UMass online graduate programs climb U.S. News & World Report rankings

By Nicole Dotzenrod

(Collegian Photo File)
(Collegian Photo File)

U.S. News and World Report highly rated three University of Massachusetts online graduate programs, ranking them as some of the top programs in the country, according to a news release.

The Isenberg School of Management online MBA program was ranked 12th out of 147 institutions for best online MBA program, tied with Arkansas State University-Jonesboro, James Madison University and Lehigh University.

“A significant proportion of our students are medical doctors, engineers or professionals with other advanced degrees,” said Mark A. Fuller, Isenberg’s dean, in a news release. “The networking and collaborative learning that occurs in our classes as a result is tremendous. We attract these high-performing individuals because of our outstanding faculty and innovative curriculum and a deep understanding of how to best teach in the online format.”

Along with the Isenberg program, the nursing and science education programs were also nationally ranked.

The UMass online graduate nursing program tied for No. 15 out of 129 schools for best online graduate nursing programs. It is tied with Loyola University New Orleans and the University of Texas Medical Branch-Galveston.

The graduate science education online program is ranked 78th out of 252 schools for best online graduate education programs. It is also tied with other institutions, such as Campbellsville University, Colorado State University, Saint Joseph’s University, the University of Colorado-Denver, the University of North Carolina-Pembroke, the University of St. Francis and Wayne State University.

These rankings, according to the release, are determined by five general criteria, including student engagement, admissions selectivity, peer reputation, faculty credentials and training and student services and technology. The statistical data used for the rankings was collected from July through September 2014.

According to Daniel Fitzgibbons, associate director at the Office of News and Media Relations, this is the first year where the U.S. News ranking of MBA programs is separate from all other online business master’s degree programs. He also added that these rankings have a positive impact on the image of UMass.

“These rankings are one of the things perspective students will look at when they choose an online graduate program, and it can influence their decision to apply,” Fitzgibbons said. “The rankings could potentially attract more applicants, which means more support and revenue coming in, making these programs more strong and viable in the long run.”

Isenberg is one of the oldest accredited online MBA programs, offering an online format for more than 12 years, with the largest enrollment out of the top 25 schools that were ranked.

UMass also ranked No. 30 among the top public universities in the country in the U.S. News and World Report’s 2015 Best Colleges guide, moving up 20 places since 2010. UMass is tied nationally with Indiana University Bloomington, Miami University, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and the University of Delaware.

U.S. News has been publishing rankings of the nation’s colleges and universities since 1983.

Nicole Dotzenrod can be reached at [email protected]