For the tenth year in a row, the University of Baltimore has earned the U.S. News and World Report’s “Best Online Programs” ranking in the category of “Best Online MBA.” UB is among five Maryland-based programs which made the list in 2021.
The online MBA program offered at UB’s Merrick School of Business existed years before U.S. News and World Report established their ranking system in 2012.
The University’s program in the Merrick School of Business is the only school in the state of Maryland that has consecutively been ranked since U.S. News initially began reporting on them.
This year UB comes in at #100, tied with notable institutions including Northeastern University and Temple University. The university also garnered a ranking of #63 for having the best online MBA program for veterans.
Among all institutions, public and private, the program ranks #4 in the Baltimore/Washington area. When just looking at public universities, UB’s online MBA ranks #2 in the Baltimore/Washington area and #71 nationally.
The growing importance of this ranking is proven through the National Center for Education Statistics. Nearly 31% of U.S. graduate students enrolled solely in online education programs in the Fall of 2018.
UB faculty expertise in online course development, coupled with students’ prior understanding of online course procedures and expectations, made the forced transition to an online platform by Covid-19 all the more successful, when compared to the vast majority of other online MBA programs.
Dr. Murray Dalziel, Dean of the Merrick School of Business, had a strong influence in creating both UB’s and Towson University’s MBA programs when he came to Baltimore in 1994.
“I am really happy that once again we are recognized by U.S. News and World Report in their “Best Online MBA” rankings. The Merrick School of Business had the first AACSB accredited fully, online MBA in the world. We’ve been doing this since 1998,” Dalziel said.
“But our faculty are still innovating because we recognize that most of our MBA students are working professionals and they want the flexibility to choose whether to study anywhere they are, at a time of their choosing, or in a classroom, or in-person sessions with groups via Zoom.”
The U.S. News’ ranking methodology focuses on five areas of evaluation.
30% of the ranking is based on Engagement. Programs must uphold participation standards, giving students opportunities to interact with their instructors and fellow classmates as if they were in person.
25% is based on Expert Opinion. This includes a survey of high-ranking academic officials in MBA programs which account for factors that can’t be quantified. Students may find more job opportunities when completing programs that academics respect.
15% is based on Faculty Credentials and Training. Programs need to retain instructors with academic credentials that are similar to those who teach on-campus courses. They must also have the resources to train instructors so they can provide students the proper on-campus experience.
Another 15% is based on Student Excellence. This looks at the outcomes of coursework and final grades, as well as what students are able to accomplish after they receive their degrees.
The final 15% is based on Student Services and Technologies. Programs should be able to incorporate diverse learning technologies that allow lenience for students who are learning online. These services provide academic and career assistance and financial aid proportionate with comparable campus-based programs.
With Covid-19 pushing more and more students to online platforms for higher education, U.S. News and World Report‘s rankings help identify schools that stand out based on their stellar online programs.
The Merrick School of Business’ continued ranking as one of the Best Online MBA programs is an important distinction, given that it reflects the program’s ability to meet the needs of a diverse student body.
Graham Antreasian is a staff writer for The Sting.