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U.S. News Starts Year With 2018 Online MBA Rankings

It’s the beginning of a new year, and that means a new set of online MBA rankings from U.S. News & World Report.

U.S. News’s decision to keep an annual ranking of online MBA programs reflects the rising popularity of online MBAs. Not everyone can afford to leave their job or their life for B-school, so online MBAs are an excellent opportunity for those who would otherwise find it difficult to enroll in MBA programs.

According to the U.S. News online MBA rankings, the top online MBA in the country remains Temple University’s Fox School of Business, which placed first in last year’s list.

In fact, the top five programs remain mostly unchanged from 2017 to 2018. Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business is still in second place and Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business in third.

Meanwhile, University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flager Business School and Arizona State University’s W. P. Carey School of Business take fourth and fifth.

 The only, very slight, difference in the top five is that University of Florida’s Hough Graduate School of Business, which tied for fifth last year, has now slipped into sixth. In the 2018 rankings, it finds itself in a tie with the University of Texas at Dallas’s Naveen Jindal School of Management.

 A fair question students might have about online MBAs is what kind of experience these virtual learning experiences provide for students. U.S. News attempts to capture the answer to this question by measuring “student engagement,” which accounts for a third of a program’s rank.

Online MBA programs that do well in this category tend to have high graduation rates, high retention rates and small class sizes.

They also adhere to what U.S. News refers to as “best practices” in online learning, which include assigning collaborative coursework, using student evaluations, holding office hours, and taking steps to discourage plagiarism and academic dishonesty.

Admissions selectivity is another important element of U.S. News’s online MBA degree rankings. This involves measures of students’ standardized test scores, academic achievements and work experience, as well as the program’s overall acceptance rate. It accounts for 20 percent of a given school’s rank.

Other categories that factor into the rankings include peer reputation (20 percent), faculty credentials (13.5 percent), and student services and technology (13.5 percent).

Looking at how schools break down in terms of these categories can be telling. For example, Temple’s online MBA program received a perfect score on admissions selectivity (100) and a very high score on student engagement (97), which helped propel it to its first-place finish.

Breakdowns are available for each school. To see these breakdowns and the complete rankings, visit the U.S. News website.

If you’re still wondering what type of MBA program is a good fit for you or what schools in particular you should be aiming for, we can help with that. Just request a free assessment from us!