AUBURN – Auburn University is ranked 38th among public universities nationwide, up from 39th last year, according to an annual survey released by U.S. News & World Report today. The ranking marks the 18th consecutive year the magazine has ranked Auburn among the nation’s top 50 public universities.
Auburn ranked 85th nationally among both public and private schools, up from 88th in 2009. Its College of Business undergraduate program ranked 24th among public schools and 42nd in the nation, up from 57th. The undergraduate program of Auburn’s Samuel Ginn College of Engineering ranked 56th nationally overall, up from 64th last year, and 32nd among public universities that offer doctoral programs in engineering.
Among land-grant institutions, Auburn ranked 19th in the nation. Auburn is also included in the magazine’s list of A-Plus Schools for B Students, which identifies schools that admit solidly prepared high-school students and do a good job of helping them advance toward their educational goals.
Rankings of other programs are released at various times during the year by U.S. News & World Report.
“The U.S. News ratings are based on indicators that some prospective college students may value, such as general reputation or selectivity,” said Drew Clark, director of Auburn’s Office of Institutional Research and Assessment. “But Auburn also uses assessments that provide direct information on equally important indicators of quality, such as how much students are actually learning and what kind of college experience they have.”
To establish its rankings U.S. News categorizes colleges and universities primarily by mission and, in some cases, region. The magazine then gathers data from each on up to 16 indicators of academic excellence, assigning each factor a weight that reflects the magazine’s judgment about how much each measure matters.
The indicators the magazine staff uses to capture academic quality fall into seven categories: academic reputation among its peers, retention of students, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, alumni giving, and (for national universities and liberal arts colleges) the graduation rate performance, or the difference between the proportion of students expected to graduate and the proportion who actually do.
Highlights of the rankings will be published in the September issue of U.S. News & World Report, available on newsstands Aug. 31. The 2011 Best Colleges guidebook will be on newsstands Aug. 24.