Campus & Community

Online MBA Enters Top 40 in U.S. News Rankings, Still the No. 1 Program in N.J.

The Secret to Stevens’ Climb on Annual Scorecard? An Emphasis on Student Engagement

A professor talks to a physical and online class through a headset. Course materials and discussion are projected in the back.
Dr. Kevin Ryan answers a question from an online student during class. U.S. News & World Report's 2020 rankings of top online programs again prominently features Stevens and the School of Business.

Searching for New Jersey’s top online MBA? Once again, you’ll find it at Stevens Institute of Technology. 

In its annual rankings of the best online MBAs, U.S. News & World Report again recognized the School of Business among the nation’s best, as academic and professional audiences appreciate the value a tech- and analytics-focused curriculum poses in a corporate world undergoing constant digital disruption. 

For the fifth consecutive year, U.S. News rated the online MBA at Stevens tops in New Jersey, while being ranked 40th out of more than 300 business schools in the nation — an improvement from 45th in 2019. The school’s online non-MBA business degrees are ranked 25th among nearly 200 schools.

U.S. News’ methodology puts special emphasis on student engagement in online classes — effectively, how faculty use technology to create a real teaching environment that encourages student interaction and participation. 

Headshot of Pam Charleston
Pam Charleston M.S. '19.

When Pam Charleston chose Stevens for her online master’s in Enterprise Project Management, she had special reason to demand that kind of engagement. An IT and project manager at Exelon in Chicago, Charleston has worked on large-scale energy projects where two-way communication between consumer and utility is part of the game. 

“The utility business is highly competitive now, so we have to consistently improve the customer experience, and our group does that through technology,” she said. “In terms of my degree, Stevens makes it feel like a virtual classroom, instead of an online class. You become close to the professors, you do presentations, you’re asking questions — it’s truly interactive.” 

The online experience at Stevens is made immersive through emphasis on collaborative work. Like courses held in a physical classroom, Stevens business courses require students to develop their teamwork and leadership skills through group projects. Virtual meeting rooms and regular engagement with peers and faculty create an environment that encourages students’ success, both in their coursework and on the job after graduation.

'Incredible visibility in industry'

Another important category is reputation in academic and corporate circles. Dr. Michael zur Muehlen, associate dean of the graduate division for the School of Business, said Stevens’ location and tech focus lend great credibility to its online degree programs.

“Being just across the river from New York City gives recruiters a chance to meet our students and gives our faculty chances to work with professionals in finance, pharmaceuticals, telecom, consulting, high tech and so on,” Dr. zur Muehlen said. “That gives our programs, and our students and alumni, incredible visibility in industry.” 

Stevens’ leadership in this area is further emphasized through its leadership in AACSB International’s Management Curriculum for the Digital Era group. MaCuDE, as it’s known, is a Stevens-led initiative of more than 100 universities working to update management curricula to bring the MBA and other degree programs into the digital age. 

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