Arizona Online Leaps into the Top 10 in US News & World Report Rankings
Arizona Online rose to No. 7 overall and No. 6 among public universities in the 2021 Best Online Bachelor's Programs rankings by U.S. News & World Report.

By Nick Prevenas, University Communications
Jan. 26, 2021

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Arizona Online rose to No. 7 overall and No. 6 among public universities in the 2021 Best Online Bachelor's Programs rankings by U.S. News & World Report.
Arizona Online rose to No. 7 overall and No. 6 among public universities in the 2021 Best Online Bachelor's Programs rankings by U.S. News & World Report. Photo by Carlos Moreno.

After only six years of operation and five years of rankings eligibility, Arizona Online made its first top 10 appearance in the 2021 Best Online Bachelor's Programs rankings by U.S. News & World Report.

Arizona Online climbed to No. 7 overall – and No. 6 among public universities – out of 337 programs, further solidifying itself as a national leader in online education.

"The University of Arizona has worked tirelessly to develop exceptional educational opportunities for students throughout the world, both in our traditional classrooms and in online settings," said University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins. "This ranking places us among the nation's most prestigious online education programs and shows our commitment to flexibility and accessibility. I am very proud of what Arizona Online continues to accomplish."

With a four-spot jump from last year's No. 11 overall placement and a 74-spot increase from the university's inaugural appearance in 2017, Arizona Online is one of the nation's fastest-rising universities in the rankings.

In fall 2020, Arizona Online enrolled more than 6,200 students in undergraduate and graduate programs. Many Arizona Online students are adults working full time and parents who seek the flexibility of online courses, as well as active military personnel who require the ability to study from wherever they are stationed or deployed.

Arizona Online also scored top 10 spots in two first-time categories for bachelor's programs: business (No. 6 overall, with the third-best overall score among 143 programs) and psychology (No. 8 overall).

"In six years, Arizona Online has grown from having a limited number of fully online programs to offering nearly 40 online bachelor's degrees," said Liesl Folks, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. "Our main priority is to prepare students for successful careers by providing access to quality online education and keeping the human interaction at the forefront of the learning experience."

This year, Arizona Online placed No. 5 overall and No. 4 among public universities in its bachelor's program offerings for veterans. Other veteran-specific rankings include these online master's programs:

  • No. 4: computer information technology
  • No. 7: MBA
  • No. 10: nursing
  • No. 16: engineering

In addition to bachelor's programs, U.S. News & World Report ranks online graduate programs.

Arizona Online saw significant year-over-year improvements in graduate-level offerings. In information technology graduate programs, which includes information systems, computer science, computer engineering and software engineering, Arizona Online placed tied for No. 6 out of 74 programs and No. 5 among public universities. These programs are offered through the Eller College of Management, the College of Science and the College of Engineering.

The Eller College's online MBA program finished in the top 10 for the second time, placing in a tie at No. 10, and was ranked No. 7 among public universities. The graduate nursing program offered through the College of Nursing ranked No. 32 overall.

Two other Arizona Online graduate programs also earned strong placements. In engineering programs, Arizona Online tied at No. 30 overall – up eight spots from last year. In education programs, it tied at No. 46 overall.

"We are delighted to be recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a national leader in providing students high quality online learning experiences," said Craig Wilson, vice provost for online and distance education. "At Arizona Online, we also understand the difficult times our students, faculty and staff are facing during this COVID-19 pandemic. That is why we will continue to find innovative ways to improve the online learning and work environments we use daily to ensure our students are prepared for whatever challenges lie ahead."

U.S. News & World Report ranks programs based on student engagement, student services and technology, faculty credentials and training, and expert opinion.

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Nick Prevenas

Director of Media Relations, University Communications