University of the Cumberlands online programs have been ranked nationally according to a “best of” guide released this week by U.S. News and World Report.

For the fifth consecutive year, Cumberlands was listed as having the best online master’s in criminal justice degree program in Kentucky and one of the top ten programs in the nation. The program was ranked No. 7 in the nation (tied with Arizona State University), jumping three spots from No. 10 in 2021. The university’s online bachelor’s degree programs ranked No. 7 in Kentucky and No. 169 in the nation. Cumberlands online master’s in education program ranked No. 9 in the state and No. 221 in the nation.

Cumberlands online programs are among more than 1,200 across the country surveyed and ranked each year by U.S. News.

In addition, U.S. News and World Report ranked online programs on how well they served veterans. Cumberlands’ online master’s in criminal justice degree program ranked No. 1 in Kentucky (No. 5 in the nation) for its affordability for veterans, while the university’s bachelor’s programs ranked fourth in the state and came in among the top 100 in the nation.

“We’re proud of all the faculty and staff who have made these online programs so successful,” said Dr. Larry Cockrum. “This is the first time our online bachelor’s programs have been ranked nationally by U.S. News, verifying that, as our university grows, it does so in a way that allows our academic programs and students to excel.”

Programs were evaluated based on their level of engagement, the services and technologies provided, and the programs’ faculty credentials and training, as well as expert opinion. More information about U.S. News and World Report’s rankings and methodologies can be found at

“Remaining Kentucky’s top online program for a master’s in criminal justice degree is very encouraging. We strive for excellence, affordability, and accessibility in all our programs, and making the top spot in the state for the fifth year in a row speaks to our determination in those areas,” said Dr. Christopher Leskiw, vice president for academic affairs at Cumberlands. “Additionally, knowing that our criminal justice program ranked higher this year than in 2021 and that our master’s in education and bachelor’s programs did not make the lists last year but were ranked this year, to me, is a testament to our continued effort to refine and improve our programs.”

Online degrees are becoming more of the norm for students pursuing higher education, and obtaining those degrees continues paying dividends in the workforce. In the United States, employees with bachelor’s degrees earn approximately $387 more per week ($19,850 more per year) than workers with associate degrees. Employees with a master’s degree make an additional $240 per week ($12,000 per year).*

For more information, visit To apply to an online degree program, visit

*Statistics found at