U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Online Programs” rankings are out, and the University of Virginia School of Engineering’s online civil engineering master's degree program has been named No. 7 in the nation. UVA Engineering’s systems engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and computer science programs also performed well in multiple recent rankings announcements.

Only University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Purdue University, Columbia University, Johns Hopkins University, Arizona State University, and University of California, Los Angeles, preceded UVA’s civil engineering online master's program in U.S. News’ rankings.

UVA’s online mechanical engineering master's program is ranked 12th, and online electrical engineering master's program is ranked 15th. 

Overall, UVA Engineering is among the top 25 online engineering programs in the nation according to U.S. News, jumping seven spots.

Thornton Hall

The University of Virginia School of Engineering was ranked No. 7 by U.S. News & World Report for its online program in Civil Engineering. The School overall is among the top 25 online engineering programs in the country in 2021. (Photo by Sanjay Suchak, University Communications)

Best Master’s Programs, which ranks according to factors such as cost, reputation and salary potential for graduates, lists UVA Engineering as 16th in the nation for its overall online master’s program, and 4th in the nation for civil engineering.

In a year marked by universities making hard pivots to virtual learning in the midst of a pandemic, the top rankings are particularly meaningful.

“I am proud of our faculty who work tirelessly to provide the same quality teaching even when offered remotely,” said James A. Smith, Henry L. Kinnier Professor of Civil Engineering and assistant dean for graduate education. “The rankings provide a testament to UVA Engineering’s commitment to offer students a world-class education.”

U.S. News & World Report evaluated more than 1,600 online programs for student services and technology, faculty credentials and student engagement.

"As in-person gatherings remain limited, we might see more interest in online degrees than in pre-pandemic years," Anita Narayan, managing editor of education at U.S. News, said in a press release. "But online degrees aren't only practical in the short term – distance education can also be conducive to a schedule that includes full-time work or other commitments."

Computer Science Bachelor’s Degree Program Ranked No. 10 in Nation

The University of Virginia School of Engineering was ranked No. 10 in the nation for the Computer Science bachelor’s degree program by College Choice, an online educational ranking site. UVA was the only Virginia school on the list of top-25 programs.

UVA Engineering was preceded only by the University of California, Berkeley; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; California Institute of Technology; Georgia Institute of Technology; Carnegie Mellon University; Harvard University; Stanford University; University of Michigan; and Yale University.

The rankings from College Choice take into account “retention, affordability, and reputation,” according to the announcement. In its profile of UVA Engineering’s computer science program, the website says, “Undergrad students have opportunities to work with top-rate professors and participate in their research.” 

College Choice also ranked UVA’s civil engineering online master’s program No. 5 in the country.

U.S. News & World Report, Best Master’s Programs and College Choice are not the only ranking entities taking note.

Niche, which ranked U.S. systems engineering programs on a variety of metrics including quality of academics, value, diversity and quality of faculty, listed UVA’s systems engineering program No. 3 in the country. Master’s Program Guide ranks UVA systems engineering as No. 2 among systems master’s programs in the country.

Best Engineering Colleges has ranked several UVA Engineering programs as top-20 in the nation, including systems engineering, No. 8; aerospace engineering, No. 11; materials engineering, No. 14; computer engineering, No. 15; civil engineering, No. 19; and, chemical engineering, No. 20.

UVA was ranked No. 24 by Best Engineering Colleges, which evaluated 1,849 schools offering engineering programs.