SMU is ranked 59 among the nation’s universities in the 2019 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges, released online September 10. The ranking represents an increase from the 2017 ranking of 61.

The new ranking again places SMU in the first tier of the guide’s 312 “best national universities.” Among Texas universities, only Rice University and the University of Texas at Austin rank higher. SMU tied with the University of Washington, Pennsylvania State University, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

SMU saw key improvements in the peer assessment score, which is the rating of academic reputation by college admission deans, provosts and presidents, and in the high school counselor assessment score. In addition, SMU ranked 31 for best national universities for veterans, tied with the University of Washington.

“SMU’s national ranking is a reflection of a dedicated effort to provide our students with the opportunity to become society’s innovators and leaders,” says SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “It also reflects the contributions of high-impact research and inspired teaching by our faculty members. We are grateful for the recognition and inspired to continue SMU’s positive momentum.

“As students and parents evaluate universities, it’s important to note, however, that rankings are just one of the factors to consider in this important decision. We encourage parents and anyone considering a college education to visit institutions for firsthand evaluation of academic offerings and campus experience.”

For the rankings, U.S. News & World Report considers measures of academic quality, including faculty resources, student selectivity, graduation rate performance, financial resources and alumni giving in addition to peer assessment scores and ratings by high school counselors.

The rankings of 1,374 institutions, including national universities, liberal arts colleges, regional colleges and regional universities, are available now online. Find Best Colleges 2019 in stores Oct. 16.