Online colleges in Iowa make sense for those adult learners looking to earn a degree at a school that they know and trust. Iowa has long enjoyed a tradition of both excellence and progressiveness in its postsecondary sector. The state prides itself on its mix of large public universities and smaller private schools.
Four reasons to find an online college in your state:
- Guaranteed in-state tuition saves you money
- Be a part of a university or college you know and love
- Get a degree from a school employers know and trust
- Be close enough to easily visit when desired
Ranking guidelines for the best online colleges in Iowa:
We selected the online colleges and universities here based on the quality of their programs, types of courses and degrees offered, faculty strengths, as well as school awards, rankings, and reputation, including a strong reputation for online degree programs.
Note: In ranking the best online colleges in Iowa, giving attention to the variety of degree programs available at the institutions is of utmost importance. For this reason, a more prestigious school in Iowa may offer one, or a few online degrees, but that may not be enough for that school rank highly among the best online colleges in the state. In this ranking, we are dedicated to showing who’s leading the way in delivering quality online degree programs in Iowa.
- See who ranks as the best college and university in Iowa today.
- Upper Iowa University ranks among The 50 Best Online Colleges.
The Best Online Colleges in Iowa
Upper Iowa University, founded in 1854 by pioneer Elizabeth Alexander, is a private university. The university has over 5,500 students in attendance, 4 academic colleges and over 40 degree programs. The university also has campuses across America, as well as in Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Canada.
Upper Iowa University offers a variety of associate’s, baccalaureate, master and certificate programs fully online, self-paced or via email correspondence. Associate’s degrees include liberal arts and criminal justice. Bachelor’s degree options include sociology and information technology. Master’s degree offerings include education and public administration. Certifications include marketing and organizational development.
Online student resources include disability services, online tutoring, writing assistance, access to helpful learning software and an online library with access to a plethora of online databases.
Upper Iowa University is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Iowa State University is a land-grant and space-grant university founded in 1858. The university offers over 290 degree programs spanning 8 academic colleges and teaches over 35,000 students. Some of the university’s notable distinctions include participation in the Manhattan Project and as the birthplace of the first electronic digital computer.
Iowa State University offers a variety of baccalaureate, master’s, doctoral and certificate programs completely online. Online bachelor’s degrees include liberal studies. Online master’s degree options include aerospace engineering and plant breeding. Doctoral degree offerings available online include hospitality management. Online certifications include food safety and occupational safety. Iowa State University is involved with the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (GPIDEA).
Resources for online students include technical support, veterans’ services, an online job board, online tutoring, an online writing center, disability resources, an online library and much more.
Iowa State University is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
(Iowa City, IA)
Established less than two months after Iowa joined the United States as a state in 1847, the University of Iowa is the state’s oldest university. The university established the first law school west of the Mississippi River. The space-grant university has over 20,000 students in attendance and over 200 degree programs spanning 11 academic colleges.
The University of Iowa offers a number of online baccalaureate, master’s and certificate programs entirely online. Bachelor’s degree options include social work and nursing. Master’s degree offerings include educational leadership and the arts. Certifications include public health and online teaching.
Online student resources include technical support, veterans’ services, career services, disability services, counseling, tutoring in math and writing and access to three online libraries: a general library, a health sciences library and a business library, all of which include live chat services.
The University of Iowa is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
(Cedar Falls, IA)
The University of Northern Iowa, founded in 1876 as a teacher training institution, offers more than 90 programs of study to its 11,000 students, across 7 academic colleges. The university provides studying abroad opportunities at the graduate level, with over 80 countries and 1,000 programs available.
The University of Northern Iowa offers several baccalaureate, master’s and certificate programs entirely online. Bachelor’s degree options include liberal studies and technology management. Master’s degree offerings include several topics in education, including TESOL and early childhood education. Certifications include instructional coaching and educational leadership.
There are many online student resources available, including technical support, program advising, disability services, career services and an online library with access to the Chronicle of Higher Education’s online edition.
The University of Northern Iowa is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
(Storm Lake, IA)
Buena Vista University, a Presbyterian institution established in 1891, offers students over 40 degree programs across 5 academic colleges. The university hosts an annual lecture series on American freedoms which has included guest speakers such as Jehan Sadat, Walter Cronkite, Carl Sagan and a host of former world leaders.
Buena Vista University has a number of baccalaureate and master’s degrees available online. Online bachelor’s degree options include criminology and human services, while online master’s degree offerings include multiple topics in education.
Online student resources include career services, internship services, online tutoring, technical support and an online library with librarians available via live chat, text message or over the phone.
Buena Vista University is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC).