U.S. News rankings place the Institute at No. 33

Tech rose in rankings in the U.S. News & World Report list this year for many fields. The Institute now ranks at No. 33 among 439 universities and No. 10 among all public institutions. // Photo by Alex Dubé Student Publications

The U.S. News & World Report rankings for 2024 just placed the Institute at No. 33 in their list pertaining to national universities. Aside from the overall rankings, Tech was also well-placed within several subcategories, especially those for engineering and computer science. Specifically, Tech ranked within the top 10 public universities in the U.S., and its engineering program ranked as No. 1 amongst all public universities, with aerospace, mechanical, civil and chemical engineering sweeping the top spots in this pool. Within the overall combination of private and public universities, the Institute’s engineering program ranked at No. 3, and several concentrations like industrial engineering and biomedical engineering were able to secure the coveted top spots. 

Aside from engineering, five programs from the Scheller College of Business ranked in the top 10 in the country, and the Institute placed at the No. 6 spot for computer science in the nation. For the first time in Institute history, Tech’s economics and psychology programs were also included in the rankings. Aside from academics, Tech was ranked at No. 4 for co-ops/internships, No. 5 for most innovative schools and No. 7 in undergraduate research/creative projects. 

In an update posted to LinkedIn, President Ángel Cabrera wrote, “It’s great to see the work of my amazing colleagues recognized!! Still, students and parents should check multiple sources (different rankings measure different things) and do their own assessment based on what matters to them[.]”

Authored by Robert Morse and Eric Brooks, the article “How U.S. News Calculated the 2024 Best Colleges Ranking,” provides insight into the ranking system’s methodology. U.S. News & World Report notably eliminated five historically used factors from its system for the 2024 rankings: class size, proportion of an institute’s faculty holding terminal degrees, alumni donation rates, proportion of graduates borrowing and high school class standing. Together, the five eliminated factors constituted 18% of the overall ranking system’s factors. 

Instead, this year’s ranking list was curated by focusing on the representation of different socioeconomic classes within matriculating classes and graduate outcomes amidst other factors. To learn more about eligibility criteria, ranking determination, ranking factors, outcomes, faculty resources and data collection, readers can access the aforementioned information at www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/articles/how-us-news-calculated-the-rankings. 

Speaking to the Technique regarding student sentiment surrounding the new rankings, Rhiana Brownell, fourth-year ENVE, said, “Rankings help students feel proud of Tech, and being recognized for the work being done in different departments is always nice. But most students love Tech for the community and opportunities it offers them. Most of us used to look at rankings in high school to assess different schools, but they only capture a small essence of what a school can actually offer its students.” 

However, not all of the Institute’s programs are ranked, and oftentimes, certain disciplines and majors find themselves in the shadow of larger departments like the College of Engineering and the College of Computing. 

Providing her insight into how non-engineering students view rankings, Sara Bahri, fourth-year BCHM, said, “I don’t think that rankings matter in the sense that college is made for information to be presented to us in an accessible format. You can learn anywhere and from any source, so as long as you apply yourself, the ranking of your college doesn’t really matter much in the long term. I think not being at the top is also a good thing because it creates room for improvement on both an academic and administrative level.” 

Lina Dellomo, fourth-year ME, shared her excitement over Tech’s prominence as a public university, along with the Institute’s reception of the top ranking for her major amongst all public institutions in the country. 

“I was really happy to see my major being ranked so highly. As a fourth-year student, I am searching the job market and it is nice knowing that Tech is so highly ranked for my major because it definitely broadens my opportunities. But rankings also aren’t everything and don’t guarantee success. I think things like your work ethic and commitment to your academics matter much more,” Dellomo said. 

While Tech’s rankings, both nationally and amidst public universities, create cause for celebration, student and administration sentiments confirm that Tech’s impact and value is not wholly tied up in its rankings. Instead, students draw value based partly on the effort they put in. 

National polls and ranking systems, while judicious in their process, may not always represent the full value of a  university due to the sheer number of higher education institutions in the nation. Logistically, different ranking systems value different factors, so rankings can also differ for universities across different polls each year.