MU Master of Science Computing Program nationally ranked

U.S. News and World Report ranked Marquette’s masters of science in computing program 28th in the country on the 2015 list of “Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs.”

“We are pleased to be recognized for the ranking,” Thomas Kaczmarek, director of the Master of Science in Computing program, said in an email. “We have tried to be innovative and responsive to the needs of our students.”

Yang Lin, a graduate student in the program, said she thinks it has elements that will help her “seek her dream job.”

“I feel quite happy about the news that our program is ranked 28th in the country,” Lin said in an email. “To me, I think the most attractive place of this program is its containment. No matter what background you have, you can apply it and begin to learn about studying computers. It offers a diversity of courses for you to select.”

Nathan Luttmann, another student in the program, said that he is “not surprised” with the national ranking.

“The MSCS program has a wide range of topics covered in its available courses, many of them additionally being available remotely through distance learning,” Luttmann said in an email. “The professors have been very knowledgeable in their fields and a great source of information.”

U.S. News ranked the computing schools based on student engagement, faculty credentials and training, student services and technology, peer reputation and admissions selectivity. Each ranking was between zero and 100. Marquette ranked 74th in faculty credentials and training, 51st in student services and technology, 36th in student engagement and 23rd in admissions selectivity. Peer reputation was not ranked for Marquette or for any school on the list.

This is the first time Marquette’s program has been ranked and it received this ranking in its second year of eligibility, according to a university news brief.

Kaczmarek said this ranking helped the program collect data and define some new initiatives.

“As a computing program, we teach students that collecting and analyzing data can lead to insights,” Kaczmarek said in an email. “Preparing data for U.S. News and Business Reports has helped us collect data and define some initiatives we would like to undertake to enhance the online offering. Because our program relies heavily on a blended synchronous format, the things we do to enhance the online program should also enhance the learning outcomes for all the students in our classrooms.”

One of these new initiatives is to increase distance learning technical support for students and faculty, according to an announcement from the Masters of Science in Computing program.

Besides sparking new initiatives, Kaczmarek also said he thinks this ranking will cause an increase of students who take their courses through a two-way audio and video link.

“We have a mix of students who attend classes online and those who attend in person,” Kaczmarek said in an email. “We have students who mix modalities in their courses and over the course of their graduate program. I anticipate that we will have an increase in students who will take a majority of their courses via the two-way audio-video link to our classroom in Cudahy Hall.”