George Mason University has some of the nation’s top online programs as evaluated by U.S. News & World Report in its just-released 2019 rankings, with several programs making significant gains over last year.
Mason was ranked 24th in the category of information technology graduate programs; 39th (tied, and up from 56th in 2018) for non-MBA business graduate programs; 42nd (up from 115th last year) for education graduate programs; and 52nd for engineering graduate programs.
“The rankings demonstrate our faculty’s excellence, as well as Mason’s commitment to delivering high-quality programs in formats that are flexible and convenient,” said Michelle Marks, Mason’s vice president for academic innovation and new ventures. “We continue to develop online learning experiences that are meaningful for our students and enable them to achieve their academic and professional goals.”
According to its website, U.S. News rankings are determined by evaluating how an institution’s online content allows students to engage with faculty, faculty credentials and training, the services and technologies used and outside expert opinions on the programs.
“The [applied information technology] master’s program is always under continual improvement,” Daniel Garrison, director of online programs for the Volgenau School of Engineering, said of the specific program that was ranked. “In the past two years, the faculty went and looked at the rigor of the program. It’s more of a technical program than in the past. We’re going to continue to see that payoff with the type of students brought in.”
It is the second consecutive year that Mason’s applied information technology graduate program has ranked in the top 25 nationally.
The education graduate program made the biggest rankings leap, gaining 73 positions from last year.
“We’re proud of the quality of our program and the depth and breadth of the experiences that our students will have that will make a difference in their careers and their lives,” said Mark Ginsberg, dean of the College of Education and Human Development. “Over the past couple of years, our faculty have worked diligently to create online programs that engage and integrate the most important new knowledge in the field and to provide learning experiences that are meaningful to help guide student learning in successful ways.”
“The true test is: Does this work for students?” Garrison said. “Are they getting jobs coming out of here? We’re seeing that [they are].”
In other recently released rankings, Mason’s Criminology, Law and Society Program was ranked first nationally by collegefactual.com, which also ranked Mason as sixth-best nationally for veterans.