September 13, 2021

U.S. News rankings: Purdue again among top 10 ‘Most Innovative Schools’ in nation

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The Data Mine, Equity Task Force, Purdue Polytechnic High Schools, new industry partnerships, Transformative Education 2.0 and a continued focus on accessibility and affordability. For these initiatives and more, U.S. News & World Report has ranked Purdue among the top 10 Most Innovative Schools in the nation for the fourth consecutive year.

Released Monday (Sept. 13), the newest rankings show Purdue in the eighth spot among Most Innovative. The university leads all Big Ten schools and is tops in the state of Indiana.

Arizona State University heads the list, followed by Georgia State University, MIT, Georgia Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Maryland-Baltimore County, Stanford University and Purdue. The University of Michigan and Elon University, tied for the ninth spot, round out the top 10.

In overall rankings, Purdue is 49th (up from 53rd) and No. 17 among public institutions. Purdue’s Agricultural and Biological Engineering (ABE) program in the College of Agriculture and College of Engineering again ranks No. 1 in its discipline – the 11th year in a row as the top program in the U.S. The university also once again is highly ranked in numerous engineering programs. Additionally, the College of Science boasts increasing rankings for its programs in computer science, and School of Management disciplines continue to fare well among their peers.

The Most Innovative ranking identifies those institutions that have made the most innovative improvements toward curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology and facilities.

Amid the global pandemic, Purdue was one of the first U.S. universities to commit to resuming an in-person residential experience for the 2020-21 school year. Students were offered a robust set of in-person and hybrid courses, and a fully online option was created for those who could not come to campus. Through its comprehensive Protect Purdue Plan, driving the beliefs and behaviors of a campus community of more than 55,000 people, the university has been as open, densely populated and operational as any campus even close to its size.

Purdue announced a 10th straight tuition freeze – total cost of attendance today is lower than in 2012-13. The university also expanded opportunities for students through the Purdue Fast Start, Summer Start and Early Start programs – each making a Purdue education more accessible and providing the potential to reduce the cost of a Purdue degree.

Purdue’s Next Moves launched in April with the Equity Task Force and Transformative Education 2.0 as two of its five pillars.

The multipronged Equity Task Force program began by identifying and reviewing overarching equity issues in order to develop a strategic plan and implementation as the university aims for broader equity and inclusion across the West Lafayette campus, particularly for Black Boilermakers. As part of the initiative, Purdue is hiring additional recruiters to help attract Black students; is expanding existing programs such as Emerging Leaders; and thanks to more than $25 million in donations, is introducing more scholarship opportunities for underrepresented minority students.

Transformative Education 2.0 is focused on upgrading and enhancing student support and information systems and processes, expanding experiential education, developing and bringing new technologies to classrooms and new, more flexible credentials to students.

The Data Mine consists of approximately 800 undergraduate and graduate students, organized into learning communities with 50 corporate partners projects and 20 academic or research projects.

Purdue and the Purdue Research Foundation also have expanded corporate-university partnerships with the likes of Rolls-Royce and Saab.

“It has been nothing like business as usual over the last year-plus, but we are very proud that our university has continued to launch innovative initiatives that will enhance the educational experience of our students and value of a Purdue education,” said Jay Akridge, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and diversity. “Our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and this kind of commitment by our faculty and staff to continuous improvement, I believe, helped lead to record enrollment this fall.”

Purdue’s ABE continues to set the tone for the nation in that discipline. In addition to the undergraduate program’s decade-plus turn in the No. 1 spot, its graduate program also tops the nation.

“The College of Agriculture community is proud of the No. 1 ranking our undergraduate agricultural and biological engineering program has earned,” said Karen Plaut, the Glenn W. Sample Dean of Agriculture. “I pay tribute to the dedicated faculty and staff members, led by (department head) Nate Mosier, for their commitment and for providing students the opportunity to learn and grow in this incredible department.”

Meanwhile, Purdue continues to excel in undergraduate engineering. Purdue Engineering is 10th overall in the ranking, and 11 of its specialty areas are ranked. Among those, industrial/manufacturing remains second; aeronautical and astronautical is fourth; civil, sixth; mechanical, eighth; computer, electrical and environmental, each 11th; materials, 12th; chemical, 14th; and biomedical, 23rd.

Computer science, within Purdue’s College of Science, saw significant gains — moving from 20th to 18th overall, from 15th to 13th in computing systems and from unranked to No. 24 in artificial intelligence. It is ninth in both software engineering and cybersecurity and 14th in programming languages.

Krannert School of Management is 30th among business programs. Its supply chain management and logistics, and production/operation management programs are both 10th, and business analytics 12th.

Purdue is 13th for co-ops and internships, 23rd Best College for Veterans, 48th in Best Undergraduate Teaching, 64th for First-year Experience and 70th in Best Value Schools. 

Media contact: Jim Bush, jsbush@purdue.edu

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