For the fourth year in a row, Cornell's applied and engineering physics program has been ranked No. 1 among its peers, according to U.S. News and World Report's 2009 college rankings, released online today (Aug. 22). The undergraduate engineering program as a whole was ranked eighth in the nation.
Cornell was also cited in the "Programs to Look For" portion of the rankings, receiving a mention for "Writing in the Disciplines," a category that highlights schools that make writing a priority at all levels of instruction. Also among national universities, Cornell was ranked fourth in economic diversity, measured by the percentage of undergraduates receiving Pell Grants. And Cornell was tied for fifth place nationally in an additional U.S. News ranking based on high school guidance counselors' assessments of the universities they think offer the best education to their students.
Overall, U.S. News ranked Cornell No. 14 among the nation's best universities. Cornell has fluctuated between 10th and 14th place for most of the past two decades.
The overall rankings are based on such factors as peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, average freshman retention rate, faculty resources and percentage of classes with fewer than 20 students. The 2009 ranking is based on data from fall 2007 and earlier.
Cornell got several other nods in this year's U.S. News rankings, including No. 11 for Best Undergraduate Business Programs, which applies to programs in the Department of Applied Economics and Management, and No. 2 in biological/agricultural engineering. These rankings were based on a peer survey of deans and faculty.
Cornell was also ranked No. 24 in "Great Schools, Great Prices," based on its academic quality and its 2007-08 net cost of attendance for students who receive average levels of need-based financial aid.
The news magazine's rankings report for 2009 will be available at newsstands Aug. 25.