2018 Best Online Education Program Rankings – U.S. News & World Report

U.S. News & World Report, the global authority in education rankings, announced today the 2018 Best Online Programs rankings for adults looking to further their education and improve career-related skills. This year’s edition includes nearly 1,500 distance education programs – up from about 1,300 last year – for bachelor’s degrees as well as graduate programs in engineering, business, nursing and more.

Ohio State University–Columbus earns the No. 1 spot among Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for the first time. For the fourth consecutive year, the Best Online MBA Program is Temple University in Pennsylvania. In computer information technology, the University of Southern California remains No. 1 for the sixth year in a row. St. Xavier University in Chicago is the Best Online Nursing Program, while South Carolina’s Clemson University ranks the highest in education. Columbia University in New York moved up two spots to take the No. 1 rank in engineering.

“The Best Online Programs rankings offer adults the information needed to identify programs that best suit their life and career goals,” said Anita Narayan, managing editor of Education at U.S. News. “The top programs not only demonstrate strong academics but also create learning environments that are particularly well-suited to remote students.”

New this year, U.S. News updated the methodologies for the Best Online Programs in the following ways:

  • More accurately accounting for average indebtedness of graduates: With this, U.S. News ensures that programs graduating students with lower levels of debt are rewarded in the rankings.
  • Added graduation rate for nursing programs: To better account for the time frame required to complete some graduate nursing programs, U.S. News added a four-year graduation rate measure to this ranking.
  • Updated index to measure class size: Rather than using two components for class size, U.S. News created one index measure that more accurately reflects the varying class sizes across campuses.

In addition to the rankings, U.S. News provides weekly editorial content for prospective students looking for accredited programs, employment opportunities, ways to pay for school and comparisons to conventional on-campus programs. The U.S. News Online College Compare tool also allows for a side-by-side comparison of programs on factors including cost, academics and student body demographics.

U.S. News evaluates distance education programs at the program level rather than the school level, using data gathered directly from each program. The methodologies are based on a number of factors, including student engagement, faculty credentials and student services and technology. Only degree-granting programs at regionally accredited institutions that are offered primarily online were considered.

2018 U.S. News & World Report Best Online Programs

Bachelor’s Programs
1. Ohio State University–Columbus
2. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (FL) (tie)
2. Temple University (PA) (tie)

Graduate Programs

1. Temple University (PA)
2. Carnegie Mellon University (PA) (tie)
2. Indiana University—Bloomington (tie)

Business, non-MBA
1. Villanova University (PA)
2. Arizona State University (tie)
2. Indiana University—Bloomington (tie)

Computer Information Technology
1. University of Southern California
2. New York University (tie)
2. Virginia Tech (tie)

Criminal Justice
1. Sam Houston State University (TX)
2. Boston University
3. University of California—Irvine (tie)
3. University of Nebraska—Omaha (tie)

1. Clemson University (SC)
2. Creighton University (NE) (tie)
2. University of Florida (tie)

1. Columbia University (NY)
2. University of California—Los Angeles (tie)
2. University of Southern California (tie)

1. St. Xavier University (IL)
2. Ohio State University
3. Medical University of South Carolina