Best English graduate programs

For the second consecutive year, the University of Missouri’s online graduate education programs have been named the best in Missouri and ranked 38th nationally by U.S. News & World Report. This represents the top 12 percent of institutions participating in the rankings survey. Currently, there are 22 online master’s programs and eight online graduate certificates offered by the MU College of Education.

“Our alumni and current students consistently acknowledge the career boost they receive from learning with Mizzou’s faculty and global colleagues,” said Kathryn Chval, dean of the College of Education. “Our programs are built on a foundation of student and faculty engagement that promote a network of people, ideas and solutions. It is critical that our academic programs are relevant, influence practice and impact professional lives.”

U.S. News bases their rankings on institution-supplied data evaluating student engagement, student services and technology, faculty credentials and peer reputation among other categories.

“Engaging” is how one recent graduate describes her experience. “The literacy education program engaged my curiosity,” said Beth Diederich, a 2018 online master’s of education graduate who earned her degree from Santiago, Chile. “I have gained confidence as an educator and I am excited to apply this knowledge to my students.”

More than 1,500 students are enrolled in online graduate programs in the College of Education annually.


Best bachelor's programs

Online bachelor’s program recognition

Mizzou’s online bachelor’s programs’ ranking climbed 24 positions from last year to 114th, coming in among the top third of ranked schools. Of the 100-plus online programs offered by the University of Missouri, 11 are bachelor’s programs. Subjects include business, hospitality management, public health, health professions, education, nursing and general studies.

“Mizzou offers the second most online programs in both the SEC and among public AAU institutions,” said Spain. “Our offerings are growing as well as enrollment. Students everywhere want a Mizzou degree on their resumé.”

Mizzou’s distance student enrollment has grown for five consecutive fall terms and grew 24 percent in the last year alone.


Best for veterans

Online AND veteran friendly

U.S. News also ranks online programs they deem “Best for Veterans.” Mizzou’s online graduate education programs earned this 2019 distinction due to a high overall ranking and the university’s focus on veteran services. Nearly 200 veterans were enrolled in online programs at Mizzou last year.

“MU was one of the first schools in the nation to create a full-service resource center to help veterans transition from the military to the classroom,” said Robert Ross, director of the MU Veterans Center. “Whether they are students on-campus or online, or a family member of a veteran, we are here to help.”

MU offers a 10 percent tuition award on online degree and certificate programs for veterans, active duty service members and members of the National Guard and Reserve. Spouses and dependents also are eligible for the tuition award.

Online military students also have the benefit of a dedicated Military and Veteran Specialist who can discuss the online programs and connect them with resources.



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The nation’s first school of journalism continues to evolve with the rapidly changing journalism and strategic communication industry. The University of Missouri School of Journalism is now offering an online graduate certificate in interactive media — 100 percent online.

The online graduate certificate in interactive media is designed for journalism and communications professionals looking to gain experiential skills necessary to enhance their current roles or start a new position. Course work covers digital strategy, online audience development, emerging technologies in journalism and more.

“With constant change in the industry, communicators need to know how to apply technology and analytics to our work,” said Earnest Perry, associate dean for graduate studies at the School of Journalism. “This certificate’s course work applies to professionals at all levels and in all areas of communication — from magazine editors to search marketing strategists.”


Learning by doing

The Missouri School of Journalism is known for the “Missouri Method” of learning by doing. This allows students to have real-world, hands-on experiences that lead to new or different careers.

The 15-credit-hour online graduate certificate in interactive media will apply this same approach. 

“These students will be able to apply all of the course work to their careers,” said Jim Flink, assistant professor in the School of Journalism. “Interactive media is essentially a part of every communication professional’s job description today. We want our grads to have a leg up on the competition in their field so they can be a top candidate — or move up within their own organization.”


Pathway to master’s

MU already has successful online master’s programs in four different areas of journalism — interactive media, health communication, media management and strategic communication.

Now in its 17th year, the online MA program was one of the first online graduate programs in journalism in the world. Mizzou’s online journalism students come to the program from everywhere, including newsrooms, broadcast stations, the armed forces and advertising firms. Alumni include many industry executives, innovators, esteemed educators and award winners.

For students who are interested in furthering their education, but not ready to commit to a master’s program, the graduate certificate is a way to get started. Students who complete the interactive media graduate certificate with a 3.5 GPA or higher will not be required to take the GRE to apply to one of the journalism master’s programs.


Looking ahead

With the journalism and communication industries continuing to evolve, the need for innovative professionals grows.

“The School of Journalism’s focus on hands-on learning is what sets their courses apart from other institutions,” said Kim Siegenthaler, director of Mizzou Online. “Our goal is to provide access to students everywhere who want to improve their careers but can’t relocate to attend Mizzou’s world-famous journalism school.”


Take the next step

Looking for an online program with real-world experience? The school is currently accepting applications for the summer 2019 semester.


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More than 220 graduates are earning their #OnlineStripes during this weekend’s Mizzou commencement ceremonies December 14 – 16, 2018.

To celebrate their outstanding accomplishments without traveling to campus, these grads can “attend” an online commencement ceremony that features a guest speaker, College of Arts and Science Dean Patricia Okker.

Patricia Okker Patricia Okker
College of Arts and Science

“We are all cheering for you, wherever you are. Even if you can’t come to campus for commencement,” said Okker.

The #MizzouMade online class of 2018 ranges in age from 22 to 64, and all worked diligently amidst conflicting priorities in order to finish their degrees, a detail that Dean Okker touches on in her remarks.

“Among the notable accomplishments of this fall’s graduating class is the fact that many of you finished your degrees while juggling work and commitments in your communities all across the U.S. and the world,” said Okker. “Whether it was missed basketball games, late nights at work, or a list of chores around the house that went undone, there’s no shortage of sacrifices you’ve made to be an online student.”

Mizzou Online Director Kim Siegenthaler shares Okker’s praise of the new graduates and recognizes their commitment to succeed despite any challenges they may have faced.

“These graduates have balanced competing priorities and persevered to reach this achievement,” said Siegenthaler. “We’re honored to have had the opportunity to help these graduates prepare for the next step, whether it’s professional advancement or personal enrichment.”

As Okker states in her online commencement speech, to this weekend’s graduates: “The entire Mizzou family congratulates you and wishes you every success … Congratulations!”

Join us in celebrating the online class of 2018 on their online commencement ceremony website. You can learn more about the graduating class, sign the guest book to let them know how proud you are and participate in the conversation on social media with #OnlineStripes.

Are you earning your online degree this weekend? Whether you’re having a special dinner, creating your own graduation celebration at home or even coming to Columbia, share your experience with us on social media using #OnlineStripes.

Ready to earn your #OnlineStripes? Join more than 300,000 Mizzou alumni making a difference across the globe:


The Trulaske College of Business is focused on leading the way in business education — and leading you to the next level of your finance career. With an online master’s in finance from MU, graduates can achieve more, earn more and still have time for life’s responsibilities.


3 reasons to get your online master’s in finance:



The finance industry is growing rapidly, gaining roughly 39,300 new jobs between 2016 and 20261. With so many opportunities available, companies are searching for the most skilled professionals to take on these new jobs. Mizzou’s online master’s in finance program prepares graduates to become more marketable and promotable — ready to move into managerial roles.

1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Financial Analysts.

With an average salary of $81,7602, a finance master’s graduate has earnings potential. In fact, master’s-holding professionals earn 29 percent more than their bachelor’s-holding colleagues at the mid-career mark. The Trulaske program’s estimated cost is $35,217 — graduates can truly get a high return on investment when they study with Mizzou.

2 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Financial Analysts.



MU’s online master’s in finance program is designed for busy professionals. The program fits into any schedule and can be completed from virtually any location — perfect for students who have jobs, families and other important responsibilities. Not to mention, the program allows for flexibility in students’ career paths. By providing a solid base from which to make a jump in career, this program prepares you for any path you choose to take.


Ready to discover the potential your future holds? Download your free career outlook guide for more.


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UPCEA Award Winners UPCEA Award Winners
Front row from left: UPCEA CEO Bob Hansen, Terrie Nagel, Mark Kuhnert, Chi-Ren Shyu, Robert Sanders
Back row from left: Sean Goggins, UPCEA President Sandi Pershing, Grant Scott, Rachel Pinnow

UPCEA, a leading national organization for online education, recognized the University of Missouri with three awards at their Central Region Conference Sept. 27 in St. Louis, Missouri. Vice Provost for eLearning Jim Spain helped kick off the conference with a presentation on the history of distance learning at the University of Missouri.

MU’s Informatics Institute earned the Outstanding Program Award (Credit) for the online master’s in data science and analytics. Academic Adviser Robert Sanders, Associate Professor Sean Goggins, Assistant Research Professor Grant Scott and Informatics Institute Director Chi-Ren Shyu were onsite to accept the award and discuss the program’s interdisciplinary approach.

“The DSA program was built from the ground up as a collaboration with five different academic units,” said Scott. “Our goal was to build a leading, innovative interdisciplinary program … we feel we’ve been successful.”

The College of Education took home the Outstanding Program Award (Noncredit) for the Missouri K-12 ESOL certification preparation program. Associate Professor Rachel Pinnow accepted the award and highlighted the issue that the ESOL program is working to solve — a shortage of qualified teachers.

“English language learners make up the fastest growing student population in the United States,” said Pinnow. “Unfortunately this rise in English language learners in our schools has not been met with the corresponding rise in teachers who are certified to work with these students effectively.”

UPCEA also honored Mizzou Online Assistant Director of Research Terrie Nagel and School of Health Professions Associate Teaching Professor Mark Kuhnert with the Research and Scholarship Award for their research, “Supporting Internships with Mobile Learning.”

About UPCEA: The University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) is the leading association for professional, continuing and online education. For more than 100 years, UPCEA has served most of the leading public and private colleges and universities in North America. Founded in 1915, the association serves its members with innovative conferences and specialty seminars, research and benchmarking information, professional networking opportunities and timely publications. Based in Washington, D.C., UPCEA also builds greater awareness of the vital link between contemporary learners and public policy issues.


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The University of Missouri’s online master’s in special education with an emphasis in gifted education ranks No. 2 on “The 30 Best Online Master’s in Gifted & Talented Education Programs” list.

Mizzou is excited to offer a top-ranked program for educators that have a passion for creating a dynamic learning experience for gifted students. As writes, “A master’s in gifted education online prepares you for an instrumental role in the development of exceptional students’ abilities.”

Not only teachers benefit from the program — the degree has potential applications for occupational therapists, school counselors, and more. The program meets Missouri Department of Education (DESE) academic requirements for Missouri Gifted Certification.

The online master’s in special education program is 100 percent online, and students need 30 credit hours to complete the program. Students typically take one or two classes each semester and finish in two to three years.

Earn your #OnlineStripes from one of the best gifted education programs in the nation.


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The University of Missouri’s online master’s in journalism offerings rank No. 2 on “The 5 Best Online Master’s in Journalism Programs” list.

Mizzou offers journalism master’s options in four areas — health communication, interactive media, media management and strategic communication — that focus on preparing graduates for career advancement. Students come from newsrooms, broadcast stations, the armed forces, advertising firms and more.

All of the online journalism master’s options require 37 credit hours and one campus visit. This in-person professional seminar gives students an opportunity to meet their peers and further their discussions on the future of journalism. Hear more from a current student >>

Earn your #OnlineStripes from one of the best journalism schools in the nation.


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5 tips for success when taking online classes

Some of you are currently taking online classes. Others of you might be just starting your online degree program. And still others might be considering online education and beginning by doing your research. (If so, good for you!)

No matter what, we’d like to help you feel prepared. Keep reading for our five tips for success when taking online classes.


1. Know what to expect.

There is a myth that online courses are easier, or require less time, than face-to-face classes. This is not true! Taking an online course can be just as difficult. In fact, some students find that online courses are more demanding and take more time because of the additional reading required.

While online courses may give you more flexibility in terms of where and when you do your course work, don’t confuse the convenience of learning online (at home or at your own pace) with ease of learning the content.

Is online learning right for you? Find out by answering these questions.


2. Establish healthy study habits and a suitable workspace.

Once you’ve decided that online classes are right for you, the next step is making sure you’ve brushed up on the most effective study methods. If you’re continuing your education after many years in the workforce, you may need a bit of a refresher. Even if you have been immersed in classes recently, taking a step back and evaluating your study habits is an effective practice.

In addition to setting yourself up for studying success, make sure that you establish a suitable workspace. The ideal space is one that is quiet, with good internet connection and access to power, and without any distractions.


3. Take advantage of resources.

From the library to the career center, online students have access to many resources that exist for on-campus students. Need some help writing a paper? Need some one-on-one advice to help improve your study habits? There are resources for that, and much more. Make sure to check out these resources early, and take advantage of them when necessary.


4. Communicate frequently with professors and peers.

If you are taking a semester-based class, think of it as a “virtual classroom,” meaning that you should interact with your professors and peers just as you would in-person. These interactions are crucial to feeling engaged and avoiding isolation when taking online classes. In fact, many instructors will encourage online discussions, which is an excellent way to learn more about your peers. Continue the conversation by asking questions and giving feedback.

Additionally, fostering a strong relationship with your instructors will only help you succeed. Brittany Smith, who earned her master’s online at Mizzou, said that while the lack of face-to-face is “challenging,” her professors gave her the flexibility and support she needed to help her achieve her goals. Hear more from Brittany.


5. Ask for help.

If you have questions that aren’t related to a specific class, don’t be afraid to reach out to your academic adviser. All online degree-seeking students at Mizzou are assigned an adviser upon acceptance into a degree program.

Questions about your course or an assignment? As mentioned in Tip 4, having a great relationship with your instructors and fellow students will help you feel empowered to ask them for their assistance.


Mizzou 100+ online degrees and programs

The University of Missouri’s online bachelor’s in general studies program ranks No. 1 on “The 45 Best Online Bachelor’s in General Studies Programs” list.

The Best Schools selects degree programs based on the quality of program and range of courses provided, as well as school awards, rankings and reputation. The organization also ranks Mizzou in the top of lists such as “The 30 Best Online Master’s in Early Childhood Education Degree Programs” and “The Five Best Online Master’s in Journalism Programs” — and many more.

Mizzou’s online bachelor’s in general studies program is 100 percent online, and typical transfer students need 66 credit hours to complete the program.

Ready to earn your #OnlineStripes? Learn more about the program and apply.


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General studies: Online bachelor’s degree

U.S. News ranks Mizzou's online programs among the best

Bill Poteet: Bachelor of General Studies `17, University of Missouri

Demand for professionals who can make sense of big health data and IT systems is growing along with expanded career opportunities for community health workers and health educators. In fact, employment for these two occupations is projected to grow 16 percent between 2016 and 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations.1

Because the need for trained public health professionals is growing, the demand for more public health education programs also surges.

To help address this need, the University of Missouri is launching two public health programs – both 100 percent online. The School of Health Professions now offers a bachelor of health science in public health and the School of Medicine will open in January 2019 a graduate certificate in informatics for public health.


Demand for new graduates: informatics for public health

This 12-credit-hour graduate certificate provides a unique focus on the development, adoption and application of informatics solutions in the public health arena. The program takes an interdisciplinary approach and is a collaboration between the School of Medicine and the School of Health Professions at Mizzou.

Iris Zachary, assistant research professor in the School of Medicine’s health management and informatics department, said the informatics program is unique and valuable, and you won’t find many others like it elsewhere.

“We worked to create the best program to train professionals in the public health field maximizing the use of data and information technology. We apply informatics to current and emerging public health practice and interventions to improve outcomes,” Zachary said. “With this certificate, we hope to help close the gap between community need and the number of trained informatics professionals in the public health field.”

Public health informatics officers, information officers, health care workers and community professionals servicing the public health field – and those aspiring to work in the field – will find immense value in this degree.

Read more about the program.


Bachelor of health science in public health

Similarly, the bachelor’s program is designed to address the need for more public health professionals by preparing graduates to enter the workforce in a number of core areas of public health.

“This program is built for students who have a passion for promoting the health of people and communities,” said Michelle Teti, associate professor in the Department of Health Sciences, who is also the lead faculty member for the program. “Whether the student has yet to enter the workforce, or is in the midst of their career, this degree will prepare them for success.”

Read more about the program.


Apply today

The online BPH and informatics for public health programs are 100 percent online. No campus visits are required.

The BPH program is currently accepting applications for classes that begin in August.

The informatics for public health program will begin offering classes in January 2019 with applications being accepted through Dec. 15.

The School of Health Professions also is launching a master’s program in veterinary public health with classes beginning in August.

“Mizzou continues to expand the number of online degree programs for high-demand fields such as public health,” said Kim Siegenthaler, director of Mizzou Online. “We are providing in-demand majors for students who can’t relocate to campus for their studies, and we’re also producing new professionals that the public needs.”


For more information about online public health degrees and certificates from Mizzou, visit


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Public health: Online bachelor’s degree completion

Informatics for public health: Online graduate certificate

Online public health degrees