Accredited online colleges in California make it easier than ever to get a college degree.  California’s online colleges offer programs in business, health, and education.  Students who study online gain the knowledge and skills to pursue a variety of professions.  This page lists the best online colleges in California.

Why study in California?

  California is home to a variety of popular schools, as well as several lesser-known options that offer quality programming.  California employees are strong and competitive, which means that students need to stand out by gaining additional skills and abilities.

  Choosing the best school and program is very important in this regard, but the sheer number of opportunities available can complicate decisions.  Our guide to California’s top online colleges is designed to help prospective students evaluate their options and choose the program that best suits their needs.

How is the schooling system in California?

  California’s college and university system is larger than any other state in the United States.  California has about 3 million students.  Tens of thousands of them are registered exclusively online.  More than 1,800 courses are offered online by California colleges, many of which are offered at the schools on our list.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this figure continues to grow.

  Many of the schools on our list of top accredited online colleges in California are also considered to be some of the best colleges in the United States, so be sure to get a first-class online education from them.  When choosing an online college in California, first find a university that offers courses here to make sure their online programs are accredited.  Making sure they are there ensures that employers recognize the degree you receive.

How many colleges and universities are in California?

  California has more colleges and universities than any other state in USA.  According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), in the 2015-16 academic years, 448 state schools accounted for nearly 10% of all higher education institutions in the United States that award a degree.  NCES divides higher education institutions into three categories: public, non-profit and commercial.  California has an even distribution of these three, including 150 public schools, 148 nonprofits, and 150 commercial universities.  In 2016, these institutions enrolled 2.7 million students, which is the highest enrollment rate among all states in the country, according to NCES.

What is the average cost of studying in California?

  Tuition and fees at California’s four-year public schools are comparable to most other public school systems.  During the 2017-18 academic years, California students paid $ 9,680 for tuition and fees, while students from other states paid $ 32,590, according to the College Board.  That same year, state students at the University of California’s flagship institution, the University of California, Berkeley, paid $ 13,928 for tuition and fees, while students from other states paid $ 41,942.

Can you get a job quickly for studying in California?

  After earning a degree from an online college in California, students can apply for many different vacancies.  California is a large and populous state and a major provider of jobs: in May 2017, it had nearly 16.7 million employees, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).  In May 2018, the unemployment rate in the state was 4.2%, which is slightly higher than the national average of 3.8%.  Vacancies in California are also well paid, the average annual salary in California reached 57,190 dollars.  USA in May 2017.

California graduates job rate

  Graduates starting a career in personal care and services may have the best chance of finding a job in California.  According to the BLS and the California Department of Employment, the number of employees in the industry increased by 47% from May 2011 to May 2016, the highest employment growth in the state since.  Personal care assistants were the fastest growing profession in the field of personal care and services.  California’s construction and mining industry grew in second place during this period (31%), and carpentry was the fastest growing job in the industry.

  Accredited online colleges in California in 2022

·         California State University-Chico

  Founded in 1887 and the second oldest campus in the University of California, Chico now hosts more than 17,000 students a year.  The University’s Distance and Online Education Department offers more than 10 bachelor’s, master’s and degree programs, from religious studies to nursing.  He also provides a blended online bachelor’s degree in social work with distributed education and a certificate in career and planning.

  Requirements for admission to the bachelor’s degree include an associate’s degree or 60 credits that can be transferred with a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher.  To obtain a master’s degree in nursing, candidates need a bachelor’s degree in nursing, a current license in nursing in California, and a minimum grade point average of 3.0.


·         University of California – San Diego

  Among the most complete online colleges in California, the school currently offers more than 4,700 additional courses, many of which students complete online.  Extension students can also obtain a variety of certificates in a hybrid or fully online format.  Students interested in technology can take online certificates and individual courses in areas such as data mining, web design, JAVA programming and business intelligence analytics.

  In addition, students interested in health care can choose a certificate in nutrition, medical informatics or medical communication.  Business students can obtain certifications online in areas such as management, marketing and accounting.  Distance students can also choose programs and courses from several other disciplines, such as data analysis, mathematics, stability, writing, and law.


·         Brandman University

  Almost every program offered by Brandman University on its campuses is also available as an online diploma.  The college, whose online bachelor programs were top in the U.S. news rankings from 2012 to 2016, is developing its online courses for adult learners.  Nurses’ online programs include RN to BSN and BSN to DNP in three majors.  Teachers can earn master’s degrees in areas such as consulting, education administration and learning technology.  Teachers can also obtain permits such as special education or English language studies.  Business students can earn a bachelor’s degree in more than a dozen fields or an MBA in nine majors.  Brandman also provides a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and legal research and that is why it has made our list of top accredited online colleges in California.


·         University of Southern California

  More than 80 programs in 13 fields of study are available online at the University of Southern California.  The Master of Science (MS) in Geriatric Dentistry is a blended program that requires residents to attend a summer session face-to-face to complete the assessment process and receive practical training.

 Students pursuing a master’s degree in computer science can choose from the following areas of specialization: computer security, data science, multimedia and creative technologies, scientists and engineers, and software development.  USC students online are eligible for the same financial aid programs as on-campus students, such as Provost’s Graduate Fellowship, assistantships, and various USC scholarships, mainly for low-income, underrepresented, and minority representatives.


·         Loma Linda University

Loma Linda University (LLU) offers more than 25 online certification, graduate, and bachelor’s programs in several academic fields, including health administration, nutrition, respiratory care, nursing, health care, and therapy.  Courses are conducted through the online learning platform Blackboard.  LLU hosts its own specialized web portal that provides students with remote access to student web emails, grades, transcripts and other materials. 

This Seventh-day Adventist institution bases its educational model on Christian values, so programs include biblical elements and students are encouraged to view church services online.  LLU has hired a working group to assess the school’s future digital needs and make sure their programs meet expectations; significant adjustments are expected to be made after the six-month evaluation.


·         California State University- East Bay

  The California State University, East Bay (CSU East Bay) offers more than a dozen online programs for graduate and bachelor’s degrees in several academic disciplines, including business administration, education, women’s studies, health care, hospitality and human development.  Their online Bachelor of Business Administration is available in several areas, including finance, operations and supply chain management.

  Courses are conducted through the online learning platform Blackboard.  Student support resources include career counseling, financial planning, and technical support.  Prospective students can take an online readiness assessment to determine if distance learning is right for them.  Students also have access to the Learning Commons campus, an 83-desk study at Library Lower Mall, and five assistive technology workstations.


·         Azusa Pacific University

  Azusa Pacific University was founded as an evangelical school in 1899.  The school has seven physical campuses throughout Southern California.  The online affiliate was launched in 2010 in response to the growing number of students who want to continue their education but cannot attend a traditional physics college.   Azusa Pacific University has a wide range of degree programs.  It offers two online bachelor’s degrees: business administration and Rn to BSN.

 Most online offers are for those seeking a master’s degree, including business management, art education, health management and leadership, educational technology, and more.  There is also an online doctor of nursing practice.  Azusa provides each student with an online success coach as well as access to a number of other resources.  Students have access to an extensive library service on the Internet, as well as 24-hour access to online tutoring, help desk and professional advice.


·         Rio Hondo College

  As one of California’s 72 community colleges, Rio Hondo participates in the Online Education Initiative (OEI) exchange.  The purpose of the system is to enable students to receive the necessary courses when they need them.  But students should not rely too much on OEI courses.  This is because Rio Hondo hosts almost 200 online classes each semester. 

Popular diplomas for junior professionals are fire technology and business administration, and applicants can find courses in these areas online.  Since many Rio Hondo students are sent to university, there are also many general education courses.  For example, in each term you will find sections on mathematics, Spanish and philosophy.


·         Hope International University

  Hope International University offers online degrees from association to master’s degree.  Students work with an academic coach to help them choose a schedule that fits their academic goals, answers questions, and otherwise helps guide them to success.  The online arts assistant allows students to cover basic classes before enrolling in any of the online bachelor’s programs. 

Online bachelor’s degree programs lead to degrees in business administration, Christian ministry, and human development.  The college also has an online Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies: Teacher Training program that students can take before enrolling in a master’s program that will lead to teacher licensing in California.



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