McKendree University is the only metro-east school listed on the U.S. News and World Report's list of top 100 online schools for 2013.
The Lebanon university ranked 100th in the category of top graduate business programs.
"Developing the E-Learning MBA was a year-long project involving almost the entire faculty of the School of Business," said Frank Spreng, director of the MBA program at McKendree University. "The benefits from those efforts a few years ago are considerable. We now have about 135 students enrolled in online MBA courses."
While online courses are a relatively new concept, Spreng said schools are rapidly developing new programs to give students more opportunity to further their education.
"Many students could not be participating in graduate business education without the online option," Spreng said. "The concept of online education gives options for many students and allows face-to-face students to mix and match courses, times and schedules."
Schools in St. Louis to rank in the top 100 are:
* Webster University ranks 62nd in the online business category.
* In the category of online Best Online Bachelor's Degree Program category, the University of Missouri-St. Louis ranked 43rd and St. Louis University ranked 95th.
* Webster University in St. Louis ranks 27th in the category of Best Online Graduate Education Programs. UMSL ranks 57th.
According to its website, usnews.com, U.S. News' data research team surveyed public, private and for-profit institutions that offer a master's in business or MBA program through Internet-based distance education courses. The results are based on survey responses and statistics from 213 institutions that provided data in 2012. The results are posted at www.usnews.com/online-education.