Five Georgia institutions have been ranked among the top 50 in the country for their online WebMBA programs by the U.S. News and World Report magazine. 

The Georgia Southern University College of Business Administration ranked 18th; Georgia College’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business, 25th; Kennesaw State University’s Michael J. Coles College of Business, 29th; University of West Georgia’s Richards College of Business, 44th and Columbus State University’s Turner College of Business, 47th.

The magazine evaluated more than 1,200 online degree programs at colleges and universities based on admissions selectivity, reputation for excellence among peer institutions and academic and career support service offered to students. One hundred and forty five institutions are ranked in the new WebMBA category compiled for the first time this year.

Matthew Speer, director of sales and marketing for U.S. News University Connection, said in a news release that online education was being driven by convenience and “the increasingly connected nature of society.”

The Georgia WebMBA program has been in effect for 14 years. Each of the institutions, which were judged individually, belongs to the Georgia consortium.

The program allows professionals to earn a master’s degree in business completely online without interrupting their work and personal lives.