Located about 100 miles outside of Washington, DC in Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) has more than 30,000 students at its two campuses. It was established in 1968 and today is one of the nation's top research universities. Ranked as one of the top 200 schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report's best national universities category, VCU offers 63 undergraduate, 74 graduate, 38 doctoral, and 44 certificate programs. Additionally, it is one of Virginia's Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SAC) accredited online universities. Through its Online@VCU program, students can engage in hybrid or online degree programs, as well as take for-credit hybrid and online courses. Some of the online degrees students can earn are a Bachelor of Science in Clinical Laboratory Science, a Master of Education in Sport Leadership, and a Master of Science in Addiction Studies.
Named after one of America's founding fathers, George Mason University (GMU) is located 18 miles outside of Washington DC in Fairfax. It is ranked in the top 200 on U.S. News & World Report's national universities ranking list. The university offers its more than 33,000 students the choice of 77 bachelor's and 124 master's degrees, as well as one law degree. Additionally, online degree programs, certificates, and courses are offered through GMU's SAC accredited online education program. Students can earn bachelor's-level online IT degrees, master's-level business degrees, or their graduate certificates in assistive technology or health information systems; these, however, are only a few of GMU's online offerings. Its online programs in graduate business, computer information technology, and nursing have all been recognized by U.S. News & World Report.
George Washington University (GWU) was founded in 1821 as the realization of President George Washington's wish for there to be an educational institution in the nation's capital to mold future leaders. Currently, the university has more than 20,000 students and two more campuses in DC and Ashburn. Accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, GWU also offers a wide selection of online learning opportunities to traditional and online students. U.S. News & World Report has recognized WGU for its online masters degree programs in business, education, and nursing, as well as its online bachelor degree programs. It offers fully online courses as well as hybrid courses, which entail both traditional and online classroom participation.
Washington, DC has several large industries. Being the capital of the United States, the federal government is the biggest industry in the city with more than 245,000 jobs in May 2012, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). As such, those hoping to procure jobs in Washington, DC's governmental industry will find post secondary degrees most helpful. Online students might seek bachelor's or above degrees in government, cyber security, criminal justice, law, accounting, finance, management, governmental finance, or even public administration.
Another of Washington, DC's top industries is tourism. With tourist attractions like the Lincoln Memorial, Smithsonian Museums, and the White House, as well as thousands of world-renowned restaurants and hotels, DC sees millions of tourists annually; according to Washington.org, in 2009, DC saw 16.2 million tourists, 1.2 million being tourists from outside of the U.S. In addition to hotel, hospitality, and restaurant management degrees being useful in DC's tourist industry, degrees in history, science, marketing, and public relations are also quite advantageous for job seekers.