Online College Rankings by Scholarly Citations

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For over a century, mainstream colleges, universities, and institutions of higher learning have been evaluated and judged based on the quantity and quality of the research and scholarly reports they publish and put out. The amount of scholarly citation from other scholars is a recognized indicator of the caliber of a higher education institution’s academic work. The truth of the matter is that a college is only as good as its students and faculty. The scholarly citation figures listed below were generated using Google Scholar ( This tool provides an excellent way to search for scholarly literature, which is a useful proxy for the number of scholarly citations a college receives.

Each figure listed in the “Scholarly Citations” column below is the approximate number of results that Google Scholar returned when performing a search for a particular college’s name (within quotation marks).

*Ranking by Scholarly Citations 2011

Rank College Scholarly Citations
1 Nova Southeastern University 11,940
2 University of Phoenix 5,191
3 Walden University 2893
4 Liberty University Online 2,220
5 Capella University 1893
6 Western Governors University 1,300
7 DeVry University 621
8 Jones International University 523
9 Champlain College 498
10 Upper Iowa University 453
11 Bellevue University 395
12 Colorado Technical University 346
13 Grand Canyon University 323
14 Keiser University 236
15 Ashford University 179
16 Kaplan University 132
17 North Central University 129
18 Western International University 111
19 Westwood College 96
20 Salem International University 96
21 Everest University 68
22 Post University 63
23 Rasmussen College 51
24 Everglades University 43
25 South University 41
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For more information regarding these rankings, we invite you to consult the in-depth documentation on our ranking methodology. Disclaimer: Many online colleges are not included in above rankings due to lack of publicly available data.

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