Virginia Tech remains 71st among the 100 best universities in the "U.S. News and World Report’s" survey of undergraduate programs -- "America’s Best Colleges 2010" -- released today. It is the third year in a row that the university has held the spot.

The university also retains its spot among the top 30 public universities in the nation, one of three institutions to do so in Virginia.

The College of Engineering retains its spot in the top 20 engineering schools at No. 14, while the Pamplin College of Business is ranked No. 42 among the top 50 business schools.

The Virginia Tech College of Engineering traditionally is rated as one of the top 20 undergraduate engineering schools in the United States that offer doctorate degrees. As in the past two years, the college tied at No. 14 with the undergraduate programs at Johns Hopkins University and Northwestern University. This places the three schools among the top 3 percent of more than 600 institutions accredited by the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology. Among public universities, the college ranks seventh.

Among overall industrial/manufacturing engineering programs, Virginia Tech ranks fifth in the nation. The college’s aerospace program and civil engineering department each ranked 10th in the nation. The mechanical engineering department and electrical and computer engineering department each ranked 14th in their respective categories. Rounding out the rankings, the materials science and engineering department placed 15th, the environmental track ranked 16th, and chemical engineering placed 23rd in the nation.

“We are proud of the high standings we have in the eyes of other American engineering colleges,” said Richard C. Benson, dean of the College of Engineering and the Paul and Dorothea Torgersen Chair of Engineering. “This once again shows our strong reputation as a college with extraordinary undergraduate students, educated by innovative faculty members who are completing groundbreaking research.”

Among undergraduate business programs, the Pamplin College of Business is ranked No. 42 overall, along with five other schools, and No. 24 among those at public universities.

Pamplin’s overall ranking 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 business rankings are solely based on a survey of deans and senior faculty at schools accredited by the association.

“We are delighted to continue to be among the best business schools in the country,” said Pamplin dean Richard E. Sorensen. “We will continue to enhance the high quality of our programs to give our students an even better Pamplin education than before.”

The college places a particular emphasis on developing leadership skills and ethical values and preparing students for culturally diverse workplaces, at home or abroad. Student-run projects, such as the SEED and BASIS investment funds and the Online Business Guidebook, and faculty-led study-abroad programs are among the many educational opportunities available to Pamplin students.

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.

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