The University of Utah’s College of Engineering, the state’s premier engineering school, is also becoming one of the country’s top engineering institutions.
The College’s graduate school was ranked 51st out of more than 215 Ph.D.-granting American colleges, according to the new 2017 U.S. News & World Report‘s “Best Graduate Schools” survey, released Wednesday, March 16. That is up from 56th place the year before and is the College’s highest ranking. This is the fourth-largest improvement by any engineering college in rankings this year and the sixth-largest improvement since 2010.
“We are pleased to see the College of Engineering’s growth in quality, size and research impact being recognized in the U.S. News rankings,” said Richard B. Brown, dean of the U’s College of Engineering. “The College provides premier engineering and computer science graduates to Utah’s high tech industry and is efficient at translating research results into commercial products, having spun out 53 startup companies since 2006.”
The rankings are based on a number of factors including assessments by other engineering deans as well as company recruiters, graduate entrance exams, acceptance rates, faculty resources, student-faculty ratio, and research activity and expenditures.
The U’s undergraduate engineering program also has been steadily moving up in the national rankings and was listed 56th last year among accredited colleges that offer a doctorate degree, up from 64th in 2010, according to U.S. News and World Report’s annual “America’s Best Colleges” survey.
The U’s College of Engineering is the state’s preeminent research institution for engineers and computer scientists and is made up of seven departments and six multi-disciplinary academic programs. It also is the home of 28 research centers and institutes, including the newest addition of the University of Utah Robotics Center.
Since 2002, the College has experienced tremendous growth to meet the rising need for engineers and computer scientists in Utah. In that time, the amount of research expenditures has more than tripled to $80.4 million in 2015. The number of tenured faculty has increased 69 percent. And the number of degrees awarded to students has more than doubled to 877 graduates in 2015.
That growth will continue thanks to $1.8 million in ongoing funds and $500,000 in one-time funds allocated during the 2015 Utah Legislature. The College will use that money for more faculty, academic advisors and for laboratory improvements.