Engineering Program Rankings Methodology

How we rank graduate engineering programs.

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Programs at 198 engineering schools that grant doctoral degrees were surveyed; 189 responded. Data were collected in fall 2008 and early 2009. Rankings for 189 schools that provided the data needed were calculated based on a weighted average of the 10 indicators described below. All schools are listed in the online directory.

Quality Assessment (weighted by .40)

Peer Assessment Score (.25) In the fall of 2008, engineering school deans and deans of graduate studies at engineering schools were asked to rate programs on a scale from marginal (1) to outstanding (5). Those individuals who did not know enough about a school to evaluate it fairly were asked to mark "don't know." A school's score is the average of all the respondents who rated it. Responses of "don't know" counted neither for nor against a school. About 55 percent of those surveyed responded.

Recruiter Assessment Score (.15) In the fall of 2008, corporate recruiters and company contacts who hire from previously ranked programs were asked to rate programs on a scale from marginal (1) to outstanding (5). Those individuals who did not know enough about a school to evaluate it fairly were asked to mark "don't know." A school's score is the average of all the respondents who rated it. Responses of "don't know" counted neither for nor against a school. About 28 percent of those surveyed responded. For the purpose of calculating this year's rankings, the two most recent years' recruiters' survey results were averaged and were weighted by .15.

Student Selectivity (weighted by .10)

Mean GRE Quantitative Scores (.0675) The mean quantitative score of the Graduate Record Examination for master's and doctoral students entering in the fall of 2008.

Acceptance Rate (.0325) The proportion of applicants to the master's and doctoral programs who were offered admission for fall 2008.

Faculty Resources (weighted by .25)

Student to Faculty Ratio The ratio of full-time doctoral students to full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty (.075) and full-time master's students to full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty (.0375) in the fall of 2008.

Percent of Faculty in the National Academy of Engineering (.075) The proportion of full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty who were members of the National Academy of Engineering in the fall of 2008.

Doctoral Degrees Awarded (.0625) The total number of doctoral degrees granted in the 2008 school year.

Research Activity (weighted by .25)

Total Research Expenditures (.15) The total externally funded engineering research expenditures. These expenditures refer to separately funded research, public and private, conducted by the school and are averaged over the 2007 and 2008 fiscal years. The definition for research expenditures is set by the American Society for Engineering Education.

Average Research Expenditures Per Faculty Member (.10) The average amount of externally funded engineering research expenditures per full-time faculty member averaged over the 2007 and 2008 fiscal years.

Overall Rank: Data were standardized about their means, and standardized scores were weighted, totaled, and rescaled so that the top-scoring school received 100; others received their percentage of the top score.

Specialty Rankings: These rankings are based solely on assessments by department heads in each specialty area. Department heads in their specialty area rated the other schools that offered a doctoral degree in the specialty on a 5-point scale. Those schools with the highest average scores appear here. Names of department heads and the names of their respective engineering schools that grant a doctoral degree in that specific area came from the American Society for Engineering Education.

Specialty rankings were out of 55 schools with aerospace/aeronautical/astronautical engineering; 89 schools with bioengineering/biomedical engineering; 125 with chemical engineering; 143 with civil engineering; 142 with computer engineering; 170 with electrical/electronic/communications engineering; 94 with environmental/environmental health engineering; 73 with industrial manufacturing engineering; 90 with materials engineering; 164 with mechanical engineering; 25 with nuclear engineering; 26 with petroleum engineering.