In order to provide prospective students with the best chance at having a great education, we have compiled this list of the top universities and colleges in Oklahoma. Some schools may excel at online programs while others may focus exclusively on the traditional, on-campus aspect of higher education. Regardless of the delivery format, these schools excel at providing a quality education for their students.
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Life provides many opportunities to make investments for our future and the future of those around us. The best investment you can make is that of higher education. As an investment with the greatest amount of return, a college degree offers greater employment opportunities, career stability, and increased income. It does come with some upfront costs like any investment, in this case, that of tuition and time. With online education becoming more standardized and accredited, more students are seeking the path of higher education by attending colleges and universities, whether on campus or online. Considering things such as in-state tuition costs versus out-of-state tuition, scholarships available, choosing between a bachelor of science or master’s program, community college or affordable online alternatives, choosing how to invest in your education can be tough, but there are many organizations willing to help!
Currently, the organizations dedicated to bettering online education are the Oklahoma Distance Learning Alliance (ODLA), the state-run Reach Higher program and the new Great Plains Net distance learning system. These correlate with efforts to reach the statewide CCA goal for 2023. These groups work together to improve the online learning experience for students of Oklahoma colleges and universities.
Reach Higher is currently the state of Oklahoma’s campaign to support students who have yet to complete their degree, often with online alternatives that make it easier for established professionals who are a few credits shy to finish. This program is clearly linked to the state’s efforts to increase the total number of Oklahoma residents who hold a degree.
Oklahoma is also a member of the Southern Regional Education Board’s Electronic Campus. An initiative that lets students sift through an impressive directory of online programs throughout the southeast U.S. SREB also has strong aid initiatives. Services like the Academic Common Market/Electronic Campus and the Regional Contract Program for Health Professions let students fully enroll in a selection of out-of-state programs while paying in-state rates. While the program selection is small and the admissions criteria strict, these are incredible opportunities for qualified students to continue their education online.
|1||Northwestern Oklahoma State University||Alva, Oklahoma|
|2||Oklahoma State University||Stillwater, Oklahoma|
|3||Oklahoma Wesleyan University||Bartlesville, Oklahoma|
|4||Oral Roberts University||Tulsa, Oklahoma|
|5||Southwestern Oklahoma State University||Weatherford, Oklahoma|
Here are the Best Colleges in Oklahoma
Northwestern Oklahoma State University
Northwestern Oklahoma State University stands as one of the best colleges for online education in Oklahoma at this time. For students who have earned their associate’s or completed their general education courses previously, these students can enroll in entirely online business programs and nursing programs. Those who have completed these requirements can complete their degree in as little as 5 to 6 full-time semesters. The nursing program offered online is the high-in-demand RN to BSN online program. Students pursuing this route do need to be currently licensed RN’s in the state of Oklahoma. They can complete all their coursework online with no on-campus requirements or clinical hours.
Oklahoma State University
Oklahoma State University has ranked among the top 30 colleges for the best online programs offered through the university. Among these programs are business degrees and engineering degrees. Currently, bachelor’s degrees offered fully online are available to students who have been admitted into the university. These programs are a BS in business administration and a BS in electrical engineering technology. The business administration program offers two concentrations: general business and management. The BS in electrical engineering is offered in conjunction with the Oklahoma City Campus. The program has students take lower-level requirements at any college, then continue with upper division courses that are offered on the campuses of OSU-OKC or Rose State College through interactive television. CDs and podcasts of lectures are available. Online students have access to advisors to help guide their program of study. OSU is among online colleges in Oklahoma to offer virtual office hours. Master’s programs and certificates are also available online, including nonprofit management and industrial engineering and management.
Oklahoma Wesleyan University
Oklahoma Wesleyan University is a private evangelical Christian university of the Wesleyan Church. Currently, OKWU offers online programs and degrees for traditional students as well as distance adult learners. The degrees include business administration, criminal justice, ministry and leadership, organizational management, and RN to BSN. Students in the business administration program can choose from five different specialization options. Students must complete core courses with at least a 2.0 GPA. The RN to BSN nursing program requires students to have at least 42 transferable credit hours. Each course in the program lasts five to seven weeks, and students must maintain their RN licensure while enrolled.
OKWU is among online schools in Oklahoma to allow students to take one class at a time and register for all core classes at once with the assistance of an academic advisor. Tuition is locked in for core courses at the time of enrollment. All students receive in-state tuition, and tuition is the same whether students attend classes online or on-campus.
Oral Roberts University
Oral Roberts University is a private interdenominational Christian Liberal Arts University and as such Oral Roberts is among the online colleges in Oklahoma to offer a Christ-centered education. Bachelor’s degrees are offered in an online format for 13 majors. The online programs are designed for students to take one or two classes during each seven-week session, with two sessions offered each fall, spring, and summer. Even without transfer credit, students who follow the assigned degree plans can graduate in less than four years. Oral Roberts also offers 10 minors online for students to earn alongside their major. Some programs require that students select a minor, such as the BS in international business and ministry, which combines a business concentration with a minor in evangelism and missions. The liberal studies major is designed for students who want to study different topics. To graduate, students must complete 63 credits in two to three subject areas.
Southwestern Oklahoma State University
Southwestern Oklahoma State University is a public university that offers several bachelor’s degree options, including an RN to BSN and a BS in health information management. Both programs use the online platform Canvas. Through interactive television, students can earn a BBA in management, which is a two plus two program. The BS in organizational leadership is offered in a blended model. This degree is part of Oklahoma’s Reach Higher program, requiring a minimum of 72 transfer credits and that applicants be at least 21 years old. SWOSU is also the only university in Oklahoma that offers the BS in health information management. This four-year program is a blended program that requires students to complete two years of pre-professional curriculum and then the final two years online.
Northeastern State University
Northeastern State University offers a variety of online options for degrees, certifications, and courses. Bachelor’s degrees that are available entirely online include criminal justice, healthcare administration, hospitality and tourism management, medical laboratory science, nursing, supply chain management, and organizational leadership. Students that currently hold an associate’s degree or the equivalent credit hours have the opportunity to enter the criminal justice program that offers fast-track classes that allow students to finish the program in less than two years. The university offers 400 online courses. Northeastern is among the list of online colleges in Oklahoma to offer many of its degrees in the 2+2 program. Students interested in the medical laboratory science program can complete the final 60 credits of the program online, with laboratory practices completed off-site. This program admits one cohort each fall, has an 86% pass rate for the board of certification exam, and boasts a 100% employment rate. An important thing to note for residents of Massachusetts or the Commonwealth of North Mariana Islands is that they cannot participate in NSU’s distance education programs.
Oklahoma Panhandle State University
Oklahoma Panhandle State University currently offers a host of online courses and many degrees which can be fully completed in their online format. Courses that students are able to receive online are courses in chemistry, business administration, and education. Programs that allow students to earn completed degrees include the RN to BSN program, which has all the required courses available online. All courses in this program are offered asynchronously and practicum experiences can be completed near the student’s location. The program has flexible policies regarding transfer credit, and students are admitted each term. Applicants must have a 2.0 GPA in prior coursework. The program is designed for part-time students and most courses are offered each term. Oklahoma Panhandle is one of the online colleges in Oklahoma that bases its nursing curriculum on Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring. Courses in the program include nursing in rural America and nursing leadership and management.
Rogers State University
Rogers State University was the first university in Oklahoma to offer bachelor’s degrees entirely online, beginning online programs in 1992. Currently, RSU offers five bachelor’s degrees entirely online. Online undergraduate degrees include liberal arts, business administration, business information technology, organizational leadership, and applied technology. As an added benefit most of these programs also have options for choosing an area of specialization. Students in the business information technology program can choose to focus on computer network administration or software development and multimedia. Online courses at Rogers State are taught asynchronously, and there are no on-campus requirements. Currently, only residents of Oklahoma are eligible for the online programs. Online students have the same eligibility for financial aid and scholarships as traditional students. Classes are offered in the fall, spring, and summer, with 16-week terms in fall and spring and eight-week terms in the summer.
Southern Nazarene University
Southern Nazarene University is a private Christian liberal arts university and happens to be one of the best online colleges in Oklahoma. The university offers three online bachelor’s of science degrees in the areas of organizational leadership, business administration, and network management. Courses are asynchronous and five to six weeks in length. To better serve the needs of each student and provide quality education, each online class is limited to 20 students. Some programs have additional requirements for admission. Students interested in the network management program must take an entrance exam at the time of application. Acceptance into this program requires a score of 80 on the exam and only the top 16 people will be admitted. For the business administration degree, students must have completed some prerequisite coursework before they can enter the program. All of the online bachelor’s programs are designed for students who have earned at least 60 transferable credits prior to enrollment.
Whether students are looking for fully or partially online programs or just online courses, Cameron University offers a myriad of online options to fit the needs and schedules of online students. Fully online programs include bachelors of science degrees in criminal justice and interdisciplinary studies. The interdisciplinary studies degree was designed for students whose needs were not met by one of the structured majors. The program provides a unique degree plan for each student, and students can apply after they have earned 24 credits. It is important to note that CU is among online schools in Oklahoma that does not offer courses to students in California, Florida, and Massachusetts. Thirteen additional programs can be completed mostly online, with more than 50% of the coursework available online. The online percentage of these programs vary, from the bachelor of science in organizational leadership, which is 95% online, to the bachelor of arts in English, which is 64% online. The school uses Blackboard as its online platform, and hybrid and interactive tv courses are also available.
Southwestern Christian University
Southwestern Christian University currently only offers one online degree, the bachelor of professional leadership. The degree integrates biblically-informed curriculum with a liberal arts education. Students can choose from four concentrations that include business, management, social services, and Christian leadership. The social services concentration prepares students for acceptance into a graduate program in psychology, with courses that include developmental psychology, juvenile delinquency, and substance abuse and chemical dependency. The Christian leadership concentration prepares students for working in ministry or for graduate programs in ministry, theology, or biblical studies. Students can set their own pace, and there are no on-campus requirements. Textbooks are included in the cost of tuition and are shipped directly to students. Unlike some online colleges in Oklahoma, all exams and tests are taken online to best fit the needs of individual students.
University of Oklahoma – Health Sciences Center
UOSC has become an internationally prominent leader in educating students in health and medicine for years. With prominent faculty, state-of-the-art facilities and new technology, the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center have remained a leader in education, research, and patient care.
Mid-America Christian University
Mid-America Christian University offers a professional, flexible online format for adult learners to obtain a degree. Online courses at Mid-America utilize a state-of-the-art learning management system to help simplify and centralize your education. Some of the degree options students can choose from are communications, criminal justice, psychology, marriage and family therapy, counseling, business administration with multiple emphases to choose from, MBA programs, and more. Courses range from 5-weeks to 10-weeks in length and allow you to do coursework when it works for your schedule.
Why choose Bacone College? “With a bachelor’s degree, doors that were previously closed can open, creating employment opportunities and increasing your possible earning potential. Earning your bachelor’s degree online can positively impact your world and help you to empower others and make a difference in your community.” Online education is becoming even more accessible and desirable, not only for convenience but for the excellent education an online bachelor’s degree program can provide. Bacone College offers a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in general business, accounting, information systems, marketing, management and more.
Connors State College
Connors State College is a smaller college offering small class sizes and associate’s degrees with various majors and areas of emphasis. Currently, Connors State College provides two ways for students to receive their education online. One is using the Instructional Television (ITV) courses where they utilize H.323 video conferencing technology to allow students at the Warner Campus and Muskogee Port Campus to participate in courses together. The second is a fully online education course plan that allows students living anywhere in the world to experience Connors through courses available via the internet utilizing WebCT.
Carl Albert State College
Carl Albert State College offers online courses and degrees designed in such a way that the material students get is top-notch quality and accessible. Carl Albert State College touts one of the lowest tuition rates in the nation, students can take advantage of this low cost and accessibility wherever they are. An online course is straightforward and easy to use, and real people are available if students ever have a problem. Currently, many associate’s degrees and certifications are available entirely online. Some of these programs include business, child development, social sciences, and more.
Murray State College
Murray State College offers a wide variety of educational opportunities through an online format. Meeting the academic needs of a diverse student population is important to Murray State College. The following programs have been approved by the HLC and OSRHE for online delivery to students: Associate’s degrees in Arts and Sciences, Behavioral Sciences-Psychology or Sociology, Business, Child Development, Computer Science, Enterprise Development, and History.
Family of Faith Christian University
Family of Faith Christian University has designed institutional goals so that “each student will be prepared for a life of dedication and service to God. These goals incorporate growth in the student’s mental abilities, professional abilities, personal character, and spiritual life.” Currently, all available courses and degrees are within church ministry.
National American University-Tulsa
Flexible degree programs offered through National American University allow for a schedule that fits your lifestyle but is not optional in terms of class attendance. You must attend class each week but can choose to do it at a time that’s convenient for you. Students receive plenty of interaction with classmates even while earning an online degree. The online format allows students to introduce themselves and interact with classmates throughout the term. Currently, NAU offers more than 30 nationally accredited degree programs including associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. Find your program at NAU.
East Central University
ECU is a small public college that makes getting generals finished much easier. For students looking to start their college education and eventually transfer, ECU is a good start. Currently, ECU offers a few online courses through Blackboard. No degrees are fully available online at this time.
RANKING: For information on how we ranked the schools on this list, please visit our methodology page.