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Penn State’s Online Programs Ranked Among Nation’s Best

Penn State held its ground for the fifth straight year as one of the most recognized universities in U.S. News and World Report’s annual rankings of the best online degree programs in the country.

Penn State World Campus, the university’s virtual campus, is ranked in the top 10 of five graduate degree disciplines and the overall bachelor’s degree programs category.

World Campus has been ranked in the top 10 in U.S. News’ best online programs rankings more than any other institution since 2017.

Below are all six of Penn State World Campus’ rankings:

  • No. 4, online graduate engineering
  • No. 7 (tie), online graduate education
  • No. 7 (tie), online MBA
  • No. 8 (tie), online graduate computer IT
  • No. 10 (tie), online bachelor’s programs
  • No. 10, online graduate business (non-MBA)

Renata Engel, the vice provost for online education at Penn State, said that the rankings are an indicator of the university’s dedication to providing online learners with a quality learning experience.

“We are honored to be recognized in U.S. News and World Report’s rankings for offering some of the most high-quality online degree programs in the country,” Engel said in a release.

“The combination of Penn State faculty who are scholars or experts in their fields, contemporary curriculum that is engaging, and staff that are committed to comprehensive support services create learning environments across the broad range of disciplines that support students to pursue and realize their educational goals,” Engel continued.

The Best Online Programs rankings also include lists for other specialized programs within specific academic areas, as well as for veteran students. Some highlights of World Campus’ rankings include:

  • Penn State World Campus is No. 1 for its bachelor’s degree program in psychology, which consists of a bachelor of arts and a bachelor of science.
  • In the graduate program rankings, Penn State World Campus was No. 3 for graduate engineering management and No. 9 for business analytics among online MBA programs.

These annual rankings are based on statistical surveys submitted by colleges and universities in addition to data collected from a separate peer-reputation survey.

Bachelor’s programs surveys ranked over 350 institutions on categories including engagement, services and technology, faculty credentials and training, and expert opinion.

Graduate degree programs measured those four categories as well as student excellence.

Penn State World Campus was also ranked in the top 10 of six categories of its Best Online Programs for Veterans lists.

These rankings are based on the same factors as its Best Online Programs rankings, as well as the institution’s ability to make college more affordable and accessible to veterans through the GI Bill or other grant-in-aid programs directed towards military students.

The rankings are also based on whether the programs enroll at least 25 military students at the undergraduate level and 10 at the graduate level.

Below are the rankings for Best Online Programs for Veterans:

  • No. 1, online graduate engineering
  • No. 3, online graduate business (non-MBA)
  • No. 3, online graduate education
  • No. 5, online MBA
  • No. 5, online computer IT
  • No. 7 (tie), online bachelor’s programs

Even when Penn State World Campus was launched in 1998, it was regarded as one of the leaders in online higher education. Now, in 2021, Penn State World Campus offers over 150 degree and certificate programs online to more than 14,000 students internationally and 25,000 graduates and continues to rank among other universities nationwide.

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About the Author

Lauren Wysseier

Lauren is a sophomore writer majoring in advertising from Fort Myers, Florida. She is a Floridian but, at heart, a Pennsylvanian. Her go-to fun fact is that she used to live in Barcelona, Spain. She is passionate about dogs, food, the Oxford comma, and most importantly, all-things Penn State. Don't hesitate to send her your best dog videos on Twitter @laurenwysseier or email [email protected] with other inquiries.


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