UW-Madison ranked 13th best public college by U.S. News & World Report

September 9, 2014 By Käri Knutson

The University of Wisconsin–Madison is 13th among public institutions in U.S. News & World Report’s latest college rankings.

The rankings, released today, include more than 280 national doctoral universities. Overall, UW–Madison ranks 47th. Last year, UW–Madison ranked 11th and 41st respectively. The rankings will be included in the 2015 edition of America’s Best Colleges.

“We are proud to be recognized as a leader in higher education, especially among public colleges,” Vice Chancellor for University Relations Vince Sweeney says. “UW-Madison has a long history of offering undergraduates a quality education and experience. Rankings are but one measure of what makes an institution great, but it’s always an honor to be included in a tool that so many students and families use to aid in their decision about which college to attend.”

The methodology used to produce the 2015 rankings was the same as last year’s. Criteria used include retention/graduation rates, academic reputation and faculty resources. Sweeney notes that this set of U.S. News rankings focuses on undergraduate education without weighting any research activities in which UW–Madison excels.

The report also evaluated undergraduate engineering and business programs. The College of Engineering ranks 14th overall in a five-way tie and seventh among public doctoral-granting institutions. Last year, it tied for 13th overall and placed seventh among public doctoral-granting institutions. The chemical engineering program is ranked fifth overall and third among public institutions. The engineering rankings are based solely on the judgments of deans and senior faculty.

The undergraduate program at the Wisconsin School of Business is tied for 15th overall and is tied for sixth among public doctoral-granting institutions, up from 18th and seventh last year. The insurance/risk management program is ranked third overall and second among public universities while the real estate program is ranked first among public institutions for the second year in a row and second overall. The business school rankings are also based solely on the judgments of business deans and senior faculty.

UW’s residential learning communities were singled out for praise from the rankings in a section called “Programs to look for” evaluated by peers.