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UD online graduate programs among top in nation

Photo by Evan Krape

Education, business, information technology, engineering and nursing recognized by U.S. News & World Report

Six University of Delaware online graduate programs are ranked among the best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report in its 2024 U.S. News Best Online Programs.

UD’s online master’s in education programs ranked 19th out of 303, seeing upward momentum in the rankings since 2019. 

UD’s online MBA programs moved up four spots to No. 29 out of 345 programs, eclipsing other Philadelphia region business schools. Related, UD’s online master’s in business programs (excluding MBA) ranked No. 85 out of 213 programs. 

In a new ranking for UD, UD’s online master’s in information technology programs ranked No. 50 out of 92 programs. UD's online master’s in engineering programs ranked No. 65, and the online master’s in nursing programs ranked No. 133. 

“We are excited to see our online programs ranked highly on the national stage,” said Louis Rossi, dean of UD’s Graduate College and vice provost for graduate and professional education. “A graduate degree is a valuable and desirable credential in many fields. It's great to have our efforts recognized in this way as our faculty work to provide greater access to outstanding programs through online modalities. We expect to see our rankings continue to rise as we continue to devote ourselves to online learners through exceptional programs that serve them where they are.”

Programs are evaluated using data reported by the institutions to U.S. News in statistical surveys and from data collected in separate peer assessment surveys; assessment areas include engagement, faculty credentials and training, peer assessment, services and technologies, and student excellence.

“We are very pleased that UD online master's degrees in business, education, nursing and engineering remain highly ranked by U.S. News, and that our master's degrees in information technology are ranked for the first time,” said George Irvine, UD associate provost for online learning and innovation. “The rankings testify to UD's accomplished faculty, engaging online course design, student services and meaningful professional outcomes for our students.”

Education and Human Development

The College of Education and Human Development has the 19th Best Online Master’s in Education Programs, offering three online master’s degrees: literacy, teacher leadership and educational technology. Across all programs, full-time faculty renowned for both teaching and research designed the curriculum to meet the needs of aspiring educational professionals and certified teachers within a flexible and engaging format. Depending on the program, courses run for five, seven and 14 weeks.

“This year, our college advanced again in U.S. News and World Report’s online graduate education rankings, which solidifies our programs' place within the top 20 of more than 300 programs across the nation,” said Gary T. Henry, dean of the College of Education and Human Development. “Our programs are designed and primarily taught by full-time faculty who are leading experts in both online education and the program field. In addition to offering a research-based, high-quality curriculum, they are committed to fostering an engaging, responsive and supportive online environment for our students. I'm proud that our college is able to support literacy specialists, educational technology specialists, teacher leaders and others through our programs."

MBA and Business

The Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics has the 29th Best Online MBA Program and 85th Best Online Master’s in Business Programs. The UD online MBA program features intensive seven-week terms, an advanced digital curriculum with robust interaction with faculty and peers, and access to personal career coaching. Core courses cover fundamental business and management topics and six concentrations: business analytics, healthcare management, international business, strategic leadership, finance and information technology. Five departments in the Lerner College (accounting and management information systems, business administration, economics, finance, and hospitality and sport business management) contribute core and elective courses to the online program.

“Being ranked 29th out of more than 350 online MBA programs in the U.S. is a significant achievement,” said Oliver Yao, dean of UD’s Lerner College. “I am very proud and overjoyed. This recognition is a reflection of the unwavering commitment and tireless efforts of our faculty, staff, students and alumni. Lerner is a pioneer in online MBA education. Lerner’s online MBA program is designed to provide a high-quality MBA program with flexibility that is suitable for working professionals. I am also very happy that our world-class faculty who teach in the program are recognized as we are ranked No. 1 in the country in terms of faculty credentials and training.”

The 30-credit online master’s in international business program features career coaching and two course modules — the first includes six core courses with topics such as globalization, business strategies and market research, while the second consists of any four courses based on individual student’s interests, including business fundamentals, finance and healthcare. The program prepares students to efficiently handle day-to-day operations, enact successful international business strategies, and reference the most applicable public policies.

“I’m very happy that U.S. News is recognizing the quality of our program as we continue to increase in the rankings,” said Jack Baroudi, senior associate dean for academic programs of UD’s Lerner College. “I’m particularly pleased that we continue to be ranked No. 1 for our faculty. We take great care in selecting our faculty and making sure our courses are well-designed for the online environment.”

Engineering and Information Technology

The College of Engineering has the 50th Best Online Master’s in Information Technology Programs and the 65th Best Online Master’s in Engineering Programs. Online master’s engineering programs in cybersecurity, electrical and computer engineering, and mechanical engineering are offered by the University of Delaware. Online students take the same courses as full-time, on-campus engineering students, enabling synergy between research and industry.

The master’s in cybersecurity and the master’s in electrical and computer engineering have also enabled the University of Delaware to receive its first U.S. News information technology ranking. The 30-credit online master’s degree in cybersecurity teaches students to step beyond traditional information technology roles to design, execute and evaluate solutions that can stand up to today’s increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks. The National Security Agency (NSA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have designated UD as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education.

The 30-credit online master’s in electrical and computer engineering degree offers a responsive curriculum that anticipates and aligns with industry trends so that students can stay on the field's cutting edge. The program uses foundational theory and hands-on skill building to challenge students to develop efficient designs and algorithms incorporating defenses against cyber threats during information exchange.

"I am thrilled to see our online cybersecurity and electrical and computer engineering master’s programs newly recognized in these information technology rankings,” said Jamie Phillips, professor and chair of UD’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “These online programs will continue to play an increasing role in meeting the explosive demand for talent in the digital world."


College of Health Sciences has the 133rd Best Online Master’s in Nursing Program. The master of science in nursing offers nurses a program that prepares them for advanced practice roles in today’s complex healthcare systems. Students are prepared to provide and manage care for patients — individually and in groups — with an emphasis on understanding the clinical progression of patients, care transitions and processes, and evidence-based practice. Courses are offered online, with clinical rotations secured in each student’s state of residency.

“We prepare nurses to meet societal healthcare needs through a robust, holistic curriculum that allows our students to learn and hone skills that will enhance the lives of their patients,” said Elizabeth Speakman, chair of UD’s School of Nursing. “By offering our graduate programs online, we’re able to meet the diverse learning needs of adult learners wherever they are and connect them with our highly sought-after faculty. We are honored to be recognized as among the best in the country.”

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