Methodology: Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs

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The U.S. News rankings of undergraduate programs accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology are based solely on the judgments of deans and senior faculty who rated each program they are familiar with on a scale from 1 (marginal) to 5 (distinguished). Engineering school deans and faculty members (two at each engineering program) were surveyed in spring 2008.

We have separate rankings for undergraduate engineering programs at colleges that offer doctoral degrees in engineering and at engineering programs at colleges whose terminal degree in engineering is a bachelor's or master's. Research at the graduate level often influences the undergraduate curriculum, and schools with doctoral programs in engineering tend to have the widest possible range of offerings. Students who prefer a program focused on undergraduates can consult the list of top programs at schools whose terminal degree is the bachelor's or master's. Forty-three percent of those surveyed returned ratings of the group whose terminal degree in engineering is a bachelor's or master's; 56 percent did so for the doctoral group.

We also asked for nominations of the best engineering programs in specialty areas; those receiving the most mentions in each appear here. Schools offering any courses in that specialty are eligible to be ranked in that specialty.