January 14, 2020

Growing Purdue online engineering degree programs move up in national rankings


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University's College of Engineering online graduate engineering programs were ranked third, up two spots, in U.S. News & World Report's latest ranking of Best Online Programs.

The report lists the College of Engineering online master’s degree programs as third nationally among the 93 colleges and universities ranked. Purdue was fifth in the U.S. News rankings in 2019. The latest rankings were released Tuesday (Jan. 14) and can be viewed here.

Purdue's overall online engineering master’s programs ranked only behind Ivy League school Columbia and the University of California, Los Angeles, and ahead of the University of Michigan in fourth, Penn State sixth and the University of Illinois ninth, the only other Big Ten schools in the top 10.

In specialty online engineering master’s program rankings, Purdue ranked first in Industrial and Mechanical Engineering, second in Electrical Engineering, third in online engineering programs for veterans, and sixth in engineering management programs.

“Learning does not stop when you graduate from college,” said Mung Chiang, the John A. Edwardson Dean of Engineering and Roscoe H. George Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue. “We will continue to innovate how we teach online – from virtual labs and artificial intelligence-based individualized learning to industry-codesigned micro-master’s and affordable master's – providing the highest quality learning opportunities to the widest possible reach in society.”

“We are excited to see this type of recognition for our online programs,” said Dimitrios (Dimitri) Peroulis, the Michael and Katherine Birck Head of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and special advisor to the dean of engineering for online learning. “Students in our 100% online programs learn from the same world-class faculty through the same rigorous courses and earn the same degree as our on-campus students.”

“This ranking is a nice validation of Purdue's investment and effort in growing its online portfolio and the College of Engineering's commitment to that effort,” said Gerry McCartney, executive vice president for Purdue Online. “But we are not done by any means. I expect to see Purdue continue to be recognized as a leader and innovator in online education.”

Purdue is engaged in an initiative to coordinate and expand the university's online courses and programs to better serve a variety of students with high-quality offerings that are accessible, affordable and demonstrably beneficial. Offerings from throughout the Purdue system are accessible through the unified web portal at online.purdue.edu.

Purdue’s College of Engineering, which had a strong online presence even before the initiative, has been active in the effort, among other things in 2019 partnering with Purdue Online, edX and Kaplan Higher Education to offer the first comprehensive engineering postgraduate curricula provided online at less than $25,000 for master’s degrees.

Purdue and its partners also are offering a series of graduate-level Electrical and Computer Engineering courses designed to provide deep learning in advanced electronics through the edX MicroMasters® program, starting with a nanoscience and technology certification. Additional MicroMasters in Electrical and Computer Engineering disciplines are planned for 2020. The program is recognized for its job relevance and can count toward the degree if a student is accepted into a full master’s program.

The organizers of the annual U.S. News rankings analyze such factors as the quality of students entering a program; online teaching practices so students stay enrolled and graduate; how the programs employ technologies to allow students flexibility; and the quality of student support services, career guidance and financial aid resources.

Also weighed are faculty credentials and training, including the degree to which online instructors’ credentials mirror those of on-campus faculty and the training instructors receive to teach distance learners.

In addition, U.S. News conducts a peer assessment survey of high-ranking academic officials, in the case of the engineering rankings deans of engineering schools and top online learning officials, as an important element of reviewing Purdue and other institutions for ranking.

More information about Purdue's online engineering master's programs is available here.

Writer: Greg Kline, 765-494-8167, gkline@purdue.edu 

Source: Dimitrios Peroulis, 765-494-3539, dperouli@purdue.edu 

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