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Online degree programs at IU's Kelley School of Business ranked No. 1 by U.S. News and World Report

Other degree offerings at IU Bloomington, IUPUI and IPFW also recognized

  • Jan. 7, 2015

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE, 12:01 a.m. Jan. 7, 2015

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Two programs at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business are No. 1 in U.S. News and World Report's rankings of the Best Online Education Programs, remaining at the top of more than 200 graduate business offerings nationwide.

The No. 1 rankings for both the school's Kelley Direct online MBA program and its online Master of Science program highlight its commitment both to students who are seeking a traditional MBA degree as well as those who seek specialized professional development offered by an M.S. degree.

This was the first year that U.S. News has published two business rankings: one of online MBA programs and one of all other online master's programs in business, in areas such as finance, accounting or risk management. Kelley received a perfect score of 100 in both rankings.

Kelley School Dean Idalene “Idie” Kesner said the two No. 1 rankings support the Kelley School’s commitment to excellence in all of its degree programs.

"We place the same emphasis on our online programs as we do for our in-residence programs -- the same world-class professors, the same emphasis on leadership, and the same emphasis on student collaboration and global experiences," said Kesner, who is also the Frank P. Popoff Chair of Strategic Management at Kelley. "We saw the need for online education two decades ago and have been building successful programs for the past 16 years that others look to for best practices."

Philip Powell, faculty chair of Kelley Direct and a professor of business economics, said part of that success is "disruptive innovation."

"Obviously, there are different challenges with the online environment, but our faculty and staff are always looking for innovative ways to make the online experience transformative for our students," Powell said. "For example, we’re about to launch a new program based on Kelley’s award-winning in-residence professional development program but tailored to the particular paths of our of online graduate students. We’re also expanding our classes that have ‘on-location’ components for those who are able to travel a little more on the weekends."

Established in 1999, Kelley Direct was the first online MBA offered by a business school whose other MBA programs also are top ranked. For example, Kelley's residential MBA program has consistently been in Bloomberg Businessweek's Top 20 since it began ranking such programs in 1988. It currently is ranked 16th overall by the magazine, which also reported recently that Kelley has the highest return on investment of all the top 20 MBA programs ranked overall.

Admissions requirements for both programs are the same as for all other Kelley graduate-level programs. The programs offer flexibility and access to the school's alumni network of more than 100,000 graduates.

Students have two to five years to complete the 51 credit hours required for the Kelley Direct online MBA. Those enrolled in the Master of Science programs have 15 months to five years to complete the 30-credit-hour degree. Kelley also offers a 63-credit-hour dual MBA/MS degree.

While the programs are delivered largely online, students in both programs work on-site with each other at the IU Bloomington campus during Kelley Connect Weeks. They also may elect to go abroad as part of AGILE -- Accelerating Global Immersion Leadership Education. Students can choose from a variety of immersive global consulting experiences that combine online and in-country experiences that fit their schedule.

Since 1999, more than 2,500 students have earned Kelley MBAs through the program, and it currently has an enrollment of 595 students. The average starting salary of the class of 2013-14 was $106,784. Fifty-five percent of graduates received a promotion while completing their MBA degree.

The Kelley School has offered specialized Master of Science degrees online since 2003; today the degrees offered include those in business administration, business analytics, finance, global supply chain management, marketing and strategic management. The average salary of the 135 students who completed the M.S. program in 2013 and 2014 was $84,522.

In addition to Kelley's rankings, the publication issued rankings for graduate online programs in engineering, education, nursing, criminal justice and computer information technology. The IU School of Education was ranked 18th. The online bachelor's program at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne was 34th. Graduate programs at the IU School of Nursing at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis were ranked 48th. The IU Online educational initiative, which was launched in 2013, ranks 72nd among the best bachelor's programs.

IU has been a pioneer in online education for the past 16 years and has more than 80 established programs across its campuses. Two years ago, IU announced IU Online, an initiative to accelerate the development and delivery of quality online courses and programs at IU campuses statewide, address Indiana's economic and professional development needs and extend the university's global reach. A complete list of online programs offered by IU can be found on IU Online's website.

Related Links

Idalene “Idie” Kesner

Idalene “Idie” Kesner

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Philip Powell

Philip Powell

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Media Contacts

George Vlahakis