September 14, 2020

Purdue named 5th-most innovative school in the country

Innovation is at the heart of Purdue University’s persistent pursuit of the next giant leap, and the U.S. News & World Report recognized this commitment by ranking Purdue as the fifth-most innovative school in the country.

Purdue’s new ranking was announced Sept. 14 as part of the U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 Best College rankings. It’s a one-spot improvement over last year’s rankings, with Purdue overtaking Stanford University for the fifth spot.

Purdue’s dedication to innovation extends to all aspects of the institution, and is driven by targeted initiatives that support its land-grant mission and the mindset that the University is a place where people bring their best and learn to build a better world together. These include affordability and accessibility, online learning, STEM leadership, transformative education and world-changing research.

“Innovation at Purdue has definitely impacted my career as a student. This constant pursuit is what encourages all students to maximize their four years here,” says Molly Henley, a senior kinesiology major from Pittsboro, Indiana.

“A reputation for innovation increases the value of Purdue when you’re considering your college options, particularly for someone who wants to do research and work with the best faculty,” Henley says. “Purdue’s continuous push to stay affordable and accessible has created a direct path for every student to be innovative in their own way, too, whether it’s in the classroom, around campus, or in their internships or jobs.”

Only Arizona State University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Georgia State University and Georgia Institute of Technology topped Purdue on the most innovative list. Overall, Purdue ranked 53rd among all institutions and 17th among public institutions, with the University moving up the rankings in both instances.

Purdue was the highest-ranked school in Indiana, with no other public or private institutions within the state placing among the top 50. Purdue was also the highest-ranked school from the Big Ten.

“Ingenuity and innovation are a large part of what defines Purdue,” says Jay Akridge, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and diversity. “It is what attracts some of the most promising students around the world and brings some of the finest faculty. Purdue provides opportunity at all levels … to create, to innovate, to try – and fail – and to try again. We’re very proud of the role we play in bringing solutions to common, everyday life.”

The annual Best Colleges rankings compared more than 1,500 institutions on a variety of metrics. The ranking for most innovative was based on a survey of peers, where college presidents, provosts and admissions deans were asked to nominate up to 15 colleges or universities that are making the most innovative improvements in terms of curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology or facilities.

Explore Purdue

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

© 2015-21 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by Office of Strategic Communications

Trouble with this page? Disability-related accessibility issue? Please contact News Service at