Arizona is home to three public universities: the University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University, and Arizona State University, the largest public university in the U.S. by enrollment. In addition to one private, not-for-profit, four-year college (Prescott College) and several two-year community colleges and technical schools, Arizona has a large number of for-profit universities. The public universities are governed by the Arizona Board of Regents, whose Arizona Ready Initiative partnership is working to significantly increase the number of Arizona students enrolled in and graduating from college. Getting AHEAD (Access to Higher Education and Degrees), another program of the Arizona Board of Regents, also seeks to increase learning opportunities to Arizona residents, especially adults and non-traditional students, by expanding college and university online and distance education programs.
All three of Arizona’s public universities offer accredited online bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Northern Arizona University, for instance, has several online degree programs in areas including business, nursing, biology, public management, and many others. The majority of Arizona’s two-year community and technical schools offer distance learning and online certification and associate’s degrees as well. The Arizona Department of Education’s website provides a centralized, searchable database of all of the state’s public and private not-for-profit colleges and universities and details about each institutions degree programs. In addition to the traditional schools, many well known for-profit educational institutions, including Agrosy University, Devry University, and the University of Phoenix, have campuses throughout Arizona and offer accredited online associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees to resident and out-of-state students.
Online degrees play an important role in educating Arizona residents and helping to prepare them for the state’s key industries. These industries include technology and innovation, bioscience and health care, aerospace and defense, and renewable energy, according to the Arizona Commerce Authority. Online degrees in nursing or health care management can help prepare you to fill vital roles in Arizona’s hospitals, which are an essential component of Arizona’s vibrant health care industry. More than 73,000 Arizona residents are employed in the state’s 123 hospitals, according to the Arizona Healthcare Workforce Center, and more health care professionals will be needed in the future to meet the needs of a growing population.
People who are more interested in Arizona’s high-tech sector may wish to pursue online degrees in areas like information technology, computer science, management information systems, and software engineering. After all, Tucson, Ariz., was recently named among America’s high-tech metros and those who want to find employment in this industry will benefit from a higher education that focuses on technology. The following Arizona-based colleges and universities offer online degree programs: