University of the Cumberlands’ online Master’s in Criminal Justice Administration (MJA) program has been ranked No. 1 in Kentucky by U.S. News and World Report. Additionally, the University’s online Master’s in Education (MAED) program was ranked first in the state among private universities.

Rankings were based on a number of factors including tuition cost, acceptance rate, faculty credentials, student satisfaction, and instructor responsiveness, among other key aspects.

In the MJA program, all full-time faculty and adjunct professors have at least 10 years of professional work experience in the criminal justice field. The tuition cost of the program is lower than at any other private college in Kentucky. Additionally, the University is regionally accredited by SACSCOC for all undergraduate and graduate degree programs, all of which accept transfer credits.

“It is an honor for our program to be recognized with such a high ranking,” said Jack Brown, Director of the MJA program. “Our faculty and staff strive every day to bring the best online educational experiences possible to the dedicated uniformed officers that are the backbone of our program. We consider our students the best of the best, both in the classroom and on the job where they serve and protect the men and women of their respective communities.”

The benefit of any higher education degree primarily lies in two points: becoming a more valuable asset in the job market and, coincidentally, receiving higher wages. Possible career advancements through an MJA program include earning higher rankings as police officers or detectives, among other opportunities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a typical law enforcement worker in the U.S. makes a median annual wage of $54,500. Police and detectives usually make at least $8,000 more than that annually. Cumberlands’ MJA program offers specialization courses in law enforcement, addiction studies, juvenile justice, and family services, giving students the chance to explore specific fields in depth based on their individual career goals.

“Completing a higher education program remains an asset to anyone looking to advance their career,” said Chris Leskiw, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Cumberlands. “Our faculty work to keep our programs focused on providing relevant information and skills-enhancement opportunities in a flexible format so that online students can become more valuable in their workplaces, even while possibly maintaining full-time positions and families.”

Online Master’s of Education programs in Kentucky have been an asset to teachers who for years were required by the Kentucky Board of Education to complete a master’s degree by the second time they renewed their five-year professional certificates. Cumberlands’ MAED program offers concentrations in the areas of Literacy Specialist, School Counseling, and Teacher as Leader. According to U.S. News, the University’s program is the top program among private universities in Kentucky.

“What’s interesting is, we didn’t actually supply U.S. News with information about our programs this year,” Leskiw said. “The information they have is what they found to be true through their own organic research. We were ranked number one in the state on two counts without even trying. Based on that, I’m inclined to believe that our programs maybe even better than what those statistics show.”

A recent article by Inside Higher Ed notes a continued (and accelerating) growth in the number of students enrolled in online college courses. Data from 2016 showed that at least 31 percent of college students were taking at least one online course. As the necessity, reach and capability of technology increases, it is not improbable to assume an even higher percentage of students is currently taking online courses. Institutions of higher education have already begun making names for themselves in the highly-competitive market of online schooling.

“As someone who leads an online program,” said Brown, “I, for one, am excited to see Cumberlands’ name getting out there. We’re grateful for that opportunity.”

To view the full list of 2019 online programs rankings by U.S. News and World Report, click here.

Located in Williamsburg, Kentucky, University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction offering quality undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and online degree programs. Learn more at