Webster University Recognized in List of Best Online Programs

Jan. 28, 2013

ST. LOUIS, Jan. 28, 2013 – The high quality of Webster University's online graduate education and business programs has received national recognition in U.S. News & World Report's 2013 list of “Best Online Programs.” Criteria used by U.S. News to determine the rankings include admissions selectivity, faculty credentials and training, peer reputation, student services and technology, and student engagement.

Webster ranked highest among all higher education institutions in the bi-state St. Louis metropolitan area for both its online graduate education and online graduate business programs. Specifically, the University's online graduate education programs rank first in Missouri and 27th nationwide, while Webster's online graduate business programs rank third in Missouri and 62nd nationwide. Overall, U.S, News ranked the online graduate education programs of 190 institutions and the online graduate business programs of 197 institutions.

In addition to the national recognition, Webster's online programs rank highly in several locations across the United States:

  • In Washington, D.C.: Online graduate business programs rank third, behind George Washington University and George Mason University.
  • In Florida: Online graduate business programs rank second, after the University of Florida's Hough School of Business.
  • In South Carolina: Online graduate business programs rank first.
  • In Texas: Online graduate business programs rank fourth, behind UT-Dallas, University of North Texas, and West Texas A&M University.
  • In California: Online graduate business programs rank third, behind Cal State University-Fullerton and University of San Diego.

U.S. News defines an online program as one in which “all the required coursework for program completion is able to be completed via distance education courses that incorporate Internet-based technologies.”

“This important recognition of the quality of Webster University's online graduate programs confirms our commitment to global academic and operational excellence,” said Webster President Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble. “Built on nearly a century of traditional education, Webster's online courses afford access to high-quality instruction for students anytime and anywhere in the world.”

Webster's online enrollment has been growing steadily for the past five years, with more than 9,000 of Webster's 21,000 students now taking at least some classes online. About 25 percent of Webster's online students are members of the active military. A growing number of online certificates, undergraduate and graduate programs and degree completion programs are contributing to the increase. “We're finding that many students appreciate the flexibility of taking at least some of their classes online,” said Dan Viele, associate vice president and director of Webster's Online Learning Center. “It's becoming commonplace for students to take some classes in a traditional classroom setting and some classes online.”

Julian Z. Schuster, Webster University provost, senior vice president and chief operating officer, noted, “Webster's online programs incorporate the latest educational technologies to provide a high-quality learning experience. Our online programs are just as academically challenging and demanding as our traditional on-campus offerings.”

Webster University was a pioneer in developing online courses and offered its first class online in 1999. “Given the technology available at that time, the initial classes were text-heavy with a few videos interspersed,” Viele said. “Classes today feature simulations, video links, green screen technology, game applications and just about any other learning tool that our design team can create.”

Online class size is limited to 16. “We've kept class sizes small because we know that faculty-student engagement is the most important element of class success,” Viele said.