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U.S. News Ranks Online Business, Engineering Programs Among Nation’s Best

Degree, Certificate Options Cited for Engagement and Student and Faculty Excellence

By Gregory Muraski and Karen Dieso

Student types on laptop with shell sticker

Photo by John T. Consoli

U.S. News & World Report's 2021 Best Online Programs highlights graduate options in business and engineering at UMD for offering technologies and services catered toward remote learners.

The online MBA and Master of Engineering programs at the University of Maryland earned top slots in U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 rankings of the best online graduate programs in the country. 

According to the lists released this morning, the Robert H. Smith School of Business’ online master’s in business administration program tied for No. 10, while the A. James Clark School of Engineering’s master and certificate programs came in at No. 15.

In addition, Maryland Smith ranked high in marketing (No. 3), business analytics (No. 5), finance (No. 8) and general management (No. 9). U.S. News also noted the online MBA and engineering programs as excellent options for veterans, with rankings of No. 10 and 16, respectively. 

It evaluated distance-education programs on criteria including engagement, expert opinion, faculty credentials and training, student excellence, and student services and technologies. 

Maryland Smith ranked especially high in student engagement, said Paolo Prochno, assistant dean for part-time MBA and online programs. 

“Our on-campus residencies have long been effective in building and strengthening relationships among students and faculty,” he said. “And as the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed networking events online in the wider business world, our online students have been especially adept for taking advantage of virtual job fairs and mock interviews through our Office of Career Services.”

The MBA is the nation’s most popular online graduate degree program, with over 400 students at UMD. Prochno said they experience the same academic rigor, under the same curriculum and faculty, as those in the full-time MBA program.

The Clark School’s online graduate programs, which have 172 students, jumped to No. 15 in the rankings from No. 18 in 2020 and No. 20 in 2019. Offered through Maryland Applied Graduate Engineering (MAGE), they include online master of engineering and graduate certificate degrees in seven specialties: bioengineering, cybersecurity, electronic packaging, fire protection engineering, project management, reliability engineering, and energy systems engineering.

“A growing domestic and international student body reflects increased demand around the world for advanced, applied graduate engineering education delivered through distance learning technology,” said George Syrmos, assistant dean for continuing education. High-quality, flexible online programs are particularly attractive to working engineering professionals.

“For more than 25 years, we have adapted our online engineering graduate programs to the evolving needs of adult learners—and of the global marketplace,” Syrmos said. “New and niche programs, along with support from leading Clark School faculty, provide our students with the expertise to advance their careers and move the engineering industry forward.”

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