St. Thomas has maintained a stable position in the “Best Colleges” rankings published by U.S. News & World Report, and the undergraduate engineering and business programs moved up in their rankings.

The university ranks No. 118 among 310 schools in the National Universities category, compared with No. 115 last year and No. 113 in 2014. St. Thomas’ rankings the previous five years were No. 112, 113, 115, 124 and 137.

The undergraduate engineering program ranks No. 35 among 198 schools that offer bachelor’s and master’s degrees but not doctorates – an increase from No. 46 last year and just one place lower than the No. 34 ranking in 2014. The ranking is based solely on surveys of deans and senior faculty at schools with accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.

The Opus College of Business undergraduate program ranks No. 150 among 488 programs accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The survey also is based solely on peer assessment. St. Thomas ranked No. 156 last year and No. 155 in 2014.

St. Thomas again is listed, in the National Universities category, as an “A+ School for B Students,” meaning that “spirit and hard work could make all of the difference,” U.S. News says. It also ranks St. Thomas No. 78 in the “Best Colleges for Veterans” category.

U.S. News announced the rankings today (Sept. 13). They are published on the magazine’s website and in the “Best Colleges 2017” guidebook, available online now or in print editions in bookstores Oct. 4.

The institutional rankings are based on seven measures: assessment by peers and high school admissions counselors (22.5 percent of overall score), graduation and retention rates (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 (5 percent).

“National Universities” are defined as offering a wide range of undergraduate majors as well as master’s and doctoral degrees. Princeton remains in the top spot, and the University of Minnesota is No. 71. Among Catholic universities in this category, Notre Dame (No. 15), Georgetown (20), Boston College (31), Villanova (50), Fordham (60), Marquette and San Diego (86), St. Louis (96), Loyola Chicago (99), San Francisco (107) and Dayton (111) rank higher than St. Thomas. Seton Hall also is at No. 118. Catholic universities ranked lower than St. Thomas include Catholic, DePaul, Duquesne and St. John’s of New York.

All other Minnesota colleges are ranked in three other institutional categories: 239 National Liberal Arts Colleges, which emphasize undergraduate education and award at least half of their degrees in the arts and sciences; 653 Regional Universities, which provide a full range of undergraduate majors and master’s programs but few, if any, doctoral programs; and 334 Regional Colleges, which focus on undergraduate education but grant less than half of their degrees in the arts and sciences.

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