Are you looking for the top accredited online universities and colleges in California? We’ve got you covered. This article features the best nationally accredited online colleges in the state. It’s a long read, with a massive list of hybrid and fully online colleges with degrees, certificates, stand-alone classes, and online courses. But it’s the most comprehensive list of accredited online schools in California on the web. Ready to start planning your higher education at one of these outstanding California colleges? Read on for all the details.

California Colleges, distance learning, online programs

California is known for its innovative spirit and forward-thinking approach to education. And the state’s higher education institutions are no exception. Online universities and colleges abound in the Golden State. There are colleges where all programs are offered only via distance education. There are big-name universities featuring online, on-campus, and hybrid degrees. And there are lesser-known schools with just a handful of online degree programs. But one thing is for sure. California is a hub for online learning. 

“When I came to California, it was the mecca of the world. Every young person on the planet wanted to be here.” – Joni Mitchell

It’s also a huge state. And there are a dizzying array of options when looking for online universities. With so many choices available, finding an online college to meet your needs can be overwhelming. That’s why we’ve done the research for you. We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the best online colleges in California to help you with your school search. Each of the online schools listed features at least one distance education program. Some have dozens. Whether you are just out of high school, changing professions, or pursuing a lifelong passion, this article will help you find the right online university or college to achieve your goals. 

California Colleges, distance learning, online programs

Attending College in California

California has the most colleges of any state in the US. There are 658 higher education institutions. Of those, 171 are public, and 173 are private non-profits. The remainder are private, for-profit schools. In this article, we are featuring four-year public and private non-profit colleges only.

“There are so many different challenges California has; it’s the greatest state in the greatest country in the world. Hasta la vista, baby!” – Arnold Schwarzenegger

California’s Public Colleges and Universities

California has the largest public higher education system in the nation. It includes three segments:

  • California State University System
  • The University of California System
  • California Community Colleges System

California State University

California State University distance learning

California State University is the largest public college in the country. It enrolls close to 460,000 students and has over four million alumni. There are 23 campuses that comprise the CSU. CSU features over 1800 programs across 240 areas of study. Most degrees are career-focused. And the majority of students are commuters. 

CSU has high acceptance rates and low tuition costs. In-state tuition is very affordable at around $7,000 per academic year. If you are looking for cheap accredited online colleges in California, this should be your first stop. The school also offers financial aid, scholarships, grants, and other assistance programs. 

Cal State Online is CSU’s online campus. It features online and hybrid accredited online degree programs. Plus, students can earn certificates across a range of fields. Students can also enroll in thousands of accredited online college courses. This article doesn’t feature every online college in the CSU system. Instead, we have chosen a few that stand out from the rest. 

University of California

University of California distance learning

The University of California is a public research university with ten campus locations. The UC system enrolls about 280,000 students and has over two million alumni. The number of majors offered depends on which UC college you attend. However, most campuses feature at least 100. 

UC is much more selective than CSU. And it is considered by many to be more prestigious. Some UC schools are harder to get into than others. For example, UCLA has only a nine percent acceptance rate. But UC Merced has an 89% acceptance rate. The average in-state tuition at UC schools is $13,752 per academic year. However, thanks to generous financial aid programs, over 55% of California undergrads pay no tuition at all. 

UC Online is the school’s online division. The University of California does not offer fully online degrees, with the exception of one engineering program. However, students can take many of their courses online. Additionally, most UC schools have professional and continuing studies programs. These typically include career training programs, certificates, and MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). Most of these are open-enrollment online courses, so anyone can participate. 

California Colleges, distance learning, online programs

How To Afford Your Education at One of California’s Online Colleges

If you’re worried about tuition at one of California’s online colleges, there are a few things to know. For starters, the state leads the nation in total financial aid dollars spent. California awards roughly $2.23 billion a year to students. There are numerous grants, scholarships, and incentives offered. These programs can help make your online education more affordable. Students attending online schools are generally eligible for these assistance programs as well.

Related: How Can I Find Financial Aid for Online College?

California is also a Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) member. There are 15 states and several Pacific Territories that belong to the WICHE. WICHE coordinates an exchange program called the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE). This program allows member-state undergraduate students to qualify for 150% of resident tuition. 

WICHE also facilitates the Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP). This program allows graduate students of member states to pay in-state tuition rates. Together, these programs have helped students save millions of dollars in tuition costs. 

Additionally, WICHE features a Professional Student Exchange Program (PSEP). This program is for those pursuing certain healthcare fields. It allows them to enroll in programs at partner schools for a deep discount. 

Finally, some students may qualify for the California State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP). This program is designed to increase the number of healthcare professionals in various areas. The state pays part of your loan if you commit to working in a high-need profession for a specified time after you graduate. 

You should also check out: Scholarships for Online Students

Top 30 Accredited Online Colleges California

University of the People$4,860
California State University – Los Angeles$6,805
California State University-Channel Islands$6,817
California State Polytechnic University – Pomona$7,439
California State University – Sacramento$7,484
California State University – San Bernardino$7,486
San Francisco State University$7,524
California State Polytechnic University – Humboldt$7,864
California State University – Chico$7,972
San Diego State University$8,174
Golden Gate University$11,088
Los Angeles Pacific University$11,400
Pacific Oaks College$11,692
UMass Global$12,520
National University$13,320
University of California – Los Angeles$13,401
Touro University Worldwide$14,600
University of California – Davis$14,858
Antioch University$16,050
Loma Linda University$33,552
Fresno Pacific University$34,188
Jessup University$37,150
Simpson University$37,480
California Baptist University$38,058
Azusa Pacific University$42,330
Mount Saint Mary’s University$46,740
California Lutheran University$48,012
University of the Pacific$53,682
Stanford University$58,416
Pepperdine University$63,142

Higher Education Accreditation in California

Universities and colleges in California receive accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). It is recognized by the USDE and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). The importance of accreditation cannot be understated. Accreditation ensures that a school meets rigorous academic standards. It is also necessary for students to be eligible for federal financial aid. Online schools also receive accreditation from the WSCUC. Before enrolling in one of the online colleges in California, prospective students should make sure it is accredited. The best accredited online colleges list all of this information prominently on their websites.

California Colleges, distance learning, online programs

Methodology for the Top Accredited Online Colleges in California

Choosing among all of the online colleges in California can be hard. It is our aim to help you make the right decision. What might be ideal for one student might not be a good fit for another. We invite you to peruse the listings to see which school’s programs best meet your goals. 

The methodology for this ranking of the best online colleges in California is simple. We only included four-year schools featured in the College Navigator database. California State University and University of California schools each have similar online programs, so not all state colleges are listed. Instead, we included a cross-section of online colleges to give our readers a good overview of what they can expect. This ranking also includes many private non-profit online colleges with excellent online programs. We did not include two-year online schools or community colleges. However, if you’re interested in online associate degree programs, California also has some fantastic community colleges.

See Also: Can I Attend Community College Online?

Each of the online colleges listed shows in-state rates for both undergraduate and graduate degrees. They are sorted from lowest to highest based on undergraduate tuition. Please note that out-of-state students may have different costs.

30 Best Online Colleges in California

California Colleges, distance learning, online programs
Best Online Colleges in California #1

University of the People

Pasadena, California

University of the People is one of the most unique online colleges on our list. Headquartered in Pasadena, This accredited school features 100% online programs and no tuition. Instead, students pay a low application and assessment fee for each course they complete. The assessment fee is $120 for bachelor’s programs, $200 for certificates, and $300 for graduate programs. There are no other charges, and the course materials are free. Scholarships are available to help support those who cannot afford the classes. The cost per degree at this online college breaks down like this:

  • A two-year associate’s degree comes to $2,460
  • A four-year bachelor’s degree comes to $4,860
  • A 15-month master’s degree comes to $3,660

Students pay as they go, so there are no upfront costs besides the application fee. This tuition-free school is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission. And it is currently seeking accreditation from the WSCUC. The featured online programs include:

Associate’s Degrees

  • Business Administration
  • Computer Science
  • Health Science

Bachelor’s Degrees

  • Business Administration
  • Computer Science
  • Health Science

Master’s Degrees

  • Business Administration
  • Information Technology
  • Education

Certificate Programs

  • Business Administration
  • Computer Science
  • Health Science
  • English as a Second Language 

The college accepts students from over 200 countries and territories. And the school currently has an enrollment of around 56,000 remote learners. Classes are taught by professional instructors. And each student has a personal advisor who stays with them from enrollment through graduation. The university also has a Career Service Center. The Career Service Center provides resources for career planning, such as resume writing and job search skills. The online college even features internships and mentorships. 

Undergraduate Tuition: $4,860

Graduate Tuition: $3,660

Best Online Colleges in California #2

California State University – Los Angeles

Sacramento, California

Cal State LA is a large, four-year comprehensive public university in Los Angeles. It is one of 23 campuses of California State University and one of the most well-known. It is a federally designated Hispanic-Serving, Minority-Serving, and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution. Founded in 1947 in the heart of the city, it is home to around 27,000 students. 

The school offers over 100 undergraduate, graduate, certificate, and pre-professional programs. Cal State LA doesn’t have a specific online division. Instead, you can choose to take CSU fully online courses. Students access their coursework through Canvas, the school’s online Learning Management System. 

Students interested in fully online degree programs do have another option. Through Cal State Online, they can access dozens of fully online and hybrid degree programs. Some of the areas of study for undergraduates include:

  • Applied, Liberal, and Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Arts, Communications, and Humanities
  • Civil Engineering
  • Computer and Information Sciences
  • Criminal Justice, Human Development, and Social Science
  • Education
  • Health Professions and Health Sciences
  • Hospitality, Public and Recreation Administration
  • Social Work

Some of the online graduate programs include:

  • Agriculture and Natural Resources
  • Arts, Communications, and Humanities
  • Computer and Information Sciences
  • Criminal Justice, Human Development, and Social Science
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Health Professions and Health Sciences
  • Hospitality, Public and Recreation Administration
  • Library Science
  • Mathematics
  • Social Work

Cal State LA offers a wide range of services available to both online and on-campus students. Some of these resources and tools include:

  • Academic Advising
  • University Tutorial Center
  • University Writing Center
  • Study Abroad Programs
  • Graduate Resource Center
  • University Library
  • Career Planning
  • Glazer Family Dreamers Resource Center
  • Office for Students with Disabilities
  • Veterans Resource Center
  • Financial Aid and Scholarships

Undergraduate Tuition: $6,805

Graduate Tuition: $7,176

Best Online Colleges in California #3

California State University-Channel Islands

Camarillo, California

California State University Channel Islands is a public college and part of the California State University. It is considered a Hispanic-serving institution and serves nearly 7,000 students a year. The school is known for its student-centered, multicultural, and international perspectives. And it places a strong emphasis on experiential and service learning. It is one of the best regionally accredited online colleges on our list.

Students who wish to earn an online undergraduate degree through California State University Channel Islands have two options. CSUCI Extended University features two bachelor’s degree online programs:

  • BS in Business
  • BA in Psychology

The Bachelor’s degree in Business is a 100% online degree completion program. The asynchronous program structure means you can go at your own pace. Transfer students can complete the program in as little as 16 to 18 months. It is ACBSP-accredited and follows a cohort model.

The online Bachelor’s degree in Psychology is a two-year program. It features a modular structure consisting of 16 online courses. The degree prepares students to enter into graduate programs across multiple disciplines. 

Both online programs have no residency requirements, and financial aid is available. CSUCI is among the most affordable online colleges on our list. Distance learners can take advantage of all of CSUCI’s resources, including:

  • Advising
  • Business Clubs
  • Paid Micro-Internships
  • Library
  • Writing & Multiliteracy Center
  • Tutoring

Undergraduate Tuition: $6,817

Graduate Tuition: $7,176 

Best Online Colleges in California #4

California State Polytechnic University – Pomona

Pomona, California

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, is a public polytechnic university with nearly 30,000 students. It is the largest of the three Polytechnic schools in California State University. The college is known for teaching academic theory through practical application. And it takes an experimental approach to education. Students learn the most effective and innovative ways to get things done. As a result, it has been ranked among the best public universities in the West.

Cal Poly Pomona features 80 majors across eight colleges and schools. Distance learners enrolled at the school have access to online courses at other California State University campuses through CSU Fully Online. And those who meet the eligibility requirements can take one free online course per term. 

Additionally, the College of Professional and Global Education offers three fully online degree programs. They include:

  • Online Master of Public Administration
  • Online Master of Interior Architecture
  • Online Master of Science in Dietetics

These programs are taught by the same esteemed faculty that teach on campus. And distance learners earn the same degree. 

Cal Poly Pomona also partners with ed2go to offer career training courses online. These online courses are not offered for academic credit. However, they are ideal for those looking to learn a new skill or advance their career. Some of the programs include:

  • Electrical Technician
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Freight Broker Agent Training
  • HVACR Technician
  • Medical Billing and Coding
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Veterinary Assistant

Individuals can also choose from over 300 standalone online courses through ed2go. Some of the areas of interest include:

  • Animation
  • Graphic Arts
  • Web Design
  • Photography
  • Cloud Computing
  • Writing
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Blockchain Fundamentals
  • Conversational French
  • Business Budgeting
  • Meditation
  • Music Therapy
  • Healthy Aging

Distance learners can also access six-month online IT Bootcamp Training Courses. For example, students can enroll in AI Machine Learning, Cybersecurity, or Full Stack Web Development.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,439

Graduate Tuition: $7,176

Best Online Colleges in California #5

California State University – Sacramento

Sacramento, California

Sac State is California’s Capital University located in Sacramento. The school enrolls over 32,000 students. It is one of the largest universities within California State University. It features the most extensive chemistry program within the system. And it is the only college in California to offer a bachelor’s degree in Deaf Studies. 

Sacramento State is highly diverse. It is a designated Hispanic-Serving and Asian-American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution. It is military-friendly. And it features the second-largest veterans program within California State University. 

Sac State features a vast range of academic programs. These are offered through eight distinct schools and colleges. Through Cal State Online, distance learners can access single courses, degrees, and certificates. However, the school’s College of Continuing Education also offers its own online programs. For example, distance learners can choose from five bachelor’s degree completion programs.

  • Bachelor’s degree in Arts & Letters
  • Bachelor’s degree in Child and Adolescent Development
  • Bachelor’s degree in Psychology
  • Bachelor’s degree in Career and Technical Studies
  • Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice

Graduate distance learners at Sac State can choose from the following online master’s degrees:

  • Master of Arts in Education (Curriculum and Instruction)
  • Master of Arts in Workforce Development Leadership
  • Master of Arts in Universal Design for eLearning
  • Master of Public Health
  • Master of Science in Accountancy
  • Master of Science in Business Analytics
  • MBA for Executives
  • Online iMBA
  • School Nurse Credential Program + Masters in Nursing

Additionally, the College of Continuing Education offers several online certificates. Some of these include:

  • Crime and Intelligence Analysis Certificate Program
  • Cultural Competency Certificate Program
  • Contract Management Certificate Program
  • Human Resources Management Certificate Program
  • Project Management Certificate Program
  • Adult Learning Disabilities Certificate Program
  • Dropout Prevention Specialist Certificate Program
  • Wastewater Treatment Plant Operation Specialist Certificate Program
  • Water Treatment Plant Operations Specialist Certificate Program

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,484

Graduate Tuition: $7,176

Best Online Colleges in California #6

California State University – San Bernardino

San Bernardino, California

Cal State San Bernardino is a four-year public research university in Southern California. It is part of the California State University and serves about 20,000 students annually. CSUSB has the second highest African American and Hispanic enrollments of all public universities in the state.

The school has over 70 degree programs. And a handful of these can be completed online. They are offered through the College of Extended and Global Education. Courses are led by university faculty and expert instructors. And distance learners earn the same degree as they would on campus. The online undergraduate programs include:

  • Business Administration
  • Criminal Justice
  • Social Sciences

Graduate students at CSUSB can choose from the following online master’s degree programs:

  • Accountancy
  • Business Administration (MBA) 
  • Career and Technical Education
  • Criminal Justice
  • Cybersecurity and Analytics
  • Education
  • Logistics and E-Commerce
  • Public Administration

The school also offers online certificates for busy working professionals. They include:

  • Accounting Certificate Online
  • Addiction Studies Online
  • Basic Audiometry Certificate
  • Data Visualization Analytics Certificate Online
  • Digital Marketing Certificate Online
  • Early Childhood Administrative and Leadership Certificate
  • Early Childhood Trauma Informed Care Certificate
  • Forensic Accounting Certificate
  • Nutrition & Food Services Professional Certificate

Like many other California State University schools, CSUSB partners with ed2go. This partnership provides skills training in dozens of areas. These open-enrollment online courses are self-paced, fun, and affordable. Students can learn in-demand skills that can help them meet their professional goals. 

Additionally, the college partners with World Education LLC. This partnership also provides exciting career development offerings. These online certificates are self-paced and military-friendly. Some of the featured programs include:

  • Certified Dental Assistant
  • Certified Paralegal
  • Certified Pharmacy Technician
  • Certified Physical Therapy Aide
  • Certified Professional Bookkeeper with QuickBooks
  • Certified Veterinary Assistant
  • Web Design Certification Program

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,486

Graduate Tuition: $7,176

Related: University of Southern California

Best Online Colleges in California #7

San Francisco State University

San Francisco, California

San Francisco State University is a public research university and part of the Cal State System. The college serves nearly 27,000 students. The school has been a launchpad for many famous alums, including Johnny Mathis, Dana Carvey, Annette Bening, and others. It is known for its ethnic diversity and leadership. And the School of Cinema is considered one of the country’s top film programs.

SF State offers over 200 academic degree programs at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. Most of these are on-campus programs. However, like all California State University schools, students can take some courses online through Cal State Online. Additionally, SF State features four online bachelor’s degree completion programs. They are open to all majors. And students from any school are welcome to apply. They include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Ethnic Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology

The College of Professional & Global Education also offers online certificate programs. These include the following:

  • Clinical Medical Assistant
  • CompTIA Training
  • Construction Professional
  • Dental Assistant
  • E-Learning Design and Development
  • EKG Technician
  • Ethical Hacker
  • Ethnic Studies Graduate Certificate
  • Innovation and Critical Thinking
  • Intervener Training: Deafblind Education
  • Medical Administrative Assistant
  • Medical Billing and Coding Professional
  • Network Administrator
  • Paralegal Studies
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Project Management
  • Spanish/English Interpretation

Adult learners who plan to complete a bachelor’s degree at the school can also take online general education classes. Distance learners must have a high school diploma or GED to enroll.

SF State is one of the most affordable online colleges on our list. Undergraduate in-state tuition is less than $7,600 per academic year for in-state students. Additionally, the school offers financial aid and over 700 scholarship opportunities.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,524

Graduate Tuition: $7,176

Best Online Colleges in California #8

California State Polytechnic University – Humboldt

Arcata, California

California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt, is a four-year public college in Arcata. It is one of three polytechnic universities in the Cal State System. Located on California’s Northern Coast, the school serves just under 6,000 students. The college is known for offering a hands-on and impactful education in a beautiful natural setting. It has been ranked as a top LGBT-Friendly School and Top Vegan-Friendly School. And it has a solid commitment to sustainability. 

Cal Poly Humboldt features over 70 exciting degree programs through three colleges. Those who wish to study online have several options. These are offered through the College of Extended Education and Global Engagement. First, there are two fully online degree programs. They include:

  • Leadership Studies: Online BA Completion Program
  • Social Work Online MSW

Both programs are taught by the same instructors that teach on campus. And distance learners will earn the same respected degree. There is one three-day residency requirement for the master’s degree program. The bachelor’s completion program is 100 percent online. Of course, online students are always welcome to visit campus. 

In addition to the two degree programs, distance learners can earn the following online certificates:

  • Faculty Preparation: Teaching in Higher Education Online Certificate
  • Industry Training Certificate for Cannabis Professionals
  • Legal Secretary Certificate Online Course
  • New Designs for Fundraising Online Certificate Program
  • Online Geospatial Certificate Program
  • Pupil Personnel Services Credential in School Social Work (PPSC-SSW)

Finally, there are several open-enrollment online classes to choose from. These are available to anyone, not just Cal Poly students. They provide the opportunity for personal enrichment and even career advancement. Some of the most interesting courses include:

  • Basic Wildland Firefighter Training
  • Bear River Applied Anthropology Field School
  • Bee Yard Experience
  • Cartography
  • Ceramics
  • Coding for Beginners
  • Designing Equine Therapy Programs for Individuals With Autism
  • The Art and Science of Winemaking
  • Introduction To Remote Sensing
  • Landscape Painting 
  • Practical Beekeeping
  • Advanced Study of Rangeland Plants
  • Still Life Painting

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,864

Graduate Tuition: $7,176

Best Online Colleges in California #9

California State University – Chico

Chico, California

California State University, Chico, is a four-year public college in Northern California. Located in the Sacramento Valley region, the school serves around over 15,000 students. It is the second oldest campus within California State University. Chico State is known for high-quality, affordable education. It has been named one of the Greenest Schools in the country. And U.S. News & World Report has ranked it among the top public schools nationwide. 

Chico State offers over 385 academic programs. And a few of these can be completed remotely or in a hybrid format. The bachelor’s online degrees and degree completion programs include:

  • Business Administration
  • Humanities
  • Liberal Studies
  • Multicultural & Gender Studies
  • Religious Studies
  • Sociology
  • Social Science
  • BS in Nursing for RNs

Graduate students can also choose from three master’s degree programs offered online. They include:

  • MS in Agricultural Education
  • MS in Nursing
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)

A unique aspect of these online degrees is their flexibility. Distance learners can combine online and on-campus attendance to meet their degree requirements. This includes summer, winter, and special sessions. That makes them exceptionally convenient for those who live in the area. 

Chico State also partners with ed2go for a wide range of online career training programs. These are fun and affordable non-credit-bearing programs. And they aim to provide you with new skills and knowledge to advance your career. They are self-paced and designed and led by professional instructors. Many of the instructors are nationally-known authors. Areas of interest include:

  • Arts and Design 
  • Business 
  • Computer Applications 
  • Computer Science 
  • Construction and Trades
  • Health and Fitness 
  • Hospitality 
  • Information Technology 
  • Language 
  • Legal 
  • Math and Science 
  • Teacher Professional Development 
  • Test Prep 
  • Writing

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,972

Graduate Tuition: $7,176

Best Online Colleges in California #10

San Diego State University

San Diego, California 

San Diego State University is a public research university founded in 1897. It is a member of California State University. And it ranks #1 within California State University for federal research support. Located in San Diego, the school serves over 36,000 students. SDSU is renowned for its academic excellence. And it features top-ranked programs in engineering, business, public health, and more. 

This Hispanic-serving institution is known for diversity and inclusion. And it is recognized for its support of veterans and LGBTQIA+ students and its study abroad programs. The college offers over 200 degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. 

SDSU Global Campus offers a range of online programs. These include over a dozen online/hybrid degrees. Plus, distance learners can pursue career-building courses, online certificates, and classes for personal enrichment. The online bachelor’s degrees include:

  • Business Administration
  • Communication
  • Criminal Justice
  • Economics
  • Public Health
  • Child Development
  • Civil Engineering
  • Computer Engineering

Graduate students can choose from several online and hybrid master’s programs at San Diego State. They include:

  • Educational Leadership/OPASC Combo Program
  • Teacher Leadership
  • MPH in Health Promotion and Behavioral Science
  • MPH in Epidemiology
  • Public Administration
  • Big Data Analytics
  • Computer Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Hospitality and Tourism Management 
  • Meeting and Event Management 
  • Screenwriting

The Global Campus also offers several professional certificates. Employers typically recognize these as a significant achievement. And they can help busy professionals to advance in their fields. Some of the most popular online certificates include:

  • Civil Sitework Construction
  • Construction Estimating
  • Construction Practices
  • Construction Project Management
  • Construction Supervision
  • Contract Management
  • Enterprise GIS
  • Grant Writing
  • Human Resource Management
  • Management and Leadership
  • Meeting and Event Planning

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,174

Graduate Tuition: $7,176

Best Online Colleges in California #11

Golden Gate University

San Francisco, California

Golden Gate University is a private, non-profit college in San Francisco’s Financial District. It also has satellite campuses in Seattle and Silicon Valley. GGU has a student population of around 2,400. And it features a low student-to-faculty ratio of 15:1. This means that GGU students get all the personalized attention they need to succeed. Golden Gate University is one of the best online accredited colleges in California.

The programs are designed to help busy adults meet their professional career goals. While students can attend on-campus classes, most programs are online. Coursework is delivered through eLearning, GGU’s online learning platform. Students will typically complete coursework on their own time. Then, they will engage with other students and instructors via threaded discussion forums. There are also opportunities for synchronous learning. The online bachelor’s degrees at GGU include:

  • Law 
  • Management 
  • Organizational Leadership 
  • Psychology 
  • Accounting 
  • Business 
  • Data Analytics 

Golden Gate University also offers several online and hybrid graduate programs. A few of the most popular online degrees include:

  • Public Administration
  • Counseling Psychology
  • Industrial-Organizational Psychology
  • Law Studies
  • Human Resource Management
  • IT Management
  • Juris Doctor
  • Marketing
  • Project Management
  • Accounting Data & Analytics
  • Advanced Financial Planning
  • Business / Data Analytics
  • Finance
  • Financial Analytics
  • Finance
  • Leadership
  • Taxation

GGU students can also choose from a wide range of online graduate certificates. Some of these offerings include:

  • Analytics for Competitive Advantage
  • Conflict Resolution and Coaching
  • Estate Planning
  • Financial Planning
  • CPA Applied Accounting
  • Industrial-Organizational Psychology
  • Information Technology Management
  • International Taxation
  • Law Enforcement And Security
  • Project Management
  • Security in Computer Systems Management
  • Urban Innovations

GGU provides students with many resources to help them along their academic journey. From academic advising to tutoring to career services, you’ll find all the support you need. 

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,088

Graduate Tuition: $19,620

Best Online Colleges in California #12

Los Angeles Pacific University

San Dimas, California

Los Angeles Pacific University is a private Christian college in suburban LA County. However, it is highly diverse, and students come from a range of backgrounds. The school offers flexible online bachelor’s and master’s degrees across several disciplines. A few of the online bachelor’s programs at LA Pacific include:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Digital Marketing
  • Health Sciences 
  • Information Systems
  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Organizational Leadership 
  • Applied Psychology
  • Supply Chain Management

Students who want to pursue an online graduate degree can choose from five areas of study at LAPU:

  • MBA
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Psychology
  • Public Administration 
  • Public Health

The school welcomes high-school grads, transfer students, and veteran/military students. For high school graduates, no SAT is required. Transfer students can bring up to 70 credits from a two-year college or up to 90 credits from a four-year college. Students can also earn credits for Prior Learning Experience (PLE). LAPU is a Yellow-Ribbon School. So military members and veterans receive a tuition discount on all programs. 

LA Pacific provides many resources and tools to help its online students be successful. For example, every student is assigned a personal Success Coach to support them throughout their program. Other services include:

  • LAPU Mobile App 
  • 100% Asynchronous Coursework With No Set Login Times
  • 24/7 Online Tutoring & Writing Skills Support
  • Online Libraries
  • Free Virtual Counseling and Mental Wellness Resources
  • Veteran and Military Service
  • Disability Services

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,400

Graduate Tuition: $11,340

Best Online Colleges in California #13

Pacific Oaks College

Pasadena, California

Pacific Oaks College is a unique private non-profit college in Pasadena. The school draws on the Quaker principles of social justice, respect, and diversity. And it attracts students from all cultures and backgrounds. It is federally recognized as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is one of the top private accredited colleges in the state. It is also part of the TCS Education System. This organization is a group of colleges working to advance community impact and student success.

Pacific Oaks offers a wide range of degrees at the bachelor’s and master’s levels. And many of them can be completed online. The school utilizes Canvas as its interactive teaching platform. Classes are typically offered in seven-week sessions. They are taught by the same instructors that teach on campus. And they feature the same high-quality curriculum. Some of the undergraduate featured online programs include:

  • Early Childhood Education
  • Elementary Education and Special Education
  • Elementary Education
  • Human Development: Early Childhood Education and Development
  • Human Development: Active Learning Across the Lifespan
  • Human Development: Social Change
  • Human Development: Working With Adults
  • Business Administration
  • Community Psychology
  • Social Work

Some of the online graduate programs at Pacific Oaks include:

  • Special Education
  • Elementary Education
  • Human Development: Social Change
  • Human Development: Leadership in Education and Human Services
  • Human Development: Ecological Perspectives of Lifespan Development
  • Marriage and Family Therapy: African-American Studies Specialization
  • Marriage and Family Therapy: Latinx Studies Specialization
  • Marriage and Family Therapy: Trauma Studies Specialization
  • Organizational Leadership & Management
  • Social Work

Whether you pursue your degree on campus or online, you’ll have access to the same excellent student resources. These include:

  • Career Support
  • Tutoring
  • International Student Support
  • Learning Center
  • Counseling Services
  • Tech Support
  • Disability Support Services
  • Student Success Center

Pacific Oaks offers financial aid, scholarships, and grants to help you pay for college. The school is also a member of the Yellow Ribbon Program. So it features special military and veteran tuition rates. The school has transfer and articulation agreements with several other California colleges. Plus, students may be able to apply up to 24 credits toward their degree for prior life and learning experiences. 

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,692

Graduate Tuition: $21,074

Best Online Colleges in California #14

UMass Global

Irvine, California

In 2021, Brandman University in Irvine merged with the University of Massachusetts. The school was rebranded as UMass Global. And it has become one of the leading providers of accredited online degree programs in California. UMass Global is a private, non-profit university offering over 80 online programs. The school features associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs. Plus, students can earn various online certificates and credentials. Some of the most popular online bachelor’s degree programs include:

  • Communications and Media
  • Criminal Justice
  • Legal Studies
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Supply Chain Systems
  • Child Psychology
  • Social Work
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Finance
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Data Analytics

A few of the online graduate programs at UMass Global include:

  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Educational Administration
  • Instructional Technology
  • Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Professional Clinical Counseling
  • Business Intelligence and Data Analytics
  • Human Resources
  • Marketing
  • International Business
  • Public Administration
  • Social Work

These online degree programs are just a tiny sampling of UMass Global’s offerings. Depending on your goals, you can choose a self-paced program or a more structured one. With self-paced degrees, students complete most of their work on their own schedules. This is ideal for working professionals who need flexibility. The more structured online degrees may have classes that meet at specific times.

This online university offers a wealth of resources to remote learners. The Center for Instructional Innovation features technology support, online workshops, and more. Students can access free online writing and math tutoring. All students work with an enrollment coach to help them get started. You’ll also have a dedicated academic advisor. Your advisor will support you throughout your entire online program. Other resources include:

  • Career Services
  • Employer Matching
  • Military & Veteran Resources
  • Alumni Connection
  • Resource Library
  • Financial Aid Support

Undergraduate Tuition: $12,520

Graduate Tuition: $12,510

Best Online Colleges in California #15

National University

San Diego, California, California

National University is a private college headquartered in San Diego. It is the largest private nonprofit organization in the area. The school offers over 190 career-focused programs. And many of these can be completed online. National University serves over 40,000 students and is WSCUC-accredited. There are 44 fully online bachelor’s programs. Some of these include:

  • Digital Media Design
  • Integrated Marketing Communications
  • Sport Psychology
  • Public Administration
  • Paralegal Studies
  • Accounting
  • Computer Science
  • Construction Management
  • Criminal Justice Administration
  • Cybersecurity
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Financial Management
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Homeland Security and Emergency Management
  • Manufacturing Design Engineering
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Public Health

There are 48 master’s online programs for graduate students. Some of the most popular ones include the following:

  • Criminal Justice Leadership
  • Accounting
  • Marriage and Family Therapy
  • English
  • Human Behavior Psychology
  • Human Resource Management
  • Sport and Performance Psychology
  • Strategic Communication
  • Bilingual Education
  • Special Education 
  • Forensic Sciences
  • Public Administration 
  • Computer Science
  • Cybersecurity
  • Data Science
  • Designing Educational and Instructional Technology
  • Educational Administration 
  • Engineering Management
  • Health Informatics
  • Higher Education Administration
  • Homeland Security
  • Marketing

Finally, National University students can choose from over 20 online doctoral degrees. Some of these include:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Educational Leadership
  • Instructional Design
  • Health Administration
  • Technology Management 
  • Computer Science 
  • Data Science 
  • Human Resource Management
  • Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Public Administration 
  • Organizational Innovation
  • Juris Doctor

NU online students have access to plenty of interactive tools and resources. The coursework includes readings, lectures, assignments, exams, and more. And it is all delivered using the latest technology. You’ll have the chance to collaborate with your classmates and meet others from all over the world. 

All students are assigned a personal advisor. This individual assists them from day one through graduation. And the University’s Student Concierge Services will help you find all the services and resources you need. 

Undergraduate Tuition: $13,320

Graduate Tuition: $15,912

Best Online Colleges in California #16

University of California – Los Angeles

Los Angeles, California

The University of California, Los Angeles, is a public land-grant research university and one of the most famous colleges in the world. UCLA is best known for attracting filmmakers due to its proximity to Hollywood. But it’s also considered an exceptional school across all fields of study. 

Around 46,000 students attend UCLA, which offers over 300 degree programs. In fact, in early 2023, the UC system banned awarding fully online degrees. Students can still take courses online. However, they must spend at least one year of any four-year degree program on-campus at least 50 percent of the time. So essentially, online degree programs at UCLA are hybrid. 

As previously mentioned, there is one exception. It’s the Samueli School of Engineering MS in Engineering Online Program. U.S. News & World Report has ranked it the #1 graduate engineering online program in the nation several times. The online program features 17 specialized areas of study. 

Students can still take courses and participate in many online programs through UCLA Extension. The Extension offers dozens of certificate programs across a range of fields. These online programs are designed to provide in-depth study in a professional area. They can help you advance in your career, switch careers, or learn something new. Moreover, certificate students enjoy exclusive UCLA benefits. These include networking events, career resources, and more. They even get access to the UCLA Alumni Association. A few of the certificate programs include:

  • Accounting Fundamentals
  • Business and Management of Entertainment
  • College Counseling
  • Cybersecurity
  • Data Science
  • Digital Marketing
  • Feature Film Writing
  • Finance
  • Human Resources Management
  • Marketing with a Concentration in Digital Marketing
  • Personal Financial Planning
  • Producing
  • Project Management
  • Sustainability
  • User Experience

Undergraduate Tuition: $13,401

Graduate Tuition: $11,700

Best Online Colleges in California #17

Touro University Worldwide

Los Alamitos, California

Touro University Worldwide is a private, Jewish-sponsored, non-profit online college in Los Alamitos. It is part of the Touro University System. TUW has an impressive student-to-faculty ratio of 9:1. This ensures all online students receive individual attention from the dedicated faculty. All instructors are PhDs, professionals, and subject matter experts in their fields. 

TUW features online associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. They are 100 percent online and can be completed from anywhere. There are no residency requirements. The online programs are designed to prepare students to enter the workforce or advance their current careers. TUW online bachelor’s degrees include:

  • Psychology
  • Social Work
  • Business Administration and Management
  • Health Care Administration
  • Health Education
  • Long-Term Care Administration

TUW features 14 online master’s degrees. They include:

  • Counseling
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Industrial and Organizational Psychology
  • Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Psychology
  • Public Administration
  • Business Administration
  • Health Sciences – Health Education Concentration
  • Health Sciences – Public Health Concentration
  • Business Analytics
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Human Resource Management
  • Human Services

TUW online doctoral programs include:

  • DBA
  • Doctor of Health Science
  • Doctor of Management
  • Doctor of Psychology in Human and Organizational Psychology
  • Doctor of Psychology in Human and Organizational Psychology – Organizational Leadership
  • Doctorate of Physician Assistant
  • Doctorate of Marriage and Family Therapy

Associate degree students at TUW attend the School of General Studies. This online school is central to the school’s mission. It features general education courses to help students seamlessly integrate into TUW’s other programs. The online program is ideal for high school students interested in pursuing an associate degree online. 

As a private online college, Touro features very affordable in-state tuition. Plus, the school offers a range of generous scholarships. TUW is also military-friendly. Active-duty personnel, veterans, and their immediate families are eligible for tuition discounts. 

Undergraduate Tuition: $14,600

Graduate Tuition: $9,000

Best Online Colleges in California #18

University of California – Davis

Los Angeles, California

The University of California, Davis, is a public research university in Yolo County. Located in the city of Davis, it’s a unique and thriving academic community. The school has its own airport, vineyard, and farm. And UC Davis students are known as “Aggies,” a nod to the school’s agricultural heritage. Around 40,000 students attend the college. 

UC Davis offers more than 100 majors. However, like all schools in the UC system, fully online degrees are banned. Instead, students must complete at least 50% of one academic year on campus. Still, this means there is plenty of flexibility to craft your own hybrid degree program. 

But just because there are no fully remote degrees doesn’t mean there’s a lack of online education. The UC Davis School of Continuing and Professional Education features a wide range of online programs. For example, online students can choose from over 15 online certificates, including:

  • Accounting Principles Certificate Program
  • Accounting Specialist Certificate Program
  • Applied Sensory and Consumer Science Certificate Program
  • Cell and Gene Therapy Manufacturing Specialization
  • Coaching for Life and Work Certificate Program
  • Construction Management Certificate Program
  • Esports Management Certificate Program
  • Facilities Management Certificate Program
  • Human Resource Management Certificate Program
  • Land Use and Environmental Planning Certificate Program
  • Online Master Brewers Certificate Program
  • Paralegal Studies Certificate Program
  • Project Management Certificate Program
  • Public Health Certificate Program
  • Python for Data Science, Web, and Core Programming Professional Concentration
  • UC Davis Executive Leadership Program
  • Winemaking Certificate Program

Prospective students can even sign up for a free sample lesson before enrolling. This allows them to get a taste of what online learning at UC Davis is like. 

In addition to the certifications listed above, UC Davis partners with Coursera. Through this partnership, individuals can access dozens of self-paced specializations and courses. Some of these include:

  • Coaching Skills for Managers 
  • Computational Social Science 
  • Data Visualization with Tableau 
  • DevOps Culture and Mindset
  • Equine Welfare and Management
  • Fundraising and Development 
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS) 
  • Health Information Literacy for Data Analytics
  • Introduction to Web Development
  • Learn SQL Basics for Data Science 
  • Management of Multinational and Cross-Cultural Teams 
  • Market Research 
  • Materials Science: 10 Things Every Engineer Should Know 
  • Professional Skills for the Workplace 
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) 
  • The Strategy of Content Marketing 

Undergraduate Tuition: $14,858

Graduate Tuition: $11,700

Best Online Colleges in California #19

Antioch University

Los Angeles, California

Antioch University is a private non-profit Christian college in LA. The school is known for its commitment to diversity, inclusion, and social justice. The college is a pioneer of experiential learning and was the first in the nation to establish a co-op program. Antioch strongly encourages students to engage in service learning projects. AULA is a small, tight-knit community of under 1,000 students. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

This liberal arts college offers on-campus, low-residency, and online programs. The average class size is eight students. And it has the lowest student-to-faculty ratio on our list at 3:1. The online bachelor’s degree programs at Antioch include:

  • Applied Studies
  • Applied Technology & Business Leadership
  • Environmental Studies, Sustainability, and Sciences
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Human Development
  • Human Services Administration
  • Liberal Studies (Online)
  • Liberal Studies, Individualized Studies
  • Liberal Studies, Leadership for Service and Change
  • Liberal Studies, Literature, and Creative Writing
  • Management

The online master’s programs at Antioch are quite popular, especially the MBA program. It features six distinct specializations. They include:

  • Self‑Designed MBA
  • General MBA
  • MBA in Healthcare Leadership
  • MBA in Leadership and Teams
  • MBA in Nonprofit Leadership
  • MBA in Sustainable Business

Students can also earn a master’s in Human Services Administration, Humanities, and Nonprofit Management. Additionally, there are three low-residency doctoral programs.

Online students at Antioch enjoy a dedicated faculty and many resources and tools. Some of the support services include:

  • Online Math and Writing Tutoring
  • Tech Help
  • Disability Support Services
  • Military Veterans and Military-Connected Services
  • Financial Aid Counseling
  • Online Library
  • Career Counseling and Employment Services
  • Alumni Mentor and Networking

Antioch has a generous transfer policy. Students can transfer up to 75 credits toward their undergraduate degree. Military students can transfer 100% of credits earned in the service. The school offers financial aid, scholarships, and other funding opportunities. And around 55% of Antioch students receive some type of financial assistance. 

Undergraduate Tuition: $16,050

Graduate Tuition: $20,976

Best Online Colleges in California #20

Loma Linda University

Loma Linda, California

Loma Linda University is a private non-profit college for students interested in health careers. It is affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist church. However, the student body is diverse and includes people of all faiths. LLU serves around 4,300 students through five distinct schools. The college offers over 100 programs across a range of health-related fields. And several of these can be completed online. The online bachelor’s programs at the college include:

  • Health Information Management
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Nursing (RN to BS Curriculum)
  • Nursing (RN to BS/MSJC Concurrent)
  • Radiation Sciences
  • Respiratory Care (Post-Prof BS in Resp Care)

Loma Linda also offers a vast range of online graduate programs in healthcare fields. A few of these include:

  • Epidemiology
  • Health Education and Wellness Coaching
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Professions Education
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Marital & Family Therapy 
  • Nursing (Acute Care Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner), DNP 
  • Nursing (Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner), DNP
  • School of Nursing
  • Nursing (BS to PhD)
  • Nursing (Clinical Nurse Specialist: Adult-Gerontology), DNP 
  • Nursing (Family Nurse Practitioner), DNP 
  • School of Nursing
  • Nursing (MS to DNP), DNP 
  • Nursing (MS to PhD), PhD 
  • Nursing (Neonatal Nurse Practitioner), DNP 
  • Occupational Therapy Orthotics and Prosthetics 
  • School of Allied Health Professions
  • Plant-Based Nutrition
  • Population Medicine
  • Social Work
  • Speech-Language Pathology

Students can also pursue the following certifications online at LLU:

  • Advanced Speech-Language Pathology 
  • Coding Specialist
  • Computed Tomography
  • Drug & Alcohol Counseling Certificate 
  • Health Geoinformatics
  • Health Information Management
  • Health Professions Education
  • Play Therapy Certificate 

Online students at Loma Linda University enjoy robust support services and resources. The school aims to help students thrive academically, personally, and spiritually. For example, students can access free counseling or request spiritual care. 

Undergraduate Tuition: $33,552

Graduate Tuition: $28,000

Best Online Colleges in California #21

Fresno Pacific University

Fresno, California

Fresno Pacific University is a private Christian College in the San Joaquin Valley. It is associated with the Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches. However, the college has a welcoming and diverse student body. And students of all backgrounds are welcome. Around 3,500 students attend the campus. Courses are taught by instructors who are experts in their fields. And over two-thirds of the faculty holds a doctoral degree. Additionally, FPU has an impressive student-to-faculty ratio of 11:1.

Fresno Pacific offers over 100 areas of study. And many of the school’s programs can be completed online, making it one of the top online schools in California. Courses are taught in six and eight-week intervals. And they are delivered through an easy-to-use and collaborative online learning system. The undergraduate degrees are online bachelor’s degree completion programs. They include:

  • Business Management
  • Emergency Management
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Healthcare Administration, Informatics, and Technology
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Project Management
  • Criminology
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Psychology
  • Social Welfare

There are 14 online graduate degree programs at FPU. A few of these include:

  • Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Individualized Master of Arts Program
  • Kinesiology: Physical Education Emphasis
  • Mathematics Education
  • Master of Arts in Teaching
  • School Counseling
  • School Library and Information Technology
  • School Psychology
  • Special Education
  • Sport Administration
  • Strategic and Organizational Leadership

The school also offers two online seminary programs. The first is an MA in Ministry, Leadership, and Culture. The second is a certificate in Mennonite Brethren Studies.

Fresno Pacific is one of the more expensive online California colleges in our ranking. Yet, over 98 percent of FPU students receive financial assistance of some type. These include loans, grants, scholarships, and more. 

Undergraduate Tuition: $34,188

Graduate Tuition: $15,369

Best Online Colleges in California #22

Jessup University

Rocklin, California

Jessup University is a four-year private college about 22 miles from Sacramento. Founded during the great depression, the school serves around 1,600 students. The college features fully online degree programs taught from a Christian perspective. Online bachelor’s degrees include:

  • Psychology
  • Leadership
  • Business
  • Computer Science
  • Criminal Justice

Additionally, there are four online master’s degrees available at Jessup:

  • Education
  • Leadership
  • Kinesiology
  • MBA

Students also have the option of pursuing three graduate certificates. They include:

  • Executive Coaching
  • Leadership
  • Ministry

The school uses Moodle as its online learning management platform. This is where students will access their assignments and complete their studies. 24-hour technical support is available. There are deadlines for assignments, and students are expected to attend classes at least four days a week. However, you can complete your coursework whenever it is convenient.

Students can transfer up to 90 credits for bachelor’s programs. And they can transfer up to 25 percent of the total program credits for a master’s degree. There is no application fee at Jessup. And financial aid and payment plans are available. High school seniors or transfer students may apply for the Cal Grant. And military members and veterans qualify for discounts. 

Undergraduate Tuition: $37,150

Graduate Tuition: $14,196

Best Online Colleges in California #23

Simpson University

Redding, California

Simpson University is a private, Christian liberal arts college in Redding. It is a small school with less than 1,000 students. And it is known for promoting stewardship and service to God, humanity, and the environment. It boasts a student-to-faculty ratio of 13:1. So students can be assured of receiving personalized attention from their instructors. 

The school features 24 liberal arts and professional studies degrees. Through a partnership with Acadeum, students can complete many of their courses online. Three of the programs at Simpson are offered 100 percent online. These include:

  • Associate of Arts in General Studies
  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
  • Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration 

Students can also complete an online Preliminary Administrative Services Credential (PASC). This program prepares candidates for leadership roles in public and private schools. 

Simson offers a variety of tools and resources for students, including:

  • Career Services
  • Counseling Center
  • Student Success Center
  • Veterans Services
  • Leadership Opportunities
  • Academic Success Center

Undergraduate Tuition: $37,480

Graduate Tuition: $11,160

Best Online Colleges in California #24

California Baptist University

Riverside, California

California Baptist University is a private, non-profit college in Riverside. The school has a student population of around 11,400. And it is known as one of the top Christian colleges in California. CBU has gained high marks in US News & World Report. In fact, it was recently ranked as the second most innovative university in the West by the publication.

CBU Online offers more than 40 online degree programs. They include bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs. The online degrees can be completed full or part-time. And they are designed with working professionals in mind. Courses are conducted through the Blackboard online learning application. This platform is where students work on their assignments and interact with instructors. They can participate in discussion groups, video conferencing, and more. Some of the online bachelor’s degrees include:

  • Accounting
  • Christian Ministries
  • Computer Information Technology
  • Cybersecurity
  • Graphic Design and Digital Media
  • Healthcare Administration and Management
  • Human Services
  • Kinesiology
  • Marketing
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Psychology
  • Public Administration
  • Public Health
  • Sport and Performance Psychology
  • Strategic Communication

Students can also earn a graduate degree online at CBU. Some of the master’s degree programs include:

  • Counseling Psychology
  • Education – Curriculum and Instruction
  • Education – Leadership
  • Education – Special Education
  • Education – Transitional Kindergarten
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Information Technology Management
  • Kinesiology
  • MBA – Accounting
  • MBA – Management
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Public Health
  • Strategic Communication

There are four online doctorates at California Baptist University. They are unique in that there are no residency requirements. The doctoral programs include:

  • DBA
  • Educational Leadership and Administration
  • Organizational Change and Administration
  • Public Administration

The school is transfer-friendly and features a Fast Track to Success Program. This program allows eligible community college students to save time and money. Courses are taught by the same esteemed faculty members that teach on campus. And students earn the same degree. 

Courses are accelerated and start every eight weeks. So prospective students can get started right away. All students have a One-Stop Student Service Advisor. Their advisor will help them navigate through their degree program. And they are there to support students in achieving their academic goals. Other resources include:

  • Academic Success Center 
  • 24/7 online tutoring support
  • Online Career Services
  • Financial Aid, Scholarship Opportunities, and Flexible Payment Plans

Undergraduate Tuition: $38,058

Graduate Tuition: $13,680

Best Online Colleges in California #25

Azusa Pacific University

Azusa, California

Azusa Pacific University is a private evangelical Christian College in Azusa. It was first founded in 1899. The university is known for being a leader in Christian Higher Education. And it boasts a student body of over 8,000. APU is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission. The college offers over 150 degree options, from bachelor’s degrees to doctorate programs. And many of those can be completed entirely online, making it one of the best online accredited schools on our list.

Courses are delivered via Canvas, the school’s online learning management system. Most classes are offered in an asynchronous format. So you can access your coursework 24/7 from wherever you are. There are exams and due dates for assignments. However, the flexible structure means you can create a schedule that works for your busy lifestyle. Most of the online programs at Azusa have no residency requirements. However, please note that a few of the graduate degrees may have some on-campus components. You will want to check the details for each program if you do not live in the area. APU’s online bachelor’s degrees include:

  • Business Administration (Bachelor’s Completion)
  • Criminal Justice (Bachelor’s Completion)
  • Psychology (Bachelor’s Completion)
  • RN to BSN

APU also offers several online master’s degree programs. A few of these include:

  • Art Education
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Leadership
  • Visual Art
  • Nursing Education
  • Business Management 
  • Public Administration
  • Modern and Contemporary Art History
  • Public Health
  • Music Industry
  • Organizational Psychology
  • Physical Education
  • Strategic Communication
  • Screenwriting
  • User Experience Design

Students at APU can also earn a doctoral degree online, including:

  • BSN to DNP
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • Higher Education Leadership
  • Higher Education
  • Nursing
  • Rehabilitation and Movement Science

APU students benefit from a robust online support system. The school aims to address each individual’s academic needs and spiritual development. There are frequent virtual informational meetings for prospective students. These meetings are conducted via Zoom. And they are highly recommended for students considering an online degree program at APU. Online students have access to all the support services they need to succeed. A few of these include:

  • 24/7 Technical Support
  • Canvas Help
  • Library Resources
  • Academic Success Center
  • Writing and Speaking Center

Undergraduate Tuition: $42,330

Graduate Tuition: $17,661

Best Online Colleges in California #26

Mount Saint Mary’s University

Los Angeles, California

Mount Saint Mary’s University is a private Roman Catholic college in Los Angeles. Women make up 90 percent of the student body at MSMU. It is the only women’s university in LA. Yet it is known as one of the most diverse in the nation. The school features innovative science and health programs. And it is nationally renowned for its research on gender equity. The college also has a solid commitment to community service. And its Mascot is Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom.

“The Mount” has been ranked by U.S. News & World Report as #1 in Student Social Mobility. And Money Magazine ranked it as the third Most Transformative College in the nation. It features a student-teacher ratio of 13:1. The school has relatively high costs, even for students paying in-state tuition. However, the average student at The Mount receives $30,510 in student aid. And 100% of students receive some type of financial support.

The school features over 40 degree programs. And several of them can be completed entirely online. The online degree programs include:

  • BA in Liberal Arts
  • BS in Business Administration
  • BS in Sociology
  • MA in Humanities
  • MFA in Creative Writing

Additionally, MSMU offers several online certificates at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Some of these include:

  • Bioethics
  • Data Analytics
  • Digital Marketing
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Human Resource Management
  • Latin American and Latinx Creative Studies
  • Writing for Media

The resources available to Mount Mary Students are excellent. The school is committed to ensuring students thrive academically, physically, and mentally. Some of the services available include:

  • Peer Wellness Advocates
  • Resilience Coaching
  • Fresh Produce Pickups
  • Nutrition Counseling
  • Community Building Programs
  • Career and Professional Development
  • Internships
  • Technical Support
  • Scholarships

Undergraduate Tuition: $46,740

Graduate Tuition: $13,296

Best Online Colleges in California #27

California Lutheran University

Thousand Oaks, California

California Lutheran University is a private, non-profit college in Thousand Oaks. It was initially affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. However, today it is considered nonsectarian. CLU is formally recognized as a Hispanic-Serving Institution. Fifty-nine countries are represented at the university. And it features over 100 student clubs and organizations. 

Cal Lutheran features over 40 undergraduate majors and over 30 graduate programs. Most programs are designed for on-campus students. However, the school’s MBA program can be completed entirely online, on-campus, or in a hybrid format. This ACBSP-accredited MBA can be customized with one of six emphasis areas. They include:

  • Enterprise Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Finance
  • Human Capital Management
  • Information Technology
  • International Business
  • Marketing

Students can complete the degree in as little as 12 -24 months, depending on their course load. There are 15 courses in all. All students complete a Capstone by applying their knowledge to a consulting project. Internships and Study-Abroad opportunities are available. Scholarships and Veterans Benefits are also available. 

Cal Lutheran features a range of services to help students succeed. Online students can take advantage of resources that include:

  • Tutoring
  • Events and Workshops
  • Career Services
  • Pearson Library
  • Academic Advising
  • Course Planning

Undergraduate Tuition: $48,012

Graduate Tuition: $20,450

Best Online Colleges in California #28

University of the Pacific 

Stockton, California

University of the Pacific is a private Methodist-affiliated university in Stockton. This non-profit college serves around 6,000 students and has been in operation since 1851. The University of the Pacific prides itself on being California’s “first” university. Additionally, it was the first co-ed campus in the state. The school offers small class sizes and personalized learning. And it boasts a student-to-faculty ratio of 13:1. 

UOP offers undergraduate, graduate, and dual-degree programs. There are no online bachelor’s programs. However, the school does offer eight online graduate degrees. Most of the online programs have brief on-campus residencies. Some are required, while others are optional. The online degree programs include:

  • MBA
  • Master of Science in Cybersecurity
  • Master of Science in Law, Business Law
  • Master of Science in Computer Science
  • Doctor of Medical Science / Doctor of Health Sciences
  • Master of Arts in Education (Health Professions Education)
  • Master of Arts in Education (Teaching) + Credential
  • Master of Arts in Education (Learning, Innovation & Design)

UOP’s Bernard College also offers online opportunities for learning. They include professional development, continuing education, and extension courses. Additionally, students can pursue several online certificate programs in the following areas:

  • Law
  • Technology
  • Health Services
  • Business
  • Education
  • Communication

Finally, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute features high-quality educational programs for adults 50 or older. These programs are designed to foster a sense of community and intellectual exploration. They include online and on-campus courses, shared interest groups, and adventures. 

Undergraduate Tuition: $53,682

Graduate Tuition: $51,382

Best Online Colleges in California #29

Stanford University

Stanford, California 

Stanford University is a prestigious public research university in Stanford, California. The campus sits on over 8,000 acres and is among the largest in the country. Stanford has a student population of around 17,000. 

There are 77 undergraduate fields of study at Stanford. However, the university does not offer fully online bachelor’s degree programs. But the school does feature nine online master of science degrees through Stanford Online. They are focused on engineering and include:

  • Aeronautics and Astronautics 
  • Biomedical Informatics 
  • Chemical Engineering 
  • Computational and Mathematical Engineering 
  • Computer Science 
  • Electrical Engineering 
  • Management Science and Engineering
  • Materials Science and Engineering 
  • Mechanical Engineering 

Stanford Online also offers many graduate certificates and professional programs. These can help you enhance your resume and advance your career. A few options include:

  • Artificial Intelligence Graduate Certificate
  • Chemical Engineering Graduate Certificate
  • Civil and Environmental Engineering Graduate Certificate
  • Cybersecurity Graduate Certificate
  • Data Mining and Applications Graduate Certificate
  • Data, Models, and Optimization Graduate Certificate
  • Databases Graduate Certificate
  • Decision Analysis Graduate Certificate
  • Electrical Engineering Graduate Certificate
  • Electronic Circuits Graduate Certificate
  • Entrepreneurial Leadership Graduate Certificate
  • Epidemiology and Clinical Research Graduate Certificate
  • Financial Analytics Graduate Certificate
  • Human-Computer Interaction Graduate Certificate
  • International Security Graduate Certificate
  • Internet of Things Graduate Certificate

Finally, Stanford offers free online courses to the general public. These are non-credit-bearing courses designed for personal enrichment. And they are a great way to learn a new skill from leading industry experts at no cost. Some of the course offerings include:

  • Computer Science 101
  • Digital Communication
  • Digital Signal Processing
  • Health Across the Gender Spectrum
  • Machine Learning Specialization
  • Mining Massive Data Sets
  • Principles of Economics
  • Quantum Mechanics for Scientists and Engineers
  • Reservoir Geomechanics
  • Statistical Learning

Undergraduate Tuition: $58,416

Graduate Tuition: $56,487

Best Online Colleges in California #30

Pepperdine University

Malibu, California

Pepperdine University is a private Christian research university in Malibu. It is situated on a gorgeous 830-acre campus overlooking the Pacific Ocean. And it has been ranked among the Top National Universities by U.S. News and World Report. It has also been recognized as a Green College due to its strong commitment to sustainability. The school features an impressive student-to-faculty ratio of 13:1. Pepperdine has a student population of over 10,000. Pepperdine is thought to be one of the top private colleges in California.

The school offers 87 degree programs through five separate undergraduate and graduate schools. Plus, it features a wide range of online certificates, bootcamps, and degree programs. While there are no online undergraduate programs, Pepperdine does offer 14 online master’s degrees. They include:

  • Business Administration (MBA)
  • Business Analytics
  • Human Resources
  • Management and Leadership
  • Leadership in Higher Education
  • Learning Design and Technology
  • Leadership in Pre-K to 12 Education
  • Organizational Leadership and Learning
  • Master of Legal Studies
  • Master of Dispute Resolution
  • Master of Laws in Dispute Resolution
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychology
  • Applied Behavior Analysis

The school also offers several online certificates. These can help students to deepen their skills and advance their professional careers:

  • Advanced Public Engagement for Local Government
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Financial Planning
  • Healthcare Analytics
  • Healthcare Marketing
  • Leadership Essentials for Managers
  • Leading Smart Communities
  • Mini MBA
  • Private Capital Markets

For those who are unsure about their career path, Pepperdine offers four unique Boot Camps. These online programs allow prospective students to test out an area of interest before committing to a degree program. The Boot Camps are offered through the Graziadio Business School and  include:

  • Cybersecurity
  • Data Science & Analytics
  • Software Development
  • UI/UX Design

Pepperdine is our list’s most costly online college, with an average undergraduate cost of over $60,000 per academic year. However, students can apply for a wide variety of financial assistance programs. These include federal financial aid, grants, loans, and scholarships. 

Undergraduate Tuition: $63,142

Graduate Tuition: $39,100

This concludes our ranking of the top online California schools.