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Virginia Tech News / Articles / 2015 / 09 

Virginia Tech among the nation's best universities in U.S. News rankings

September 9, 2015

students work in the build lab at Virginia Tech
Experiential, hands-on learning is part of the undergraduate experience at Virginia Tech, like the Build Lab in the Myers-Lawson School of Construction.

Virginia Tech is among the nation’s best universities, according to U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges 2016.” 

Overall, Virginia Tech ranks No. 26 among public institutions and No. 70 among all national universities, tying with Texas A&M University. Both rankings are up one spot from last year.

“Our top rankings amongst public institutions are especially notable since this is the group with which we share a similar mission and metrics of success,” said Thanassis Rikakis, executive vice president and provost. “Virginia Tech is nationally recognized for providing access for students to receive a solid education that prepares to directly impact the human condition.”

U.S. News builds the lists based on academic excellence, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, graduation rate performance, and alumni giving. It is the 31st year of the annual ranking.

Beyond overall rankings, the new U.S. News guidebook contains more focused rankings, for programs and specific audiences.

Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering ranks No. 8 among public institutions and No. 15 among all national institutions, the same spots the college earned in last year’s guidebook. The rankings tie with Texas A&M University.

U.S. News ranks the top five schools for individual engineering programs. The Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics, formed in 2014 from a merger of the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics with the college’s biomedical engineering program, earns a No. 4 ranking among engineering science programs. The Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering earns a No. 5 ranking, tying with Northwestern University and Stanford University.

“These rankings again show the Virginia Tech College of Engineering’s reputation as a top choice for aspiring engineers, not just for students from the United States, but the world over,” said Richard C. Benson, dean of the College of Engineering. “Our undergraduate students have access to one of the best hands-on, minds-on educations available anywhere, with abundant opportunities to work in the Joseph F. Ware Jr. Advanced Engineering Laboratory or the newly opened Advanced Product Prototyping Laboratory in Engineering Design, to educational opportunities abroad, such as the International Research Experience for Students program, a partnership we hold with the University of Nottingham in England.”

Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business earns accolades, ranking No. 27 among public universities and No. 43 among national institutions.

To build the engineering and business program rankings, U.S. News uses a peer assessment, surveying deans and senior faculty at accredited programs.

New this year, Virginia Tech makes the lists for “Best Colleges for Veterans” and a “High School Counselors’ Top Picks.”

In recognition of military-friendly certifications, policies, and programs, the university ranks No. 20 among public institutions and No. 58 among all institutions for military veterans and active-duty service members. U.S. News ranks schools that are certified for the GI Bill and participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program or a public school that charges in-state tuition to all out-of-state veterans.

Virginia Tech has consistently been rated a military-friendly school by Victory Media. In 2010, student veterans formed the university's first student veterans organization, Veterans@VT. To better serve veterans and their dependents, the university created the Office of Veterans Services, which operates in collaboration with the University Registrar and Student Success Center to process educational benefits and connect students to resources on campus. A group of Virginia Tech employees have formed the university’s first Veterans Caucus, with a goal of advocating for both employee and student veterans.

U.S. News surveyed high school counselors from more than 2,200 schools in 49 states and the District of Columbia. Among national universities, Virginia Tech came in at No. 12 among public institutions and No. 46 among all national universities.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

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