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US News ranks MIT fifth among national universities

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- MIT ranks fifth among national universities, first in graduate engineering and second in undergraduate business programs, according to the 2002 US News and World Report guidebook, "America's Best Colleges."

US News said the top national universities were Princeton (1), Harvard and Yale (2), Caltech (4), and MIT, Stanford and University of Pennsylvania (5).

In business and engineering specialties, MIT was ranked first more often than any other school--six fields of engineering and five fields of undergraduate business.

In the "best value" rankings, MIT is tied for 8th place (with Dartmouth, University of Missouri-Columbia and University of Virginia). This ranking relates a school's academic quality with the net cost of attendance for a student who receives the average level of financial aid.

"Rankings are certainly a measure of who we are and what we represent, and we all should be delighted by our extraordinary external reputation," said Dean of Engineering Thomas Magnanti. "We should be even more pleased, however, by the wonderful new students and faculty who joined our ranks this past week. They will determine our future--and, a what a remarkable future it appears to be."

About the business school ranking, Richard Schmalensee, dean of the Sloan School, said, "We are gratified that our undergraduate program in Management Science has once again been recognized as one of the best in the nation." MIT Sloan tied for second with University of Michigan-Ann Arbor; University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School was ranked first.

In engineering specialties, MIT ranked first in six areas: aeronautics/astronautics, chemical engineering, computer engineering, electrical/electronic engineering, mechanical and nuclear engineering. MIT ranked fourth in biomedical, environmental/environmental health, and material sciences.

MIT was ranked tops in five business areas: E-commerce (tied with Carnegie Mellon), management information systems, production/operations management, quantitative analysis/methods, and supply chain management/logistics. MIT was No. 3 in both entrepreneurship and management; it was ranked fifth in finance.


The ranking categories, which changed slightly this year, are Best National Universities-Doctoral, Best Liberal Arts Colleges-Bachelor's (National), Best Universities-Master's (Regional), and Best Comprehensive Colleges-Bachelor's (Regional).

The newsstand book, "America's Best Colleges," which contains all of the US News college rankings, went on sale Sept. 6. Many of the rankings and some of the articles from the book will be in the issue of US News & World Report on sale Sept. 10.

The method that US News uses to rank colleges and universities consists of three basic steps. The schools are categorized, US News gathers data from each on up to 16 indicators of academic excellence and each factor is assigned a weight. Finally, the colleges in each category are ranked against their peers, based on their composite weighted score.

Most of the data come from the colleges and is checked for accuracy by US News. This year, 94 percent of the schools returned surveys. The indicators used to capture academic quality fall into seven categories: academic reputation, retention of students, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, alumni giving, and (for national universities--doctoral and liberal arts colleges--bachelor's) "graduation rate performance," the difference between the proportion of students expected to graduate and the proportion who actually do.

The indicators include input measures that reflect a school's student body, its faculty, and its financial resources, and outcome measures that signal how well the institution does its job of educating students.

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