U.S. News Ranks Several U of A Online Programs in Top 50

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas online graduate education programs climbed to No. 42 in U.S. News & World Report's annual "Best Online Programs." It was the second year that the programs rose in the rankings, which surveyed 298 national institutions for the 2020 report.

The online bachelor's and graduate engineering programs continued to be ranked in the Top 50 as well.

Online bachelor's degree programs ranked at No. 29 overall and No. 24 among public institutions. Online graduate engineering programs ranked No. 46 overall and No. 36 among public institutions, while graduate education programs reached No. 39 among public universities.

Online programs from academic colleges across the U of A are showcased on the University of Arkansas ONLINE website.

"The high-quality of U of A online programs is a testament to the faculty's commitment to academic excellence and the institution's investment in innovative teaching and learning," said Cheryl Murphy, vice provost for distance education. "More students can reach their academic and career goals because they have access to these top-quality online programs."


Online master's degree programs in education from the College of Education and Health Professions climbed to No. 42, up from No. 46 in 2019 and No. 56 in 2018.

"We're especially proud of our continuously increasing online programming because of how it supports our outreach to the community," said Dr. Brian A. Primack, dean of the College of Education and Health Professions. "Not everyone can come to campus for a top-notch education. So, it's critical that we have outstanding educational options and opportunities for people across Arkansas and the world."

Graduate education degree programs delivered online:

  • Master's and doctoral degrees in adult and lifelong learning
  • Master's degree in community college leadership
  • Master's degree in educational equity
  • Master's and doctoral degrees in educational leadership
  • Master's degree in educational technology
  • Master's and doctoral degrees in human resource and workforce development education
  • Education specialist degree in curriculum and instruction
  • Master's degree in physical education
  • Master's degree in special education


Online bachelor's degree programs ranked No. 29 among 348 ranked programs. Those programs include:

  • Communication
  • Interdisciplinary studies
  • Accounting
  • General business
  • Supply chain management
  • Human resource and workforce development
  • And programs for registered nurses and licensed practical nurses to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing

These programs are offered by the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, the Sam M. Walton College of Business, and the College of Education and Health Professions.


Online master's degree programs from the College of Engineering ranked No. 46 among 94 institutions in 2020.

"Our online degree programs provide critical opportunities for engineers to further their education in a way that's flexible, engaging and rigorous," said John English, dean of the College of Engineering. "Our faculty and staff work tirelessly to help our students succeed, and I'm pleased to see that dedication recognized in these rankings."

Graduate engineering programs delivered online are master's degrees in engineering, electrical engineering and engineering management.


U.S. News rankings for undergraduate degree programs are based on four categories: student engagement, student services and technology, faculty credentials and training, and peer reputation. Rankings for graduate education and graduate engineering programs include those four categories and selectivity of their admissions. Full rankings, data and detailed methodologies are available on the U.S. News website.


Providing quality online programs is imperative as more people are relying on distance learning to access higher education, both at the U of A and nationwide.

More than 14,000 U of A students took at least one online course in academic year 2019, which represents about 46 percent of the student population. About 10 percent of all U of A students, or 3,154 students, studied exclusively online in the same year. Nationwide, almost 7 million students studied at a distance in 2018, with nearly half of them taking exclusively distance education courses, according to the National Center for Education Statistics website.

In the last academic year at the U of A, 223 undergraduate students and 589 graduate students earned degrees through online programs.

About the Global Campus: The Global Campus supports U of A colleges and schools in the development and delivery of online programs and courses. It provides instructional design services, technology services and assistance with marketing, recruiting and strategic academic development.

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among fewer than 3% of colleges and universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.


Kay Murphy, director of communications
Global Campus
479-575-6489, ksmurphy@uark.edu

Shannon Magsam, director of communications
College of Education and Health Professions
479-575-3138, magsam@uark.edu

Nick DeMoss, director of communications
College of Engineering
479-575-5697, ndemoss@uark.edu


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