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 Kentucky. 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.
Deciding to get a college degree is a big decision—it requires time, money, and effort. To ease some of the stress that accompanies such a big decision, we’ve created a list of colleges in Kentucky that might offer you a solution you hadn’t thought of.
Getting a college degree online will offer you the flexibility and convenience of studying at your own pace from home while avoiding traditional course-scheduling conflicts. Kentucky’s dedication to online learning makes it easier for adult learners, full- or part-time job holders, and students with families to pursue the advanced degrees they desire.
Whether you attend a public four-year college, a private university, a community or junior college, a trade or vocational school, an online college or a religious institution, Kentucky desires that all of its students reach graduation day and their personal goals.
|1||Western Kentucky University||Bowling Green, Kentucky|
|2||Campbellsville University||Campbellsville, Kentucky|
|3||University of the Cumberlands||Williamsburg, Kentucky|
|4||Midway University||Midway, Kentucky|
|5||Murray State University||Murray, Kentucky|
Here are the Best Colleges in Kentucky of 2020
Western Kentucky University
Western Kentucky University was founded in 1906 as a teacher training facility. In today’s day and age of distance learning and online classes, WKU stands out due to its many resources for online students. The university’s student resource portal allows distance learners to access library services, technology services, an online writing lab, presentation coaching, online webinars, and more. Several of their fully online bachelor’s degree programs include criminal justice, RN-to-BSN, sociology, and healthcare administration. The school’s online 2+2 bachelor’s degrees, including business management and manufacturing engineering technology, offer transfer opportunities for students with an associate degree from any one of the schools in the Kentucky Community & Technical College system.
Looking for christian colleges in Kentucky? Campbellsville University is a private Christian liberal arts school dedicated to developing Christian servant leaders prepared for scholarship, lifelong learning, and active participation in a global society. Campbellsville offers online associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs, and several of the bachelor’s programs include social work, business administration, criminal justice administration, pastoral ministries, and an RN to BSN degree-completion program. A certificate in Christian ministry is also available to online students. All programs feature a Christ-centered curriculum and prepare students for lives of service. Campbellsville is a military- and veteran-friendly university and offers reduced tuition rates for active duty military members.
University of the Cumberlands
The University of the Cumberlands is one of the best liberal arts college in Kentucky. It was founded in 1888 for the purpose of preparing young adults for lives as servant leaders. It has since provided promising students of all backgrounds a first-class, liberal arts education within a Christian context. Its online courses are available in a synchronous and asynchronous format and are offered in convenient 8-week bi-terms allowing multiple start dates throughout the year. The online program also allows up to 90 credit hours of transfer work.
Midway University was first established by a Christian minister in 1849 as the Kentucky Female Orphan School. Today, Midway prepares students for careers by providing them with a liberal arts education that is guided by Christian ideals. It currently offers more than 20 online majors, including degrees in business administration, criminal justice, and healthcare administration. Midway is also one of the online colleges in Kentucky offering accelerated undergraduate programs. Online programs are comprised of eight-week courses that are offered five times throughout the year on the Moodle online learning platform. Midway also has a Credit for Prior Learning program that allows students to earn college credit for work experience and learning.
Murray State University
Murray State, a top public university in Kentucky and a highly ranked regional university in the United States, provides online learning opportunities in an asynchronous and the occasional synchronous format. Students are offered online certificate programs, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees, including Murray State’s award-winning online MBA. In accordance with the Kentucky Community & Technical College System (KCTCS), students can take their lower-level courses remotely through KCTCS and then finish their degrees online through Murray State. In addition, education endorsements, non-credit programs, and a seven-week GRE test prep program are available. Murray State offers a bachelor of integrated studies for working adults that allows them to build a flexible degree within a field of study tailored to their professional and personal goals. Distance learners have access to a variety of services, including library databases and technical help through the school’s service desk.
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University of Louisville
The intention of opening a Louisville seminary in 1798 was the start of what is now the University of Louisville. Although the seminary struggled financially over the years, today it’s a nationally recognized metropolitan research university with a commitment to the liberal arts and sciences and to the intellectual, cultural and economic development of our diverse community of learners. It’s accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and offers online undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees and certificate programs. Students can choose from online programs in a number of popular fields, including nursing, computer science, and special education.
University of Kentucky
The University of Kentucky is the state’s flagship public university and is one of the best online colleges in Kentucky. It was founded in 1865 and is located in Lexington. UK offers a catalog of fully online and hybrid programs in disciplines including arts and sciences, design, education, and engineering. Most of the university’s online programs are at the master’s level, including degrees in research methods in education, arts administration, and manufacturing systems engineering. Online students have access to research consultation sessions (through phone, chat, email, or in person) and copyright and EndNote assistance. Online students are charged Kentucky resident tuition for their classes, which can be accessed through the Canvas learning platform. Through The Distance Learning Library, students can access print and electronics materials, research databases, and course-specific guides.
Eastern Kentucky University
Eastern Kentucky, founded in 1874, is dedicated to quality instruction, scholarship, and service. Students interested in earning a bachelor’s degree from an online college can enroll at EKU and pursue a major in a variety of programs, including police studies, paralegal studies, and emergency medicine. Most distance programs can be completed entirely online, but the paralegal program has a residency requirement—a minimum of 10 semester credits (or the equivalent of legal specialty courses) must be completed through traditional classroom instruction. EKU’s main library provides online students with access to electronic research materials and delivers books to regional campuses. Online classes are delivered through Blackboard with six start dates throughout the year.
Morehead State University
MSU was founded in 1887 as a religious institution, and today it’s one of the Kentucky colleges providing many online options for transfer students. Those with an associate degree can enroll at MSU and complete a bachelor’s degree using one of their degree-completion programs, which include accounting, general business, computer information systems, nursing, and more. Coursework at MSU is accessible through the Blackboard learning management system. MSU also provides special services to veteran students, including application fee waivers, priority registration, class credit for experience gained while serving in the military, a special veteran’s resource center on campus, a student group for veterans, and counseling resources. A number of benefits are also offered to the spouses and dependents of veterans.
Brescia, founded by the Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph in 1950, is a Catholic, liberal arts institution dedicated to the transformation of students through education. It offers a wide variety of online programs and courses through BUonline, some of which include associate’s degree programs in business, liberal arts, or human services and bachelor’s degree programs in accounting, business, and psychology. BUonline also offers a master’s degree program in management and a BSW and MSW fully-online. Most courses can be taken in an eight-week, accelerated format. Distance learners engage with their professors through mandatory live chat sessions each week, enabling students and their teachers to carry out discussions and presentations online. Coursework is accessible through the Moodle learning management system.
Northern Kentucky University
NKU is one of the premier Kentucky universities offering online degrees and certificates designed for adult learners, with courses in five-week, seven-week and 16-week formats. Online bachelor’s degree options include business information systems, communication studies, criminal justice, health science, and integrative studies. Students who want to further customize their educational experience can opt to pursue one of 8 online minors, such as women’s and gender studies, political science, and religious studies. Coursework for online classes is available through the Canvas learning management system. Distance learners will enjoy the student-faculty ratio of 19:1 and the access to a variety of services, including an online writing center, academic advising, and access to the online library.
Since its origin in 1879, Union College has ignited students from throughout Appalachia, and all over the country, with a collegiate experience to ensure lifelong success. Union is grounded by four pillars that define our focus as an academic institution: service to each other and our communities; our Appalachian culture and heritage; our core affiliation with Methodism and the liberal arts academic experience. The four pillars highlight Union’s strengths, values, mission, and identity.
The division of Online and Graduate Studies is committed to Union College’s mission to serve the academic needs of a diverse community of undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education students. Union strives to do serve in a dynamic, personal environment, that promotes intellectual, spiritual, and physical enrichment of students, faculty, and staff and the economic growth and health of our Appalachian region.
Union College offers several Undergraduate and Graduate Degree programs, that offer 6 starting points (terms) each year that include 8-week courses. This allows learners to accelerate through a degree plan in order to accomplish their career and education goals.
Kentucky State University
Kentucky State University is located in Frankfort and was established in 1890 when it was first chartered as a land-grant university for black Americans. The school remains committed to civic engagement and serving the community to this day. KSU offers online degrees and certificates at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate levels. Regularly-scheduled interactive television courses are delivered using two-way video conferencing, allowing students to directly interact with their professors. Online student services include Smarthinking continuous online tutoring services through Blackboard, an online bookstore, and online library. Distance learners can use the online library to search databases for articles, books, and journals, and get more familiar with Blackboard through the Blackboard UNV 101 library instruction course.
Kentucky Wesleyan College
Kentucky Wesleyan College is a private institution located in Owensboro. It was founded in 1858 by the Methodist Episcopal Church and is dedicated to providing students with a liberal arts education rooted in the Methodist tradition. It offers asynchronous distance learning options designed for adult learners. Online courses are offered in a seven-week format enabling students to graduate at a faster pace. KWC’s online undergraduate degrees are available in a variety of fields, including graphic design, business administration, and criminal justice & criminology. Class sessions begin every two months throughout the year and each session lasts seven weeks. Full-time students can take two courses each term and are allowed to transfer up to 90 semester hours from four-year colleges and 60 semester hours from two-year colleges. Services for online students include academic advising, technical assistance, library access, and disability support.
Lindsey Wilson College
Lindsey Wilson College, located in Columbia, KY, is a private Methodist school that provides its students with a liberal arts education. LWC’s affiliation with the Methodist church strongly guides its mission to provide students with a Christian learning environment. Many of LWC’s online courses are offered in an accelerated eight-week format, allowing students to earn their degrees quickly, and are accessible through the Blackboard learning management system. LWC is a military-friendly school and provides special services for veterans including a veterans affairs coordinator, and credit for military training.
Asbury is a four-year, multi-denominational institution with programming that embraces academic excellence and spiritual vitality. Asbury’s 14 academic departments offer 54 majors at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including several master’s degrees in education and an adult degree completion program called Adult Professional Studies. Asbury’s online courses combine asynchronous and real-time instruction. Students access courses through Discovery, AU’s own learning management system, which offers live sessions through Adobe Connect. Distance learners receive a variety of support and services including access to electronic resources through the library, technical assistance from the help desk, and individualized advising.
Kentucky Community and Technical College System
Looking for community colleges in Kentucky? Every community college in Kentucky is part of KCTCS and offers students seeking an online degree the option of Learn on Demand or Learn by Term classes. Learn on Demand classes have frequent start dates and are self-paced courses that are 6-15 weeks long in the fall and spring, and 6-10 weeks long for summer courses. Learn by Term classes follow the same schedule as typical semesters, and are designed for students who can’t attend on-campus classes due to other commitments. Both options offer online degrees and financial aid opportunities.
The Ranking Process
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.
Please feel free to contact us with additional information if you are associated with a school on this list and would like to make edits or add additional information, or you would like to add your school’s program to our list.