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U.S. News rankings: UW–Madison rises to 42nd overall, 13th best public college

September 13, 2020 By Käri Knutson

Undergraduate engineering is one of the UW–Madison programs ranked in the top 20 this year. Here, students from the College of Engineering and the School of Human Ecology take part in a 2018 interdisciplinary design studies class in the Grainger Engineering Design Innovation Laboratory, the College of Engineering’s makerspace. Photo: Jeff Miller

The University of Wisconsin–Madison has risen to 42nd in a five-way tie in U.S. News & World Report’s latest college rankings. Last year, UW–Madison was ranked 46th in a two-way tie. The university remains 13th among public universities in a four-way tie.  

 The rankings, released today, include 389 national doctoral universities and are in the 2021 edition of America’s Best Colleges. 

 While rankings are just one of the many factors to consider in choosing a college, we are proud to see the excellence of our students, faculty and staff recognized by U.S. News,” says Chancellor Rebecca Blank. 

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 U.S. News gathers data from and about each school in undergraduate academic reputation, student excellence, faculty resources, expert opinion, financial resources, alumni giving, graduation and retention rates, graduate rate performances, and social mobility. Each indicator is assigned a weight based on U.S. News’ judgments about which measures of quality matter most.

The report also evaluated undergraduate engineering, business, and computer science programs. 

UW–Madison’s undergraduate engineering program ranked 13th overall (6-way tie) and 7th among public doctoral-granting institutions (3-way tie). Ranked programs include chemical engineering, 10th overall, seventh among publics; industrial engineering, 12th overall, 9th among publics; biological/agricultural engineering, 13th overall, 12th among publics; computer engineering, 15th overall, 10th among publics; electrical engineering 16th overall, ninth among publics; environmental engineering, 16th overall, ninth among publics; civil engineering, 16th overall, 11th among publics; materials engineering, 17th overall, 10th among publics; mechanical engineering, 19th overall, 11th among publics; and biomedical engineering, 29th overall, 12th among publics.

UW–Madison’s undergraduate business program ranked 16th overall (3-way tie) and 7th among public universities (2-way tie). The insurance/risk management program was ranked 2nd overall as well as among public universities; real estate, second overall and first among public universities; marketing ninth overall, seventh among publics; accounting, 16th overall, 10th among publics; supply chain management/logistics, 18th overall, 15th among publics; management, 26th overall, 15th among publics; and international business, 27th overall, 17th among publics. UW–Madison’s undergraduate computer science program ranked 16th overall (4-way tie) and 8th (3-way tie) among public universities. Ranked specialties include computer systems, sixth overall, third among publics; programming languages, ninth overall, fourth among publics; data analytics/science, 17th overall, ninth among publics; and theory, 18th overall, eighth among publics.

Other categories include: 

 Best Colleges for Veterans, 21st (2-way tie) and 12th among publics (2-way tie). Institutions included on this list must be certified for the GI Bill, participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program or be a public institution that charges in-state tuition to all out-of-state veterans, must have enrolled a minimum of 20 veterans and active service members in the 2019-20 academic year, and must be ranked in the top half of the institution’s overall U.S. News ranking category.  

Best Value Schools, 14th among publics based on a ratio of quality to price (overall rank divided by net cost), the percentage of undergraduates receiving need-based scholarships or grants, and the percent of a school’s total cost of attendance that was covered by the average need-based scholarship or grant aid.  

 UWMadison is also recognized in an unranked list of schools with the most international students which requires schools to have a minimum of 10 percent of international students. 

 To make valid comparisons, schools are grouped by academic mission into 10 distinct categories. UW–Madison is ranked among national universities, which offer a range of undergraduate majors, plus master’s and doctoral programs, and emphasize faculty research or award professional practice doctorates.

Other categories are national liberal arts colleges, regional universities and regional colleges, which are divided into North, South, West and Midwest and West. Among the top 50 regional universities in the Midwest, UWLa Crosse was tied for 33rd and UWEau Claire tied for 39th.










Tags: rankings