In only its fourth year of operation and third year of rankings eligibility, the University of Arizona has established itself as a leader in online education, vaulting into the top 10 percent of all online bachelor's programs in the U.S.
Arizona Online is tied at No. 29 out of 348 programs in the 2019 Best Online Bachelor's Programs rankings by U.S. News & World Report. This represents a 27-spot jump from last year's rankings and a 52-spot increase from the UA's inaugural appearance in 2017.
"When the UA launched Arizona Online, we were committed to delivering the same amazing experience to every student. These rankings reflect that we have kept this commitment through the high-quality degree programs of Arizona Online," said UA President Robert C. Robbins. "I am extremely proud of the team that helped get the UA to this point, and I am excited to know that students around the world have access to an exceptional experience while earning their UA degree online."
Arizona Online earned its top placement in information technology graduate programs, which includes information systems, computer science, computer engineering and software engineering, placing fourth out of 51 programs – up from No. 8 in 2018.
Arizona Online also saw significant year-over-year increases in other graduate-level offerings. Its online MBA program tied at No. 21 out of 285 programs, up from No. 33 in 2018. The largest increase was in the ranking for the education program, which jumped from No. 180 last year to No. 29 out of 299 programs in 2019. Arizona Online's graduate programs in engineering (tied at No. 30 out of 94) and nursing (tied at No. 47 out of 170), moved up three and two spots, respectively.
"In just our third year of being ranked by U.S. News & World Report, it is exciting to see that our hard work is paying off," said Vincent Del Casino Jr., interim senior vice provost and vice president of academic initiatives and student success. "We have created a learning environment that supports ambitious adult students who want to complete their degree fully online from one of the most prestigious universities in the world."
In fall 2018, Arizona Online enrolled more than 3,700 students in undergraduate and graduate programs. More than half of the UA's online undergraduates are first-generation college students and more than 70 percent are over the age of 25.
Many Arizona Online students are adults working full time and parents who seek the flexibility of online courses, or active military personnel who require the ability to study from wherever they are stationed or deployed.
"We have made sure that the online experience at our university parallels the experience on our main campus, with academic and student support programs that deliver the same high-quality degree from one of the world's best research universities," Del Casino said.
Arizona Online currently offers 32 undergraduate majors, along with 31 graduate-level majors, 32 graduate certificates and nine doctoral degree programs.
U.S. News & World Report ranks these programs based on student engagement, faculty credentials and training, student services and technology, and peer reputation.
This story was originally published on UA News at https://uanews.arizona.edu/story/arizona-online-soars-latest-us-news-ran...