SMU rises in U.S. News 2013 ‘Best Colleges’ rankings

SMU rose in the ranks of the nation’s top universities in the 2013 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges, which was published online Wednesday, Sept. 12.

Among 280 institutions classified as national universities, SMU ranks 58, an increase of 4 points from last year’s ranking of 62. The ranking again places SMU in the first tier of institutions in the guide’s “best national universities” category. In Texas, only Rice University and the University of Texas-Austin ranked ahead of SMU. Among private national universities, SMU ranks 40.

“Although rankings alone cannot tell the full story of a university’s quality, it is gratifying for SMU to achieve upward movement among the best national universities,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Rankings can be a good starting point when looking at colleges and universities, but we encourage parents and students to visit the institutions they are considering to get a first-hand look at academic offerings and the total student experience.”

The factors weighed in determining the rankings include measures of academic quality, such as peer assessment scores and ratings by high school counselors; graduation and retention rates; faculty resources; student selectivity; financial resources; and alumni giving.

Rankings of more than 1,400 institutions – including national universities, liberal arts colleges and regional universities and colleges – will be published in the U.S. News & World Report issue available on newsstands Tuesday, Sept. 18.

SMU jumps to highest ranking ever in US News’ ‘Best Colleges’

Dallas Hall with US News ranking iconSMU advanced to its highest ranking ever among national universities in the 2011 edition of Best Colleges published Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2010, by U.S. News Media Group.

SMU ranked 56th among 191 institutions included in the top tier of national universities. SMU’s ranking represents an increase from 68th in 2010, up from 73rd in 2004.

The only universities in Texas ranked ahead of SMU in the 2011 guide are Rice, ranked 17th, and the University of Texas-Austin, ranked 45th.

“Although ranking universities is a controversial venture at best, the recognition given our outstanding students and faculty, small classes, strong graduation rates and committed alumni is gratifying,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “The timing is particularly relevant as we prepare to celebrate the University’s centennial, beginning next year, and as we remain committed to achievement at the highest levels.”

Rankings of more than 1,400 institutions, including national universities and liberal arts colleges, are available beginning Aug. 17 at, and will be published in the U.S. News & World Report issue available on newsstands starting August 31.

The U.S. News rankings group schools based on the categories established by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Over the past two decades, these rankings have served as research tools for students and parents considering higher education opportunities.

The 2011 Best Colleges package provides an examination of how accredited four-year colleges and universities compare on a set of up to 16 indicators of excellence. Among the factors weighed in determining the rankings, the key measures of quality are: peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, alumni giving, graduation rate performance and high school counselor ratings of colleges.