U.S. News Ranks Lee College of Engineering in Top Online Graduate Programs

Date Published: 
January 14, 2014

U.S. News & World Report rates the online graduate program of The William States Lee College of Engineering as one of the nation’s best in its ranking of online learning programs released last week.

U.S. News places the Lee College of Engineering at UNC Charlotte 23rd in the category of Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs. The 2014 rankings evaluate information and data from nearly 1,000 online degree programs.

“This is recognition of the growing quality, size and reputation of our online Master of Science in Engineering Management program,” said Lee College of Engineering Dean Bob Johnson. “The online MSEM is currently the college’s only distance learning graduate program. It’s a very flexible program we have developed to meet the diverse needs of engineering professionals.”

The Masters of Science in Engineering Management (MSEM) program is offered by the Systems Engineering and Engineering Management Department (SEEM). MSEM started at the Lee College of Engineering in 2000 as a traditional classroom program. A distance learning option was added in 2009. In 2013, the distance option was expanded to international students.

“The beauty of the MSEM program is its flexibility,” said Dr. Ertunga Ozelkan, interim department chairman of SEEM. “We started the online options to meet the needs of engineering students around the world. The program allows students to take all or a portion of their classes online or on campus.”

The timing options of the program are also flexible. The distance learning classes are asynchronous, which means students do not have to be online at any specific time. All the lessons are recorded and can be viewed at any time. The flexibility of the program also extends to areas of study. Concentration areas include energy systems, lean six sigma, and logistics and supply chains.

The underlying component of all the MSEM options is quality. “Everything is quality driven,” Dr. Ozelkan said. “The online courses are taught by the same professors who teach on campus. Discussion and interaction is important to all the classes, and with online classes it is just more formal and organized. To be successful with distance learning you have to build an online community, and we are doing that on a global scale.”

The 2014 U.S. News Best Online Programs include online bachelor's degrees and online master's degrees in engineering, business, education, nursing and computer information technology. For the 2014, U.S. News decreased the emphasis on peer reputation and admissions selectivity while increasing the weights of student engagement, faculty credentials and training, and student services and technology.

Factors in the rankings are student engagement (weight 30 percent), faculty credentials and training (weight 25 percent ), student services and technology (weight 20 percent), peer reputation (weight 15 percent), and admissions selectivity (weight 10 percent).

The full rankings are available here.

For more information on the UNC Charlotte MSEM program contact Dr. Ozelkan.