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2023 Best Online Colleges in Massachusetts

By OnlineU Staff Writers | Updated 9/19/2023


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Massachusetts has a rich history of delivering higher education since the early 1600s. Today, there are over 100 institutions of higher learning, including online colleges in Massachusetts that utilize current technologies in order to deliver online bachelor’s degree programs to distance learners. Students who prefer the convenience of attending school from home can choose online degree programs in majors such as Criminal Justice, Information Technology, Nursing, Business, and Education. Students often transfer into these four-year programs from some of the best online community colleges in the state. 

We’ve ranked our list of Massachusetts’ best online colleges by Salary Score so you can set realistic salary expectations and help minimize the burden of student debt. View our methodology for more details about our list, or learn more about OnlineU

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2023 Best Online Colleges in Massachusetts

RankSchool Salary Score Online Enrollment
# 1 #1 Northeastern University Global Network 88 4,131
# 2 #2 Anna Maria College 80 291
# 3 #3 Endicott College 79 885
# 4 #4 Worcester Polytechnic Institute 79 873
# 5 #5 Fisher College 78 661
# 6 #6 Boston University 78 8,064
# 7 #7 Brandeis University 77 380
# 8 #8 University of Massachusetts - Boston 77 2,062
# 9 #9 University of Massachusetts - Amherst 74 4,105
# 10 #10 University of Massachusetts - Lowell 70 5,042

#1 Northeastern University Global Network

  • Salary Score: 88
  • Online Enrollment: 4,131
  • Locations: Boston
  • Accreditation: NECHE

Northeastern University Global Network (NEUGN) is part of Northeastern University, and it is a private, nonprofit institution in Boston. It offers online degrees at the bachelor's completion, master's, and doctoral levels. Online undergraduate degree completions include majors such as analytics, digital communication and media, information technology, and project management. Students complete 120 credits to graduate from these programs, which may be achieved in less than four years. Online master's degrees include wide-ranging subjects, such as biotechnology, criminology and criminal justice, and cybersecurity. It takes students about two years to complete the required 30 credits for these graduate degrees. NEUGN only accepts 18% of applicants. However, these students are dedicated, and 89% graduate.

Canvas is the learning management system NEUGN uses for online curriculum delivery. Distance learners can expect a 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio when attending online classes. Virtual student services include access to the library, bookstore, and tutoring, advising. NEUGN is known for being part of an R1 research institution — as designated by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education — due to its high research activity. It regularly conducts research in health, security, and sustainability.

#2 Anna Maria College

  • Salary Score: 80
  • Online Enrollment: 291
  • Locations: Paxton
  • Accreditation: NECHE

Anna Maria College (AMC) in rural Paxton is a private, Roman Catholic institution offering online degrees at the bachelor's and master's levels in the liberal arts. The four online bachelor's degrees are available in the fields of criminal justice, fire science, health administration, and psychology. The two online master's degrees are a Master of Science in Criminal Justice and a Master of Public Administration. AMC's undergraduate degrees require completing 120 credits, which can take full-time students with transfer credits as little as two years. Graduate students with transfer credits can finish a 36-credit master's degree in as little as a year. AMC accepts 73% of undergraduate applicants and 53% graduate with degrees.

AMC's distance learners use Engage to access online coursework and instruction. Classes are eight weeks and delivered in asynchronous formats. AMC has a small 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio, which can foster mentor relationships between instructors and students. While online students are ineligible for scholarships, they can still apply for financial aid. They have remote access to AMC's student services, including career help, tech support, and the writing center. As part of its online curriculum, AMC is known for its Master of Public Administration, which helps prepare students for job advancement within the public sector. The curriculum includes tracks in criminal justice, emergency management, fire and emergency services, and Homeland Security.

#3 Endicott College

  • Salary Score: 79
  • Online Enrollment: 885
  • Locations: Beverly
  • Accreditation: NECHE

Endicott College in suburban Beverly outside of Boston is a private, nonprofit institution offering online undergraduate degrees at the associate and bachelor's levels through The Van Loan School. Majors include business, criminal justice, computer science, liberal arts, and psychology. Graduating from an online associate degree program generally requires about 67 credits and 126 for online bachelor's degree programs. Some programs may require at least two years of previous work experience to enroll. Full-time students may complete online associate degrees in two years and online bachelor's degrees in four. Endicott accepts 74% of applicants, and 75% of students graduate with degrees.

EC uses the popular Canvas learning management system to deliver its online programming. EC's low 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio helps make classes manageable and helps students build relationships with their peers and instructors. EC’s distance learners may be eligible for financial aid and scholarships to help cover costs. EC is known for the student services it provides to its distance learners to help ensure academic success. Online student support services include access to library resources and librarian chat, tech support, tutoring and academic coaching, writing help, and advising. EC's Center for Student Success and Retention is available to offer suggestions and support if students are considering changing majors or transferring schools.

#4 Worcester Polytechnic Institute

  • Salary Score: 79
  • Online Enrollment: 873
  • Locations: Worcester
  • Accreditation: NECHE

Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) is a private, nonprofit institution with a rich online graduate curriculum in engineering. Online master's degrees include subject areas such as environmental engineering, aerospace engineering, fire protection engineering, manufacturing engineering, and mechanical engineering. Many of these programs have nondegree graduate certificate options as well. Earning an online master's degree at WPI typically requires completing a minimum of 30 credits, which generally takes full-time students two years.

WPI uses Canvas to deliver online coursework and instruction to distance learners, such as those in its online graduate engineering programs. It has a 14:1 student-to-faculty ratio, which students in STEM programs may find appealing as learning becomes more complex at this advanced level. A small student-to-faculty ratio often results in relationship-building and individualized instruction. Online student support services include career development help, academic advising, access to library resources, and tech support. WPI is known for its project-based learning approach to higher education, known as the WIP Plan. This approach offers opportunities for hands-on learning so students are better prepared for the workforce and life in general.

#5 Fisher College

  • Salary Score: 78
  • Online Enrollment: 661
  • Locations: Boston
  • Accreditation: NECHE

Fisher College’s convenient and affordable online programs make undergraduate higher education accessible to students who need flexible scheduling options. Students can enroll in an online Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science, with majors such as human services, information technology, criminal justice, liberal arts, early childhood education, communication and media studies, and RN to BSN. Several of these majors are also offered as degree-completion programs. Online learners enrolling in these programs may transfer previously earned credits from community colleges, which enables students to graduate faster while saving both time and money. Distance learners can access online student resources, such as career services, the Fisher College bookstore, and library services.

#6 Boston University

  • Salary Score: 78
  • Online Enrollment: 8,064
  • Locations: Boston
  • Accreditation: NECHE

Prestigious and highly-competitive Boston University (BU) is a private, nonprofit institution offering online degrees mainly at the graduate level except for one online undergraduate degree completion program. Graduate majors are diverse and range from social work and project management to art education and health informatics. BU's three online doctoral degrees include ministry, music education, and occupational therapy. Online master's degree students complete approximately 32 credits to graduate, generally taking them less than two years. Meanwhile, students in online doctoral degree programs take up to seven years to complete about 48 credits.

BU's online programming is delivered asynchronously via Blackboard. The university has a small 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio, which can help foster classroom engagement and relationship-building. BU's distance learners can apply for financial aid to help offset the high costs of attending college. Admitted online students have remote access to BU's wide breadth of student services, including library resources, behavioral medicine, the bookstore, tutoring, and writing support. BU is known for its active online learning environment. It uses the latest technologies to provide students with an interactive learning environment that includes simulations, video, audio, multimedia, and discussion boards for group activities.

#7 Brandeis University

  • Salary Score: 77
  • Online Enrollment: 380
  • Locations: Waltham
  • Accreditation: NECHE

Brandeis University (BU) in Waltham is a competitive, private, nonprofit institution. It has a fully virtual graduate school offering part-time (less than three years) and full-time master's degrees (one year) to distance learners through Brandeis Graduate Professional Studies (GPS) in the Rabb School. Most GPS programming is in STEM-related fields, such as bioinformatics, learning experience design, and software engineering. However, online project and program management graduate degrees are also available. Graduating from these online degree programs requires completing 30 credits.

BU uses Moodle-based LATTE to deliver online coursework and instruction to its GPS students. Its 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio helps instructors get to know their students in order to provide personalized instruction based on individual needs. As a full-online graduate school, GPS offers remote access to student services, such as academic advising, networking opportunities, and career guidance. BU has been known for delivering graduate-level education through GPS and the Rabb School for over 25 years, geared toward a more diverse, part-time, working adult population eager to increase opportunities for career advancement.

#8 University of Massachusetts - Boston

  • Salary Score: 77
  • Online Enrollment: 2,062
  • Locations: Boston
  • Accreditation: NECHE

The University of Massachusetts - Boston (UMass Boston) is one of four campuses in the UMass system and is an Asian-American and Native-American Pacific Islander-serving institution. It offers online degrees at the bachelor's and master's levels. Online bachelor's degrees are available in nursing (an RN to BSN) and global affairs. Examples of online master's degrees include critical and creative thinking, applied linguistics, rehabilitation counseling, and special education. Online bachelor's degrees require completing about 120 credits, taking full-time students at least four years to finish. Online master's degrees, on the other hand, usually require between 30 and 40 credits and take just two years to finish. UMass Boston accepts 79% of applicants, and 57% of students graduate with degrees.

UMass Boston delivers its online programming asynchronously via Blackboard. It offers a 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio with smaller class sizes. All first-year students are automatically considered for UMass Boston merit scholarships upon enrollment. UMass Boston supports its online learners through remote access to academic advising, career services, library resources, and IT support. UMass Boston is the most diverse university in New England and the third most diverse in the U.S. Its student body is 19% Hispanic and 15% Asian. This diversity can create an environment of inclusivity and promote the sharing of differing ideas, perspectives, and experiences.

#9 University of Massachusetts - Amherst

  • Salary Score: 74
  • Online Enrollment: 4,105
  • Locations: Amherst
  • Accreditation: NECHE

The "University Without Walls" at the University of Massachusetts - Amherst (UMass Amherst) enables students from all over to access its online curricula and earn online degrees. Online bachelor’s degree programs include business administration, RN to a BS, sociology, and sustainable food and farming — among others. Students interested in UMass’ online undergraduate nursing programs can opt for an accelerated format, which they may complete in 17 months if attending full time. UMass also has an online bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies that allows students to build their own innovative and individualized curriculum while possibly receiving credit for life and work experience. Online students can access resources, such as virtual tech support, career services, study guides, and academic support.

#10 University of Massachusetts - Lowell

  • Salary Score: 70
  • Online Enrollment: 5,042
  • Locations: Lowell
  • Accreditation: NECHE

The University of Massachusetts - Lowell (UMass Lowell) welcomes online learners by offering online bachelor’s degree and certificate programs in 100% online, asynchronous, and "Live Online" synchronous formats. Online bachelor’s degree programs include majors such as liberal arts, psychology, and information technology. Online students who transfer up to 90 college credits and attend full time may be able to finish some programs in as little as 12 to 36 months. Online undergraduate certificate programs include paralegal studies, security management and homeland security, and website design and development, which students may complete as quickly as nine months. UMass Lowell offers online tech support, academic advising, a knowledge database, and library services to distance learners.

#11 Emerson College

  • Salary Score: 69
  • Online Enrollment: 889
  • Locations: Boston
  • Accreditation: NECHE

Boston's Emerson College (EC) is a private, nonprofit, and relatively competitive institution offering six online master's degrees and five online certificates in the liberal arts. Online master's degrees are available in communication disorders, marketing, popular fiction writing & publishing, writing for film and television, digital communication leadership, and a unique MBA in creative enterprises. Online certificates are generally in digital communications, marketing, and public relations. Students choosing EC's Standard Curriculum complete 32 credits, while those with five or more years of experience may choose its 28-Credit Executive Format, which allows students to waive four credits. Students may be able to finish in as few as 15 months.

EC's distance learners access Canvas to participate in courses asynchronously. Class sizes are relatively small at a 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio, enabling students and their instructors to get to know each other. Distance learners may apply for financial aid to help pay for school and may be eligible for scholarships. Online student resources include library access, peer tutoring, tech support, academic advising, and writing help. EC is known for its Social Justice Collaborative (SJC). Online students can participate through SJC LIVE, a virtual space implemented for "expanding our individual and collective capacities to manifest transformative social change." Its Healing & Advocacy Collective provides virtual, confidential advocacy-based counseling for students feeling overwhelmed by life's challenges.

#12 Bay Path University

  • Salary Score: 64
  • Online Enrollment: 1,626
  • Locations: Longmeadow (and 1 other)
  • Accreditation: NECHE

Through Bay Path University’s American Women’s College (AWC), women interested in going to school as distance learners can enroll in any of its 40 online undergraduate degrees and certificate programs. AWC students can enroll in online bachelor’s degree programs such as child psychology, business analytics, cybersecurity, digital marketing management, human services, nonprofit management, and psychology. Online certificate programs include digital marketing management, entrepreneurship, human services and rehabilitation, leadership and organizational studies, and nonprofit management. Additionally, AWC’s Social Online Universal Learning (SOUL) program can help students achieve academic success through its virtual onboarding program with educator coaches, accelerated course pace, customized instruction, and virtual learning communities.

#13 Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

  • Salary Score: 64
  • Online Enrollment: 1,508
  • Locations: Boston
  • Accreditation: NECHE

Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS) is a private, nonprofit institution in Boston. It offers over 20 online degrees at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. Online bachelor's majors include dental hygiene, health sciences, nuclear medicine technology, and respiratory therapy. On the other hand, some online master's degrees include healthcare administration, health informatics, and nursing. Graduating with an online bachelor’s degree generally requires 121 credits, which can take students around 36 months of full-time enrollment. Online master's degrees require approximately 30 credits and take students about two years. MCPHS accepts 98% of applicants, and it has an 80% graduation rate — which is significantly higher than the 58% national average.

MCPHS uses Blackboard for delivering online programming to distance learners. It has a 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio in order to help build strong working relationships between students and instructors. Online MCPHS students may be eligible for need-based scholarships to assist in covering the costs of college. MCPHS offers unique online student support services, such as a virtual relaxation space for stress management and a virtual sleep lab. Other online student support services include library resources and tech support. MCPHS is known for its graduate median earnings at just over $124,000, more than double the $50,400 national average.

#14 Framingham State University

  • Salary Score: 63
  • Online Enrollment: 1,621
  • Locations: Framingham
  • Accreditation: NECHE

Framingham State University (FSU) is a public institution primarily offering online degrees at the master's level, except for one online bachelor's degree in liberal studies. Online master's degrees are mainly in education, such as literacy & language, educational technology, and special education. Graduating requires completing approximately 30 to 48 credits, depending on the major. Some full-time students may be able to finish in as few as 18 months, while others may need up to three years. FSU has an 84% acceptance rate and a 62% graduation rate.

Depending on the program, online courses are offered asynchronously to distance learners via Canvas and synchronously through a web-based communication platform, such as Zoom. They are limited to 25 students in order to ensure personalized attention. Remote student services include access to tech support, the library, the student bookstore, and career development assistance. FSU is known for being the nation's first public normal school, founded in 1839 to prepare aspiring teachers. To this day, FSU offers a rich education curriculum to prepare future teachers for certification and seasoned educators for career advancement.

#15 Bridgewater State University

  • Salary Score: 61
  • Online Enrollment: 817
  • Locations: Bridgewater
  • Accreditation: NECHE

Bridgewater State University offers online bachelor’s degrees in majors such as general management, psychology, and communication studies. Online degree completion programs include elementary education, special education, and childhood studies. Teachers can also earn online certificates in teaching through a virtual/online K-12 environment. The same instructors who teach in-person courses generally teach online courses as well, so distance learners can expect to receive the same high quality instruction as their on-campus peers. Online students can also access many of the same student resources as those attending on campus, such as advising, tutoring, and library services.

#16 Simmons University

  • Salary Score: 61
  • Online Enrollment: 2,739
  • Locations: Boston
  • Accreditation: NECHE

Women's-only Simmons University (SU) in Boston is a private, nonprofit institution offering online degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels. These include 14 online bachelor's degrees, which are available in majors such as social work, marketing, computer science, and applied psychology. Thirteen online co-educational master's and doctoral degree programs are also available, including those in nursing, public health, social work, and behavior analysis. Earning an online bachelor's degree generally takes full-time students about four years to finish the required 128 credits. Students may be required to transfer into an online undergraduate program with a minimum of 17 previously earned college credits, which may help students finish faster. Online graduate students may be able to finish a 40-credit program in just under two years. SU has an 84% acceptance rate and an 82% graduation rate.

Moodle is the learning management system SU uses to deliver its online curriculum. Class sizes are small at a 9:1 student-to-faculty ratio. SU offers competitive, merit-based scholarships to qualified, full-time undergraduate students. Once enrolled, distance learners gain remote access to student services, such as advising, tech support, library resources, and interactive learning tools. Simmons is known for supporting all aspects of student life for its distance learners to keep them engaged while providing a sense of community. As a result, online students can join clubs and organizations and watch live events just like their on-campus peers.

#17 Fitchburg State University

  • Salary Score: 60
  • Online Enrollment: 2,836
  • Locations: Fitchburg
  • Accreditation: NECHE

Suburban Fitchburg State University (FSU) is a public institution offering online degrees, including an online bachelor's degree in nursing and online master's degrees in business and education. FSU also offers online nondegree-granting graduate certificate programs in various business specialties, such as supply chain management and healthcare management. The online RN to BSN requires completing 32 credits in an accelerated format that may be finished in as few as 12 months if studying full time. Similarly, full-time graduate students can finish an accelerated 30-credit online master's degree in as little as a year. FSU accepts 85% of applicants and has a 59% graduation rate.

FSU online students use Blackboard to access online programming. A low 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio allows for small class sizes conducive to one-on-one instruction. FSU doesn’t offer scholarships to online students, but they can apply for federal financial aid. FSU is known for understanding that distance learners need the same access to student services as their on-campus peers. Therefore, it offers remote access to services, such as career development, counseling, disability services, library resources, writing help, and access to the student bookstore.

#18 Westfield State University

  • Salary Score: 54
  • Online Enrollment: 568
  • Locations: Westfield
  • Accreditation: NECHE

Westfield State University (WSU), west of Springfield, is a public institution primarily offering online bachelor's degree completion programs specially designed for students who have graduated from a Massachusetts community college or have completed the Mass transfer compact. However, others may be eligible to enroll. Fields of study include accounting, history, marketing, and sociology. Graduating requires 120 credits, which generally takes full-time students less than four years, depending on the number of credits they transfer into the program. WSU has a 94% acceptance rate, and 64% of students graduate.

WSU distance learners use PLATO to access online classes and engage with their peers and instructors. WSU has a 21:1 student-to-faculty ratio that can help promote lively remote classroom discussions and the exchange of ideas and perspectives. While online students are ineligible for WSU’s scholarships, they are still encouraged to apply for federal financial aid. Online student resources include access to the PLATO help desk, the learning cloud video tutorials, writing help, library resources, the bookstore, and tutoring. WSU is known for its rich New England history. It was founded in 1839 by Horace Mann, an American educational reformer, abolitionist, and politician. Mann was instrumental in the establishment of unified school systems and the promotion of public education.

#19 Lesley University

  • Salary Score: 53
  • Online Enrollment: 779
  • Locations: Cambridge
  • Accreditation: NECHE

Lesley University (LU) in academic Cambridge near Harvard Square is a private, nonprofit institution offering more than 20 online degrees at the bachelor's and master's levels as well as online graduate certificates. Online programs include education, business management, art & design, human services, liberal arts, and psychology & counseling. To earn an online bachelor's degree, students must complete 120 credits, which generally takes four years of full-time study. Depending on the major, online graduate students must complete about 33 credits which may take less than two years. LU accepts 87% of applicants, while 63% of enrolled students graduate with degrees.

LU delivers its online program content via the virtual platform Blackboard, and the school has a low 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio, which can help students feel engaged in class due to the individualized instruction. First-year and transfer students may be eligible for scholarships in addition to financial aid. LU's student support services can be accessed remotely, including tutoring, academic advising, language help for ESL students, and library resources. LU is known for being New England's largest educator of teachers and counselors. The cusp of LU's curriculum lies where education, counseling, and the visual arts intersect.

#20 Lasell College

  • Salary Score: 52
  • Online Enrollment: 343
  • Locations: Newton
  • Accreditation: NECHE

Lasell University (LU) is a private nonprofit institution in Newton offering dozens of online degrees at the bachelor's and master's levels. Online undergraduate degrees are offered as bachelor's completion programs, including business administration, interdisciplinary studies, psychology, and communication. Examples of online master's degrees include sport tourism & hospitality, project management, human resources, and criminal justice-violence prevention and advocacy. Students transferring into LU's online bachelor's completion programs must complete a total of 120 credits to graduate, generally taking less than four years. Online master's degree students must complete approximately 36 credits, which they can achieve in as little as a year. LU has an 85% acceptance rate and a 61% graduation rate.

LU's distance learners can access the online learning platform Canvas 24/7 to engage in the virtual curriculum at their convenience. Classes are small at a 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio, with a cap of 25 students per class. All first-year applicants are automatically considered for Lasell University Awards to help pay for college. Online student services include career development, mental health support, technology help, academic advising, and library resources. LU is known for its flexible programming suited to busy schedules and working adults. Students can earn degrees in an accelerated format, cutting the time to graduate nearly in half or finish at a more traditional pace.

#21 University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth

  • Salary Score: 49
  • Online Enrollment: 1,514
  • Locations: North Dartmouth
  • Accreditation: NECHE

As another campus in the UMass system, UMass Dartmouth (not to be confused with Dartmouth College) offers online degrees at the bachelor's and master's levels. Examples of online bachelor's degrees include management leadership, finance, political science, and women's and gender studies. Online master's degrees include nursing, art education, computer science, and business administration, to name a few. Graduating with a bachelor's degree requires 120 credits, which takes students about four years of full-time study. A master's degree requires about 30 credits and takes about two years. UMass Dartmouth accepts 92% of applicants, and 58% of students graduate.

UMass Dartmouth distance learners also use Blackboard to access online coursework and instruction. A 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio makes for comfortable class sizes that foster student engagement. Similar to UMass Boston, all UMass Dartmouth first-year students are automatically considered for merit scholarships upon enrollment. Online student services include remote access to a career center, tutoring, advising, tech support, the library, and the bookstore. UMass Dartmouth is known for its seven degree-granting colleges and Honors College. It's designated as a DRU-R2 university by Carnegie for being a high-research doctoral university. Research areas include marine science and technology, humanities, life science, AI, computing, and data science.

#22 Regis College

  • Salary Score: 45
  • Online Enrollment: 2,076
  • Locations: Weston
  • Accreditation: NECHE

Regis College (RC) in Weston is a private, Roman Catholic institution offering online degrees, mainly at the master's level, in healthcare and other health-related studies. Examples of online master's degrees include applied behavioral analysis, nursing, social work, and public health. These online graduate degrees generally require completing between 30 and 40 credits, as well as a clinical or internship. Some full-time students may be able to finish one of these degrees in less than two years. In addition, one online bachelor's degree completion program is offered in medical imaging. RC has an 89% acceptance rate for its undergraduate programs, while 68% of undergraduates earn degrees on average.

RC's distance learners use Moodle to gain access to online coursework and instruction. A small 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio helps instructors focus on delivering individualized instruction as they learn more about each student. Online students can access RC's student services, such as the student bookstore, library, tech support, and career development and counseling. RC is known for being military-friendly, with programs such as nursing, health sciences, and business suited to the unique experience of student veterans. It supports veterans and other military-connected learners through online support services, such as tutoring, advising, and accessibility.

#23 Simmons University School of Social Work

  • Salary Score: N/A
  • Online Enrollment: 2,739
  • Locations: Boston
  • Accreditation: NECHE

Boston's Simmons University School of Social Work is part of Simmon's University (SU), a private nonprofit institution. SU is known for having the nation's first school of clinical social work, established in 1904 as a joint venture with Harvard. While its undergraduate curriculum is for women only, its graduate programs are open to all. SUSSW offers three online degrees in social work, including one bachelor's (BSW), one master's (MSW), and one doctoral program (DSW). Online BSW and MSW programs may be completed in as little as a year. The online BSW requires completing 128 credits, and students must have at least 17 previously earned college credits to be eligible to enroll. It helps students prepare for the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) exam. An online MSW generally requires completing 65 credits, less for students with BSWs. SU accepts 84% of undergraduate applicants, and 82% of students graduate with degrees.

SU's prospective social work graduates use Moodle to log into and participate in their classes. It has a small 9:1 student-to-faculty ratio, ideal for building community inside the classroom and delivering individualized instruction. Online student support services include access to the bookstore, tech support, mental health counseling, and interactive learning tools.

#24 Berklee College of Music

  • Salary Score: N/A
  • Online Enrollment: 1,993
  • Locations: Boston
  • Accreditation: NECHE

Located in historic Boston, The Berklee College of Music (BCM) is a private, nonprofit institution offering over a dozen online degrees at the bachelor's and master's levels, over 50 certificate programs, and hundreds of music courses. Here are some examples of the 11 online bachelor's degrees available: music production, songwriting, and BCM's new voice and piano performance programs. Online master's degrees include majors such as film scoring, music business, and a new interdisciplinary music studies program. Graduating from a BCM online bachelor's degree requires 120 credits, which generally takes students four years of full-time attendance. In comparison, 36 credits are required for a master's degree, which usually takes two years. BMC has a 55% undergraduate acceptance rate and a 65% graduation rate.

BCM delivers its online asynchronous programming via Canvas. Its small 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio is ideal for individualized instruction. Undergraduate distance learners can apply for scholarships and financial aid to help pay for tuition and related fees. Once they enroll, online students can access online student services, such as career information and mentorships. Additionally, BCM is known for its free music resources available to students, including sample lessons, degree handbooks and course materials, and news and exclusive content such as podcasts and video tutorials.

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Higher Education in Massachusetts

As one of the first states in the nation, Massachusetts is steeped in tradition, and one of those traditions is a commitment to education. Of the nearly seven million residents here, an astonishing 45.2% of them hold a bachelor's degree or higher.

Prospective college students in Massachusetts have a tremendous array of choices. Public institutions include the University of Massachusetts with campuses in Amherst, Boston, and Lowell. The state also runs 15 community colleges, such as Bunker Hill Community College in Boston and Bristol Community College in Fall River. 

Massachusetts is also home to one Ivy League school — Harvard University in Cambridge — as well as numerous other private schools, including Boston University, Boston College, and Northeastern University, also in Boston.

In addition to on-campus programs, many Massachusetts colleges and universities offer online learning programs for degrees at all levels. For example, two-year schools typically feature online associate degrees, certificates, and diplomas. Four-year schools generally offer online bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees, as well as post-graduate certificate programs. Business administration, health sciences, and criminal justice are among the most popular bachelor's degrees in the state.

In Massachusetts, college graduates are likely to find employment in one of the state's top industries, which include defense, robotics, information technology, financial services, life sciences, advanced manufacturing, and clean technology. Some of the largest and best-known employers are Dell, General Dynamics, Raytheon, Fidelity Investments, Liberty Mutual, Gillette Corporation, Bose, and Yankee Candle.


Some of the most important factors to consider when you're reviewing online degree programs in Massachusetts include cost, faculty, and student services. But perhaps the most important factor is accreditation. Every school on our rankings list of the best online colleges in Massachusetts is accredited, most likely by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) or the Distance Education Accreditation Commission (DEAC).

For a number of important reasons, it's essential to choose an accredited online college in Massachusetts when enrolling. It's required for you to receive financial aid, and it is usually required for you to transfer credits between schools. You may also need to have earned an accredited bachelor's degree to be accepted into a graduate program or to obtain a state-issued license or credential in order to practice your chosen occupation, such as teaching or nursing. 

Looking for specific programs in Massachusetts? Review our lists of  online MBAs in Massachusetts or the best online nursing programs in Massachusetts.

FAQs About Online Colleges in Massachusetts

How Much Is Massachusetts College Tuition?

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, college tuition and fees in Massachusetts can be significantly higher than national averages. Fortunately, students enrolled in both traditional and online programs in the state may be eligible for financial aid from the federal, state, and school sources. 

Some of the many financial aid programs funded by Massachusetts include the MASSGrant, the Massachusetts Part-Time Grant, the High Demand Scholarship Program, and need-based tuition waivers.

How Many Colleges Are in Massachusetts?

College Navigator, a resource that uses data from the NCES, provides detailed information on the 152 post-secondary institutions of higher education in Massachusetts. About one-fourth of these schools are state-run colleges, while the remaining institutions are privately operated.

What Are the Best Colleges in Massachusetts?

Some of the most highly respected colleges in the country can be found in Massachusetts. These include the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Tufts University in Medford, and Brandeis University in Waltham. 

Our rankings list above and our Salary Score methodology are designed to assist students in determining the best online colleges in Massachusetts for their needs.

Which Colleges in Massachusetts Offer Online Degrees?

Many colleges in Massachusetts offer online degrees. Middlesex Community College in Bedford and Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester are just two of the community colleges offering online associate degrees. The University of Massachusetts Global and Harvard University in Cambridge are examples of four-year universities offering bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees through distance education. 

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