MIT Climbs Back to 4th in US News & World Report Ranking

After last year’s fall to seventh in the U.S. News and World Report rankings due to changes in reporting test scores, MIT climbed back to the number four spot among national universities. The increase was due in part to improvements at MIT, but may also be chalked up to other institutions’ scores decreasing.

A larger proportion of smaller classes and a smaller proportion of larger classes led to an increase in MIT’s faculty resources score. Student selectivity and financial resources scores also rose. While MIT’s score improved, it was a relatively minor change. “The difference between this year and last year was one point,” said Lydia Snover, the Director of Institutional Research. MIT’s score might not be entirely responsible for the move up the ranking, as other schools’ scores could have played a role.

Harvard topped the list this year with a perfect score of 100, followed by Princeton and Yale. MIT and Stanford share the fourth place ranking, with Caltech and the University of Pennsylvania sharing sixth. Columbia University, Duke University, and University of Chicago rounded out the top ten, tying for eighth. Harvard, Yale, and Duke also joined MIT on Kaplan’s list of the Top 25 Greenest Colleges.

Last year, MIT began to report test scores even if they weren’t used in the admissions process, for example MIT now reports the lower of an SAT and ACT score (only the higher one is considered during admissions), which adversely affected MIT’s ranking. Ambiguity in the reporting of class sizes also contributed to last year’s drop as precise class data wasn’t readily available and different interpretations of classes with large lectures and small recitations gave MIT more favorable numbers in the past.

While MIT ranked fourth in the National University category, the institute topped the list in several specialty rankings. MIT was first in undergraduate engineering programs, aerospace/aeronautical/astronautical engineering, chemical engineering, computer engineering, electrical/electronic/communications engineering, and mechanical engineering. MIT’s undergraduate business program ranked second.