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Methodology: 2015 Best Engineering Schools Rankings

Find out how U.S. News ranks graduate engineering programs. 

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Programs at 212 engineering schools that grant doctoral degrees were surveyed; 193 responded. Data were collected in fall 2013 and early 2014. Rankings for the 193 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.

[See the Best Engineering Schools rankings.]

Quality assessment (weighted by 0.40)

Peer assessment score (0.25): In fall 2013, 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 52 percent of those surveyed responded.

Recruiter assessment score (0.15): In fall 2013, 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." The names surveyed for the recruiter assessment score were provided by the schools themselves. 

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 16 percent of those surveyed responded. For the purpose of calculating this year's rankings, the two most recent years of recruiter survey results were averaged and weighted by 0.15.

Student selectivity (weighted by 0.10)

Mean GRE quantitative scores (0.0675): This is the mean quantitative score of the GRE for master's and doctoral students entering in fall 2013. Scores for the new and old GRE were converted to a common scale for the purposes of the ranking calculations. 

GRE scores are for master's and Ph.D. students. Only GRE scores using the new 130-170 score scale taken during or after August 2011 are displayed on the ranking tables. These GRE data are only available via a U.S. News Engineering School Compass subscription.

Acceptance rate (0.0325): This is the proportion of applicants to the master's and doctoral programs who were offered admission for fall 2013. 

Faculty resources (weighted by 0.25)

Student-faculty ratio: This is the ratio of full-time doctoral students to full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty (0.075) and full-time master's students to full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty (0.0375) in fall 2013.

Percent of faculty in the National Academy of Engineering (0.075): This is the proportion of full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty who were members of the National Academy of Engineering during fall 2013.

Doctoral degrees awarded (0.0625): This is the total number of doctoral degrees granted in the 2012-2013 school year.

Research activity (weighted by 0.25)

Total research expenditures (0.15): This is 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 fiscal years 2012 and 2013. The definition for research expenditures is set by the American Society for Engineering Education.

Average research expenditures per faculty member (0.10): This is the average amount of externally funded engineering research expenditures per full-time faculty member averaged over fiscal years 2012 and 2013.

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: Engineering specialty rankings are based solely on the peer assessments by department heads in each specialty area. The peer assessment surveys for the specialty area rankings were conducted in fall 2013.

Department heads in a specialty area rated the other schools that offered a doctoral degree in the specialty on a five-point scale. Those schools with the highest average scores appear here. The names of department heads and names of their respective engineering schools that grant a doctoral degree in that specific area came from the American Society for Engineering Education.


Corrected on March 11, 2014: An earlier version of this article misstated the number of schools with mechanical engineering programs.