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Online degree programs offered by IU highly ranked by U.S. News & World Report

IU Online moved up more than 30 places; Kelley programs ranked No. 1 and 2

  • Jan. 12, 2016

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE, 12:01 a.m. Jan. 12, 2016

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Online degree programs at Indiana University again were ranked among the best in the nation in the 2016 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Online Education Program rankings.

IU Online made one of the biggest jumps in U.S. News’ rankings of more than 300 online bachelor’s programs, moving more than 30 spots, from 72nd in 2015 to 39th this year.

Two programs at IU’s Kelley School of Business ranked at the top of more than 200 graduate business offerings nationwide. The Kelley Direct online MBA program was one point away from a top score of 100 and was ranked No. 2, and Kelley’s Master of Science program ranks No. 1 and had a score of 100.

The publication also issued rankings for graduate online programs in engineering, education, nursing, criminal justice and computer information technology. The IU School of Education was ranked 22nd, and the IU School of Nursing at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis moved up six positions to 42nd.

John Applegate, IU executive vice president for university academic affairs, said the rankings reflect the accelerating momentum behind IU’s efforts to develop and deliver a quality education online.

“A growing audience of students and prospective students is becoming familiar with IU Online, which we launched little more than three years ago, and they see it as another effective and convenient means of receiving a quality education at Indiana University,” Applegate said.

“IU Online has seen tremendous growth in enrollment and in the number of distance education programs that we are offering and expect to increase in the future,” he added. “It is a real mark of our progress that IU ranks highly both overall and in critically important individual degree programs.”

For example, IU Online has seen a 71 percent increase in the number of online credit hours taken between fall 2011 and fall 2015. The number of students taking at least one IU course online each semester has steadily increased to 22.2 percent, or almost one-fourth of all IU students in fall 2015 (up from 16.8 percent two years ago).

In fall 2015, nearly 24,000 IU students were enrolled in at least one online course, and almost 7,200 students took all their courses through distance education. IU is the state’s largest provider of online education to Indiana residents at the four-year level.

Three years ago, IU Online was created 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. 

IU Kelley programs ranked No. 1 and 2

IU has been a pioneer in online education for the past 17 years, and among its leading exemplars is its Kelley School of Business. In 1999, its Kelley Direct program became the first online MBA offered by a top-ranked business school. Today, it serves as a model for similar programs.

Idalene “Idie” Kesner, dean of the Kelley School, said Kelley’s online programs demonstrate a commitment to offer an array of choices to those who want to take their career further, either with a traditional MBA or with a specialized master’s degree in a growing number of disciplines: business analytics, entrepreneurship and innovation, finance, global supply chain management, marketing, or strategic management.

“We are continually assessing the needs of our students and our hiring companies to ensure we’re providing an experience that’s both relevant and transformative,” said Kesner, who is also the Frank P. Popoff Chair of Strategic Management. “We’re pleased that as the field of online education becomes more crowded, Kelley remains a leader and a top choice for students who want a personally tailored program, world-class faculty, top career coaches and an alumni network of more than 100,000 graduates.”

Admissions requirements for the Kelley Direct MBA program and the M.S. programs are the same as for all other Kelley graduate-level programs, and the online programs are taught by the same faculty as the in-residence programs.

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/M.S. degree.

Since 1999, more than 3,110 students have earned Kelley MBAs through the program, and it currently has an enrollment of 597 students. Nearly 250 students have completed an online M.S. program since 2013.

Also ranked by U.S. News was the online undergraduate degree program at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, which was 106th.

A complete list of online programs offered by IU can be found on IU Online's website.

Related Links

Kelley Connect Days

One of the reasons the IU Kelley School of Business tops the rankings is because it offers a curriculum that brings students together both on- and off-campus.

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John Applegate

John Applegate

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Idalene Kesner

Idalene Kesner

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