#1 Park University
Park University (PU) introduced its first online class in 1996. Today the university serves 68% of its students through fully online programs and offers a wide range of bachelor's degrees and certificates. Its most popular bachelor's programs are business administration, research and experimental psychology, and criminal justice. Students at Park University access online classes through Canvas, a learning management system where they can access class materials, watch videos, and submit assignments. Online courses at PU are asynchronous, so students can log in and complete coursework on their schedule rather than meeting at a set time. The university recommends students take two classes per eight-week term so they can balance classwork alongside work, family responsibilities, and other activities. Online students can access services such as tutoring, writing help, mentoring, and career development.
#2 Missouri University of Science and Technology
At the Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T), which is a public institution, students can earn one of more than 15 master's degrees through distance learning. Some of the school's programs include business administration, aerospace engineering, geotechnics, and mechanical engineering. Missouri S&T has an acceptance rate of 81% and a graduation rate of 62%.
Distance learners access their online course materials, submit homework assignments, and engage in group learning activities through the Blackboard learning platform. About 90% of enrollees are full-time students.
#3 University of Missouri
The publicly run University of Missouri, usually called Mizzou, has a large division for distance learning. The school offers a wide selection of online certificates and degrees at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. Some of the school's most notable distance education programs include bachelor's degrees in journalism, business and commerce, and communications and media studies, as well as master's degrees in student counseling and public administration.
Mizzou online students use Canvas to view course materials and complete homework assignments. The school has a 79% acceptance rate and a 75% graduation rate. Nearly all — 92% — enrollees study full time.
#4 Columbia College
Columbia College in Missouri offers online bachelor's degrees, associate degrees, and certificates in eight fields of study. Students can choose programs in accounting and finance, business and human resources, computer and mathematics, general studies, humanities, marketing and entrepreneurship, nursing and health, or social sciences. The university doesn't charge any fees and provides free textbooks to online students to help them plan their finances for college. It also offers tuition discounts for active-duty military service members and their families. Students can enroll and start their program on six start dates throughout the year, and classes last eight weeks. Services for online students include virtual career services, mental health support, telehealth services, veteran services, and tutoring. More than half of Columbia College students are enrolled fully online.
#5 University of Missouri - Kansas City
The University of Missouri at Kansas City (UMKC) is a public institution that offers more than 60 online degrees at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels, as well as graduate certificates. Among the most popular online programs are the bachelor's in communication and the bachelor's in criminal justice. UMKC's nursing college is also strong in distance education, offering online BSNs, MSNs, and DNPs.
UMKC delivers its online courses through the Canvas learning management system. The school has a 69% acceptance rate and a 55% graduation rate, and 54% of its enrollees are full-time students.
#6 University of Missouri at Saint Louis
At the University of Missouri at Saint Louis, which is a public institution, students can earn one of dozens of bachelor's and master's degrees through distance learning. Some of the school's highest-ranking programs include the bachelor's in general psychology and the bachelor's in criminology. The school has a competitive acceptance rate of 51% and a graduation rate of 52%.
Distance learners access their online course materials, submit homework assignments, and engage in group learning activities through the Canvas learning platform. Two-thirds of enrollees are full-time students.
#7 Webster University
Webster University is a private, nonprofit institution that offers a range of online degrees, including more than 20 online bachelor's and more than 40 online master's degrees. Students can opt to pursue online bachelor's degrees in subjects such as data analytics, education, or media studies and online master's degrees in advertising and marketing, business, counseling, or cybersecurity.
Webster uses Canvas to deliver its online courses. The school has a 55% acceptance rate and a 59% graduation rate. Of all enrollees, 80% are full-time students.
#8 Saint Louis University - Main Campus
Saint Louis University is a private, nonprofit institution affiliated with the Roman Catholic church. Through the distance education program at the main campus, students can earn one of 10 online bachelor's degrees or 20 online master's degrees. Some of the more popular bachelor's degrees include emergency management, project management, and organizational leadership, and some of the notable master's programs include health administration, data analytics, and nursing.
Saint Louis University students use the Canvas learning system to view lectures and readings, submit assignments, and participate in class discussions with peers and instructors. The school has an 85% acceptance rate and a 81% graduation rate.
#9 Northwest Missouri State University
The publicly run Northwest Missouri State University (NW Missouri) offers a selection of online degree programs: seven online bachelor's programs and nine master's programs, all in business. Specific examples of bachelor's majors include accounting, HR management, and business management. Some of the areas of concentration for MBAs include finance, accounting, marketing, and management.
NW Missouri's online students use Canvas to view course materials and complete homework assignments. The school has an 86% acceptance rate and a 54% graduation rate. The majority of enrollees — 83% — study full time.
#10 Maryville University
Maryville University of St. Louis offers online bachelor's degrees and certificates in fields such as communication, cybersecurity, data science, digital media, forensic psychology, human resource management, mathematics, sustainability, and nursing. Students can start in the fall, spring, or summer, and there is no fee to apply. Students interested in pursuing a master's or doctoral degree after their bachelor's degree can take Early Access courses that count for both undergraduate and graduate degrees while paying the undergraduate rate.
Online classes are accessed through Canvas, a learning management platform, and students can log on to complete coursework when it's convenient for them throughout the week. Students can access resources such as 24/7 tech support, student support advisors that work with them throughout their program, free online tutoring, and career services. Maryville is recognized as an Apple Distinguished School for innovation and excellence in tech-focused degrees. About half of Maryville students are enrolled in fully online programs.
#11 Missouri Southern State University
Missouri Southern State University is a public university that offers a number of online educational options, including 14 online bachelor's degrees. One of its highest-ranking programs is the bachelor's degree in health professions and related clinical sciences. Missouri Southern accepts virtually all applicants, and 36% of students earn their degree.
Blackboard is the school's online learning management system system. Approximately two-thirds of enrollees study full time.
#12 Lindenwood University
Lindenwood University is a private, non-profit institution that offers more than 35 online bachelor's and master's degrees. Among the most popular online programs are the bachelor's in criminology and the bachelor's in computer/IT management. Lindenwood is also one of the top-ranking schools on our lists of the most affordable bachelor's degrees in art, fashion, and web design.
Lindenwood delivers its online courses through the Canvas learning management system. The school has a 74% acceptance rate and a 54% graduation rate, and 86% of its enrollees are full-time students.
#13 Missouri Western State University
At Missouri Western State University, which is a public institution, students can earn one of 10 bachelor's and master's degrees through distance learning. General studies, technology, and criminal justice are a few of the online bachelor's degrees available, and an MBA is one of the online master's degrees available.
Distance learners access their online course materials, submit homework assignments, and engage in group learning activities through the Canvas learning platform. About two-thirds of enrollees are full-time students. The school has an open enrollment policy and a graduation rate of 41%.
#14 University of Central Missouri
The public University of Central Missouri (UCM) offers a diverse selection of more than 80 online certificates and degrees at the bachelor's and master's levels. Some of the school's distance education programs include bachelor's degrees in educational studies, nursing, and sociology, as well as master's degrees in biology, curriculum and instruction, English, history, and early childhood education.
UCM's online students use Blackboard to view course materials and complete homework assignments. The school has a 71% acceptance rate and a 53% graduation rate, and about three-quarters of enrollees study full time.
#15 Southeast Missouri State University
Students at Southeast Missouri State University can choose from 19 different online undergraduate programs in fields such as family studies, healthcare administration, media management, technology management, psychology, and child development. Online students qualify for in-state tuition, making it a more affordable option for students who live outside of Missouri. Students can also save time and money by earning credits for prior learning and work experiences. Online students have access to textbook rentals, tutoring, counseling, military and veterans services, and career support. The university offers multiple start dates throughout the year, and students can log in and complete coursework, participate in class discussions, and access class materials at their convenience.
#16 Missouri State University
At Missouri State University, a public institution, students can opt for one of 20 online bachelor's degrees, 20 online master's degrees, or two doctorates. One of the school's most prominent online programs is the Doctor of Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Research, and Clinical Nursing. Missouri State also ranks high on many of our lists of the most affordable online master's degrees, including those in music, project management, information technology, and cybersecurity.
Missouri State students use the Blackboard learning system to view lectures and readings, submit assignments, and participate in class discussions with peers and instructors. The school has a 93% acceptance rate and a 58% graduation rate.
#17 Central Methodist University
Central Methodist University (CMU) is a private Methodist college in Fayette. Students can choose from a wide variety of online bachelor's programs in everything from accounting to sports management. The university's most popular degrees are registered nursing and criminal justice, according to data from College Scorecard. CMU offers an orientation course for students new to online learning to help them get acclimated. It also offers classes on an accelerated eight-week schedule, so students can focus on fewer classes at a time. Nearly all students at CMU are enrolled online. Missouri students who are over 25, pursuing their first bachelor's degree, earn less than $40,000 per year, and plan to work in the state for three years after graduation may also qualify for the Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant available through CMU.
#18 A.T. Still University of Health Sciences
At the A.T. Still University of Health Sciences, a private, nonprofit institution, students can opt for one of nine online master's degrees or nine doctorates. All of the school's online programs center around health services, such as master's degrees in health sciences or public health or a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP).
A.T. Still students use the Canvas learning system to view lectures and readings, submit assignments, conduct lab experiments, and participate in class discussions with peers and instructors. Just over 80% of students are enrolled full time.
#19 Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (MBTS) in Kansas City is a private, Southern Baptist institution offering a limited number of online degrees at the associate, bachelor's, and master's levels for ministry careers. Generally, half of all MBTS students enroll in distance-only education. Majors include divinity, Biblical studies, Biblical counseling, and Christian studies. An online Accelerate degree can help students earn a bachelor's and master's in ministry in five years of intense study. MBTS accepts 98% of applicants, and 41% of students graduate with degrees.
MBTS delivers its online programming via Canvas. It has small classes and an 18:1 student-to-faculty ratio. As a Baptist institution, MBTS's curriculum incorporates a Biblical worldview. It also holds firm, conservative beliefs. Based on the school's Student Handbook, MBTS is not an LGBT-friendly school, classifying these individuals as "deviant."
#20 Logan University
Chesterfield's Logan University (LU) is a private, nonprofit institution in the suburbs offering select online healthcare degrees at all academic levels. Nearly all undergrads and over one-third of graduate students attend exclusively online. Online bachelor's degree majors include human biology and life science. Notable online master's degrees include sports science & rehabilitation, nutrition & human performance, and integrative pediatrics. LU has a 66% acceptance rate and a 45% graduation rate.
LU delivers online coursework and instruction via Canvas. It has a 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio and a student body of 1,900. LU wants to help ensure student success. It offers various online resources students can access, such as the Learning Resource Center for tutoring and study materials, tech support, transition support to students as they progress in their academic careers, and career development as students prepare to graduate.
#21 Missouri Baptist University
Missouri Baptist University (MBU) in St. Louis is a private, Baptist institution offering online degrees at the associate, bachelor's, and master's levels in various fields. While only 5% of undergrads enroll solely online, a third of all graduate students do. Programs include online bachelor's degrees in majors such as criminal justice, healthcare management, and psychology. Popular online master's degrees include nursing in several concentrations, social work, and educational administration. Students can transfer up to 96 previously earned credits and apply career experiences toward degrees to save time and money. MBU accepts 62% of applicants, and 52% of students graduate with degrees.
MBU delivers its online programming via Canvas and asynchronous classes. It has small classes and a 20:1 student-to-faculty ratio, so students receive personal attention if they have questions about assignments or need help through stressful times. Online student support includes counseling, advising, veterans assistance, tech help, and study skills development help.
#22 William Woods University
Christian Church faith-based William Woods University (WWU) in Fulton is a private institution offering online degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Between 24% and 53% of students attend WWU exclusively online, depending on their degree. Programs are diverse and include standard areas of study such as psychology, business administration, paralegal studies, and health administration. Unique programs include an online master's in equestrian education and online bachelor's degrees in deaf human services and interpretation studies ESL-English. Each 16-week semester is divided into 8-week terms so students can enroll continuously during the year and potentially finish faster. WWU has a 68% acceptance rate and a 62% graduation rate, just over average.
Brightspace is the learning management system WWU uses to deliver its online programming. It's a small school, with less than 2,000 students and a 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio resulting in small class sizes. WWU is military-friendly. Its Military & First Responder Grant is an initiative that aims to honor men and women in uniform by offering a 20% online tuition discount to military members, first responders, and their spouses/dependents.
#23 (tie) Evangel University
Evangel University (EU) in Springfield is a private institution that follows Assemblies of God Church beliefs and values. It offers online degrees at all levels through its College of Online Learning. Less than a quarter of all students attend exclusively online. Majors include allied health, criminal justice, humanitarian relief and development, church ministries, business management, and literacy. EU accepts 64% of applicants, and 55% of students graduate with degrees.
Canvas is the primary LMS at EU for distance learning. Classes at EU are small, with a 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio, allowing instructors and students to build working relationships. EU's Center for Student Success helps equip students for life during and after college by offering career preparation, tutoring, time-management resources, and Clifton Strengths coaching.
#23 (tie) Southwest Baptist University
Through its Worldwide Campus, Bolivar's Southwest Baptist University (SBU) offers a limited number of online degrees in the liberal arts at the associate, bachelor's, and master's levels. Just under 10% of undergrads and a quarter of graduate students enroll entirely online. Majors at each level include business administration and health sciences. Classes are eight weeks long, which can help some students finish faster than traditional semester-length programs. SBU accepts 96% of applicants, and 55% of students graduate with degrees.
SBU delivers its online programming via the Angel LMS. It has small classes and an 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio. Students should be aware that SBU is not an LGBT-friendly school, as noted in its Student Handbook where it refers to these individuals as "human failures" violating God's will.
#25 Nazarene Theological Seminary
Nazarene Theological Seminary (NTS) in Kansas City is a very small private institution with eight online graduate degrees at the master's and doctoral levels targeted at theology, Biblical studies, and divinity. Half of NTS graduate students enroll in distance-only learning. Notable online programs include a master's degree in transformational leadership in Black leadership in ministry and a similar online doctoral degree in Black leadership and ministry. While most of the coursework is completed online, a one-week, in-person intensive called Convene is required each October.
NTS uses Moodle to deliver its online graduate programming asynchronously to distance learners. However, students must also participate in weekly live, two-hour Zoom sessions for lectures and class discussions. Since NTS only serves a little over 200 students, students can expect small class sizes and individualized attention. While NTS does offer unique online programming focusing on Black ministry and leadership, it's important to note that 74% of its students identify as White and 9% as Black.
#26 Calvary University
Kansas City's Calvary University (CU) is a private, Protestant institution serving just over 200 students through online degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including associate, bachelor's, and one master's degree. More than half of CU's students participate in distance-only instruction through online degrees that help prepare students for church and ministry work. Majors include bible and theology, biblical counseling, business administration, and an online master's degree in organizational development. CU is somewhat competitive, accepting 59% of applicants. It has a 41% graduation rate.
CU delivers its online curriculum asynchronously via Canvas, though some coursework and instruction may be live-streamed. It has a 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio and small classes that help build community and connection. CU offers four distinctives: (1) standing firm and built on the bible, (2) high quality and low cost, (3) a marketable education, and (4) a place for growth. Its $13,600 average annual cost is about 30% less than average.
#27 City Vision University
Distance-learning-only City Vision University (CVU) in Kansas City is a private, nonprofit, Christian institution with online degrees at the associate, bachelor's, and master's levels. Areas of study include nonprofit management, Christian ministry and leadership, addiction counseling, and business, available at all degree levels. It has a generous transfer policy, accepting up to 75% of previously earned credits from undergrads and 25% from graduate students. Courses are in an eight-week format, with five start dates per year. CVU accepts all applicants with a high school diploma or equivalent, and 35% of students graduate with degrees.
Distance learners at CVU log in to Canvas to participate in classes and receive instruction. Since CVU only serves approximately 150 students, it has a low 7:1 student-to-faculty ratio and small class sizes. CVU's vision is to "spread best practices to help a movement of faith-based organizations be more effective in transforming the lives of millions of homeless, addicted and low-income individuals each year." It also works to expand educational access to these individuals.
Higher Education in Missouri
In the state of Missouri, home to more than 6.1 million residents, 30.7% hold a bachelor's degree or higher. Naturally, college graduates here often find employment with the state's biggest employers. These include manufacturers like Boeing, Ford, and Honeywell; retailers such as Walmart and Schnuck Markets; and healthcare service providers including Mercy Health System, BJC Healthcare, and SSM Healthcare System.
Many graduates have earned their degrees at one of Missouri's public colleges and universities. The state operates the University of Missouri System, which includes the University of Missouri's flagship campus in Columbia — often referred to as Mizzou — as well as two other UM campuses in Kansas City and St. Louis and the Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla. A few of the other public schools are Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau and Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville.
Local residents have also attended private colleges in the state, such as Columbia College in Columbia, Park University in Parkville, and Maryville University in Town and Country. Some have opted for faith-based schools, including Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Drury University in Springfield, Missouri Baptist University in St. Louis, and Lindenwood University in St. Charles.
In addition to in-person programs, many of Missouri's colleges and universities offer online learning programs for associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees, as well as certificates and diplomas. Business administration, health sciences, accounting, criminal justice, and information technology are among the most common majors and minors in the state.
Price, program features, and student support services are among the important factors to consider when you're reviewing online schools. Additionally, you'll want to choose an accredited online college in Missouri. All of the schools listed on our rankings of the best online colleges in Missouri are accredited, usually by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) or the Distance Education Accreditation Commission (DEAC).
Enrollment in an accredited online college is required for you to receive financial aid and to transfer credits between colleges. You may also need to have earned your bachelor's degree from an accredited school to be accepted into a graduate program or to qualify for a state-issued license to practice certain professions, such as a teaching credential.
FAQs About Online Colleges in Missouri
How Many Colleges Are in Missouri?
According to the College Navigator, which features data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Missouri is home to 156 postsecondary institutions. Roughly one-fourth of them are state-run universities, community colleges, and other public institutions. The rest are private universities.
What Are the Best Colleges in Missouri?
Missouri is proud to host many noteworthy colleges and universities. Some of the best known institutions include Washington University in St. Louis, Saint Louis University in St. Louis, the University of Missouri in Columbia, and Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla. All of these schools offer fully online undergraduate and graduate degrees through distance education.
How Much Is Missouri College Tuition?
NCES data comparing each state's tuition and fees with national averages reveals that Missouri's community colleges are on par with the rest of the country but its four-year universities typically charge lower tuition costs than most schools.
Despite these favorable numbers, earning a college degree can still be a substantial investment. If you're thinking about going to college in Missouri, here are several ways to possibly reduce the overall cost:
- By enrolling in a Missouri college online degree program, you might see a reduction in tuition while eliminating room, board, and most transportation fees. Some Missouri schools have reduced their rates for distance learning programs.
- If you're seeking an on-campus or online bachelor's degree, you could complete your general education coursework at one of the less expensive, convenient online community colleges in Missouri and then transfer to a four-year university.
All prospective students can apply for financial aid by submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. By completing this form, you'll be considered for federal aid like the Pell Grant and state-funded programs in Missouri such as Access Missouri, the Advanced Placement Incentive Grant, and the Bright Flight Program.
What Colleges Accept the A+ Program in Missouri?
Missouri's A+ Scholarship Program provides funding for eligible Missouri residents who have graduated from designated public and private high schools in the state. This last-dollar scholarship program is based on merit. Applicants must attend a participating community college or vocational/technical school in Missouri to be eligible for this program.
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