University News

WIU Earns U.S.News & World Report Best Online Program Ranking

January 17, 2019

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MACOMB, IL -- Western Illinois University been recognized once again by the U.S.News & World Report for offering some of the best online degree programs. Western is ranked 76th out of 348 ranked colleges and universities from across the U.S. in the 2019 "Best Online Programs: Bachelor's" category and is one of four Illinois public universities in the top 100.

WIU offers 463 online classes (320 undergraduate; 143 graduate) and seven undergraduate and graduate degree programs, including the longstanding Bachelor of General Studies (BGS), which offers students the option of obtaining their degree entirely via distance learning opportunities, or through a combination of on-campus and distance learning classes.

The newest online undergraduate programs - accounting, economics and management - began in Fall 2018. Supply chain management is scheduled to go online in Fall 2019. The undergraduate anthropology program went online in Fall 2017, and is the first of its kind in the state, and one of only a few in the nation, to offer the major online. Students enrolled in the online majors will have the ability to take traditional face-to-face classes, online classes or a combination of the two.

"While we are a traditional University, we must continue to build upon our online degree programs and courses to meet the needs of students worldwide," said WIU President Jack Thomas. "Among our many goals, we strive to provide students with access through a variety of platforms to the quality public higher education that Western Illinois University provides."

Other online bachelor's degree programs at WIU include communication, fire protection services, geography and geographic information science, interdisciplinary studies, law enforcement and justice administration and nursing (RN to BSN completion).

Online graduate degrees include curriculum and instruction, educational studies, instructional design and technology, law enforcement and justice administration, music (music education emphasis only), special education and MBA, which is also included in the 2019 U.S.News and World Report Best Online MBA Programs.

"We are proud to have received this tremendous recognition from U.S.News & World Report for the quality of our online programs. WIU has strategically built a portfolio of outstanding, in-demand online programs, and we are thrilled that respected national publications like U.S.News have noticed," said School of Global Education and Outreach Executive Director Jeff Hancks. "We work hard to ensure that our online students have a great academic experience at WIU, and we look forward to launching additional in-demand online degree programs in the future."

In addition to the Bachelor of Science Degree in Fire Protection Service or BGS degree from Western, firefighters have the opportunity to obtain a certificate in fire administration and management and a certificate in fire prevention technology.

For more information, visit or contact Hancks at (309) 298-1929 or

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