Most Affordable Distance Learning Colleges in California 2022

Hi readers! In this post, I’ve compiled a list of best distance learning colleges, universities, and institutes in California. Here, readers will find the following details – rankings, list of distance education colleges, their address, type of institute, fees/cost, degrees and awards, distance learning majors/degrees and more.

Distance Learning California

Affordable/Cheapest Distance Learning Colleges in California for 2022



University of the People $1,489
MiraCosta College $2,856
Mt San Antonio College $4,387
California State University-Dominguez Hills $4,594
Skyline College $4,732
Epic Bible College $4,840
Canada College $4,870
Citrus College $5,194
Golden West College $5,530
Las Positas College $5,678
California State University-Bakersfield $5,771
California State University-Fresno $6,002
Santa Monica College $6,006
Cosumnes River College $6,081
Allan Hancock College $6,225
De Anza College $6,238
Mission College $6,249
Gavilan College $6,605
Foothill College $6,662
Santa Ana College $6,757
San Diego Miramar College $6,887
Sacramento City College $6,972
Palomar College $6,988
Chabot College $7,005
California State University-Stanislaus $7,069
Folsom Lake College $7,078
American River College $7,089
Rio Hondo College $7,123
Hartnell College $7,127
Solano Community College $7,257
Saddleback College $7,298
Diablo Valley College $7,311
Los Medanos College $7,443
San Diego Mesa College $7,483
Butte College $7,613
California State University-San Bernardino $7,876
Taft College $8,089
California State University-Fullerton $8,294
California State University-Northridge $8,694
Los Angeles City College $8,875
Coastline Community College $8,882
Santa Rosa Junior College $8,993
Downey Adult School $9,019
San Bernardino Valley College $9,209
Lake Tahoe Community College $9,401
West Los Angeles College $9,408
Santa Barbara City College $9,416
California State University-Long Beach $9,903
Cerro Coso Community College $10,070
California State University-Sacramento $10,271
Lassen Community College $10,330
Barstow Community College $10,601
Cuesta College $10,860
California State University-East Bay $10,902
Los Angeles Harbor College $10,996
Ohlone College $11,648
Laurus College $11,878
Monterey Peninsula College $12,022
Modesto Junior College $12,131
Merced College $12,147
Cabrillo College $12,371
California State University-Monterey Bay $12,468
Humphreys University-Stockton and Modesto Campuses $12,650
San Joaquin Delta College $12,692
California State University-San Marcos $13,010
University of California-Riverside $13,045
California State University-Channel Islands $13,548
Abraham Lincoln University $13,773
Trident University International $13,916
San Jose State University $14,471
San Diego State University $14,499
Humboldt State University $14,766
California State University-Chico $14,843
University of California-Irvine $15,268
Santa Barbara Business College-Bakersfield $15,353
University of California-Los Angeles $15,718
Stanford University $16,779
California Miramar University $16,794
Shasta Bible College and Graduate School $17,545
SUM Bible College and Theological Seminary $18,489
University of California-Berkeley $18,522
Bethesda University $18,561
Los Angeles Pacific University $18,681
World Mission University $18,723
California State University Maritime Academy $18,882
Fresno Pacific University $19,298
Westcliff University $19,907
Vanguard University of Southern California $20,376
Touro University Worldwide $20,390
Ashford University $20,415
Life Pacific University $20,642
Hope International University $20,850
Pacific College of Health and Science $20,918
California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo $21,232
Carrington College-Sacramento $21,934
Simpson University $22,081
Fremont College $22,618
William Jessup University $22,968
California Baptist University $23,055
Career Networks Institute $23,474
Brandman University $23,781
North-West College-West Covina $23,877
InterCoast Colleges-Santa Ana $23,908
Advanced College $23,915
Notre Dame de Namur University $24,682
Stanbridge University $25,054
La Sierra University $25,414
Mills College $25,417
Pacific College $25,432
San Joaquin Valley College-Visalia $25,516
Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts $25,788
Platt College-Los Angeles $25,958
DeVry University-California $26,056
San Diego Christian College $26,278
Azusa Pacific University $27,707
University of La Verne $27,933
Concordia University-Irvine $28,435
Southern California Seminary $29,127
National University $29,382
California Lutheran University $29,693
Mount Saint Mary’s University $29,708
The Master’s University and Seminary $30,268
Los Angeles Film School $30,459
John Paul the Great Catholic University $30,581
University of Redlands $31,180
Academy of Art University $31,759
Point Loma Nazarene University $33,183
Biola University $33,331
California Aeronautical University $33,534
West Coast University-Orange County $33,823
California Institute of Arts & Technology $34,643
Glendale Career College $35,363
University of San Diego $35,936
University of Southern California $37,521
University of San Francisco $38,422
Newschool of Architecture and Design $38,995
FIDM-Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising-San Francisco $39,343
FIDM-Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising-Los Angeles $41,020
Santa Clara University $42,114
Pepperdine University $42,135
Loyola Marymount University $47,292
Alliant International University-San Diego NA
America Evangelical University NA
Bethel Seminary-San Diego NA
California Institute of Advanced Management NA
California Institute of Integral Studies NA
California Intercontinental University NA
California Western School of Law NA
Church Divinity School of the Pacific NA
Claremont Graduate University NA
Claremont Lincoln University NA
Claremont School of Theology NA
Fielding Graduate University NA
Fuller Theological Seminary NA
Golden Gate University-San Francisco NA
International Sports Sciences Association NA
John F. Kennedy University NA
Keck Graduate Institute NA
Loma Linda University NA
Meridian University NA
Naval Postgraduate School NA
Northcentral University NA
Pacific Oaks College NA
Pacific School of Religion NA
Palo Alto University NA
Presbyterian Theological Seminary in America NA
Samuel Merritt University NA
San Diego Global Knowledge University NA
Saybrook University NA
Sofia University NA
Southern States University NA
The Academy of Radio and TV Broadcasting NA
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Los Angeles NA
The Santa Barbara and Ventura Colleges of Law at Ventura NA
Thomas Jefferson School of Law NA
Touro University California NA
Trinity Law School NA
United States University NA
University of Antelope Valley NA
University of California-Hastings College of Law NA
University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences NA


For ranking colleges, we have used the ‘affordability’ factor. With each passing year, cost of higher-education is rising. Keeping this fact in mind, we have decided to rank institutes on the basis of cost/expenses and affordability.


Best Distance Learning Programs/Majors

Here are some popular distance learning programs/majors –

  1. Agriculture, Agriculture Operations, and Related Sciences

    • Agricultural and Domestic Animal Services
    • Agricultural and Food Products Processing
    • Agricultural Business and Management
    • Agricultural Mechanization
    • Agricultural Production Operations
    • Agricultural Public Services
    • Agriculture, Agriculture Operations, and Related Sciences, Other
    • Agriculture, General
    • Animal Sciences
    • Applied Horticulture and Horticultural Business Services
    • Food Science and Technology
    • International Agriculture
    • Plant Sciences
    • Soil Sciences
  2. Architecture and Related Services

  3. Area, Ethnic, Cultural, Gender, and Group Studies

    • Area Studies
    • Ethnic, Cultural Minority, Gender, and Group Studies
  4. Biological and Biomedical Sciences

  5. Business, Marketing, Management, and Related Support Services

    • Accounting and Related Services
    • Business Administration, Management and Operations
    • Business Operations Support and Assistant Services
    • Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services, Other
    • Business/Commerce, General
    • Business/Corporate Communications
    • Business/Managerial Economics
    • Construction Management
    • Entrepreneurial and Small Business Operations
    • Finance and Financial Management Services
    • General Sales, Merchandising, and Related Marketing Operations
    • Hospitality Administration/Management
    • Human Resources Management and Services
    • Insurance
    • International Business
    • Management Information Systems and Services
    • Management Sciences and Quantitative Methocs
    • Marketing
    • Real Estate
    • Specialized Sales, Merchandising, and Marketing Operations
    • Taxation
    • Telecommunications Management
  6. Communication Technologies/Technicians and Support Services

    • Audiovisual Communications Technologies/Technicians
    • Communications Technologies/Technicians and Support Services, Other
    • Communications Technology/Technician
    • Graphic Communications
  7. Communication, Journalism, and Related programs

    • Communication and Media Studies
    • Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs, Other
    • Journalism
    • Public Relations, Advertising, and Applied Communication
    • Publishing
    • Radio, Television, and Digital Communication
  8. Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services

    • Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services, Other
    • Computer and Information Sciences, General
    • Computer Programming
    • Computer Science
    • Computer Software and Media Applications
    • Computer Systems Analysis
    • Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunications
    • Computer/Information Technology Administration and Management
    • Data Entry/Microcomputer Applications
    • Data Processing
    • Information Science/Studies
  9. Construction Trades

    • Construction Trades, General
    • Construction Trades, Other
  10. Education

    • Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education
    • Curriculum and Instruction
    • Education, General
    • Education, Other
    • Educational Administration and Supervision
    • Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research
    • Educational/Instructional Media Design
    • International and Comparative Education
    • Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education
    • Special Education and Teaching
    • Student Counseling and Personnel Services
    • Teacher Education and Professional Development, Specific Subject Areas
    • Teacher Education and Professional Development, Specific Levels and Methods
    • Teaching Assistants/Aides
    • Teaching English or French as a Second or Foreign Language
  11. Engineering

    • Aerospace, Aeronautical, and Astronautical Engineering
    • Agricultural Engineering
    • Architectural Engineering
    • Biochemical Engineering
    • Biological/Biosystems Engineering
    • Biomedical/Medical Engineering
    • Cermic Sciences and Engineering
    • Chemical Engineering
    • Civil Engineering
    • Computer Engineering
    • Construction Engineering
    • Electrical, Electronics, and Communications Engineering
    • Electromechanical Engineering
    • Engineering Chemistry
    • Engineering Mechanics
    • Engineering Physics
    • Engineering Science
    • Engineering, General
    • Engineering, Other
    • Environmental/Environmental Health Engineering
    • Forest Engineering
    • Geological Engineering
    • Industrial Engineering
    • Manufacturing Engineering
    • Materials Engineering
    • Mechanical Engineering
    • Mechatronics, Robotics, and Automation Engineering
    • Metallurgical Engineering
    • Mining and Mineral Engineering
    • Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering
    • Nuclear Engineering
    • Ocean Engineering
    • Operations Research
    • Paper Science and Engineering
    • Petroleum Engineering
    • Plastics Engineering
    • Surveying Engineering
    • Systems Engineering
    • Textile Sciences and Engineering
  12. Engineering Technology and Engineering-Related Fields

    • Architecture Engineering Technicians
    • Civil Engineering Technicians
    • Computer Engineering Technicians
    • Construction Engineering Technologies
    • Drafting Engineering Technicians
    • Electrical Engineering Technicians
    • Electromechanical Instrumentation and Maintenance Technicians
    • Engineering Technicians, Other
    • Engineering Technology, General
    • Engineering-Related Fields
    • Engineering-Related Technologies
    • Environmental Control Technicians
    • Industrial Production Technicians
    • Mechanical Engineering Related Technicians
    • Mining and Petroleum Technicians
    • Nanotechnology
    • Nuclear Engineering Technicians
    • Quality Control and Safety Technicians
  13. English Language and Literature/Letters

    • English Language and Literature, General
    • English Language and Literature/Letters, Other
    • Literature
    • Rhetoric and Composition/Writing Studies
  14. Family and Consumer Sciences/Human Sciences

    • Apparel and Textiles
    • Family and Consumer Electronics Related Studies
    • Family and Consumer Sciences Business Services
    • Family and Consumer Sciences, General
    • Family and Consumer Sciences, Other
    • Foods, Nutrition, and Related Services
    • Housing and Human Environments
    • Human Development, Family Studies, and Related Services
    • Work and Family Studies
  15. Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics

    • African Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics
    • Native American Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics
    • American Sign Language
    • Celtic Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics
    • Classics and Classical Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics
    • East Asian Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics
    • Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, Other
    • Germanic Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics
    • Persian Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics
    • Linguistic, Comparative, and Related Language Studies and Services
    • Middle Eastern and Semitic Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics
    • Modern Greek Language and Literature
    • Romance Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics
    • Slavic, Baltic, and Albanian Languages, Literature, and Linguistics
    • South Asian Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics
    • Southeast Asian Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics
    • Turkic, Uralic-Altaic, Caucasian, and Central Asian Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics
  16. History

  17. Legal Professions and Studies

    • Law
    • Legal Professions and Studies, Other
    • Legal Research and Advanced Professional Studies
    • Legal Support Services
    • Non-Professional General Legal Studies (UG)
  18. Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies, and Humanities

  19. Library Science

  20. Mathematics and Statistics

    • Applied Mathematics
    • Mathematics
    • Mathematics and Statistics, Other
    • Statistics
  21. Mechanic and Repair Technologies/Technicians

  22. Military Technologies and Applied Sciences

  23. Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies

  24. Natural Resources and Conservation

    • Fishing and Fisheries Sciences Management
    • Forestry
    • Natural Resources and Conservation
    • Natural Resources and Conservation and Research
    • Natural Resources Management and Policy
    • Wildlife and Wildlands Science and Management
  25. Parks, Recreation, Leisure, and Fitness Studies

    • Health and Physical Education/Fitness
    • Outdoor Education
    • Parks, Recreation, and Leisure Facilities Management
    • Parks, Recreation, and Leisure Studies
    • Parks, Recreation, Leisure, and Fitness Studies, Other
  26. Personal and Culinary Services

    • Cosmetology and Related Personal Grooming Services
    • Culinary Arts and Related Services
    • Funeral Service and Mortuary Science
    • Personal and Culinary Services, Other
  27. Philosophy and Religious Studies

    • Philosophy
    • Philosophy and Religious Studies, General
    • Philosophy and Religious Studies, Other
    • Religion/Religious Studies
  28. Physical Sciences

    • Astronomy and Astrophysics
    • Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology
    • Chemistry
    • Geosciences
    • Materials Sciences
    • Physical Sciences
    • Physical Sciences, Other
    • Physics
  29. Precision Production

  30. Psychology

    • Psychology, General
    • Psychology, Other
  31. Public Administration and Social Service Professions

    • Community Organization and Advocacy
    • Human Services, General
    • Public Administration
    • Public Administration and Social Service Professions, Other
    • Public Policy Analysis
    • Social Work
  32. Science Technologies/Technicians

  33. Social Sciences

    • Demography and Population Studies
    • Economics
    • Geography and Cartography
    • International Relations and National Security Studies
    • Political Science and Government
    • Rural Sociology
    • Social Sciences, General
    • Social Sciences, Other
    • Sociology
    • Sociology and Anthropology
    • Urban Studies/Affairs
  34. Theology and Religious Vocations

    • Bible/Biblical Studies
    • Missionary Studies
    • Pastoral Counseling and Specialized Ministries
    • Religious Education
    • Religious Music
    • Theological and Ministerial Studies
    • Theology and Religious Vocations, Other
  35. Transportation and Materials Moving

    • Transportation and Materials Moving, Other
  36. Visual and Performing Arts

    • Arts, Entertainment, and Media Management
    • Design and Applied Arts
    • Fine and Studio Arts
    • Visual and Performing Arts, General
    • Visual and Performing Arts, Other


Come, let us take a close look at the admission process and requirements –


Admission Requirements

While evaluating candidates who’ve applied for admission, colleges take the following factors into consideration –

  • Secondary school GPA
  • Secondary school rank
  • Secondary school record
  • Completion of college-preparatory program
  • Formal demonstration of competencies
  • ACT/SAT test scores
  • Other relevant tests


The factors mentioned above are divided into the following groups – Admission considerations that are ‘Required/Mandatory’, admission considerations that are ‘Recommended’ and admission requirements that are ‘Considered but not required’.


Admission requirements may vary from one college to another. Most of the colleges rely on secondary school GPA, secondary school record, ACT/SAT scores and TOEFL (as mandatory considerations). Community colleges usually have an open admission policy.


Distance Education Degrees

Depending upon the level of the program, Degrees or Awards can be classified into the following types –

  • Certificates
  • Associate’s Degree
  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • Advanced Degrees



  • Less than one year certificate: The duration of the program is less than one year.
  • One but less than two years certificate: The duration of the course is 1 year (or more, but less than 2 years).


Associate’s Degree

Associate’s Degree program is two years long. After completing this program, you’ll obtain an Associate’s Degree from the college/university/accrediting body.


Bachelor’s Degree

Bachelor’s Degree program is four years long. After completing this program, you’ll obtain an Associate’s Degree from the college/university/accrediting body.


Advanced Degrees

Here are some of the popular advanced degrees –

  • Master’s Degree
  • Doctor’s Degree
  • Post-master’s certificate
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