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College of Engineering advances in U.S. News graduate rankings

Aerial view of The Oval and surrounding Engineering buildings and Hunt Library on NC State's Centennial Campus.

The College of Engineering at North Carolina State University has moved up in the newest rankings of graduate engineering programs by U.S. News & World Report (USNWR).

The 2023-24 rankings, released on April 25, show NC State’s College of Engineering ranked as the 25th-best graduate engineering program in the United States, and 12th among public institutions. That’s up from 26th and 13th in the previous rankings, released in spring 2022.

The U.S. News rankings of graduate programs are released annually in spring with updated rankings of both colleges and departments. The rankings are one benchmark of success in academia.

NC State ranked 50th in new U.S. News ratings of computer science graduate programs. In rankings of engineering specialties at the graduate level, NC State programs placed in the top 25 nationally in biological and agricultural engineering (BAE), chemical engineering, civil engineering, environmental engineering, industrial and systems engineering, materials science and engineering and nuclear engineering, with BAE ranked as the fourth best program in the country and nuclear engineering ranked as third best.

The College’s current spot on the list represents a steady climb of 10 spots over the last 15 years and is the result of sustained growth in rankings, enrollment and research expenditures.

The College annually ranks in the top 12 nationally in research expenditures among all colleges of engineering, according to figures from the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), and is in the top 25 nationally in the number of annual bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. graduates in engineering, ASEE said.

The College also did well in U.S. News rankings of online graduate engineering programs, which were most recently released in January. NC State’s Engineering Online ranked 11th nationally on the list of Best Online Engineering Programs. Engineering Online has finished in or near the top 10 in the rankings for several years.

The College’s steady climb in USNWR graduates rankings over the 17 years of Dean Louis Martin-Vega’s tenure as dean reflects a commitment to growing the College’s enrollment and research enterprise and increasing the number of women and members of groups that are historically underrepresented in STEM fields among its student and faculty population.

Martin-Vega will step down as dean this summer. Jim Pfaendtner, now head of the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Washington in Seattle, will join NC State as the new dean of engineering on Aug. 1, 2023.