Tech Maintains National Profile in U.S. News Undergraduate Rankings
Posted August 22, 2003 | Atlanta
For the fifth year in a row, Georgia Tech was ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 10 public universities in the nation. Tech was ranked ninth among the nation's top public universities and 37th among all of the nation's universities, up one slot from last year.
"Year to year fluctuations in these rankings sell magazines, but it's the consistency of performance over the years that measures academic quality," said President Wayne Clough. "I'm pleased to see that with increasing enrollments and decreasing budgets we continue to be ranked among the elite in American higher education. It's a credit to our students, our faculty, our staff, our alumni and friends."
Georgia Tech's peer assessment, the school's perceived quality among other universities, was high enough to be ranked among the top 20 of all universities in the nation. However numerical scores in faculty resources, percentage of classes under 20, and graduation rates, pulled Tech down. Among the top 50 universities in the nation, Tech ranked 65th in faculty resources, and 69th in retention and graduation rates. Further, Tech had fewer than half the number of classes with fewer than 20 students.
"While we can't place too much emphasis on these data, some patterns are readily discernible. Class size, faculty resources, and undergraduate support are clear areas of emphasis. Unfortunately, our current budget situation, combined with increasing demand for a Georgia Tech education, will make it difficult to make notable progress in those areas. One counter to that problem, however, is the generosity of our alumni," said Clough. Our alumni giving rate is first among all public universities and 18th overall. That is a very strong endorsement by our alumni as to the value of their education. We sincerely appreciate that investment from them."
Georgia Tech's nationally prominent College of Engineering moved into the top five nationally (Tech's graduate engineering program is also ranked fifth) as did three programs within the College. Most prominent among those programs was the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, again ranked number one; Aerospace again ranked number two, and Civil Engineering moved down one to fourth. The DuPree College of Management ranked 36th in the competitive business school rankings. U.S. News also sited Tech's Co-Op Program, the largest volunteer co-op program in the country, as a "Program to look for".
"It is another very solid showing," said Tech President Wayne Clough, "You shouldn't place too much emphasis on these or any other rankings. But I'm pleased by our national reputation and the consistency of our performance over the last five years. We're consistently ranked among the nation's elite public universities and our College of Engineering and its programs continue their national prominence. For our School of Industrial and Systems Engineering to rank number one in the entire nation year, after year, after year, is truly impressive. I also think that we're taking all of the right steps to allow our College of Management to flourish," said Clough, "not the least of which is their move into the impressive Technology Square complex. That move will not only improve their ability to deliver high quality academic content, but it will dramatically improve their ability to partner with other universities and the private sector to the benefit of our students. It's also very satisfying to see our Co-Op Program continue to receive national recognition. It is a program," said Clough, "that really benefits our students and their careers and this type of recognition can only help."
Georgia Tech scored particularly well in the areas of academic reputation (tied with Emory and Vanderbilt) SAT scores of incoming students (2nd among public universities), percentage of full-time faculty on staff (99%), and alumni giving rate (1st among public universities). Areas of improvement include faculty resources (65th) graduation and retention rate (69%), and class sizes.
"We've shown dramatic improvement in our faculty resources, thanks to an impressive research program that has allowed us to re-invest in the Institute. But we still have to make a concerted effort to improve our retention and graduation rates, always a challenge at a technological research university. But we've accomplished a great deal on resources that pale in comparison to many of our peers. That's a credit to our faculty, staff, and students."
This year's U.S. News undergraduate rankings included:
--Best National Universities
--Best Engineering & Business Schools
--Schools with a Specialty
--Campus Diversity/International Students
--Programs to look for