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USM Ranked No. 1 in the State for Online Bachelor’s Program

Online programs at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) continue to receive impressive national recognition from U.S. News and World Report in its 2022 rankings.

USM ranks as the leader for online bachelor’s degree programs in the state and lands at No. 68 nationally among nearly 400 online colleges and universities in the survey. The 2022 national ranking represents a rise from No. 75 last year and an impressive leap from No. 93 two years ago.

USM also ranks No. 1 in Mississippi in online bachelor’s degree programs for veterans and business degrees in the state. Those programs are rated No. 44 and No. 51 respectively in the national rankings.

“We are proud of the wonderful success achieved by our USM military students and the overall success of the Center for Military Veterans, Service Members, and Families,” said Maj. Gen. (U.S. Army, ret.) Jeff Hammond, who serves as the center’s director. “We work hard to lead the way in caring for our students and look forward each day in helping veterans, and their families succeed.”

Dr. Bret Becton, Dean of USM’s College of Business and Economic Development, noted: “We are honored that our online Bachelor’s in Business was recognized as one of the best in the country and the best in our state for the second year in a row. Our faculty and staff work incredibly hard to provide the best business education for our students and this accolade is proof their efforts are effective.”

In “Methodology: Best Online Bachelor’s Programs Rankings,” Eric Brooks, the Principal Data Analyst for the U.S. News, writes, “U.S. News chose factors that weigh how these programs are being delivered and their effectiveness at awarding affordable degrees in a reasonable amount of time.”

Graded factors excluded elements like high school grades and standardized test scores, and instead focused on what the programs offer their current students, including:

  • Engagement – best practices, graduation rates, assessments, class size, and retention
  • Services and Technologies – student indebtedness, technological infrastructure, and support structure
  • Faculty Credentials and Training – terminal degree faculty, preparedness to teach distance learners, faculty who have more than a B.A., and tenured faculty
  • Expert Opinion – a rating giving by top college administrators

By evaluating factors that involve interactivity, flexibility, and support, the U.S. News rankings give students and veterans a better idea of what to expect out of online programs such as the bachelor’s degrees at USM. As the highest-ranked Mississippi university on the list, USM represents the best in the state.

“We are thrilled to represent both our university and our state on this list,” says Dr. Tom Hutchinson, Dean of Online Learning and Enrollment at USM. “With these rankings, we can assure our students that they are receiving an education that holds up with the other top programs in the country.”

To see the full report, visit the 2022 edition of the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. Future students looking to work toward a bachelor’s degree can visit USM’s online programs page to get more information and help getting started.


Written by University of Southern Mississippi

The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) is a comprehensive public research institution delivering transformative programs on campuses in Hattiesburg and Long Beach, at teaching and research sites in central and southern Mississippi, as well as online. Founded in 1910, USM is one of only 130 universities in the nation to earn the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education’s "R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity” designation, and its robust research enterprise includes experts in ocean science and engineering, polymer science and engineering, and sport venue safety and security, among others. USM is also one of only 40 institutions in the nation accredited in theatre, art and design, dance and music. As an economic driver, USM generates an annual economic impact of more than $600 million across the state. USM welcomes a diverse student body of approximately 15,000, representing 71 countries, all 50 states, and every county in Mississippi. USM students have collected four Truman Scholarships and 36 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships, while also leading Mississippi with 24 Goldwater Scholarships, an honor that recognizes the next generation of great research scientists. Home to the Golden Eagles, USM competes in 17 Division I sports sponsored by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). For more information, visit


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