It's expected that by 2020, 64 percent of jobs in Oklahoma may require post-high school education, so enrolling now in an online associate, bachelor's or master's degree program can help you be prepared to meet the state's need for a higher-skilled labor force in fields like health care, energy and computer and information systems.

Here's a high-level look at what's available in online colleges in Oklahoma:

  • 31 of Oklahoma's online colleges offer associate degree programs, 30 have bachelor's degree programs available, and 25 colleges allow students to earn master's degrees online.
  • While 29 online colleges are public, 21 are private, including one that focuses on aeronautics and technology.
  • There are a dozen online Christian colleges in Oklahoma, representing a variety of denominations.
  • The most online degree programs can be found at Oklahoma Wesleyan University, Oklahoma State University-Main Campus, and Tulsa Community College.

Oklahoma is a member of the Academic Common Market, an arrangement, which includes more than a dozen Southern states. The purpose of this organization is to allow students to pay in-state tuition rates for programs not available in their home state.

Keep reading to see which are the best online colleges in Oklahoma. You can also find information about Oklahoma-specific scholarships that can help you pay for your online degree.

What Makes a Good Online College in Oklahoma?

There are a multitude of Oklahoma colleges that offer online programs for their students. This is wonderful, but also means it can be difficult to make a decision about which college to attend. Our rankings can be a useful starting point for students who need some help narrowing down their options. Keep in mind that our rankings only include accredited schools; to learn why, visit our "What is College Accreditation?" page. Most Oklahoma schools are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), but some might be accredited by other national or faith-based organizations. To check on which accreditation agencies are valid in Oklahoma, visit the Oklahoma State Department of Education.

Accreditation matters, but there are other factors that matter to students as well. Our rankings take several of these factors into account. We looked at data points such as the average in-state tuition, the reported graduation rate and the number of online programs offered at all these online colleges to determine our rankings. Students can see not only our choices for the best online colleges in Oklahoma, but also the data that helped each college achieve its status. To learn more about how and why we create these rankings, take a moment to read the "What Makes a Good Online College?" section of our "About Us" page.


Best Online Colleges in Oklahoma for 2019-20

Distance learners interested in attending an online college in Oklahoma will want to make sure they're choosing the best school for their needs. It's an important decision that shouldn't be made lightly, and to help out we've ranked 10 of the best online colleges in Oklahoma using data provided by the National Center for Education Statistics.

Visit our methodologies page to learn more about how we use official data to evaluate schools.


University of Oklahoma - Norman Campus

Tuition & Fees
Distance Education Participation
Number of Programs Offered
School Type

What is OU like?

With more than 100 years of history, the University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus is a public research school that offers on-campus study, online education and study-abroad opportunities at overseas campuses, including in Vicenza, Italy. The university, whose president is a former CEO of a Fortune 500 company, moves up to the No.1 spot on our list of best online colleges in Oklahoma from a No.2 ranking last year.

What online programs are at OU?

OU offers fully online degree programs, degree completion programs, certificate programs, professional study courses, independent directed reading courses and programs for seniors. Online undergraduate coursework is generally delivered in eight-week sessions with five start dates available each year, including during the summer. The online graduate degree programs at OU are offered in blended or entirely online formats and include dual-degree options.

What online resources does OU offer?

Online support at OU includes a dedicated distance-learning librarian and a technical support team, as well as student services advisors and program directors.


Oklahoma State University - Main Campus

Tuition & Fees
Distance Education Participation
Number of Programs Offered
School Type

What is OSU like?

A five-campus land-grant school, Oklahoma State University serves students from within the state and all around the globe. Its traditions are based on a "Cowboy Code" that incorporates a welcoming culture and a sense of curiosity. Garth Brooks, T. Boone Pickens and Anita Hill are well-known alumni of this university.

What online programs are at OSU?

Online degree programs, graduate certificate programs, individual courses and programs of individual study are available at OSU. The online programs at this university encompass a variety of business administration options, including bachelor's degree programs with different specializations and an accredited online MBA program.

Courses are delivered through the school's classroom software, Brightspace. Professors may also make use of the Canvas learning management system, streaming videos or real-time conferencing for hybrid or online coursework.

What online resources does the OSU offer?

The IT Helpdesk is available to online learners who also can search through databases and online journals using the school's Edmon Low Library.


Northeastern State University

Tuition & Fees
Distance Education Participation
Number of Programs Offered
School Type

What is the NSU like?

Moving up to the No.3 spot on this year's list of online schools in Oklahoma, Northeastern State University focuses on three Rs in the online college education experience: rigor, relevance and relationship. The university is one of six in the state's public university system, primarily serving the northeastern part of the state through three campuses, online courses and distance-based degree programs.

What online programs are available at NSU?

Online bachelor's, master's and certificate programs are available at NSU, along with individual online classes, professional development courses and blended courses. There are also accelerated degree programs that offer additional options for students wanting to combine bachelor's and master's level coursework. One of several distance-based graduate level programs, the school's online master's degree in criminal justice, allows students to study crime theory, criminal justice administration and research methods.

What online resources does NSU offer?

Advising, technical support and Blackboard help are available to students. Tutoring services can be accessed around the clock through, and the Ask an NSU Librarian link is a convenient way for students to connect with library services.


Southwestern Oklahoma State University

Tuition & Fees
Distance Education Participation
Number of Programs Offered
School Type

What is SWOSU like?

Formerly a junior college, Southwestern Oklahoma State University has moved up on our list of top colleges in Oklahoma this year and offers undergraduate and graduate programs with more than 200 full-time faculty. About 60 percent of faculty members hold doctorate degrees. The university also hosts an honors program, a study-abroad program and the opportunity to pursue pre-medical professions.

What online programs are at SWOSU?

Distance-based learning at SWOSU is available through WebTV, webinars and online degree programs. Online programs in disciplines like nursing, allied health and education are delivered through the Canvas learning management system. Blended programs using interactive television and webinars are available for the MBA program and the M.S. in management.

What online resources does SWOSU offer?

Online students have access to eLearning support, the Canvas HelpDesk and Canvas QuickStart instructions. The online tutoring center features live tutoring, paper submission feedback and self-paced writing videos. Online learners also can use the SWOSU library system to look for books, articles and videos and to search through the Digital Commons database.


Family of Faith Christian University

Tuition & Fees
Distance Education Participation
Number of Programs Offered
School Type

What is FFCU like?

Founded in 1992, Family of Faith Christian University is a nonprofit private university located in central Oklahoma. This university, returning to our list of the best affordable colleges in Oklahoma for another year, is also a member of the International Christian Leadership Connections Network that connects Christian churches across the U.S.

What online programs are at FFCU?

More than 50 online courses are available at the undergraduate and graduate levels at FFCU, covering disciplines like earth science, psychology, ministry and psychology. Additionally, a branch of the FFCU system known as All Nations College offers an online bachelor's program in church ministry. This program allows students the opportunity to choose an emphasis, such as church planting and leadership or wilderness ministry.

What online resources does FFCU offer?

Students at FFCU can access counseling and support, financial aid services and placement services to become part of a ministry team. An online bookstore and online library catalog supply access to academic journals, newspapers and research support as well as tools for the purchase and re-sale of textbooks.


Southeastern Oklahoma State University

Tuition & Fees
Distance Education Participation
Number of Programs Offered
School Type

What is SOSU like?

Located just 15 miles north of the border with Texas, SOSU was founded in 1909. Formerly a community college, the school became a university in 1974 when business, conservation and technology programs were added to its curriculum. The university, which has moved up two spots from No.8 on last year's list of the best universities in Oklahoma, offers career-oriented education, graduate studies and online degree programs.

What online programs are at SOSU?

Students can enroll in fully online bachelor's degree programs in business administration or business, some with options for concentrations or minors, delivered through the Blackboard learning management system. An online MBA program with 12 concentrations, requiring no GMAT, is also available. Other offerings include an online Master of Education (M.Ed.) and an online M.S. in Native American leadership.

What online resources does SOSU offer?

CampusConnect is used to access email, register for courses and view registration choices. An online newspaper called "The Southeastern" disseminates information on student life, news and campus happenings. Technology support and Blackboard help also are offered, as well as remote access to electronic resources available through the campus library.


Mid-America Christian University

Tuition & Fees
Distance Education Participation
Number of Programs Offered
School Type

What is MACU like?

Mid-Atlantic Christian University opened in 1953 as a Bible institute and has more than doubled its enrollment in the past four years. Instructors at this private, Christian, liberal arts college incorporate a Judeo-Christian worldview into their lessons.

What online programs are at MACU?

Through the MACU College of Adult and Graduate Studies, working adults can attend night classes once a week on campus or earn their degrees 100 percent online. Distance-based courses are offered in five- or 10-week sessions and can be completed asynchronously through the D2L learning platform.

What online resources does MACU offer?

IT services can help online learners with D2L or their My.MACU email. The OneLogin portal is where students can access D2L, registration, the Tree of Life Bookstore and more. Online library access allows Web-based learners to search through magazines, journals and reference works like the Encyclopedia Britannica and Oxford Reference.


Northwestern Oklahoma State University

Tuition & Fees
Distance Education Participation
Number of Programs Offered
School Type

What is the NWOSU like?

Advancing to the No.8 spot from a No.10 position on last year's list of the best universities in Oklahoma, Northwestern Oklahoma State University serves students from more than 40 states and 20 countries. The university also has an established bridge program with Northern Oklahoma College, allowing students at the community college to easily transfer in to earn a four-year degree.

What online programs are at NWOSU?

Students seeking online bachelor's degrees in business can major in accounting, business administration or technical management. Students in these distance-based programs are required to take a non-credit online orientation in their first semester to learn about the online degree experience. The university also offers an online RN to BSN program, which incorporates a summer session, and an online BSN-to-DNP program geared toward future nurse practitioners.

What online resources does NWOSU offer?

Online students can find help through the Student Services, Counseling Services and Academic Services departments. RangerNet is also a source of digital access to the materials in the campus library as well as resources like the EBSCO database and the Oxford English Dictionary.


Cameron University

Tuition & Fees
Distance Education Participation
Number of Programs Offered
School Type

What is Cameron like?

The public Cameron University is of the few universities in Oklahoma to offer associate degree programs along with bachelor's and master's level offerings. Students can take advantage of early admission, study abroad and honors program opportunities.

What online programs are at Cameron?

The distance-based curriculum at Cameron University is delivered in online, hybrid and interactive television (ITV) formats. Students can find online associate, bachelor's and graduate programs delivered through the Blackboard learning management system, including a mostly online Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) with four areas of specialization. Students in online courses are required to take at least one proctored exam per term.

What online resources does Cameron offer?

The Student Helpdesk can be accessed by email, phone or an online request form. For help with coursework in business, computer science, math and other areas, students can access from their Blackboard course menu. Ten hours of tutoring at no additional cost are available every semester.


East Central University

Tuition & Fees
Distance Education Participation
Number of Programs Offered
School Type

What is ECU like?

East Central University is a public university that attracts students from 25 states and more than 30 countries. While the school offers a range of conventional programs, it also hosts bachelor's programs in unique disciplines like medical physics and cartography. ECU alumni have pursued diverse careers, including three who became state governors.

What online programs are at ECU?

Online coursework at ECU follows traditional, semester-based timelines. Undergraduate online courses and programs, delivered at ECU through the Blackboard learning management system, are offered in areas like general studies, human services counseling, nursing and social work. Online M.Ed. and M.S. programs are also available in subjects such as educational leadership, library media and human resources.

What online resources does ECU offer?

Online students have remote access to the university's Linscheid Library, connecting them to EBSCO research databases and a vast variety of digital articles and books. Each student's MyECU login connects them to an array of campus resources, including the school's mobile app, phone contact to student services centers and a campus map and calendar.

Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2018-19, National Center for Education Statistics,

Affordable Online Colleges in Oklahoma for 2019-20

The following list ranks the schools in Oklahoma that offer online degrees at the lowest tuition costs.

Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2018-19, National Center for Education Statistics,

Financial Aid Resources in Oklahoma

Source: Scholarship directory data is copyrighted material which is reproduced on this website by permission of CollegeXpress, a division of Carnegie Dartlet. Copyright © 2020 by CollegeXpress.

Student Loans in Oklahoma 

Oklahoma prefers to focus their efforts on a series of state scholarship programs as opposed to offering state-based student loans. Students are strongly encouraged to seek scholarships and grants before applying for loans, as scholarship and grant money is gift aid and therefore does not need to be paid back. If you've exhausted your scholarship and grant options and are still in need of financial assistance, you may apply for federal or private loans to help cover your tuition costs. To qualify for federal loans, you will need to fill out the FAFSA with details about your family's financial situation.

Learn more about the whole student loan process in the Ultimate Guide to Student Loans.

Additional Resources for Financial Aid in Oklahoma

  • Financial Aid 101 offers Oklahoma students a step-by-step process to securing financial assistance for their education.

Costs for Out-of-State Students in Oklahoma

If you think you can't afford to attend college in Oklahoma because of the sometimes overwhelming prospect of out-of-state tuition, think again. Oklahoma is part of the Academic Common Market, and if you are a resident of one of the 15 member states (Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia), you should be able to pay in-state tuition at any public university in Oklahoma. 

The ACM has been around for 35 years and you can search their database for more than 1,900 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in all member states. You merely have to contact your state's ACM coordinator to get started.

For residents of other states, there are still some options to reduce out-of-state tuition. For example, the University of Oklahoma offers a variety of scholarships that are note exclusive to in-state residents, such as the four-year Merit Scholarship and the Alumni Scholars Program. Be sure to talk to your admissions counselor about the next steps.

Best Careers In Oklahoma

Some people know exactly what they want to do with their lives. Other people are not so sure what kind of career might be best for them. To help you decide which career fields might be best to pursue, we've looked at data for salaries and employment across the state in order to rank the best jobs in Oklahoma. If you're looking for some direction for your career, this section might be able to help you find it.

EmploymentEmployment GrowthMedian High School SalaryMedian Bachelor's Salary

Top Oklahoma Industries

*Industry rankings determined by annual mean wage, employment, projected growth and location quotient. Data is sourced from the BLS, 2019 dataset.

Top IndustriesEmploymentProjected GrowthAverage Salary
Pipeline transportation470,8308%$66,504
Ambulatory healthcare services1,112,3807%$57,112
Monetary authorities-central bank326,6308%$64,503
Oil and gas extraction666,4608%$61,910
Hospitals; state, local, and private1,249,2207%$55,642
Lessors of nonfinancial intangible assets (except copyrighted works)430,1006%$62,798
Waste management and remediation services701,0107%$56,371
Securities, commodity contracts, and other financial investments and related activities566,6105%$58,527
Data processing, hosting, and related services588,8605%$60,459

People looking for employment in Oklahoma should be sure to tune into the needs of state's major employers. Top employers in the Sooner State include the University of Oklahoma, INTEGRIS Health and Tinker Air Force Base, the latter of which employs around 24,000 people. The private sector also offers a range of hot jobs in Oklahoma — Hobby Lobby, Sonic and American Fidelity all maintain headquarters here.

When it comes to good careers in Oklahoma, physician assistants and nurse practitioners sit near the top of the list. These vital healthcare professions are listed as "critical" demand occupations by the Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development. Similarly, petroleum engineers and geoscientists are in critical demand in the state's oil and gas industry. Oil and gas production has doubled in the past five years in Oklahoma, helping to drive demand for these occupations, as well as for the pipeline transportation specialists who send it where it needs to go.

Launch Oklahoma, one of the state's higher education initiatives, is designed to help working adults in the state access the education they need. The state's goal is to increase educational attainment in the workforce from 40 to 70 percent by 2025, improving the number of people who have certificates, degrees or other credentials. Additionally, Oklahoma Works was launched in 2014 to align education and training with the needs of the state's regional economies and promote partnerships between local industry and education. Students looking for good jobs to have in Oklahoma may find these initiatives helpful when exploring their options.

Let's take a closer look at the high demand careers in Oklahoma's three most prominent metro areas.

Oklahoma City, OK Metro Area

Total Population
Median salary for high school grads
Median salary with a bachelor's degree
% of the population enrolled in college or grad school
Median rent

It's no surprise that petroleum engineers hold many of the high paying jobs in the Oklahoma City area. Crawley Petroleum Corporation, Lighthouse Oil & Gas, Ferrell Oil Company and Gulfport Energy Corporation are just a few of the energy sector businesses located there. The Oklahoma Oil & Gas Association (OKOGA) is the oldest association of its type in the country and can help aspiring oil and gas professionals find a job in this area, but online job boards can also be good resources for open positions in the energy industry.

Best CareersMinimum EducationAverage SalaryEmployment
Petroleum EngineersBachelor's degree$149,1901,000
Medical and Health Services ManagersBachelor's degree$98,8403,070
Geoscientists, Except Hydrologists and GeographersBachelor's degree$135,380520
Chief ExecutivesBachelor's degree$174,7901,040
Administrative Services and Facilities ManagersN/A$96,4702,890

*Career rankings determined by annual mean wage, employment, projected growth and location quotient. Data sourced from the BLS, 2019 dataset.

Tulsa, OK Metro Area

Total Population
Median salary for high school grads
Median salary with a bachelor's degree
% of the population enrolled in college or grad school
Median rent

Like Oklahoma City, the Tulsa metro area can be a great destination for petroleum engineers and geoscientists due to the many prominent oil companies. Major oil companies in the area include Bowers Oil Company, Viersen Oil & Gas Company and Eagle Energy Exploration.

However, other high powered career options exist in the finance industry. High paying jobs in Tulsa may be available for finance managers, vice presidents of finance and directors of finance and accounting, with employers such as the Linde Group and Robert Half Finance & Accounting.

Best CareersMinimum EducationAverage SalaryEmployment
Petroleum EngineersBachelor's degree$146,220430
Administrative Services and Facilities ManagersN/A$104,3301,930
Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Technical and Scientific ProductsBachelor's degree$81,9902,680
Financial ManagersBachelor's degree$141,9901,740
Geoscientists, Except Hydrologists and GeographersBachelor's degree$207,900250

*Career rankings determined by annual mean wage, employment, projected growth and location quotient. Data sourced from the BLS, 2019 dataset.

Lawton, OK Metro Area

Total Population
Median salary for high school grads
Median salary with a bachelor's degree
% of the population enrolled in college or grad school
Median rent

Southwest Oklahoma has a noticeable emphasis on manufacturing and processing industries, and Lawton is no exception. Lawton employers such as Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co, Techrizon LLC, and Warner Jewelry Case Co require talented managers and executives at various levels to keep their production processes running smoothly. Even outside of the industrial sector, managers are in demand in Lawton. For example, medical and health services managers could seek employment opportunities at Lawton Indian Hospital or Comanche County Memorial Hospital.

As an added bonus, Lawton is home to Cameron University -- No.9 on our list of the best online universities in Oklahoma -- which can help students earn the education they need to pursue these careers.

Best CareersMinimum EducationAverage SalaryEmployment
Medical and Health Services ManagersBachelor's degree$86,350160
Financial ManagersBachelor's degree$88,90090
Chief ExecutivesBachelor's degree$121,63070
Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technologists and TechniciansAssociate's degree$66,65090
General and Operations ManagersBachelor's degree$82,490480

*Career rankings determined by annual mean wage, employment, projected growth and location quotient. Data sourced from the BLS, 2019 dataset.