Joliet, Ill. – U.S. News & World Report released its 2020 Best Online Programs rankings today, and the University of St. Francis (USF) is proud to announce that five of its online programs were recognized in the publication.

Recognized USF programs included:

  • Online Bachelor’s Program – top 16 percent nationally (3rd highest ranked private program in Illinois)
  • Online Graduate Education Program – top 19 percent nationally (top-ranked private program in Illinois)
  • Online Graduate Business Program (excluding MBA) – top 34 percent nationally (top-ranked private program in Illinois)
  • Online MBA Program – top 44 percent nationally (top-ranked private program in Illinois)
  • Online Nursing Program – top 45 percent nationally (4th highest ranked private program in Illinois)

USF introduced its first online courses and degree programs in 1998 and has since served as one of higher education’s online learning pioneers. USF President Arvid C. Johnson believes that twenty years of offering programs of this type has allowed the University to share them with as wide of a variety of students as possible.

“Since first entering the online education field over twenty years ago, the University has continued to expand its comprehensive online programs and is now recognized for offering many of the State’s top private, online programs. We largely credit this to a faculty committed to high-quality teaching via all delivery methods, which enables the University to provide highly-valued degrees to busy students who appreciate the flexibility that online education offers them,” Johnson said.

The variety and availability of quality online education program options continues to increase annually as more and more colleges and universities across the U.S. expand their academic offerings. While that competition increases from year to year, USF continues to stand out among its peers.

“With more competition, and more schools trying to provide online programs, USF quality continues to rise and our ranking shows that,” said Eric Wignall, USF Vice President of Admissions, Enrollment Services and Marketing.

Wignall pointed to the University’s focus on students as the driving reason for higher rankings.

“We’ve created a university where students learn in small groups, using high-tech labs, with shared student-faculty research experiences, and in hundreds of internships. We have faculty and staff who are fully engaged in student learning. It’s not a secondary concern at USF—it’s the primary focus,” he said.

According to, “At both the undergraduate and graduate levels, U.S. News calculates rankings based on a variety of factors, which hold different weights depending on the ranking category. A program’s score for each factor, or ranking indicator, is calculated using data that online programs report to U.S. News in an annual survey. The rankings methodologies for online programs are different and separate from those for U.S. News’ Best Colleges and Best Graduate Schools rankings. Ranking methodologies are updated on an annual basis.”

Visit for more information on USF’s online programs.

Visit for more information on U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 Best Online Programs rankings.

The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves close to 4,000 students nationwide, offering undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 50,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit

University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.

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