Specialty schools: Looking for a school that specializes in textile arts or instrumental music? Colleges and universities that offer most or all of their degrees in fine arts, performing arts, business, and engineering are listed in this category. None of these schools are ranked, but pertinent data for each school are provided. There is a total of 80 specialty colleges.
Specialty rankings: U.S. News does rank certain undergraduate program areas. Undergraduate business and undergraduate engineering programs were ranked based solely on a peer assessment survey sent in the spring of 2012. To appear on the undergraduate business survey, a school must have an undergraduate business program accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. To appear on an undergraduate engineering survey, a school must have an undergraduate engineering program accredited by the ABET, formerly known as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.
Accredited undergraduate engineering programs were then split into two groups: those schools whose highest engineering degree offered at the engineering school is a doctorate and those engineering schools whose highest engineering degree offered is a bachelor's or master's. Those schools that offer a doctoral degree in engineering tend to have more of a focus on and opportunities for research. Schools whose highest engineering degree is a bachelor's or master's tend to be more focused on undergraduate education.
U.S. News categories: The 1,607 regionally accredited schools were divided into categories based on the Basic Classifications revised in 2010 by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. This chart below can be used to determine how the Carnegie Foundation's Basic Classification maps into the U.S. News categories used in the 2013 edition of the Best Colleges rankings:
|Carnegie category||U.S. News category|
|Research Universities (very high research activity), Research Universities (high research activity), and Doctoral/Research Universities||National Universities|
|Master's Colleges and Universities (larger programs), Master's Colleges and Universities (medium programs), and Master's Colleges and Universities (smaller programs)||Regional Universities: North, South, Midwest, and West|
|Baccalaureate Colleges–Arts and Sciences||National Liberal Arts Colleges|
|Baccalaureate Colleges-Diverse; Baccalaureate/Associate Colleges; Associate's–Public 4-year, Primarily Associate's; Associate's–Private Not-for-profit 4-year, Primarily Associate's; and Associate's–Private For-profit 4-year, Primarily Associate's||Regional Colleges: North, South, Midwest, and West|
|Category||Total Number of Schools||Total Number of Private Schools||Total Number of Public Schools||Total Number of Proprietary Schools||Number in Category That Were Unranked|
|1. National Liberal Arts Colleges||251||223||27||1||11|
|2. National Universities||281||101||173||7||11|
|3. Regional Universities–South||134||60||72||2||6|
|4. Regional Universities–North||193||121||70||2||12|
|5. Regional Universities–West||139||71||65||3||18|
|6. Regional Universities–Midwest||159||98||56||5||10|
|7. Regional Colleges–South||121||88||29||4||14|
|8. Regional Colleges–North||73||45||21||7||12|
|9. Regional Colleges–West||67||37||28||2||32|
|10. Regional Colleges–Midwest||109||88||17||4||10|
|Regional Universities (total)||625||350||263||12||46|
|Regional Colleges (total)||370||258||95||17||68|