Online Colleges in New Jersey

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

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New Jersey hosts a healthy mix of community colleges, public four-year universities and private institutions, many with first-rate online degree programs. Great! So now what? Where are the most affordable options? How do you ensure you enroll in a quality program? Read this guide for our answers.

Online Degrees in New Jersey: What to Know

1. Private Colleges Compete on Price with Public Ones

With the exception of Ramapo College and The College of New Jersey, each of the Garden State’s four-year public institutions runs online degree programs. Usually, if you reside in a state with plenty of distance learning options, you can go to a public school to save money. Not so with New Jersey, whose public colleges charge the fourth-highest tuition in the United States. When you consider that private college endowments allow them to whittle down their sticker prices, it makes sense to expand your search to all New Jersey schools. We’ve included a couple of good private institutions in our list of affordable online schools.

2. New Jersey’s Community Colleges Have Fully Online Degrees

There is one simple way to make your four-year degree cheaper: Spend the first two years of it studying online at a community college. The New Jersey Distance Education Affinity Group (NJDEAG) maintains a handy list of the state’s community colleges with online degrees. (You can cross-reference this with the list of all programs — traditional and distance — from the New Jersey Council of County Colleges).

If you choose this route, use the NJ Transfer website. By going to the “transfer programs” section, you can see what coursework you should take from a community college to seamlessly transfer to a major at one of New Jersey’s 25 participating four-year colleges. Enter where you’re transferring from, where you’re transferring to, and what your intended major is. The site will show you active courses being offered at the community college you want to attend (although not necessarily online ones).

3. You Can Pay for Online High School Courses

New Jersey Virtual School makes Advanced Placement (AP) and credit recovery courses available to New Jersey high schoolers on a course-by-course basis, but they’re not free. Still, if you’re at a secondary school with limited AP options and you’re confident in your ability to ace the exam, the tuition represents a decent investment. That’s because a good score on the AP exam almost always leads to college credit — and credits don’t get any cheaper once you’re out of high school.

4. New Jersey Is Strong for Business

New Jersey’s schools run a lot of Graduate Business programs, probably because new graduates are always needed to fill jobs in nearby New York City. Several are pretty good, according to U.S. News & World Report rankings of the Best Online Graduate Business Programs (Excluding MBA).

Affordable Online Schools in New Jersey

Despite the state’s generally higher rates of tuition, several New Jersey schools managed to meet our criteria for quality, flexibility, price, and use of financial aid money. (See the CAG score next to their profile in our ranking). For more stats on school graduation rates, student debt loads and earning potential, look to College Scorecard.

  • College of Saint Elizabeth

    The College of Saint Elizabeth is a private university that offers a pair of online graduate degrees, including the highly ranked MA in Justice Administration and Public Service. Law enforcement personnel looking to go back to school can take 50 percent off tuition. All students should check out the starting price along with financial aid procedures.

    Undergrads shouldn’t feel left out. Saint Elizabeth is a member of the Online Consortium of Independent Colleges & Universities (OCICU). Its students — at both the graduate and undergraduate level — can therefore take online classes at other OCICU schools for credit.

  • New Jersey City University

    New Jersey City University skews more toward online classes than online degrees. Search for a class by semester, subject, time and, of course, mode of instruction (for distance learning, choose “blended” or “world wide web”). Although some of NJCU’s programs are predominantly online, you’ll have to read the individual program synopses to find out which ones.

    It’s easier to find details on financial aid and scholarships. NJCU has a tiered scholarship structure, doling out money to both freshmen and transfer students based on the academic marks they enter with. The highest level is a full ride. Tuition and fees for students in undergraduate courses depend on residency, with New Jerseyans receiving a much better rate than out-of-staters. In fact, according to College Scorecard, New Jerseyans there pay a much lower rate than at any other public four-year college in the state. What’s more, at the graduate level, nonresidents pay the same for online courses as their in-state counterparts, making NJCU an affordable option for further education.

    Don’t need a degree? NJCU partners with third parties Ed2Go, JERonline, CareerStep and the Center for Legal Studies to offer certificate courses you can put on your resume.

  • New Jersey Institute of Technology

    NJIT Online is your connection to New Jersey Institute of Technology’s graduate degrees and certificates. Several of the degree programs charge eTuition, a per-credit rate for out-of-state, part-time students who only sign up for online classes. Since eTuition is lower than the out-of-state rate for traditional students, programs that use it represent a good value for non-New Jerseyans. Speaking of tuition and fees, summer and winter sessions will cost you less than fall and spring ones.

    NJIT also runs a limited number of noncredit certificate courses out of its Continuing Professional Education department that can boost your employment prospects.

  • Rutgers University

    Rutgers’ three campuses — New Brunswick, Newark and Camden — pretty much act as one when delivering distance education programs. You can find those programs in a couple of spots: Rutgers Online, which provides links to current programs from multiple schools and departments, or via the Division of Continuing Studies, which lists all programs, regardless of whether they’re currently being offered. We’ll recommend starting with the latter, as it’s got more information.

    It can take you to a schedule of individual classes, including summer and winter sessions that can get a degree in your hands quicker. That same site will link you to tuition details, where you’ll discover that nonresidents who study online pay the same price as their New Jersey peers. Last, if you’re in the market for professional development, you can sign up for noncredit courses.

  • Saint Peter’s University

    Saint Peter’s is a Jesuit university with a small assortment of online programs. Find a comprehensive rundown of tuition and fees along with financial aid explainers at the Enrollment Services department. All students, whether they’re registered in an online program or not, can take advantage of online winter intersession courses to earn a degree faster.

  • William Paterson University of New Jersey

    William Paterson is a public university with online graduate degrees clustered in the College of Education, although partially online programs can be found elsewhere (e.g., the part-time flex MBA). In fact, William Paterson offers plenty of online classes throughout the year. Use the class schedule tool to get an idea of what’s been offered in the past. One great option is the online winter session, through which students can complete one course in an accelerated three-week format. Do that every year and you’ll likely graduate a semester early. The Office of Student Accounts lays out tuition and fees for each semester, including the winter and summer sessions, and the Financial Aid Office applies grants, scholarships and loans to students’ ledgers.

Online Schools in New Jersey with Accreditation & Quality Concerns

The state of New Jersey takes a hard line against unaccredited institutions, so you’re unlikely to find diploma mills operating there (with the notable exception of University of Northern New Jersey, which U.S. immigration officials established as part of an elaborate sting operation). However, you should keep tabs on your chosen college’s accreditation status. Here’s how:

  • The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) is the regional accreditor for New Jersey. Going to a MSCHE-accredited college means you can qualify for financial aid and, typically, transfer credits to other schools. The Commission’s Institution Directory lists all schools with MSCHE accreditation.
  • MSCHE informs the public every time it penalizes a school. A warning indicates that, “although the institution is out of compliance, the institution has the capacity both to make appropriate improvements within a reasonable period and to sustain itself in the long term.” If the school fails to do so, MSCHE may place it on probation. The most serious action, a show cause, “is a non-compliance action requiring an institution to demonstrate why its accreditation should not be withdrawn.” View the Non-Compliance Public Disclosure Statements page to see if your school is mentioned. Fingers crossed that it isn’t.
  • If your school is unaccredited, nationally accredited or a branch of a chain holding accreditation elsewhere, it won’t be listed in the MSCHE’s Institution Directory. To check that it is accredited by someone, hop over to the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) database. CHEA lists all schools with government-recognized accreditation, whether from a regional or national body.

There are a few schools in New Jersey with a suboptimal accreditation status or reputation:

  • DeVry University

    DeVry University-New Jersey is just one cog in a for-profit chain with an online branch and campuses across the country. Although its schools are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, a regional accreditor similar to Middle States, DeVry agreed to pay $100 million to settle a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit over using false graduation and employment statistics in its marketing materials.

  • Essex County College

    Middle States placed Essex County College, a two-year community college that offers online courses, on warning in 2016 for insufficient evidence that expenditures are under control, leadership is regularly assessed, and enrollment is properly managed. The college remains accredited while on warning. Read the full statement at the MSCHE website.

New Jersey Online Education Resources

Accreditation

Distance Learning Resources

  • New Jersey Distance Education Affinity Group (NJDEAG): NJDEAG is a useful gateway to distance learning options at the Garden State’s community colleges. The site will take you directly to your chosen school’s degrees or courses, so you can bypass all the other noise on their websites.

Online Degree & Course Catalogs

  • New Jersey Virtual School: Find and pay for individual high school classes offered in a distance format, including Advanced Placement and credit recovery courses.

School Rankings

1

Rutgers University

Rutgers University offers four degree programs in a 100 percent online format. Master's degrees are available in social work and business administration. The university also offers an online bachelor's program in business administration and a degree completion program for Registered Nurses seeking a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Rutgers also offers a variety of online programs providing professional development or continuing education. The online degree programs allow students to access classwork on their own schedule. Online classes are small and accommodate a lot of interaction between students and faculty. Students may enter either online business degree program in the fall or spring; the nursing and social work programs allow students to start in the fall, spring or summer semester. Rutgers provides enrollment and executive coaches to help online students through the admissions process and assist them in accessing campus resources. Students taking online courses pay the same cost per credit as they would for an in-person class plus an online course fee that covers technology costs and support services.

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

CAG Score 95.5

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

48,378 Students

2

Rowan University

Online education at Rowan University is offered through the Division of Global Learning & Partnerships. The following Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree completion programs are currently available: BA in Construction Management, BA in Law and Justice, BA in Liberal Studies, and BA in Psychology. An RN to BSN program is also offered online. The BA in Law and Justice program offers courses in four major areas: law enforcement and security services, court services, corrections, and human services. Students accepted to the RN to BSN program may be eligible for up to 30 transfer credits if they already completed an associate degree or a diploma program accredited by ACEN (Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing). At the current time, there are more than 30 graduate-level programs available online in diverse fields that include business, education, media studies, theater arts, and finance. Many of the online courses are delivered in eight-week modules. Students accepted to the Doctor of Education (Ed. D.) program can choose from the following tracks: community college leadership initiative, higher education, nurse educator, P-12, and a general educational leadership track. Graduate certificate programs are available in areas such as autism spectrum disorders, special education, and English as a Second Language (ESL).

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

3

New Jersey City University

New Jersey City University offers over 500 undergraduate and graduate courses online. Online undergraduate courses are offered in subjects like accounting, biology, business, criminal justice, computer science, early childhood education, economics, education, English, health, mathematics, marketing and psychology. Online graduate courses are offered in subjects like accounting, educational leadership, educational technology, finance, health and special education. An online graduate degree in educational technology is also available, as is an educational technology leadership doctorate degree that can be completed mostly online. NJCU delivers online courses using the Blackboard course management system.

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

CAG Score 97.2

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

8,136 Students

4

New Jersey Institute of Technology

New Jersey Institute of Technology offers several graduate degree programs and graduate certificates that can be completed entirely online. Online master's degrees are available in business administration, business and information systems, civil engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, emergency management and business continuity, engineering management, information systems, management and professional and technical communication. Online graduate certificates are available in fields like business and computing, construction management, data mining, engineering leadership, information security, project management, social media essentials, technical communication essentials and web systems development. Professional development training classes are also offered online in subjects like android app development, database design and open source Unix certification.

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

CAG Score 94.5

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

10,646 Students

5

Seton Hall University

Seton Hall University offers a variety of online degree programs. Most are at the graduate level and are in the fields of nursing, education, health, and human services. Some of Seton Hall's programs require students to attend a residency when all members of the cohort meet on campus for a long weekend. Residency requirements vary by program, and programs that do require residencies schedule two or three during the program. Nursing programs available online include a Master of Science in Nursing with tracks in adult/gerontological nurse practitioner, health systems administration, nursing case management/administration, or pediatric nurse practitioner. Seton Hall also has a post-master's certificate for nurse practitioners and a degree-completion program for RNs. The College of Education and Human Services offers master's degrees in counseling, education leadership, police graduate studies, and school counseling, as well as certificates for school supervisors and special education teachers. The School of Health and Medical Sciences offers an online program leading to a Master of Health Administration in Health Care Administration, and the College of Communication and the Arts is developing a Master of Arts in Strategic Communication and Leadership that will be offered online.

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

6

Montclair State University

Montclair State University Online offers two master's degree programs completely online: Child Advocacy and Policy (M.A. ) and Educational Leadership (M.A.). In addition, there are hundreds of online or hybrid courses offered throughout the year. The university uses Canvas as its online learning system to manage course instructions and facilitate student-teacher interaction and communication.

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

7

William Paterson University of New Jersey

The College of Education at William Paterson University offers four online graduate level programs. Three are M.Ed. programs - curriculum and learning with a concentration in school library media, literacy with a concentration in reading, and middle level education. The other program is an endorsement for associate school library media specialist. The middle level education program is new and accepted its first students in 2015. The program requires 30 credits, with all classwork delivered online. The school library media program is 33 credits, or 36 credits for candidates who want the school library media specialist endorsement as part of their M.Ed. The M.Ed. in Literacy is a 33-credit program. Students seeking the associate school library media specialist endorsement may enter the program in the spring, summer, or fall, and must complete 24 credits. Applicants for any of the education master's degrees should have a teaching license and at least two years of teaching experience. The college looks for applicants who attained a GPA of a least 2.75 in undergraduate work. The master's programs allow students to enter in the spring and fall semesters.

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

CAG Score 93.3

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

11,048 Students

8

Monmouth University

The School of Education at Monmouth University offers two fully online special education programs: a Master of Science in Education (MSE) - Special Education degree and a Graduate Certificate in Autism. Although the MSE program offers four tracks, only the Teacher of Students with Autism track is offered 100 percent online. There are two fully online degrees available from the Wayne D. McMurray School of Humanities and Social Sciences - an MS in Homeland Security (33 credits) and a Graduate Certificate in Homeland Security (12 credits). A third degree - Master of Arts in Public Policy - is available from the school in a hybrid format. The Master of Science in Nursing is fully online program that offers a specialization in nursing education. The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree is also available online, but with on-campus components. These programs are offered through the university's Marjorie K. Unterberg School of Nursing and Health Studies. Fully online graduate certificates are available in the following areas: applied behavior analysis, autism, school nursing, and homeland security. A graduate endorsement in early childhood education (P-3) and a post-master's endorsement in school counseling services (directorship) round off the university's fully online programs at the current time.

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

9

Felician College

The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree available online from Felician University offers a track in adult-gerontology that is comprised of 43 credits and includes 600 clinical hours. There is also a family nurse practitioner track that requires the completion of 46 credits and 780 clinical hours. Although a majority of the required courses for both tracks is made available online, some courses do have on-campus components. The MSN degree can be earned in as little as two years. Students who complete the program are eligible to sit for national certification from the ANCC (American Nurses' Credentialing Center), AANP (American Academy of Nurse Practitioner), and the State Board of Nursing licensure. A post-master's certificate is also available online. The Institute for Religious Studies and Education Ministry at Felician University offers one online undergraduate degree completion program, the Bachelor of Arts in Social & Behavioral Sciences with a focus in religious studies. Applicants to this 36-credit program must have an associate degree, or 60 credits from an accredited college or program. In addition, the institute offers the following degree programs in religious education: Master of Arts, post-master's certificate, and a graduate certificate. A four-week program in religious studies is also available online.

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

10

College of Saint Elizabeth

The College of Saint Elizabeth has an online program leading to a Master of Science in Nutrition. The 30-credit curriculum allows students to select a concentration in community nutrition and wellness or in entrepreneurial nutrition practice, or they may seek a certificate in sports nutrition and wellness. All core classes and some electives are offered online, and it is possible to earn the degree 100 percent online. However, some of the classes required for the certificate in sports nutrition are only offered in a traditional on-campus classroom. Applicants must have an undergraduate degree in nutrition, dietetics or food, or they will be required to take prerequisite undergraduate courses first. The college looks for applicants who have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher, although promising students with a lower GPA may be admitted on a provisional basis. Applicants who hold the Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist certification may be eligible for up to nine credit hours when they enroll in this program.

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

CAG Score 93.9

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

1,411 Students

11

Saint Peter's University

The School of Professional and Continuing Studies at Saint Peter's University offers programs for adult learners, including a bachelor's degree-completion program for registered nurses and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. A Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership can also be completed online. The RN to BSN program is for nurses with a diploma or associate degree who want a bachelor's degree to advance in their career. Applicants must submit official transcripts of all previous college work, a copy of their New Jersey Registered Nursing license, and proof of malpractice insurance coverage of at least a million dollars. Coursework in the online BSBA program is delivered in eight-week terms. Business students can choose a concentration in business management or in health care management. The Ed.D. in Educational Leadership has a concentration in higher education. Classes run on the semester schedule, and students are required to take part in two on-campus summer residencies, which each have four days of classes. The college also offers a variety of graduate degrees where some online classes are available, but none of those degrees can be completed in a 100 percent online format.

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

CAG Score 94.7

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

3,302 Students

12

Centenary College

All of the undergraduate online programs that are offered by Centenary University are delivered in an accelerated format with six terms per year. The School of Professional Studies offers undergraduate programs that are specifically designed for adult students with application-based learning that students can use on the job. The university accepts transfer credits and grants academic credit for prior learning through a portfolio assessment program. Undergraduate programs that are offered 100 percent online include Associate of Arts with a business emphasis, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with a concentration in organizational studies. Centenary also offers some graduate degrees online. Options include Master of Leadership and Public Administration, MBA, and Master of Education in Educational Practice. The MBA program is open to applicants with a bachelor's degree and a GPA of 2.5 or better. Applicants must have prerequisite courses in accounting, statistics, and economics. Candidates can complete the MBA in about two years by taking one class at a time. The online MBA and M.Ed. programs use the accelerated class format.

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

13

Georgian Court University

Georgian Court University offers a Master of Arts (MA) in Holistic Health Studies degree that can be completed online. The program follows a cohort-based model of education and maintains a curriculum that covers both Eastern and Western approaches to health. Each course lasts for approximately 7.5 weeks. Students can typically expect to graduate from the program in 12 months. The university also offers an online certificate in holistic health. Students are required to complete a minimum of 18 credit hours in order to earn the certificate. There are two required courses: Foundations of Holistic Health and Anatomy and Physiology: A Holistic Approach. After completing these required courses, students are free to design the remainder of the program by enrolling in classes that support their personal and professional goals. Students who maintain a B average in the certificate program can transfer the earned credits towards the MA in Holistic Health Studies degree at a later date. A Certificate in Early Childhood Education is also available online. This is a post-baccalaureate certificate designed for teachers who already have an instructional certificate from the State of New Jersey. Students who complete this 15-credit program will be eligible for the New Jersey P-3 endorsement.

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

14

Caldwell College

Caldwell University offers three master's degrees and two bachelor's program in its 100-percent online environment. Classes are offered in an accelerated, seven-week format, and online students have access to a staff of academic advisers, 24/7 tutoring, and online access to the library. Caldwell accepts up to 90 undergraduate transfer credits, and undergraduates might be able to receive academic credit by passing standardized tests or by compiling a portfolio so that the school can assess prior learning. The online MBA program has six start points annually, and students can complete the program in about a year if they are full-time students. The program is also open to part-time students. Applicants who didn't study business as an undergrad might have to take prerequisite courses in accounting and economics. Online programs for educators include Master of Arts in Higher Education, M.A. in Educational Administration, and post-master's certifications for principal, supervisor, and superintendent. Undergraduates can earn an online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, and working nurses can finish work for their Bachelor of Science in Nursing through Caldwell University Online.

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

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