U.S. News & World Report Ranks UMass Lowell’s Online Degree Programs Among the Best in the Nation. Here’s How These Rankings are Determined.

Every year, U.S. News & World Report gathers data to help prospective students and their families answer one of life’s most important questions: Which college or university’s programs are best and why?

Once again, UMass Lowell’s online degree programs are awarded top rankings by U.S. News & World Report in 2022, which assessed online programs from more than 1,700 colleges and universities across the country. Included among the top degree-granting programs in the nation are:

However, before making an enrollment decision, knowing how U.S News & World Report calculates these rankings may be helpful.

U.S. News Online Program Ranking Criteria

U.S. News uses five assessment categories as the basis for its methodology for most online programs.

  • Engagement: The accessibility of instructors to students and the ability to actively participate in class and with peers account for a large percentage of the ranking total.  Interaction between faculty and students is a top priority at UMass Lowell, with faculty members hosting weekly virtual office hours and providing regular personal feedback on students’ assignments.
  • Services and Technologies: Besides incorporating user-friendly, flexible online learning technologies, outside support such as financial aid resources, guidance, and other support structures determine a percentage of the rank.
  • Faculty Credentials and Training: Employing instructors with strong academic credentials, such as professors who teach in the school’s on-campus programs, is of the weighted rank.
  • Expert Opinion: Senior leaders at peer schools complete a survey that considers intangible factors, such as school or program reputation.
  • Student Excellence: Accomplished student bodies with a proven record of handling rigorous coursework increase the legitimacy of online degree programs.

Online Degree Programs Continue to Grow in Popularity

Many factors have contributed to the steady growth in online program enrollments, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, advancements in technology, affordability, and the convenience of completing course work anywhere there is an Internet connection.

UMass Lowell’s online programs remain one of the highest-rated options for students interested in completing degrees for the following reasons:

  • Flexibility: UMass Lowell’s online classes enable students to complete course work each week as their schedule allows. They are never required to log in at specific times. In addition, many online programs offer concentrations enabling students to customize the program to meet personal or professional preferences.
  • Affordability: Besides offering one of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation, students may also benefit from grants, scholarships, fellowships, and paid assistantships.
  • Speed to Completion: Students pursuing a bachelor’s can transfer in up to 90 college credits, reducing their time to completion to one year of full-time study. A variety of course lengths, including 3-week Winter Intersession courses and 6-week summer courses, help to accelerate degree progress.

Are you interested in learning more about UMass Lowell’s Graduate, Online & Professional Studies’ exceptional online degree courses?