Online Programs News and Events

Students, staff, and faculty at Boston University are always generating news. It is no different for Boston University’s online community. Check here frequently for announcements, press coverage, and upcoming events related to online programs at BU.

Recent News & Events

BU D&I ODE Presentation: Strategies for Improving Accessibility in Digital Spaces

February 3rd, 2022

Diversity & Inclusion - Learn More Series

Strategies for Improving Accessibility in Digital Spaces
Tuesday, March 29, 12 – 1 pm
Via Zoom
Open to BU faculty, staff, students

Join Boston University's Office of Distance Education Accessibility Team for a discussion about digital accessibility and the responsibility we all have to ensure our personal and professional digital spaces are accessible to everyone from day one.

Full Description:
When people think about accessibility, they often think about physical components first. Ramps for building entrances, curb cuts, crosswalks with audio cues, and signs with both text and braille are all examples of how design and technology have shifted to make it easier for people with disabilities to navigate the physical world. Though less obvious, digital accessibility is just as important. Scanned images of text, uncaptioned videos, inaccessible hyperlinks, and other elements of digital spaces may cause users with vision, hearing, cognitive, or motor impairments to experience significant barriers as they try to engage with or contribute to the content or conversation.

Join Boston University's Office of Distance Education Accessibility Team for a discussion about digital accessibility and the responsibility we all have to ensure our personal and professional digital spaces are accessible to everyone from day one. We will discuss our office-wide effort to design with accessibility in mind and the ways that each of us can improve our online communication, teaching, learning, and community building to make our digital spaces more accessible to all.

This event is open to all who are interested in learning about digital accessibility. Please join us!

This event is part of BU Diversity & Inclusion's (BU D&I) Learn More Series, which explores a single topic of social importance through events, discussions, and programs throughout the year—this year, BU D&I is exploring disability and the impact of ableism.

ODE Staff in the Accessibility Team

  • Mary Coons, Assessment Administrator
  • Kelli Farrington, Online Services Administrator
  • Emily Helter, Associate Director of Educational Technology and Production
  • Summer Garrard, Media Producer *
  • Rebecca Jackson, Lead Faculty & Student Support Administrator*
  • Alyssa Kariofyllis, Lead Online Engagement Manager, Team organizer
  • Marla Krauss, Program Manager
  • Nour Mounajed, Senior Instructional Designer
  • Leeanne Porta, Instructional Designer
  • Kendall Poulson, Instructional Designer
  • Ed Wozniak, Lead Media Producer
  • Dana Zareski, Lead Faculty & Student Support Administrator

* Rebecca and Summer will not be part of the presenting team in the Learn More event.

New Online Certificate Announced for Health Professionals

July 8th, 2021

Interprofessional Leadership in Healthcare Online Certificate

Want to gain skills in leading interprofessional healthcare teams? Boston University’s Office of Distance Education is proud to announce the Interprofessional Leadership in Healthcare Online Certificate—a new collaboration from BU’s Sargent College and School of Social Work, with support from BU Digital Learning & Innovation. Open to health professionals with three or more years of experience, this five-month, noncredit certificate program is designed to prepare you to effectively lead interprofessional teams. Combining weekly live, online classrooms and self-paced online learning modules featuring interactive exercises, videos, and journals, the certificate comprises five one-month, evidence-based courses:

  • The Interprofessional Team
  • Effective Communication
  • Effective Supervision
  • Introduction to Interprofessional Leadership in Healthcare
  • Business Acumen

Questions about this professional development opportunity? Visit the program page or contact Associate Dean of Digital Learning & Innovation Karen Jacobs at

BU MET Online Programs Advance in U.S. News Rankings, Place in Top 10 For Eighth Year

January 27th, 2021

BU MET Online Programs Advance in U.S. News Rankings, Place in Top 10 For Eighth Year

Over eight years of U.S. News & World Report rankings, BU’s Metropolitan College (MET) has continued to place highly among the nation’s best online graduate programs. This year, despite unprecedented disruptions in 2020, each program has improved in its standing. MET's online Master of Science in Criminal Justice advanced one spot to #2 (out of 79 schools). The 2021 rankings of Best Online Master's Degree Programs also saw MET's seven online master's degree programs in management move up, from #10 to the #6 position. The rankings for the online MS programs in Applied Data Analytics, Computer Information Systems, and Software Development improved as well, from #10 to #8 (out of  81 schools—a 30 percent increase in competitors). 

Press Release

Rankings for Boston University’s Metropolitan College Online Graduate Programs Advance among Nation’s Best, per U.S. News & World Report

January 2021—In results that have remained remarkably consistent throughout the past eight years, U.S. News & World Report has once again placed Boston University’s Metropolitan College (MET) among the top ten schools offering the nation’s Best Online Master’s Degree Programs. This year, rankings have improved for each BU MET online program.

Showing strongly among 79 schools, Metropolitan College saw its Master of Science in Criminal Justice (MSCJ) program edge up from third place to the #2 spot (in a tie with Sam Houston State University and just behind University of California–Irvine). BU MET’s seven management master’s degree programs (Applied Business Analytics, Enterprise Risk Management, Financial Management, Global Marketing Management, Insurance Management, Project Management, and Supply Chain Management) advanced from tenth place to #6, in a tie with Georgetown University, University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, and University of Texas–Dallas. That list included 184 schools.

BU MET’s MS in Applied Data Analytics (MSADA), MS in Computer Information Systems (MSCIS), and MS in Software Development (MSSD) moved up from tenth place to #8 (out of 81, a 30 percent increase in competition), following the University of Arizona and tied with Pennsylvania State University–World Campus and Stevens Institute of Technology. Columbia University took the #1 spot.

U.S. News & World Report also releases rankings for veterans, with the MSCJ landing at #4 and the management degrees, and MSADA, MSCIS, and MSSD coming in at #9.

The Best Online Master’s Degree Programs rankings look at US schools and take into account a variety of factors that closely align with BU MET initiatives to enhance student and faculty success. These include focusing on student engagement, faculty credentials and training, student services and technology, peer reputation, and admissions selectivity.

“Considering the incredible disruption to learning in 2020, I am especially proud that we are entering 2021 with improved online rankings for every category,” says Metropolitan College Dean Tanya Zlateva. “Once again, we find ourselves within the top 10 nationwide, representing the pinnacle of professional graduate online education. The consistency of our rankings—across almost a decade—accentuates our unwavering commitment to providing the highest-quality curricula, instructional design, student support, and academic resources.”

Since 2001, Boston University has pioneered a trusted model of digital learning unparalleled in American higher education. The University’s distinguished faculty and office of Distance Education work in close partnership to design state-of-the-art online programs, bringing groundbreaking research, academic innovation, and first-rate professors to students around the globe. As a result, Boston University has been recognized with an array of honors and awards for its online programming, most recently with the Online Learning Consortium Effective Practices Award and two Blackboard Exemplary Course Awards, the Blackboard Catalyst Award for Teaching & Learning, and the US Distance Learning Association (USDLA) 21st Century Award for Best Practices in Distance Learning.

The Master of Science in Criminal Justice, offered through MET’s Department of Applied Social Sciences, has the distinction of being Boston University’s first online degree program, introduced in 2002. The MSCJ offers concentrations in Crime Analysis, Cybercrime Investigation & Cybersecurity, and Strategic Management.

MET’s Department of Computer Science—established in 1979 as the first such department at Boston University—introduced the online version of its master’s in Computer Information Systems in 2004 and has continued to add relevant degree concentrations. Currently there are concentrations in Computer Networks, Data Analytics, Database Management & Business Intelligence, Health Informatics, IT Project Management, Security, and Web Application Development. The Heath Informatics and IT Project Management curricula are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) and the Project Management Institute’s Global Accreditation Center for Project Management Education Programs (GAC). The MS in Applied Data Analytics and MS in Software Development entered the rankings for the first time in 2020, while a new MS in Health Informatics degree program has been introduced in 2021.

The Department of Administrative Sciences offered its first online program in 2005, and now boasts seven online master's degrees in management. The online master’s in Project Management includes accreditation from the PMI® GAC. BU remains an accredited member of AACSB International―The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

About Boston University’s Metropolitan College
Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized institution of higher education and research. Home to more than 34,000 students, BU comprises 17 schools and colleges and the Faculty of Computing & Data Sciences, along with a number of multidisciplinary centers and institutes integral to the University’s research and teaching mission.

As one of those colleges, Metropolitan College offers over 80 part-time undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs in a flexible learning environment that supports the academic, professional, and intellectual needs of working adults. For half a century, the Metropolitan College mission has been to broaden the reach of BU—ensuring that the resources of a leading research university are accessible to the community and the world via part-time or full-time study during the evening or through innovative online and blended programs. For more information, visit

BU Distance Education Support Specialist Awarded for “Outstanding” Work

June 1st, 2020

Shelby Harvey - BU Distance Education Support Specialist Awarded for Outstanding Work

Shelby Harvey, lead faculty and student support specialist at BU MET’s Office of Distance Education, was named a winner at the 2020 UPCEA New England Regional Awards. The recognition, Outstanding Continuing Education Support Specialist Award—Staff in a Support Role, comes from the University Professional & Continuing Education Association (UPCEA), a body of leaders in the field.

Ms. Harvey specializes in providing the increasing number of students turning to online-based higher education with the guidance and assistance needed to be successful in their studies.

Learn more about the 2020 UPCEA New England Regional Awards.

MET’s New Online Crime Analysis Programs Harness the Potential of Data

October 1st, 2019

MET’s New Online Crime Analysis Programs Harness the Potential of Data
One of the more extraordinary aspects of modern law enforcement is the growing ability to illuminate patterns and map hotspots of criminal activity using the massive amounts of data generated by a host of evolving technologies—surveillance cameras, mobile devices, social media, email and texts, wearable tech, sensors, and many other sources. As more agencies establish in-house crime analysis units, and as more managers and police units are required to understand data-driven, evidence-based approaches, there are abundant opportunities to make a difference.

With this need in mind, Boston University’s Metropolitan College (MET) has introduced the Master of Science in Criminal Justice concentration in Crime Analysis and Graduate Certificate in Crime Analysis. Available 100% online and taught by MET’s criminal justice faculty—who offer substantial experience in law enforcement, corrections, cybercrime investigation and digital forensics, research and policy, forensic mental health, the judicial system, strategic management, and many other areas—the crime analysis curriculum develops the ability to use and analyze a variety of data sources to inform investigations, strategies, and policy decisions within your criminal justice organization. Once tapped, this wealth of information has the potential to guide a department’s tactical approaches, operational procedures, and strategic planning, while providing ample resources for research and policy development related to criminology and the criminal justice system.

If you have questions, or you’re looking for information about admission and tuition, please contact our graduate admissions advisors at 617-353-9185 or

BU Online Courses Recognized with Two Blackboard Awards

October 16th, 2018

J-Jay Araullo accepts Blackboard's Exemplary Course Award
The developers and faculty of two Boston University online courses were honored with Blackboard’s Exemplary Course Award. Blackboard’s learning management system is the standard in digital learning, and recipients of the Exemplary Course Award are recognized for developing courses that are outstanding in their ability to engage through innovation in technology and learning.

For the College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) Summer Term course First-Semester Chinese (CAS LC 111), recognition goes to MET Instructional Designer J-Jay Araullo, CAS Senior Lecturer in Chinese Amber Navarre (last year’s recipient of the Gerald and Deanne Gitner Family Award for Innovation in Teaching with Technology), CAS Lecturer of Chinese Liling Huang, MET Senior Media Producer Ed Wozniak, and Media Producer Summer Garrard.

For the Metropolitan College course Financial Concepts (MET AD 632), MET Associate Director of Instructional Design Dan Hillman collaborated with MET Lecturer and Signal Hill Capital Managing Director Ira D. Cohen, Associate Professor Irena Vodenska, Lecturer William McGue, Assistant Professor Ivan Julio, and Educational Technology Engineer Andrew Abrahamson and the Educational Technology & Innovations team to transform the existing course into its current, award-winning form.

Dr. Araullo and Dr. Hillman accepted the awards at the BbWorld 2018 conference in Orlando, where Dr. Hillman and Mr. Abrahamson also presented “Adapt Learn Automatically with Template Variables.”

Congratulations to all!

MET Instructional Designer Wins Online Learning Consortium Effective Practices Award

October 16th, 2018

Fawn Thompson accepts award at OLC Innovate Conference

Metropolitan College Senior Instructional Designer Fawn Thompson received an Effective Practices Award from the Online Learning Consortium (OLC), the leading professional online learning collaborative devoted the advancement of high-quality, innovative digital educational experiences.

The award recognized Ms. Thompson’s peer review method to course design approaches, an initiative that was adopted by the entire instructional design team in MET’s Office of Distance Education. The method provides MET’s instructional design professionals with an opportunity to meet challenges, improve accessibility, promote collaboration, and expand expertise in online course design.

Ms. Thompson accepted her award at the OLC Innovate Conference in Nashville, Tennessee.

Read more about the award here.

MyMedia Available to BU Students, Faculty, and Staff

February 26th, 2018

Did you know that all BU students, faculty, and staff have access to MyMedia powered by Kaltura? Similar to YouTube, but private to the BU community, this cloud based video streaming service offers a great way to capture and share media. With MyMedia you get access to:

  • Unlimited video storage space
  • Easy to use presentation and recording tools
  • Upload and share videos in your Blackboard course or via the MyMedia portal

For more information visit the BU TechWeb website.

Online Health Communication Class Nabs Innovative Teaching & Learning Award

July 11th, 2017

Online health communication class wins award
A pair of Boston University Distance Education teaching professionals have been recognized for the success of an innovative new course in the Health Communication program by this year’s Blackboard Catalyst Awards.

Instructor Alane Bearder and Senior Instructional Designer Elena Garofoli are the recipients of the 2017 Blackboard Catalyst Award for Teaching & Learning, bestowed for their work on MET HC 762 Visual Communication in the Digital Health Age, the first course to be developed as part of the Graduate Certificate in Visual & Digital Health Communication program. The award is conferred upon those who have positively impacted the educational experience through the adoption of flexible, distance, and online delivery.

“We’re proud to keep Boston University on the vanguard of higher education for professional health communicators with this, and other innovative learning experiences still ahead,” Health Communication Program Director Leigh Curtin-Wilding said of the award.

Read the full press release here.