Purdue ECE's online graduate program ranks number 1 nationally
Roger Alford did his homework even before he made the leap to becoming a student in Purdue University's online electrical and computer engineering master's degree program.
“I evaluated every online program available at the time and found Purdue to have one of the best," said Alford, who received his master's in December. "It was well established, well organized, had many excellent course offerings, and had a good selection of concentrations to choose from. These features, combined with Purdue’s deeply rooted reputation for engineering excellence, made it the clear choice for me.”
Alford, an experienced professional engineer on a team developing lifesaving medical devices, is not alone in that evaluation.
As they did in 2020, Purdue's online graduate engineering programs rank third in U.S. News & World Report's latest ranking of the Best Online Programs in the nation. Electrical Engineering, Industrial Engineering and Mechanical Engineering all ranked No. 1 in their categories.
Purdue's overall online graduate engineering programs ranked behind only Columbia University and the University of California, Los Angeles. U.S. News & World Report ranked 97 colleges and universities with online graduate engineering programs. The 2021 rankings were released Tuesday (Jan. 26) and can be viewed here.
In the specialty online engineering graduate program rankings, Purdue ranked second in Civil Engineering and third in both online engineering programs for veterans and online engineering management programs, in addition to the first-place rankings for Electrical Engineering, Industrial Engineering and Mechanical Engineering.
“Learning is a lifelong joy that a land-grant university like Purdue can sustain through online opportunities,” said Mung Chiang, the John A. Edwardson Dean of the College of Engineering and Roscoe H. George Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “With leadership from Gerry McCartney and Dimitri Peroulis and their teams, Purdue Engineering has been advancing online learning with excellence and scale. From affordable master’s degrees to industry co-hosted badges, from global university partnerships to virtual lab pedagogy, we will continue to innovate learning for everyone.”
Peroulis, the Michael and Katherine Birck Head of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and special advisor to the dean of engineering for online learning, said, “Our faculty have created a number of high-quality programs that meet the needs of working professionals across multiple fields. We are proud of the growing learning community of our online students who work earnestly and persistently to earn the same degrees as our on-campus students.”
McCartney, executive vice president for Purdue Online, said, “The College of Engineering is on the leading edge of Purdue's initiative to greatly expand its online presence and to serve all types of students, with a special emphasis on working professionals. These latest rankings speak to the effectiveness of Engineering's efforts and I don’t doubt that there’s more where that came from.”
The organizers of the annual U.S. News rankings analyze data on such factors as the quality of students entering a program; online teaching practices so students stay enrolled and graduate; how the programs employ technologies to allow students flexibility and enable learning; student support services, career guidance, financial aid resources, student indebtedness; and more.
Also weighed are faculty credentials and training, including the degree to which online instructors’ credentials mirror those of on-campus faculty and the training instructors receive to teach distance learners.
In addition, U.S. News conducts a peer assessment survey of high-ranking academic officials — the case of the engineering rankings, deans of engineering schools and top online learning officials — as an important element of reviewing Purdue and other institutions for ranking.
Purdue’s College of Education is fifth in educational programs for veterans, 10th in curriculum and instruction programs, 11th in special education programs, and 19th in administration and supervision programs. Purdue is 42nd overall in education master’s programs.