Online programs at University of St. Francis among best in nation

The University of St. Francis is ranked among the best online education programs in the nation in the latest listings from U.S. News & World Report.

In its “Best Online Education Programs 2013”, the leading educational ranking publisher placed USF 28th of 237 schools for its online bachelor’s programs and 33rd of 101 schools for online graduate nursing programs. The university also was ranked 65th of 208 for online graduate education programs and 80th of 213 for online graduate business programs.

“The USF community is delighted to learn about our outstanding rankings,” said Chuck Beutel, vice president for admissions and enrollment. “USF offers a superior online learning experience by developing each course in-house, training faculty and supporting its online students.”

USF has been one of the largest providers of online education in Illinois since it piloted its online business program 15 years ago, Beutel said.

“We were a pioneer in online learning back in 1998,” he said. “It makes sense that USF should be one of the best.”

Studies of online learning have found that a vast majority of students enrolling in online programs live within 50 miles of the university’s physical campus. Among Illinois schools ranked in U.S. News & World Report’s listing, USF has the top ranking online graduate nursing programs of any public or private school.

Among private schools in Illinois, USF has the top ranked online bachelor’s programs and top ranked online graduate business programs. It was the second ranked online graduate education program among private schools in Illinois.

USF routinely collects feedback from its online students about their satisfaction with the university’s online learning environment.

“We’ve learned from our students that the USF experience was superior to what they had received from another university,” Beutel said.

To learn more about USF’s online offerings and to preview an online class, visit Or, join USF admissions counselors during their next online information session from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Feb. 19 at

The University of St. Francis in Joliet serves 3,400 students nationwide, offering undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs in arts and science, business, education, nursing and health care and social work. For information, call (800) 735-7500 or visit