Online colleges in Oklahoma serve tens of thousands of students each year, offering associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees online. Oklahoma's higher education options include 67 colleges and universities, as reported by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). With 17 public four-year institutions and 14 public two-year institutions — plus 17 private nonprofit schools and 19 for-profit schools — students considering enrolling in online schools in Oklahoma benefit from many choices.
This article ranks the best online colleges in Oklahoma and the cheapest online colleges in Oklahoma. It also provides an overview of online learning in the state, tuition discount opportunities for out-of-state students, and job outlook information for Oklahoma college graduates. Students considering Oklahoma community college online courses or university online college courses in Oklahoma can also use the list of scholarships to review their options.
But before we look at the best online colleges in Oklahoma, let's start with the state of higher education and online education in particular in Oklahoma today.
A Brief Overview of Higher Education in Oklahoma
Oklahoma benefits from a strong presence of higher education institutions. In Oklahoma, 67 institutions offer postsecondary degrees, according to the NCES. Of those institutions, 31 represent public schools, 17 represent private non-profit institutions, and the remaining 19 represent for-profit colleges and universities. These statistics also include accredited online colleges in Oklahoma. The state’s higher education institutions provide valuable services for hundreds of thousands of students. In 2016, 208,350 students attended a degree-granting postsecondary institution in the state of Oklahoma.
- 31 public
- 17 non-profit
- 19 for-profit
Tuition rates in Oklahoma vary depending on the institution. According to College Board, college students at Oklahoma public, four-year institutions paid an average in-state tuition rate of $8,750 in 2017/2018. A community college typically serves as the cheapest online college in Oklahoma. Oklahoma’s flagship public university, the University of Oklahoma, charged a tuition rate of $11,763 for in-state students during the 2018/2019 school year and an out-of-state tuition rate of $27,144. Students attending one of the online colleges in Oklahoma may benefit from tuition discounts or in-state tuition rates depending on their state of residence.
Oklahoma college students pay for their degrees through a variety of funding sources. Many Oklahoma students benefit from financial aid in the form of loans, scholarships, and grants. For example, the Oklahoma Tuition Aid Grant provided $18.7 million in need-based grants to undergraduates during the 2015/2016 academic year. Overall, Oklahoma students received over $105 million in need-based and other grants in 2015/2016.
The State of Online Higher Education in Oklahoma
Online higher education serves over 70,000 Oklahoma students, according to a 2017 Online Learning Survey. In Oklahoma, 73,510 students took at least one online course in 2017, which equals 34.9% of the total student body — exceeding the national average of just under 30%. Most of the online students enrolled as undergraduates, with about 66,000 undergraduate students compared to approximately 7,500 graduate students. In addition, roughly 25,000 students completed all of their college courses online, representing approximately 20,000 undergraduates and 5,000 graduate students. Over 81% of the fully online students live in Oklahoma, with the rest enrolling from outside of Oklahoma.
Tuition Breaks for Out-of-State Students
Many online colleges in Oklahoma provide tuition discounts for out-of-state students. Oklahoma online college programs may offer tuition breaks for fully online students, or students may qualify for in-state tuition rates at public institutions through a program organized by the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB).
SREB works to improve education in Oklahoma and other member states: Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia. In Oklahoma, SREB works with colleges and universities to improve education.
SREB’s Academic Common Market lowers the cost of college tuition for out-of-state students. Residents of any of the 15 participating states can pay in-state tuition to attend a public institution in another state. Participants must select a program available to residents of their state, apply to attend the institution offering the undergraduate or graduate degree, and gain certification as a resident of their home state. After completing these steps, out-of-state students can attend Oklahoma schools while paying in-state tuition rates. The program can also help students pay for online schools in Oklahoma.
Best Online Colleges in Oklahoma
Below, you will find our rankings of the best online four-year programs in Oklahoma. 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 Oklahoma, explore our state resources, like a database of every college and university in Oklahoma 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||Northwestern Oklahoma State University||Alva||$$$$$||709 Oklahoma Blvd|
Alva, OK 73717-2799
NWOSU was established in 1897, 10 years before Oklahoma became a state. In fact, the school was originally called the Northwestern Territorial Normal School, and it educated teachers. The college eventually became Northwestern Oklahoma State University, but it has remained in the town of Alva since its founding.
NWOSU continues to offer education degrees, but it also instructs its over 2,000 students in other subjects as well. This online college in Oklahoma offers four degrees entirely online: accounting, business administration, technical management, and an RN-to-BSN degree. The university also offers several online certificates in topics like entrepreneurship and personal finance planning that help professionals advance their careers.
All distance learners must complete an online orientation course before beginning their program. Additionally, students need to complete general education requirements based on their major and past educational experience. Semesters last 16 weeks, but some courses follow a half-term schedule and only last eight weeks. Online learners typically take two courses at a time. Once nursing students have completed their general education requirements, they can earn their RN-to-BSN degree in one year.
The university holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. In addition, its nursing degree holds programmatic accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Education in Nursing and its business programs hold accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.
Freshman applicants must submit a minimum 20 ACT or 1020 SAT score and transcripts showing least a 2.7 high school GPA. Transfer students must demonstrate a minimum GPA of 2.0 in previous college courses. Applicants to the RN-to-BSN program should hold a valid RN license and an associate degree in nursing with a minimum GPA of 2.5.
|2||Oklahoma State University||Stillwater||$$$$$||107 Whitehurst|
Stillwater, OK 74078-1015
With 24,000 students, OSU is one of the largest higher education institutions in the state. Because of its size, OSU provides numerous online degree options.
This Oklahoma online college allows students to choose between 10 different bachelor's degrees and many more master's degrees. Most of the undergraduate degrees fall within business, nursing, and multidisciplinary studies. The multidisciplinary program also offers a pre-law specialization. OSU holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
All students must complete 120 credits in order to graduate, but how they earn those credits depends on the program. Some degrees allow students to choose from several electives, while others offer concentrations. Management students, for instance, may specialize in human resource management, sports management, business sustainability, or nonprofit management. The RN-to-BSN pathway, on the other hand, operates as a degree completion program. Although nursing students need 120 credits to graduate, they usually enter the program with at least 60 transfer credits from a previous associate degree.
OSU also offers several online certificates. Business professionals may pursue certificates in business data mining or business sustainability. Health professionals can pursue a certificate in public health in rural and underserved communities. Most certificate programs consist of four to six online courses, or 12 to 18 credits.
Admission requirements vary depending on the student's previous educational experience. Those with fewer than six completed hours of college coursework must apply as freshmen, submitting their high school transcripts and SAT or ACT scores. OSU expects transfer applicants to hold at least a 2.0 GPA in past higher education courses. Nursing applicants must hold an associate degree with at least a 2.5 GPA.
|3||Oklahoma Wesleyan University||Bartlesville||$$$$$||2201 Silver Lake Rd|
Bartlesville, OK 74006-6299
Located in Bartlesville, OKWU started as an evangelical Christian school. Today, the institution's pillars include recognizing Christian scripture and biblical teachings. However, OKWU also instructs students in subjects unrelated to religion.
OKWU is an accredited online college in Oklahoma that offers five bachelor's degree completion programs: business administration, psychology, ministry and leadership, organizational leadership, and an RN-to-BSN program. Graduate students can choose from master's degree options in the same fields, with the addition of divinity and education. OKWU requires students to complete 126 credits before they can earn their bachelor's degrees, but all undergraduate students must enter with at least 45 transferable college credits.
The university aims to make its online programs accessible to all students, especially working professionals. Online learners may enroll in one class at a time, allowing them to balance schoolwork with other obligations. Courses run asynchronously, which means students can complete their classwork on their own schedules. Students can connect with academic advisers online who can help them plan their degrees.
OKWU holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. Its nursing program holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Administration, and its business programs hold accreditation from the International Accreditation Council for Business Administration.
OKWU offers in-state tuition to non-residents. To apply for undergraduate programs, candidates must submit their associate degree transcripts, or, if they do not possess associate degrees, proof that they completed at least 45 college credits. OKWU also requires incoming students to hold at least a 2.0 GPA in past coursework, with the exception of nursing students, who must possess at least a 2.5 GPA. Nursing candidates must also show proof of active nursing licensure.
|4||Oral Roberts University||Tulsa||$$$$$||7777 S Lewis Ave.|
Tulsa, OK 74171
Named for its founder, a Christian televangelist, Oral Roberts University enrolls 4,000 students online and on campus. This private university is the largest school in the state, offering over 100 undergraduate majors and minors through its six colleges.
ORU offers numerous bachelor's degrees through its online school, including religious programs in biblical literature, ministry and leadership, Christian caregiving and counseling, international business and ministry, and spirit-empowered living. The university also offers other programs, including communications, healthcare administration, financial management, and psychology. ORU also presents working nurses with an RN-to-BSN degree option. Overall, most students need 120 credits to graduate with their bachelor's degrees. Nursing students need 121 credits, but if they transfer in enough credits with their associate degrees, they can graduate in 18 months.
This online college in Oklahoma holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. The school's online business and nursing degrees also hold accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, respectively.
Drawing from its Christian foundation, ORU emphasizes educating the "whole person." While on-campus students attend chapel services and mission trips, online learners also participate through the required general curriculum. They must complete courses such as Christian worldview and culture, survey of Old Testament literature, and a zero-credit whole person assessment.
Transfer students should possess at least 15 previous college credits with a minimum 2.0 GPA. Those applying as freshmen must submit high school transcripts and ACT or SAT scores. When prospective students apply, they should consider applying for school-sponsored scholarships. Transfer students may receive up to $11,000 in financial aid, while freshmen can receive up to $13,000 from ORU.
|5||Southwestern Oklahoma State University||Weatherford||$$$$$||100 Campus Dr|
Weatherford, OK 73096-3098
With campuses in Weatherford and Sayre, SWOSU began in 1901 as a school for students who did not qualify for college admission. Over the years, the school's mission transformed, first becoming a teacher's college, then adding a pharmacy school, and then expanding to offer additional academic programs. Now the school instructs about 5,500 students per year.
SWOSU allows students to choose between two fully online bachelor's degrees in nursing and health information management. Additionally, students can earn a business degree in organizational leadership through a blended format. The school also offers web-based master's programs in fields including nursing, business, and education. SWOSU holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
This online college in Oklahoma considers its online RN-to-BSN program a degree completion program. This means applicants must hold a nursing license and an accredited associate degree in nursing with a minimum 2.5 GPA to apply. SWOSU grants learners up to 31 credits from their associate degrees. This way, students may finish their coursework in 12 months. The school offers several scholarships to nursing students to make their education more affordable. SWOSU's online nursing program holds additional accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.
The bachelor of science in health information management at SWOSU -- the only program of its kind in Oklahoma -- holds programmatic accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education. This degree requires students to complete 123 to 124 credits of coursework, including a management practicum. Students must dedicate 120 contact hours to working at a healthcare facility to gain practical experience. At the end of the program, students may receive certification through the national registration exam.
Prospective students can apply as transfer students if they completed over 24 college credits. Other applicants must submit their applications as freshmen, along with high school transcripts and ACT or SAT scores.
|6||Northeastern State University||Tahlequah||$$$$$||600 N Grand|
Tahlequah, OK 74464-2399
NSU's history is intertwined with the history of Oklahoma and the Cherokee tribe. The oldest university in the state, NSU sits at the foot of the Ozark Mountains in the town of Tahlequah. Established in 1846, the school began as the Cherokee National Female Seminary. Two years after the Oklahoma territory officially became a state in 1907, Oklahoma's legislature purchased the school.
Today, the school holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. It offers over 60 majors and enrolls nearly 8,000 students annually. Nearly 20% of those students identify as Native American, keeping the university's heritage strong. NSU offers undergraduate degrees in Cherokee cultural studies and Cherokee education.
NSU offers five undergraduate programs online: general studies, health organizations administration, hospitality and tourism management, organizational leadership, and nursing. Students can also pursue master's degrees, certificate programs, or continuing education professional development programs.
NSU built the school's nursing program for students who already possess an associate degree and professional experience. Therefore, the BSN in nursing only requires distance learners to complete 30 credits of upper-level courses. Although students can complete the program within 10 months, most enroll while working full time and finish their degrees in two years. The other four online degrees require 121 to 124 credit hours. However, NSU encourages transfer students to bring in around 45 hours of transfer credit, which enables learners to graduate quickly.
The university provided over $36 million in scholarships and grants to its students in 2017. With such significant financial help, students may find that NSU is one of the cheapest online colleges in Oklahoma.
Applicants should possess a high school diploma with at least a 2.7 GPA or a GED educational equivalent. NSU requires students to submit ACT or SAT scores. Transfer students may apply if they earned at least six previous college credit hours.
|7||Oklahoma Panhandle State University||Goodwell||$$$$$||323 Eagle Ave|
Goodwell, OK 73939-0430
Located in Goodwell, OPSU instructs fewer than 1,200 students each year. Though the public school began in 1909 as an agricultural institute, it became a full university in 1974 and now offers agriculture and non-agriculture programs alike.
To help students fit classwork into their busy schedules, the university offers several online college courses. OPSU however, only offers one fully online program: an RN-to-BSN degree. Registered nurses who have completed an associate degree may enroll. Students need to complete 30 credits, which they typically finish in two to three semesters. Distance learners can opt to begin in the fall, spring, or summer, and they can choose whether to enroll full or part time. The school administers the entire program online, so students do not need to visit campus, nor do they need to enroll in clinicals. Learners still gain hands-on experience by working on project-based practicums in their own communities. Students take courses that can help them advance in their nursing careers, such as nursing in rural America, community health nursing, nursing leadership, and health assessment and health promotion.
The university aims to make this nursing program affordable. All distance learners pay in-state tuition, even if they live outside of Oklahoma. The university also offers a BSN Connection scholarship. In addition to institutional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, the RN-to-BSN program holds accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.
Individuals interested in applying must possess a minimum 2.0 GPA from an accredited associate degree. The university does not transfer courses with grades below a C. Additionally, students must hold an active nursing license.
|8||Rogers State University||Claremore||$$$$$||1701 W Will Rogers Blvd|
Claremore, OK 74017-3252
RSU enrolls around 4,000 students each year. It originally began preparing Native Americans, farmers, and ranchers for university education in 1909. It later became a military academy and a college, and finally a university nearly a century after its establishment. The university boasts one of the oldest online higher education programs in the nation. In fact, RSU was the first fully online college in Oklahoma, establishing its web-learning presence in 1992.
The university offers five online bachelor's degrees. Students may pursue online degrees in applied technology, business administration, business information technology, liberal studies, and organizational leadership. Students can choose from several specializations within these degrees, as well. Learners may also opt for one of RSU's several associate degree options.
Online students receive a similar education to their on-campus peers. Plus, students can access the library online. If a student cannot find certain resources digitally, RSU library services will find and deliver the book. RSU holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
Some programs, like organizational leadership, function as degree completion programs. Students 21 years or older who have completed at least 72 hours of college credit -- but who never received their degrees -- qualify for these programs. Other programs, such as business administration in management, require incoming students to hold associate degrees.
Because of the variety of programs, admission requirements vary. Freshmen should submit ACT scores and high school transcripts or GED scores. However, RSU does not have a minimum GPA or ACT requirement. Transfer students must possess at least 24 credits of past college coursework and a minimum 3.0 GPA.
|9||Southern Nazarene University||Bethany||$$$$$||6729 NW 39th Expy|
Bethany, OK 73008
A Christian-affiliated liberal arts college based in Bethany, SNU instructs over 2,000 students annually. The university offers several Oklahoma online college programs within the business field, including business administration, organizational leadership, and network management.
SNU holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The school aims these online programs at learners who completed associate degrees or took undergraduate courses without graduating. These online programs also suit applicants who have worked in a particular profession for years, but now want to earn a degree and advance their career. In fact, SNU recommends these programs to prospective students over the age of 25 who possess at least two years of full-time work experience.
Most courses cover straightforward topics, such as business ethics or managerial accounting. SNU requires online business students to take courses that tie into the school's Christian affiliation. All online learners must complete a course in biblical perspectives in Christian culture, as well as one ethics course.
The asynchronous structure of SNU's online courses means students do not need to log on at a specific time. Rather, they can study whenever best fits their schedules. Still, distance learners must meet deadlines. Assignments include discussion forum participation, reading assignments, and essays. Fully online students may take up 12 credit hours each semester. Courses last five to six weeks. SNU caps online courses at 20 students. This allows distance learners to receive personalized attention from their professors.
To apply, candidates must submit past college transcripts. Incoming students should begin these programs with at least 60 previous credits from a regionally accredited institution. Students may transfer up to 88 previous credits towards their SNU degrees.
|10||Cameron University||Lawton||$$$$$||2800 West Gore Blvd|
Lawton, OK 73505-6377
CU started as an agricultural high school in 1908, with classes held in the basement of a bank in downtown Lawton. Over the years, the school left the bank basement (but stayed in Lawton), added a college curriculum, and evolved into CU nearly 70 years after its founding. Today the school educates 4,500 students annually through its 50 undergraduate and graduate degrees.
This online college in Oklahoma offers two associate degrees and one bachelor's degree entirely through web-based learning. The online bachelor's in organizational leadership allows students to choose from concentrations in business, criminal justice, or technology. The organizational leadership major includes courses like strategic knowledge and chain management, fiscal management, and markets and stakeholders. Students complete a capstone before graduation as well, which allows them to dig deep into a topic.
Additionally, students near Lawton may opt to pursue one of CU's hybrid programs. Students can complete 90% of the military science program online, for instance, or 93% of the sociology degree through distance learning. CU holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
CU considers its online and majority-online degrees part of Oklahoma's Reach Higher program. The school considers these programs adult degree completion programs, as CU only accepts students over the age of 21 who have completed 72 credits of coursework at an accredited university with a minimum 2.0 GPA.
These degree completion programs allow students to continue working while studying. Courses last eight weeks each, and terms start five times per year. Overall, students need 124 credits to graduate. Equipped with transferable credits and accelerated courses, online students at CU can graduate in less than four years -- even with full-time jobs.
|11||Southwestern Christian University||Bethany||$$$$$||7210 NW 39th Expressway|
Bethany, OK 73008
SCU operates as a private, Pentecostal-affiliated institution of higher education in Bethany. Originally founded as a Bible college in 1946, the school expanded not long after to become a junior college. The school only enrolls around 650 students, but it offers over 30 undergraduate degrees, including an online degree in professional leadership with four concentration options.
Online professional leadership students at SCU can choose a concentration in business, management, social services, or Christian leadership. These programs teach business and management skills in addition to ethical decision-making within the business field. The social services concentration prepares students to pursue a master's degree in psychology. Students who choose the Christian leadership track typically go on to work in churches, ministry, education, or administration.
In addition to holding regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, SCU also holds endorsement from the Discipleship Ministries of the International Pentecostal Holiness.
SCU accepts applications from prospective freshmen and transfer students. The school considers anyone with fewer than 12 college credits first-time college students. Candidates must submit high school transcripts and ACT or SAT scores. The university admits students who meet two of the following criteria: a high school GPA of at least 2.0, an ACT score of 19 or an SAT score of 900, and class rank in the top 50%. Transfer students must submit transcripts of past college coursework with a minimum 2.0 GPA. In addition, high school juniors and seniors may apply to take courses at SCU. As long as they maintain a GPA of at least 2.0, they may take up to four credits each semester.
Most Affordable Online Colleges in Oklahoma
Below, you’ll find all of the online schools in Oklahoma sorted by their tuition rates.
|Rank||School Name||School Logo||City||School Link||Cost|
|1||Mid-America Christian University||Oklahoma City||School profile||$$$$$|
|2||Northeastern State University||Tahlequah||School profile||$$$$$|
|3||Northwestern Oklahoma State University||Alva||School profile||$$$$$|
|4||University of Oklahoma - Health Sciences Center||Oklahoma City||School profile||$$$$$|
|5||Cameron University||Lawton||School profile||$$$$$|
|6||Rogers State University||Claremore||School profile||$$$$$|
|7||Southwestern Oklahoma State University||Weatherford||School profile||$$$$$|
|8||Oklahoma Panhandle State University||Goodwell||School profile||$$$$$|
|9||University of Oklahoma - Norman||Norman||School profile||$$$$$|
|10||Southern Nazarene University||Bethany||School profile||$$$$$|
|11||Oral Roberts University||Tulsa||School profile||$$$$$|
Job Outlook for College Graduates in Oklahoma
College graduates enjoy a growing job market in Oklahoma, which offers opportunities in many sectors. The best online colleges in Oklahoma prepare graduates to join a thriving job market with the lowest unemployment rate in decades. In August 2018, Oklahoma reported a 3.7% unemployment rate, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). College graduates typically benefit from a lower unemployment rate than those who do not graduate from college, as the BLS reported in May 2018. While the national unemployment rate stood at 3.9%, the unemployment rate for college graduates stood at 2.1%.
In 2017, the BLS reported that Oklahoma’s mean annual wage for all occupations of $43,340 ranked below the national average. Wages vary greatly depending on job title, degree level, and experience. A Georgetown University study found that college graduates earn an additional $1 million in lifetime wages compared with non-college graduates.
Scholarships and Financial Aid in Oklahoma
Bank of Oklahoma Achieving New Goals Scholarship
Graduates of an Oklahoma City, Mid-Del, Millwood, or Crooked Oak high school with a minimum 2.7 GPA qualify.
Community Foundation Scholars
Graduating seniors of schools that participate in the Central Oklahoma Guidance Counselor Network qualify with a GPA between 3.25 and 3.79.
Oklahoma’s Promise Scholarship
Oklahoma high schoolers with a family income under $55,000 qualify for tuition at public two-year or four-year Oklahoma institutions, including online, or a portion of Oklahoma private institution tuition.
Oklahoma City Community Foundation Scholarships
Offers over 200 scholarships which Oklahoma residents can apply for with one application process.
Graduating seniors from any Oklahoma high school with a minimum 3.25 GPA qualify; preferences go to those studying language, international business, petroleum, history, psychology, or sociology.
Oklahoma Society of Land Surveyors' student members qualify for the scholarship if they maintain a 2.5 GPA.
Oklahoma Quarter Horse Youth Scholarship
AQHA members for at least one year from Oklahoma can apply in their senior year. The scholarship offers four years of funding.
Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence Award
Oklahoma high school seniors qualify for one of 100 awards granted by the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence if nominated by their principal or superintendent. Recipients must show high academic achievement.
Carolyn Watson Opportunities Scholarship
Residents of rural Oklahoma counties qualify with a 3.5 GPA or higher.
Rev. Kenneth King Memorial Scholarship
Graduating seniors from a rural Oklahoma high school qualify with at least a 3.0 GPA, an ACT score above 22, or an SAT score greater than 1200.
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