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September 29, 2016

U.S. News ranks Pitt No. 24 again among national public schools

Pitt remained at No. 24 among public schools, but fell to No. 68 — down two places — among national universities overall in the 2017 U.S. News Best Colleges rankings. Pitt shared the No. 68 slot with Brigham Young University.

Rankings are based on: graduation and retention rates (22.5 percent); undergraduate academic reputation (22.5 percent); faculty resources (20 percent); student selectivity (12.5 percent); financial resources (10 percent); graduation rate performance (7.5 percent); and alumni giving rate (5 percent).

Pitt by the numbers

According to the U.S. News rankings, Pitt’s freshman retention rate is 92 percent and its four-year graduation rate is 64 percent.

Nearly 40 percent of classes have fewer than 20 students and another 40 percent of classes have 20-49 students. Twenty percent of classes have 50 students or more.

Pitt’s faculty included 1,748 full-time and 535 part-time faculty members. Ninety-four percent of full-time faculty had a PhD or terminal degree. The University’s student-faculty ratio was 15:1, based on total enrollment of 28,649.

In-state tuition and fees for 2016-17 total $18,618, while out-of-state students pay $29,758. Room and board averages $10,950.

The 2017 best colleges rankings includes 1,812 schools. The rankings make use of the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education’s 2015 update, which moved about 12 percent of the institutions into different categories.

In addition to the changes related to the Carnegie classification update, U.S. News streamlined its class-size ranking indicator. Previously made up of two components (the proportion of classes with fewer than 20 students and the proportion with 50 or more students), it now is a single index.

Class size factors into the faculty resources component of the rankings.

Top public universities

The University of California-Berkeley topped the ranking of 189 public national universities. UCLA and the University of Virginia tied for No. 2, followed by the University of Michigan at No. 4 and University of North Carolina at No. 5.

National universities

Ranking No. 1 among national universities was Princeton, followed by Harvard at No. 2 and the University of Chicago and Yale tied for No. 3. Columbia and Stanford tied for No. 5.

According to the publication, national universities offer a full range of undergraduate majors, plus master’s and doctoral programs, and emphasize faculty research.

Among Pennsylvania institutions in the 2017 best colleges listing, Penn ranked highest, tying for No. 8 with Duke. Carnegie Mellon ranked No. 24, Lehigh ranked No. 44 and Penn State and Villanova tied for No. 50.

Following Pitt at No. 68 was Drexel, ranked No. 96; Temple at No. 118; Duquesne at No. 124; Immaculata at No. 152; Widener at No.183; and Robert Morris at No. 188.

High school counselor rankings

The publication each year surveys a sample of guidance counselors from public high schools in the U.S. News Best High Schools rankings and from the largest private independent schools nationwide to rate which universities offer the best undergraduate education. The 2017 reputation score was computed by averaging the three most recent years of survey results.

Pitt ranked No. 83 in high school counselor rankings, tied with 14 other schools.

Business and engineering programs

The University moved up one slot from the 2016 rankings for undergraduate business and engineering programs.

In the 2017 rankings, Pitt tied for No. 38 in undergraduate business programs with Boston University, Case Western Reserve, George Washington and Wake Forest.

Pitt tied for No. 50 in undergraduate engineering programs among schools where the highest engineering degree offered is a doctorate. Sharing the No. 50 slot were Michigan State and the University of Arizona.

The 2017 U.S. News Best Colleges rankings are posted at

—Kimberly K. Barlow 

Filed under: Feature,Volume 49 Issue 3

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