Complete Guide to Accredited Online Certificate Programs

By Diana Zaremba | Updated December 2, 2020

Our extensive list of accredited online certificate programs includes 512 online schools and 8,039 online certificate programs. Our popular programs section represents our five most researched certificate programs: physical therapy, occupational therapy assistant, dental assistant, veterinary technician, and medical billing and coding.

We also offer a list of highlighted non-profit schools, which includes University of California - Los Angeles with online certificates and diplomas.

Not looking for a certificate? Check out our similar pages for associate, bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degrees.

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Popular Online Certificate Programs

Jump to a Program: a b c d e f g h i j l m n o p r s t v w
a Online Schools Programs Annual Salary Accreditation
Accounting 90 165 $143,441 AACSB ACBSP
Aerospace Engineering 9 15 $139,651 ABET
Agriculture 20 52 Not reported Institutional
Anthropology 1 1 $129,233 Institutional
Architecture 5 5 $83,036 NAAB
Art & Design 26 36 $95,073 NASAD
Art History 3 3 Not reported Institutional
Aviation 3 4 $108,661 AABI
b Online Schools Programs Annual Salary Accreditation
Biology 36 52 $178,943 Institutional
Business 207 669 $126,125 AACSB ACBSP IACBE
c Online Schools Programs Annual Salary Accreditation
CAD/Computer Aided Drafting 3 4 $87,708 Institutional
Chemical Engineering 10 11 $168,974 ABET
Child Development 43 65 $127,906 APA
Christian Counseling 3 4 $61,516 ACPE
Civil Engineering 14 25 $127,703 ABET
Communications 109 189 $104,878 ACEJMC
Computer Engineering 11 17 $124,850 ABET
Computer Science 55 109 $121,174 ABET
Conflict Resolution 26 36 $131,284 Institutional
Construction Management 23 27 $121,450 ACCE ATMAE
Counseling 107 191 $115,116 AAMFT CACREP
Counseling Psychology 17 18 Not reported Institutional
Creative Writing 10 22 Not reported Institutional
Criminal Justice 55 93 $97,351 Institutional
Criminology 18 22 Not reported Institutional
Cybersecurity 111 170 $97,494 Institutional
d Online Schools Programs Annual Salary Accreditation
Data Science 71 112 Not reported Institutional
Dental Assistant 4 4 $101,333 CODA
e Online Schools Programs Annual Salary Accreditation
Early Childhood Education 76 137 $61,107 CAEP MACTE NAEYC NCATE
Economics 23 29 $170,989 AACSB
Education 392 2,360 $77,112 CAEP CEA MACTE NCATE
Educational Leadership 193 438 $70,789 NCATE
Electrical Engineering 20 34 $158,987 ABET
Elementary Education 70 110 $61,371 CAEP MACTE NCATE TEAC
Emergency Management 48 81 Not reported Institutional
Engineering 117 476 $144,741 ABET
Engineering Management 30 49 Not reported Institutional
English 66 92 $132,910 Institutional
Environmental Science 76 210 $125,102 Institutional
ESL 121 170 $71,098 CEA
Exercise Science 7 14 Not reported Institutional
f Online Schools Programs Annual Salary Accreditation
Fashion 4 4 $97,805 Institutional
Finance 81 136 $150,085 AACSB
Fire Science 10 11 $97,494 FESHE
Forensic Accounting 10 11 Not reported Institutional
Forensic Psychology 2 2 Not reported APA
Forensic Science 21 31 $97,494 AAFS
g Online Schools Programs Annual Salary Accreditation
Geographic Information Systems 53 82 $112,748 Institutional
Graphic Design 15 17 $82,302 NASAD
Gunsmithing 2 2 Not reported Institutional
h Online Schools Programs Annual Salary Accreditation
Health Education 61 77 Not reported Institutional
Healthcare Administration 105 156 $113,295 CAHME
Healthcare Informatics 84 106 $101,333 CAHIIM CAHME
Healthcare Management 89 135 Not reported CAHME
History 26 36 $146,347 Institutional
Holistic Medicine 9 10 $118,384 ACAOM CNME
Homeland Security 55 122 $97,494 Institutional
Hospitality Management 29 46 $105,255 ACPHA
Human Resources 97 152 $133,996 AACSB ACBSP
Human Services 58 95 $88,913 Institutional
HVAC 4 6 Not reported Institutional
i Online Schools Programs Annual Salary Accreditation
Industrial Engineering 5 7 $128,528 ABET
Information Technology 117 269 Not reported ABET
Interior Design 5 5 $82,486 NASAD
j Online Schools Programs Annual Salary Accreditation
Journalism 21 25 Not reported ACEJMC
l Online Schools Programs Annual Salary Accreditation
Landscape Design 3 3 Not reported LAAB
Law 38 102 $104,452 ABA ABA
Law Enforcement 17 35 $97,494 Institutional
Legal Nurse Consulting 2 2 Not reported ABHES
Liberal Studies 43 76 $132,399 Institutional
Library Science 44 68 Not reported ALA
m Online Schools Programs Annual Salary Accreditation
Management 296 1,105 $121,771 AACSB
Marketing 93 135 $109,764 AACSB
Marriage & Family Therapy 14 30 $118,674 AAMFT COAMFTE
Mathematics 59 82 $163,125 Institutional
MBA 7 9 Not reported AACSB ACBSP IACBE
Mechanical Engineering 8 17 $158,024 ABET
Medical Assistant 8 8 $101,333 ABHES
Medical Billing & Coding 28 40 $121,284 ABHES
Medical Office Administration 14 21 $121,284 ABHES
Music 9 12 $100,242 NASM NASM
n Online Schools Programs Annual Salary Accreditation
Network Administration 11 13 Not reported ABET
Nurse Practitioner (NP) 87 210 Not reported ACEN ACEN CCNE NPWH
Nursing 169 472 $109,577 AANA ACEN ACEN ACME CCNE
Nutrition 34 42 $98,178 ACEND
o Online Schools Programs Annual Salary Accreditation
Occupational Safety 17 20 Not reported ABET
Occupational Therapy 5 5 Not reported Institutional
Organizational Leadership 161 315 $122,889 AACSB
p Online Schools Programs Annual Salary Accreditation
Paralegal 23 56 $104,452 Institutional
Personal Training 6 8 Not reported Institutional
Pharmacy 23 54 $131,593 ACPE
Pharmacy Technician 9 9 $101,333 ACPE ASHP
Philosophy 3 3 $135,607 Institutional
Phlebotomy 1 1 $130,360 NAACLS
Photography 1 1 $88,820 Institutional
Physical Education 14 18 $99,895 NCATE
Physical Therapy 11 11 $106,870 APTA
Physician Assistant 1 1 $130,360 ARC-PA
Physics 10 20 $154,734 CAMPEP
Political Science 15 23 $143,393 Institutional
Project Management 94 138 $122,662 AACSB PMI-GAC
Psychology 82 141 $128,406 APA
Public Administration 101 214 $96,887 NASPAA
Public Health 78 137 $115,116 CEPH
Public Relations 21 23 Not reported Institutional
r Online Schools Programs Annual Salary Accreditation
Radiology 7 12 Not reported JRCERT JRCNMT
Real Estate 13 19 $113,145 Institutional
Religious Studies 42 124 $118,092 ACPE
Respiratory Therapy 1 1 $121,277 CoARC
s Online Schools Programs Annual Salary Accreditation
School Counseling 29 33 Not reported CACREP
Secondary Education 55 132 $80,477 CAEP NCATE TEAC
Social Work 26 29 $91,177 CSWE
Sociology 9 11 $83,036 Institutional
Software Engineering 25 34 $121,057 ABET
Sonography 1 1 Not reported Institutional
Spanish 18 22 Not reported Institutional
Special Education 174 440 $66,113 CAA CAEP
Speech Pathology 9 9 Not reported CAA
Sports Management 36 46 $96,055 Institutional
Statistics 22 30 Not reported Institutional
Substance Abuse Counseling 38 48 $118,674 CACREP
Supply Chain Management 51 61 Not reported Institutional
Systems Engineering 37 55 $175,296 ABET
t Online Schools Programs Annual Salary Accreditation
Teaching 218 658 $84,311 CAEP MACTE NCATE TEAC
Theology 13 18 Not reported CAATS
v Online Schools Programs Annual Salary Accreditation
Veterinary Technician 3 3 $101,333 AVMA COE
Video Game Design 6 6 Not reported Institutional
Vocational 32 76 $88,934 PABCTE
w Online Schools Programs Annual Salary Accreditation
Web Design 22 28 Not reported Institutional
Web Development 26 37 Not reported Institutional
Find an Online Degree:
OnlineU is supported by advertising. Schools that compensate us advertise via school search results and featured placements. This does not influence our college rankings or our content.

All schools included in our highlighted list offer the most online certificate programs in addition to being non-profit and regionally accredited. Schools such as Drexel University and University of California - Los Angeles have over 60 online certificate program options. For consideration in our highlighted list, schools needed to meet the following guidelines:

  • Non-profit status
  • Regional accreditation
  • Strong student support services

Schools are listed in alphabetical order.

Dallas Baptist University

This Christian-based university utilizes small online class sizes, expert instructors, and thorough education to provide students with a rich experience. There are 61 programs available, and a 92% student course completion rate. Curriculum is self-propelled, so individuals can complete their coursework on their own time, never having to log in at a specific time. Undergraduate certificate programs include health care management, lay leadership for education or sports ministries, and criminal justice for organizational security or law enforcement, among others. Graduate certificate can be earned in the areas of education, health services, and leadership, just to name a few. One post-master's certificate program is available, school superintendency, which is designed for individual's who hold their master's degree and a principal certification with the desire to become a school superintendent. Applicants to Dallas Baptist University are required to craft a letter of intent that includes which certificate they desire to pursue and why, personal goals, and reasoning behind the decision to apply to the university. In addition a minimum 2.5 GPA is required for undergraduate programs, and a 3.0 for graduate-level coursework.

Dallas Baptist University logo
  • Annual Tuition: $28,870
  • School Type: Private, Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Online Certificate Programs: 27

Drexel University

Professionals are able to engage in nearly 50 online certification courses taught by nationally-recognized and tenured on-campus faculty to assure that the curricula is equal. Drexel University focuses on connecting peers through online forums. Undergraduate and graduate programs cover a broad range of curriculum, including business, computer science, education, engineering, and public health, among others. Courses are taught by industry professionals that bring public and private sector work experience to the highly interactive online learning classrooms. Currently, Drexel University partners with over 500 corporations, school districts, professional associations, and health systems throughout the country to offer employees opportunity for career advancement. With reduced tuition fees and on or off-site events that cater to professional development, earning a certification that meets an organization's needs is conveniently streamlined through Drexel.

Drexel University logo
  • Annual Tuition: $53,244
  • School Type: Private, Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
  • Online Certificate Programs: 105

Fort Hays State University

For online programs with flexible learning options and schedules, Fort Hays State University is an affordable option. Tuition ranges from $207.24 per credit hour for undergraduate certificates to $272.71 per credit hour for graduate programs. There are certificates available in departments including interdisciplinary studies, management & marketing, nursing, and political science, among others. Students over the age of 21 do not need to submit SAT or ACT scores during the admission process; all students must complete an application and submit their official high school and, if necessary, college transcripts. Programs range from 9-16 credit hours and curriculum is delivered via CD-ROMs, DVD, guided study, the internet, and internet protocol television (IPTV). Certifications awarded to students do not contain information that identifies the program as online or virtual, as the curriculum is equal to coursework that would be completed on campus.

Fort Hays State University logo
  • Annual Tuition: $15,210
  • School Type: Public, Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Online Certificate Programs: 72

Indiana University - Bloomington

There are over 50 online undergraduate and graduate certificates available to professionals looking to supplement their work experience or degree. Additionally, there is a full resource center available to adult long-distance students to assist with the transition into academia and provide academic and career advisors. Professionals can earn undergraduate certificates in the fields of leadership, human resources, and applied mathematics, just to name a few. Graduate certificates are available in education, business, and public health. The Business Foundations Certificate allows students to complete 21 credit hours of coursework in accounting, operations management, and human resource management taught by business professionals.

Indiana University - Bloomington logo
  • Annual Tuition: $35,456
  • School Type: Public, Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Online Certificate Programs: 39

Pennsylvania State University-World Campus

Ranked as the No. 1 school in the nation for educating the most well-rounded and best-prepared graduates by The Wall Street Journal, students are prepared for success as they complete undergraduate and graduate programs. Undergraduate programs range from organizational communication to earth sustainability, and financial planning to digital arts. Graduate programs include applied statistics, business analytics, educational technology integration, and philanthropic leadership, among others. The online programs are taught by the on-campus faculty and the curriculum is the same that traditional students receive. Programs range from 12-30 credit hours for both undergraduate and graduate curriculums to facilitate flexible, accelerated learning for working professionals. Students are able to utilize a combination of self-study and peer-to-peer interaction in an online learning network to enhance their education with a schedule that is convenient for them.

Pennsylvania State University-World Campus logo
  • Annual Tuition: $13,988
  • School Type: Public, Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
  • Online Certificate Programs: 82

Rio Salado College

At Rio Salado University, students can choose between a Certificate of Completion and an Academic Certificate to enhance their professional career. There are programs available in the field of Early Childhood Education, Mobile Apps Programming, Human Development, and Language and Literary Culture of the USA. Students take courses in a variety of language courses, Course duration ranges between 16 and 21 credit hours, and students must maintain a 2.0 minimum GPA. For online learners Maricopa County, tuition is very affordable, at $84 per credit hour, and only $215 per credit hour for out-of-state students. In addition to being cost effective, Rio Salado University offers 24/7 tutoring and online support services to their distance learners so students are able to get the academic and career help that they need.

Rio Salado College logo
  • Annual Tuition: $7,854
  • School Type: Public, Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Online Certificate Programs: 50

University of California - Los Angeles

UCLA offers over 60 online certificate programs ranging from business studies to education, entertainment studies to engineering & technology, with a myriad of programs in between. Professionals can earn a certificate in Applied Behavioral Analysis, Parent Education & Training, or Credit Analysis & Management. The competitive pricing and flexible schedules affords students the ability to enhance their career or gain entry into a new one. With over 100 years of continuing education service, UCLA has experienced professors that provide strengths-based learning and the ability to customize programs for corporate certification training. Individuals are able to choose their pace of learning from one day to 12 weeks and engage in project-based curriculum.

University of California - Los Angeles logo
  • Annual Tuition: $42,218
  • School Type: Public, Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: WSCUC
  • Online Certificate Programs: 65

University of South Florida Online

Referred to by the University of South Florida as Innovative Education, the online graduate degree program provides students with valuable educational experience in a focused and accessible format. Completing a graduate certificate increases a professional's competitiveness in the workforce, enhances their performance with newly acquired skills, and helps keep them relevant with ever-changing businesses. Most of the certificate programs take one to two years to complete depending on pace and how many credit hours were transferred. Program fields include behavioral, counseling, and community engagement, crime investigation/cybersecurity, engineering and technology, and education. Florida residents can expect to pay $481.43 per credit hour, while non-residents living outside of Florida pay $502.65. The graduate certificate program requires applicants to hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution, have a minimum GPA and GRE scores, and meet individual program specifications.

University of South Florida Online logo
  • Annual Tuition: $17,324
  • School Type: Public, Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Online Certificate Programs: 73

University of Washington - Seattle

The University of Washington offers over 50 online certificate programs to give working professionals the ability to advance in their career. From business to social sciences, to liberal arts, the certificate programs utilize novel technology and user-friendly e-learning tools to ensure that students are absorbing the material and taking advantage of practical application opportunities despite the fully online curriculum. Some unique certifications include applied animal behavior, business intelligence: building the data warehouse, cloud data management & analytics, and drug discovery & design. Program duration ranges from 4-15 months, with the majority being completed within 8 months. Students are able to attend many of the course sessions in real time by using Adobe Connect Web conferencing software, which affords them the ability to ask questions and interact with peers or professors. The sessions are also recorded to give students the opportunity to review the material at a later time.

University of Washington - Seattle logo
  • Annual Tuition: $36,588
  • School Type: Public, Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: NWCCU
  • Online Certificate Programs: 18

Frequently Asked Questions About Certificate Programs

A post-secondary certificate is a popular option, with the National Center for Education Statistics estimating that 955,000 certificates were awarded in the United States between 2017 and 2018. A certificate typically requires two years or less from enrollment to completion. These programs are available to those who want to enter into a new career but lack the time or money to pursue a college degree. As we reported on our sister site, GradReports.com, the data suggests that having some higher education experience, even without completing a degree, increases employment rates.

What fields can I earn certificates in online?

Individuals can earn an online certificate in a broad range of subjects. Those with a high school diploma or GED can choose an online certificate program in fields such as computer/information technology (IT), dentistry, medical billing/coding, HVAC, or veterinary medicine. Individuals with a post-secondary degree can specialize or demonstrate proficiency in their field by obtaining a certificate in project management, business administration, entrepreneurship, digital marketing, or IT, among others.

What are the benefits of earning a certificate?

Higher education typically leads to higher wages and lower unemployment. According to data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), people who have completed some college have median weekly earnings of $833 and a 3.3% unemployment rate, compared to $746 and a 3.7% unemployment rate for those with only a high school diploma. Earning a certificate through online courses allows students to pursue an education on a flexible schedule. Students who earn a certificate at an accredited school may also be able to apply their earned credits toward a 2- or 4-year degree program.

What certificates lead to the highest pay?

Some of the highest-paying careers that require only a certificate are in the computer/IT, HVAC, bookkeeping, medical, and dental fields. According to the BLS, computer support specialists earned a median annual salary of $54,760 in 2019. Other jobs that led to significant salaries in 2019 include HVAC technicians ($48,730), medical records technicians ($42,630), bookkeepers ($41,230), and dental assistants ($40,080).

Many of these fields are also in high demand. Several in-demand careers that only require a certificate are in the veterinary, computer/IT, medical, and dental fields. The BLS notes that the demand for veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers is expected to increase by 16% between 2019 and 2029, which is above the average for all occupations. However, the median annual salary for this field was only $28,590 in 2019. Other in-demand positions with higher median salaries are computer support specialists, medical records technicians, and dental assistants. Employment in these fields is projected to grow faster than average when compared to other occupations.

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