U.S. News Ranks UC Davis Online MBA in Top 20 for Engagement

Program ranks No. 42 overall, No. 31 among public universities

UC Davis Online MBA students at residential program
UC Davis Online MBA students at a weekend residential program at the Davis campus.

The UC Davis Online MBA program, the first and only online MBA in the University of California system, is ranked No. 42 overall and in the top 20 for engagement in U.S. News & World Report’s 2024 Best Online MBA Programs.

U.S. News’ annual list of best online MBAs was released on February 7, 2024. This was the second time UC Davis submitted information for online MBA ranking purposes.

The UC Davis Online MBA jumped up significantly from No. 142 overall last year to No. 42 this year, and No. 31 among online MBA programs at public universities. 

Top 20 for Student Engagement and Peer Assessment

The UC Davis Online MBA rates in the top 20 in the two most heavily factored categories in the overall ranking.

The program ranks No. 19 in Engagement and Accreditation, which at 30% is the largest weighted factor of the U.S.News overall rankings. Engagement includes best practices in AACSB accreditation, graduation rate, class size, one-year retention rate and time-to-degree timeline.

Business school officials managing online MBA programs nationwide also rated the UC Davis Online MBA in the top 20 in the peer assessment category, which is weighted at 25% of the methodology.

More Recent Online MBA Rankings

This U.S. News & World Report ranking follows two other prominent rankings of the UC Davis Online MBA:

Launched in fall of 2019, the UC Davis Online MBA program has 400 current students from more than 26 states and over 400 alumni. It is one of four MBA formats offered at UC Davis, which include nationally ranked Full-Time MBA in Davis and Part-Time MBA programs in Sacramento, Calif. and the San Francisco Bay Area in San Ramon. 

U.S. News Online MBA Rankings Methodology

The 2024 U.S. News Best Online MBA Programs rankings evaluate schools based solely on data related to their distance education MBA programs. 

For the 2024 edition, U.S. News ranked online MBA programs using five categories. According to U.S. News, below are the five categories and weight in the current ranking formula, unchanged from the previous edition.

  • Engagement (30%): Quality online MBA programs promote participation in courses, giving students opportunities to readily interact with their instructors and classmates, as is possible in a campus-based setting. In turn, instructors are not only accessible and responsive, but they are also tasked with helping to create an experience rewarding enough that students stay enrolled and complete their degrees in a reasonable amount of time.
  • Peer Assessment (25%): A survey of high-ranking academic officials at MBA programs helps account for intangible factors affecting program quality that statistics do not capture. Also, employers may hold in high regard MBAs earned from programs that academics respect.
  • Faculty Credentials and Training (15%): Strong online MBA programs employ instructors with academic credentials that mirror those of instructors for campus-based programs, and they have the resources to train these instructors to teach distance learners.
  • Student Excellence (15%): MBA student bodies entering with proven aptitudes, ambitions and accomplishments can handle the demands of rigorous coursework. Furthermore, online degrees that schools award judiciously can have greater legitimacy in the job market.
  • Services and Technologies (15%): MBA programs that incorporate diverse online learning technologies allow greater flexibility for students to take classes from a distance. Outside of classes, strong support structures provide learning assistance, career guidance and financial aid resources commensurate with quality campus-based programs.

Learn more about the 2024 U.S. News & World Report Online MBA rankings and read the methodology.