Virginia Tech receives top placements in U.S. News & World Report’s online rankings

Flex Vaughn

Virginia Tech’s online master’s degree in information technology is the nation’s fourth best and ranked No. 3 for veterans. The online graduate engineering program moved up six places to No. 10, according to the 2020 U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of the Best Online Programs.

The College of Engineering’s online graduate engineering program’s significant upward movement to the top 10 reflects the college’s dedication to providing students with flexible curricula and consistent student experiences across all platforms to better prepare students to enter the workforce.

“The college has continued to expand our online engineering offerings to meet the demands of working professionals,” said Julia M. Ross, the Paul and Dorothea Torgersen Dean of Engineering. “As a result we’ve seen a growing interest in our distance education courses with an increase in applications by 35 percent with time to graduation significantly improving.”

Currently, the college’s engineering online group offers five master’s degree programs, numerous collaborative graduate level programs, and four certificate programs. The focus on improving flexible study has included increasing coursework delivery options, redesigning courses to focus on utilizing instructional design methods to create student-centered materials, and partnerships like the Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program.

Ranked No. 4, the online master of information technology program, a joint venture offered through the College of Engineering and the Pamplin College of Business, has been recognized for educating and training outstanding professionals in the field of information technology and enrolls students from all over the globe in its online courses. 

“The rankings reflect the high quality and national reputation of our master of IT program, which helps meet the nation’s growing need for analytics and cybersecurity talent,” said Robert Sumichrast, dean of the Pamplin College of Business.

The program combines a variety of departments within these colleges, including the Department of Computer Science and the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, both in the College of Engineering; and the Department of Accounting and Information Systems, the Department of Business Information Technology, and the Department of Management, all in the Pamplin College of Business.

“Pamplin and the College of Engineering will continue to improve the program, using top faculty to expand the curriculum in high-demand areas, such as cybersecurity and enhancing student services,” Sumichrast said. 

U.S. News also ranked Virginia Tech's master of information technology program as the No. 3 Best Online Graduate Information Technology Program for Veterans.

“This ranking reflects Virginia Tech’s ongoing commitment to serving and supporting veterans and to providing them with access and opportunities to achieve their educational and career goals,” said Jerry Headley, director for the Office of Veterans Services. “I hope this recognition will help to further showcase Virginia Tech as a preferred option for veterans and their families.”

According to U.S. News & World Report methodology, veterans and active-duty service members gain the most from distance education that is affordable, accessible, and reputable. The 2020 Best Online Programs for Veterans rankings measure these factors in consideration of financial benefits available specifically to people with military experience.