More than a dozen Garden State schools appear on U.S. News & World Report's 2020 Best Online Programs rankings, which evaluated more than 1,600 bachelor's and master's degree programs nationwide.

A handful of New Jersey colleges appeared in more than one category, as the rankings evaluated master's programs across several disciplines such as nursing, engineering and education.

Rutgers University-Camden posted New Jersey's best score in the category of online bachelor's programs. Out of more than 350 schools, Rutgers-Camden ranked No. 39.

"The key for online education is to have a faculty that's really committed to doing a high-quality job online," said Dan Hart, Rutgers-Camden's interim provost. "For online education, one of the challenges is that it can be much more demanding in some ways than teaching in the classroom. This is because every moment of what you do online has to be pre-planned."

The Camden campus's School of Business ranked No. 69 for its master's of business administration program.

Hart said online learning represents a small percentage of what's offered at Rutgers-Camden, but it's a direction "much education is moving in," in order to meet students' needs.

Other New Jersey schools recognized in the rankings for their online-bachelor's programs include Berkeley College, Rider University and Rowan University.

Stevens Institute of Technology saw New Jersey's best ranking (No. 40) in the MBA category. In the same category, Montclair State University ranked No. 88 out of 335 schools.

MSU also received New Jersey's top score for master's-level education (No. 25).

"It's a testament to the quality of the program, both in terms of the structures and processes involved in offering it, but also in terms of the faculty who created it in the first place," Tamara Lucas, dean of MSU's College of Education and Human Services, said of the education ranking.

"We didn't create a quick and dirty online program and add leadership; there are many of those out there," she added. "We're not trying to build a massive platform of online programs, we're trying to select a few programs that have the possibility of being high quality and online, so that they're more accessible."

Ranked NJ schools:

  • Berkeley College (Bachelor's)
  • Centenary University (MBA, Education)
  • College of St. Elizabeth (Criminal justice/Criminology)
  • Felician University (Nursing)
  • Georgian Court University (Education)
  • Monmouth University (Education, Nursing)
  • Montclair State University (MBA, Computer IT, Education)
  • New Jersey City University (Education)
  • New Jersey Institute of Technology (MBA, Computer IT, Engineering)
  • Rider University (Bachelor's, MBA)
  • Rowan University (Bachelor's, MBA, Criminal justice/Criminology, Education, Engineering)
  • Rutgers-Camden (Bachelor's, MBA)
  • Rutgers-New Brunswick (Education)
  • Seton Hall University (Nursing)
  • Stevens Institute of Technlogy (MBA, Computer IT, Engineering)
  • Stockton University (Education)

To determine rankings, U.S. News & World Report considered factors such as student engagement, faculty credentials, and student services and technology.

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Contact reporter Dino Flammia at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com.