Research shows the success of a bacterial community depends on its shape.
Forget the Yankees, the Celtics and the Bulls.*
MIT's School of Engineering is the real dynasty.
U.S. News & World Report has ranked the nation's universities 15 times since 1987. Fifteen times, the MIT engineering program has been ranked No. 1.
This was the second top ranking for MIT's engineering program this year. In April, the graduate program was rated No. 1 by the weekly news magazine when it rated graduate programs only.
In the current rankings, released on Sept. 13, MIT is compared to 249 national universities that offer a full range of undergraduate majors, master's and Ph.D. degrees and emphasize faculty research.
The MIT School of Engineering finished in its customary top spot. MIT's Sloan School of Management was ranked second nationally, behind the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. In the previous rankings, Sloan was tied for second with the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.
MIT ranked fourth among national universities, tied with Caltech, Duke, Stanford and Penn behind No. 1 Princeton. Harvard and Yale tied for second. Last year, MIT was ranked fifth in this category along with Stanford and the University of Pennsylvania, while Caltech placed fourth.
In business and engineering specialties, MIT was ranked first more often than any other school - in six fields of engineering and three fields of undergraduate business.
In engineering specialties, MIT ranked first in six areas: aeronautics/astronautics, chemical engineering, computer engineering, electrical/electronic communications engineering, mechanical engineering and nuclear engineering. MIT ranked fourth in environmental engineering/environmental health and fifth in biomedical engineering and civil engineering.
Dean Thomas L. Magnanti of the School of Engineering said, "The fact that MIT ranks so highly in engineering fields that are over 100 years old, as well as in emerging new fields such as biomedical engineering, is a testament to the sustained creativity and dedication of our faculty, staff and students as well as the spirit of innovation for which the Institute is so justifiably famous."
MIT was top-ranked in three business areas: management information systems, production/operations management and quantitative analysis/methods. It was ranked second in supply chain management/logistics and e-commerce, fourth in entrepreneurship and fifth in finance.
Dean Richard Schmalensee of the Sloan School said, "We're always pleased to be rated among the world's top programs and it's nice to see the quality of our students and the superb work of our faculty and staff recognized."
In a new category, "Programs That Really Work," MIT was ranked 13th for internships and co-op programs and eighth for senior projects.
MIT was among the seven most diverse national universities. Asian-Americans were the largest minority group, comprising 30 percent of the student body.
MIT was ranked sixth in "best value" because the average cost for the 51 percent of students who receive need-based financial aid is $17,846.
Conversely, MIT also ranked 12th on the list of national universities whose students graduated with a large debt load. For the Class of 2001 (the only class analyzed), 56 percent of class members graduated in debt, with an average debt of $22,669. Pepperdine students carried the highest debt load at $28,620.
The newsstand book, "America's Best Colleges," which contains the U.S. News college rankings, is slated to go on sale on Monday, Sept. 16. Most of the rankings and some of the articles from the book will be in the Sept. 23 issue of U.S. News & World Report, which goes on sale Monday, Sept. 16.
"Our rankings of accredited undergraduate business and engineering programs are based exclusively on peer assessment data gathered from the programs' deans and senior faculty members," U.S. News said.
* The New York Yankees won 37 American League pennants and 26 World Series from 1921 to 2001. The Boston Celtics were National Basketball Association champions 16 times between 1958 and 1987. The Chicago Bulls won six NBA titles from 1991-98.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 18, 2002.