University Rankings

Rankings are always fun, they generate lots of controversy, and sometimes they are even useful. Matt Briggs complied a set of college rankings that are all very different.

There is a set by the Wall Street Journal about which schools recruiters use to reliably fill certain positions. There are a lot of big state schools here, and a lot of technical schools. There is quite a bit of overlap with my own college rankings based on annualized rate of return.

Here is the WSJ list with my rankings in brackets. That that did not appear on my list have no entry in brackets.

  1. Penn State
  2. Texas A&M
  3. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  4. Purdue
  5. Arizona State University
  6. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor [8]
  7. Georgia Tech [1]
  8. University of Maryland, College Park
  9. University of Florida [10]
  10. Carnegie Mellon
  11. Brigham Young University [3]
  12. Virginia Tech [9]
  13. Cornell
  14. UC Berkeley [6]
  15. University of Wisconsin, Madison
  16. UCLA [7]
  17. Texas Tech
  18. North Carolina State University, Raleign
  19. University of Virginia [2]
  20. Rutgers
  21. Notre Dame
  22. MIT
  23. USC
  24. Washington State University
  25. University of North Carolina Chapel Hill [11]

The American Council of Trustees and Alumni rated schools purely on their classical educational competencies, the stuff of which a liberal education used to be composed: composition, literature, foreign language, history, economics, mathematics, science. We see at least three schools with Great Books curricula here, as well as two of the service academies. CCNY stands out because it generated an unusual number of Nobel Laurelates [8] in the Twentieth Century.

  • Baylor University
  • City University of New York - Brooklyn College
  • East Tennessee State University
  • Kennesaw State University
  • Lamar University
  • Midwestern State University
  • St. John's College (MD)
  • St. John's College (NM)
  • Tennessee State University
  • Texas A&M University - College Station
  • Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi
  • Thomas Aquinas College
  • United States Air Force Academy
  • United States Military Academy
  • University of Arkansas - Fayetteville
  • University of Dallas

The final list probably best represents the dominant point of view of the universities themselves, preeminence in research and reputation. It is disproportionately likely that your professors went to these schools, because having a degree from one of institutions places you at the head of the pack for academic positions.

  1. University of Cambridge   
  2. Harvard University   
  3. Yale University   
  4. UCL (University College London)   
  5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)   
  6. University of Oxford   
  7. Imperial College London
  8. University of Chicago   
  9. California Institute of Technology (Caltech)   
  10. Princeton University   
  11. Columbia University   
  12. University of Pennsylvania
  13. Stanford University   
  14. Duke University   
  15. University of Michigan   
  16. Cornell University   
  17. Johns Hopkins University
  18. ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) 
  19. McGill University   
  20. Australian National University (ANU)     
  21. King's College London (KCL)   
  22. University of Edinburgh   
  23. University of Hong Kong (HKU)   
  24. University of Tokyo, The   
  25. Kyoto University
School Name
Georgia Institute of Technology
University of Virginia (UVA)
Brigham Young University (BYU)
Colorado School of Mines
College of William and Mary
University of California, Berkeley
University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA)
University of Michigan
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech)
University of Florida (UF)
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNCH)
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (CalPoly)
Texas A&M University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
California Institute of Technology (CalTech)
University of California, San Diego (UCSD)
University of Delaware
James Madison University (JMU)
Harvard University
Harvey Mudd College
Dartmouth College
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)
Purdue University
Missouri University of Science and Technology