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Best Online Colleges in Oklahoma

Explore the top colleges in Oklahoma with online programs, including those at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Learn what programs are available, how much they cost, and some careers that they can lead to.

Top 20 Online Colleges in Oklahoma

To determine the best colleges in Oklahoma for online students, factors like affordability, program availability, accreditation and flexibility should be considered. The top 20 colleges in Oklahoma with online programs are listed below.

1. Oklahoma State University-Main Campus

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Stillwater $9,019 undergraduate, $8,460 graduate 90%

Oklahoma State University's main campus offers flexible online programs that lead to professional certificates, bachelor's degrees, master's degrees and even doctoral degrees. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), OSU's online tuition is among the most affordable, with undergraduate tuition starting at around $179 and graduate tuition as low as $230 per credit hour. The school offers 10 online bachelor's degree programs, including those in business, management, psychology and computer science. Graduate students can select from more than two dozen master's degree programs, including those in aviation, engineering and leadership, and two doctoral programs.

2. University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Norman $11,763 undergraduate, $8,577 graduate 96%

The University of Oklahoma's Norman campus has an 18:1 student-faculty-ratio and has been accredited by the HLC for more than 100 years. The school offers several online and hybrid programs, with tuition rates starting at around $160 per credit for undergraduate students and $274 per credit for graduate students (in-state rates). Undergraduate students can earn a bachelor's degree in fields such as criminal justice, organizational leadership, administration and integrative studies. Graduate students can select from programs in engineering, criminal justice, finance, leadership and many more.

3. Oral Roberts University

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Tulsa $30,070 undergraduate, $14,032 graduate 99%

Oral Roberts University has almost 500 completely online undergraduate students and more than 60 entirely online graduate students. The school offers online tuition rates of roughly $400 (undergraduate) and $450 (graduate) per credit hour. Undergraduate students can obtain one of several certificates or bachelor's degrees, including those in business, communication, ministry, marketing and leadership. Graduate students can select from programs in education, education administration, nursing, ministry, business administration and leadership.

4. Southeastern Oklahoma State University

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Durant $6,750 undergraduate, $5,022 graduate 95%

Southeastern Oklahoma State University has been providing education to students for over 100 years and has maintained accreditation with the HLC since 1949. Around 26% of the school's undergraduate students are completely online students, and about 92% of graduate students are enrolled in entirely online programs. Undergraduate students can select from several majors and minors, including those in management, communication, criminal justice, English and computer information systems. Graduate students can earn a master's degree in fields such as education, child development, business, accounting and leadership.

5. Northeastern State University

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Tahlequah $6,915 undergraduate, $5,101 graduate 93%

Northeastern State University has a student-to-faculty ratio of 19:1 and awarded institutional financial aid to 50% of its students in 2018-2019. Although tuition ranges by residency, program and course level, undergraduate tuition starts at around $174 per credit and graduate tuition starts at $250 per credit hour. Undergraduate students can select from 10 online degree programs, including those in nursing, administration, leadership and medical laboratory sciences. The school also offers 10 online master's degree programs, such as those in business, nursing, education and criminal justice.

Rank School Name Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
6 Mid-America Christian University Oklahoma City $18,838 96%
7 Southwestern Oklahoma State University Weatherford $7,695 93%
8 Southern Nazarene University Bethany $25,416 72%
9 Northwestern Oklahoma State University Alva $8,018 95%
10 University of Tulsa Tulsa $42,723 98%
11 University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma Chickasha $8,040 96%
12 Oklahoma City University Oklahoma City $32,594 99%
13 Cameron University Lawton $6,450 88%
14 Rogers State University Claremore $7,470 100%
15 East Central University Ada $7,052 88%
16 Oklahoma Wesleyan University Bartlesville $27,996 100%
17 Oklahoma Panhandle State University Goodwell $7,264 94%
18 University of Central Oklahoma Edmond $7,753 91%
19 Southwestern Christian University Bethany $16,330 98%
20 Randall University Moore $15,920 96%

All table data provided by the National Center for Education Statistics; tuition represents the 2019-2020 school year.
Learn.org's school ranking methodology categorizes and assesses data from schools and other reliable sources, such as the U.S. Department of Education, and weighs the information based on quality, cost, value and other factors critical to students' academic decisions.

Overview of Online Programs in Oklahoma

Students can earn each level of college degree through online programs in Oklahoma, depending on the specific field of study. Many online programs can be completed from anywhere in the United States, with no on-campus or other in-person requirements. Depending on the program and specific course, students can often work on their reading, homework and other assignments at their convenience, whether that is in the afternoon or the wee hours of the night. Some courses and programs, however, do require students to attend some in-person components, such as hands-on practice hours, on-campus seminars and other educational sessions. The different types of college degree programs available are discussed in the sections below, as well as which programs are more commonly offered online.

Types of Online Programs

Students can earn an undergraduate degree, a graduate degree, or one of several certificates completely online. The characteristics of each type of program are noted below.

Certificate Programs

Certificate programs are available at the undergraduate and graduate levels. These programs can consist of only a few courses (such as three) or a dozen or more courses, depending on the subject area and degree level. Certificate programs often enable students to pursue professional development. For example, students may earn a certificate in criminal investigation in order to develop skills for new roles within their organization. Also, practicing professionals (such as teachers) sometimes earn a certificate in a related topic (such as special education) so that they can increase their skills for their current profession or renew their credentials.

Associate's Degree Programs

Associate's degree programs can often be completed entirely online, although some programs can require hands-on practice based on the nature of their field (such as aviation maintenance). Associate's degree programs prepare students for entry-level careers and/or transfer into four-year programs. While program availability varies by school, associate's degree programs are available in fields such as business, administration and management, early childhood care and general studies. General studies programs are excellent options for students who aren't certain of their four-year degree plans but intend to transfer, because they include a significant amount of general education courses that are required for many four-year degree programs.

Bachelor's Degree Programs

There are countless online bachelor's degree programs available in Oklahoma, each of which has its own curriculum requirements. Many online bachelor's degree programs are composed of general education courses, such as those in English and social sciences, along with courses that are specific to the field of study. Bachelor's degree programs give students a deeper understanding of relevant topics and can prepare them for various careers. In searching for a program, students may see the words major and minor; a major is the primary field of study while a minor is the side field, so to speak. Not all programs have a minor, but students can often add the second focus area to better improve their knowledge and employability. Students who have already earned an associate's degree can often transfer in their previous coursework and cut their required curriculum in half.

Master's Degree Programs

Master's degree programs are graduate programs and usually require students to already have an undergraduate (bachelor's) degree, although some schools offer a combined bachelor's and master's degree program. Master's degree programs offer more advanced study of dozens of different fields, including education, engineering, business and many more. Many of these programs can be completed in two years of full-time study while offering part-time options to fit the needs of working students.

Doctoral Degree Programs

Doctoral degree programs are the highest degree programs in their fields. Some of these programs are open to students with a master's degree while other programs are available to those with a bachelor's degree, enabling them to bypass a master's degree altogether. In some careers, a doctoral degree is required (such as psychology). In other fields, a doctoral degree can improve the employability and skills of graduates. These programs take around six years of full-time study to complete. Students can earn online doctoral degrees in such subjects as nursing, organizational leadership, aviation, and fire and emergency management but may need to go to campus one or more times during their program.

Program Comparison

The table below summarizes key characteristics of the different types of programs that are available online through Oklahoma colleges.

Program Degree Type Typical Admissions Requirements Program Length (full-time)
Certificate Undergraduate
Graduate
High school diploma/GED (undergraduate)
Bachelor's degree (graduate)
Varies
Associate's Degree Undergraduate High school diploma/GED 2 years
Bachelor's Degree Undergraduate High school diploma/GED 4 years
Master's Degree Graduate Bachelor's degree 2 years
Doctoral Degree Graduate Bachelor's or master's degree Around 6 years

Please note, the values in the table above are examples.

Common Online Programs in Oklahoma

Now that you know what types of programs exist, let's explore what programs are most frequently offered online by Oklahoma colleges.

Common Undergraduate Online Programs

Some of the most commonly offered online undergraduate programs in Oklahoma are listed below.

  • Business
  • Early childhood development
  • Computer science
  • Criminal justice
  • Marketing
  • Communication
  • Management

Common Graduate Online Programs

While programs offered vary by school, those listed below are frequently offered online at the master's degree or doctoral level by Oklahoma colleges.

  • Data science/Business analytics
  • Special education
  • Management (often with focus areas like information systems or engineering management)
  • Healthcare administration
  • Organizational leadership
  • Nursing
  • Business administration (often offers subfields like accounting, marketing and finance)
  • School administration/Educational leadership
  • Marketing

Cost of Online Programs in Oklahoma

Online programs in Oklahoma have varying costs, but are often composed of tuition and applicable fees. Tuition is the primary cost and is typically higher for graduate students than it is for undergraduate students. In addition, some schools have discounted tuition rates for in-state students and higher rates for out-of-state students. Each school sets its own tuition rate, so the actual costs of tuition can vary drastically from one school to the next. For example, school A may have an undergraduate rate of $200 and a graduate rate of $300 while school B has rates of $300 and $600. Schools that charge more for out-of-state students might have similar rates (such as $200 in-state and $300 out-of-state) or significantly different rates (such as $200 and $600). The residency cost difference may appear as a fee (out-of-state fee) instead of an actual tuition rate, so students should review all costs associated with each of their candidate schools.

In addition to the tuition of programs, students pay various other fees that apply to different parts of their school and program. These also vary by school but can include things like registration fees, distance learning fees, course materials fees and program fees. Some fees are charged per semester (such as registration fees) while other fees may occur per credit hour or course. The total of these fees varies drastically and can cost as little as several hundred dollars or as much as several thousand.

Financial Aid for Online Programs in Oklahoma

Students of online programs in Oklahoma can find a multitude of financial aid options through different sources. Students interested in acquiring financial aid should first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is free and shows students some types of aid after completion. In addition, students can submit their FAFSA results to schools and other organizations in order to apply or qualify for other financial aid. The main types of financial aid available to online students of Oklahoma schools are discussed below.

Scholarships

Scholarships are a type of financial aid that doesn't have to be paid back. Countless public and private organizations offer scholarships, but this type of aid sometimes takes students a bit more effort to track down. Students can find scholarships in various places, such as their school's financial aid office, local organizations and online sources like the U.S. Department of Labor's CareerOneStop website as well as state and federal college resource sites. Some of the scholarships available to Oklahoma online students are below.

  • The Tom and Judith Comstock Scholarship - This $2,000 scholarship is available to students who live in Oklahoma or Texas and are interested in television and radio careers.
  • Dr. Edith King Scholarship - Open to Oklahoma students, this $2,000 scholarship is awarded to graduate students pursuing a degree related to mental health.
  • SuperCollege Scholarship - This $1,000 scholarship is awarded to students of undergraduate and graduate programs at accredited colleges.
  • John Marley Scholarship - Oklahoma residents who work in the casino industry and are taking at least six credits per semester may qualify (award amount varies).

Other Types of Financial Aid

In addition to scholarships, there are several types of financial aid available to students of online programs in Oklahoma.

  • Grants - Grants, like scholarships, do not have to be paid back. Grants are offered by various sponsors, typically federal and state governments.
  • Work Study - Work-study programs are offered by participating schools, backed by the government, and enable students to earn money for their program and expenses by working part time while in school.
  • Student Loans - Student loans can be obtained from government and private lenders, although students should use these as a last resort because they will require repayment. Government loans are the better option of the two, as they have more regulated interest rates and flexible repayment plans.

Accreditation Information for Online Students in Oklahoma

Depending on the field of study and degree program, students can be affected by one or two types of accreditation. Each type of accreditation requires specific standards to be met and periodic reviews to maintain accredited status. The two types of accreditation are discussed below.

Institutional Accreditation

Institutional accreditation applies to an entire school and can be either regional or national. While both regional and national accrediting agencies accredit a school based on quality criteria, there are a few key differences.

  • Regional accrediting organizations accredit schools in specific geographic regions, while national accrediting organizations accredit schools based on things like school focus (religious, technical, etc.)
  • Credits earned at a regionally accredited school can transfer to either type, while credits earned at a nationally accredited school can transfer only to other nationally accredited schools
  • Regionally accredited schools are considered to be more prestigious because their quality standards are higher than national accreditation

Programmatic Accreditation

Programmatic accreditation applies to specific programs, rather than schools themselves, and is not available for all types of college programs. In some fields, such as business, programmatic accreditation may be beneficial to students but not required for their potential careers. In other fields, such as nursing, students can be required to graduate from programs that are accredited in order to qualify to work in certain positions.

How to Choose an Online School in Oklahoma

In addition to accreditation and cost, there are several things that students should consider when selecting a school for an online program in Oklahoma.

  • Programs Available - It's important to review the program offerings of each school before beginning the admissions process to ensure that schools have the right program to meet your career objectives and educational experience.
  • Flexibility - Students should determine if they will need full-time enrollment, part-time enrollment or a combination of the two in their program and confirm that their candidate schools offer the options that meet their needs.
  • Residency Requirements - While many programs can be completed completely online, some programs require on-campus or other in-person components. Students should ask each of their school choices what, if any, in-person requirements are associated with their programs.
  • Faculty - A knowledgeable faculty is extremely beneficial, but so is an available faculty. Students should ask their candidate schools what the standard time frame is for faculty responses, as getting an answer in one day (versus four days) can make a difference.

Careers for Graduates of Online Programs in Oklahoma

Graduates of online programs in Oklahoma can pursue a variety of career fields, depending on the level and focus of their degree program. The careers below are projected to have growth that is much faster than the national average.

Job Title Oklahoma Mean Annual Salary (2019) Typical Education Nationwide Job Growth (2018-2028)
Nurse Practitioner $113,200 Master's degree 28%
Web Developers and Digital Interface Designers $62,840 Associate's degree 13% for web developers
Software Developers and Software Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers $87,740 Bachelor's degree 16% for software developers and programmers
Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder and Mental Health Counselors $47,510 Bachelor's degree 23%

All career data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.