Top 10 Online Colleges for Adults

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10. Brandman University

Founded in 1958 as the Residence Education Center Program, Brandman University

started out as a satellite campus or extension center offered by Chapman University. The

university has accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and

has a strong reputation as a college that is friendly to military students, including both

veterans and those currently enrolled. It has an enrollment of more than 11,000 students

between its main campus and online system. The online programs designed for adult students available through

Brandman include those in education, arts and sciences, business and professional studies, and nursing and health

professions. Some of the available majors and degree programs include those in early childhood education, nursing,

marketing, and criminal justice.

9. Northcentral University

Based out of San Diego, California, Northcentral University is a for-profit university that

offers degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels as well as some specialist

degree programs. Since opening in 1996, the university saw its enrollment grow to reach

more than 10,000 students. Northcentral University is unique because the university

operates entirely online and helps students living in cities all around the world reach their

education goals. It offers bachelor completion programs designed for those who previously took college classes.

They can transfer in credits and work on earning a degree in psychology, education, or business administration.

Northcentral University has a rolling admissions policy and allows new students to start any program at the beginning

of any week of the year.

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7. Regis University

The Society of Jesuits founded Regis University in 1877 because that religious

organization wanted to create a college that would train students for working in different

fields but also help them learn more about the Roman Catholic faith. It is both a nationally

ranked university as well as a top tier college. Regis University offers a number of

different undergrad degree programs that are suitable for online adult students, including

those in criminal justice, social sciences, applied psychology, business administration,

health information management, and accounting. Certificate programs available from the

university in subjects like critical care and database development can help students go

further in their current careers without completing an entire degree program.

6. Keiser University

Established in 1977 as a career college that offered training programs specifically

designed for helping students launch their careers, Keiser University is now an

accredited college that offers traditional programs as well as online options. In addition to

bachelor’s degree programs and graduate degree programs, it also has some associate’s

degree programs available online like those in nursing, golf management, and hospitality.

Bachelor programs include multiple business administration programs with

concentrations in automotive dealership management and certain foreign languages,

cyber forensics, legal studies, and public safety administration. Keiser offers several MBA programs and an online

RN to BSN program that allows currently active nurses to go back to school and earn a BSN.

5. Post University

Post University is the name used by an online college, a flagship campus in Connecticut,

and several satellite centers. Founded in 1890, Post University offers both bachelor’s and

master’s programs for online students and can help adults with financial aid, tuition

reimbursement, and with choosing the right program of study. Associate’s programs let

students study marketing, legal studies, criminal justice, or early childhood education and

develop a strong foundation that can help when they decide to enroll in a bachelor

program. The online MBA program offered by the university is popular, but students can

also study higher education administration, accounting, public administration, human

services, and general education at the graduate level.

4. University of Maryland University College

Though the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) started as a satellite

campus and a branch of the University of Maryland, it now meets the needs of more than

80,000 students, many of whom take classes on one of its satellite campuses or online.

As a college that caters to adult students, it offers adults credit for the work that they do in

the field and offers exams that students can take, which will earn them credits and reduce

the number of courses they need to take. UMUC also awards college credit to veterans

for the work they did in the past. Information technology, public safety, management, and health care are among the

more popular programs offered by the university.

3. Thomas Edison State University

Once called a state college, Thomas Edison State University is now a full university that

has approval from the state of New Jersey and accreditation from the Middle States

Commission on Higher Education. Founded in 1977, it offers degrees through five

colleges on its campus. The John S. Watson School of Public Service and Continuing

Studies is one of its colleges that offers programs designed for working adults. Online

associate’s programs include those in computer and information technology, criminal

justice, nuclear engineering technology and business administration. Bachelor’s degree

programs are available in energy systems technology, accounting, general management,

operations management and professional studies among others. Thomas Edison State University also offers

graduate degrees and both graduate and undergrad certificate programs.

2. Charter Oak State College

Named after a historic tree that once stood in the area, Charter Oak State College is a

public college in Connecticut that emphasizes the liberal arts. COSC allows students to

transfer credits from another college and graduate with a degree after completing just six

credits of work and doing a senior capstone project at the undergrad level. Online

undergrad programs include those in psychology, health information management,

cybersecurity, and business management. Charter Oak State College also offers a

graduate program in organizational effectiveness and leadership. It will award students course credit for their military

service and some types of corporate training. Students can also do independent learning projects for course credit.

1. Excelsior College

Excelsior College has a history that dates back to the early 1970s and served as both a branch of the University of

the State of New York and Regents College before earning a charter that allowed the college to operate on its own. It

is now a private college with an enrollment of more than 36,000 students. Online programs are available in six areas

of study: nursing, business, health sciences, liberal arts, technology, and public service. Excelsior offers programs at

the associate’s, bachelor’s and graduate levels. Students can also enroll in one of its non-credit programs to

complete a certificate in lieu of a degree. Certificates are available in subjects like fundraising essentials, event

management, and design and cybersecurity.