W&M places high in U.S. News rankings

  • U.S. News RankingIn the latest undergraduate rankings in U.S. News & World Report, the College ranked 33rd overall among all public and private universities and remained sixth-best among all public schools.

    Photo by Stephen Salpukas

    U.S. News Ranking
  • Commitment to teachingWilliam & Mary was tied for sixth in a new national listing of the "Best Colleges for Undergraduate Teaching."

    Photo by Stephen Salpukas

    Commitment to teaching

For the second time this month, William & Mary has been recognized by a national magazine as one of the country's leading universities.

In the latest undergraduate rankings in U.S. News & World Report, William & Mary was tied for sixth in a new national listing of the "Best Colleges for Undergraduate Teaching."  The College ranked 33rd overall among all public and private universities and remained sixth-best among all public schools.

Earlier this month, Forbes.com ranked William & Mary the fourth highest public university - and the top "traditional state university" -- in the nation. Forbes ranked the College 48th overall (public and private) and 33rd among the "Best Value," making it one of only five schools to make the top 50 of both lists.

In the U.S. News rankings, William & Mary ranked 33rd among the nation's leading universities despite coming in 88th for financial resources - the lowest financial ranking of any of the top 50 national universities.

U.S. News also looked at which universities who are committed to teaching undergraduates. In that category, William & Mary tied Brown University for sixth place, following schools such as Dartmouth, Princeton and Yale.   Some other schools included in the rankings were Duke (T-8th), Notre Dame (T-8th), University of California-Berkeley (T-11th) and UNC-Chapel Hill (T-11th).

 "These ... colleges and universities were singled out most often when experts were asked to identify schools where faculty has an unusual commitment to undergraduate teaching," according to the U.S. News ranking description.

As part of its annual guidebook, U.S. News annually compiles data that ranks colleges and universities, both public and private institutions, in several categories based on criteria such as graduation rates, class sizes, academic reputation, freshmen retention rates, alumni contributions and faculty resources. In the U.S. News overall rankings, private universities fared the best with no public breaking the overall top-20. The nation's top public, UC-Berkeley, ranked 21st overall. William & Mary ranked 32nd overall a year ago and 33rd two years ago in the magazine's national rankings.

The results were a bit different in the Forbes rankings. A public university - the U.S. Military Academy -- took the top spot and joined William & Mary as only one of four public universities in the magazine's  top 50. The others are the U.S. Air Force Academy (7th) and the U.S. Naval Academy (30th). William & Mary is also one of only two Virginia universities to make the overall top 50 list, with the other being Washington and Lee University at 34th.

The Forbes rankings, conducted in conjunction with Ohio University economist Richard Vedder and the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, were based on five criteria: graduation rate; national and global awards by students and faculty; students' satisfaction with their professors; average debt upon graduation; and postgraduate success.

William & Mary has fared well in other rankings this summer. In its latest survey of undergraduates - released in July -- the Princeton Review lists the College 7th in the category of "Best College Library, 8th in the category of "Professors Get High Marks," and 14th in for "Happiest Students." The College's "green rating" also improved, increasing from a score of 84 last year to 90 (on a scale from 60-99). In addition to the green rating, William & Mary's academic and admissions scores improved one point each to 92 and 98, respectively.

Last spring, William & Mary also received high marks in the annual U.S. News ranking of graduate programs. The U.S. Colonial History program remained among the nation's very best and ranked fourth in its field, according to the magazine's 2010 rankings. Doctoral programs are ranked every four years by discipline and U.S. Colonial History ranked fourth in 2005. The William & Mary Law School jumped two places among law schools in the United States tied for 28th in the country. The School of Education's graduate program appeared in the "Top 50," ranking tied for 48th. William & Mary's Mason School of Business ranked tied for 55th among graduate business programs.

The latest undergraduate rankings by U.S. News are available at www.USNews.com. The magazine issue hits newsstands Monday.