Penn State has already fared well this academic year in rankings from U.S. News & World Report, jumping nine spots to be listed as the 37th best university in the country and 8th among public schools. It added another impressive ranking last week, as U.S. News & World Report released its list of best online bachelor’s degree programs, with Penn State World Campus rated third out of hundreds of higher education institutions. Central Michigan University and SUNY College of Technology – Delhi are the only schools ranked higher than Penn State.
Four of Penn State World Campus’s graduate programs also received top marks from U.S. News. Penn State was ranked No. 5 for best online graduate engineering programs; No. 6 for best online graduate computer information technology programs; No. 17 for best online graduate business programs; and No. 25 for best online graduate education programs.
“It’s very rewarding to have Penn State’s online education programs ranked among the best in the nation by U.S. News,” said Craig Weidemann, vice provost for online education. “The high quality of our online education programs is a testament to the Penn State faculty and staff involved in developing and delivering these programs in a format that is convenient for busy adults who want to advance their careers.”
This is the second year U.S. News has ranked online prograns of higher education institutions. For bachelor’s programs, all disciplines are considered in the overall ranking, whereas the master’s programs are individually graded. The five master’s fields of study that receive numerical ratings are: business, computer information technology, education, engineering, and nursing.
U.S. News changed its methodology this year for calculating rankings of online programs. The following factors, not weighted equally, determine the list for best online bachelor’s programs:
- Student engagement (40 percent)
- Faculty credentials and training (20 percent)
- Peer reputation (20 percent)
- Student services and technology (20 percent)
Penn State’s World Campus has grown tremendously since its launch in 1998. At the time, Penn State was one of the only higher education institutions to offer online courses. Now, more than 13,200 students worldwide are enrolled in Penn State World Campus, which offers more than 100 graduate, undergraduate, and professional education programs.