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2023 Best Online Programs Ranking Includes VA Schools: U.S. News
2023 Best Online Programs Ranking Includes VA Schools: U.S. News
2023 Best Online Programs Ranking Includes VA Schools: U.S. News

Published on: 01/25/2023


VIRGINIA — Eight bachelor’s and 44 master’s programs at accredited universities in Virginia are ranked among the 2023 Best Online Programs released Tuesday by U.S. News & World Report.

The rankings are designed for people who want to complete their bachelor’s and master’s degrees, but need the flexibility to complete the coursework online. U.S. News is the only media organization that ranks online degrees at the program rather than school level.

U.S. News ranked programs in eight disciplines. Programs in Virginia that made the grade are:

Bachelor’s Degree

  • Regent University, 65 rank, 80 score
  • Old Dominion University, 85 rank, 78 score
  • Bluefield University, 176 rank, 66 score
  • Virginia Wesleyan University, 216 rank, 61 score
  • ECPI University, 242 rank, 57 score
  • Liberty University, 245 rank, 56 score
  • James Madison University, #272-359 rank
  • Radford University, #272-359 rank

Master’s Programs

  • James Madison University, 19 rank, 89 score
  • William & Mary, 37 rank, 86 score
  • Virginia Commonwealth University, 49 rank, 84 score
  • George Mason University, 73 rank, 80 score
  • Longwood University, 132 rank, 72 score
  • Old Dominion University, 142 rank, 71 score
  • Radford University, 185 rank, 65 score
  • Regent University, 202 rank, 62 score
  • University of Lynchburg, 215 rank, 60 score
  • Virginia Wesleyan University, #261-344 rank

Business, Non-MBA

  • William & Mary, 21 rank, 87 score
  • George Mason University, 66 rank, 74 score
  • Regent University, 119 rank, 63 score
  • Liberty University, #160-211 rank
  • Marymount University, #160-211

Computer Information Technology

  • Virginia Tech, 3 rank, 93 score
  • James Madison University, 34 rank, 73 score
  • Old Dominion University, 46 rank, 67 score
  • George Mason University, 52 rank, 65 score

Criminal Justice/Criminology

  • Liberty University, #72-95 rank


  • University of Virginia, 20 rank, 92 score
  • Virginia Commonwealth University, 25 rank, 90 score
  • George Mason University, 52 rank, 86 score
  • William & Mary, 89 rank, 81 score
  • Longwood University, 97 rank, 80 score
  • Old Dominion University, 117 rank, 78 score
  • Regent University, 117 rank, 78 score
  • James Madison University, 124 rank, 77 score
  • Radford University, 227 rank, 62 score
  • Liberty University, 241 rank, 59 score
  • Marymount University, 245 rank, 58 score
  • Hollins University, #253-329 rank


  • Virginia Tech, 25 rank, 76 score
  • George Mason University, 44 rank, 68 score
  • University of Virginia, 51 rank, 64 score
  • Virginia Commonwealth University, 51 rank, 64 score
  • Old Dominion University, 75 rank, 55 score


  • Virginia Commonwealth University, 21 rank, 90 score
  • Old Dominion University, 58 rank, 81 score
  • George Mason University, 64 rank, 80 score
  • James Madison University, 117 rank, 64 score
  • Liberty University, 138 rank, 55 score
  • Marymount University, #141-185

U.S. News evaluated some 1,832 programs — the highest in the history of the rankings — to arrive at the 2023 list. Of those, 1,730 were ranked.

Online learning increased in popularity at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. News noted, but many of the institutions whose programs are ranked were ahead of the curve and had offered online programs for years.

Most of those evaluated offer degree completion programs that give students who have completed some of the requirements the flexibility to complete their degrees, according to Eric Brooks, the lead data analyst at U.S. News.

“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,” Brooks said in a news release.

While the methodologies are different for each discipline, they all incorporate metrics specific to online learning.

The online bachelor’s level ranking does not use standardized tests, instead relying on other factors such as faculty credentials and training, services and technologies available to students, student engagement and expert opinion on the academic quality of programs.

Master’s degree programs, in addition to these criteria, are also ranked based on student excellence. Blended learning programs — a combination of both face-to-face and distance instruction — are not included in the rankings.

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