Best Online Colleges in Massachusetts

By OnlineU Staff | Updated 2/18/2020
2020 Best Online Colleges in Massachusetts Badge

The following online schools are the best in Massachusetts, ranked based on their high alumni salaries and annual tuition rates. Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, ranked #1, has the highest reported alumni salary at $121,800. There, undergraduate distance students can pursue a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene, a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences, or an RN to BSN. Many schools on this list offer affordable online degree options, with the majority offering tuition rates under $15,000 annually.

Alumni salaries were provided by PayScale. View our methodology for more details or learn more about OnlineU.

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RankSchool Annual Tuition Mid-Career Salary
# 1 #1 Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences $13,795 $121,800
# 2 #2 University of Massachusetts-Lowell $15,078 $99,800
# 4 #4 University of Massachusetts - Amherst $11,700 $89,600
# 5 #5 Framingham State University $7,540 $82,300
# 6 #6 University of Massachusetts-Boston $12,300 $82,800
# 7 #7 Nichols College $9,900 $82,400
# 8 #8 Western New England University $35,454 $82,500
# 9 #9 American International College $11,850 $76,800
# 10 #10 National Graduate School of Quality Management $14,550 $75,200
# 11 #11 Anna Maria College $9,300 $73,100
# 12 #12 Salem State University $12,975 $73,200
# 13 #13 Bridgewater State University $13,560 $72,900
# 14 #14 College of Our Lady of the Elms $16,182 $70,900
# 15 #15 Becker College $12,900 $69,900
# 16 #16 Lesley University $13,350 $68,000
# 17 #17 Fisher College $11,850 $62,600
# 18 #18 Endicott College $12,192 $54,900
# 19 #19 Bay Path University $12,000 $53,800
Salary data provided by Payscale Logo

Online Colleges in Massachusetts Ranking Details

For each school, we conducted manual research to provide prospective students with more details about the schools' online programs. Explore online degrees offered and accreditation information below.

#1 Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

  • Annual Tuition: $13,795
  • Median Salary: $121,800
  • Locations: Boston
  • Accreditation: NECHE

Specializing in educating future healthcare leaders, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences has a long successful history and close partnerships with Boston’s medical and research community. With online degrees at every level from certificates to doctoral programs, students can pursue a number of career paths, including nursing, dental hygiene, pharmacy, and public health. Upon successful completion of any full-time MCPHS degree, students can access a 100 percent tuition scholarship for one of the following six online, part-time master’s programs: healthcare management, public health, regulatory affairs and health policy, health sciences, clinical research, and clinical management.

#2 University of Massachusetts-Lowell

  • Annual Tuition: $15,078
  • Median Salary: $99,800
  • Locations: Lowell
  • Accreditation: NECHE

A regional University of Massachusetts campus, UMass Lowell hosts nearly 20,000 students and benefits from the prestigious recognition and resources of the UMass system. Students pursuing an online degree have a number of nationally ranked undergraduate and graduate options from which to choose. Students have hundreds of class options each semester, with fields of study including business, criminal justice, education, engineering, health sciences, liberal arts, and information technology. UMass Lowell’s online programs have been offered internationally for more than 20 years. Professional course developers are used to ensure that online programs uphold the level of quality and success for which they are recognized.

#4 University of Massachusetts - Amherst

  • Annual Tuition: $11,700
  • Median Salary: $89,600
  • Locations: Amherst
  • Accreditation: NECHE

UMass Amherst, a public research institution that hosts nearly 30,000 students, is the flagship campus of the University of Massachusetts system. As such, students can select from a host of online programs through the University Without Walls initiative. An extensive orientation and resource webpage provides online students with technical support, tips for submitting materials, and best practices. Top-ranked online degree fields include management and nursing; other popular degree fields include sustainability, business administration, and education.

#5 Framingham State University

  • Annual Tuition: $7,540
  • Median Salary: $82,300
  • Locations: Framingham
  • Accreditation: NECHE

A picturesque New England school, Framingham State University benefits from the growing innovation of Boston and its surrounding areas. Its campus hosts a planetarium, an art gallery, and impressive science laboratories. Students pursuing an online certificate or degree have options in multiple subject areas, including education, business, nursing, and nutrition. Framingham online students are provided with a student orientation at the start of each semester, information technology services, and access to the Center for Academic Success and Achievement.

#6 University of Massachusetts-Boston

  • Annual Tuition: $12,300
  • Median Salary: $82,800
  • Locations: Boston
  • Accreditation: NECHE

A regional University of Massachusetts campus, UMass Boston is a public research institution that hosts over 16,000 students and benefits from the extensive research, innovation, and professional partnerships from the city of Boston. Students pursuing a degree through the Distance Learning and Online Education program have plenty of options, most at the master’s level. Online degree fields include mental health counseling, history, and nursing. Notably, UMass Boston hosts a Master’s in Vision Studies with scholarship support through the Federal Office of Special Education. Online learning is mostly asynchronous, allowing students to fit their studies around other commitments; however, coursework does include set deadlines.

#7 Nichols College

  • Annual Tuition: $9,900
  • Median Salary: $82,400
  • Locations: Dudley
  • Accreditation: NECHE

Nichols College is a private institution in Dudley, Massachusetts, with a nationally ranked online business program. Nichols College uses its HyFlex approach, which gives students the freedom of choosing their preferred method of learning, whether online or in the classroom. Moreover, Nichols College online students use traditional videoconferencing technology, as well as an intuitive app for assignments, forums, and grades. In addition to the MBA, Nichols College offers master’s degrees in accounting, counterterrorism studies, and organizational leadership. Bachelor's degrees are offered in business administration.

#8 Western New England University

  • Annual Tuition: $35,454
  • Median Salary: $82,500
  • Locations: Springfield
  • Accreditation: NECHE

Founded in 1919, Western New England University’s mission is focused on the individual student and learning outside the classroom. They offer extensive online learner support for the successful completion of a degree. WNE University has several online options including bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in business, law, education, and more. Notably, WNE University offers the nation's only online, live, and interactive LLM in elder law and estate planning. Online courses in this program are taught in real-time; students take classes alongside practicing lawyers and have access to the Law Library resources.

#9 American International College

  • Annual Tuition: $11,850
  • Median Salary: $76,800
  • Locations: Springfield
  • Accreditation: NECHE

A private, liberal arts college in Springfield, Massachusetts, American International College strives to provide affordable and flexible online degrees. Distance learners have the option of hybrid or entirely online programs. Online bachelor's degrees are available in fields such as business, nursing, or social science; master's degrees are offered in nursing. AIC offers personalized support for each student and values transparency regarding the cost of tuition. Online students can access library resources, tutoring services, writing support, and career development; AIC also coaches students in online education readiness and offers time management tools.

#10 National Graduate School of Quality Management

  • Annual Tuition: $14,550
  • Median Salary: $75,200
  • Locations: Falmouth
  • Accreditation: NECHE

The National Graduate School of Quality Management was recently added to the New England College of Business. NECB specializes in business management and marketing; it has strong ties to the business community, so much so that employees and family members of its corporate partners get an additional 25 percent tuition reduction in its online programs. Students can choose from all degree levels. Notably, NECB hosts its nationally ranked Master of Business, with concentrations in ethics, finance, global finance trading, human resources, and healthcare.

#11 Anna Maria College

  • Annual Tuition: $9,300
  • Median Salary: $73,100
  • Locations: Paxton
  • Accreditation: NECHE

A Catholic institution in Paxton, Massachusetts, Anna Maria College values mentorship and bold thinking. Students seeking an online degree have undergraduate and graduate options from which to choose, with interesting and sought-after majors such as fire and emergency services, emergency management, and homeland security. Anna Maria College’s online programs are identical to those found on campus but offer students the ability to earn their degree while balancing other commitments. Interested students are paired with an admissions advisor to best determine a program of study.

#12 Salem State University

  • Annual Tuition: $12,975
  • Median Salary: $73,200
  • Locations: Salem
  • Accreditation: NECHE

Hosting roughly 9,000 students, Salem State University is located in Salem, Massachusetts. Salem State graduates work-force-ready students and offers part-time and hybrid online options. Students can choose from three online undergraduate fields of study: fire science administration, intercultural communications, and nursing. Salem State also offers over 600 non-credited online courses and certificates in subjects such as digital studies, strategic communications, public history, and more. With flexible and accelerated programs, students can further their education while balancing other responsibilities.

#13 Bridgewater State University

  • Annual Tuition: $13,560
  • Median Salary: $72,900
  • Locations: Bridgewater
  • Accreditation: NECHE

A public university with two regional campuses, Bridgewater State University is home to over 11,000 students. A bachelor’s in communication studies is offered online through the school’s College of Continuing Studies. It is a degree completion program with two concentrations available: public relations and film, video and media. Courses, which are flexible and offer part-time options, are taught by industry experts. BSU will accept up to 69 transfer credits from two-year institutions, and up to 90 credits from four-year institutions.

#14 College of Our Lady of the Elms

  • Annual Tuition: $16,182
  • Median Salary: $70,900
  • Locations: Chicopee
  • Accreditation: NECHE

A private, Catholic liberal arts college in Chicopee, Massachusetts, College of Our Lady of the Elms offers certificate, undergraduate, and graduate programs that are 100 percent online. Elms College offers two majors geared toward growing needs in the job market: speech-language pathology and healthcare management. Students follow a cohort model; this method allows students to develop a core network and informal peer interaction through online education. Distance learners can access technology services and additional support resources.

#15 Becker College

  • Annual Tuition: $12,900
  • Median Salary: $69,900
  • Locations: Worcester
  • Accreditation: NEASC CTCI

With two campuses in Worcester and Leicester, Becker College traces its lineage to the eighteenth century. A private college with approximately 2,000 students, Becker offers a number of online courses through its School of Graduate and Professional Studies. Students can complete online degrees in business, legal studies, criminal justice, and nursing. Additionally, students can pursue a certificate online in homeland security. Becker College accepts work experience as credit and provides a flexible class schedule allowing online students the ability to work full-time.

#16 Lesley University

  • Annual Tuition: $13,350
  • Median Salary: $68,000
  • Locations: Cambridge
  • Accreditation: NECHE

A private college in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Lesley University offers online undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education programs. Lesley University values creativity and holds its academics to the highest standards. With over 20 fully online degrees, distance learners have a variety of options without compromising on schedule flexibility. Lesley offers an extensive catalog of education programs, as well as offerings in the fields of business, liberal arts, and human services. Students can access a team of online education counselors to assist in degree planning.

#17 Fisher College

  • Annual Tuition: $11,850
  • Median Salary: $62,600
  • Locations: Boston
  • Accreditation: NECHE

A private school in Boston, Massachusetts, Fisher College is committed to inclusivity, intellectual curiosity, and high moral principles. Its Graduate and Professional Studies branch offers online course options in an eight-week term setting. Distance learners at Fisher can benefit from individualized attention and flexible scheduling. Fisher College offers part-time and online undergraduate degrees in criminal justice, marketing, nursing, and more. A master's degree in psychology is offered as well. Several programs offer concentrations to help students tailor their education to their career goals.

#18 Endicott College

  • Annual Tuition: $12,192
  • Median Salary: $54,900
  • Locations: Beverly
  • Accreditation: NECHE

The Van Loan School at Endicott College offers online degrees at the certificate, associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. Degrees can be fully online or completed with some on-campus coursework. With over 60 options, students can work with an academic advisor to determine the best program for their educational needs. Students in the Van Loan School have the same support services as any Endicott student — library staff is even available via phone in the evenings and on weekends to support research and resource questions. Additionally, online students have access to the Writing Center and 24/7 technical support; students can even text for technical help.

#19 Bay Path University

  • Annual Tuition: $12,000
  • Median Salary: $53,800
  • Locations: Longmeadow (and 1 other)
  • Accreditation: NECHE

Bay Path University is a private institution founded in 1897. An inclusive and diverse institution, Bay Path offers fully online programs in a wide variety of fields to distance learners at the certificate, undergraduate and graduate levels. Programs include psychology, offender rehabilitation and victim advocacy, nonprofit management, and entrepreneurship. All courses are delivered through the Canvas learning management system. Online learning is comprised of discussion boards, assignments, interactive learning activities, and more. Bay Path is committed to the success of its remote learners and has a dedicated staff available for additional support and assistance.


This website offers school details to prospective students as an informational resource. The appearance of a school listing on this website should not be interpreted as an endorsement of the school by this site.

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