News from Media Relations

Contact: GREG CANNON (845) 575-3112/3171


POUGHKEEPSIE - Two Marist College online degree programs, the Master's in Business Administration and the BA/BS in Professional Studies, have been named in the first-ever edition of Top Online Education Program rankings by U.S. News & World Report, which considered graduate online degree programs in business, engineering, nursing, education, and computer information technology, as well as online bachelor's degree programs.

Marist's online MBA was one of only 14 graduate business programs in the nation named to U.S. News & World Report's honor roll. To achieve this status, U.S. News & World Report considered admissions selectivity, faculty credentials and training, student services and technology, and teaching practices and student engagement. In the area of admissions selectivity, Marist ranked fifth, and in faculty credentials, Marist ranked sixth in the nation. 

Marist launched New York State's first AACSB-accredited, 100%-online MBA program in 1998. It was also one of the first such programs in the nation. The AACSB is the premier business school accrediting body. Also known as the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, it accredits less than one third of business programs in the world. 

"These rankings confirm, I believe, the dedication to innovation and quality long associated with Marist College and our MBA program," said Elmore Alexander, Dean of the School of Management. "With our emphasis on selectivity and faculty expertise as well as the new program, which focuses on virtual management, Marist's MBA is dynamically engaging with the issues that define contemporary global business through its world-class online environment." Information on the MBA program is available at

U.S. News & World Report also ranked Marist's online BA/BS in Professional Studies program after evaluating national programs across three categories: faculty credentials and training; student services and technology; and teaching practices and student engagement. Among the 170 online programs ranked, Marist was listed in the top 25 for faculty credentials.

Marist's online BA/BS in Professional Studies program, available within its School of Professional Programs, "is geared toward students age 22 and over who seek a quality undergraduate degree, offered in a convenient, online format," according to Dean Lauren Mounty. In fall 2012, the School will offer a new online BS in Professional Studies program with a focus on leadership. "This program builds on Marist's excellent reputation for leadership development by making it available to dedicated adult students," according to Vice President for Academic Affairs, Thomas Wermuth. For more information on the new program, visit

The new rankings affirm Marist's role as a longtime leader in delivering top-quality online education. Marist has offered online courses for more than a decade, and its faculty is well versed in customizing their approach to make the most of the online format, delivering flexible and efficient programs that maximize the overall student experience. Marist is also a leader in developing a customized course management system. This system is built upon Sakai, an open-source technology developed by a group of leading international colleges and universities, including Marist. The Sakai Foundation board is currently led by Marist's Senior Academic Technology Officer, Josh Baron. Among other awards, Marist Academic Technology has received funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to help develop analytics to support online student learning.

Marist President Dennis J. Murray said, "This welcome distinction is the result of Marist's long-time investment in developing a leading online learning platform and the pioneering work of our faculty. We maintain a firm commitment to assure that the learning outcomes of online education are the same as those attained in the classroom."

While U.S. News & World Report has applied some of its rankings standards used for traditional schools, many new measures have been developed and were used to evaluate online programs. In order to be considered for the rankings, online degree programs needed to have at least 80 percent of their course content available online. 

There were no numeric rankings for overall program quality this inaugural year. Instead, U.S. News & World Report created non-numeric honor roll lists of online programs. There is one honor roll for online bachelor's degree programs and one each for the master's degree programs, excluding computer information technology. Each list includes programs that performed well across a series of numeric indicator rankings. 

Data was collected from both for-profit and not-for-profit schools. For more information about the rankings methodology, please go to

For more information on the U.S. News Top Online Education Program rankings, please visit or find U.S. News on Facebook or Twitter. 


For further information, call the Marist College Office of Media Relations at (845) 575-3174.