Sul Ross State University has been ranked one of the best schools for online degrees in a public service field by Student Training and Education in Public Service (STEPS).
Only 13 percent of colleges and universities in the U.S. earned a spot on the rankings for the 2024 academic year. Public service disciplines focus on supporting, protecting and improving the quality of life for members of a community.
Sul Ross was ranked in the following:
Best Online Master’s Degrees in Political Science: https://www.publicservicedegrees.org/online-degrees/political-science-degrees/masters/
Most Affordable Online Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) Programs:https://www.publicservicedegrees.org/online-degrees/public-administration-programs/masters-mpa/most-affordable/
Best Online Criminal Justice Degree Programs in Texas: https://www.publicservicedegrees.org/online-degrees/criminal-justice-programs/texas/#four-yr-programs
Best Online Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) Programs: https://www.publicservicedegrees.org/online-degrees/public-administration-programs/masters-mpa/
Most Affordable Online Master’s in Education Degrees: https://www.publicservicedegrees.org/online-degrees/education-teaching-programs/masters/most-affordable/
“Our goal was to identify the best colleges with online degree programs where graduates can make a meaningful difference in their communities through education, public policy and other career paths,” said Kyle Smith, a community outreach specialist at STEPS.
Public service degrees give students the opportunity to pursue careers where they can support those most in need, both locally and globally. This includes fields such as teaching, social work, public administration, criminal justice and public health.
This ranking arrives at a time when enrollment in online degree programs remains high. The most recent data from Fall 2021 from the National Center for Education Statistics shows that 60 percent of students take at least one class online and 30 percent are enrolled exclusively in online courses.
SRSU’s online graduate programs have shown growth in recent years, including a 12 percent increase this fall.
“As more and more students gravitate towards online education, identifying flexible, affordable and accredited degree programs that fit into students’ busy lives and make college more accessible is essential,” added Smith.
STEPS analyzed multiple datasets from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Key data points used to identify top schools include the number of online programs in a given subject area, tuition amount per academic year, percentage of students receiving institutional financial aid and the amount awarded and the availability of academic counseling and career placement services.
STEPS vetted over 6,000 postsecondary institutions to create its rankings. To qualify, a college or university must hold active accreditation from an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and have at least one partially online degree program in a field related to public service.