The 2023 Best Online Programs rankings were released today by U.S. News & World Report, the world’s preeminent source for educational rankings. The rankings examine online bachelor’s and master’s degree programmes at regionally approved universities for people wishing to finish or further their education. For this year’s edition, more institutions than ever before submitted data, leading to the inclusion of 1,832 programmes, the most ever. Criminal justice experienced the largest gain among the eight fields evaluated in the rankings, rising from 83 to 95.
Rankings for bachelor’s programmes may be found in The Best Online Degrees, along with rankings for master’s programmes in the following fields: MBA, business (non-MBA), computer science, criminal justice, education, engineering, and nursing. Each discipline’s approaches vary, but they all include indicators particular to online learning. According to Eric Brooks, lead data analyst at U.S. News, “the bulk of the undergraduate programmes in the Best Online Programs rankings are degree completion programmes, meaning the great majority of their students already have some college credit.” These rankings differ from those that are concentrated on recent high school graduates seeking higher education for the first time because the methodology was established with those individuals in mind.
In addition to the rankings, U.S. News provides tools for investigating and comparing distance learning schools, such as the Online College Compare tool. Additionally, U.S. News produces editorial content all year long that offers guidance on issues like financial aid, time management, and developments in online education. U.S. News uses information that has been obtained directly from each institution because it is the only media outlet to assess online degrees at the programme level as opposed to the school level. The techniques are based on things like teacher credentials, student services, and technology, as well as things like student participation. Only degree-granting programmes that are predominantly provided online by universities with regional accreditation are included in the rankings.