Virginia Tech ranks 69th among the 100 best universities in the "U.S. News and World Report's" survey of undergraduate programs – "America's Best Colleges 2011" -- released today. 

This marks an advancement of two places from 71st, where the university remained from 2008 to 2010.

The university ties Northeastern University and the University of Connecticut on the overall list, released annually. Virginia Tech also retains its spot among the top 30 public universities in the nation, one of three institutions to do so in Virginia. As part of a new listing, “U.S. News” polled high school counselors from across the nation on their ranking of best American colleges, and Virginia Tech ranked 42 in the poll.

The College of Engineering ranks at No. 13 among the nation’s top 20 U.S. engineering schools, a move up from last year’s placement at No. 14. The Pamplin College of Business again ranked No. 42 among the top 50 business schools.

Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering traditionally is rated as one of the top 20 U.S. undergraduate engineering schools that offer doctorate degrees. The college tied with the undergraduate programs at Northwestern University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. This again places Virginia Tech among the highest percent of more than 600 institutions accredited by the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology. Among public universities, the College of Engineering ranks seventh.

In engineering specialty programs, Virginia Tech’s Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering program ranks fourth in the nation for industrial/manufacturing engineering; the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics program ranks fifth for engineering science and 17th for materials engineering; aerospace and ocean engineering ranks 11th; the Charles E. Via Jr. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering civil program ranks 11th, while environmental segment ranks ninth; mechanical engineering ranks 13th; and electrical and computer engineering ranks 15th. The biological systems engineering department, shared with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, ranked eighth in the nation among biological/agricultural programs.

Among undergraduate business programs, the Pamplin College of Business is ranked No. 42 overall, along with 15 other schools, and No. 10 among those at public universities. The college’s overall ranking again keeps it among the top 10 percent of the 524 U.S. business schools with undergraduate programs accredited by AACSB International, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

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.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

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