U.S. News & World Report has ranked Virginia Tech’s online Master of Information Technology degree program as No. 2 among the nation’s best distance-learning courses in its third-annual Top Online Education rankings, released by the magazine.

The online master of information technology program – offered through a joint venture of the College of Engineering and the Pamplin College of Business – moves up from its third place spot from 2013. It ties with Boston University, both behind the University of Southern California at No. 1.

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.

“The success of our Master of Information Technology degree program reflects our commitment to high-quality innovative teaching and our expertise in business intelligence and analytics,” said Robert Sumichrast, dean of the Pamplin College of Business and holder of the Richard E. Sorensen Chair.

Added Parviz Ghandforoush, a professor of business information technology and managing director of the Master of Information Technology program, “Since 1999, the Master of Information Technology program at Virginia Tech has been recognized for educating and training outstanding professionals in the field of information technology. It enrolls students from all over the globe in its online courses.”

“The Master of Information Technology degree program is an important part of our graduate offerings because of its interdisciplinary nature and cutting-edge curriculum. We are encouraged to see that our continued investment to improve the instructional quality and technical content of the program’s coursework is being well recognized,” said Luke F. Lester, head of the electrical and computer engineering department.  “The faculty involved in this effort are some of our most collaborative are dedicated to delivering a quality product to its students.”

Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering ranked 7th overall for Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs, tying with the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, according to the 2014 list. This is a jump from the No. 13 spot it held in 2013.  It is the only engineering distance-learning program ranked in the Top 10 from the Commonwealth of Virginia, with the University of Virginia ranked at No. 54.

“We are pleased to have our program appraised so highly by the U.S. News & World report,” said Glenda Scales, the associate dean for international programs and information technology for the College of Engineering. “It underscores the high quality of our educational programs as well as the talented faculty and staff involved.”

Boasting more than 2,000 graduate students, the College of Engineering’s graduate program has been honored time and again by U.S. News & World Report as a national leader. It ranks 24th overall in the nation for 2014 in a separate list released in spring 2013.

Virginia Tech offers a total of 37 distance-learning programs, with 18 graduate degrees and 17 graduate or post-baccalaureate certificates through Virginia Tech Online. Additionally, two professional course studies are available. The university’s first online program was launched in 1997.

U.S. News & World Report’s Top Online Education rankings debuted in 2012. Only degree-granting programs offering courses that are 100 percent online were considered for the rankings, according to the magazine.

Online bachelor’s degree programs, as well as graduate online degree programs in business, engineering, nursing, education, and computer information technology, were ranked. The rankings consider each program by teaching practices and student engagement, faculty credentials and training, and student services and technology.

Online master’s degrees were ranked using student accreditation as opposed to student assessment, and an added ranking category for admissions selectivity.

For more on the Online Education program rankings, visit the U.S. News & World Report website.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

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