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ASU ranked among leaders in online engineering graduate education

January 16, 2013

Arizona State University’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering has one of the leading online engineering graduate degree programs in the nation, according to rankings released Jan. 15 by U.S. News & World Report magazine.

ASU’s online engineering graduate programs placed 23rd among the nearly 70 that the magazine ranks as top-tier online programs.

U.S. News gathered data from 221 schools, colleges and universities in the process of selecting and ranking the top-tier programs. The leading programs were narrowed to those for which all required coursework for earning degrees can be completed via distance education courses that incorporate Internet-based learning technologies.

ASU has a long history of offering distance-learning engineering education programs to working professionals. Almost 30 years ago, it began offering programs to corporate sites around the Phoenix metro area, broadcasting through interactive cable TV networks and satellite.

In 2002, the university began its online engineering graduate degree program for industry partners seeking a global reach and flexible anytime/anyplace learning for their engineers to complete advanced degrees.

Today the university offers more than 150 distinct online graduate-level engineering courses in a comprehensive degree program portfolio.

Degrees are offered in:

• electrical engineering

• industrial engineering

• materials science and engineering

• engineering science-software engineering

• Master of engineering, including areas of study in embedded systems modeling and simulation, systems engineering and quality, reliability and statistical engineering

About 350 students are currently enrolled in ASU graduate engineering degree programs online, including students from almost every region of the United States and several countries outside the United States.

The top-tier ranking from U.S. News & World Report “validates our desire to expand our engineering degree programs globally,” says Jeffrey Goss, director of the office of Global Outreach and Extended Education in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.

“These programs provide our students excellent opportunities to collaborate on global issues and engage our faculty in real industry challenges,” Goss says.

Ryan Kao, who is employed in the defense industry and graduated from ASU’s program last fall with a master’s degree in software engineering, took classes while living and working in Colorado.  He says the online distance-education program offered not only convenience but active engagement in classes.

“The format is flexible,” Kao says, “but at the same time it does require students to actively communicate and participate with fellow students and professors.”

In 2012, ASU began offering distance-education programs to Intel engineers in Vietnam, bridging ASU graduate students in Tempe with Intel engineers in Ho Chi Minh City. Through a blended video-conference and asynchronous online system, the program is providing students opportunities to collaborate virtually on projects and other educational endeavors.

The ASU Intel Graduate Program “is another benefit for our employees,” says Rick Howarth, an Intel executive and former general manager for Intel Products Vietnam. “We aim to develop a quality workforce for ramping up factory operations, and for the overall high-tech industry. ASU is helping us to cultivate the next generation of innovators and to enhance our employees' skills and knowledge.”

See related articles about ASU’s online engineering graduate education program:

U.S. News gives online engineering education program high marks

Industry-university collaboration creates innovative distance-learning program

New investment to boost international economic development effort