GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The University of Florida’s online graduate business program is rated No. 1 in the state and fourth in the nation, according to rankings scheduled to be released by U.S. News & World Report on Tuesday. The elite ranking among 213 schools nationwide that reported offering online master’s degree business programs reinforces ratings by the The Economist in which UF’s online MBA was one of only two programs in the world to receive the magazine’s highest grade of “excellent.”
In addition, UF’s online program in education also was rated first in Florida and 18th nationwide, the rankings showed. U.S. News ranks programs based on wide-ranging criteria that include graduation rates, faculty credentials and student services.
Tuesday’s rankings indicate that UF runs highly regarded online offerings while staying true to its mission as a top-tier research university. The university launched its first online degree program in 2002. Today, UF has approximately 4,000 students in online programs, meaning they may never set foot in a brick-and-mortar classroom for their entire university experience.
“This ranking is a testament to our talented faculty, incredible students, dedicated technology team and commitment to utilizing the latest in technology that makes the Hough Graduate School of Business a world leader in distance education,” said S. Selcuk Erenguc, the school’s senior associate dean and director. “This recognition from U.S. News acknowledges that the Hough Graduate School of Business provides an innovative and seamless distance education environment for our students.”
“I attribute our success to our ability to attract the best and brightest students to our online programs. We provide world-class faculty who have embraced online education as a way to be innovative in their teaching, academic program development, and increased access to students working in the field,” said Daniel McCoy, senior director of e-learning, technology and creative services at UF’s College of Education.
U.S. News also recognized the online graduate engineering program as 26th nationally and second in Florida. The magazine ranked UF 34th of 237 U.S. universities in the quality of its online bachelor’s degree programs (third among state institutions).
The recognition comes at a potentially pivotal moment in the evolution of online teaching at UF. In September, UF was among 17 universities, including Columbia and Brown, that signed an agreement with Coursera to put some of its courses online for free. The State University System’s Board of Governors is also scheduled to meet in Gainesville this week to talk about how best to develop online offerings through the state’s 12 public universities.