MSU online master’s programs soar to #7 in rankings

February 7, 2024

Michigan State University remains home to some of the most prestigious online education master’s degree programs in the United States. According to U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings, MSU ranks #7 overall and four specialty programs are ranked in the top-five.

Among specialties within education, the MSU’s College of Education ranked:

  • #1 in Curriculum and Instruction
  • #1 in Educational Administration and Supervision (up from #2 last year)
  • #4 in Educational/Instructional Media Design (up from #6 last year)
  • #5 in Special Education (up from #7 last year)

Out of 303 programs ranked across the U.S., the college improved its overall rank for online master’s programs by three spots.

“In today’s dynamic educational landscape, online education is a catalyst for accessible learning, breaking barriers and offering flexibility,” said Dean and MSU Research Foundation Professor Jerlando F. L. Jackson. “The notable improvement of the college’s online rankings underscores the exceptional quality of education that Spartans are experiencing across the globe.”


U.S. News uses a weighted scale to evaluate each institution, taking into consideration five key factors, namely:

  • Student Excellence – a combination of standardized test scores, experience, acceptance rate and undergraduate GPA
  • Faculty Credentials and Training – a combination of terminal degree faculty, preparedness to teach distance learners, and tenured faculty
  • Peer Assessment – a survey of high-ranking academic officials in education helps account for intangible factors affecting program quality that statistics don’t capture. Also, employers may hold in high regard degrees from programs that academics respect.
  • Services and Technology – a combination of student indebtedness, technological infrastructure and support services
  • Engagement – a combination of best practices, graduation rate, class size, one-year retention rate and time to degree deadline

A new, groundbreaking program and more

In Fall 2023, the college announced the M.A. in Learning Experience Design (MALXD), an innovative new master’s program that will equip current and aspiring instructional designers to become field leaders in a diverse range of educational settings. The program, accepting Fall 2024 applications for its inaugural cohort, distinguishes itself by emphasizing equity, accessibility and social justice in human-centered learning and design, setting it apart from traditional programs.

The MSU College of Education now offers 11 fully online and hybrid master’s programs:

MSU remains a global leader in education

In addition to its online master’s program rankings, the MSU College of Education has been ranked #1 in the nation for elementary and secondary education for 29 consecutive years according to U.S. News World & Report Graduate rankings.

According to three international rankings bodies, MSU is ranked among the best in the world in education. All rankings were published in 2023.

Interested in learning more about the College of Education’s online master’s programs. Attend a virtual information session on Feb. 28 at 4 p.m. ET. Register to attend via Zoom.