Michigan has experienced considerable gains in online education over the last several years. A 2015 report by the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute found that 11.5% of Michigan students at public postsecondary schools had “enrolled in at least one distance education course”; altogether this accounts for just under 28,000 Michigan students, spread across 15 Michigan institutions. The report concluded that this number would only grow, as would figures for the state’s various private institutions.
Michigan has also proved its dedication to online education by becoming a full member of the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC), an organization we explore in greater detail below. So, before we look at the best online colleges in Michigan, let’s start with the state of higher education — and online education in particular — in the Great Lake State.
A Brief Overview of Higher Education in Michigan
Michigan boasts of more than great music, industry, and lakefront beaches. With 103 degree-granting institutions, Michigan makes a great place to earn your postsecondary degree. Michigan State University, one of the largest universities in the state, is just one of 46 public institutions in Michigan, in addition to 42 nonprofit and 15 for-profit schools. With so many higher education options, it comes as no surprise that, in 2016, more than 580,000 students were enrolled in a postsecondary institution in Michigan.
According to an annual survey by College Board, tuition for postsecondary education in Michigan runs a bit higher than some other states, with an average in-state tuition of just under $13,000 per year at a public institution. For students from outside Michigan considering earning their degree at a state college online, the out-of-state premium charged at Michigan’s flagship institutions runs considerably higher than many other states, at an average of $47,480 per year in tuition and fees. However, in the 2015-16 academic year, more than 26,000 students in the state received need-based financial aid grants through the Michigan Competitive Scholarship program, and more than 40,000 students received need-based grants through the state’s Tuition Incentive and Tuition Grant programs. This amounts to around 11% of all enrolled students receiving need-based grants through state financial aid programs.
The State of Online Higher Education in Michigan
As mentioned above, Michigan remains one of twelve states to honor the MHEC. Through this compact, students enrolled at public colleges in member states can take advantage of nonresident tuition breaks, a greater selection of courses, and a simplified transfer process. This agreement, which opens so many doors for its in-state distance student, captures Michigan’s support of online education.
Michigan Colleges Online drives the state’s campaign for more online higher education. MCO brings together 28 community colleges spread across Michigan so that students either enrolled in one of the 28 schools or outside students interested in auditing a course can do so easily and remotely. The MCO site hosts a current directory of the many courses and programs students can pursue and then assists them through the enrollment process.
Online schools in Michigan have grown steadily over the last few years. According to the Distance Education State Almanac, enrollment in distance-based learning programs in the state has steadily increased from 2012 to 2015, with 115,900 undergraduates and 19,934 graduate students enrolled in at least some distance learning. This accounts for 22.6% of all Michigan students. Additionally, more than 36,617 undergraduate and 14,339 graduate students at schools in Michigan (8.5% of all students) enrolled in exclusively distance-based degree programs in 2015. About 80% of these exclusively online students reside within Michigan, while the rest live outside the state.
Tuition Breaks for Out-of-State Students
To provide students in midwest states with more postsecondary education options at affordable rates, the Midwest Student Exchange Program allows students from certain midwest states to attend institutions in other states at a discounted rate. Many higher education institutions in Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, and Wisconsin participate in this unique program. Students from these states may attend one of the participating institutions in another state, paying no more than 150% of the in-state tuition at public institutions. Students choosing to attend one of the participating private institutions can expect a 10% tuition discount. The amount of savings students can expect to see annually varies by institution, but generally runs between $500 and $5,000.
Participating institutions reserve the right to limit their participation, and some programs may not be eligible. Schools may also hold different admissions standards or requirements for students wishing to participate in this tuition reduction program. Check with the admissions and financial aid offices of the school(s) you wish to attend for more specific information on their requirements and participation, including whether students wishing to attend online schools in Michigan can take part.
Best Online Colleges in Michigan
Below, you will find our rankings of the best online four-year programs in Michigan. Our profiles look at how schools approach online education and then list out their services for distance students and their popular, fully online degrees. After reviewing the best online schools in Michigan, explore our state resources, like a database of every college and university in Michigan or our index of popular in-state scholarships.
|Rank||School Name||School Logo||City||Cost||Address & Contact Info||School Links||Acclaim for Online Programs||School Description|
|1||Central Michigan University||Mount Pleasant||$$$$$||106 Warriner Hall|
Mount Pleasant, MI 48859
Based in Mount Pleasant, CMU is among the 100 largest universities in the United States, educating more than 23,000 students every year. The school operates 200 academic programs, including online learning opportunities powered by Blackboard Learn. Similar to other cheap online colleges and universities in Michigan, CMU provides affordable tuition prices based on program and degree. Distance learners also benefit from financial support, including awards like the Global Campus Endowed Scholarship and the Michigan Community College Academic Achievement Award.
CMU delivers 11 online bachelor's programs in such fields as early childhood development and learning, international relations, and administration. Undergraduate students may also earn a bachelor's degree in fashion merchandising and design. This 124-credit program contains required coursework in textile analysis, fashion retail management, and CAD for apparel. Students take advanced classes in their concentration, choosing from either visual merchandising or product development. The program operates open enrollment. Applicants need a minimum 2.0 GPA.
At the graduate level, CMU offers 13 online master's programs in areas like nutrition and dietetics, public administration, reading and literacy K-12, and business administration. Students who want to own an enterprise or create a startup can earn a master of entrepreneurial transactions. In addition to core business concepts, this 36-credit program prepares degree candidates to raise capital from angel investors and manage growth and risk. Full-time students can earn their master's degree in one year. Applicants need a minimum 2.7 GPA.
CMU provides online doctoral programs in educational leadership and educational technology. Students may also pursue the doctor of health administration, preparing for dedicated research positions or leadership roles in hospitals, insurance companies, and government health organizations. The 61-credit program uses a hybrid cohort model, in which students take asynchronous classes, engage in six face-to-face seminars, and finish with a comprehensive essay exam. Applicants must possess relevant master's and professional degrees.
|2||Michigan State University||East Lansing||$$$$$|| |
East Lansing, MI 48824-1046
Located in East Lansing, MSU was founded in 1855 as the first U.S. higher education institution to teach scientific agriculture. Today, the university provides comprehensive academic and research opportunities to over 50,000 students. Distance learners access fully online and hybrid programs through the Desire2Learn platform.
Students pay tuition based on residency status and degree type. They may access financial aid such as the Detroit Compact Scholarship for city high school graduates and the Mildred B. Erickson Scholarship for returning learners. The university also operates the Spartan Advantage Program, which helps students with the greatest financial need cover the full expense of their education.
Students may enroll in two online undergraduate programs. The bachelor of arts in early care and education offers limited enrollment for professionals already working in the field. The 120-credit degree plan contains classes in child development, technology and young children, and understanding and adapting for developmental differences. Degree candidates also complete three practicums.
Like some other Michigan online colleges and universities, MSU provides an RN-to-BSN track for professionals with unrestricted nursing licenses. Part-time students can finish this 30-credit program in five semesters. Classes include pathophysiology, health promotion, and community and population health nursing. Applicants need a high school diploma or an associate degree with a minimum 2.75 GPA.
Graduate students choose from over 40 diverse master's and doctoral programs. Degree options include applied behavior analysis, criminal justice, food safety, management studies, sports coaching and leadership, and youth development. Distance learners can earn a master of social work through three different hybrid tracks. The 38-credit advanced standing program enrolls students with a bachelor of social work from an institution accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. These candidates must also hold a minimum 3.25 GPA. The regular blended and weekend options total 67 credits and admit students who do not meet the aforementioned criteria.
|3||Siena Heights University||Adrian||$$$$$||1247 E. Siena Heights Dr.|
Adrian, MI 49221
Established in 1919, Siena Heights enrolls approximately 2,500 students and operates 40 academic programs. The university powers online learning through the Canvas platform, offering undergraduate degree completion tracks and standalone graduate programs. As one of the best online colleges in Michigan, Siena Heights offers a fixed and affordable tuition rate for students, regardless of residency. Over 90% of learners receive financial assistance, which includes state grants and competitive institutional scholarships.
Siena Heights provides online bachelor's completion programs in fields like accounting, marketing, management, nursing, and professional communication. Additionally, the university operates two inverted major tracks: a bachelor of applied science (BAS) and bachelor of arts in multidisciplinary studies. These programs enable students to craft a major out of the coursework they already completed and the work experience they possess. BAS candidates may base their degree plan on such focus areas as massage therapy, public safety professions, and radiologic technology. Both programs pair students with academic advisers who help them with curriculum planning.
Siena Heights facilitates four online graduate programs, including a master of business administration degree. Accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education, the MBA curriculum totals 36 credits. Students take required courses in financial statement analysis, sustainable business management, and ethics in a global environment. They may pursue a generalist track or a health administration specialization. The MBA program operates eight-week classes, enabling full-time students to earn their degree in one year. There are no GPA or GMAT requirements.
Graduate students may also earn a master of arts in healthcare leadership, organizational leadership, or higher education leadership. Each degree plan totals 36 credits, half of which go toward professional core classes like strategic communication and ethics and social justice. Students fulfill the remaining credits with sequence-specific coursework. To apply, candidates must hold a minimum 3.0 GPA.
|4||Northwood University - Michigan||Midland||$$$$$||4000 Whiting Dr|
Midland, MI 48640-2398
Established in 1959, Northwood enrolls more than 5,200 students every year. The university operates academic programs at its Midland campus and four international locations. Northwood also delivers online business programs through Blackboard Learn. Distance learners pay affordable semester tuition plans based on their program. All students benefit from financial aid, which includes the Michigan Tuition Grant and Competitive Scholarship for undergraduate candidates. Graduate students may apply for awards based on GPA, early decision status, and leadership qualities and experience.
Northwood operates a flexible online bachelor of business administration accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. Degree candidates take at least 120 credits of required courses, such as business productivity software, managerial accounting fundamentals, and micro- and macroeconomics. They pursue advanced coursework in one of 11 focus areas, including aftermarket management, marketing, finance, and management information systems. BBA students take accelerated eight-week classes, and most earn their degree in 2-3 years. In lieu of fully remote learning, students can mix in traditional classes for a hybrid experience.
Online graduate students choose between a master of science in finance and a master of business administration. The MS program totals 30 credits and prepares students for the chartered financial analysis exam. Coursework includes financial reporting; risk management and derivatives; and mergers, acquisitions, and valuations. Students complete their academic training with a portfolio management capstone course.
Totaling 36 credits, Northwood's MBA program prepares students for such leadership positions as marketing consultant and operations manager. The degree plan consists of classes in human behavior in organizations, process improvement for managers, and corporate financial decision making. Online graduate programs span two years.
The university offers five entry dates every year. Admission requirements include a minimum 3.0 GPA, verifiable resume/CV, and graduate writing sample. Candidates also undergo an interview process. Northwood does not require GRE or GMAT scores.
|5||Andrews University||Berrien Springs||$$$$$||4150 Administration Drive, Room 136|
Berrien Springs, MI 49104
Based in Berrien Springs, Andrews is the flagship university of the Seventh-day Adventist school system, the second largest Christian higher education network in the world. The school enrolls over 5,000 students in 200 undergraduate and graduate programs. Distance learners access online degrees, courses, and continuing education opportunities through the Moodle platform.
Andrews provides low per-credit and full-semester tuition rates based on degree type. Financial assistance is available, including the Andrews Partnership Scholarship for first-time undergraduate candidates. Nursing majors and the majority of graduate students can apply for tuition-reduction awards based on their GPA and standardized test scores.
Andrews offers two-year and four-year programs in general studies that enable students to design a degree plan aligned with their professional goals. The general studies tracks operate self-paced classes and year-round admission. To apply, candidates need a minimum 2.5 GPA and, if they graduated high school within the past three years, SAT or ACT scores.
Setting itself apart from other Michigan online colleges and universities, Andrews offers a bachelor of arts in religion. The 124-credit program includes classes like God and human life, doctrines of the Adventist faith, hermeneutics, and religious ethics in modern society. The degree plan also contains 31 elective hours, which students may use to complete a minor or second major. Students may bolster their education by pursuing online certificates in discipleship, mission, and Spanish ministry. The university sets program entry dates for August, January, and May.
In addition to a master of arts in religion, graduate students pick from two business, 14 education, and five health professions programs. Latter options include an online master of public health with a concentration in nutrition and wellness, the first program of its kind in the United States. MPH students enjoy a 50% tuition discount. Full-time candidates may finish the 42-credit degree plan within 18 months, while part-time students complete it in under three years. Admission criteria include a minimum 3.0 GPA, current resume, personal statement, and three recommendation letters.
|6||Oakland University||Rochester Hills||$$$$$||2200 North Squirrel Road|
Rochester Hills, MI 48309-4401
Although Oakland is based in Rochester Hills, the public research university supports much of the Metro Detroit area. Over 20,000 students earn credentials and pursue career training at Oakland. The academic catalog contains 270 undergraduate and graduate degrees, many of which distance learners can access through the Moodle platform. The school prices its low tuition based on residency status and program level/type. Students who enroll in eligible online programs pay in-state rates. All learners enjoy financial aid opportunities, including scholarships for nursing, accounting, and finance majors.
Similar to other Michigan online colleges and universities, Oakland delivers an RN-to-BSN track for active nurses with an unencumbered license and a diploma or associate degree in nursing. The bachelor's completion plan totals 32 credits, which full-time students can complete in one year, and part-timers can finish in 20 months.
The university also offers an online bachelor of science in environmental health and safety that prepares students to improve workplace conditions in such industries as healthcare, manufacturing, and construction. The 125-credit curriculum includes classes like environmental standards, medical geology, and occupational hygiene fundamentals.
Oakland provides five online master's programs in such areas as reading and language arts, special education, and safety management. Graduate students can also earn a master of science in engineering management. Totaling 30 credits, the degree plan consists of coursework in engineering decision analysis, financial management, and systems engineering foundations. The program opens enrollment to professionals in any engineering field. Candidates must hold a regionally accredited bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. They must also possess at least two years of relevant work experience in the United States.
The online academic catalog also contains a doctor of nursing practice and an education specialist in leadership. The post-master's Ed.S. program totals 34 credits and centers on current K-12 education issues. Students take classes as a cohort and earn their degree in 22 months.
|7||Ferris State University||Big Rapids||$$$$$||1201 S State St|
Big Rapids, MI 49307-2251
Located in Big Rapids, Ferris State was founded in 1884 as an industrial school. The university holds the distinction of being one of the few U.S. higher education institutions to accept female students in its first class. Today, Ferris State supports nearly 15,000 learners and operates comprehensive academic programming through eight colleges. Blackboard Learn facilitates online programs at the certificate, bachelor's, and master's levels. Students pay tuition rates based on degree and enrollment status. Ferris State provides financial support, which includes generous scholarships for online and returning students.
The majority of the online bachelor's programs function as degree completion tracks, requiring students to transfer at least 48 credits of prior academic work. Fields of study include allied health science, business administration, integrative studies, nursing, and respiratory therapy. Candidates typically earn their credentials in two years.
Setting itself apart from other online colleges and universities in Michigan, Ferris State provides a bachelor of science in automotive management. This 120-credit program prepares students for technical leadership roles in dealerships and manufacturers. Major coursework includes legal environment of business, management of variable operations, and automotive marketing and distribution. To apply, candidates need a relevant associate degree with a minimum 2.3 GPA. Graduates from industry co-op training programs also qualify.
Graduate students choose from online master's degrees in business management, healthcare administration, and public health. Ferris State delivers two master of science in nursing programs: the conventional two-year track for bachelor's degree holders and the accelerated RN-to-MSN plan. Students who pursue the latter option begin in the RN-to-BSN program, completing MSN bridgework along the way. Those who maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA may apply to the master's program during the last semester of their undergraduate training, earning their BSN and MSN in five years. The university also offers an online doctor of nursing practice for experienced professionals.
|8||Cornerstone University||Grand Rapids||$$$$$||1001 E Beltline Ave NE|
Grand Rapids, MI 49525-5897
Based in Grand Rapids, CU was established in 1941 as a Bible institute. Today, the independent university supports 3,000 students and operates career-relevant academics. Approximately 94% of undergraduate candidates obtain jobs or enroll in advanced programs within six months of graduation. CU delivers online degrees and individual graduate education courses through the Moodle platform. Like other cheap online colleges and universities in Michigan, Cornerstone offers low tuition rates based on degree level. First-time and transfer students benefit from escalating merit awards. The school also funds scholarships for pastors, youth pastors, and the children of missionaries.
The academic catalog contains two online associate programs in human services and business studies. Undergraduate students may also pursue bachelor's degrees in such areas as ministry leadership, psychology, and organizational management. Additionally, CU offers an online bachelor of science in business administration and leadership. This 46-credit degree completion track prepares students for careers in fields like finance, public relations, and entrepreneurship. Applicants must possess at least two years of post-high school work experience and 56 transferable credits. The program starts every January and candidates may earn their degree in as few as 20 months.
Graduate students can enroll in one of CU's online master of business administration programs. Totaling 38 credits, the MBA degree plans consist of such core classes as managerial finance; marketing strategies; and ethics, values, and social responsibility. Students pursue advanced topics in their concentration, choosing from finance, global business, healthcare, or project management.
All MBA candidates complete their education with an applied capstone project. Students take one class at a time, earning their credentials in 77 weeks. Admission criteria include a minimum 2.7 GPA for applicants with at least one year of relevant work experience; those with less experience must hold at least a 3.0 GPA. CU offers additional online graduate programs in fields like counseling, biblical studies, and education.
|9||Spring Arbor University||Spring Arbor||$$$$$||106 E. Main St|
Spring Arbor, MI 49283-9799
Founded in 1873 as a seminary and junior college, SAU is now a comprehensive four-year institution that supports 3,000 students every year. The university operates over 70 academic programs, including online degrees and certificates powered by Blackboard Learn. Distance learners pay affordable program-based tuition. All students may apply for financial assistance, which includes state grants and merit scholarships for first-time and transfer candidates. Active military and veterans receive additional awards and tuition discounts.
SAU delivers three online undergraduate degree completion programs. The bachelor of science in organizational management prepares students for careers in manufacturing, government, and nonprofit leadership. Accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, the bachelor of social work enables experienced professionals to earn child welfare endorsement. Like some other Michigan online colleges and universities, SAU offers an online RN-to-BSN track for nurses with unencumbered licenses. Coursework includes quality leadership, clinical prevention, and spiritual dimensions of healthcare. Undergraduate candidates typically earn their degrees in under two years.
Nurses may also earn their graduate credentials remotely at SAU. BSN holders may enroll in conventional master of science in nursing programs, choosing from such concentrations as family nurse practitioner; nursing education; and adult-gerontology, primary care. They may also enroll in an MSN/MBA dual-degree program, preparing for leadership positions like chief nursing officer, policy coordinator, and patient care advocate. Dual degree candidates pick from five concentrations, including human resource development and organizational consulting. For nurses with diplomas or associate degrees, SAU offers the same nursing programs on accelerated models.
Beyond nursing, distance learners can pursue master's degrees in areas like business administration, strategic communication and leadership, education, special education, reading, and TESOL. SAU also operates an online master of arts in early childhood education that focuses on early literacy and behavior issues. Spanning two years, this program prepares Michigan educators for ZS endorsement. Applicants do not need to submit standardized test scores.
|10||Eastern Michigan University||Ypsilanti||$$$$$||202 Welch Hall|
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Based in Ypsilanti, EMU was established in 1849 as a state normal school. Today, the public university provides comprehensive academic programming through its seven colleges. Over 20,300 students attend EMU, many of whom pursue online learning powered by the Canvas platform. Distance learners pay affordable tuition prices based on program type and residency status. EMU offers financial aid to all students, which includes state grants, work-study opportunities, and competitive awards based on enrollment status and major. For example, the Barton Endowed Scholarship supports full-time graduate candidates with a 3.5 GPA or higher.
At the undergraduate level, EMU facilitates online bachelor of science programs in technology management, nursing, and dietetics. The university also offers a bachelor of general studies in individualized studies. This flexible program enables students whose career goals do not match existing academic offerings to design a degree plan with adviser support. The curriculum totals 124 credits, more than half of which go toward general education coursework. The remaining 60 evenly divide between three concentrations.
Online students choose from master's programs in such fields as quality management, integrated marketing communications, educational leadership, dietetics, human nutrition, and human resource management. Graduate candidates may also earn a master of science in engineering management. This 36-credit program helps students develop leadership skills in lean and quality enterprise systems. Coursework includes project management, cost of quality, and manufacturing process planning. Applicants need an industrial or technical undergraduate degree earned at a minimum 2.7 GPA.
EMU sets itself apart from other online colleges and universities in Michigan by providing an online master of arts in social foundations and community education. Through a multidisciplinary 30-credit curriculum, students learn to assess the social, economic, and political forces that dictate how individuals receive education worldwide. On top of required coursework, degree candidates engage with advanced topics in one of three concentrations. Applicants need at least a 2.75 GPA.
|11||Grace Christian University||Wyoming||$$$$$||1011 Aldon SW|
Wyoming, MI 49509
Based in Grand Rapids, GCU was founded in 1945 as an evening institute to train Sunday school teachers. The university enrolls more than 900 students and operates associate, bachelor's, and master's programs. Blackboard Learn powers online education at GCU. Distance learning tuition prices are based on degree level. On top of low-interest loans, state grants, and veteran benefits, students benefit from such awards as the Grace Online Community Partnership Scholarship. This initiative partners with local businesses and organizations to provide students a 20% tuition discount.
GCU delivers online associate of arts degrees in fields like business, psychology, human services, and general studies. Students can also enroll in a two-year criminal justice program, developing a fundamental understanding of the U.S. law enforcement and judicial systems. The 60-credit degree plan comprises such courses as cultural diversity, life-span psychology, and culture and conflict management. The program culminates in an integrative capstone experience. There are no GPA or standardized testing requirements. The university does not charge application fees.
The academic catalog contains nine online bachelor's programs, including degrees in business, human services, and psychology. Setting itself apart from other online colleges and universities in Michigan, GCU delivers a bachelor of science in leadership and ministry. This 120-credit program synthesizes theoretical knowledge with practical skills to prepare students for vocational ministry and community development careers. Learners take such classes as basic counseling, mobilization of volunteers, and personal and social ethics. All undergraduate students can personalize their degree plan with online concentrations. The nine options include youth ministry, women's ministry, and marketing.
GCU offers two online master's degrees in ministry and organizational leadership. The latter program totals 30 credits and prepares students for high-ranking positions like instructional coordinator, training and development manager, and corporate consultant. Full-time learners may earn the degree in 17 months. Classes include leading diverse teams and financial stewardship. Applicants submit academic transcripts, a writing sample, and two recommendation letters.
|12||Davenport University||Grand Rapids||$$$$$||6191 Kraft Avenue S.E.|
Grand Rapids, MI 49512-9396
Founded in 1866 as a small business school for Civil War veterans, Davenport provides comprehensive degrees in more than 50 fields of study. The university operates multiple locations throughout Michigan and delivers distance education opportunities through its Global Campus. Blackboard Learn powers online programs at Davenport. Students pay affordable tuition rates based on degree type and residency status. Financial aid is available, including merit scholarships for accounting, nursing, and business majors.
Davenport offers online associate programs in finance, business administration, accounting, and computer information systems. Distance learners may also earn an associate of applied science in health information technology. The 69-credit program trains students to organize, use, and protect patients' medical records. Classes include healthcare reimbursement management, applied statistics, and ICD coding. Graduates are prepared to sit for the registered health information technician exam provided by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education.
Bachelor's degree seekers enjoy over 15 options, including online programs in medical case management, nursing, international business, sports management, and computer science. Davenport differentiates itself from other Michigan online colleges and universities by offering a bachelor of science in cyber defense. Information security is one of the fastest-growing fields in the U.S.; this 120-credit program prepares students for lucrative careers securing data and combating cyber attacks. The degree plan consists of such classes as Windows digital forensics and database design.
The online academic catalog contains 12 master's degrees and additional graduate and postgraduate certificates. Fields of study include technology management, information assurance, nursing, health services administration, accountancy, and business administration. Davenport also offers an online master of science in data analytics that trains students to gather, organize, and present diverse data sets to optimize company resources and functions. The 30-credit degree plan comprises classes like data mining, cloud computing essentials, and predictive modeling. Applicants must hold a regionally accredited bachelor's with a minimum 2.75 GPA.
|13||Rochester College||Rochester Hills||$$$$$||800 West Avon Road|
Rochester Hills, MI 48307
Established in 1959, Rochester is a private liberal arts college that supports 1,100 students every year. Moodle powers online programs and individual courses at Rochester. Through the school's accelerated model, distance learners can earn their degrees in as few as 16 months by completing fully asynchronous coursework. Alternatively, they may pursue a hybrid experience by mixing in traditional classes at the Rochester Hills, Flint, and Clinton Township campuses. The college operates one low tuition rate for all online students.
Rochester offers online bachelor's completion programs in strategic leadership and mass communication/marketing communication. Undergraduate students can also obtain a bachelor of business administration in management. By collaborating with the local business community, Rochester ensures that this 120-credit program meets employer and industry standards. Coursework includes risk management, consumer behavior, integrated marketing communications, and business law.
Aligning its academic catalog with other online colleges in Michigan, Rochester delivers an RN-to-BSN completion track accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The 120-credit degree plan consists of classes like integrated pharmacology trends, pathophysiology across cultures, and nursing management and leadership. Classes span eight weeks, and the university accepts up to 90 transfer credits, enabling students to complete the program in one year. Applicants must hold an associate degree in nursing.
Distance learners may also enroll in a bachelor of science in early childhood studies program. Totaling 120 credits, the curriculum includes such courses as classroom interactions, assessment of the young child, and identifying and serving at-risk children. While the program does not lead to initial teacher certification, it prepares students for such careers as family support counselor and community development coordinator.
Rochester provides an online bachelor of science in Christian ministry that emphasizes congregational services and the preaching arts. This 120-credit program contains classes like pastoral care, biblical interpretation, and spiritual formation. Students complete their training by pursuing capstone research in contemporary hermeneutics.
|14||University of Michigan - Flint||Flint||$$$$$||303 E. Kearsley Street|
Flint, MI 48502-1950
UM-Flint was established in 1956 as one of two satellite campuses in the University of Michigan system. Currently, the school enrolls 8,300 students and provides more than 100 academic programs. Blackboard powers online programs and courses at UM-Flint. The university charges low tuition prices based on class type and program level. All students enjoy financial assistance, including five merit scholarships for transfer candidates. Distance learners may also tap into state grants, federal loans, and work-study awards.
UM-Flint offers nine online bachelor's degrees in such fields as applied science, nursing, healthcare administration, psychology, and respiratory therapy. Students can also enroll in a bachelor of business administration completion program accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. In lieu of a generalist track, BBA students may specialize in marketing or accounting. Applicants must earn a minimum 2.2 GPA and complete pre-business courses.
UM-Flint stands out among other Michigan online colleges and universities by providing a bachelor of science in substance abuse treatment and intervention. This 124-credit program spans four years and consists of such courses as understanding post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse theory, treatment, and special populations. Graduates are prepared to sit for the Certified Alcohol and Drug Counseling certificate exam.
Students choose from fully online master's programs in areas like applied communication, liberal studies, educational technology, nursing, and computer science and information systems. UM-Flint also operates mixed-mode graduate programs, which synthesize asynchronous classes with campus visits every four-six weeks. Here, options include master's degrees in business administration, accounting, and public administration.
Distance learners may earn doctoral degrees in nursing, physical therapy, and education. The online doctor of nursing facilitates program plans for BSN holders, MSN holders, and nurses with undergraduate credentials in an unrelated field. The curriculum comprises 67-78 credits and enables students to pursue diverse concentrations.
|15||Northern Michigan University||Marquette||$$$$$||1401 Presque Isle Avenue|
Marquette, MI 49855
Based in Marquette, NMU enrolls more than 8,000 students, making it the largest higher education institution in the state's upper peninsula. The university was founded in 1899 as a teacher preparation school, but today it offers 180 comprehensive academic programs.
Students who want to earn online college degrees in Michigan should engage with NMU's Global Campus. In addition to affordable tuition rates and ample scholarship opportunities, distance learners benefit from generous transfer policies. The university allows community college graduates to apply up to 64 credits toward program completion. There is no limit to how many credits a student may transfer from four-year institutions.
NMU operates an online associate of science in criminal justice that typically spans two years. Alternatively, distance learners can earn a bachelor's of criminal justice, preparing for careers in law enforcement and crime scene investigation. The 120-credit curriculum enables students to personalize their degrees through such electives as environmental conservation law, Native American justice, and domestic and international terrorism.
Additional bachelor's programs include nursing, loss prevention management, and psychology. Undergraduate students can also earn a bachelor of science in clinical lab science with a concentration in laboratory medicine. This research-intensive program prepares students to facilitate product development in biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Coursework includes medical genetics, hematopathology, and clinical molecular diagnostics. To apply, candidates need a medical laboratory technician associate degree, professional certification, and at least two years of work experience.
At the graduate level, NMU delivers fully online master of education programs in early childhood education, educational administration, learning disabilities, reading for K-8, and reading specialist for K-12. Additionally, in-service and pre-service students may obtain a master of public administration. This degree plan comprises 34-36 credits and offers concentrations in state and local government, criminal justice administration, and human resource administration. Applicants must possess at least a 3.0 GPA.
Most Affordable Online Colleges in Michigan
Below you’ll find the very best online colleges in Michigan, sorted by affordability.
|Rank||School Name||School Logo||City||School Link||Cost|
|1||Baker College of Auburn Hills||Auburn Hills||School profile||$$$$$|
|2||Lake Superior State University||Sault Ste Marie||School profile||$$$$$|
|3||Walsh College of Accountancy and Business Administration||Troy||School profile||$$$$$|
|4||Northern Michigan University||Marquette||School profile||$$$$$|
|5||University of Michigan - Flint||Flint||School profile||$$$$$|
|6||Eastern Michigan University||Ypsilanti||School profile||$$$$$|
|7||Ferris State University||Big Rapids||School profile||$$$$$|
|8||Oakland University||Rochester Hills||School profile||$$$$$|
|9||Wayne State University||Detroit||School profile||$$$$$|
|10||Davenport University||Grand Rapids||School profile||$$$$$|
|11||Cleary University||Howell||School profile||$$$$$|
|12||Siena Heights University||Adrian||School profile||$$$$$|
|13||Northwood University - Michigan||Midland||School profile||$$$$$|
|14||Spring Arbor University||Spring Arbor||School profile||$$$$$|
|15||Cornerstone University||Grand Rapids||School profile||$$$$$|
|16||Andrews University||Berrien Springs||School profile||$$$$$|
Job Outlook for College Graduates in Michigan
When considering earning your degree at an online school in Michigan, consider also the job outlook for college graduates in this state, particularly if you plan to work in Michigan after graduation. As of May 2018, the state unemployment rate stands at 4.6%, just slightly higher than the national average. However, this rate shows a small decrease over the course of the year, marking a positive change for job growth. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), across all occupations in Michigan, the mean annual wage holds at $48,300, with the median hourly wage at $17.62.
The job market in Michigan shows signs of growth, particularly in areas like construction, leisure, and hospitality. However, according to Zippia, jobs in credit counseling, operations analysis, and interpreting experienced the most growth. The table below outlines the fastest growing careers in Michigan, compiled and calculated using information pulled from the Michigan Department of Labor and the BLS.
Fastest Growing Jobs in Michigan
|Occupation||Job Growth Rate||Average Annual Salary||Jobs in 2024|
|Interpreter and Translator||131.2%||$45,440||1,640|
|Computer Numerical Controller Machinist||130.6%||$37,180||13,910|
|Dental Laboratory Technician||128.7%||$39,460||2,020|
Source: Michigan Department of Labor/BLS
Scholarships and Financial Aid in Michigan
Energy Education for Michigan
$500; must be a graduate from a Michigan high school majoring in a field relevant to energy production; requires a 2.75 GPA.
$1,000; must be a resident of certain midwestern states (including Michigan); requires a minimum 3.0 GPA.
Grow Ag Leaders
$1,500; must be a resident of eligible midwestern states (including Michigan); must major in an agricultural-related field (some unrelated fields also eligible).
Parr Family Memorial Endowment
$700; must be a resident of certain midwestern states (including Michigan); must demonstrate experience in community service; prove financial need.
Arlene and Dennis Schlosser Memorial Endowment
$11,000; minimum 3.0 GPA; must also demonstrate strong academic achievement and financial need.
Jean Varga Endowment
$600; must be a female student; minimum 3.0 GPA; must be a resident of Michigan, attending a Michigan institution.
SWE Detroit Section Scholarship
Varies; must be female student in senior year of high school in Detroit; must plan to attend an ABET-accredited engineering program in Michigan.
Peggy Jacques Memorial Endowment
$500; must be a resident of Michigan; requires a minimum 3.0 GPA.
SET Fund Scholarship
$5,500; must be a resident of Michigan; must attend a public institution in state.
Young & Free Michigan Scholarship
$3,000-$10,000; must attend a Michigan high school or college; must be between 17 and 25 years old; must be a member of Michigan First Credit Union.
Find Schools in Michigan
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