U.S. News & World Report Ranks USF in Speed to Excellence

USF is among the top national universities in exclusive rankings.

By Jacqui Cash
Office of the Provost

TAMPA, Fla. (Aug. 17, 2010) – The University of South Florida is ranked 16th as an ‘Up-and-Comer' among the country's national universities in the 2011 edition of U.S. News & World Report's Best Colleges edition. USF is included in three lists in the new publication of exclusive rankings of more than 1,400 schools. USF ranks in ‘Best National Universities,' ‘Up-and-Comers,' and ‘A-Plus Schools for B Students' lists. The rankings are available today at www.usnews.com/colleges, and will also be published in the September issue of U.S. News & World Report, on newsstands starting Aug. 31.

U.S. News assigns each of the nation's four-year colleges and universities into a group of its peers based on categories created by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. USF is ranked #183 in the National Universities category, which consists of the 262 institutions (164 public and 98 private) that offer a wide range of undergraduate majors as well as master's and doctoral degrees.

USF also is ranked #16 in the 2011 ‘Up-and-Comers' list of National Universities, which is based on nominations by college administrators across the country. Schools were nominated for their reputation of promising and innovative changes to academics, faculty, student life, campus, or facilities.

While students and their families typically look at the U.S. News rankings of Ivy League institutions to see where the elite institutions compare to one another, a sizable number of colleges offer strong academic programs for equally strong students outside the Ivy League. U.S. News lists 84 National Universities. Students come to these colleges with strong academic credentials, such as USF's average high school GPA of 3.83 and average SAT score of 1194 for the Fall 2009 freshman class at the main research campus in Tampa.

“Inclusion in the 2011 U.S. News & World Report rankings and lists is affirmation that USF has made a name for itself among the nation's best public research universities. Our recognition as an ‘up-and-comer' as well as a National University demonstrates our commitment to continually improving the academic quality and learning environment for undergraduate students,” said Ralph Wilcox, provost and executive vice president at USF.

In addition to the overall university rankings, USF's undergraduate engineering programs (at institutions awarding doctorates) are ranked 110th and undergraduate business programs are ranked 159th.

Among the many factors considered in determining the rankings are: peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, alumni giving, and, for National Universities and National Liberal Art Colleges, "graduation rate performance" and high school counselor ratings of colleges. U.S. News has made some significant changes to the 2011 Best Colleges' ranking methodology and presentation. For more details on these changes, go to www.usnews.com/collegemeth.

For more information about Best Colleges, visit www.usnews.com/colleges. To access the Premium Online Edition, go to www.usnews.com/collegestore.

The University of South Florida is one of the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of only 25 public research universities nationwide with very high research activity that is designated as community engaged by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. USF was awarded $394.1 million in research contracts and grants in FY 2009/2010. The university offers 232 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. The USF System has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 47,000 students on institutions/campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.