Distance education has grown to be hugely popular in recent years. Working full-time employees and stay-at-home parents may continue their studies through online programs. The best online colleges in Arizona feature some of the best associate, bachelor, master and doctorate degrees anywhere in the country. Not to mention the heat in Arizona makes it somewhat unbearable to walk around during the day. Staying in an air-conditioned house sounds more appealing than sweating trying to get to class.
Through the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), Arizona has been involved in several initiatives to promote online learning for students. As a result, many online colleges in Arizona are extremely accessible and highly developed. Arizona’s demonstrated commitment to making distance learning more accessible and technologically innovative makes online college a worthwhile investment for many.
Online degrees in Arizona provide the same quality of education as in the classroom. As part of our list, we look at the quality of the program, graduation rate, job placement, and tuition costs. The graduation rate is the student’s ability graduate within four years of starting school. Each of these qualities helps determine how well a student will succeed by enrolling in an Arizona online program in the U.S.
Here are the Best Online Colleges in Arizona:
1. Arizona State University
With over 140 online programs, Arizona State ranks as the top school for its quality of programs and prominent job placement at 87 percent. Not to mention, students can start at six different times during the year. The best online programs are at the forefront in advancing research and discovery. With a strong focus on technological resources, ASU is partnered with Google to offer Apps for Education, in addition to a range of other resources such as access to academic tools and software through student’s My ASU page.
Located in Tempe, Arizona State University is a public metropolitan research university with over 30,000 enrolled students. ASU also offers low-cost in-state tuition rates, which makes it one of the most affordable online schools in Phoenix and surrounding areas.
- Graduation Rate: 63 percent
- Number of Online Programs: 140+
- Tuition Cost: $10,127/yr
2. University of Arizona
Students can choose from 80 plus online degree programs at the University of Arizona. The best online programs that allow students of all ages, from Arizona and every part of the globe, to earn a degree or certificate for credit. In total, 29 bachelor’s degrees are currently available in a fully online format, with innovative programs ranging from Africana studies and cyber operations to geographic information systems and study of the American experience. Other programs are available for associate and master’s degrees. UA also offers a doctorate in nursing practice.
- Graduation Rate: 61 percent
- Number of Online Programs: 80+
- Tuition Cost: $10,581/yr
3. Grand Canyon University
Grand Canyon University is one of the top accredited online schools in Phoenix. The school is a private Christian university, offering a broad range of degree programs. Students may choose from over 100 academic programs online, including the famous Master of Science in Organizational Growth, the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN), and the Master of Science in Christian Counseling. Dedicated faculty teach online courses and provide mentorship to all distance learning students.
- Graduation Rate: 29 percent
- Number of Online Programs: 100+
- Tuition Cost: $16,500/yr
4. Northern Arizona University
Northern Arizona University proudly offers degrees both on campus and online, as well as blended programs, which allows students to study both on campus at one of the thirty schools across Arizona and from the comfort of their own home. Northern Arizona University is also listed as one of Value Colleges Top 30 Best Value Online Bachelor’s in Hospitality Management for 2017.
At Northern Arizona University, online students use an online platform called Blackboard Learn to access professors and peers, participate in discussions, attend classes and complete coursework. Plus the classes are asynchronous meaning students can attend class when it is most convenient. Some of the fully online degree programs include bachelor and master degrees in Math and Science, Health Professions, Computing and Technology, and much more.
- Graduation Rate: 49 percent
- Number of Online Programs: 108
- Tuition Cost: $10,358/yr
5. Arizona Western College
Arizona Western College online is proud to partner with ed2go, which offers online open enrollment programs, providing an additional level of flexibility for students wishing to obtain a degree or certificate online. And instructors are actively involved in each student’s online learning experience, ensuring students receive the same personal attention that they would receive in an on-campus, traditional classroom setting.
The college offers degree, certificate or continued learning courses in a variety of areas of study including forty-one courses in Computer Application, sixty-four course in Business, a thirty-seven course in Health and Fitness, and much more.
- Graduation Rate: 17 percent
- Number of Online Programs: 20+
- Tuition Cost: $2,540/yr
6. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Prescott
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is a well-known Arizona college for its innovative bachelor’s degree offerings. As one of the first online colleges in Arizona — first delivering distance learning programs in 1971 — the school continues to respond to the ever-evolving needs of the most in-demand industries.
A total of 12 online bachelor’s programs are currently available in areas ranging from aeronautics and aviation security to safety management and unmanned systems applications. With a critical understanding of the busy lives of many students, ERAU offers 12 different undergraduate start times per academic year, with each session lasting nine weeks. Notably, the school offers an aviation-focused Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) — which is free and accessible to anyone with an internet connection. The course provides an excellent introduction to online learning for prospective students at Embry-Riddle.
- Graduation Rate: 55 percent
- Number of Online Programs: 22
- Tuition Cost: $8,760/yr
7. Ottawa University-Phoenix
Founded on a deep commitment to providing a Christian community of grace, the Phoenix campus of Ottawa University is considered to be one of the best online colleges in Arizona due to not only its values but also its academic rigor. The university formed in 1865 out of a desire to serve the Ottawa Indian tribe; today the institution offers learning options to more than 5,000 students attending on campus and online.
A total of 26 online bachelor’s degrees are currently available. Some standout programs include addiction counseling, data science and technology, management of information systems, and studies in Christian ministries. The online learning program provides flexible, balanced programs that make it possible for working professionals and those with family responsibilities to complete their educations without added stress. To that end, the school also works diligently to ensure tuition rates are kept low, and student aid opportunities are plentiful.
- Graduation Rate: 40 percent
- Number of Online Programs: 45
- Tuition Cost: $11,670/yr
8. Western International University
Located in Tempe, Arizona, Western International University is considered a top-ranked online college in Phoenix. According to U.S. News and World Report, Western International’s online bachelor’s program is among the Tier 2 top-ranked online programs in the country. The best online programs value student and faculty live interaction and provide a unique learning experience. Some of the most popular online degree programs include bachelor’s and master’s in Accounting, Business, Business Administration, Information Technology, Management, and Public Administration.
- Graduation Rate: 14 percent
- Number of Online Programs: 16
- Tuition Cost: $15,000/yr
9. Phoenix College
While considered a career college, Phoenix College is not shy in offering online degrees in the Phoenix area. With over 90 years of experience in higher education, Phoenix College has supported career-minded students with educational programs. Currently, the campus offers 150 degree and certificate programs, with three online degree options. Students may earn associate degrees in various areas of study.
- Graduation Rate: 11 percent
- Number of Online Programs: 9
- Tuition Cost: $2,046/semester
10. Brookline College
Brookline College has several online programs at different locations around the southwest. There is a location in Phoenix, Arizona. Of the ten best online programs, there are three different bachelor degrees and a master of nursing in administration and health systems administration.
- Graduation Rate: 72 percent
- Number of Online Programs: 10
- Tuition Cost: $15,450/yr
The list draws from the best online programs in colleges around Arizona. The combination of flexibility, faculty experience, the success of graduates in their fields, options for financial aid and overall quality of program based on student feedback determines each school’s evaluation and rank.
We know that finding the best school to fit your unique needs is a huge challenge. For that reason, we work hard to develop lists of the best schools based on the characteristics most important for you. Whether that be cost of attendance, student success, resources available, flexibility of schedule, or any other number of important factors, we’ve got you covered. For more information about our ranking process and to find lists of schools based on specific characteristics, check out our methodology page.
We invite schools featured and not to reach out for possible inclusion in an updated version of the list. We’re constantly looking to recognize top-tier institutions.