Stony Brook University ranked in 8th place for online master’s degree in nursing...

Stony Brook University ranked in 8th place for online master’s degree in nursing programs. Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

The U.S. News & World Report, best known for its annual college rankings, released its 2023 rankings of online educational programs Tuesday, based on data submitted by 1,832 programs nationally.

The highest ranking for a Long Island institution is Stony Brook University’s 8th place ranking for online master’s degree in nursing programs. It ranked 93 for non-MBA master’s in business and 132 in master’s in education programs.

Also on Long Island, Hofstra University in Hempstead came in 19th for best online MBA programs and 82nd on the list of online master’s degree in education programs. New York Institute of Technology in Old Westbury also ranked 82nd on that list while ranking 34th on the list of a master’s in computer information technology programs, 75th in online master’s in engineering and 235th on the online bachelor’s list. St. Joseph’s University, New York, ranked  161 in its online bachelor’s degree program and 261 in its online MBA program.

Molloy University in Rockville Centre ranked in a bracket of schools between 272 and 359 for its online bachelor's degree programs and in a bracket between 261 and 344 for best online MBA programs.   

According to the U.S. News & World Report’s release announcing the rankings, only degree-granting programs primarily offered online by regionally accredited institutions were ranked, based on metrics specific to online learning and factors such as student engagement, faculty credentials, and student services and technology.

"Most of the undergraduate programs in the Best Online Programs rankings are degree completion programs, meaning the vast majority of their students already have some college credit," said Eric Brooks, principal data analyst at U.S. News, in the statement. "The methodology is developed with those students in mind, setting these rankings apart from those that are focused on recent high school graduates pursuing higher education for the first time."

The University of Florida topped the rankings for online bachelor’s programs and shared the top rank in online master’s in education programs with Clemson University.

Indiana University-Bloomington and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill tied for first in MBA rankings, while Indiana University took the top spot also in non-MBA master’s in business.

Columbia University ranked first for its online computer information technology master’s program while the University of California-Irvine ranked first in criminal justice/criminology. In engineering, the University of California-Los Angeles took the top spot, while that ranking went to the University of South Carolina in master’s in nursing programs.

The U.S. News & World Review rankings have been under increasing scrutiny as more elite institutions have declined to participate in the rankings, refusing to submit data for evaluation. Six of the top 14 ranked law schools in the nation are boycotting the rankings, while Harvard Medical School, ranked No. 1 on the 2023 list of medical schools, announced recently it would no longer participate. Critics maintain that the rankings stress and reinforce certain criteria at the expense of other important educational objectives while giving incentives for institutions to submit misleading data.

Last year, Columbia University’s ranking dropped to 18 from 2 in 2021, after it acknowledged submitting incorrect information on class size and faculty qualifications.

However, the rankings can bring welcome attention to less highly selective institutions from potential applicants who continue to use the rankings as part of their college search.

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