07:17 AM

U.S. News & World Report Ranks UHD Among Universities Offering Best Online Programs

University Recognized for Best Online Master’s Criminal Justice, Bachelor’s Programs

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U.S. News & World Report released its annual list of top universities and academic programs, and the University of Houston-Downtown once again is ranked among the institutions offering the Best Online Programs in the nation. 

UHD rose in the rankings in the categories of Best Online Master’s Criminal Justice Programs (No. 27 and No. 15 for Veterans) and Best Online Bachelor’s Programs (No. 80). This is the fourth year in a row that the University has been recognized in these categories. 

“U.S. News & World Report rankings are considered a benchmark of excellence in higher education,” said UHD President Loren J. Blanchard. “To be named among the top institutions in the nation offering quality online programs is indeed gratifying and further demonstrates UHD’s commitment to student success and the prosperity of the greater Houston region.”  

The University’s online Master of Science in Criminal Justice was its first web-based academic program and continues to flourish. Based within the College of Public Service, its courses support students’ mastery of criminological theory and focus on program evaluation and criminal justice administration. 

“I am excited that we have once again earned these designations, especially in the time of COVID-19 when online education is more relied upon than ever,” said Dr. Ashley Blackburn, Interim Associate Dean and Professor of Criminal Justice. “Our dedicated faculty and staff work diligently to ensure our students have what they need to be successful inside the classroom and as they continue, or once they begin, their careers in the Criminal Justice field.” 

"We're excited about the recent rankings of the department's programs and what it means for our students,” added Dr. Kevin Buckler, Interim Department Chair and Professor of Criminal Justice. “Our goal is to provide a quality educational experience and it's great to have this commitment reflected in the program's national rankings.” 

UHD also remains in the top 100 (out of 358 ranked programs) among Best Bachelor’s Online Programs. Its success in this category stems from its Bachelor of Applied Arts & Sciences in Applied Administration (BAAS-AA) degree offered through the University College.  

The program provides the support students need as they develop professionally and prepare to elevate their careers. Communication, team building and leadership skills are the cornerstones of this program. Courses focus on topics such as human resources, budgeting, administrative communication, change management, decision making skills, negotiation and mediation, information systems and project administration.  

“The BAAS-AA program and its new online competency-nested concentration, Applied Public Administration and Leadership (APAL), provide students with the flexibility to schedule time to study and complete assignments in a manner that works for their unique situations and busy lives,” said Dr. Karen Kaser, BAAS-AA Program Director.  “Our faculty have created courses that provide students with a clear picture of expectations and deadlines so they can plan their entire semester, thus maximizing the possibilities for successful completion in the shortest amount of time.” 

“At the University of Houston-Downtown, we prioritize the success of our online students with the BAAS-AA, APAL degree programs,” said Dr. Scott Marzilli, Dean of UHD’s University College. “Our courses are designed to be student-centered, flexible and engaging, which matches the commitment from our dedicated faculty.” 

UHD’s Online Criminal Justice and Bachelor’s programs were evaluated based on engagement (opportunities for interaction, participation), services and technology (student support and career services, distance learning technologies), faculty credentials and expert opinion (collected from surveys completed by higher education professionals). Student excellence also factored into UHD’s Master’s in Criminal Justice ranking. 

These rankings complement other accolades received by the University over the past year including a recent nod from U.S. News & World Report as one of the Top Performers on Social Mobility and a No. 1 ranking as the most diverse institution of higher education in the southern region of the U.S. 

About the University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and 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 President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.

U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.