US News ranks the best online college programs of 2022

“The uncertainty caused by the pandemic may lead more people to consider the merits of an online education,” said Liana Loewus, senior education editor at US News.

Even before the pandemic disrupted colleges and universities, online learning was becoming a popular option: in fall 2019, about 37% of post-secondary students nationwide were enrolled in a distance learning course, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

The past two years have only helped this trend, and on Tuesday, US News & World Report released a resource to help prospective students — its 2022 ranking of the best online programs.

“The uncertainty caused by the pandemic may lead more people to consider the merits of an online education,” said Liana Loewus, senior education editor at US News. “As students consider what’s right for them and their schedule, they can use the data provided by US News to research their options and make informed decisions about their academic future.”

This is the 10th year of the rankings, and this year US News ranked 1,651 programs out of the more than 1,700 it evaluated. Rankings were based on factors such as student engagement; services and technologies available to students; degrees and faculty training; and expert opinion on the academic quality of a program.

Remarkable premises

The ranking of online programs includes several categories, and a few universities in the region have done well in each.

Johns Hopkins and Virginia Tech, for example, have the programs ranked No. 2 and No. 3 respectively on the list of better Masters in Computer Information Technology. (Three other area universities — George Mason, James Madison, and Maryland-Baltimore County — all tied for 42nd in that same ranking.)

Georgetown (tied for No. 7), William & Mary (tied for No. 18), George Washington (tied for No. 21), American (tied for 35th), and George Mason (also tied for tied for 35th) are regional stars in the rankings of best online masters in business (non-MBA) programs.

Maryland-College Park was tied for 12th and James Madison was tied for 24th in the standings. best online MBA programs.

George Washington also did well in the best bachelor degree online program ranking, tying for 14th overall.

The University of Virginia was tied for 8th overall among best online masters in education programs. Other regional standouts included George Mason (tied for No. 41), George Washington (tied for No. 46) and Towson (also tied for No. 46).

Johns Hopkins and Maryland-College Park (tied for 12th), George Washington (16th) and Virginia Tech (20th) stood out in the US News ranking best online masters in engineering programs.

And in the ranking for best online masters in nursing programs, DC’s Catholic University of America was tied for 6th overall, with George Washington not far behind, tied for 8th overall. Another standout: Virginia Commonwealth, tied at No. 20.

Overall standouts

Here are the top performers for each ranking. View full detailed standings on the US News website.

License programs

  1. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Worldwide (FL) (tie)
  2. University of Florida (tie)
  3. Medical University of South Carolina (tie)
  4. University of Illinois at Chicago (tie)

Master’s programs


  1. Indiana University – Bloomington (Kelley) (tie)
  2. University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill (Kenan-Flagler) (tie)
  3. University of Southern California (Marshall) (tie)

Business, non-MBA

  1. Indiana University – Bloomington (Kelley) (tie)
  2. University of Southern California (Marshall) (tie)
  3. Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper) (PA) (tie)
  4. University of Georgia (Terry) (tie)

computer information technology

  1. Columbia University (New York)
  2. Johns Hopkins University (Whiting) (MD)
  3. Virginia Tech

Criminal Justice/Criminology

  1. University of California – Irvine
  2. Sam Houston State University (TX) (tie)
  3. University of Massachusetts–Lowell (tie)


  1. Clemson University (Moore) (SC)
  2. University of Florida
  3. University of Georgia (tie)
  4. University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign (tie)


  1. Columbia University (Fu Foundation)
  2. University of California – Los Angeles (Samueli)
  3. Pennsylvania State University – Global Campus (tie)
  4. Purdue University – West Lafayette (IN) (tie)

Feeding with milk

  1. Ohio State University (tie)
  2. University of Pittsburgh (PA) (tie)
  3. University of South Carolina (tie)

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