U.S. News & World Report ranks UF Online No. 3 in the Country: Gator Greatness on the Rise

The University of Florida continues to rise in national recognition for its online undergraduate programs. Released today, the U.S. News & World Report 2021 now ranks UF Online No. 3 in the country for best online bachelor’s programs.

With these new rankings, UF Online rises up another spot to No. 3 from 2020’s No. 4 national ranking. UF Online’s ascension can be attributed to the hard work of UF faculty and staff, delivering engaging and robust academic programs for students around the world. Notably, with these 2021 rankings, UF now sits at No. 1 across all elite Association of American Universities (AAU) institutions, delivering the best online AAU bachelor’s program in the country.

“The University of Florida is showing the world and its peer research institutions what a modern research university is capable of when it embraces new forms of undergraduate learning pathways, all while remaining true to its ideals and commitments to academic excellence,” said Evangeline Cummings, Assistant Provost and Director of UF Online.

The UF College of Nursing’s RN-to-BSN program is offered via the UF Online pathway.

“Our RN to BSN program offers innovative curriculum to our students and affords them the opportunity for greater responsibility within the nursing field,” said Versie Johnson-Mallard, PhD, RN, FAAN, College of Nursing associate dean for student affairs. “Especially during the time of COVID-19, now more than ever, we as nurses recognize the importance of being prepared to take on anything that comes our way. Having a solid educational foundation is instrumental in one’s career. We are proud of our students for taking the next step in their careers by obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Florida. These rankings are proof that their hard work and dedication are not going unseen, and it is our honor to celebrate this great achievement.”

The RN-to-BSN program is an online program designed for registered nurses who have earned an associate’s degree in nursing and are looking to advance their education by earning a bachelor’s degree in nursing. It allows the flexibility of earning the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree through the convenience of an online program with the same elite faculty and rigor that makes UF a leading university and top research institution.

Among the 2021 rankings, UF Online also earns the No. 2 rank nationally for the best online bachelor’s program for veterans. This recognition is based on both UF Online’s academic quality and success in enrolling and financially-supporting veterans, active duty, reserve, and other military-affiliated students.

Designated a yellow ribbon school, UF offers a variety of military support services, including the UF Collegiate Veterans Success Center, Office of Student Veteran Success, and Collegiate Veterans Society. Via UF Online, these military-affiliated Gators can succeed wherever their orders take them.


Launched in 2014, UF Online offers 25 distinct pathways to a UF bachelor’s degree, plus seven minors, all taught by UF faculty across 12 colleges.

“The University of Florida model for online learning, from day one, has always been about no compromises. Our challenge was to remain true to our mission, our alumni, and our future students by crafting a welcoming, academically rigorous and engaging online undergraduate learning experience,” said Cummings. “I believe UF faculty have done just that, and our future is so very bright. We aim to continue expanding so that more Gators may earn a valuable and affordable UF degree in the format of their own choosing.”

Proving that quality makes the difference, UF Online received a score of 96/100. The U.S. News best online bachelor’s program rankings are calculated based on four main categories: student engagement, services and technology, faculty credentials and training, and expert opinion. Areas where UF Online’s score improved this year include lower average student debt and a smaller average course size of just 27 students.

Some of the other areas where UF Online excels include:

  • Student retention rate – 87% of new UF Online students re-enroll or graduate within the next 12 months.
  • Services available to students – UF Online students have access to academic advising with a low ratio, live online librarian services, 24/7 tech support, career placement assistance, resume support, writing workshops, and more.
  • Affordability – Among the top ten programs, UF Online has the lowest in-state tuition and below-average graduate indebtedness.
  • High expert opinion – In peer reviews from those within the industry, UF Online has ranked in the top five among responses over the past three years.


Students from 46 states, Washington D.C., and 14 countries have joined the Gator Nation through UF Online’s virtual community. More than 3,000 students have graduated via UF Online, and more than 4,000 are currently enrolled.

These Gators take courses that are specifically designed for online learning. Driven and delivered by UF’s expert faculty and instructional designers, courses in UF Online allow for robust student engagement through both the course content as well as the participation of peers, professors, and teaching assistants. A low advisor-to-student ratio also allows for individualized attention and support throughout students’ educational journeys.

With UF Online, students from in- and out-of-state have the ability to learn at UF for a lower cost, from anywhere they need to be. Many complete their UF degree while working, raising families, and more. According to a recent survey, 65% work full-time and 40% provide care for children or other family members. Since its inception, UF Online has saved students more than $22 million in tuition and fees as compared to campus rates. UF Online also offers the Employer Pathways program, partnering with interested employers to fund tuition as a benefit for employees who are admitted.

A truly unique model in the nation, UF Online serves as a clear example of UF’s ongoing commitment to access, affordability, and 21-century adaptability.

Review the rankings for the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs on the U.S. News site. Read more details about UF Online in its U.S. News profile. Visit the UF Online webpage for more information, including how to apply.

The full list of rankings is available at U.S. News & World Report: https://www.usnews.com/education/online-education