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MIT engineering ranks top in US

By Chris Schechter

For the second time in a row, the graduate programs of MIT's School of Engineering ranked first in the nation in a US News and World Report survey. The survey ranked the 193 largest engineering schools in the United States that offer masters and doctoral degrees.

"We are very pleased by the way we stand," said Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Joel Moses '67, dean of the School of Engineering. "But we will not rest on our laurels," he added.

After MIT, Stanford University ranked second as the best engineering school, followed by the

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the California Institute of Technology and the University of Michigan.

MIT ranked first in the aerospace, chemical, computer, electrical or electronic, materials or metallurgical, mechanical and nuclear categories. MIT ranked third in the biomedical and civil engineering categories.

In a separate ranking by professional engineers, MIT ranked first in every category.

"Such good standing is mainly due to the reputation of our faculty, our past history and the size of MIT," Moses said.

Schools were ranked based on two surveys as well as on the four

specific categories of student selectivity, faculty resources, research activity and reputation.

Student selectivity was determined from statistics on the doctoral and masters degree candidates who entered in the fall of 1990. The school's acceptance rate and the percentage of those accepted who enrolled was also taken into account.

The second category of faculty resources was derived from four different figures: the percentage of part-time professors in the faculty, the total number of PhDs, the percentage of part-time professors in the faculty and the ratio of full-time doctoral and master degree candidates to full-time faculty.

The category of research activity was determined using the total dollar amount of publicly and privately funded research as well as the total amount of research dollars per faculty member engaged in research.

Lastly, the reputation of the universities was determined from the comments of two top officials from every school ranked and the comments of a large number of practicing engineers.

MIT placed first in the reputation category, but only third for research activity. "US News is a little low on its estimates; a lot of funding wasn't included," Moses said.

"These studies rarely give a complete picture," Moses said. "They are however a good assessment of how peers and how industry view the Institute," he added.