Skip to Navigation
University of Pittsburgh
Print This Page Print this pages

September 11, 2014

Pitt maintains position in U.S. News overall ranking

usNewsPitt held steady at No. 62 among national universities and rose one spot to No. 20 among public national universities in the U.S. News & World Report annual Best Colleges rankings.

The 2015 rankings, which included 1,365 schools, were released Sept. 9.

The University shared the No. 62 spot in a six-way tie with Brigham Young-Provo, Clemson, Purdue-West Lafayette, University of Georgia and University of Maryland-College Park.

Clemson, Purdue-West Lafayette, Georgia and University of Maryland-College Park shared Pitt’s No. 20 spot on the U.S. News public national university ranking.

In last year’s (2014) rankings, Pitt fell four places to No. 62 among national universities (tied with Brigham Young-Provo, Clemson, Syracuse, University of Maryland-College Park and Worcester Polytechnic Institute) and dropped two places to No. 21 among public national universities.

National university rankings

U.S. News’ top 10 national universities were Princeton at No. 1, followed by Harvard then Yale; with Columbia, Stanford and University of Chicago tied at No. 4; MIT at No. 7; Duke and Penn tied at No. 8, and California Institute of Technology at No. 10.

The publication placed the University of California-Berkeley at No. 1 among public national universities, followed by UCLA and University of Virginia at No. 2; University of Michigan-Ann Arbor at No. 4, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill at No. 5, William & Mary at No. 6, Georgia Institute of Technology at No. 7, University of California-San Diego at No. 8, University of California-Davis at No. 9 and University of California-Santa Barbara at No. 10.

The publication defines national universities as offering a full range of undergraduate majors, plus master’s and PhD programs, and emphasizing faculty research.

The publication made no changes in its methodology in this year’s ranking. Rankings were based 22.5 percent on undergraduate academic reputation, as assessed by administrators at peer schools and high school counselors; 22.5 percent on retention, which factors in the six-year graduation rate and freshman retention; 20 percent on faculty resources including class sizes, faculty salary, the proportion of professors with the highest degree in their fields, student-faculty ratio and the proportion of full-time faculty; 12.5 percent on student selectivity; 10 percent on academics- and student services-related spending per student; 7.5 percent on graduation rate performance, and 5 percent on alumni giving.

Pitt’s ranking

Pitt’s average freshman retention rate, based on freshmen who entered from fall 2009 through fall 2012, was 92 percent. Its six-year graduation rate was 80 percent, based on classes that started from fall 2004 to fall 2007.

The University’s 2013 total enrollment was 28,649, down slightly from 28,769 in the prior year.

Of Pitt classes, 41.1 percent had fewer than 20 students. Pitt’s fall 2013 acceptance rate was 54.5 percent. The 25th-75th percentile SAT/ACT scores were 1180-1360.

PA schools ranked among national universities

Eleven Pennsylvania schools were included in the 2015 national universities ranking. Above Pitt were: Penn at No. 8, Carnegie Mellon, tied for No. 25; Lehigh tied for No. 40, and Penn State-University Park, tied for No. 48.

Pennsylvania schools that were below Pitt’s No. 62 ranking were: Drexel at No. 95; Duquesne, tied for No. 116; Temple at No. 121; Immaculata at No. 181, and Widener University, tied for No. 189. Indiana University of Pennsylvania was listed, but its rank was not published.

In addition to Pitt at No. 20 among the U.S. News top public national universities, Penn State tied at No. 14 with the University of Florida and University of Washington, and Temple tied at No. 58 with Colorado State and the University of Arizona.

Undergraduate business and engineering school rankings

The 2015 U.S. News Best Colleges also ranked undergraduate business and engineering programs based on peer assessments conducted in 2014. Business and engineering programs were last ranked in the publication’s 2013 Best Colleges report.

The University’s undergraduate business program tied for No. 39 with Boston University, William & Mary, University of California-Irvine, University of South Carolina and Virginia Tech.

Pitt did not appear in any of the 12 business specialty rankings.

In the 2013 Best Colleges report, Pitt tied for No. 47 in business, with Arkansas, Auburn, Bentley, Connecticut, Missouri, Oregon, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Tennessee.


The U.S. News undergraduate engineering program rankings split schools depending on whether a doctorate is offered. Among programs in schools where a doctorate is offered, Pitt’s undergraduate engineering program ranked No. 51, tied with Auburn, Boston University, Northeastern, Rutgers and University of Arizona.

Among rankings for a dozen engineering specialties, Pitt appeared at No. 19 in biomedical engineering, tied with University of Illinois/Urbana-Champaign and Washington University in St. Louis.

In the 2013 undergraduate engineering rankings, Pitt tied for No. 50 with Rutgers and University of Arizona.

High school counselor rankings

Among national universities, Pitt ranked No. 74 in a sampling of guidance counselors from public schools that appeared in the U.S. News Best High School rankings and from the largest private independent schools. Counselors rated which universities they thought offered the best undergraduate education.

Based on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being highest, Pitt scored 3.9, tied with Auburn, George Mason, Howard, Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis (IUPUI), Marquette, Miami University (Ohio), Michigan State, Michigan Technological University, New School, Southern Methodist, St. Louis, Texas Christian, University of California-Santa Barbara, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Oregon and University of San Diego.


The full list of rankings is at

—Kimberly K. Barlow

Filed under: Feature,Volume 47 Issue 2