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Top Ranking Online Graduate Schools

by Bill Reynolds

Earning graduate degrees online is a useful alternative for students with hectic lifestyles and/or busy work schedules. Online degrees often provide the exact same quality of education and access to school resources as the equivalent versions offered on-campus. There's no single online university that ranks number one in all major graduate categories; different schools excel in different online degrees. Students can earn top-ranking online master's degrees in a variety of fields through respected U.S. universities.

St. John's University (Education)

St. John's University offers top-rated online master's of education degrees in a variety of specializations including educational administration, teaching English to speakers of other languages and teaching children with disabilities. St. John's online programs boast small class sizes, facilitating daily interaction between student and teacher. All students seeking online degrees have access to many of the the same resources as those attending physical classes. Financial aid, online registration, advisement, and access to the school library (via online references and expansive digital book collections) are among the benefits available to online students.

Washington State University (Business)

Ranked at the top of the list for online MBA programs by "US News & World Report," Washington State University will let you earn a respected business degree from the comfort of your home. This program offers foundational business courses that can allow students to pursue a graduate degree without having an undergraduate business degree. The MBA program offers concentrations in international business, finance, and marketing.

USC Viterbi School of Engineering

The University of Southern California's Viterbi School of Engineering earned the highest possible ranking in "US News & World Report's" 2013 survey of online graduate engineering degrees. This program offers a unique classroom model called iPodia Alliance, allowing distance learners around the world to learn together in real time via an interactive online-classroom. Thanks to this distinctive approach to online learning, there's less differentiating between online and on-campus students insofar as quality of education is concerned. The school offers a broad range of master's and Ph.D. programs online.

USC Computer Information Technology

USC's Viterbi School of Engineering also ranked number one with "US News & World Report" for the school's online computer information technology program. The online Master of Science in computer science is fully equivalent to the degree a USC engineering student might earn on-campus. In class or online, the program prepares students in the techniques and concepts pertaining to programming, design, and application of various computer systems.

Ferris State University (Nursing)

The highly ranked graduate program at Ferris State University -- only available online -- is designed to offer a "learner centered curriculum" to prepare aspiring nurses for a variety of specialized roles. Three concentrations are offered: nursing informatics, nursing education, and nursing administration. Graduate students take part in thorough practicum experiences and scholarly research based on their particular specialization. This school's nursing program is fully accredited by the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission.

About the Author

Bill Reynolds holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from Rowan University. He has written hundreds of articles for print and online media, drawing inspiration from a wide range of professional experiences. As part of the UCLA Extension Writer's Program, he has been nominated for the James Kirkwood Prize for Creative Writing.

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