Sept. 16, 2002
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The University of Maryland moved up significantly in the latest U.S. News and World Report rankings in categories that reflect the quality of academic programs as well as the quality of the overall undergraduate experience.
Among all national public universities, Maryland ranks 18th this year in a tie with Georgia, breaking into the top 20 for the first time. Last year Maryland ranked 21st among public universities.
Maryland's undergraduate business and engineering schools continued to rank high, and the university posted among the leaders in three new categories: First-Year Experience, Learning Communities and Service Learning.
The Robert H. Smith School of Business ranked 18th and the A. James Clark School of Engineering ranked 24th nationally. The business school's e-commerce program ranked 4th in the nation.
"These rankings clearly reflect the momentum that Maryland has gathered over the past few years," said Maryland President C.D. Mote Jr. "The improved rankings are a natural consequence of our broadly-based movement into the ranks of the best universities in the country. With the continuing improvement in the competitiveness of our students, programs and faculty, we fully expect this momentum to continue."
Mote said, "These latest U.S. News rankings are no surprise when you remember that just this week the Wall Street Journal ranked the business school 16th in the world and a few weeks ago a Kaplan's survey of high school guidance counselors placed Maryland among the top 10 'hottest' schools in the nation. We are on the move, and everybody sees it." University officials said that preliminary analysis of the U.S. News data indicated that a rise in the academic reputation of the university, as measured by surveys of other universities, and financial resources growing faster than other universities', probably accounted for Maryland's improved ranking.
Officials also were not surprised that Maryland scored well in the new categories of "Programs That Really Work," which reflects surveys of university presidents and other officials about "academic programs that lead to student success."
The number three ranking for learning communities, for example, reflects the university's numerous strong Living-Learning programs, including the Honors Program, College Park Scholars, Civicus, Honors Humanities and others. More than 40 percent of Maryland undergraduate students participate in these programs.
"Our Living-Learning programs are a key reason for the university's success in attracting the very best students and faculty," said Robert Hampton, dean of Undergraduate Studies. "We have carefully designed programs that personalize the academic environment of a large state university and provide quality interactions with faculty for our new students. And community service is a value we instill in all of our students throughout their time at Maryland."
Maryland ranked 12th in the category of First-Year Experiences and 24th in Service Learning.
The University of Maryland currently has at least 65 graduate and undergraduate programs ranked in the top 25 nationally by U.S. News. That number could increase when the magazine publishes expanded rankings on its Web site later this week.
U.S. News and World Report publishes its annual "Guide to Best Colleges" every fall, and its guide to graduate schools in the spring. The new "Guide to Best Colleges is due on newsstands Monday, Sept. 16.