U.S. News & World Report continues to rank Virginia Tech among the nation’s best undergraduate public colleges, with the College of Engineering ranking 8th in the “America’s Best Colleges 2015” rankings, released today.
Among overall college programs, Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering again ranks 15th, the same position it held last year, tying with Johns Hopkins University and Texas A&M University.
In Top 10 individual engineering program specialties, the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics ranks No. 5, tying with Harvard; the Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering ranks 6th, the biological systems engineering department, shared with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, ranks 7th; and the Charles E. Via Jr. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering ranks 9th in civil and 10th in environmental, respectively.
In Top 20 programs: Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering ranks 13th – electrical -- and 18th – computer -- in two respective lists; with the Department of Mechanical Engineering at 16 and the Department of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering at 17th in the nation.
“These rankings again confirm the Virginia Tech College of Engineering as among the nation’s best choice for aspiring engineers, not just for students from the United States, but the world over,” said Richard C. Benson, dean College of Engineering, citing the recent admission of 1,430 freshmen students into the college for the 2014-15 year, which came from a record high applicant pool of 8,480 potential students.
“Our focus in a quality ‘hands on, minds on’ education characterizes this college, and with the opening of our new state-of-the-art Signature Engineering Building this past summer, our future stands even brighter.”
Also of note among the record level of freshmen engineering students is another first-time high: 25.5 percent of the students are women, a traditionally under-represented group in engineering. “As recently as fall 2010 it was 17.5 percent,” added Benson. “I attribute this steady progress to the tremendous array of recruiting and mentoring programs offered by the Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity.”
Overall, Virginia Tech ranks 27 among all public universities and 71st among all universities, a slip from the Best Colleges 2014 rankings of 25th and 69th respectively for public and all universities, but in line with previous years as slight movements up or down in the rankings are normal. Virginia Tech ties with fellow public programs University of Iowa and University of Minnesota Twin Cities on the new survey.
Virginia Tech again is among three public universities in the commonwealth of Virginia to rank among the Top 25, with the University of Virginia, tying at No. 2 with the University of California Los Angeles, and College of William & Mary at No. 6. California is the only state with more Top 25 ranked colleges.
The individual college rankings released by U.S. News & World Report are based solely on peer assessment surveys of deans and senior faculty at accredited business and engineering schools.
U.S. News & World Report bases the overall university rankings, which have been published annually since 1983, on a number of criteria, including peer assessment, retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, graduation rates, and alumni giving.