Saint Leo University earned honors in three categories for providing the best online education bachelor's programs in the United States, according to the 2021 U.S. News & World Report's Best Online Programs edition, which was released Tuesday (January 26).

Saint Leo ( received honors in the Best Online Bachelor's Programs (tied for 93rd), Best Online Bachelor's Programs for Veterans (ranked 75th); and Best Online Bachelor's Programs in Business (tied for 65th) categories.

U.S. News & World Report added the Best Online Bachelor's Program in Business category to its annual rankings this year. It was one of two new undergraduate rankings.

Launched in December 1998, Saint Leo was one of the first institutions to embrace online education with the creation of the Center for Online Learning.

"Saint Leo is a leader in online education, and the university strives to make earning a bachelor's degree accessible and affordable," said Dr. Jeffrey D. Senese, university president. "At Saint Leo, we break down the barriers so that students anywhere can get a private university education."

U.S. News & World Report assessed universities and colleges based on four categories:

  • Engagement, which ranked bachelor's degree programs based on promoting student participation and interaction with faculty members;
  • Services and technologies, which looked at how well institutions support technology, learning assistance, career guidance and financial aid;
  • Faculty credentials and training, which ensures that online instructors' credentials mirror those of campus-based bachelor's programs and makes sure faculty have proper training to teach distance learners; and,
  • Expert opinion, which enlists a survey of high-ranking academic officials who look at intangible factors affecting program quality.

Being ranked in the new category, Best Online Bachelor's Programs in Business, is gratifying to Dr. Robyn Parker, dean of the Donald R. Tapia College of Business. "We believe that our programs are world class, and it's rewarding to have U.S. News & World Report agree," Parker said. "Our courses offer connectivity and convenience to both students and faculty, allowing us to attract distinctive faculty skilled at both online course delivery and in-classroom teaching. Our graduates go on to have meaningful and successful careers in a variety of industries."

Saint Leo continues to expand its Center for Online Learning offerings. The university offers more than 35 fully programs and more than 1,500 course selections each term to thousands of students throughout the world.

In 2019, the university began offering five new degree programs online: bachelor of arts in elementary education (Florida residents); bachelor of arts in education studies; bachelor of arts in human services; and bachelor of science and master of science in software engineering. In 2020, Saint Leo began offering the bachelor of arts in emergency management.

This latest recognition follows Saint Leo being named in September 2020 as one of the best regional universities, best values in higher education, and best for veterans in the 2021 U.S. News & World Report's Best Colleges. The university also ranked high for its campus ethnic diversity and was Top Performer on Social Mobility.

The rankings, data, and methodologies for the 2021 U.S. News & World Report's Best Online Programs edition are posted at