Stony Brook University's No. 9 ranking for its online master's...

Stony Brook University's No. 9 ranking for its online master's degree in nursing made it the highest Long Island institution on the U.S. News & World Report list. Credit: Newsday/John Paraskevas

U.S. News & World Report, best known for its annual college rankings, released its 2024 rankings of online educational programs Wednesday, based on data submitted by more than 1,600 programs nationally.

This year, a New York State school took the top spot for its online bachelor’s program with the University at Buffalo jumping from a tie at No. 25 last year to the top of the list.

“Choosing the right online degree program can unlock a world of opportunities,” said LaMont Jones, managing editor for education at U.S. News.

U.S. News assessed 1,752 online bachelor's and master's degree programs and ranked 1,680 of them. Shifts in the rankings reflect year-to-year changes in schools' data and elimination of the proportion of graduates who borrowed as a ranking factor.

The rankings applied to programs offered predominantly online — not those that are a blended mix of in-person and virtual classes.

Online graduate programs were considered in the following areas of study: non-MBA business, criminal justice, information technology, education, engineering and nursing. Online MBA programs are ranked separately from other master's business degrees.

The highest for a Long Island institution is Stony Brook University's No. 9 ranking for online master's degree in nursing. It ranked 71st for its non-MBA master’s in business and 121st in master’s in education programs. It ranked 223rd for its online MBA.

Also on Long Island, Hofstra University in Hempstead ranked 29th for best online MBA program and 88th on the list of online master’s in education programs.

New York Institute of Technology in Old Westbury also ranked 100th on that list while ranking 74th for its online master’s in engineering.

St. Joseph's University in Patchogue ranked 153rd for its online bachelor's degree program, and in a bracket between 260th and 345th for its online MBA. It also ranked in a bracket between 163rd and 213th for its non-MBA online business graduate program.

Molloy University in Rockville Centre ranked 246th for its online bachelor's programs and in a bracket between 260th and 345th for best online MBA program.

Adelphi University in Garden City ranked in a bracket between 229th and 303rd for its online education master’s program.

These rankings do not use standardized tests; instead they rely on other factors such as faculty credentials and training, services and technologies available to students and expert opinion on the quality of programs. Master’s degree programs, in addition to this criteria, assess student excellence via undergraduate GPAs, acceptance rates and work experience.

The U.S. News & World Review rankings have been under increasing scrutiny as more elite institutions such as the law schools at Harvard and Yale have declined to participate, and declined to submit data for evaluation. Last year, U.S. News delayed the release of its medical and law school rankings and revamped methodology in its scoring.

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