As years go by, the idea of what higher education looks like slowly evolves beyond the four walls of a classroom. Nowadays, health crisis or not, it’s possible to earn your degree entirely online through open universities, which offer programs specially designed for distance education.

If you’re working full-time or if traditional face-to-face learning does not suit your needs and circumstances, then enrolling at an online school in the Philippines can be a fantastic option to continue your education.

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What should I look for in an online school/university/college?


An open university’s reputation is usually derived from its years of operation. Generally speaking, well-established online schools tend to provide education of higher quality because they have years of experience in offering virtual learning. They already have reliable systems in place and are well-adapted to the online mode of teaching.

Degree program offerings

You should choose an online school that offers a degree program that you are interested in and will help you in advancing your career. Most open universities offer online degrees in information technology, business administration, and education. Some schools also offer degrees in liberal arts and the sciences, such as psychology, journalism, and political science.

You should also consider the degree level that you’re going to pursue. Some open universities focus their attention on postgraduate degrees, while some offer college education and only confer baccalaureate degrees. Some schools also have diploma and certificate programs, which may also be ladderized to a higher degree.


Mode of teaching

While open universities usually hold their classes primarily online, some also require occasional face-to-face sessions for immersion or mentorship purposes. Thoroughly inquire with the university about how they implement their classes and ensure that it has the flexibility that fits with your needs and schedule.

Learning environment

Because most, if not all, of your classes will be held online, the open university must have reliable learning management systems in place that support your learning. What type of learning materials will be provided? How will these be delivered to you? How will you communicate with your professor and classmates?

A good open university has a learning ecosystem that is rich, interconnected, and easy to navigate. There must also be a wide selection of educational resources made available and easily accessible.

Student support

Studying at an online university comes with its own unique challenges, so the school must have systems and services that can provide assistance and support for its students. It must have a responsive hotline where students can readily ask questions or air grievances.

Some online schools provide a laptop and pocket WiFi to make sure all students have internet connectivity. Some also have scholarship opportunities to aid those who may have financial constraints.

For emotional support, some open universities have thriving online communities where students can join clubs and organize events. Some schools also have a dedicated career center that aids their students to find employment after graduation.

Which online school in PH should I enroll in?

Polytechnic University of the Philippines Open University


With efforts starting in the 1970s and formally established in 1990, PUP Open University is recognized as the first open university in the Philippines. PUP Open University offers a wide array of different degree programs, specially structured to allow full-time workers to earn their diplomas and advance their careers without having to take a leave from their jobs.

Through PUP Open University’s distance education program, students may choose to study independently and asynchronously, or synchronously with other students.

Notable programs

  • Master in Education Management
  • Master in Public Administration
  • Master of Science in Construction Management
  • Expanded Tertiary Education Equivalency and Accreditation Program (ETEEAP)

Contact information

  • Website:
  • Email:
  • Phone: (632) 335-1PUP (335-1787) or 335-1777 loc. 251 (Institute of Open and Distance Education)

University of the Philippines Open University


UP Open University is the UP System’s answer to online education. Living up to its namesake, UP Open University is a CHED-recognized National Center of Excellence in Open and Distance Education. Established in 1995, UP Open University is also one of the pioneers of distance education in the Philippines. It offers undergraduate to doctorate-level programs, as well as diploma programs and non-formal courses, with a focus on information and communication studies, management, and education.

UP Open University is also an institutional member of the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).

Notable programs

  • Master of ASEAN Studies
  • Master of Information Systems
  • Master of Research & Development Management
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Education

Major in:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Mathematics
  • Professional Teaching Certification Program

Contact information

Online Education from AMA University


Online Education (OEd), formerly known as AMA University Online Education, is advertised as the first fully online school in the country. OEd makes good with that title by offering the widest variety of undergraduate programs among the online schools, from communication arts to education to computer engineering. OEd also offers Master’s and Doctorate programs, as well as a Continuing Professional Development Program to help people advance in their careers.

Along with UP Open University, OEd from AMA University is also a member of the International Council for Open and Distance Education.

Notable programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering
  • Bachelor of Science in Real Estate Management
  • Master of Science in Computer Science
  • Master in Business Administration
  • Continuing Professional Development Program

Contact information

CAP College Foundation


CAP College Foundation was at the forefront of introducing distance learning in the Philippines when it was established in 1988. This foundation was established by the CAP family of companies to provide disenfranchised individuals with access to a college education. Today, CAP College Foundation offers baccalaureate degrees in business administration and liberal arts, all implemented online and through other distance learning methods.

Notable programs

  • Bachelor of Arts in History
  • Bachelor of Arts in Journalism
  • Bachelor of Arts in Sociology
  • Bachelor of Arts in Political Science

Contact information

Related articles

Asian Institute for Distance Education


The Asian Institute for Distance Education (AIDE) was established as a project of the Filipinas Foundation in 1984 to provide college education to those who cannot avail themselves of traditional schooling. Since its establishment, AIDE has structured its baccalaureate programs to be remote first.

Currently, AIDE offers CHED-approved undergraduate programs in Business Administration, English, and Political Science. In partnership with Tanghalang Pilipino, AIDE also offers Certificate Courses in Culture and Arts.

Notable programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

Major in:

  • Business Economics
  • Marketing Management
  • Human Resource Management 
  • Bachelor of Arts in English Language
  • Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
  • Certificate Courses in Culture and Arts
    • Community Arts Development
    • Scriptwriting
    • Acting

Contact information

Benguet State University Open University


Established in 1997, BSU Open University offers degree programs that directly respond to community needs, primarily focused on management and development programs. Online course modules are provided to students, supplemented with monthly consultations with professors and peers. BSU Open University offers Master’s programs, as well as Diploma and Certificate programs.

Notable programs

  • Master in Community Health Development
  • Master in Development Communication
  • Master in Urban Management
  • Diploma in Training Management

Contact information

Central Luzon State University Distance, Open, and Transnational University


The CLSU Distance, Open, and Transnational University (DOT-Uni) is an online university that offers both degree and non-degree programs, mainly in agriculture and environmental studies. Self-learning modules prepared by DOT-Uni’s quality circle are provided to students, and learning is accompanied by occasional face-to-face tutorial sessions with professors.

Notable programs

  • Master in Environmental Management
  • Master in Agribusiness Management
  • Master of Science in Rural Development
  • Master of Science in Renewable Energy Systems

Contact information

Visayas State University Open University


The Open University at VSU is a specialized endeavor that provides quality distance education in the agricultural fields. It currently only offers one Master’s program in agricultural development, but students can choose from various major and minor specializations to supplement their degree. VSU Open University also offers different learning schemes that provide students with the flexibility of how they want to finish the degree program.

Notable programs

  • Master of Agricultural Development

Major in:

  • Agricultural Education
  • Agronomy
  • Animal Production

Minor in:

  • Food Science and Technology
  • Agricultural Economics

Contact information

New Era University Online Education


Established in 2010, NEU Online Education is a relatively new online school, but it is already geared up to be a reputable institution based on the early success of its undergraduate and graduate degree programs. It boasts an online classroom that is fully equipped with extensive learning resources like an online library and a mobile app to monitor independent student productivity.

NEU Online Education also operates an Integrated School, allowing elementary to senior high school students to learn anywhere through a virtual learning environment.

Notable programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

Major in:

  • Financial Management
  • Marketing Management
  • Master of Arts in Education, major in Educational Management
  • Certificate Program in Teaching

Contact information

Mapua Malayan Digital College


Mapua Malayan Digital College is a new online school in the Philippines, set to officially launch for School Year 2022-2023. Built by the Mapua and Malayan educational institutions, the Digital College is expected to be a prominent school for online education in business and information technology.

For its launch this 2022, Mapua Malayan Digital College is offering Bachelor’s degree programs in information technology and business administration.

Notable programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology

Major in:

  • Software Development
  • Network & Cybersecurity
  • Data Analytics
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

Major in:

  • Marketing Management
  • Human Resource Management
  • Operations Management

Contact information

What are the advantages of online schooling?


While studying for a traditional degree would usually require you to take a leave from your job to go to school, enrolling at an open university allows you to balance your work and education, and still have time to spare to pursue your other passions.

Gone are the days of commuting to school and wasting precious hours stuck in traffic. Pursuing an online degree lets you make the most out of your time and energy.



For some of us, the four walls of a classroom and an 8AM to 5PM schedule may not be the most conducive conditions for learning. With online schooling, you can bring your coursework to your couch, to a cafe, or even to the beach. You get to study on your own terms, and you get to decide where, when, and how you study.

Reduced costs

With online schooling, you only pay for the essentials like tuition fees, a few miscellaneous fees, and your internet bill. In the long run, you get to save thousands of pesos by avoiding the costs of daily transportation and nearby housing.

You also don’t have to put your career on hold if you pursue an online degree. This could translate to being more desirable in the workforce and earning that promotion much earlier than if you had to take a leave from work.

Lifelong learning

Open universities make education much more accessible and feasible, no matter what stage you are in your life. You can be a fresh graduate eager to gain new skills, or a full-time worker in your 30s planning to change careers. You can be a senior wanting to learn new things even in your retirement.

Open universities are open to anyone who wants to continue their education beyond traditional methods and who carries the philosophy of lifelong learning.

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  1. It’s good that now many schools have started teaching online, I even thought that this is a safer option especially during covid-19. I kept waiting for my Lutheran school to be in this format