MIT Faculty Newsletter  
Vol. XXIII No. 1
September / October 2010
What Are We Willing to Pay for Clean Energy?
The Role of American Universities in
Large Disaster Management
Interview with New MIT Corporation
Chairman John Reed
The Year Ahead: Accelerating the
Pace of Innovation
MIT Ranked 7th in Latest U.S. News Poll
Pedagogic Scenarios: Where's the Metric?
Random Faculty Dinners
Approach 30th Anniversary
MIT150: Inventional Wisdom
MIT OpenCourseWare:
A Decade of Global Benefit
Institute Initiates Written Information
Security Program (WISP)
Michael S. Feld
Teaching this fall? You should know . . .
U.S. News & World Report: Best College Rankings for National Universities, 2002-2011
Printable Version

MIT Ranked 7th in Latest U.S. News Poll


MIT was ranked seventh (tied with CalTech) in the latest U.S. News & World Report undergraduate national universities rankings, announced in the magazine’s “America’s Best Colleges” issue published in late August. Harvard, Princeton, and Yale were ranked first to third, respectively, in the national universities rankings, the same as in the 2010 rankings.

The Institute maintained its place as the number one undergraduate engineering school in the country, and also remained second (tied with the University of California at Berkeley) to the University of Pennsylvania in the undergraduate business school category.

U.S. News made two changes this year to the Best Colleges ranking methodology. The changes that may have influenced MIT’s drop from fourth last year to seventh, are:

1. Undergraduate academic reputation less heavily weighted. MIT has always ranked at or near the top in this category (formerly peer assessment, and this year with the addition of high school counselor’s ratings). This year MIT, along with Harvard and Princeton, received the highest score (98 out of 100). However, because the weight applied to this category dropped from 25 percent of the final score to 22.5 percent, MIT’s relative rank may have suffered.

2. Graduation rate performance is more heavily weighted. This measure now accounts for 7.5 percent of the final score (compared to 5 percent previously). This variable measures the difference between a school’s actual graduation rate and the one predicted by U.S. News based on students’ test scores and institutional resources. MIT’s actual versus predicted graduation rate is frequently lower than peer universities, perhaps due to the rigor of the demands of the Institute’s heavily based science and engineering curriculum. CalTech also often underperforms in this area.

Categories (and weights) used by U.S. News to judge colleges include:

  • Undergraduate academic reputation (22.5%)
  • Graduation and retention rates (20%)
  • Faculty resources (20%)
  • Student selectivity (15%)
  • Financial resources (10%)
  • Alumni giving (5%)
  • Graduation rate performance* (7.5%)

    *The difference between actual and predicted graduation rate.

U.S. News also rated individual engineering and business departments. [Note that not all programs are rated each year.] Several of the Institute’s programs in these areas were ranked in the top 10. They are:

            • Aerospace/Aeronautical/Astronomical (1st)
            • Biomedical/Biomedical Engineering (4th)
            • Chemical Engineering (1st)
            • Civil (6th) [tied with Stanford]
            • Computer Engineering (1st)
            • Electrical/Electronic/ Communications (1st)
            • Environmental/Environmental Health (5th) [tied with Georgia Tech]
            • Materials (1st)
            • Mechanical (1st)

            • Entrepreneurship (5th)
            • Finance (3rd)
            • Management (9th)
            • Management Information Systems (1st)
            • Marketing (10th)
            • Productions/Operations Management (1st)
            • Quantitative Analysis (1st)
            • Supply Chain (1st)

Data was taken from the 2011 edition of the U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges.”

See “M.I.T. Numbers” for the top 10 rated schools over the last decade.

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