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OSU’s online degrees climb in U.S. News ranking

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Several Oklahoma State University online programs were recognized among the nation’s best in the U.S. News and World Report’s 2021 Best Online Programs ranking released this week.

The Spears School of Business continues to be recognized as a national leader in online education as does the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology and the College of Education and Human Sciences.

The online MBA at Spears Business finished in the top 12 percent of national programs. The rankings consider the quality of faculty members and teaching practices as well as the value students receive, according to U.S. News and World Report.

“We take great pride in our online graduate programs, and we are gratified to see our dedicated efforts reflected in these rankings,” said Dr. Ken Eastman, dean of Spears Business. “Our faculty do a tremendous job in the online classes, and they are ably assisted by the staff in our Watson Graduate School of Management, and the rankings reflect very positively on their combined efforts.”

The Spears Business online MBA program is tied for No. 32 in the 2021 rankings of more than 294 colleges and universities surveyed and is the second best among Big 12 Conference schools. Last year, the Spears Business online MBA was tied for No. 40. In online graduate business programs excluding the MBA, OSU was tied for No. 31, third among Big 12 schools. For services for veterans in online graduate business programs, OSU was ranked No. 20 in non-MBA graduate business programs and tied for No. 40 for MBA.

“We have offered an online MBA program for a long time and have been ranked by U.S. News and World Report within the top 40 programs for many years. It is gratifying to jump by eight slots in the current environment where COVID-19 has led many more schools to offer their degrees online,” said Dr. Ramesh Sharda, vice dean for research and graduate programs. “We have also made a quantum leap in our rankings for non-MBA graduate business programs.”

U.S. News and World Report annually ranks online programs where students can complete degrees using online learning technologies. The rankings are based on school surveys and include information such as faculty credentials, graduation rates, instructional best practices and technology, admission data and program reputation among accredited business schools.

“The high rankings of our MBA and other business graduate programs reflects the excellent quality of instruction and the affordability of our online offerings, in addition to the excellent service we strive to provide all of our students by practicing the ‘Power of Personal,’ the slogan for Spears Business,” Sharda said.

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the demand for online college programs across the country. At OSU, the MBA at Spears Business has experienced a 60 percent increase in online enrollment between January 2020 and January 2021.

To learn more about online graduate business education at OSU, including the MBA, visit

College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology

The College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology tied for No. 25 for its online master’s engineering programs and No. 15 for its online graduate engineering programs for veterans, the fourth year in a row CEAT has ranked in the top 25.

Graduate programs create opportunities for students to advance their career and grow in their field.

“Though there are numerous factors that determine our overall ranking, I believe it is the quality of faculty and staff associated with online learning that plays the most essential role,” said Nathan Cragun, manager for CEAT Online Learning.

“We are fortunate to have numerous instructors and staff who are willing to utilize the latest technology and resources to enhance the educational experience of students,” he said. “As a result of the work and collaboration between students, instructors and staff, everyone becomes part of the ‘CEAT online family.’ Students quickly discover that if they ever need assistance, we are simply a call or email away.”

OSU CEAT currently offers master’s degrees in electrical engineering, engineering and technology management, fire safety and explosion protection — engineering technology, fire and emergency management, industrial engineering and management and a doctorate in fire and emergency management. These accredited programs are 100 percent online.

The graduate programs are designed for scientists and engineers interested in furthering their careers.

Cragun also noted that a tremendous amount of the success CEAT Online has experienced is the result of the efforts of Dean Paul Tikalsky and Associate Dean Randy Seitsinger.

“We are very fortunate to have leadership in the college who recognize the tremendous value of online learning, and the opportunities it makes available to individuals around the world,” Cragun said. “We truly are impacting lives and the future of our nation and world.”

To learn more about online graduate engineering degrees at OSU, visit

College of Education and Human Sciences

OSU’s nationally recognized reading and literacy program in the College of Education and Human Sciences tied for No. 26 for online master’s curriculum and instruction program.

Reading and literacy, one of four online programs offered under the master’s in teaching, learning and leadership degree, is designed for full-time K-12 educators who desire expertise in literacy instruction. The program prepares graduates with a deeper understanding of reading and writing processes and pedagogy, leads to reading/literacy specialist certification and develops school and district literacy leaders.

The teaching, learning and leadership graduate programs were designed with practicing educators in mind, providing flexible scheduling and practical application of course content within their own unique teaching and leadership contexts.

“The faculty and staff worked diligently to design online programs for practicing educators that meet their needs professionally and personally,” said Dr. Shelbie Witte, head of the School of Teaching, Learning and Educational Sciences. “Teaching full time while also finishing a master's degree can be a huge undertaking, and the format of these programs takes that into consideration.”

Additional online programs offered under the teaching, learning and leadership umbrella include gifted and talented education, mathematics and science education, and special education.

 Learn more about the School of Teaching, Learning and Educational Sciences at

To see the U.S. News and World Report 2021 Best Online Programs rankings, go to

 MEDIA CONTACT: Mack Burke | Editorial Coordinator | 405.744.5540 |

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