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Methodology: At Master’s Programs Guide, we strive to provide the most up-to-date and relevant online master’s programs rankings. We examine publicly available sources such as U.S. News and World Report, the accrediting agencies for the program, and the websites of schools that offer online master’s degrees. In doing so, we note program attributes that enable us to form a methodology to narrow down the pool of schools for our ranking. Further, we use the common program attributes to develop a point system that is assigned to each attribute to then rank the programs. If two or more schools receive the same point value, the lowest out-of-state tuition is used as the tie-breaking factor. The general attributes (and any additional, program-specific criteria noted within the individual ranking) are all weighted equally and are as follows:
- Degree customization– number of degrees, research areas, dedicated specializations, and/or graduate certificates in the field that are provided fully or partially online
- Program flexibility and accessibility– the extent to which the degree can be accessed and completed entirely online
- Faculty achievement and student resources and success– easily accessed information on faculty expertise and recognition, resources provided to students, and current student or alumni testimonies of success and/or achievements
- School reputation and commendation– being ranked or recognized by independent, reputable sources such as U.S. News and World Report