Methodology: Best Undergrad Engineering Programs

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The U.S. News rankings of undergraduate engineering programs accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology are based solely on the peer 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 for this ranking in spring 2009.

We have separate rankings for undergraduate engineering programs at colleges that offer doctoral degrees in engineering and for 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. Thirty-eight percent of those surveyed returned ratings of the group whose terminal degree in engineering is a bachelor's or master's; 55 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 ranked in descending order. The rankings of the best engineering programs in a specialty also are based solely on the spring 2009 peer survey. Schools offering any courses in that specialty are eligible to be ranked in that specialty.