ACROSS AMERICA — After months of campus closures and restrictions, the coronavirus pandemic has given new importance to online education and the flexibility it offers current and prospective college students.
While some colleges have temporarily moved online as an alternative to in-person learning amid the pandemic, a new ranking by U.S. News & World Report gives a nod to select schools and degree programs in the country that were specifically designed to be earned online.
Intended for those looking to complete or further their education, the rankings, released Tuesday by U.S. News., evaluate more than 1,600 online bachelor's and master's degree programs.
The rankings did not take into account schools or programs that have temporarily moved online due to the pandemic, according to a release by U.S. News. The list also doesn’t include blended learning programs that combine courses in brick-and-mortar classrooms with online
To determine which schools and programs made this year’s list, U.S. News looked at overall academic quality across a variety of disciplines. In addition to online bachelor's degrees, U.S. News ranked master's programs in business, education, nursing, engineering, computer information technology and criminal justice. Online MBA programs were split from other business degrees and ranked separately.
New this year, U.S. News added rankings of online bachelor's programs in business and psychology.
The methodologies to determine the best programs varied according to specialty. Learn more about the methodologies used at USNews.com.
Florida-based Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University moved back up to No. 1 this year among Best Online Bachelor's Programs. For MBAs, Carnegie Mellon University tied with the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill for the top spot.
Meanwhile, Columbia University had the top-ranked computer information technology master’s program. Tied for No. 1 among Best Online Master's in Nursing programs were Rush University and the University of South Carolina.
Finally, the No. 1 master’s programs in education and engineering are at the University of Florida and Columbia University, respectively.
See the full 2021 list of Best Online Programs here.