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Virginia Tech earns high rankings in U.S. News’ 2017 Best Online Programs

January 12, 2017

Jennifer Rush, a lead applications analyst at Virginia Tech, is a 2015 graduate of the master of information technology program

Jennifer Rush
Jennifer Rush, a lead applications analyst at Virginia Tech, is a 2015 graduate of the master of information technology program.

For the fourth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report has ranked Virginia Tech’s online master of information technology degree program as No. 2 among the nation’s distance-learning courses in its Best Online Program rankings.

The online master of information technology program, a joint venture offered through the College of Engineering and the Pamplin College of Business, is ranked behind the University of Southern California.

“Through our collaborative efforts with the Pamplin College of Business we are able to educate our students in critical areas of big data, networking, and analytics and business intelligence,” said Glenda Scales, associate dean for global engagement and chief technology officer for the College of Engineering. “We are pleased to continue to successfully deliver quality education beyond the Blacksburg and Northern Virginia campuses.”

The program encompasses the Department of Computer Science and the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, both in the College of Engineering; and the Department of Accounting and Information Systems, the Department of Business Information Technology, and the Department of Management, all in the Pamplin College of Business.

"We continue to invest in new subject matter and curriculum revisions for the MIT program," said Cal Ribbens, computer science department head. "This year we rolled out two new courses in data analytics, designed and taught by Naren Ramakrishnan, professor of computer science and director of the Discovery Analytics Center."

Pamplin dean Robert Sumichrast congratulated Parviz Ghandforoush, associate dean for graduate programs, and Terry Hinders, director of the master of information technology program, and other faculty and staff for developing the curriculum, recruiting students, and creating an “engaging and comprehensive academic environment.”

Sumichrast noted that “we are retaining the program’s quality while dramatically increasing enrollment.” The program’s continued success “reflects our commitment to high-quality innovative teaching and our expertise in business intelligence and analytics.” 

The magazine also ranked Virginia Tech No. 13 for Best Online Graduate Engineering programs in its sixth-annual list, the highest-ranked engineering program in Virginia, ahead of the University of Virginia. The College of Engineering, serving more than 2,000 graduate students, offers nine programs either online or through interactive videoconferencing.

For two decades Virginia Tech has offered online and distance-learning education, making its first online program available in 1997.

Currently, numerous distance-learning programs are available at Virginia Tech, including graduate degrees and certificates through Virginia Tech Online in varied fields, such as food safety and biosecurity, natural resources, and electrical and computer engineering.

The programs meet challenging academic standards while utilizing the latest technology to deliver course content online, with small classes sizes taught by nationally and internationally renowned faculty experts, and featuring flexible scheduling, .

U.S. News & World Report considers only degree-granting programs offering courses that are 100 percent online for the Top Online Education rankings. The magazine analyzed more than 1,300 programs, considering student engagement, faculty credentials, and technology among the criteria for the 2017 ranking report.

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