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MIT Moves Up to Third in U.S. News Ranking

By Wan Li Zhu

MIT was ranked third overall among national universities in the latest annual U.S. News & World Report rankings, moving up from fourth last year.

The Institute placed first among undergraduate engineering schools with Ph.D. programs, and tied with the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and the University of Pennsylvania for the number one spot in the best business programs category, according to the news magazine’s yearly report.

The California Institute of Technology topped the overall category, Harvard University placed second, and Princeton and Yale Universities tied for fourth.

“I am very pleased that MIT has been rated as one of the very top universities in terms of undergraduate education,” said President Charles M. Vest. “It is interesting to see the strong presence of science and technology in the top range of this year’s rankings.”

“The thought of being able to ordinally rank colleges from best to worst is a silly one,” said Matthew L. McGann ’00, president of the Undergraduate Association. “Anyone who truly believes that whichever institution U.S. News rates as best is indeed best for everyone probably doesn’t belong at MIT anyway.”

Vest echoed McGann’s lack of confidence in the rating. “Of course there is a large dose of subjectivity and hair splitting in the details of these rankings, but it is clear that the excellence of our programs and resources places MIT in the stratosphere of U.S. undergraduate education,” he said.

MIT also diverse

MIT is ranked number seven in campus diversity by U.S. News, earning a diversity index of 0.64 out of 1.0. Rutgers-Newark (NJ) was ranked number one in this area, with a diversity index of 0.71.

“That we’re near the top in the ranking of most diverse schools in terms of ethnic diversity is good,” McGann said, “but MIT must continue to strive to attract and admit the most passionate and free-minded achievers from a variety of backgrounds.”

For undergraduate engineering schools with Ph.D. programs, Stanford University and University of California-Berkeley tied for second place, while Caltech and University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign tied for fourth place.

In the category of best business programs, the University of California-Berkeley placed fourth, while Universities of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Texas-Austin, and Virginia tied for fifth.

The U.S. News methodology incorporated two factors: a quantitative measure of academic quality and impartial views of important components in education. This year’s study incorporated greater emphasis on the average per student spending at each institution. CalTech came out on top by spending $192,000 on each of its students.

For the undergraduate engineering schools with Ph.D. programs as well as the business programs rankings, U.S. News asked deans and senior faculty to rate the academic quality of peer institutions in their disciplines on a scale of 1 to 5.

Full US News & World Report college rankings can be found at < edu/college/corank.htm>.