Online education rankings are out: Stevens fares best among N.J. schools

Hoboken college has one program in Top 10, three among Top 25 nationally

It was back in June 2020, back when institutions of higher education had little sense of how the COVID-19 pandemic — which had disruptive the previous school year — would impact education moving forward.

Stevens Institute of Technology President Nariman Farvardin had a few thoughts: There will be a lot more online learning, he said. Especially at the graduate level.

If this becomes true, Stevens will gain yet another advantage.

On Tuesday, U.S. News & World Report released its Best Online Programs rankings for 2021. Stevens had five programs ranked among the Top 25 nationally — and another in the Top 35:

No. 8: Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology;
No. 8: Best Online Engineering Specialties for Industrial (Systems) Engineering;
No. 14: Best Online Graduate Business;
No. 16: Best Online MBA Specialties for Business Analytics;
No. 21: Best Online Graduate Engineering;
No. 35: Best Online MBA.

The rankings fall in line with Farvardin’s thoughts.

I think, going forward, you will see more (online learning) happening,” he said. “But, let me just put in a qualifier here. In my opinion, online learning or variations of online learning are going to be far more successful at the graduate level, in particular master’s level, as compared to undergraduate.

“When young people graduate from high school, the next phase of their personal and educational development is being on the campus of a university. They need four years of that to further grow. Not all of that can be replaced by online. So, I think at the undergraduate level, the penetration of online is not going to be as powerful as it will be at the master’s level. I think, before you know, master’s programs will be totally converted to online. And I see that getting accelerated now.”

Provost Christophe Pierre, Stevens’ chief academic officer, said the school was thrilled to get the recognition.

“As more and more students turn to remote learning due to the pandemic, these rankings are evidence of Stevens’ leadership in online education and the excellence of our graduate programs,” he said. “It is an honor to be featured in these rankings and it is a testament to the remarkable collaborative effort of our university community during a difficult period in all our lives.”

Here’s a link to the complete online rankings, both for programs and individual schools.

A list of the top schools nationally for both an online bachelor’s degree and online MBA is below.

Here is a look at the online programs at New Jersey schools that fared well. At first glance, five other schools in the state had at least one online program ranked among the Top 100 nationally:

Saint Elizabeth University:

No. 19: Best Online Master’s in Criminal Justice Programs.

New Jersey Institute of Technology:

No. 27: Best Online Master’s in Computer Information Technology Programs;
No. 56: Best Online Master’s in Engineering Programs;
No. 91: Best Online Master’s in Business Programs (excluding MBA);
No. 100: Best Online MBA Programs.

Rutgers University – Camden:

No. 11: Best Online Bachelor’s in Business Programs;
No. 48: Best Online MBA Programs for Veterans;
No. 76: Best Online MBA Programs;
No. 86: Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.

Rutgers – New Brunswick/Newark:

No. 5: Best Online Master’s in Business Programs for Veterans (excluding MBA);
No. 12: Best Online Master’s in Business Programs (excluding MBA).

Seton Hall University:

No. 27: Best Online Master’s in Nursing Programs.

National rankings

Best online bachelor’s program:

No. 1: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Daytona Beach, Fla.);
No. 2: Illinois-Chicago;
No. 3: Florida;
No. 4 (tie): Ohio State;
No. 4 (tie): Oregon State;
No. 6: Arizona State;
No. 7: Arizona;
No. 8 (tie): CUNY;
No. 8 (tie): SUNY-Buffalo.

Best online MBAs:

No. 1 (tie): North Carolina;
No. 1 (tie): Carnegie Mellon;
No. 3: Indiana;
No. 4: Southern Cal;
No. 5: Florida;
No. 7 (tie): Penn State;
No. 7 (tie): Texas-Dallas;
No. 9: Rice;
No. 10 (tie): Ole Miss;
No. 10 (tie): Arizona;
No. 10 (tie): Maryland;
No. 10 (tie): Washington;
No. 10 (tie): Wisconsin.