Online Bachelor’s Degree

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What You Should Know About Online Bachelor’s Degrees

What Is An Online Bachelor’s Degree?

An online bachelor’s degree, is an undergraduate degree offered by four-year private and public, not-for-profit or for-profit colleges and universities. An online bachelor’s degree program can take anywhere from 3-5 years of full-time study and requires between 120 to 128 credit hours of major, elective, and general education classes to complete; equates to approximately 40 courses.

Why Choose An Online Bachelor’s Degree?

According to recent data from the National Center of Education Statistics, approximately 16% of the nation’s almost 20 million undergraduate students opt to do their classes completely online and 14% through a hybrid of online and on-campus. The trend of students choosing online degree programs will continue to increase as online bachelor degree programs become more prevalent and more accepted by the academic community and employers. So, why should you consider doing an online bachelor degree instead of a traditional on-campus bachelor’s degree?

Online bachelor degree programs are attractive for a number of reasons. Online degrees allow students a way to earn their degree if they:

  • Prefer their classes, homework, and tests to fit around their work and/or family schedule, as opposed to the other way around
  • Learn better in a self-paced learning environment
  • Value the flexibility of an online bachelor’s degree over the traditional college degree schedule and format
  • Live too far away from a university and cannot get to on-campus classes each week
  • Have a physical disability that makes it difficult or impossible to get to a campus

How Much You Can Earn With an Online Bachelor’s

Median Annual Earnings by Educational Attainment

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (above table), those with a bachelor’s degree earn 68% more than someone with only a high school diploma or GED and 42% more than someone with an associate degree. That’s an annual salary of approximately $59,124 with a bachelor’s degree vs. $41,496 with an associate’s or $35,256 with a high school diploma.

Need more convincing of the monetary benefits of a bachelor’s degree? The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce found similar data on the monetary value of a bachelor’s degree. They found that those with a bachelor’s degree earn about $2.3 million in their lifetime, on average, which is 35% more than those with an associate degree ($1.7 million) and 77% more than those with a high school diploma ($1.3 million).

Transferring Credits to an Online Bachelor’s Program

Some people start their college career with the intention of earning a bachelor’s degree. Others may earn some college credit or an associate degree, either at a community college or through an online associates degree program, and then transfer their earned credits to a 4-year institution in order to earn their bachelor’s degree.

Most Common Online Bachelor Degree Types

College students have the option of completing an Online Bachelor of Art (BA or AB) Degree or an Online Bachelor of Science (BS or BSc) Degree.

Other online bachelor’s programs include Bachelor of Legal Letters (LLB) and Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) programs.


Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs

To learn more about specific online bachelor’s degree programs, select the type of online bachelor’s degree that you are most interested in below.


Most Common Bachelor’s Degree Programs

Field of StudyNumber of DegreesPercent of Degrees
Business363,79919.2%
Health professions and related programs216,22811.4%
Social sciences and history166,9448.8%
Psychology117,5576.2%
Biological and biomedical sciences109,8965.8%
Engineering97,8585.2%
Visual and performing arts95,8325.1%
Education91,6234.8%
Communication, journalism, and related programs90,6504.8%
Homeland security, law enforcement, and firefighting62,7233.3%
Computer and information sciences59,5813.1%
Parks, recreation, leisure, and fitness studies49,0062.6%
Multi/interdisciplinary studies47,5562.5%
English language and literature/letters45,8472.4%
Liberal arts and sciences, general studies, and humanities43,6472.3%
Agriculture and natural resources36,2771.9%
Public administration and social services34,3631.8%
Physical sciences and science technologies30,0381.6%
Family and consumer sciences/human sciences24,5841.3%
Mathematics and statistics21,8531.2%
Foreign languages, literatures, and linguistics19,4931.0%
Engineering technologies17,2380.9%
Philosophy and religious studies11,0720.6%
Theology and religious vocations9,7080.5%
Architecture and related services9,0900.5%
Area, ethnic, cultural, gender, and group studies7,7820.4%
Communications technologies5,1350.3%
Transportation and materials moving4,7110.2%
Legal professions and studies4,4200.2%
Military technologies and applied sciences2760.0%
Library science990.0%
Precision production480.0%
Not classified by field of study00.0%


Best Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs

U.S. News & World Report has released their Best Online Bachelor’s Programs rankings. See the list below.

RankSchoolCity, StateTuition (Per Credit)Enrollment
#1Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University–WorldwideDaytona Beach, FL$36514,470
#2Temple UniversityPhiladelphia, PA$821 out-of-state181
#3University of OklahomaNorman, OK$630 out-of-state1,302
#4Arizona State UniversityTempe, AZ$500 out-of-state23,672
#5Western Kentucky UniversityBowling Green, KY$496 out-of-state3,130
#6California University of PennsylvaniaCalifornia, PA$308 out-of-state2,422
#6West Texas A&M UniversityCanyon, TX$295 out-of-state1,234
#8California Baptist UniversityRiverside, CA$5472,236
#8New England Institute of TechnologyEast Greenwich, RI$230123
#8Ohio State University–ColumbusColumbus, OH$398 out-of-state307
#8Oregon State UniversityCorvallis, OR$200 out-of-state4,651
#8Pennsylvania State University–World CampusUniversity Park, PA$542 out-of-state5,608
#8University of Illinois–ChicagoChicago, IL$519 out-of-state215
#14Utah State UniversityLogan, UT$310 out-of-state1,653
#15Colorado State University–Global CampusGreenwood Village, CO$350 out-of-state10,670
#15Daytona State CollegeDaytona Beach, FL$550 out-of-state1,607
#15Fort Hays State UniversityHays, KS$207 out-of-state7,813
#15Savannah College of Art and DesignSavannah, GA$782743
#15Washington State UniversityPullman, WA$569 out-of-state2,195
#20University of FloridaGainesville, FL$500 out-of-state2,208
#21Charleston Southern UniversityCharleston, SC$490329
#21Loyola University ChicagoChicago, IL$751367
#21University at Buffalo–SUNYBuffalo, NY$988 out-of-state88
#24CUNY School of Professional StudiesNew York, NY$275 out-of-state1,665
#24Siena Heights UniversityAdrian, MI$495529
#24University of Massachusetts–AmherstAmherst, MA$385 out-of-state1,567
#24University of Nebraska–OmahaOmaha, NE$489 out-of-state205
#28Central Michigan UniversityMount Pleasant, MI$405 out-of-state1,665
#28Creighton UniversityOmaha, NE$433126
#28Georgia College & State UniversityMilledgeville, GA$289 out-of-state17
#28Marist CollegePoughkeepsie, NY$650171
#28Palm Beach Atlantic UniversityWest Palm Beach, FL$47573
#28Robert Morris UniversityMoon Township, PA$725574
#28Southeast Missouri State UniversityCape Girardeau, MO$265 out-of-state843
#28Wayne State UniversityDetroit, MI$428 out-of-state54
#36Ball State UniversityMuncie, IN$492 out-of-state1,103
#36Florida State UniversityTallahassee, FL$776 out-of-state491
#36Pace UniversityNew York, NY$555389
#36Regent UniversityVirginia Beach, VA$3953,303
#36SUNY College of Technology–DelhiDelhi, NY$270 out-of-state994
#36University of ArkansasFayetteville, AR$284 out-of-state688
#36University of Central FloridaOrlando, FL$300 out-of-state11,264
#36University of La VerneLa Verne, CA$610348
#36University of Nebraska–LincolnLincoln, NE$535 out-of-state26
#45Central Washington UniversityEllensburg, WA$657 out-of-state1,349
#45City University of SeattleSeattle, WA$4042,562
#45Westfield State UniversityWestfield, MA$297 out-of-state146
#48Colorado State UniversityFort Collins, CO$444 out-of-state543
#48University of DenverDenver, CO$594114
#48University of Maine–AugustaAugusta, ME$271 out-of-state3,558
#48University of North FloridaJacksonville, FL$285 out-of-state209
#48University of the Incarnate WordSan Antonio, TX$5151,686
#48University of Wisconsin–MilwaukeeMilwaukee, WI$337 out-of-state2,520

30 Best Jobs You Can Get With an Online Bachelor’s Degree

The 30 jobs in this listing typically require a bachelor’s degree and have salaries of $55,000 or more. All jobs listed are projected to have positive job growth rate of at least 10% between 2014-2024 according to the BLS. The list mentions if the job requires on-the-job training.

Occupation2016 Median PayNumber of New JobsGrowth RateOn-the-job Training
Actuaries$75,000 or more1,000 to 4,99910 to 19 percentLong-term on-the-job training
Biomedical engineers$75,000 or more5,000 to 9,99920 to 29 percentNone
Computer and information systems managers$75,000 or more50,000 or more10 to 19 percentNone
Computer systems analysts$75,000 or more50,000 or more20 to 29 percentNone
Database administrators$75,000 or more10,000 to 49,99910 to 19 percentNone
Environmental engineers$75,000 or more5,000 to 9,99910 to 19 percentNone
Financial analysts$75,000 or more10,000 to 49,99910 to 19 percentNone
Financial examiners$75,000 or more1,000 to 4,99910 to 19 percentModerate-term on-the-job training
Geoscientists, except hydrologists and geographers$75,000 or more1,000 to 4,99910 to 19 percentNone
Information security analysts$75,000 or more10,000 to 49,99910 to 19 percentNone
Management analysts$75,000 or more50,000 or more10 to 19 percentNone
Medical and health services managers$75,000 or more50,000 or more10 to 19 percentNone
Operations research analysts$75,000 or more10,000 to 49,99930 percent or fasterNone
Personal financial advisors$75,000 or more50,000 or more30 percent or fasterLong-term on-the-job training
Petroleum engineers$75,000 or more1,000 to 4,99910 to 19 percentNone
Software developers, applications$75,000 or more50,000 or more10 to 19 percentNone
Software developers, systems software$75,000 or more50,000 or more10 to 19 percentNone
Accountants and auditors$55,000 to $74,99950,000 or more10 to 19 percentNone
Cartographers and photogrammetrists$55,000 to $74,9991,000 to 4,99920 to 29 percentNone
Dietitians and nutritionists$55,000 to $74,99910,000 to 49,99910 to 19 percentInternship/residency
Environmental scientists and specialists, including health$55,000 to $74,99910,000 to 49,99910 to 19 percentNone
Film and video editors$55,000 to $74,9995,000 to 9,99910 to 19 percentNone
Forensic science technicians$55,000 to $74,9991,000 to 4,99920 to 29 percentModerate-term on-the-job training
Market research analysts and marketing specialists$55,000 to $74,99950,000 or more10 to 19 percentNone
Medical and clinical laboratory technologists$55,000 to $74,99910,000 to 49,99910 to 19 percentNone
Registered nurses$55,000 to $74,99950,000 or more10 to 19 percentNone
Securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents$55,000 to $74,99910,000 to 49,99910 to 19 percentModerate-term on-the-job training
Social and community service managers$55,000 to $74,99910,000 to 49,99910 to 19 percentNone
Technical writers$55,000 to $74,9995,000 to 9,99910 to 19 percentShort-term on-the-job training
Therapists, all other$55,000 to $74,9995,000 to 9,99920 to 29 percentNone

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