Online Colleges And Universities In Arizona (2023)

Nearly 320,000 students are enrolled in Arizona private colleges, and close to 355,000 are enrolled in public and state schools in Arizona. With more than 100 colleges and universities to choose from across the state, aspiring students should do their homework when it comes to trying to find the right college fit. Discover more about Arizona's colleges and online university options, find out the answers to students' frequently asked questions, and explore how higher education can prepare you to thrive in the workforce long term below.

How Can I Find Which Online Colleges Offer the Degree I'm Looking for in Arizona?

Home to some of the largest distance education institutions in the world, Arizona provides so many online college options that finding the right program may feel overwhelming. Prospective students can visit the Open Education Databaseand theAZ College & Career Guideto find annotated lists of the state's schools.

How Much More Do College Grads in Arizona Make?

Higher degrees typically correlate with increases in annual salaries for American workers. The following table features the median annual earnings in the U.S. by level of education.According to PayScale, the average salary in Arizona is $62,000 a year, higher than the national average. Arizonans' comparative wealth comes in part from an educated workforce that provides management and technical proficiency to the state's growing healthcare, software, manufacturing, and mining industries.

Estimated Salary According to Degree
Less Than a High School DiplomaHigh School DiplomaAssociate DegreeBachelor's DegreeMaster's DegreeDoctoral Degree

Source: Bureau Labor of Statistics is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Best Online Colleges in Arizona Top Rankings

Arizona hosts a variety of public and private institutions that offer opportunities for online undergraduate and graduate study. Arizona's average public tuition rate is $10,557 per year, but students can take advantage of many things to make their education more affordable.

This guide covers important information about minimizing the costs of earning a degree, including how to take advantage of financial aid opportunities, student resources, and in-state tuition rates.

4-Year Colleges

  1. Northern Arizona University


    Flagstaff, AZ



    Graduation Rate


    Northern Arizona University has 158 degree programs and is the only state university in Arizona whose professional education programs are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Education Preparation. Northern Arizona University's online degrees are referred to as Structured and Guided or Self-Paced Personalized Learning. Structured and guided programs allow students to choose from a range of start dates and choose their own course schedules. Self-paced personalized learning programs do not require a set schedule or classes, giving students the opportunity to complete requirements for their bachelor's degrees at their own pace. NAU offers online technical support, library resources and tutoring. NAU also offers blended degrees which are completed partially on-campus and partially online. For additional flexibility, hybrid courses allow students to complete most of the work online while occasionally attending certain lectures and discussions on campus.

    Students should check with their academic or major advisor in order to see what options they have for hybrid and blended courses. Undergraduate students must complete 120 credits, core requirements and requirements for their major with an overall grade point average of at least 2.0 to obtain a bachelor's degree. Majors and minors require additional credits and courses. Bachelor's degrees are usually completed in 4 years. Graduate degrees require a minimum of 30 credits. Different master's degrees have different requirements - as an example, some programs require a thesis with at least 18 units of formal coursework, while those not requiring a thesis may require at least 24 units of formal coursework. Students looking to transfer will be granted admission to NAU if they have attended community college and completed specific Arizona education curriculums and have a minimum 2.0 GPA, 12-23 transferable credits and a high school GPA of at least a 2.0.

    (Video) University of Arizona Online Review - Online Colleges and Universities

  2. Graduation Rate


    Arizona State University offers more than 110 undergraduate and graduate degrees entirely online and serves more than 20,000 distance learners. While ASU offers bachelor's and master's degrees online, doctoral courses must be attended on campus. ASU has been established as a "top-tier" hiring and recruiting institution by over 50 top corporations around the country. In order to obtain a bachelor's degree at ASU, students must complete about 120 credits hours, with a minimum of 45 upper-division credits. Students must also achieve a minimum GPA of 2.0 while fulfilling the university's general studies and major requirements. Students can typically complete a bachelor's degree in 4 years, whereas completion of master's degrees varies by specific program. Students interested in transferring to ASU must have completed 12-23 transferable credits from a regionally accredited college with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5, as well as meet freshman admission requirements. There may also be additional requirements for specific majors. As ASU is ranked as one of the top schools for veterans, military credits are accepted. ASU assesses how to transfer military credits using the American Council on Education's Guide to the Evaluation of Education Experiences in the Armed Services. ASU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges.

  3. University of Arizona


    Tucson, AZ



    Graduation Rate


    The University of Arizona offers innovative education to better Arizona as well as the rest of the world. UA is a long-time partner with NASA and has an emphasis on research. It offers over 300 undergraduate and graduate programs in a range of science and technology fields as well as liberal arts degrees. When it comes to distance learning, UA boasts over 150 degree programs that can be completed entirely online. Online students can obtain a bachelor's, masters or certificate. In order to graduate, students must complete at least 120 credits within a degree program, 42 of which must be upper division. Certain majors may have additional requirements. Students must also have a cumulative GPA of 2.0. The typical length of a bachelor's program is 4 years. UA accepts credits from regionally accredited colleges and universities, but these credits must meet certain additional stipulations. Academic advisors in the student's major department will determine whether a credit is eligible for transfer, and transfer coursework will not be averaged into the students' University of Arizona grade point average. Graduate students transferring to UA will also need approval from the graduate director and major/minor advisor in order for their credits to be accepted. In most cases, courses must be at the graduate level from accredited universities or colleges and must be above a B average.

    Veterans can obtain military credits by submitting past transcripts for evaluation. Up to 30 American Council of Education (ACE) approved credits may be applied towards an undergraduate degree. Recruit, basic training and knowledge of a second language may also be transferrable as credit towards a degree based on certain conditions which can be found under the transfer credits guide or through an academic advisor.

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  4. Prescott College


    Prescott, AZ



    Prescott College has a mission to produce leaders and global citizens to address the many issues facing our society today. In order to achieve this, the school emphasizes student designed programs and experimental education. Prescott is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and prides itself on its diverse population and services that promote diversity. The school also accepts undocumented students and veterans, and offers programs to support these groups. Students can earn their bachelor's, master's or doctoral degrees by attending programs on campus as well as online. In order to graduate, undergraduate students must complete at least 120 semester credits. The typical length to program completion is 4 years. For those interested in distance learning, Prescott offers the option of 100% online degrees as well as hybrid learning programs where students travel to campus for orientation and to work with mentors and faculty advisors. The master's degrees offered through distance learning include Adventure Education, Education, Environmental Studies, Humanities and Counseling. For an online PhD, students can pursue Sustainability Education.

    Transfer students may be drawn to Prescott College for its generous transfer policy as well as the ample support services. At a minimum, transfer students must complete two terms of full-time enrollment at Prescott College or the equivalent. The school accepts higher level college course credits from accredited universities, CLEP (College-Level Examination Program) tests, as well as credits via programs verifying US military services training so students don't have to retake introductory courses. There's also the option to apply to Prescott's Accelerated master's program to more efficiently and quickly finish a bachelor's degree and a Master of Arts, Master of Science or Masters of Education.

City Spotlight: Colleges in Arizona

Phoenix, AZ

Flagstaff, AZ

Colleges and universities in Flagstaff, Arizona offer traditional degree programs as well as professional training programs that provide students with a pathway to careers in fields such as health science and cosmetology. Flagstaff also boasts a number of online programs, available through public and private institutions, with innovative options such as personalized or self-paced studies.

Colleges and Universities in Flagstaff

Northern Arizona University28,561$6,514Public
Coconino Community College6,991$2,490Public

Prescott, AZ

As a fast-growing city in a state with a widely distributed population, Prescott is home to multiple colleges and universities dedicated to providing higher education and career-oriented studies. Flexible study programs take into account the needs of working professionals and nontraditional as well as traditional students. Given the remote locations of some Arizona communities, the state has been a huge proponent of distance learning options to expand access to educational opportunities.

Colleges and Universities in Prescott

Prescott College1,526$26,208Not For Profit (Private)
Yavapai College12,973$1,608Public

Tucson, AZ

Tucson is home to Arizona's oldest university, whose enrollment of 40,000+ creates a significant presence in a city of approximately 486,700. The second largest urban center in Arizona, Tucson offers diverse cultural and academic opportunities. Students looking to earn their undergrad or graduate degrees in Tucson can choose from institutions offering training in agriculture, optics, fine arts, allied health fields and countless other subjects. Tucson, also known as the Sunshine Factory, offers private and public higher education institutions designed to fit students' professional and academic goals, with online study options for increased flexibility.

Colleges and Universities in Tucson

University of Arizona42,779$8,364Public
Pima Community College56,916$1,404Public

Paying for Online College in Arizona: Tuition and Financial Aid

Arizona residents who attend a public, in-state university pay an average tuition rate of $10,557, which is higher than the national average. However, Arizona also offers some of the nation's best public aid packages, including free tuition for qualifying residents at some public universities. The tables below outline how Arizona's average tuition prices compare to national averages.

Arizona's Average Tuition Prices vs. National Averages
In-State TuitionOut-of-State TuitionNational Average
$10,557$26,067$9,037 (In-State) $25,657 (Out-of-State)

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

Cost Considerations for Online Students in Arizona

When weighing education costs, students should consider several factors. We outline several important cost considerations for prospective students below.

  • Cost Differences Among Online Colleges:

    The cost of attending college online varies by institution. For instance, private schools typically charge more than public universities.

  • In-State vs. Out-of-State Tuition Fees

    Most state-sponsored universities and colleges provide significant tuition discounts for in-state students. However, some programs allow all online students to pay in-state tuition rates regardless of where they live.

    (Video) Welcome to the University of Arizona Online

  • Military or Veteran Discounts

    At many universities, members of the U.S. military and veterans qualify for reduced tuition rates and other financial benefits that affect the cost of their education.

  • Rates Are Based on Degree Level

    The type of degree that a student pursues also affects the cost of their education. Undergraduate degrees typically take longer to complete than graduate degrees, so they often come at a higher cost.

  • Corporate Education Reimbursements

    Some companies offer reimbursement for part or all of an employee's educational expenses, provided the recipient meets certain criteria, such as agreeing to work for the company for a designated time period.

Qualifying for In-State Tuition in Arizona

To qualify for in-state tuition rates at a public college or university in Arizona, students must live in the state for at least one year prior to the last day of registration for the semester.

Students must provide evidence of financial independence, such as proof of employment. However, some programs allow all online students to pay in-state tuition rates regardless of residency, so prospective students should research the requirements of each potential school.

Paying for College in Arizona: Scholarships and Financial Aid

Arizona residents can take advantage of a variety of financial aid opportunities to help pay for their education, such as scholarships, grants, and loans. Scholarships and grants are typically ideal as, unlike loans, they do not require repayment. We highlight several scholarship and grant opportunities for Arizona students below.

Scholarships for Arizona College Students

Chief Manuelito Scholarship

Who Can Apply:Full-time undergraduate students pursuing a bachelor's degree can apply for this scholarship provided that they meet the scholastic requirements as determined by their ACT/SAT scores. Recipients must complete courses in Navajo language and Navajo government before graduation.

Amount: $3,500 per term

Arizona Section Halls of Knowledge Scholarship - American Welding Society

Who Can Apply: Candidates for this scholarship must reside in Arizona; study at an accredited technical college, community college, or university; and major in welding technology, manufacturing, or engineering studies.

Amount: Varies

The ACMPE Scholarship Fund Inc.

Who Can Apply: Residents of Arizona or another state in the MGMA Western Section can apply for this scholarship. Applicants must have career plans to advance the organization's mission to transform healthcare.

Amount: $2,500

PMI Phoenix Chapter Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Arizona residents seeking undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral degrees in project management or a related field can apply for this annual scholarship.

Amount: Up to $2,500

The Arizona Business and Professional Women's Foundation

Who Can Apply: Women who are at least 21 years old and earning a degree at a community college to advance their careers can apply for this scholarship.

Amount: Varies

Grants for Arizona College Students

Arizona Community Foundaiton

Who Can Apply: The Arizona Community Foundation manages funds that support various scholarships and grants for Arizona residents. Applicants complete one form that foundation staff members use to determine the applicant's financial aid qualifications.

Amount: Varies


Who Can Apply: Education majors can apply for a federal TEACH grant. Recipients must agree to teach in a high-need school for at least four years following graduation.

Amount: Up to $4,000

Arizona Financial Aid Trust Grant

Who Can Apply: Funded by the state legislature, this grant supports Arizona residents who attend state colleges.

Amount: Varies

Arizona Teacher Student Loan Program

Who Can Apply: Arizona residents enrolled at least half time in a teacher certification program who have completed at least 55 credits qualify for this loan. Recipients must agree to teach in an Arizona public school for the same number of years that they receive aid, plus one year in exchange for loan forgiveness.

Amount: Up to $7,000 per year

Arizona Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership

Who Can Apply: Undergraduate Arizona residents with financial need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can apply for this grant. Recipients must maintain satisfactory academic progress.

Amount: Up to $2,500

(Video) My Experience at Arizona State University Online

Financial Aid for Online Schools is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Featured Online Masters Programs

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The Importance of Accreditation for Online Colleges and Universities in Arizona

When researching prospective schools and programs, students should look for accreditation status. Accreditation expands employment, financial aid, and education opportunities and indicates that a school meets high academic standards.

  • Regional and National Accreditation

    Schools may receive regional or national accreditation. Nonprofit, degree-granting institutions typically hold regional accreditation, while for-profit, vocational schools hold national accreditation. Regional accreditation is generally considered the more prestigious of the two. TheCouncil for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) oversees various regional accrediting bodies that accredit schools depending on location. The Higher Learning Commission accredits Arizona schools.
  • Subject-Specific Accreditation

    Programs within a school may also receive accreditation, such as nursing, business, and social work programs. Like regional accreditation, programmatic accreditation indicates that a program meets high academic standards and adequately prepares students for the workforce.
  • How to Know if Your School or Program is Accredited

    Students can typically find a program or school's accreditation status through the school's website. Additionally, students can search theCHEA databaseor the Department of Education'sDatabase of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programsto verify accreditation status.

Online College and Adult Education in Arizona

Arizona hosts some of the largest online higher education programs in the world. Arizona learners can take advantage of many programs and resources to support their studies, many of which we highlight below.

By the Numbers: Adult Education in Arizona


students took at least one online course in 2015


students took at least one online course in 2015


of Arizona's distance educaiton students are enrolled in private, for-profit schools

The Distance Education State Almanac 2017

Adult Education Programs for Arizona Students

This center offers language classes, including specialized English language courses, to prepare students for college-level study. The center maintains headquarters in Scottsdale, but it offers mobile sites around the state.

This program provides various resources to help high school students and other pre-college learners create and execute a career and education plan. The center also provides dropout prevention and counseling services.

Adult learners in southwest Arizona can take advantage of high school and GED preparation classes and English language acquisition training through this resource. The agency also offers some programs online.

Online College Resources for Arizona Students

Current and prospective online students in Arizona can take advantage of several resources to support their studies. The following resources offer information on topics like financial aid opportunities and Arizona's postsecondary education options.

This website offers information about Arizona's two state-sponsored higher education grants, as well as links to scholarship resources and federal financial aid opportunities.This publication from the State of Arizona covers every postsecondary education option in the state, including information about accreditation and financial aid.This state-sponsored program helps people save for their family's college education in tax-deferred accounts. Arizonans can open an account for as little as $25.This commission identifies and addresses ways to expand access to education and increase college success. Students can use the website to plan for college and discover learning resources.This state-sponsored online resource helps Arizona students complete college applications and the FAFSA. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Is the University of Arizona online legit? ›

Rest assured that, as one of the well-respected, fully accredited online universities, Arizona Online students must meet the same admission criteria and take the same rigorous curriculum taught by the same faculty as the flagship's main campus students.

What is the easiest online college to get into? ›

Antioch University in Culver City, California, offers an online degree program for Liberal Arts. It is arguably considered as the easiest online college – or an 'easy' pick because it takes a well-rounded, generalist approach. The university's online B.A in Liberal Studies accepts up to 75 transfer credits.

Is it harder to get into college if you do online school? ›

As long as a school is regionally accredited, colleges won't typically have any issue with whether the school is online or in-person.

Is a degree from Arizona State online respected? ›

Are online degrees respected? Definitely. Your degree from ASU Online is taught by the same esteemed faculty as the on-campus programs. The rigor and quality of the content, as well as the course load, is the same as the on-campus classes.

Are online degrees taken seriously? ›

Online colleges are becoming more popular, but prospective students may still worry about their credibility. We're here to set the record straight: An online degree holds just as much weight as a traditional degree. In fact, data shows that most employers don't even differentiate between the two types of degrees.

Is online degree is good or not? ›

According to the study, 86% of online learners considered the value of their degree equal to or greater than the cost they paid to pursue it. Among those who have attended on-campus and online courses, 85% said that online learning is as good as or better than attending courses on campus.

What is the fastest degree I can get? ›

What is the fastest and easiest degree to get? Often students focus on Business Administration, Psychology, or Education degrees for the fastest degrees; however, General Studies, English, and Communications may be considered some of the easiest, along with Psychology.

What is the easiest fastest online degree? ›

Easiest Majors and Degrees to Get Online
  • Business. Online business degrees prepare learners for diverse careers. ...
  • Liberal Arts. Liberal arts programs hone critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills. ...
  • Education. ...
  • English. ...
  • Nursing. ...
  • Criminal Justice. ...
  • Psychology. ...
  • Agriculture Science.

What is the simplest degree to get? ›

The 16 Easiest College Majors – 2022 Rankings
  • Psychology.
  • Criminal Justice.
  • English.
  • Education.
  • Religious Studies.
  • Social Work.
  • Sociology.
  • Communications.
11 Sept 2022

Is University of Arizona a legit school? ›

University of Arizona is a public institution that was founded in 1885. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 38,528 (fall 2021), its setting is city, and the campus size is 392 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar.

What is U of A acceptance rate? ›

What is Arizona University known for? ›

Recognized as a global leader in research, Arizona brings in more than $700 million in research investments each year and ranks among the top 20 public universities for research expenditures, according to the National Science Foundation.

How much does Arizona University cost? ›


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