UHD Programs Earn U.S. News & World Report Rankings
M.S. in Criminal Justice, BAAS-AA Among the Nation’s Best
By Mike Emery
Two University of Houston-Downtown programs have been ranked among the best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. This week, the publication released its list of Best Online Programs, and UHD earned spots in two categories.
The University’s Bachelor of Applied Arts & Sciences in Applied Administration (BAAS-AA) degree is ranked among the nation’s top 100 Online Bachelor’s Programs, and its graduate program in Criminal Justice is ranked No. 26 in the country. Both are the highest ranked programs in Houston within their respective categories.
“Being ranked by U.S. News & World Report is a tremendous honor for our university,” said UHD President, Dr. Juan Sánchez Muñoz. “This achievement reflects the university’s commitment to delivering rigorous academic programs across a range of platforms. I commend our faculty who develop practical curriculum for these programs and prepare students for success in their respective disciplines and careers.”
UHD’s BAAS-AA degree program is based in the University College and supports students as they develop competencies and skills necessary to ascend in their career ladders. Coursework is focused on developing communication, team-building and leadership skills. Course topics include human resources, budgeting, administrative communication, change management, decision making skills, negotiation and mediation, information systems and project administration. UHD’s BAAS-AA is listed among the top seven online bachelor’s programs in the state according to the recent rankings.
“Our faculty and staff are proud to be ranked among the top 100 online bachelor's degree program in the nation,” said Dr. Karen Kaser, program director for the BAAS-AA and senior lecturer. “This degree program is unique because it allows students from all career disciplines to apply the workforce credits they earned at community colleges toward the BAAS-AA. Our alumni apply the skills and knowledge they gain from our excellent faculty to obtain promotions with their current employers, move on to higher positions with new employers, start their own businesses and non-profit organizations, and continue their education by completing masters and doctoral degrees.”
Based in UHD’s College of Public Service, the Master’s of Science in Criminal Justice (MSCJ) helps develop students’ knowledge of criminological theory, program evaluation and criminal justice administration. The 36-hour program includes courses focused on the most pertinent issues in the field and offers the skills needed for students in their careers or to continue on to a doctoral program. The degree program also requires a capstone graduate project or thesis. The MSCJ U.S. News & World Report ranking places it among the top four online criminal justice programs in the state.
“This master’s program was UHD’s first graduate degree and its first online graduate degree,” said Dr. Ashley Blackburn, chair of the Department of Criminal Justice and Social Work. “It is taught by our exceptional full-time faculty and offers quality instruction and a distinctive learning experience to those enrolled. The program continues to produce prestigious alumni who serve in leadership roles across the criminal justice field in the Houston area and beyond.”
UHD’s BAAS-AA and M.S. in Criminal Justice were each evaluated based on a range of factors that included faculty credentials, graduation rates, technological infrastructure and expert opinions (from higher education administrators at other institutions). Rankings also were based on the amount of debt incurred by students in these programs. UHD remains Houston’s most affordable university and has one of the lowest tuitions in the state and the nation.
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD)—the second largest university in Houston—has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974.
As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive four-year university led by Dr. Juan Sánchez Muñoz. Annually, UHD educates more than 14,000 students; boasts over 50,000 alumni and offers 44 bachelor’s and eight master’s degree programs within five colleges (Marilyn Davies College of Business; Humanities & Social Sciences; Public Service, Sciences & Technology; and University College). In 2018, UHD grew its First Time in College student population by 11 percent and transfer students by 14 percent.
UHD has the most affordable tuition among four-year universities in Houston. It also is ranked among 15 U.S. universities with lowest net price to students (according to the U.S. Department of Education). The University is noted nationally as both a Hispanic-Serving Institution and a Minority-Serving Institution. For more on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit www.uhd.edu.