Engineering Departments

Virginia Tech breaks into Top 25 best public universities for undergraduates ranked by U.S. News & World Report

Undergraduate engineering students have access to a host of hands-on, minds-on work opportunities in their classes, including working with Chris Williams, right, of engineering education and mechanical engineering, who is the director of DREAMS, or the Design, Research, and Education for Additive Manufacturing Systems, Laboratory.
Blacksburg, VA , September 11, 2013
Virginia Tech College of Engineering

Virginia Tech has moved into the Top 25 public universities as ranked by U.S. News and World Report in its annual survey of undergraduate programs – “America’s Best Colleges 2014." Its College of Engineering ranks 15th overall, a move up from 16th place last year, and sixth among public universities in the United States.

The university’s move to No. 25 for 2014 among public schools is a bump up from the No. 28 position in the 2013 survey released by U.S. News & World Report, released this time last year. Among overall public and private universities, Virginia Tech ranks 69th in the nation, again a move up from No. 72 during the previous survey. Virginia Tech ties with fellow public universities Rutgers State University in New Jersey, Texas A&M University, and University of Minnesota on the survey.

In the latest survey, the College of Engineering again tied with Texas A&M University.

“Aspiring engineers have many choices; they don’t need to come to Virginia Tech. The fact that they want to says everything about the quality of the ‘hands on, minds on’ education that so characterizes this college,” said Richard C. Benson, dean of the Virginia Tech College of Engineering, citing the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings, along with the recent pool of freshmen applications for the 2013-2014 admission pool reaching an all-time high of 7,391, and record levels of research spending across the college.

In engineering department rankings, Virginia Tech again appears in many Top 20 lists, including: the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics and the Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering each at No.8; the Charles E. Via Jr. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering – in separate lists – at 10th for civil and 11th for environmental.

Additional rankings: The biological systems engineering department, also part of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, ranks 11th; the Department of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering and the Department of Mechanical Engineering each at 14th; the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering – in separate lists for electrical engineering and computer engineering -- ranking 15th each; with the Department of Chemical Engineering at 20th.

On the university level, Virginia Tech provost and senior vice president Mark McNamee lauded Virginia Tech’s original land-grant mission.

“Virginia Tech is committed not only to providing access to higher education, but producing graduates who are successful in their field,” he said. “Our retention and graduation rates are strong and, in concert with the university’s new strategic plan, we are continuing to improve our curricula, facilities, research opportunities, programs, and services to give students a rich educational experience. We are enhancing our undergraduate education with a focus on using a ‘hands-on, minds-on’ approach, and undergraduate research, experiential learning, international engagement, interdisciplinary learning, and e-learning all play a critical role in the university’s strategy.”

Virginia Tech is among three public universities in the commonwealth of Virginia to rank among the Top 25, with the University of Virginia tying at No. 2 with the University of California Los Angeles, and College of William & Mary at No. 6. Other than California, Virginia is the only state with three or more schools in the Top 25 Public Universities.

Elsewhere in the university, the Pamplin College of Business ranks 43rd in the nation overall and 26th among all public school programs.

The individual college rankings released by U.S. News & World Report are based solely on peer assessment surveys of deans and senior faculty at accredited business and engineering schools.

U.S. News & World Report bases the overall university rankings, which have been published annually since 1983, on a number of criteria, including peer assessment, retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, graduation rates, and alumni giving.