Online Colleges in Kansas

Scroll down to see the top not-for-profit colleges and universities in Kansas offering online degree programs.

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School Rankings

1

Fort Hays State University

Fort Hays State University offers more than 40 online degree programs through its virtual college, which is designed specifically for adult students. The University offers an Associate of Applied Science in Applied Technology and an Associate of General Studies that can be completed online. Online bachelor's degrees are available in subjects such as business education, elementary education, health studies, justice studies, management, marketing, nursing, organizational leadership, philosophy, political science and technology leadership. Online master's degrees are available in subjects like business administration, counseling, education, educational administration, instructional technology, liberal studies, professional studies, nursing administration, school psychology and special education. Additionally, online certificate programs are available in 15 subjects, including allied health, geosciences, informatics, justice studies, leadership studies, management and marketing, philosophy, psychology and political science. Some online programs include on-campus requirements, such as the master's program in counseling, which requires a three to four-day on-campus course, and the master's program in school psychology, which includes a five-day on-campus course. The College's virtual college courses are offered in both asynchronous and synchronous formats. Online students at FHSU are eligible for financial aid, including scholarships, grants and loans.

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

CAG Score 95.4

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

13,825 Students

2

Kansas State University

Through its global campus, Kansas State University offers online degree programs at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral level. Online bachelor's degree completion programs are available in animal sciences and industry, dietetics, early childhood education, family studies and human services, food science and industry, general business, interdisciplinary social science, nutrition and health, and technology management. Online master's degrees are available in 25 subjects, including education, agribusiness, business administration, chemical engineering, community development, dietetics, food science, gerontology, merchandising, psychology and youth development. The University's only online doctoral degree is a Ph.D. in Personal Financial Planning, which does require 10-day summer intensives on-campus. Additionally, the University offers over 25 online certificate programs, including undergraduate certificates in conflict resolution, food science, nonviolence studies and primary texts, and graduate certificates in adult learning, applied statistics, financial therapy, grassland therapy, horticultural therapy, online course design, public administration and social justice education. Students enrolled in courses through KSU's global campus are eligible for financial aid including many scholarship opportunities. Scholarships available to distance education students include the $1,000 K-State Global Campus Scholarship for Distance Education Students, the $1,000 College of Arts and Sciences Scholarship for Distance Education Students and the $1,000 College of Business Administration Scholarship for Distance Education Students.

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

CAG Score 94.9

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

24,766 Students

3

Emporia State University

Emporia State University offers one online undergraduate program and over 20 online graduate programs. The University's online undergraduate program is a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies program in which students are able to design their own major. Online graduate programs are offered in subjects such as accountancy, business administration, curriculum and instruction, educational administration, English, informatics, instructional design and technology, library science, mathematics, physical sciences, special education and teaching. Some of these programs can be completed entirely online, while others have on-campus requirements. The Master of Library Science, for example, requires two weekend-long intensives over the course of the program. The University also offers an online Ph.D. in Library and Information Management that requires two weekend-long intensives. Many online programs, such as the master's program in rehabilitation counseling, require the completion of an in-person internship, although these internships can be completed in a student's local community. Online students are eligible for financial aid, as well as other support services such as tutoring, proctoring, career counseling and technology assistance.

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

CAG Score 95.0

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

6,114 Students

4

Southwestern College

Southwestern College offers an extensive list of undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as certificates at both levels, that adult learners can earn in a flexible, online environment. Students can use a prior learning portfolio to gain academic credit for learning acquired through military training, work training, or life experience. Students may also earn credit by taking an exam. Undergrads can earn a bachelor's degree in subjects including accounting, business administration, quality management, human resources, operations management, strategic leadership, early childhood or elementary education, health care administration, nursing, psychology, Christian ministries, criminal justice, security management, computer programming, or information systems management. Graduate degrees are offered in leadership, management, business administration, security administration, curriculum and instruction, special education, teaching, and specialized ministries. The college also has an online Doctorate of Education with tracks in PK-12 and higher education. Most of the certificates offered are in the fields of business or security. Classes are delivered in six-week terms, and the college has eight terms per year. New students can enter the program at the start of any term.

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

5

Baker University

Baker College says that more than nine out of 10 students who begin an online degree program with the School of Professional and Graduates Studies complete their degree. Students can enter the online program at multiple points throughout the year, and classes run from six to eight weeks in length, allowing students to take one course at a time and still make timely progress toward completion. Classes are asynchronous so students can access the material when it best fits into their schedules. Online programs leading to a degree for adult learners include Associate of Arts in Business, Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, and Bachelor of Business Administration with majors in business leadership, management, and strategic business communication. Graduate students can enroll in an online program leading to a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership, Master of Liberal Arts, MBA, or Master of Science in Nursing. The School of Professional and Graduates Studies also offers online professional development and recertification programs for teachers and graduate certificates in health care administration, human resources, and finance.

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

6

Wichita State University

Through Wichita State Online, undergraduate students can pursue any one of the following degrees: an Associate of Arts degree, four Bachelor of General Studies degrees, three Bachelor of Arts Field Majors and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. In addition, there are four graduate programs that can be completed online: MA Aging Studies, MA Criminal Justice, Master of Education, and MSN to DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice). Wichita State Online enables instructors and students to communicate and collaborate online through the Blackboard learning management system.

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

7

University of Kansas

The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences has a BGS, Degree Completion Program for students with 60 or more credit hours. The School of Health Professionals offers a BS in Respiratory Care for RRTs to earn their bachelor's degree online. Thirteen graduate degrees are available from the following six KU schools - Business, Education, Health Professions, Nursing, Pharmacy and Social Welfare. The School of Nursing and the School of Education also offer online graduate certificates. KU Continuing Education offers non-credit courses and certificates in Biosciences, Fire & Rescue, Law Enforcement and other fields of specializations. KU online education uses the Blackboard learning management system.

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

8

Washburn University

Washburn University has developed bachelor degree completion programs that it offers through the Partnership for Learning and Networking (PLAN). Applicants are required to have an associate's degree in a related field from a recognized partner institution, such as a junior college or a technical school. When accepted to any of the programs, they can earn their bachelor's degree entirely online. At the current time, there are five degree programs available through PLAN: Bachelor of Health Science, Bachelor of Integrated Studies, Bachelor of Applied Science in Human Services, Bachelor of Applied Science in Technology Administration, and Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. Students accepted to the Bachelor of Health Science program can choose from the following three majors: health services administration, medical imaging, and clinical laboratory science. The Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree offers the following areas of concentration: law enforcement, corrections, and security administration. Online certificate programs are also available from the Allied Health Department of the School of Applied Studies. There are four such certificates currently being offered in the following fields: diagnostic medical sonography, magnetic resonance imaging, health information technology, and radiation therapy. These certificate programs can either be completed entirely online or have significant online components.

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

CAG Score 94.9

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

6,722 Students

9

Pittsburg State University

Pittsburg State University offers more than 40 online degree programs, including bachelor's, master's and education specialist degrees. Several certificates for teachers are also offered through online programs. Many of the degrees are in the field of education, including master's degrees in special education, ESOL, elementary education, reading, and educational technology. The Ed.S. degrees are advanced studies in general school administration and special education. Pittsburg State also offers a variety of programs leading to a Master's in Engineering Technology, with emphasis areas including construction, electronics, manufacturing, mechanical, and plastics. Master of Science in Technology options include innovation engineering, technology management, automotive technology, graphic design, and construction management. MBAs are offered in accounting, general administration, and international business. Students in the Master of Science in Health, Human Performance and Recreation program can earn a degree with an emphasis in human performance and wellness or sport and leisure service management. Part-time students - those taking 8 or fewer graduate credits or 9 or fewer undergrad credits - working toward a degree online may qualify for in-state tuition no matter where they live.

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

CAG Score 93.3

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

7,479 Students

10

MidAmerica Nazarene University

MidAmerica Nazarene University has online programs leading to associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees in the fields of business, nursing, and education. Business students have three options. The accelerated Associate of Arts in Business can be completed in 18 to 20 months. The online Bachelor of Business Administration is a degree-completion program that requires applicants to have at least 45 college credits they can transfer. MidAmerica Nazarene uses a cohort model for its MBA program, and students complete the degree in 24 months. Nursing programs include RN to BSN, RN to MSN, and a standalone Master of Science in Nursing for applicants who already have a BSN. Educators can advance their career by earning a Master's in Education and choosing a track in reading specialist, ESOL, or technology enhanced teaching. Applicants to the master's programs should have an undergraduate GPA of a least 3.0, and teachers and nurses must have a valid license. Start dates vary by program, and some classes require students to attend live webcasts and use virtual collaboration tools.

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

Let’s call Kansas the land of distance learning! EDUKAN, 2+2 degrees, Great Plains IDEA—the state is peppered with online initiatives that can help you save money. In our quick guide to choosing an online program in Iowa, you’ll find info & links on everything from virtual high schools to tuition discounts with MSEP. We also profile a) regionally accredited schools that are truly affordable and b) schools with accreditation or quality concerns.

Online Degrees in Kansas: What to Know

1. How to Find EDUKAN Programs at Kansas Community Colleges

EDUKAN is a consortium of six Kansas community colleges that have banded together to offer online undergraduate programs and online certificates. The six members include Barton Community College, Colby Community College, Dodge City Community College, Garden City Community College, Pratt Community College, and Seward County Community College.

  • EDUKAN’s online degrees are AS, AA, AGS, and AAS programs. These can be used as the first two years of a bachelor’s degree.
  • EDUKAN’s online certificates are primarily skills-based (e.g. surgical technology).

To help folks get that prized bachelor’s degree, EDUKAN has partnerships with both Fort Hays State University and Kansas State University. Students can complete their General Education credits online with EDUKAN and finish their undergraduate education at a state university.

Tuition for all EDUKAN courses, regardless of Kansas residency status, is set at a fixed low rate. Financial aid is also available. The website has instructions on how to apply online, as well as guidance on transferring existing credits (e.g. military service school credit).

2. Kansas Public Universities Have 2+2 Programs for Distance Learners

2+2 programs are designed for working professionals, parents, and students who need flexibility. In a typical 2+2 program, students earn an associate’s degree at their local community or technical college and finish the last two years of their bachelor’s degree at a university.

A lot of public universities in Kansas—including FHSU, K-State, PSU, and Washburn—have 2+2 and degree completion programs that allow you to complete your junior and senior years online. We talk more about them in our profiles of Affordable Online Schools.

3. Discount Tuition for Out-of-State Online Programs

Thinking about programs beyond the Kansas state line? Kansas is part of the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC), which runs a reduced tuition student exchange program called the Midwest Student Exchange Program (MSEP).

  • Kansas students enrolling as non-residents in certain programs at MSEP campuses may be eligible for a tuition discount.
  • This discount equals no more than 150% of the in-state resident tuition rate at public institutions or a 10% reduction on tuition rates at private institutions.

The MSEP homepage allows you to search for qualifying programs by state, degree level, and/or type of school.

Online degrees at your choice of school may or may not qualify for the MSEP discount—it depends on university policies. We recommend you check with the Campus Administrator who facilitates the program to be sure. (Any MSEP search result will give you the name of the person to contact.)

Affordable Online Schools in Kansas

To earn the title of an Affordable Online School, these Kansas universities had to meet some tough criteria for quality, flexibility, price, and use of financial aid money. (You’ll see a CAG score next to their profile in our ranking). For data on a school’s graduation rates, average debt loads, and more, check out the statistics on College Scorecard.

  • Emporia State University

    ESU’s website on Distance Education is packed with info on its online undergraduate and graduate programs, including details about free online tutoring through the SMARTHINKING Online Tutoring program. There’s an entire section on tuition & fees, with details about tuition discounts for MSEP students. Even better, ESU offers a special Corky Plus Tuition (in-state tuition rates) to students in certain Missouri and Oklahoma counties. Financial aid is also available.

    If you’re looking at quality markers, ESU often does very well in U.S. News & World Report rankings for Best Online Graduate Education Programs. It was #30 in 2016. In addition to master’s degrees in teaching & education, ESU has developed a number of online graduate licensure & certificate programs for educators.

  • Fort Hays State University

    The Virtual College handles FHSU’s online degree & certificate programs, and it’s a great place to find info on everything from tuition & fees to benefits for active military & veterans. (It’s known as a military-friendly school.) The Virtual College claims to have some of the cheapest tuition rates in the country—in the lowest 2%, according to the website.

    In addition to being an EDUKAN partner, FHSU has plenty of 2+2 and transfer programs for students who wish to transfer course credits from Kansas colleges or even out-of-state institutions. There are even doctoral partnerships for online PhD and EdD students!

    Most importantly, the Virtual College has a solid academic reputation. In U.S. News & World Report rankings for FHSU’s online programs, the university frequently appears in the Top 100 of Best Online MBA Programs and Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs. In 2016, it was in the Top 50 of Best Online Graduate Education Programs and #24 in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. That last number is pretty impressive when you consider how many schools FHSU is competing against.

  • Kansas State University

    K-State’s Global Campus has the full rundown of its online degrees and certificates, as well as its non-credit professional development courses. Online and off-campus courses in the Global Campus are charged at a fixed tuition rate, regardless of residency status and a number of scholarships are available to distance education students. As a charter Servicemembers Opportunity College (SOC) member, K-State also provides many military benefits to distance learners.

    As we mentioned, K-State is an EDUKAN partner and has a number of 2+2 programs with community colleges & technical colleges, including some schools outside of Kansas. If you’re thinking of a human sciences or agricultural degree, it’s worth knowing that K-State is member of the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (IDEA). Students in Great Plains IDEA programs pay a special Great Plains IDEA Common Price per credit hour.

    Finally, we wanted to note that U.S. News & World Report rankings for K-State’s online programs ain’t half bad. In 2016, it was in the Top 100 for Best Online MBA Programs, almost (but not quite) in the Top 50 for Best Online Graduate Education Programs, and #22 in Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs.

  • Pittsburg State University

    PSU’s Office of Graduate and Continuing Studies has info on its Online Degree Programs, including degree completion programs (e.g. BS in Workforce Development). All non-resident, part-time students enrolled in online programs pay the in-state tuition rate. Out-of-state students may be eligible for reduced tuition rates through PSU’s Gorilla Edge, Gorilla Advantage, Pitt State Legacy programs, or the MSEP discount.

    Like K-State, PSU is a Servicemembers Opportunity College (SOC) and accepts a variety of transfer credits for military & veterans, including ACE, DANTES, CLEP, AARTS, SMART, and CCAF. Military are charged in-state tuition rates and free tutoring is available.

  • Washburn University

    Washburn’s Online Education offerings include both online degree programs and single online courses. The Admissions section has a rundown of tuition & fees and info on financial aid. 100% online students are not charged student activity fees. However, Washburn’s interstate tuition waiver specifically excludes distance education learners and graduate students.

    Comparing 2+2 options? Washburn’s program is called Partnership for Learning and Networking (PLAN). Students complete an associate’s degree at a partner community or technical college and finish a bachelor’s degree online from Washburn. Compared to other 2+2 programs, there’s a fair amount of choice when it comes to the bachelor’s degree.

Online Schools in Kansas with Accreditation & Quality Concerns

Be sure your Kansas school is fully accredited by an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. National accreditation may apply to distance learning institutions (including for-profits), but regional accreditation is the gold standard—especially if you’re trying to transfer credits or seek financial aid.

Kansas is relatively lucky—states like California have a much bigger problem with bogus schools and diploma mills. As of 2016, the following schools are all regionally accredited, but we did want to highlight some quality concerns.

  • Bethany College

    Bethany College is regionally accredited, but it was placed On Probation by the HLC in June 2015 because it was no longer in compliance with a number of criteria for accreditation. HLC had concerns with financial stability and other resources—according to the Hutchinson News, the college had been running deficits for the past eight years. This Probation period lasts for two years and the institution remains regionally accredited while it addresses problems. On the plus side, College Scorecard reports that Bethany College has fairly stable student statistics.

  • Colby Community College

    CCC is regionally accredited, but it was placed On Probation by the HLC in June 2015. HLC had a number of concerns related to retention, persistence & completion rates, as well as resources, planning, and systematic improvement.  This Probation period lasts for two years and the institution remains regionally accredited while it tackles the issues. However, College Scorecard reports that CCC has fairly stable student statistics.

  • National American University (Overland Park)

    NAU is a for-profit university based in South Dakota with multiple campuses around the U.S. It is regionally accredited by the HLC. However, College Scorecard reports that the Overland Park campus has a low graduation rate and lower than average percentage of students who have started paying down their debt within three years. Graduation rate data are not available for the Wichita campus; this campus has similar debt statistics to Overland Park.

Kansas Online Education Resources

Accreditation

Distance Learning Resources

Online Degree & Course Catalogs

  • EDUKAN: Use this website to search for online undergraduate programs and online certificates offered by a consortium of six Kansas community colleges—Barton Community College, Colby Community College, Dodge City Community College, Garden City Community College, Pratt Community College, and Seward County Community College.

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