Best Online Colleges in Oregon

By Holly Johnson | Updated 2/18/2020
2020 Best Online Colleges in Oregon Badge

Ranked for their low tuition and high alumni salaries, these schools represent the best value online schools in Oregon. Coming in at #1, Oregon State University boasts the highest median salary for graduates at $93,000. OSU offers over 20 different online majors and a total of 90 different online degrees and specializations. Those seeking a program in healthcare should consider the #2-ranked school, Oregon Institute of Technology. Tuition at Oregon Tech is $11,565 per year.

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 Oregon State University $13,905 $93,000
# 2 #2 Oregon Institute of Technology $11,565 $91,800
# 3 #3 Pacific University $19,070 $86,100
# 4 #4 Oregon Health & Science University $11,232 $83,500
# 5 #5 George Fox University $36,750 $82,200
# 6 #6 Portland State University $9,652 $77,400
# 7 #7 Bushnell University $15,035 $62,700
# 8 #8 Eastern Oregon University $11,340 $59,700
# 9 #9 Corban University $12,600 $57,200
# 10 #10 Multnomah University $14,415 $56,600
Salary data provided by Payscale Logo

Online Colleges in Oregon 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 Oregon State University

  • Annual Tuition: $13,905
  • Median Salary: $93,000
  • Locations: Corvallis
  • Accreditation: NWCCU

Established in 1868, Oregon State University (OSU) is a public research university located in the city of Corvallis. With a student enrollment of more than 28,000, it is the state’s largest university. OSU offers over 100 online and hybrid programs, including both undergraduate and graduate degrees. Degree programs are available in the fields of agriculture, anthropology, botany, fisheries and wildlife studies, German, psychology, rangeland science, religious studies, public health, and teaching. Additionally, online graduate and undergraduate certificates, minors, and more than 1,300 online/hybrid classes are available. OSU uses the Canvas online management system to deliver online coursework. Online student resources include personalized coaching, access to OSU libraries, online tutoring, IT assistance, career development center, learning center, learning communities, and more.

#2 Oregon Institute of Technology

  • Annual Tuition: $11,565
  • Median Salary: $91,800
  • Locations: Klamath Falls
  • Accreditation: NWCCU

A public polytechnic university with its residential campus in Klamath Falls, Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT) provides degrees in engineering, health technologies, management, communication, psychology, and applied sciences. A robust distance-learning program includes four online master’s degrees, 14 online bachelor’s degrees, two online associate degrees, and four online certificate programs. Popular fields of study include psychology, healthcare management, information technology, and clinical sleep health. Online students who already have college credits can complete their bachelor’s degree in such subjects as dental hygiene, echocardiography, respiratory care, and vascular technology. OIT uses the Canvas online management system to deliver online coursework. Support services for distance learners includes academic advising, the university bookstore, peer consulting, and an online writing lab.

#3 Pacific University

  • Annual Tuition: $19,070
  • Median Salary: $86,100
  • Locations: Forest Grove
  • Accreditation: NWCCU

Pacific University (PU), located in the city of Forest Grove, was founded in 1849 and is a private liberal arts university. The institution is divided academically into five colleges: College of Arts & Sciences, College of Business, College of Education, College of Health Professionals, and College of Optometry. A bachelor of health science is offered as a fully online degree completion program; coursework is accessed online with synchronous, weekly, interactive sessions with instructors and students as part of each course. PU also offers an online gerontology certificate program, as well as several online post-baccalaureate courses to help students who have a bachelor’s degree prepare for graduate programs.

#4 Oregon Health & Science University

  • Annual Tuition: $11,232
  • Median Salary: $83,500
  • Locations: Portland
  • Accreditation: NWCCU

Founded in 1887 as the University of Oregon Medical Department, Oregon Health & Science University is a public university with its main campus, including two hospitals, located in Portland. An online Registered Nurse (RN) to Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree completion program is offered for RNs who already have their Associate of Applied Science degree in nursing. Both full- and part-time study options are available. Theory courses are completed online, and clinical hour requirements can be fulfilled in the student’s locality. Those interested in teaching or leadership roles in the field of nursing can study health systems and organizational leadership or nursing education. The online master’s programs have a fall term start.

#5 George Fox University

  • Annual Tuition: $36,750
  • Median Salary: $82,200
  • Locations: Newberg
  • Accreditation: NWCCU

Founded as a school for Quakers in 1885, George Fox University is a Christian university with its main campus in the city of Newberg. Six online bachelor’s degrees are offered at George Fox in management and organizational leadership, project management, healthcare administration, and social & behavioral studies. Courses specific to each degree are available online, and the core curriculum (general education) classes needed to complete each degree can be taken in person or online. However, students admitted to an online cohort must attend a two-day Cohort Launch at the main campus in Portland at the beginning of the program. The remainder of the programs can be completed fully online. Students are grouped together in learning communities on a 16-month schedule.

#6 Portland State University

  • Annual Tuition: $9,652
  • Median Salary: $77,400
  • Locations: Portland
  • Accreditation: NWCCU

Founded in 1946 as a post-secondary educational institution for World War II veterans, Portland State University is a public research university composed of seven constituent colleges that cover business, education, social work, urban and public affairs, arts, engineering and computer science, and liberal arts and sciences. Over 30 bachelor’s and master’s degree programs are offered online along with certificate, endorsement, and licensure programs. Popular degree fields include arts and letters, philosophy, urban and public affairs, early intervention special education, social work, and taxation. Distance learners have access to such support services as academic advising, online tutoring, online class support, library services, and disability services. Online courses run concurrent with the normal beginning and ending dates of the respective term.

#7 Bushnell University

  • Annual Tuition: $15,035
  • Median Salary: $62,700
  • Locations: Eugene
  • Accreditation: NWCCU

Founded in 1935, Northwest Christian University (NCU), located in Eugene, is a private, Christian, liberal arts college affiliated with the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. More than 30 online degree programs are offered, and the eight-week format along with six start dates per year make online learning at NCU an ideal choice for busy students balancing family, work, and other obligations. No standardized testing is required for admission, and up to 75% of prior bachelor’s degree work can be transferred. Student support includes personal academic advising, online library resources, online tutoring, IT assistance, and personalized guidance from NCU’s career development team. Programs are offered in the fields of accounting, business administration, psychology, nursing, and teacher education. All courses are taught from a Christian perspective.

#8 Eastern Oregon University

  • Annual Tuition: $11,340
  • Median Salary: $59,700
  • Locations: La Grande
  • Accreditation: NWCCU

Located in La Grande, Eastern Oregon University is a public university and one of seven state-funded, four-year universities of higher education. More than 40 majors, minors, certificates, and graduate degrees are offered online. Two online Bachelor of Applied Science degrees are offered: business administration and emergency medical services administration. Online graduate programs are available in business administration, teaching, and education. Popular subjects for online study include early childhood education, English, history, and politics and economics. An integrative studies degree is also available, which allows students to work with an advisor to create their own customized study plan, combining two minors of their choice into a major. Distance learners have access to academic advisors, scholarships, financial aid, and benefits for active military and veterans.

#9 Corban University

  • Annual Tuition: $12,600
  • Median Salary: $57,200
  • Locations: Salem
  • Accreditation: NWCCU

A private Christian college in Salem, Corban University offers undergraduate programs in biblical studies, liberal arts, and professional studies, and graduate programs in business, ministry, education, and counseling. Sixteen degrees are offered entirely online: business (with three concentrations—accounting, marketing, leadership and management) and psychology, focusing on family studies. There is also an interdisciplinary degree offered online, which allows students to tailor their program to their specific career goals. Online courses include interaction with professors and fellow students, feedback, and discussions in an online environment. Intensive eight-week courses enable students to complete their degree in a minimal amount of time. The 13:1 student-faculty ratio allows for more individual attention from faculty. Students are given an academic advisor who provides assistance throughout the duration of the program.

#10 Multnomah University

  • Annual Tuition: $14,415
  • Median Salary: $56,600
  • Locations: Portland
  • Accreditation: NWCCU

Multnomah University is a private, non-denominational, Christian university in Portland with a secondary teaching site in Reno, Nevada. Ten online degree programs are offered at MU: three bachelor’s and seven master's. Distance learners can study such subjects as psychology, TESOL, management and leadership, biblical studies, theological studies, and Christian leadership. The university uses the Canvas online learning management system to deliver coursework; a convenient mobile app is available for both iOS and Android, making tablet-to-phone-to-desktop transitioning easy and seamless. If students enrolled in the Master of Divinity program have already graduated from a Bible college or Christian liberal arts university, they can waive the program’s foundational biblical and theological coursework if they wish.

Overview of Higher Education

There are plenty of reasons to attend college in the state of Oregon, and that's true whether you live nearby or you opt to earn an online degree from elsewhere.

Colleges in Oregon offer weather from all four seasons, and the state is bustling with sports lovers of all kinds. Oregon also boasts stunning beaches and an incredible coastline, and the St. Louis Federal Reserve reports that the state's unemployment rate stood at just 3.6% as of May 2022.

But, which universities in Oregon should you consider? And, are the best online colleges in Oregon worth exploring as well?

First off, you should be aware that many of the top universities in Oregon — including the University of Oregon and Oregon State University — have robust online programs that help students earn the same degrees virtually as they do on campus. Second, you should know that a range of online colleges in Oregon offer highly valuable degree programs that can be more affordable and easy to complete than traditional college programs.

Before we dive into more details on the best online schools and degree programs in Oregon, the chart below shows the graduation rates for various schools in the state:

Online Colleges in Oregon

When it comes to the best online colleges in Oregon, there are an array of popular options to choose from. Some grant four-year degrees and graduate degrees, yet students can also attend community college virtually within the state.

One of the most highly rated online colleges in Oregon is Oregon State University, which is located in Corvallis. This school requires annual tuition and fees of approximately $13,905, and the median mid-career salary of graduates worked out to $93,000 at last count.

Accreditation of Online Colleges in Oregon

All of the best online colleges in Oregon are accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), including the following:

  • Oregon State University
  • Oregon Institute of Technology
  • Pacific University
  • Oregon Health & Science University
  • George Fox University
  • Portland State University
  • Bushnell University
  • Eastern Oregon University
  • Corban University
  • Multnomah University

Choosing an accredited school is extremely important when it comes to ensuring you receive a quality online education, as well as when it comes to transferring credits, getting financial aid, and finding a job later on.

As you compare each Oregon online college, it's crucial to check that options are fully accredited by legitimate accrediting institutions that may vary by the region, program, or institution. A full list of institutions that provide accreditation for colleges and universities can be found on the U.S. Department of Education's website.

When it comes to earning a bachelor's degree at online colleges in Oregon, you'll find that nearly any type of program is available. For example, Oregon State University offers 96 different programs that lead to a bachelor's degree, ranging from a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration to a Bachelor of Science in Business Analytics or a Bachelor of Science in Public Policy. At Portland State University, on the other hand, students can choose from dozens of online and flexible degree programs, such as accounting, business technology and analytics, and human resource management

Also note that many community colleges in Oregon offer courses and degree programs online. This includes options like Chemeketa Community College, which offers fully accredited and transferable associate degree programs in fields such as accounting, business management, criminal justice, and hospitality and tourism management.

There are also many popular online Master of Social Work programs in the state of Oregon, as well as an array of online nursing degree programs in the state.

No matter which field of study you plan to pursue, there's a good chance some of the top colleges in Oregon offer an online program. Your best bet is figuring out which field you want to study then looking for colleges in Oregon that offer the program virtually or in a hybrid format.

Financial Aid for Online Students in Oregon

According to financial data for colleges released by the state of Oregon, approximately 36% of the state's students received public grant aid for college during the 2019-20 academic year. This includes aid like Pell Grants, Opportunity Grants, Oregon Promise grants, and other institutional aid.

The best way for students to find out about financial aid they may be eligible for involves filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This form helps students find out whether they are eligible for federal financial aid, state-based aid, and more, and it needs to be filed for each year the student attends school.

Read over our Guide to Financial Aid for Online Students to learn more about aid that may be available to you, as well as how to apply.

Employment Outlook for College Graduates in Oregon

As we mentioned already, the unemployment rate in the state of Oregon is currently at 3.6%, as of May 2022. Many jobs also pay rather well in the state, including occupations that can be pursued after earning an online degree.

According to Oregon occupational and wage statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), some of the top jobs in the state feature exceptional pay and strong employment prospects. Some of the most lucrative job options are highlighted in the chart below:

Popular Jobs for Oregon College Graduates in 2022

Occupation Annual Mean Wage
Computer and Information Research Scientists $166,450
Computer and Information Systems Managers $140,700
Computer Hardware Engineers $136,150
Financial Managers $131,930
Marketing Managers $130,040
Medical and Health Services Managers $125,770
Human Resource Managers $120,570
Construction Managers $119,520
Database Architects $119,070
Registered Nurses $98,630

FAQs About Online Colleges in Oregon

Are Online Degrees Respected?

Online degrees are definitely respected, although you'll need to conduct due diligence to ensure your school is properly accredited, just as you would with any school. In many cases, employers even appreciate the additional learning opportunities online students receive, including relevant experiences with online tools that are often used in the workplace.

Since many colleges and universities offer the same degree programs online and in-person, it's likely you will complete the same curriculum and receive the exact same degree as peers who attend college at brick-and-mortar locations.

Does Oregon Have Good Online Colleges?

Many of the best online colleges in Oregon offer affordable tuition and reflect salary scores that can justify the costs of higher education. This means that attending an online school in Oregon can easily lead to a career with excellent job prospects and solid pay, as well as the ability to repay any student loans needed to graduate.

It's also worth noting that, just like in other states, many of the best colleges in Oregon offer both brick-and-mortar and online learning options. In many cases, the curriculum for online courses is exactly the same, although students will learn virtually by using tools like webinars, online chats, online learning portals, and message boards. This is part of the reason online learning continues growing in popularity, along with the convenience that comes with studying at home and on your own time.

Are There Scholarships and Grants in Oregon for Online College?

Many scholarship and grant opportunities are available to online students in the state of Oregon, and you can research some of them within our scholarship guide.

One example is the Oregon Promise, a grant that helps cover tuition costs at any community college in Oregon. Students must apply during their senior year of high school or after they earn their GED, and they must have a cumulative high school grade point average of 2.0 or higher and meet other requirements.

The Oregon Office of Access and Completion also lets students apply for their share of $10 million in scholarship money through their website.

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