Longwood University’s online MBA programs are among the best in the nation.

The programs are ranked 78th nationally in U.S. News & World Report’s 2015 Best Online Graduate MBA Programs list, released Jan. 7. Only two Virginia universities ranked higher among the 196 ranked schools.

"I am thrilled that we are in the top 100 of this list," said Abbey O’Connor, Longwood’s MBA director and assistant dean of the College of Business and Economics.

"More and more schools are entering the online MBA market, and this recognition is a clear sign of the quality of Longwood’s online MBA. Quite simply, our students, faculty and staff are among the best in the nation."

This is the first year that the U.S. News & World Report ranked online MBA programs separately from online non-MBA graduate business degree programs (the M.S. degree, for example). MBA and non-MBA graduate business programs were previously combined into a single ranking.

In another change, the scoring for MBA programs placed greater weight on reputation and admissions selectivity.

"Because this is a new ranking list, the results and the data are not comparable to last year’s ranking," said O’Connor, adding that last year Longwood’s online MBA program ranked 62nd nationally among the 225 ranked colleges and universities.

Other factors in the rankings, which may be viewed on the Best Online MBA Programs page, are student engagement, faculty credentials and training, and student services and technology. This is the third year the publication has ranked online degree programs.

Longwood’s MBA programs, which transitioned to online delivery five years ago, include concentrations in general business, retail management and real estate. Longwood’s College of Business and Economics is accredited by the most prestigious accrediting agency for schools of business, AACSB International.

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