Top 9 Accredited Online Colleges in California

This post contains relevant information about Accredited online colleges in California, their admission requirements, the benefits of attending these colleges, and what it will cost you on average to attend any of them. 

Online colleges in California are institutions that offer certificate courses and/or degree programs fully/partially over the internet. This means that students who attend classes entirely online do not have to be at school in person, while those with partial online classes will have to visit the school at intervals.

Many students prefer online learning to traditional learning because it is cheaper, less stressful and still provides just the same quality of programs as the traditional ones. So for many students with low income, and those that prefer self-paced learning, online learning is the best.

In California, there are more than 300 colleges and universities with about 2.6 million enrolled full-time students, making California the state with the highest number of colleges in California.

According to the list of the educational ranks of states in the US, California was ranked the#20 best state for higher education. This is a good indicator that the state is one of the best places you can attend your tertiary education.

California is also one of the states that have the top colleges for business and colleges for psychology in the whole of the nation.

Without further ado, let’s quickly take a look at cost of attending online colleges in the mentioned state.

Average Cost of Online College in California

There is no specific tuition that is general to online colleges in California because the type of program (graduate, undergraduate) you are enrolling for, kind of school and even your state or country of residence will determine what amount of tuition you will pay.

So due to these reasons, we will be giving you a hint, that is, an average tuition cost you should expect to pay to enroll in online institutions in California.

The average cost of online colleges in California for undergraduate students is $9,450 and $18,000 for graduate students.

Benefits of Online Colleges in California

Online colleges in California have several advantages they give to their students, and we will be taking a look at some of them now.


Enrolling in online programs is very much affordable when compared to traditional classes. This is because online learning eliminates the cost points of student transportation, student meals, and most importantly, paying rent, and buying books. All the course or study materials are available online.


Online education allows you to attend classes from any location of your choice without any reference to your geographical location. It also allows schools to reach out to a more extensive network of students, instead of being restricted by geographical boundaries.

Easy retrieval of learning records

Learning online gives you the opportunity of having your learning/class data stored online, from your point of registration to graduation can easily be assessed. So just in case, you should lose any document or data, you can easily retrieve it. Also, most online courses are available in video, audio, pdf, note forms, and others making it simple for you to refer back to any class in a case where you wish to recall or meet up to a particular class.


Most online classes are structured in a way that allows learners to learn on their own time and schedule since they are not subjected to a specific time of attending classes.

Requirements for Online Colleges in California

  • You must have completed and signed an application form.
  • You must have Official Transcripts of Records from your previous school.
  • You must meet the required CGPA for your chosen program.
  • You must provide a letter of recommendation.
  • You must provide an application fee payment proof.
  • You must have a bachelor’s degree (for a Master’s program).
  • You must have a master’s degree ( for the Doctorate program).
  • You have to provide a passport-sized photograph and Identification Card.

online colleges in california

Online Colleges in California

This list of online colleges in California is made with reference to the result we got from our research about the best online schools in the state. So let’s take a look at them.

  • Biola University
  • California Baptist University
  • California State University-Chico
  • University of Southern California
  • San Diego State University
  • California State University-Fullerton
  • San Jose State University
  • Alliant International University
  • Concordia University Irvine

1. Biola University

Biola University is a Christ-centered institution that presents biblically centered education, willful spiritual development, and vocational preparation within an outstanding learning community where everyone is proclaiming Christians.

The school has over 5,500 undergraduate students from different countries of the world enrolled in its online, distance, and on-campus programs. In 2022, it was ranked the #196th best university in the US, and the #251 best school out of 694 schools in the undergraduate nursing program list by U.S. News and World Report’s Best Colleges 2022 rankings.

It is also ranked #9th in the list of the most conservative schools in America, and #27th in Best Christian colleges in America.

Biola University offers online Bachelors’s and Masters’s programs, and online certificate and credential courses,  all structured to satisfy the demands of your current life. Their online classes are taught by the same experienced Christian tutors and feature the exact great `quality teaching as it is in the traditional classes.

Their fully online programs allow you to take classes on your schedule, providing you with the necessary skills and knowledge to take the next step in your career. Online courses at Biola University are flexible and biblically integrated and offered year-round in convenient 7-week course sessions. they have 5 different start days in a year.

The tuition for Biola University’s online undergraduate program is about $7,100 for full-time students and less than $3,500 for part-time students.

School Type: Not-for-profit private university
Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission.
Admission Rate: 64.4%

Link to Biola University Online Education 

2. California Baptist University

California Baptist University(CBU) is among the top private Christian universities in California that offer Credentials, Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral programs both online and on-campus.

CBU provides a Christ-centered educational experience that integrates academics with spiritual and social development opportunities. One good thing about CBU is that its online learning format is very flexible, so whether you are working full or part-time, you can still earn a degree.

California Baptist University has over 40 fully online and fully accredited degree programs developed for adults and working-class individuals.

Each of the programs offered by the Division of Online and Professional Studies is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission. So you are sure of earning a degree that is respected across the country.

In 2022, It is ranking as the #6th school in best undergraduate teaching, #27th in best schools for veterans, and #34th in Regional Universities West. All rankings were by US News.

Tuition for undergraduate programs at CBU is $37,000 for undergraduate programs and $14,300 for graduates.

School Type: Not-for-profit private university
Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission.
Admission Rate: 80.2%

Link to CBU online programs.

3. California State University -Chico

California State University, Chico, commonly known as Chico State is the second oldest campus in the California State University System. The school has built a reputation for excellence for over 130 years and currently has one of the highest graduation rates.

Chico State online programs offer a flexible and self-paced online education and are conducted by dedicated faculty and supportive advisors who provide the personal connection that helps students achieve their goals.

The school collaborates with Shasta College to offer degree programs to students in the Redding area at the Shasta College University Center Downtown, Some of the courses are offered on-site in Redding, while others are held online through Chico Distance & Online Education.

U. S. News and World Report rank Chico #5th among master’s-level public universities in the Western United States. It is also ranked #39th in Regional Universities West.

The tuition for BSBA at California State University-Chico is $29,925 while their MBA tuition is $30,000 and $34,500 (Project Management Specialization).

School Type: Not-for-profit public university
Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission.
Admission Rate: 90%

Link to California State University -Chico online programs

4. University of Southern California

University of Southern California (USC) offers wide-ranging degree programs and certification options across its 13 schools. So, whether you want to obtain a master’s or doctoral degree or gain a certificate in a specialized field, USC will help you take your career to another level.

The school has several graduate programs in the field of engineering, technology, and science, which includes MS degrees in mechanical, astronautical, aerospace, biomedical, civil, electrical engine, and computer.

Online education at USC gives you the opportunity to choose from a wide range of courses and degrees, study on your own schedule, benefit from USC’s academic excellence, experience the best online resources and environment, and learn from experts at the top of their fields and many more benefits.

University of Southern California is ranked #4 top university in California by,  ranked #27 in National Universities, and #31 in best graduate engineering programs by usnews. There are so many other rankings that you can find on the school’s website.

School Type: Not-for-profit p university
Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission.
Admission Rate: 16%

5. San Diego State University

San Diego State University (SDSU) is a public institution with an undergraduate enrollment of over 31,000 students. The institution is known for offering quality programs both online and on-campus, and it is nationally acknowledged for academic excellence, presently ranked No. 65 among public universities in the U.S. News & World Report’s annual ranking of America’s Best Colleges.

The SDSU Global Campus offers career advancement training, personal enhancement courses, and English language programs to local, national, and international students.

They offer a variety of online programs, from certificates to career-development courses to personal enrichment possibilities. Their online courses are taught and handled by industry experts or SDSU faculty members.

San Diego State University is ranked #8th in best undergraduate international business programs by the U.S News, #13th best in top universities in California by, and #1 in best accredited online colleges in California by

On average, it will cost you a tuition fee of $17,000 for enrollment into SDSU. For information about online program fees, you should visit the link below.

School Type: Not-for-profit public university
Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission.
Admission Rate: 37%

Link to SDSU online programs.

6. California State University – Fullerton

California State University-Fullerton is a prestigious public institution in California that is known for offering quality programs both on-campus and online to over 40,000 from different countries of the world.

Online programs provided by CSUF include certificate programs, degree-completion programs, and programs for educators. Their certificate programs are designed by industry professionals who are working in the field. These programs are structured to provide valuable and in-demand skill sets.

You can find online courses you can take to advance your career or learn new skills with courses and programs geared specifically for professional development in hundreds of areas, and the certificates you earn after completion of certification courses are recognized by most employers as significant academic accomplishment and can lead to promotions or new jobs.

The reputable institution is ranked the #3 best nursing school in California by, and the top #19 university by

The cost for online programs at CSUF varies with the type of courses/degrees, so to get the exact tuition for any online cost, you have to visit the school with the link below. When you open the link, find your program, click on it, scroll up, and check the cost.

School Type: Not-for-profit public university
Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission. Most of the online programs at CSUF are also accredited by discipline-specific accreditation agencies and associations
Admission Rate: 55%

Link to CSUF online programs

7. San Jose State University

San Jose State University also called San Jose State is a public institution located in San Jose, California. The school is known to offer over 130 world-class undergraduate and graduate programs to a student population of more than 27,000 students, both online and offline.

Some of their degree programs are offered totally online while some are hybrid, but their certificate programs are fully online. San Jose state’s graduate school of business is ranked among the first best #300 schools among all business schools in the US.

San Jose State University is ranked the #4 best undergraduate engineering program by U.S News and World Report among public universities that offer bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

In-state tuition at SJSU is $7,852 while that of instate is $19,466. You should visit the link below to get exact details about tuition for online degree programs and certificate courses.

School Type: Not-for-profit public university
Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission. 
Admission Rate: 64%

8. Alliant International University

Alliant International University is a reputable private university in California that offers both online and on-campus learning.

Their online education goes far beyond giving coursework, offering a great education experience in a diverse and supportive environment that prepares you for a professional career. Alliant international university offers online classes that are flexible with extra opportunities for real-world, hands-on experience through internships, practice, or community service projects to help you attain your set academic goals.

The online programs offer certificates, credentials, bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and doctoral degrees in areas such as psychology, teaching and education administration, business and leadership, and forensic behavioral studies.

Alliant international university is ranked #1 in best psychology graduate schools by, #13 best in California forensic psychology schools by, and #8 best in the least debt national universities.

Find out about their tuition here.

School Type: Not-for-profit public university
Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission. 
Admission Rate: 67%

Link to Alliant international university online programs

9. Concordia University – Irvine

Concordia University – Irvine has an enrollment of about 4,000 students, Concordia offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in a beautiful Southern California location, with online and regional cohort options.

Concordia University’s online education ascribes to a different model in which “real-time,” synchronous learning experiences comprise a certain percentage of every course, bringing you face-to-face with our outstanding faculty and nationally recognized programs.

Each of the online courses meets the academic requirements in effect at the University and is structured on asynchronous learning models, meaning that there are no schedule-specific hours of the day to attend class. However, each course has a guided Agenda to follow.

These courses take an average of four to six hours each week. The time spent on each course is dependent on the course material itself as well as the rate at which each individual can learn the material.

Concordia University Irvine is placed in the top 100 in the world in three generally recognized as safe subjects: Telecommunication Engineering, Civil Engineering, and Automation and Control.

Concordia University Irvine is ranked #1 in 2022 online colleges offering master’s degrees by, #1 in the top 14 schools for Ph.D. programs in California by, and #55 in regional schools West by, and many more.

School Type: Not-for-profit private university
Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission. 
Admission Rate: 78%

Link to Concordia University Irvine’s online degree programs and certificates.

Online Colleges in California – FAQs

[sc_fs_multi_faq headline-0=”h3″ question-0=”Are there Free T Colleges in California?” answer-0=”Yes, University of the People is a totally free online college in California that offers higher education programs/courses and it is accredited by the Distance Education Accreditation Commission. Other free online colleges in California include Stanford University and Calbright College” image-0=”” headline-1=”h3″ question-1=”what is the Cheapest Online College in California?” answer-1=”The University of Antelope Valley is the cheapest online din California with a tuition of $1,300. The California State University system has the next cheapest online colleges.” image-1=”” count=”2″ html=”true” css_class=””]