US News Rankings recognize Duke

December 1, 2001

Duke University moved into a tie for fourth in U.S. News & World Report magazine's latest annual ratings of national universities that offer doctoral degrees. The Pratt School of Engineering was ranked 24th, in a tie with the University of Maryland and the University of California - San Diego. Last year, the Pratt School of Engineering was in a three-way tie for 26th.

When ranking specialities, the Pratt School's undergraduate biomedical engineering program was ranked second among schools whose highest degree is a doctorate. Johns Hopkins was ranked first in that area.

The magazine listed Princeton as No. 1, followed by Harvard and Yale in a tie for second - the same rankings as last year. Duke was tied for fourth with CalTech, MIT, Stanford and the University of Pennsylvania. Dartmouth was ranked ninth and Columbia and Northwestern were tied for 10th.

Last year, Duke was ranked eighth.

The magazine also ranked Duke 13th in a list of national universities that are "great schools at great prices" and cited Duke's program for first-year students, writing program and study-abroad program as "programs that really work."

"We are pleased to learn that the quality of the undergraduate experience that Duke students receive has once again been ranked by U.S. News & World Report's annual survey as being among the very best in the nation," said Duke Provost Peter Lange. "It is gratifying to have the exceptional quality of our faculty, programs, and students so recognized.

"As much as we appreciate Duke's high ranking, we continue to believe that magazine surveys should not be the basis on which students and their families determine where to go to college. Virtually every year the magazines' criteria change and schools move up or down a position or two. As we consistently have said following publication of these rankings, students should use these magazine surveys as but one component in their decision about where to attend college. Since we believe the undergraduate educational experience our students enjoy is among the best that can be found anywhere we anticipate that Duke will continue to be the first choice of many of the nation's most outstanding students."

Other North Carolina universities that were ranked included Wake Forest, tied for 25th, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, tied for 28th. UNC was ranked fifth among public universities that offer doctoral degrees; North Carolina State was ranked in a tie for 41st in this category.

The magazine said it based its university rankings on seven key indicators:

  • Peer assessment, as rated by presidents, provosts and deans of admissions.
  • Graduation and retention rates counted for 20 percent.
  • Faculty resources also was given a 20 percent weighting.
  • Student selectivity received 15 percent. This factors in SAT or ACT test scores, student high school rankings, the acceptance rate and the yield.
  • Financial resources were given a 10 percent weight. This is based on per-student spending.
  • Graduation rate performance.
  • Alumni giving rate.

For additional information, go to