veteran-salute-flag-80PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University’s online graduate degree programs in business and engineering this week were named the nation’s third best online degree offerings for military veterans by U.S. News & World Report. The magazine also named WSU’s online bachelor’s degree program the eighth best in the nation for veterans.

Now in their second year, the rankings were designed to help veterans identify high-quality online degree programs that suit their educational needs, the magazine noted in a news release.

“Veterans and active-duty service members face unique challenges as students, from transitioning between bases and grappling with deployment to balancing work and family life upon return,” said Robert Morse, director of data research for U.S. News. “The Best Online Programs for Veterans are high-quality programs that also offer educational benefits and flexibility for veterans pursuing a degree.”

The WSU College of Business has offered the MBA degree for more than 55 years and was one of the earliest to offer online education when the worldwide Web became public. The college offers an online MBA with available concentrations in marketing, finance or international business and an online executive MBA.

The WSU College of Engineering and Architecture’s online engineering and technology management program, established in 1982, serves professional engineers from around the globe. It offers a master’s degree in engineering technology management and a number of certificates, including a new specialization in construction management.

WSU this fall will debut the first online professional science master’s degree in electrical power engineering in the U.S. The program aims to help meet the need in the power industry, which is facing a shortage of trained engineers.

Washington State University’s Global Campus offers nearly 20 online bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and a wide variety of certificates, to about 3,100 students each semester.

To be ranked among the best offerings for military veterans, an online degree program had to report participation in four key programs that offer educational benefits to people with military service. The rankings methodology requires programs to belong to institutions that are certified for the GI Bill; they must also belong to schools participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program or public institutions that charge in-state tuition for all out-of-state veterans.

All schools evaluated in this ranking must have been awarded a numerical rank in the overall 2014 U.S. News Best Online Programs rankings, which were released earlier this year. Those programs were assessed for various factors, including affordability, faculty credentials, student services and reputation. Only regionally accredited degree-granting programs that were predominantly online were considered.

U.S. News & World Report developed the Best Online Programs for Veterans and inaugural Best Colleges for Veterans, released in November, to help the thousands of returning veterans and active-duty service members pursue college or advanced degrees under the post-9/11 GI Bill.