2018 Directory of Online Colleges and Universities in Rhode Island

Rhode Island has more than 22 post-secondary institutions. Of these, 4 offer online programs. A total of one is public four-year college or university and three are private colleges, universities, or career and vocational schools. 84 online certificate programs, 346 online associates programs, 1,199 online bachelors programs, 582 online masters programs, 769 online professional programs, and 187 online doctoral programs are offered at these schools. These programs offer students courses in subjects such as dental hygiene, educational leadership, and pastry arts.

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Of the online colleges in Rhode Island, Providence College, a 4-year research university, offers 20 online programs.

Job Outlook

Rhode Island has about 448,150 workers employed.The unemployment rate is higher than the national average, calculated at 8.8 percent as of April 2013. In the state, the three biggest industries are:

  • Administration: 9 percent
  • Retail trade: 13 percent
  • Financial: 7 percent

The average wage of Rhode Island employees is more than the average wage for employees across the U.S. In the U.S., workers earn about $42,871 per year. However, in Rhode Island, workers earn about $45,920 per year. The median income for employees is $36,170 per year, with the top 10 percent earning over $84,010 per year and the bottom 10 percent earning under $18,090 per year.


Based on factors including the type and location of the institution as well as the program, tuition for online college courses may vary. On average, public four-year colleges and universities in Rhode Island charge students approximately $5,988 per year. Private accredited online college tuition ranged from $27,840 to $38,610 per year.


School accreditation in Rhode Island is carried out by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE). The CIHE is part of the New England Association of Colleges and Schools, a regional institutional accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Rhode Island schools with CIHE accreditation are guaranteed a minimum level of academic rigor and excellence as determined by the agency’s high standards. These schools award accredited degrees that may have more legitimacy with employers and schools than degrees awarded from colleges and universities without accreditation.

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Rhode Island, which is located in the Northeast region of the United States, is named from the Greek Island of Rhodes. The state, which has an area of 1,545 square miles, is the 2nd smallest in the nation. The average annual temperature in the state is approximately 51°F.

Rhode Island has the 9th smallest population in the nation. It has an estimated population of 1,052,567 residents living in its 5 counties. Approximately 39 percent of those living in Rhode Island are less than 30 years old. Additionally, it has one of the least diverse populations in the nation with about 24 percent of the population identifying itself as belonging to a racial or ethnic minority group.

With a population of 178,042 residents, Rhode Island’s capital city, Providence, is the largest city in the state. Of the state’s residents, an estimated 5.91 percent reside in the greater Providence area. Other large cities in the state are Warwick, Cranston, Pawtucket, and East Providence.

Rhode Island residents normally have an average level of education as compared to those around the US. According to the 2010 Census, a reported 18.3 percent of the state’s residents over the age of 25 have finished high school, 7.6 percent have at least an associate degree, 6.1 percent have degrees at the bachelor’s level or higher, and 1 percent hold a graduate level degree.