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WCU ranked by US News and World Report for online undergraduate, graduate programs

Western Carolina University has been ranked among the top providers of online programs by U.S. News & World Report in numerous categories for 2021.

In its evaluation of undergraduate and graduate online programs offered by higher education institutions across the country, the magazine placed WCU at 27th for online bachelor’s degree business programs and 32nd for veterans seeking online graduate degrees in business.

“As a university that is committed to meeting the educational needs of the region, it is important that WCU extend educational opportunities beyond the campus,” said Carolyn M. Callaghan, executive director of educational outreach at the university. “Online programs provide a quality education to busy adults who cannot make it to campus to complete their degrees. And NC Promise has also made completing a degree more affordable.  The average in-state transfer student can complete their undergraduate degree for less than $4,000.”

Other rankings included 164th for online bachelor’s degree programs overall, 76th for online graduate business programs.

WCU distance and online programs are designed to fit into individual schedules and lifestyles, and are consistently ranked as some of the best and most affordable programs in the nation. Online bachelor’s degree programs are offered in birth-kindergarten education, criminal justice, emergency and disaster management, emergency medical care, engineering technology, business administration and law, and innovation leadership and entrepreneurship, plus a program allowing registered nurses to earn their bachelor’s degree in nursing.

Master’s degree programs provided online by the university are construction management, entrepreneurship, health sciences, human resources, special education, nurse educator, nurse administration, project management, school administration, and elementary and middle grades education.

“WCU has been committed to providing high quality degrees and support to our distance students,” Callaghan said.  “Our most recent survey of undergraduate online students shows WCU meets and exceeds the expectation of students for both value of their degree and the quality of their instruction and student support.”

U.S. News & World Report assessed schools based on four general, weighted categories for online programs: student engagement (35 percent); student services and technology (25 percent); faculty credentials and training (20 percent); and peer reputation (20 percent).

WCU’s online programs have continually been ranked among the highest by U.S. News & World Report, now in the 10th year of collecting data from distance education providers. More information is available at or by calling the Office of Educational Outreach at 828-227-7397.


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