Purdue ranks among nation's top universities

August 20, 2009 Judith Barra Austin

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University ranked 22nd among the nation's public universities and 61st among all universities, according to U.S.News & World Report magazine rankings released Thursday (Aug. 20).

The ranking is a move up from Purdue's ranking of 26th last year. Purdue ranked 61st among all universities, tied with Clemson University, Fordham University, Texas A&M University and University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. This also is an improvement for Purdue, which ranked 66th last year.

"These rankings reflect our continued commitment to the student experience. It has been a year since we adopted our New Synergies strategic plan, and these rankings show that it is working," President France A. Córdova said. "We are focusing our efforts on student success, and it is paying off. Students from across the nation and around the world know that when they come to Purdue, they will receive a high quality education due to the outstanding work of our faculty and staff."

Factors that helped Purdue move up in the rankings are higher graduation rates and more classes with fewer students, Córdova said.

In the "Programs to Look For" category, Purdue is among 18 public and private universities cited for the quality of its internship programs, 24 cited for their first-year experience, and 22 cited for writing in the disciplines.

"It's exciting and rewarding to see that the plans we have put in place to improve the academic experience of our students is being recognized," said Randy Woodson, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost.
"The improved rankings, while gratifying, are not the goal. The goal is to make a difference for students, and the rankings are just a reflection of the fact that we are making strides on that front."

Purdue's College of Engineering tied for ninth nationally among doctoral-granting universities, sharing the spot with Cornell University and University of Texas-Austin. The college also ranked ninth last year.

The Krannert School of Management shared the 21st position with Georgetown University, Pennsylvania State University and University of Washington. Krannert has consistently been included in the top 25, ranking 17th last year and 21st in 2007.

Specialty programs in both management and engineering also ranked among the top five in several categories.

Among engineering specialties, four Purdue schools placed in the top five nationally: biological/agricultural, No. 2; industrial/manufacturing, No. 3; aerospace/aeronautical/astronautical, No. 4; and civil, tied at No. 5 with Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Purdue's Krannert School had two top five specialty rankings: No. 4 in productions/operations management, and No. 4 in quantitative analysis and methods, tied with University of California-Berkeley.

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 2009 survey of deans and department heads at peer institutions. The schools receiving the most votes are listed.

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

More on Purdue's past U.S. News and other rankings is available online at http://news.uns.purdue.edu/ranking.html.

Writer: Judith Barra Austin, (765) 494-2432, jbaustin@purdue.edu

Sources: France A. Córdova, president@purdue.edu
 Randy Woodson, woodson@purdue.edu

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu