UW-Madison: Among top 10 public universities in 2012 U.S. News rankings

CONTACT: Provost Paul DeLuca; contact through Eden Inoway-Ronnie at 608-265-5975 or 608-207-5716

MADISON – The University of Wisconsin-Madison ranked 10th among public institutions in rankings released today (Tuesday, Sept. 13) in U.S. News & World Report’s 2012 Edition of America’s Best Colleges.

UW-Madison also tied for 42nd among 268 national doctoral universities. In 2011, the university ranked 13th among public institutions and tied for 45th among national doctoral universities.

“These rankings are an important national tool used by students and their families when choosing an institution of higher education, and it’s an honor for UW-Madison to be recognized among the nation’s top universities,” says Provost Paul M. DeLuca, Jr. “These rankings especially affirm the quality of the undergraduate experience we offer here. However, they also indicate that improvements could be made.”

The strength of the university’s undergraduate experience was recognized by its peers, who were asked to nominate institutions with strong programs in certain student academic service areas. UW-Madison was again among the top five most mentioned institutions when it comes to learning communities and undergraduate research/creative projects.

The rankings also noted UW-Madison’s undergraduate academic reputation, which takes in to account perceptions from peers and high school guidance counselors. In this category, UW-Madison’s score was 30th highest overall and 7th highest among public institutions.

The methodology used to produce the 2012 rankings was the same as last year’s, which had been a significant shift from how earlier rankings were generated. High school counselors’ ratings were included in the university’s academic reputation score and greater weight was put on graduation rate performance.

Other criteria used included peer assessment, student selectivity, faculty resources, financial resources, graduation and retention rates, and alumni giving.

The report also evaluated undergraduate engineering and business programs, and the results for both areas mirrored those from past years’ rankings.

Engineering programs were judged on nominations from deans and senior faculty. Among doctorate-granting institutions, UW-Madison’s undergraduate engineering program was tied for 13th overall and 7th among public doctoral-granting institutions.

The undergraduate business program was tied for 14th overall and tied for 7th among public doctoral-granting institutions. The real estate and insurance/risk management programs were recognized among the five programs most mentioned by peers. The business school rankings are based on judgments from deans and senior faculty.