Mason’s online master’s programs rise in U.S. News rankings

Mason has seven programs ranked in the top 50 of U.S. News & World Report 2020 online program rankings. File photo/Creative Services

George Mason University has some of the nation’s top online programs as evaluated by U.S. News & World Report in its just-released 2020 rankings, with seven programs in the top 50 and several making significant gains over last year.

Mason’s special education master’s program is ranked 10th, up from 16th last year. Its business non-MBA master’s program in accounting is ranked 19th nationally, up from 39th last year and 56th in 2018, and the computer information technology master’s program, at No. 24, is ranked in the top 25 for the third consecutive year.

“Online programs are now mainstream,” said Michelle Marks, Mason’s vice president for academic innovation and new ventures. “Students across the country are increasingly choosing online. Rankings like these are indicators that Mason’s programs are strong, and we are on the right path.”

According to its website, U.S. News ranks programs in five general categories: student engagement, faculty credentials and training, services and technologies that allow students greater flexibility to take classes and labs from a distance, student excellence, and a survey of “high-ranking academic officials.”

Other highly ranked Mason master’s programs are industrial/systems engineering (12th and tied with the University of Virginia, Clemson and UCLA), education curriculum and instruction (9th), education administration (11th), education (48th), and engineering (65th).

“The rankings reflect the hard work of our faculty to develop programs that are of high quality and meet the needs of our students and prepare them for success in the classroom while also acquiring the skills for success in in some of the most important fields in education today,” said Mark Ginsberg, dean of Mason’s College of Education and Human Development.

The program making the biggest move is Mason’s online MBA, which is ranked 123rd of 335 programs evaluated after being unranked last year.

“The online option of our MBA is only in its second year, so it’s fantastic we jumped into the U.S. News rankings at No. 123,” said Maury Peiperl, dean of Mason’s School of Business. “Our online MBA offers an identical curriculum to our in-class MBA, which U.S. News ranks 32nd among part-time MBAs. There are many ways students can achieve their academic and professional goals. The rankings demonstrate our commitment, and that of our outstanding faculty and staff, to deliver high-quality programs in formats that are flexible and convenient.”