Online Degree Programs in Maryland

The Maryland Higher Education Commission oversees the state’s public and private colleges and universities and for-profit career schools. It establishes statewide policies and administers state financial aid programs. Its mission is to ensure that Maryland residents have access to a "high quality, diverse, adequately funded, effectively managed, and capably led system of postsecondary education." Its main goals are also to promote an accessible and affordable higher education system.

The most prominent school in Maryland is Johns Hopkins University. Founded in 1876 in Baltimore, Md., the private school is wasranked 13th among national universities by theU.S. News & World Report. Its online graduate degree programs are also notable; , the U.S. News ranked its computer information technology, engineering, and nursing programs among the top online degree programs. Other notable private schools include St. John’s College in Annapolis, Md., and Washington College in Chestertown, Md., which are the two oldest colleges in the state and among the oldest in the country.

The University of Maryland, Baltimore is the oldest public university in the state. Founded in 1807, it is part of the University System of Maryland, a statewide system that consists of 12 institutions. The university in Baltimore has Maryland’s only public academic health, human services, and law center, and its seven professional and graduate schools train the majority of the state’s physicians, nurses, dentists, lawyers, social workers, and pharmacists. The University of Maryland, College Park is the largest undergraduate institution in Maryland, with nearly 27,000 students, followed by Townson University, with more than 17,500 students.. Their online college degree programs are also ranked by the publication as among the best, with the College Park campus’ graduate engineering program and Townson’s graduate business program singled out.

Maryland Distance Learning Initiatives

For students interested in online degree programs in Maryland, one of the best resources is MarylandOnline. The website is a consortium of community colleges and senior institutions in Maryland that provide distance learning opportunities. There are 20 schools with online degree programs that are members of the consortium, including community colleges and four-year institutions. The University of Maryland University College is one of the members of the consortium and it specializes in serving adult and non-traditional students byoffering many courses and programs online. Through this partnership each member institution can adopt online courses from another member when a course is not available at its own institution, opening up a variety of courses to students that they might not be able to take a their home college.

Maryland is also a member of the Southern Regional Education Board, a 16-state organization that works to improve public education from pre-K through the doctoral level. Its Electronic Campus contains distance education courses offered by all its members and can be searched by discipline, college or university name, or state. Additional distance learning opportunities in Maryland are available through the University System of Maryland, where each degree-granting institution within the system has implemented a strategic plan to improve its online learning opportunities. Additionally, Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland, College Park offer materials to several of its courses through Coursera, an innovative learning initiative to provide college-level materials for free to students of all ages from around the world. Through Coursera, students can find the materials to courses in public health, data analysis, and economics from Johns Hopkins and quantum physics, software networking, and women’s studies from the University of Maryland, College Park.