With numerous online education programs developed by both individual universities and the state government, Minnesota is an excellent place to be a virtual student. Adult students and distance learners can choose from a wide range of majors from a wide array of schools to find one that meets their schedule and career needs. These three colleges represent the kind of online bachelor’s degree programs that can be enjoyed in the state of Minnesota:

University of Minnesota

  • Number of Online Bachelor’s Degrees: 12
  • Fields Offered: Business, Applied Studies, Health, Communications, Information Technology, Manufacturing Management, Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Accreditor: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA)

The University of Minnesota offers undergraduate programs that can be completed entirely online. Students who hope to earn their bachelors degree online in Minnesota can choose from majors like accounting, finance, IT management, marketing, and manufacturing management. In addition, the university also offers graduate programs in fields like electrical engineering and computer science. It has offered online classes since 1996 and currently enrolls over 31,000 students in its distance learning programs. Enrolled students have access to digital campus resources and e-Textbooks. Prospective students are encouraged to use the self-assessment tool to determine if online classes will be a good fit for them.

Southwest Minnesota State University

  • Number of Online Bachelor’s Degrees: 2
  • Fields Offered: Education, Management
  • Accreditor: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA)

Southwest Minnesota State University offers two distance learning programs designed to help students with associate degrees earn their bachelor’s. Specifically, students with academic backgrounds in early childhood education or management can transfer their associate credits to Southwest Minnesota State University and then complete the rest of their bachelor’s degree online. Most online classes at the university use Desire2Learn (D2L) software for assignments, exams, and other virtual classroom content. Prospective students are encouraged to take the online learning assessment provided on the university’s website.

Minnesota State University, Mankato

  • Number of Online Bachelor’s Degrees: 5
  • Fields Offered: Communications, Health, Urban Studies
  • Accreditor: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA)

Students who attend Minnesota State University, Mankato can choose from among five online bachelor’s degree programs: applied organizational studies, technical communication, and urban studies, and the degree completion programs for dental hygiene and RN-to-BSN. Most classes use the D2L platform for coursework and assignments. Though the online curriculum is flexible, students are encouraged to spend 12 hours each week studying for each 3-credit course. The format is comparable to traditional programs and utilizes similar assignments and deadlines. To help students determine whether online learning will work for them, the university provides a series of resources through its website, including a demonstration of an online class.

Higher Education in Minnesota

There are 164 institutions of higher education within the state of Minnesota, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, which provide postsecondary education options, including online bachelor programs, to residents and out-of-state students. In total, 91 Minnesota colleges and universities offer distance education programs for students who require a flexible option to complete their degrees.

Minnesota maintains an Office of Higher Education that is responsible for implementing programs that increase student access to higher education and provide tuition assistance. It is responsible for the Minnesota State Grant Program, which awards financial aid to Minnesota students based on need. It also regulates postsecondary education within the state, requiring licensure and registration for institutions that operate in Minnesota. In addition, the Office of Higher Education promotes research and publishes resources to help students make educated decisions regarding their degree path.

The state has also implemented an initiative known as Minnesota Adult Basic Education (MNABE) Distance Learning, which helps adult learners gain access to distance education programs. The flexible curriculum allows students who work and have other responsibilities to attend postsecondary programs without disrupting their obligations. The MNABE distance learning website gives students access to information on platforms and programs that they can utilize.


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