Purdue Reaches Top Ranks Among Nation’s Universities

By: Contributor Last Updated: August 17, 2010

PurdueLogo.jpegPurdue is now among the nation's top universities and its efforts in undergraduate teaching and programs to ensure student success also were recognized Tuesday (Aug. 17) in rankings released by U.S.News & World Report.

Purdue was ranked 18th among all public universities - tied with Ohio State University, the University of Georgia and the University of Maryland - up from 22nd last year. Among all universities, Purdue ranked 56th, tied with Ohio State University, Southern Methodist University, the University of Georgia and the University of Maryland. This also is a move up for Purdue, which ranked 61st last year.

Purdue's College of Engineering and Krannert School of Management earned overall rankings of eighth and 19th, respectively, and both had several highly ranked specialty programs.

Purdue was acknowledged for its achievements in five of eight student success categories. The categories, in which schools are listed but not ranked, are First-Year Experience, Internships, Learning Communities, Study Abroad and Writing in the Disciplines. Purdue also was tied for 12th nationally in a ranking of universities cited by college presidents, provosts and admissions deans as having an "unusual commitment to undergraduate teaching."

"These rankings and acknowledgements show that the emphasis on student success in our strategic plan is paying off," Purdue President France A. Córdova said. "The outstanding work of our faculty and the dedication of our staff are making a tangible difference in the lives of our students."

The goal of Purdue's Student Access, Transition and Success Programs is to help new students acclimate and adjust to college so they are likely to succeed and graduate on time. The schools included in the U.S.News internship category are praised for requiring or encouraging students "to apply what they're learning in the classroom" through internships, practicums or cooperative education.

Participating in a study abroad program also is linked to student success, and Purdue's Office of Study Abroad offers more than 300 study abroad and internship opportunities in more than 50 countries. Purdue also was recognized for Writing in the Disciplines because it makes writing a priority at all levels of instruction.

Senior college administrators also ranked Purdue - 20th overall and 14th among public schools - as an institution that has made "the most promising and innovative changes" in the areas of academics, faculty, student life, campus or facilities. Purdue tied with Ball State University and seven other institutions for 20th place, and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis tied with George Mason University for fifth.

"Being acknowledged for our momentum and progress in ensuring that students who come to Purdue are successful is gratifying," said Timothy Sands, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost. "It also is significant that our College of Engineering and Krannert School of Management continue to be recognized among the nation's elite programs."

Purdue's College of Engineering tied for eighth nationally among doctoral-granting universities, up from ninth last year. Purdue shared the No. 8 spot with Carnegie Mellon and Cornell universities.

In engineering specialties, Purdue ranked third in biological/agricultural, third in industrial/manufacturing, fourth in aerospace/aeronautical/astronautical and fifth in civil.

The Krannert School of Management was ranked 19th, moving up from 21st last year. Also ranked 19th were Georgetown University, University of Maryland and University of Minnesota.

In management specialties, Purdue ranked third in production/operations management and fourth in quantitative analysis/methods.

"These acknowledgements in U.S.News & World Report flow from the vision President Córdova brought to Purdue that was articulated through our strategic plan," said Keith Krach, chairman of the university's Board of Trustees. "She built grassroots support for that vision, and the university's faculty and staff have given life to that vision across campus. This has truly been an amazing team effort."

The data for determining the nation's best institutions of higher education come from questionnaires U.S.News sends to all accredited four-year colleges and universities. The magazine then determines its rankings based on measures that fall into seven broad categories: assessment by administrators at peer institutions; retention of students; faculty resources; student selectivity; financial resources; alumni giving; and "graduation rate performance," the difference between the proportion of students expected to graduate and the proportion who actually do.

The magazine bases its specialty rankings on a spring 2010 survey of deans and department heads at peer institutions. The programs receiving the most votes are listed.

The magazine's college guidebook, "America’s Best Colleges," contains a directory of the more than 1,400 institutions. Information on the rankings can be found at the U.S.News & World Report Web site at

More on Purdue's past U.S.News and other rankings is available online at