Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs Methodology

These engineering program rankings are based solely on the peer judgments of deans and senior faculty.

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The U.S. News rankings of the undergraduate engineering programs accredited by ABET, formerly known as 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 were surveyed in spring 2013 for this ranking. Two surveys were sent to each ABET-accredited engineering program.

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 engineering 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 engineering degree is the bachelor's or master's. Thirty-four 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 those same respondents for nominations of the 10 best engineering programs in specialty engineering areas as civil, chemical, mechanical and electrical; those receiving the most mentions in each appear on the site ranked in descending order as long as the school/program received seven or more nominations in that specialty area. This means that schools ranked at the bottom of each specialty ranking have received seven or more nominations.

The rankings of the best engineering programs in a specialty also are based solely on the same spring 2013 peer survey. Schools offering any courses in that specialty are eligible to be ranked in that specialty area. The specialty rankings were not based on whether an engineering program has specific undergraduate-level ABET accreditation in that specialty area.

The peer assessment surveys were conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs.

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