    • Academic Counseling – Existence of this service on campus or online.
    • Career Placement – Existence of this service on campus or online.

    About Our Data

    OnlineColleges.me’s rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Most recent data pull: July 2022

  • University Park, Pennsylvania
    Public $$$$

    Penn State University World Campus courses are designed to meet the demands of busy, working students who need the freedom to study in the times and places that work best for their needs. Penn State’s online offerings were initially launched in 1998. Today, students can choose from over 125 online degree programs. From bachelor’s to doctoral degrees, any student can find a program that meets their educational and professional goals. Even if you’ve already earned credits as part of another program, transferring to Penn State to complete your degree is a smooth process. As a student, you can be confident that your online degree is backed by the same longtime reputation for academic excellence as on-campus programs at the university.

    Program Highlights:

    Bachelor of Arts in Labor and Human Resources

    • Credits: 123
    • Length: 4 years
    • Cost: $620-$664/credit
    • Mode: Fully online
    • Accreditation: MSCHE

    Master of Professional Studies in Cybersecurity Analytics and Operations

    • Credits: 33
    • Length: 2 years
    • Cost: $1,007/credit
    • Mode: Fully online
    • Accreditation: MSCHE

    Doctor of Engineering

    • Credits: 45
    • Length: 4 years
    • Cost: $1,007/credit
    • Mode: Fully online, with 5 days on campus
    • Accreditation: MSCHE

  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Public $$$$

    Temple University’s digital education program gives students maximum flexibility to choose the online degree and style of learning that helps them achieve their learning goals. These fully accredited online undergraduate and graduate degrees are available in asynchronous, synchronous, and hybrid delivery methods. With asynchronous courses, students won’t be held back by preset class meeting times and can watch lectures anytime. Synchronous courses take place at set times, providing classwide participation and discussion opportunities. Hybrid classes combine the advantages of in-person instruction with the freedom of online learning. All course formats and levels are designed and taught by the same faculty as on-campus programs.

    Program Highlights:

    Bachelor of Social Work

    • Credits: 60
    • Length: 2-4 years
    • Cost: $610/credit
    • Mode: Fully online
    • Accreditation: CSWE

    Master of Science in Human Resource Management

    • Credits: 30
    • Length: 13 months-6 years
    • Cost: $1,165/credit
    • Mode: Fully online
    • Accreditation: AACSB

    Master of Music in Music Education

    • Credits: 30
    • Length: 2 years
    • Cost: $835/credit
    • Mode: Fully online
    • Accreditation: NASM
  • California, Pennsylvania
    Public $$

    If you’re balancing the demands of full-time work and personal responsibilities, California University of Pennsylvania provides the opportunity to pursue a flexible online degree that will help you move forward in your career. As a student of PennWest’s Global Online program, you can choose the program that suits your goals and a schedule that fits your life. These online bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees help you build crucial skills in high-demand fields, boosting your professional prospects. Plus, these online programs can help you earn your degree at an affordable price. Online students don’t pay for on-campus services and are often eligible for a special nonresident tuition rate.

    Program Highlights:

    Online Bachelor’s in Art Therapy

    • Credits: 120
    • Length: 4 years
    • Cost: $328/credit
    • Mode: Fully online
    • Accreditation: NASAD

    Online Master’s in Corporate Communication

    • Credits: 30
    • Length: 2 years
    • Cost: $625.60-$647.60/credit
    • Mode: Fully online
    • Accreditation: MSCHE

    Doctorate in Criminal Justice

    • Credits: 42
    • Length: 2 years
    • Cost: $685.40-$1,024.65/credit
    • Mode: Fully online, with 1-week residency
    • Accreditation: MSCHE
  • Mansfield, Pennsylvania
    Public $$

    If your goal is to complete a bachelor’s degree program entirely online, then Mansfield University of Pennsylvania might be just the school for you. With an online bachelor’s degree, you can transfer credits you’ve already earned and pick up your education where you left off; completing your online degree could take even less than the traditional four years of study. If you’re just starting your undergraduate journey, Mansfield has several bachelor’s programs that are entirely online. Once you’ve achieved your undergraduate degree, you’ll enjoy improved career prospects as you take your next steps toward a promising career or advanced academic studies.

    Program Highlights:

    Bachelor of Arts in Art History

    • Credits: 120
    • Length: 2 years
    • Cost: $322-$482/credit
    • Mode: Fully online
    • Accreditation: MSCHE

    Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies

    • Credits: 120
    • Length: 4 years
    • Cost: $322-$482/credit
    • Mode: Fully online
    • Accreditation: MSCHE

    Bachelor of Arts in Sociology

    • Credits: 120
    • Length: 4 years
    • Cost: $322-$482
    • Mode: Fully Online
    • Accreditation: MSCHE
  • Clarion, Pennsylvania
    Public $$

    With Clarion University of Pennsylvania, the degree you’ve been considering is within your reach. With online programs of study, it’s easier than ever to fit your classes into a busy life and career. Whether you want to earn a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree, there’s a program at Clarion for you. Each curriculum at Clarion has been rigorously reviewed and nationally vetted to ensure academic excellence. Plus, 90% of university faculty hold the highest available degree in their field, so you can be confident that you’re receiving a solid education from respected experts.

    Program Highlights:

    Bachelor of Arts in Applied Technology

    • Credits: 60-65
    • Length: 2 years
    • Cost: $9,829-$11,108/year
    • Mode: Fully online
    • Accreditation: MSCHE

    Master of Science in Special Education

    • Credits: 36
    • Length: 1-2 years
    • Cost: $676.60-$770.10
    • Mode: Fully online
    • Accreditation: MSCHE

    Master of Science in Library Science Information and Library Science

    • Credits: 36
    • Length: 2 years
    • Cost: $676.60-$770.10/credit
    • Mode: Fully online
    • Accreditation: ALA
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    Public $$$$
  • Rosemont, Pennsylvania
    Private not-for-profit $$$$
  • La Plume, Pennsylvania
    Private not-for-profit $$$
  • Shippensburg, Pennsylvania
    Public $$
  • Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
    Private not-for-profit $$$$$
  • Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
    Private not-for-profit $$$$$
  • Summerdale, Pennsylvania
    Private for-profit $$$$
  • Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania
    Public $$
  • Kutztown, Pennsylvania
    Public $$
  • Cresson, Pennsylvania
    Private not-for-profit $$$$$
  • Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania
    Public $$
  • Indiana, Pennsylvania
    Public $$
  • York, Pennsylvania
    Private not-for-profit $$$$
  • Millersville, Pennsylvania
    Public $$
  • Ft. Washington, Pennsylvania
    Private for-profit $$$$
  • Williamsport, Pennsylvania
    Public $$$$
  • Oakdale, Pennsylvania
    Private not-for-profit $$$
  • Scranton, Pennsylvania
    Private not-for-profit $$$$

    or

    Base Methodology for OnlineColleges.me’s 2023 Online College Rankings

    1. Create List of Eligible Schools and Programs

    To be eligible for this ranking, schools were required to meet the following criteria based on government data provided by The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

    • Institutional accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
    • At least one program in subject area offered partially or fully online.

    2. Assign Weightings

    After creating the list of eligible schools, OnlineColleges.me data scientists assigned weights and ranked schools based on a mix of affordability, support services, and online program availability metrics. Online program availability and overall affordability metrics received the heaviest weightings.

    Online Program Availability

    • Number of online programs in subject area reported by school to the U.S. Department of Education. Because exact numbers change often and can be difficult to verify, we use a range-based scoring system: 0-5 online programs = 1 star; 6-10 = 2 stars; 11-15 = 3 stars; 16-20 = 4 stars; 21+ = 5 stars. In our design, laptop icons = stars.

    Affordability

    • Cost – Relative cost of attendance compared to peer schools on the list. Based on tuition and fees per academic year.
    • Students w/ Institutional Aid – Percentage of students who receive financial aid from the school itself.

    Support Services

    • Academic Counseling – Existence of this service on campus or online.
    • Career Placement – Existence of this service on campus or online.

    About Our Data

    OnlineColleges.me’s rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Most recent data pull: July 2022

  • Butler, Pennsylvania
    Public $$

    Students taking one of Butler County Community College’s online classes will access their course material through the Blackboard learning management system. In addition to online courses, BC3 has hybrid and iTV (remotely viewing a class being taught on a different campus) class formats. BC3 has over 100 classes offered online, allowing students to take at least a few of their required classes online as they work through their degree. Over 20 of the 100 online courses meet the Quality Matters (QM) standards, a faculty-centered, peer review process that is designed to certify the quality of online and blended (hybrid) courses. BC3’s hybrid degrees include those in the field of business, accounting, education, healthcare, technology, psychology, and math.

    Program Highlights:

    A.A. in Early Childhood Education

    • Credits: 60-61
    • Length: 2 years
    • Cost: $202-$415/credit
    • Mode: Hybrid
    • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

    AAS in Accounting

    • Credits: 62
    • Length: 2 years
    • Cost: $202-$415/credit
    • Mode: Online
    • Accreditation: MSCHE

    AAS in Hospitality Management

    • Credits: 62
    • Length: 2 years
    • Cost: $202-$415/credit
    • Mode: Hybrid
    • Accreditation: MSCHE
  • Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
    Public $$

    Northampton Community College serves over 20,000 students each year. The college offers a large variety of associate degrees available 100% online, with others available that offer at least 75% of the programs online in a hybrid format. The school’s online program is well established with 20 years of experience in and development of online programs. If you’re not sure online learning is for you, Northampton has an on-demand online learning show & tell info session to give you an idea of what it will be like. Online classes are accessed through the Blackboard learning management system and can be synchronous or asynchronous, and some online courses may require you to come to campus for testing or to use a web-based test proctoring tool.

    Program Highlights:

    Applied Psychology

    • Credits: 62
    • Length: 2 years
    • Cost: $169-$494/credit
    • Mode: Online
    • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

    Communication Studies

    • Credits: 62-63
    • Length: 2 years
    • Cost: $169-$494/credit
    • Mode: Online
    • Accreditation: MSCHE

    Public Health

    • Credits: 62
    • Length: 2 years
    • Cost: $169-$494/credit
    • Mode: Online
    • Accreditation: MSCHE
  • Youngwood, Pennsylvania
    Public $$

    There are 25 online degrees, diplomas, and certificates that Westmoreland County Community College offers entirely online, and many more that can be completed 50% or more online. In addition to online courses, Westmoreland has face-to-face, blended, and live remote course deliveries. All students enrolling in online courses at Westmoreland are enrolled in an online orientation course to learn how to use Desire2Learn (D2L), a learning management system that serves as the school’s online classroom. Additional online resources include Brainfuse online tutoring and online academic advising. Online learning at Westmoreland can help students achieve educational success while meeting their personal and professional obligations.

    Program Highlights:

    AAS in Office Technology – Office Administration

    • Credits: 63
    • Length: 2 years
    • Cost: $205-$481/credit
    • Mode: Online
    • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

    AAS in Business – Marketing

    • Credits: 61
    • Length: 2 years
    • Cost: $205-$481/credit
    • Mode: Online
    • Accreditation: MSCHE

    AA in Liberal Arts

    • Credits: 60
    • Length: 2 years
    • Cost: $205-$481/credit
    • Mode: Online
    • Accreditation: MSCHE
  • Blue Bell, Pennsylvania
    Public $$

    Montgomery County Community College has been educating the community online for over 20 years. More than 10,000 students take online courses at Montco every year, which puts them among the top ten colleges in the state of Pennsylvania offering online learning. Course delivery at Montco is accessed through the Blackboard learning management system and includes synchronous, asynchronous, hybrid, and flex formats. Class sizes at Montco are small which allows faculty members to give personalized attention to students who need it. Montgomery County Community College has partnered with many different four-year colleges, ensuring a seamless transfer experience for students who wish to continue with their education.

    Program Highlights:

    AS in Public Health

    • Credits: 61
    • Length: 2 years
    • Cost: $190-$506/credit
    • Mode: Online
    • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

    AS in Psychology

    • Credits: 63
    • Length: 2 years
    • Cost: Cost: $190-$506/credit
    • Mode: Online
    • Accreditation: MSCHE

    AAS in Management – Marketing

    • Credits: 60
    • Length: 2 years
    • Cost: Cost: $190-$506/credit
    • Mode: Online
    • Accreditation: MSCHE
  • Schnecksville, Pennsylvania
    Public $$

    Lehigh Carbon Community College has great online options whether you’re looking for a full online experience or a hybrid program that combines online courses with a campus experience. Online courses at LCCC can be accessed through the Canvas learning management system and most are offered asynchronously, though a few might require students to take tests on-campus in the testing center. There are also several different course lengths that students can choose throughout the year. It’s recommended that new students attend the online Canvas student orientation to help them get accustomed to the online learning style.

    Program Highlights:

    AAS in Paraprofesional/Special Education

    • Credits: 60
    • Length: 2 years
    • Cost: $132-$396/credit
    • Mode: Online
    • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

    AAS in Human Resource Management

    • Credits: 61
    • Length: 2 year
    • Cost: $132-$396/credit
    • Mode: Online
    • Accreditation: MSCHE

    AA in Business Administration

    • Credits: 60
    • Length: 2 years
    • Cost: $132-$396/credit
    • Mode: Online
    • Accreditation: MSCHE
  • Reading, Pennsylvania
    Public $$

    Reading Area Community College proudly offers over 120 courses and ten in-demand online programs at a fraction of the cost of other colleges and universities in Pennsylvania. RACC’s advanced advising, tutoring, and coaching technologies can help you plan your academic pathway and stay on track to completion. Classes that are labeled “remote” will have regularly scheduled class times online, while hybrid classes will have regular online class times and online coursework. Courses labeled “online” are asynchronous with all course material located online. All RACC online courses will have a strong instructor presence and will be delivered through the Canvas learning management system.

    Program Highlights:

    AA in Computer Information Systems

    • Credits: 61
    • Length: 2 years
    • Cost: $202-$386/credit
    • Mode: Online
    • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

    AA General Education – Education – Middle/Secondary Grades

    • Credits: 60
    • Length: 2 years
    • Cost: $202-$386/credit
    • Mode: Online
    • Accreditation: MSCHE

    AA in Social Work

    • Credits: 60
    • Length: 2 years
    • Cost: $202-$386/credit
    • Mode: Online
    • Accreditation: MSCHE
  • Media, Pennsylvania
    Private not-for-profit $$$

    The Pennsylvania Institute of Technology recognizes that effective remote learning must be interactive and must use a variety of multimedia resources in order to engage students. In-class curricula aren’t simply pasted into an online platform; rather, the college’s online classes are built from the ground up and made to utilize synchronous and asynchronous class formats. Online students have access to free online tutoring and are each assigned a student success team member that will help guide them through areas of need including academic assistance, financial assistance, and emotional support.

    Program Highlights:

    A.S. in Health Care Management with Coding Academy

    • Credits: 62
    • Length: 2 years
    • Cost: $475/credit
    • Mode: Online
    • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

    Associate of Psychology and Behavioral Health

    • Credits: 60
    • Length: 2 years
    • Cost: $475/credit
    • Mode: Online
    • Accreditation: MSCHE

    A.S. in General Studies

    • Credits: 62
    • Length: 18+ months
    • Cost: $475/credit
    • Mode: Online
    • Accreditation: MSCHE

In Pennsylvania, you can choose from several different ways to earn an online degree. From fully online to hybrid or blended programs as well as synchronous or asynchronous formats, there’s a mode for everyone. You’ll benefit from enrolling in a program that matches how, when, and where you learn best. 

Fully-Online vs. Hybrid/Blended

In Pennsylvania, online college students can choose from fully online, blended, and hybrid programs. Though often used interchangeably, blended and hybrid programs are different learning modes. In blended programs, the online elements of coursework either go along with or supplement in-person instruction. 

In hybrid programs, the online aspects of coursework will fully or partially replace instruction. Everyone learns differently because everyone thinks differently, and fully online courses are typically best for students who are self-disciplined and motivated. 

Every program is different, too. Programs that train students for careers that require hands-on skills are more likely to use hybrid and blended formats. 

In the following college spotlights, we’ve highlighted examples of quality online colleges for each type of learning style to give you an inside look at what each Pennsylvania program is like and find which one is best for you. 

Information Technology (MS) at Bloomsburg University (Blended/Hybrid)

Located in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, Bloomsburg University offers a variety of hybrid and blended programs for undergraduate and graduate students. Students seeking blended learning environments can pursue a master’s of education in educational leadership with a specialization in school counseling, principal leadership, or supervisory of curriculum and instruction. 

The M.Ed. program in school counseling has been approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). Degree earners will be eligible for a variety of careers that include health and wellness, social service agencies, college and career counseling, and mental health and nonprofit agencies. 

To earn an M.Ed. in education leadership, students must complete 15 core credits and 30 credits of track-specific PK-12 school counseling courses. Students may request to submit transfer credits when applying and must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA to remain in the program. Tuition costs $322 per credit. 

Accelerated BS to MPH Program (4+1) at Temple University (Fully Online)

Temple University, an accredited online college in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, offers accelerated BS to MPH programs in applied biostatistics, epidemiology, health policy and management, and social and behavioral sciences. These five-year (4+1) programs are designed for outstanding public health majors who want to earn their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in public health in five years instead of six. 

Students work closely with faculty to develop critical public health skills and complete graduate work that prepares them for careers in policy, administration, research, or public health practice. In total, these programs require students to complete 149 credits. Undergraduate students must complete 110 credits, while graduate students must complete 39 graduate credits. The tuition rate at Temple University is $549 per credit for in-state students, and $964 for out-of-state students. 

Asynchronous vs. Synchronous

As an online college student in Pennsylvania, knowing how you learn best will help you decide whether you’d prefer synchronous or asynchronous learning. Each mode of learning offers its own set of benefits and challenges. Fortunately, many colleges offer both learning modes, but every program is different. 

Synchronous learning, which is attending classes at the same time as your classmates and instructors, means you’ll rely less on your self-discipline skills, but you may have less flexibility in your own life. You may prefer synchronous learning if you want to build community, collaborate while problem solving and learning new skills, or if you’d like to receive immediate feedback from your classmates. 

If you want more time and space to yourself, or just more flexibility, an asynchronous format may be best, but you may have less opportunities for spur-of-the-moment interactions with your classmates and instructors. 

In the spotlight below, you’ll find our highlights of quality examples of online degrees for each type of learning style. These spotlights will give you an inside look at what each program is like. Find the program that’s best for you. 

Digital Journalism and Media at Penn State World Campus (Asynchronous)

At Penn State World Campus all courses are asynchronous. Students are free to attend classes in their own space and on their own schedule. Activities include typical weekly readings and assignments, course discussions, group work, and exams. The school prioritizes self-study and peer-to-peer interaction through online learning networks that facilitate instruction. 

The school offers a digital journalism and media program. Students must apply by March 15th of each year and earn 120 total credits at the cost of $620 to $664 per credit.

Coursework gives online college students in Pennsylvania a strong foundation in journalism with customized studies focused on particular areas of interests—specializations—that prepares them to work as writers, communication officers, content producers, or marketing specialists, among other careers. 

Master of Science in Cancer Care, M.S.C.C. at Saint Francis University (Synchronous)

Saint Francis University in Loretto, Pennsylvania, offers online students the chance to earn a Master of Science in cancer care (MSCC) via hyflex modality, which means students can choose to complete the course on-campus or in a synchronous remote environment. 

Students in the MSCC program at Saint Francis receive graduate instruction in biology, epidemiology, and psychosocial treatment methods, and they learn various cancer interventions to gain full understanding of cancer. This program prepares students for careers in cancer care, so students will gain the skills and knowledge to help patients manage the disease. 

To graduate, students must earn a total of 46 credits at $775 per credit. Coursework includes integrated cancer care, compassionate caregiving, clinical research, nutrition for cancer survivorship, biostatistics, and many more. Students can choose to complete the degree in either eight-week or 15-week courses, with most students completing the degree within 18 months. 

Part-Time vs. Full-Time

In Pennsylvania, online college students are considered full-time learners if they enroll in at least 12 credits per semester. Anything below 12 credits per semester is considered part time. 

The obvious benefit of a part-time program is that you’ll have more flexibility in your life to continue your career and learn at your own pace. Because it will take longer to finish your studies as a part-time student, you’ll spend more time in school as a part-time student than you would as a full-time student. 

When it comes to part time vs. full time, consider how you learn best. Also think about how fast you need to finish school and which option might be more affordable, given your unique circumstances. Colleges and universities across the state of Pennsylvania offer both options to students.

The spotlights below highlight quality examples of full-time and part-time online degree programs. Explore our program highlights for an in-depth look at what each program is like so you can narrow down your choices and find the best program for you. 

Applied Health Studies, Completion, Online Bachelor of Science Degree (B.S.) at Pennsylvania College of Technology (Part-time)

Pennsylvania College of Technology’s online courses provide part-time options for college students with busy lives. This program offers students the flexibility to maintain their professional career while deepening their education to expand career opportunities in clinical settings. Clinical roles include resource, education, management, administration, education, and public health. Students also prepare for master’s or pre-med studies.

The program is designed for certified, licensed, and registered health professionals and boasts a 97% overall job placement rate and 24/7 access to course materials. 

Students will learn from different perspectives to study, analyze, and offer solutions for problems in their areas of specialization. Specialization areas include healthcare delivery systems, quality assurance for healthcare workers, directed applied health studies electives, and ethical and legal issues related to medicine. 

There is no minimum GPA requirement beyond the college’s academic probation policy, and students must earn a total of 47 credits. Learning outcomes enable students to critique public and private funding of the U.S healthcare system, demonstrate personal accountability for ethical and cultural concerns in healthcare, and evaluate the efficacy of educational plans in given allied healthcare settings. The cost is $598 per credit. 

Public Health, Bachelor of Science (BS) at Slippery Rock University (Full-Time)

At Slippery Rock University in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania, online college students gain a broad background in public health to prepare for entry-level positions in health promotion, health data management, and health education as well as graduate study in health-related fields. For the typical full-time student, the program takes between four and five years to complete.

This program offers dynamic student activities including the Pennsylvania Public Health Association Collegiate Chapter and Slippery Rock University’s peer health education program. 

Advanced students can participate with faculty members in ongoing research projects by helping professors prepare conference presentations and analyze data. For learning outcomes, students must take coursework in basic math and humanities courses and demonstrate computer competency by taking at least one technology course.

Students also gain professional skills in effective communication, competency, ethics, and continual professional and personal development. A minimum overall GPA of 2.0 is required and students must earn 60 total credits in public health courses like Health and Behavior Change, Introduction to Health Education, International Health, Biostatistics, and Epidemiology. 

The program runs for four years and in-state tuition costs $322 per credit. 

Accreditation Matters: Online Colleges in Pennsylvania

The best online colleges in Pennsylvania are accredited. When looking at schools, it’s vital that you look for accreditation by regional and national accrediting agencies such as the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) and the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), both of which accredit colleges at the institutional level in the state. 

National or regional accreditation is important for any online program in Pennsylvania, but subject accreditation is also critical for fields that are highly regulated or have strict licensing and certification regulations like nursing, engineering, and social work. Each subject-specific accreditor reviews individual programs.

Academic accreditation matters because if you earn a degree from a program without accreditation, you may not receive a quality education, and your degree may not mean much to employers. Research each school carefully. 

To learn more about accreditation, read our guide to accreditation. You can also search the MSCHE’s institution directory to find accreditation the best online colleges to apply to. 

Understanding the Cost of Online Colleges in PA

In some Pennsylvania schools, the costs of online college programs may be lower than on-campus degree programs. Additionally, online students save on transportation costs and course materials, many of which are online. Still, attending an online college in Pennsylvania requires significant expense, as higher education generally comes with considerable financial expectations regardless of where you live and whether you attend in-person or online.

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reports that in-state students paid $14,532 for tuition and fees at public four-year colleges and $43,926 at private four-year colleges in 2021. Students of public two-year programs paid $5,441 tuition and fees for in-state degrees and $12,808 for out-of-state two-year degree programs. 

Many online students in Pennsylvania rely on financial aid resources like student loans, scholarships, and grants to pay for college. As an online student, however, you may be able to graduate with fewer loans than some on-campus learners. 

In the following cost comparison table, you’ll find general tuition rates of online colleges vs. traditional colleges in Pennsylvania.

School NameOn-Campus In-StateOn-Campus Out-of-StateOnline In-StateOnline Out-of-State
Cairn University$31,255/ yearN/A$ 425/ creditN/A
Temple University College of Music and Dance$19,776/ year$34,704/ year$804/ credit$804/ credit
Bloomsburg University$10,982 / year$22,806 / year$422.75 / credit$915.75/ credit
Cheyney University of Pennsylvania $13,537 / year$31,656 / yearN/AN/A
Pittsburg State University $17,970 / year$31,856 / year $285 / year$285 / year

* Costs include tuition and required fees of undergraduate programs.

Financial Aid for Pennsylvania Online Students

Online college students in Pennsylvania can depend on common financial aid resources that include student loans, state funding, and scholarships. 

Grants in Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) website lists state grants and college work-study opportunities for Pennsylvania online students as well as an interactive guide that provides an overview of everything you need to know about financial aid. 

For example, PHEAA lists a grant for students who have aged out of foster care and one for children of those who have lost their lives protecting Pennsylvania citizens. 

Students in Pennsylvania can also apply for Pennsylvania Grant programs like the Pennsylvania State Grant and the Blind or Deaf Higher Education Beneficiary Grant to pay for college.

Private Scholarships

Don’t underestimate the importance of applying for as many nonprofit and private external scholarships like those listed on FundsNet’s and Sallie Mae’s website. One of the best places to look for these scholarships is through your school and program. Also look into nonprofits in your area to see if they offer scholarships to local students.

Student Loans

The state of Pennsylvania offers many financial aid programs to help online students with state residency to pay for college. Their website lists the best student loan lendersCredible and College Ave—which help students find and compare options and get quotes. 

There are also student loan repayment programs like the PA IOLTA Loan Repay Pennsylvania Primary Care Loan Repayment Program (LRP), but your first stop for student loans should be the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid website.

To learn more about financial aid, visit our online colleges financial aid guide and our scholarship resource for students pursuing online degrees in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania’s Hottest College-Level Careers

If, like many online college students in Pennsylvania, you aren’t sure what degree discipline or career field interests you, you can identify and narrow your options by learning which career fields are in highest demand. In the chart below, you’ll find which careers are expected to see the fasted growth in the next decade. 

CareerJob Growth (2020-2030)Annual Mean Wage (2021)
Statisticians37.3%$85,340
Physical Therapist Assistants35.2%$55,410
Physician Assistants33.5%$109,530
Epidemiologists33.3%$101,570
Nurse Practitioners32.7%$117,260
Occupational Therapy Assistants32.7%$55,820
Information Security Analysts32.5%$96,400
Software Developers  27.9%$105,550
Computer Numerically Controlled Tool Operators27.8%$47,510
Speech-Language Pathologists26.8%$84,630

More Resources for Pennsylvania College Students

The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency

A leading national student aid organization, PHEAAhas served millions of online and on-campus college students and thousands of schools through a variety of student aid programs. PHEAA’s programs include financial aid processing, outreach, loan servicing and loan guaranty. Visit their student resources page.

Pennsylvania College of Health Science’s Federal Resources

Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences lists several financial aid resources for prospective and current students who take classes online or in person. You’ll find a list of federal resources like the FAFSA application and loan counseling as well as a loan calculator tool.

Resources for Students with Disabilities

On PAsmart’s website, college students with disabilities can find a range of educational opportunities that include trade and technical schools, training programs, community colleges, and universities. PAsmart’s website links to The Pennsylvania Secondary Transition Guide, which offers services, supports, and resources for post-secondary education and training. 

Pennsylvania Adult Education Resources

The Pennsylvania Professional Development System (PDS) is an organization comprised of professional development projects that support adult education and family literacy agencies with the aim of improving student outcomes. Students can find tools and resources on career coaching, data collection, and digital literacy as well as lesson banks and professional development courses, among other topics.