Each year, U.S. News & World Report does an annual ranking of online programs to help students researching their options compare the academic quality of more than 1,200 distance learning programs, according to a USF news release.
The programs from USF that were ranked include the online bachelor’s, online master’s in business administration, and graduate online programs for education and nursing.
“This has been a tradition that has been building for over 20 years,” said Arvid Johnson, USF president.
He said almost 20 years ago, the university was one of the first colleges to do online courses. He said the quality of online education at the university has been the results of past presidents.
“This is a validation of quality,” he said of the ranking.
The university serves 3,850 students nationwide, offering undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs in the arts, sciences, business, education, nursing and social work.
Under the 2017 ranking, the university’s online bachelor’s degree program placed 92nd of 308 schools ranked, up eight places since 2016.
The online MBA program placed 119th of 239 schools ranked, up five places since 2016. The graduate online education programs placed 29th out of 262 schools ranked, up 66 places since 2016.
The graduate online nursing programs at USF placed 29th out of 140 schools, up 40 places since 2016.
“These rankings now place USF’s online graduate business, education programs and online MBA programs at the very top of the list among top Illinois private colleges,” USF officials stated in the news release.
U.S. News & World Report’s methodology for the 2017 Best Online Program list are based on a number of factors and weighted differently per program, according to USF. The factors considered include student engagement, student services and technology, admissions selectivity, faculty credentials, and training and peer reputation.
“This is a pretty comprehensive ranking,” Johnson said.
He said one of the reasons the university has been successful is because it has full-time faculty teaching in the online programs.
The online graduate nursing programs for Lewis University in Romeoville tied for 87th with four other colleges in the rankings.