Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering ranks 21st among the nation’s best engineering schools for graduate studies, according to U.S. News and World Report’s America’s Best Graduate Schools 2015 survey released today. The ranking is a move up three places from 24th where the college stood for three consecutive years.

Ranked among public universities, the College of Engineering’s graduate program – which has more than 2,000 students -- ranks 10th in the nation. It is the highest-ranked engineering school in Virginia.

“The Virginia Tech College of Engineering continues to thrive because of our hands-on, minds-on philosophy of education, an approach made possible by the immense talent of our faculty members, who guide and work closely with our graduate students,” said Richard C. Benson, dean of the College of Engineering.

“Through our research, we address some of the nation’s most vital engineering challenges, from energy production and distribution, to cybersecurity, to ‘big data,’ to civil infrastructure, to environmental health, to the safety of our soldiers,” added Benson. “We have a newly-approved graduate program in nuclear engineering, and I expect that we will soon have a new program in natural gas engineering in place. There are ample reasons for graduate students to seek to further their education in Virginia Tech’s outstanding College of Engineering.”

In the 2015 rankings, U.S. News gives high marks to several College of Engineering’s programs and departments, including the Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at eighth for industrial/ manufacturing programs, the Charles E. Via Jr. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering’s civil engineering program ranking 10th and the environmental portion ranking eighth, and the biological systems engineering department, also part of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, ranking eighth among biological/agricultural programs.

Other ranked engineering programs include: aerospace engineering and mechanical engineering each at 17th, the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at 22, and the School of Biomedical and Engineering Science at 34, a continuing move upward from 53 just five years ago. The Department of Computer Science ranks 40th in the nation, a move up from 43rd in previous years.

Elsewhere in the university, the College of Science’s Department of Chemistry ranks at 60th in the nation, while its earth sciences program ranks 30th.

The School of Education, part of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, moves up to the rank of 83 in the nation, from 100 where it hovered for several years. In its new ranking, the School of Education ties with Brigham-Young University and the University of Alabama. The school’s Career and Technical Education program again ranks fourth in the nation, under the listing of Technical/Vocational Programs.

Not all data on college, department, and program rankings is new. For instance, rankings of the College of Engineering are new, with data collected in 2014. However, some data is older. Briefly, the rankings for the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech -- 17th in the nation – is based on data from 2011, while the university’s public affairs program in the School of Public and International Affairs, part of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, ranks 37th in the nation, using data first published in 2012.

U.S. News and World Report’s graduate rankings of colleges, published annually since 1987, are based on several categories of data gathered from the surveyed schools, plus peer assessments by deans, senior faculty, and other professionals in their respective fields. Rankings of the specialty programs are based solely on peer assessments.

The annual survey is intended to provide prospective students with information about the nation’s top graduate schools and programs of study. 

View the U.S. News and World Report survey online.

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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