Engineering moves up in U.S. News rankings

Published: Aug 28, 2006 4:37:50 PM
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Auburn's Samuel Ginn College of Engineering has been ranked 35th among public universities that offer doctoral programs in engineering by U.S. News & World Report. The college ranked 60th overall.

"Moving ahead in these rankings is central to our strategic planning as we position the college to compete for the best students to learn in an environment that joins a world-class faculty with state-of-the-art facilities that are now coming on line with the construction of the Shelby Center for Engineering Technology," says Larry Benefield, dean of the Ginn College of Engineering.

"I appreciate the support we have received from the university, our alumni and industrial partners. Our faculty has in particular made the kind of effort needed to bring us to the next level through a renewed focus on our outreach and research while maintaining our core competencies in undergraduate instruction. This is made more remarkable in the face of intense competition from other engineering programs throughout the nation."

Last year, the college ranked 67th among all engineering programs and 40th among such programs at public universities.

This year, Auburn University ranked 39th among public universities nationwide, marking the 14th consecutive year the magazine has ranked AU among the nation's top 50 public universities.

"We're pleased that we have again been ranked among the top 50 public universities in the country," said interim president Ed Richardson. "When you look at the data, what stands out about this university is our rising academic reputation and programs, including our College of Engineering, which performed exceptionally well in this survey. We are attracting outstanding freshmen and the value-added ranking, among the region's best, shows we are providing them with meaningful academic opportunities when they arrive on campus."

To establish its rankings, U.S. News categorizes colleges and universities primarily by mission and, in some cases, region. The magazine then gathers data from each school on up to 15 indicators of academic excellence, assigning each factor a weight that reflects the magazine's judgment about how much each measure matters.

The indicators the magazine staff use to capture academic quality fall into seven categories: academic reputation among its peers, retention of students, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, alumni giving, and graduation rate performance, or the difference between the proportion of students expected to graduate and the proportion who actually do.