Ohio State University–Columbus takes the No. 1 spot among 2018 U.S. News & World Report’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for the first time.

This year’s ranking includes nearly 1,500 online bachelor’s degree programs–up from about 1,300 last year–for bachelor’s degrees, as well as graduate programs in engineering, business, nursing and more.

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.

(Next page: Top online bachelor’s degree programs in nursing, IT, and more)

“The Best Online Programs rankings offer adults the information needed to identify programs that best suit their life and career goals,” says 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.”

The evaluation process
U.S. News evaluates online bachelor’s degree 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, student services, and technology. Only degree-granting programs at regionally accredited institutions that are offered primarily online were considered.

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

  • 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.
  • 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.

Other rankings include:

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

About the Author:

Laura Ascione

Laura Ascione is the Managing Editor, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. When she isn't wrangling her two children, Laura enjoys running, photography, home improvement, and rooting for the Terps. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura http://twitter.com/eSN_Laura

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