National Accreditation Overview
When looking for an online school, students should always ensure that a program has been accredited. Accreditation serves as proof that a school meets education standards and is an excellent means of distinguishing legitimate online programs from disingenuous degree mills. The main accrediting organization for online schools is the Distance Education Accrediting Commission, or DEAC, a private non-profit organization in operation since 1926. Regional accreditation is also available from a number of smaller, localized organizations.
10 Accredited Online Schools
Schools that prove themselves to be up to DEAC standards are rewarded with national accreditation. The following list contains the top 10 schools that have earned such recognition.
California Intercontinental University
California Intercontinental University allows students to study several academic fields at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Associate's and bachelor's degree options at this private, for-profit school include management, engineering, information technology and business administration, while master's and doctoral degrees focus solely on business administration.
Catholic Distance University
Offering a faith-based education through distance education, Catholic Distance University is a non-profit school in West Virginia that features several degree programs at the associate's, bachelor's and master's degree levels, with majors including theology and catholic studies. A trio of graduate certificates are available as well, with students able to choose from sacred scripture, church history and catholic education majors.
American Sentinel University
With a focus on healthcare management and nursing, American Sentinel University is a private, for-profit institution in Aurora, Colorado, which offers six bachelor's and master's degree programs that can be completed online, along with an online certificate program. The school also features an online doctoral degree program that requires a four-day residency period.
Located in Denver, Colorado, Aspen University offers degrees at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. From associate's all the way to doctorate's. Students at this private, for-profit school can choose to major in business administration, early childhood education, information technology or nursing.
City Vision University
City Vision University is a Kansas City based private, not-for-profit school that offers five undergraduate degree programs. An Associate of Science in Business Administration and four 120 credit hour bachelor degree programs in mission business administration, nonprofit management and addiction studies. Graduate students can enroll in the school's Master's Degree in Technology and Ministry Program.
Columbia Southern University
Located in Orange Beach, Alabama, Columbia Southern University offers a broad range of online programs. Students can choose from both undergraduate and graduate programs in homeland security, health care administration, criminal justice and more. Post-graduate students at this for-profit institution can also pursue a doctoral degree in business administration.
Grantham University offers certificates, associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees through the private, for-profit schools for colleges. Students at this Lenexa, Kansas based school can major in a number of fields including engineering, management, technology and cyber security.
Aspiring artists should consider Sessions College, a private, for-profit school in Tempe, Arizona. The school offers several degrees and certificate programs in a number of design specializations, such as graphic design, digital media and web design.
Located Kalona, Iowa, this private non-for-profit university offers students a faith-based education through its numerous degree programs. Shiloh University features degrees ranging from associate's up to doctorate's in religious topics such as New Testament studies, divinity and theological studies.
William Howard Taft University
William Howard Taft University is a private for-profit school in Denver, Colorado focusing primarily on business and education, with several programs in these fields. Degree offerings include educational administration, marketing, business administration and educational technology and leadership.
Nationally accredited schools have received recognition for the quality of their programs by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission, or DEAC.