This story was written by Rich Barlow and originally published by BU Today.
The University shares that spot with five peer institutions, two of them—Brandeis and Northeastern—also in Massachusetts. The other three are Case Western Reserve University, the College of William & Mary, and Tulane University.
BU also moved up one notch in the magazine’s ranking of Most Innovative Schools, tying at number 27 with the University of Pennsylvania, Rice University, and UCLA. These are institutions that in the opinion of presidents, provosts, and admissions deans surveyed by U.S. News “are making the most innovative improvements in terms of curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology, or facilities,” the magazine says.
“We are thrilled to see our progress reflected in this year’s numbers,” says Jean Morrison, University provost and chief academic officer. “The climate among global research institutions grows more competitive each year, and how BU measures up is a reflection of our daily ability to evolve, innovate, and reinvent, to reach across disciplinary boundaries and produce practical new solutions to societal challenges.
“This year’s rankings,” she says, “are at once a testament to the advances we continue to make as a community and to our talented faculty, who each day bring out the very best in our students and researchers. They are also a motivator for us to continue improving and driving forward.”
The magazine ranked 388 national universities, defined as institutions offering a “full range of undergraduate majors” as well as master’s and doctoral programs. Many, including BU, are research institutions. U.S. News says its rankings are based on factors such as expert opinion about each university from presidents, provosts, and admissions deans; quality of instruction, including student-faculty ratios and faculty with the highest degrees in their fields; student quality; financial resources; alumni giving; graduation rates, including among low-income students; and first-year student retention.
Princeton and Harvard clocked in at first and second place, respectively, for best National Universities, with a three-way tie for third: Columbia, MIT, and Yale.
“BU created one of the first study abroad programs, and currently sponsors more than 90 international programs,” U.S. News writes, while praising such “highly ranked graduate schools” as the School of Law, the Questrom School of Business, the School of Medicine, the College of Engineering, and Wheelock College of Education & Human Development. MED “is the nation’s first combined cancer research and teaching laboratory,” the magazine writes. Topping the U.S. News Most Innovative list are Arizona State, at number one, Georgia State, at two, and MIT listed third.