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U.S. News: W&M a top institution for undergraduate teaching

  • Commitment to teaching
    Commitment to teaching  Assistant Professor Artisia Green (left) teaches a course on the history of African-American theatre. W&M was named one of the top universities in the nation for undergraduate teaching in the latest U.S. News college rankings.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
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William & Mary is one of the top universities for undergraduate teaching in the country, according to a ranking released by U.S. News and World Report today.

The university is tied at second overall on the magazine’s list of 10 national colleges with a strong commitment to undergraduate teaching. W&M tied for third in the teaching category a year ago.

The undergraduate teaching list was one of several rankings released by U.S. News today as part of its annual guide to the best colleges in the nation. Among public national universities this year, W&M is sixth. Among both public and private national colleges, William & Mary is ranked 33rd, tied with the University of Rochester. William & Mary was tied for 32nd and tied for 33rd the previous two years.

In the undergraduate teaching category, William & Mary, tied for second with Miami University-Oxford, is surpassed only by Princeton University. Other schools that trail W&M on the ranking include Dartmouth (fourth), Brown (sixth) and Yale (tied for eighth). According to the magazine, the schools on this list “emphasize undergraduate education as opposed to the postgraduate research that is a priority at many universities.” 

In addition to appearing on the U.S. News’ lists of best national universities, top public universities and universities with a strong commitment to undergraduate teaching, William & Mary is also included on the magazine’s ranking of undergraduate business programs this year, tied for 39th.

U.S. News uses a variety of factors to determine its overall college rankings, including graduation rates, financial resources, class sizes, faculty resources and alumni giving rates. William & Mary continues to do well in the rankings despite having the lowest financial resources of any top university. This year, W&M’s financial resources rank is 110th overall. The 77-spot gap between overall quality (33) and financial resources (110) is by far the largest among the U.S. News national top 50.

According to U.S. News, Princeton took the top spot on the national universities ranking this year, and the University of California-Berkeley is number one among public national universities. Only two Virginia institutions are listed among the top 50 national universities: William & Mary and the University of Virginia, which is tied with the University of California-Los Angeles for 23rd. Virginia Tech is the next-highest ranked university from the Commonwealth on the list, tied for 71st with four other schools.

The U.S. News ranking is the latest of several released recently. Last week, Washington Monthly ranked William & Mary 38th among national universities, and, in August, the university was ranked ninth on The Daily Caller’s list of “The 52 Best Colleges in America PERIOD When You Consider Absolutely Everything That Matters.” The month before that, Forbes ranked W&M third among state schools on its list of “America’s Top Colleges.” The university was also sixth among all public institutions, including military academies, on that list and 41st overall among both public and private institutions. William & Mary was also included on’s list of “Top 50 Colleges & Universities in America for 2014.” The university was the highest-ranked public institution in that report and fifth overall.

In the spring, U.S. News released its ranking of graduate schools. In that listing, the W&M Law School ranked 24th in the nation – the highest rank the school has ever received from the magazine. The Mason School of Business also saw its part-time MBA program jump in the rankings, climbing 12 spots to 57th in the nation. The W&M School of Education was also listed among the best in the country, ranking at 39th.