U.S. News and World Report has published its 2016 list of the nation's best online degree programs, and Saint Leo's bachelor's programs place in the top 15 percent of schools surveyed nationwide on the annual "Best Online Programs" ranking.

The university's undergraduate programs ranked 43rd among the 300 schools included in the ranking. Graduate business (non-MBA) programs were also included (tied for 56th). In addition, the university was recognized for excellence in both its online MBA and online graduate education programs.

This is the fifth year U.S. News has numerically ranked online degree programs from scores of colleges and universities throughout the nation. U.S. News assesses regionally accredited public, private and for-profit institutions offering bachelor's degrees based on four general categories: student engagement (40 percent); faculty credentials and training (20 percent); student services and technology (20 percent); peer reputation (20 percent).

"Saint Leo continues to expand our Center for Online Learning offerings and leverage our technology to increase enrollment and opportunity," says Dr. William J. Lennox Jr., university president. "We are glad that more people are recognizing Saint Leo's online program and spreading the word about our quality and value."

Serving adult learners online since 1998

According to U.S. News, the "Best Online Programs" rankings are targeted at working adults in their 30s and 40s who are looking to earn a degree to advance in their careers. Saint Leo recognized this desire of busy adults to improve their lives through education decades ago and was an early adapter of online learning. The university has been offering online degree programs since 1998, even before home Internet access became common.

Saint Leo launched the Center for Online Learning with three bachelor's degree programs and today offers more than 40 online associate, bachelor's and master's programs, and an online doctor of business administration degree. Programs include undergraduate and graduate offerings in high-demand fields such as health care management, human resource management, logistics and project management. The most recent addition is an online bachelor's program in computer science and online bachelor's and master's programs in cybersecurity.