In a year marked by the importance of online learning, U.S. News & World Report has recognized online programs at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) as being among the best in the nation.
The publication released its 2021 Best Online Programs rankings Tuesday, Jan. 26. Programs nationwide are scored based on categories such as engagement, faculty credentials and training, expert opinions, and student excellence.
For five straight years, U.S. News & World Report has ranked UNO’s Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice degree program among the top ten in the nation. It was also ranked in the top 10 nationally as one of the best online criminal justice programs for veterans.
John Bartle, Dean of UNO’s College of Public Affairs and Community Service (CPACS), credits a number of factors for the success of the program.
“In our online master’s program in criminology and criminal justice, students find a rigorous, practical curriculum taught by faculty who are leading scholars with deep experience in the field. This recognition exemplifies the academic excellence and real-world preparation students find in the program.”
Gaylene Armstrong, director of UNO’s School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, ties the ranking not only to the high-quality education in the virtual classroom, but also to the collaborative work and community partnerships between the university and the greater Omaha area.
“Working closely with community partners and criminal justice agencies in the area helps us ensure that our graduates are ready for whatever their career may have in store for them. When students earn a degree from UNO’s School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, they earn a degree that can not only help them advance their careers, but also address specific needs within the community.”
UNO’s online undergraduate programs also received recognition from U.S. News & World Report, making notable jumps in the national rankings of the top online undergraduate programs and the top online undergraduate programs for veterans. Compared to prior years’ rankings, the 2021 list takes into account UNO’s entire portfolio of 12 online undergraduate degree programs across five of the university’s six colleges.
Jaci Lindburg, Ph.D., assistant vice president for ITS and director of digital learning at UNO, attributes the success of UNO’s online programs to efforts made to implement new tools and strategies for online learning even prior to the events of the past year.
“Well before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, UNO has been a leader in the online learning space, prioritizing access to an exceptional education, including through convenient and flexible virtual means. Online learning embodies that mission and has been a priority at UNO supported by years of partnership with campus faculty, staff, and students,” she said. “This recognition would not have been possible without the buy-in and forethought to pursue new methods of learning in a digital space years in advance, though we recognize that there is always more work to do to provide the best online learning experience for our students.”
One such program, UNO’s online Bachelor of Multidisciplinary Studies (BMS) degree within the Division of Continuing Studies, has been recognized in years past for its unique design to meet all age groups of students where they are. Through a generous transfer credit policy that highly values prior education and military experience, UNO’s nationally-ranked BMS program provides an affordable, accessible, and achievable way for adult and contemporary learners to chart their path toward degree completion.
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.