The University of Northern Iowa’s online master’s in education programs ranked among the top 20% nationally in a 2022 U.S. News and World Report review released today.

The UNI programs ranked 53 among 322 programs for master’s degrees, climbing 19 places from 2021.

“Being recognized with peers nationally highlights the quality of our online education graduate programs in meaningful ways,” said Colleen Mulholland, Dean of the College of Education.  “This year's ranking directly reflects UNI's excellent, committed faculty who continue to elevate the virtual classroom experience at the graduate level.”

Online programs included in the submission are led by faculty in two UNI colleges:

UNI College of Education: Master of Arts in Education (M.A.E.) in early childhood education, elementary education, literacy education;  and Master of Arts (M.A.) in school library studies, physical education-pedagogy and teacher leadership for international educators.

UNI College of Humanities, Arts and Sciences: M.A. in art education and teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL).

“It’s incredibly gratifying to have UNI recognized as a national leader in the preparation of high-quality educators,” said Jennifer Waldron, Interim Dean for Online & Distance Education.  “UNI has a strong, long-standing history of developing educational innovators who serve our schools and communities. This ranking reflects the commitment of UNI’s amazing faculty who ensure every learner successfully achieves their goals.”

These are eight of the 26 degree programs and 13 certificate and endorsement programs that UNI’s Department of Online and Distance Education supports as entirely online or a combination of mostly online with limited in-person coursework. The first online master’s programs in education were offered in 2010.

U.S. News has been publishing school rankings for nearly 20 years, and has done so specifically for online degree programs since 2013. In developing the 2021 Best Online Bachelor’s Programs rankings, U.S. News assessed online colleges based on four general categories:

  • Engagement - the extent to which students can interact with instructors and classmates
  • Services and technologies – measures the school’s diversity of technology and the students’ ability to learn and complete coursework at a distance. This category also takes into account the quality of student support services, career guidance and financial aid resources.
  • Faculty credentials and training - measuring the degree to which online instructors’ credentials mirror those of on-campus faculty.
  • Expert opinions from surveys of high-ranking academic officials

U.S. News calculates rankings for online graduate programs using similar methodologies, with an additional category taken into consideration. Student excellence is also considered – a category that measures the extent to which online students have proven aptitudes, ambitions and accomplishments that enable them to handle the rigors of online learning.

Applications are being accepted for fall 2022 cohorts in literacy education, TESOL, school library studies, physical education-pedagogy, and teacher leadership for international educators. To apply for these programs, visit  

Learn more about the UNI College of Education at and the UNI College of Humanities, Arts and Sciences at


Steve Schmadeke, Public Relations Manager,, 319-273-2761


Steve Schmadeke, UNI public relations manager