Universities across North Carolina offer some of the best online academic programs in the nation, according to the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings.
U.S. News released its 2022 Best Online Programs rankings Tuesday, which evaluate schools’ online bachelor’s and master’s degree programs.
“The uncertainty caused by the pandemic may result in more people considering the merits of an online education,” said Liana Loewus, managing editor of education at U.S. News, said in a statement. “As students consider what’s right for them and their schedules, they can use the data provided by U.S. News to research their options and make informed decisions about their academic future.”
North Carolina and the UNC System are investing in online education through Project Kitty Hawk, which is aimed at reaching adult learners, particularly those who have some college credit but no degree. The system is creating an educational technology non-profit that will help schools develop, market and provide online degree programs to working adults that align with state workforce needs.
UNC-Chapel Hill earned the highest ranking with the No. 1 online MBA program in the nation in a three-way tie with Indiana University-Bloomington and University of Southern California. N.C. State University and UNC Charlotte rank in the top 10 for online bachelor’s degrees, both up from last year. NCSU’s online master’s engineering program also earned a top 10 spot, and Duke University ranked in the top 5 for its master’s nursing program.
U.S. News ranks colleges and universities based on data about student services and technology, faculty credentials and student engagement specifically for distance learners.
Online bachelor’s degrees
N.C. State and UNC Charlotte tied for 10th overall, earning the highest rankings among North Carolina universities for online bachelor’s degree programs.
▪ NCSU and UNCC - 10
▪ UNC Wilmington - 26
▪ Campbell University - 87
▪ UNC Greensboro - 101
▪ Appalachian State University - 111
▪ N.C. Central University - 153
▪ Western Carolina - 190
▪ UNCW - 34
▪ Campbell University - 51
▪ UNCG - 61
▪ NCCU - 87
For a business degree:
▪ App State and UNCG tied at 30
▪ WCU - 67
▪ Campbell - 98
For a psychology degree:
▪ UNCG - 36
Online MBA and business
While UNC-Chapel Hill took the top spot, several universities ranked among the best for their master’s business administration programs.
▪ UNC-CH - 1
▪ NC State - 20
▪ Fayetteville State University - 78
▪ Queens University of Charlotte - 105
▪ East Carolina University - 121
▪ UNCG - 159
▪ UNCW - 201
▪ NC State - 29
▪ Fayetteville State - 61
UNC-CH ranked 2nd for general management and marketing and 4th for business analytics and finance specialties.
N.C. State ranked 9th for business analytics.
For master’s in business (non-MBA):
▪ UNC-CH ranked 18 overall and for veterans
▪ UNCG - 75 overall
▪ Western Carolina - 123 overall
Online information technology (IT) programs
N.C. A&T State University rose into the top 20 in the country for its master’s information technology program and how it serves veteran students.
▪ NC A&T - 19 overall and 20th for veterans
▪ NC State - 28 overall
▪ UNCG - 49 overall
Online criminal justice programs
East Carolina University again ranked 21st nationwide for its online master’s criminal justice program.
Online education programs
UNC Charlotte earned the highest ranking among North Carolina schools’ master’s education programs at 14th overall.
▪ UNCC - 14 overall
▪ UNCG - 41 overall and 13 for veterans
▪ NC State - 46 overall and 17 for veterans
▪ NC A&T - 53 overall
▪ ECU - 60 overall
▪ App State - 93 overall
▪ Queens University - 140 overall
▪ UNCW - 192 overall
For specialties, App State ranked 12th for curriculum and instruction and tied with N.C. State at 20th for educational administration and supervision. ECU ranked 17th for curriculum and instruction. UNCC ranked 10th for educational/instructional media design.
Online engineering programs
N.C. State University ranked in the top 10 in the nation for its online master’s engineering program overall and in several specialties.
▪ NC State - 7 overall and 10 for veterans
▪ Duke - 42 overall and 31 for veterans
▪ UNCC - 70 overall
NCSU ranked 4th for civil and mechanical engineering, 7th for industrial engineering and 8th for electrical engineering. Duke ranked 5th for engineering management.
Online nursing programs
Duke’s online master’s nursing program again ranked among the best in the country at 5th overall and 2nd for veterans. Duke also earned the No. 1 ranking for nursing administration, nursing education and family nurse practitioner programs.
▪ Duke - 5 overall and 2 for veterans
▪ UNCG - 18
▪ Winston-Salem State University - 20
▪ ECU - 29 and 5 for veterans
▪ UNCW - 46 and 12 for veterans
▪ UNCC - 68
▪ Queens - 99
▪ App State- 103
East Carolina ranked 6th for nursing education and 13th for nursing administration, while UNCW ranked 9th for nursing education.
The full list of U.S. News & World Report 2022 Best Online Programs rankings is available online.