Virginia Tech ranks 72nd among the nation’s best universities in the U.S. News and World Report’s survey of undergraduate programs – “America’s Best Colleges 2013” -- released today. The university’s College of Engineering ranks 16th in the United States, and its Pamplin College of Business ranks 40th.

Overall, Virginia Tech again ranks 28 among the Top 30 public national universities as it did in 2012, one of three institutions to do so in Virginia, with the University of Virginia at No. 3 and College of William & Mary at No. 6. Other than California, Virginia is the only state with three or more schools in the Top 30 Public Universities. At No. 72 overall, the university ties with Michigan State University and University of Iowa.

The university also ranks among 33 universities named as having outstanding “undergraduate research and creative project” programs for undergraduate students, specifically targeting freshmen. The ranking was listed alphabetically, rather than listed in numerical point order elsewhere in the 2013 poll.

As part of Virginia Tech’s strategic effort to enhance undergraduate education, the Office of Undergraduate Research was established in 2011. This office provides university-wide research, creative and discovery opportunities for students by collaborating with colleges, departments, and the research institutes. In addition, external grants provide prospects for specialized programs such as Scieneering and Summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates.

“Through innovative faculty, curricula, and interdisciplinary programs that touch on all aspects of the undergraduate experience, the university is nurturing its reputation for providing a community that promotes excellence in student learning and engagement,” said Daniel Wubah, vice president for undergraduate education and deputy provost. “Our students have a wealth of resources to help them thrive during their time here, preparing them to be leaders in their professional field and communities when they graduate.”

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 ties at 16th in the nation with Pennsylvania State University, Rice University, and Texas A&M University. Among public universities, the College of Engineering ranks sixth, again tying with fellow public institutions Penn State and Texas A&M.

The College of Engineering’s Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics ranks 5th in the nation, tying with Stanford University. Other notable placements: The Charles E. Via Jr. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering's two programs rank ninth, civil, and 12th, environmental. The Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering ranks 10th, with the Department of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering ranking 13th for its aerospace program; the Department of Mechanical Engineering at 15th; and the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at 17th.

The Pamplin College of Business ascends to 40th overall and 24th among the public schools in the 2013 rankings from 46th overall and 26th among public institutions in the 2012 poll. The overall ranking, shared with six schools, puts the college in the top 10 percent of the 445 U.S. undergraduate business 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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