Online Programs in the Top Nationwide

U.S. News Gives Engineering and Business Programs High Rankings

Cal State Fullerton’s online master's degree program in software engineering ranks third in the nation in the engineering “student services and technology” category in U.S. News & World Report’s first-ever “Top Online Education Programs.”

The magazine’s online “honor roll” lists, published in January, also rank the university’s online master's degree program in information technology No. 12 in “student engagement and accreditation” and No. 14 in "admissions selectivity."

In addition, the online master's degree program in software engineering is No. 42 in "student engagement and accreditation."

U.S. News & World Report ranks 523 online master’s degree programs and 196 online bachelor’s degree programs in business, engineering, nursing, education and computer information technology.

Rankings for online master's degree programs fall into four distinct categories: student services and technology, student engagement and accreditation, faculty credentials and training, and admissions selectivity. 

“I am honored that our hard work and efforts have been recognized at the national level,” said Ning Chen, professor of computer science and program coordinator. “This recognition is not only for us, but also for future students and faculty who bravely embrace online education.”

The online master’s degree program in software engineering is offered by the Computer Science Department within the university’s College of Engineering and Computer Science.

Mariko Molodowitch, chair and associate professor of computer science, noted that the ranking helps to raise the program's credibility.

“It definitely raises our visibility and helps validate our claim that we have a high-quality program that can compete with the best online programs in the country,” Molodowitch said.

In the engineering student services and technology category, the selected degree programs incorporate diverse online learning technologies, which provide greater flexibility for students to take classes by the methods of their choosing at the times of their choosing.

According to the category criteria, “when used adeptly, technologies help replicate the audio and visual feeling of a traditional engineering experience. Outside of classes, student services available online further simulate the benefits of being on campus by providing commensurate learning and networking opportunities.”

The online master’s degree program in information technology, offered by the Department of Information Systems and Decision Sciences in the university’s Mihaylo College of Business and Economics, is listed in three categories overall. In the master’s-level business degree rankings, the program is No. 12 in “student engagement and accreditation,” No. 14 in “admissions selectivity” and No. 104 in “student services and technology.”

“Graduates of our online M.S. in information technology degree program have praised the education they have received and have indicated that our program has helped them advance their careers,” said Bhushan Kapoor, chair and professor of information systems and decision sciences.

“Our national ranking is a reflection of the quality job our professors do in educating the next generation of leaders in the field of information technology. It should also be of assistance to our current students as they progress through their careers.”

Cal State Fullerton began offering the online M.S. in software engineering degree program in 2004 and the M.S. in information technology degree program in 2005. To date, 300 students have graduated from the software engineering program, and 90 students from the information technology program. Both programs attract local and international students.

To be considered for the rankings, degree programs must provide at least 80 percent of their course content online. 

The rankings are based on a statistical survey the magazine conducted last fall of online degree programs.

U.S. News link:

Media Contacts:
Debra Cano Ramos, Public Affairs, 657-278-4027 or
Paula Selleck, Public Affairs, 657-278-4856 or


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