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US News ranks ASU in top 15 online bachelor's programs

January 12, 2016

Among graduate programs, criminal justice is 2nd, non-MBA 3rd in nation

ASU ranked in the top 15 online programs for bachelor’s degrees, according to the 2016 U.S. News and World Report rankings released Tuesday. The magazine’s annual report, “America’s Best Online Programs,” assessed both public and private institutions and affirmed ASU’s innovation and leadership in providing access to a high-quality education.

U.S. News ranked ASU as 11th in overall bachelor’s degree programs. Among graduate programs, the university’s degree in criminal justice ranked second in the nation, and the non-MBA graduate program in business ranked third. The MBA program ranked fifth.

“ASU continues to prove that we can expand access to higher education and continue to raise the quality of our programs simultaneously," said Phil Regier, university dean for educational initiatives and CEO of EdPlus at ASU. “Learning and discovery need not be bound by traditional disciplines or platforms.”

ASU’s graduate engineering program rose from 14th to 12th, and the university’s graduate degree in nursing enjoyed an even larger jump.

U.S. News and World Report rankings are based on factors such as graduation rates, indebtedness of new graduates and academic and career support services offered to students. Only degree-granting programs delivered wholly online were considered.

ASU’s online graduate programs have attracted successful students across a broad spectrum of life experiences, from entrepreneurs to NFL kickers to active-duty military officers. The courses are accessible to everyone: parents, workers and lifelong learners.

ASU helped pioneer advances in online education and continues to innovate to provide many paths to learning, personalizing the educational experience and allowing for different life balances. Such innovations led U.S. News and World Report to name ASU the most innovative university in the nation in 2015.

Unlike a standard online lecture, ASU’s online courses are highly interactive, engaging each student and ensuring the subject matter is fully understood. This structure also facilitates interaction with the highly recognized faculty on campus and classmates to encourage learning through collaboration. The courses are specifically designed to provide access to the vast academic, research and career resources that ASU offers — to anyone, anywhere.

Last year, ASU launched the Global Freshman Academy, a program offering open, digitally enabled freshman-level courses to anyone, and allowing students to pay for credit after they have successfully passed the class, significantly reducing the financial risks of college. The university also extended the Starbucks College Achievement Plan to cover all four years of college, as well as expanding to include family members of military veteran Starbucks Partners.

For more information on undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificate programs offered online at ASU, visit

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Teaming up for sustainability in Playoff Plant-Off

The other college playoff game: Planting trees.
Playoff Plant-Off pits universities against each other in tree-planting game.
January 12, 2016

Universities in town for the College Football Playoff compete for urban forestry grant by planting trees in Phoenix

Alabama beat Clemson in Monday night's college football national championship, played in Glendale. But a more unique competition took place earlier that day when representatives from the four college football playoff teams, as well as Arizona State University and the University of Arizona, competed in the Playoff Plant-off.

The teams, some of which were intermingled with representatives and alumni from various colleges, planted trees at Marivue Park in northwest Phoenix. The competition challenged the teams to see which one could plant 10 trees the fastest and in the correct way. The winning teams were awarded trophies, and the champion received an urban forestry grant to plant trees on its campus.

Watch the action and hear why this competition was important in this video. The winners are listed below.

First place: Michigan State 

Second place: University of Arizona College of Medicine Phoenix, Clemson

Third place: ASU, Alabama, Oklahoma

Justin Rohner, ASU's team captain, is shown in the photo at the top of the page. Photo by Ken Fagan/ASU Now

Ken Fagan

Videographer , ASU News