Denise Smith, associate professor of accounting, teaches at the whiteboard.
Denise Smith, associate professor of accounting, teaches at the whiteboard on the Brenau University Gainesville campus. Smith also teaches in the online Master of Accounting degree program, which was ranked No. 3 in the nation by (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Brenau Recognized for Online Learning Excellence

Apr 17, 2017
Kristen Bowman recently named Brenau University one of the nation’s best colleges for online learning. The university received 14 total awards from AC Online, where higher education experts generated the rankings by analyzing cost and quality data for thousands of U.S. colleges with online degree programs.

Brenau’s online Master of Accounting degree program ranked No. 3, its Master of Business Administration in Finance ranked No. 6, and its MBA in Human Resources ranked No. 7.

“Our Master of Accounting focuses completely on preparing professionals for the CPA exam and a career in accounting,” said Denise Smith, associate professor of accounting. “There are no extraneous courses, only what is needed to be successful. Our professors are professionals with extensive experience in the field, and I believe that’s one of the values that makes the program so strong.”

Brenau was also recognized for its online master’s programs in healthcare administration, human resources and special education, as well as several undergraduate online degree programs including business management, finance, healthcare administration, human resources, marketing, medical assistant, RN-to-MSN, secondary education and special education.

“We wanted to honor the colleges and universities setting the bar for online learning,” said Dan Schuessler, CEO and founder of “These schools are going above and beyond the industry standard to help make online education programs an excellent option and more affordable.”

The primary data points used to identify the Best Online Colleges of 2017 include regional accreditation, in-state tuition and fees, percent of full-time undergraduate students receiving institutional financial aid, the number of online programs offered, student-to-teacher ratios and more.

AC Online also ranked Brenau the No. 2 Best Online College in the state for 2016-2017, with a 99.77 score based on these data points.

Brenau was one of the earliest comprehensive universities in the Southeast to offer online degree programs, beginning in the 1990s, in addition to more traditional on-campus degree-track courses.

“Nationally the market place is turning to online delivery,” said Christina White, who directs Brenau’s online programs and adult and graduate studies. “Brenau has seen the demand for online options from our current students, and we see potential new students requesting these options. The excellent news is Brenau has been ahead of the online curve and is well prepared to support continued online growth. As technologies evolve Brenau is committed to staying ahead of the curve by exploring and allocating resources so that everybody has the tools needed to thrive in any environment they choose.”

The complete list of awards for Brenau University:

  • Best Online Master’s in Accounting
  • Best Online Business Management Degrees
  • Best Online Finance Degrees
  • Best Online Master’s in Finance
  • Best Online Healthcare Administration Degrees
  • Best Online Master’s in Healthcare Administration Degrees
  • Best Online Master’s in Human Resources
  • Best Online Human Resources Degrees
  • Best Online Marketing Degrees
  • Best Online Medical Assistant Degrees
  • Best Online RN-to-MSN Degrees
  • Best Online Secondary Education Degrees
  • Best Online Special Education Degrees
  • Best Online Master’s in Special Education