Online Programs


Take your education to the next level.
Additional degrees can increase your earning potential dramatically over your lifetime and make you eligible for new opportunities in your career field. 
Our Lees-McRae faculty and support staff are experts in helping working professionals complete their bachelor’s or master's degree on their own schedule, and our competitive pricing puts life-changing professional growth within your reach. 

Elevate your potential with Lees-McRae.

It pays to get more education.

In 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the average weekly wage for professionals with a bachelor’s degree was $1,334, compared to $963 with an associate degree and $809 with a high school diploma. By retirement age, someone with a bachelor’s degree will have earned $750,000 more than an associate degree holder. Earning a master’s degree increases that average weekly salary to $1,574.

Undergraduate Programs


Our out-of-pocket costs are some of the lowest in the region. Many students qualify for price reductions and scholarships, including discounts for currently working in an occupation related to the program or graduating from one of our partner colleges.  


Most of our programs have new courses starting every eight weeks. Whether you want to follow a traditional fall-to-spring schedule or get started as soon as possible, we have you covered. Choose the schedule that works for you. The next start date for each program is listed below.


Online students have access to the same academic resources as our main campus students, including peer advising from the Burton Center for Student Success and individualized guidance when starting out in the program. The Office of Student Affairs also hosts special events just for online students!

Ready to get started?

Business Administration, BAAS

Course Length: 8 weeks
Program Duration: 2 years
Next Start: March 2024

Criminal Justice, BAAS

Course Length: 8 weeks
Program Duration: 2 years
Next Start: March 2024

Elementary Education, BS

Course Length: 16 weeks
Program Duration: 2 years
Next Start: August 2024

Human Services, BAAS

Course Length: 8 weeks
Program Duration: 2 years
Next Start: March 2024


Interested in learning more?
Check out these upcoming events.

Virtual Open House
Learn about the Lees-McRae Online and Distance Learning bachelor's and master's programs and meet with the program coordinators for your intended area of study. 

Check back for upcoming dates!

Great Education, Better Price

At Lees-McRae, we offer a high-quality education at a price you can afford. After factoring in our tuition discounts, our program costs are some of the lowest in the country, giving more students access to a superior Lees-McRae education. Students who work in a related field or are members of Phi Theta Kappa can receive up to $30 off per credit hour, and students who attended one of our partner colleges could get an additional $30 off—possibly bringing your cost per credit hour down to $290.

Surry Community College Partnership

Seated cohorts for Elementary Education, Special Education, and Nursing are offered at Surry Community College (SCC) in Dobson, North Carolina. Those who prefer a traditional seated classroom experience but are unable to commute to Banner Elk can get a Lees-McRae-quality education at a familiar location.   

Our Elementary Education and Special Education programs are offered at SCC as degree-completion options for those who have already finished two years of undergraduate education in the appropriate field. 

Our streamlined programs allow you to immediately start taking classes relevant to your profession by giving you credit for general education courses (basic science, English, history, math, etc.) you’ve already passed.  

For those who attended one of our partner community colleges, the process of coming to Lees-McRae is even easier. We offer guided pathways to prepare students for further education and guaranteed admission to students who earn their associate degree.  

"Lees-McRae taught me what I needed to know to thrive as a teacher and get named Beginning Teacher of the Year for my district. I don't think could have done that without my professors preparing me so well for the workplace. Their communication is always open, and they will go above and beyond as long as you're willing to meet them halfway."

Candice Fenton-Haynes ’21
Elementary Education (Online)

Graduate Programs

Take your career further and increase your competitiveness in the job market by earning a master’s degree. The Lees-McRae graduate programs are designed with the working professional in mind—each of our programs can be completed in two years or less and are offered fully online.*

*The Master of Arts in Teaching Biology track has several required laboratory classes that must be completed on campus.

Master of Arts in Teaching

Course Length: 16 weeks
Program Duration: 2 years
Next Start: August 2024

Master of Healthcare Administration

Course Length: 8 weeks
Program Duration: 1.5 years
Next Start: August 2024

Master of Science in Criminal Justice

Course Length: 8 weeks
Program Duration: 1 year
Next Start: August 2024

Master of Science in Human Services

Course Length: 8 weeks
Program Duration: 1 year
Next Start: August 2024

Pending approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Affordable Excellence

To help you get the best possible return on your investment, we offer a high-quality education at an accessible price. Tuition for our graduate programs is $500 per credit hour, making it one of the most affordable in the region. To maximize your return further, professionals currently working in the field are eligible to receive a 25% discount on tuition. A 25% discount is also available to any Lees-McRae alumnus as well as active military and veterans.

Discounts cannot be combined.  

Meet Your Team

Our online education experts are here to help figure out the right path for you. With insight into what credits carry over, what discounts you’re eligible for, and what information you need to apply, the online team has your back. Every student who is accepted to an online program will also receive a full transcript evaluation and assistance getting the necessary materials before classes start.

Pam Vesely

Vice President for Academic Affairs/Dean of Faculty

Learn more about Pam

Wayne Leon

Executive Director of Distance Learning and Transfer Programs 


Learn more about Wayne

Jamar Jones

Associate Director of Online Recruitment 


Learn more about Jamar

Caroline Cope

Assistant Director for Online Enrollment Services 


Learn more about Caroline

Cara Fulton

Academic Coordinator for Extended Campus and Online Learning 

Learn more about Cara

Elevate your potential.

Let us help you finish what you started.