CANYON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — West Texas A&M University’s is celebrating a major victory as a newly released 2022 report from U.S. News & World ranked the online undergraduate program the best in Texas.

According to WT’s Communication Department, eight total programs earned the magazine’s “Best Program” status: overall undergraduate, undergraduate, business, specialized graduate business, MBA programs and graduate programs in computer information technology, education, engineering and nursing.

“Virtual delivery has become omnipresent in higher education. As a pioneering institution in online instruction, West Texas A&M University earns quality and program distinctiveness ranking recognition by leveraging more than 20 years of experience,” said Dr. Neil Terry, executive vice president and provost.

“Through the efforts of our faculty and staff, our online students receive an outstanding education at one of the most affordable and accessible institutions in the nation,” Terry concluded.

WT explained that the U.S News & World Report assessed 1,728 online degree programs around the country, analyzing the program’s overall academic quality.

In addition, WT had six other programs recognized as “Best Graduate Program” out of seven reviewed by the magazine.

“This diverse set of rankings, across such a variety of award-winning disciplines, is unique and acknowledges the excellence in our graduate enterprise,” said Dr. Angela Spaulding, vice president for research and compliance and dean of the Graduate School.

WT released a scored list and rankings of the programs that were recognized by the magazine:

  • No. 3 in Texas in graduate information technology (No. 16 overall)
  • No. 4 in Texas for graduate business degrees in specialized disciplines—master of finance and economics and master of professional accounting (No. 30 overall)
  • No. 4 in Texas for MBA program
  • No. 4 in Texas in graduate engineering programs
  • No. 5 in Texas in graduate education programs
  • No. 7 in Texas in nursing

The release stated that this is the first time WT’s graduate programs in engineering and nursing have earned “Best Program” status.

“This ranking showcases the hard work and innovative design of our faculty and students in the College of Engineering,” said Dr. Emily Hunt, dean.

“Engineers are increasingly expected to have interdisciplinary knowledge of all facets of engineering. WT’s master of science in engineering degree program is geared toward providing interdisciplinary engineering education for both continuing students and industry professionals interested in everything from water and energy technologies to promising research advancements,” said Hunt.

“I could not be any prouder of both our students and our nursing faculty for the hard work and dedication they have demonstrated in achieving these honors, especially as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of our department,” said Dr. Holly Jeffreys, head of WT’s Department of Nursing.

Jeffreys added, “By educating our nurses locally, we are not only growing and strengthening our health care workforce, but we are improving the lives and outcomes of the people across the Texas Panhandle.” This is the second consecutive year WT’s graduate education programs have been included in the rankings and the first to include the initial cohort of graduates in the doctor of educational leadership program. The included programs in the Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business have been recognized as part of the Best Program rankings for 10 consecutive years.

Additional recognitions include WT’s online bachelor’s degree programs for veterans ranked No. 1 in Texas and No. 15 overall, and the online MBA program for veterans is No. 3 in Texas and No. 48 overall.

“This recognition shows how deeply committed WT is to providing a welcoming environment, quality education and path to success for veterans, dependents and the military community,” said Leo Reid, director of veteran services.

Rankings are determined by assessing a program student engagement, faculty credentials, faculty training, student services, technology infrastructure, technology support, and expert opinion, including peer evaluations from administrators and faculty at other universities.