Northwestern to stay at 9th place in U.S. News rankings


Catherine Buchaniec/The Daily Northwestern

Students with their diplomas during commencement in 2019. NU was ranked 9th in National Universities by U.S. News & World Report for the second year in a row.

Isabelle Sarraf, Campus Editor

Northwestern was named the 9th best university in the nation according to the U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings, breaking its three-year upward streak

NU is tied for the No. 9 spot with Johns Hopkins University  and the California Institute of Technology. This puts NU one spot above Duke University and one below the University of Pennsylvania. This is the second year in a row NU has ranked in 9th place, and the third year the University landed in the top 10 since 2002. 

According to a news release, NU is also one of only four top 10 universities in the U.S. also ranked in the top 20 of each of its five graduate schools. NU has moved up steadily in the ranks in recent years, “thanks to its dedication to promoting student excellence” and its status as a top-tier research university, the release said. 

“Universities play a pivotal role in society, especially in times of crisis such as we are experiencing now,” Provost Kathleen Hagerty said in the release. “We are proud of the role each member of our community plays in addressing today’s biggest challenges.”

NU researchers were awarded 12 Rapid Response Research grants by the National Science Foundation — more than any other top 10 university, according to the release. These grants are used for a wide range of research related to the pandemic, including funding the development of a wearable device that detects early signs of COVID-19. 

The pandemic did not impact the data that schools submitted, according to U.S. News, which is from fall 2019 and earlier. To account for the disruption to higher education, U.S. News wrote it reintroduced test-blind schools into the rankings and placed “reduced emphasis” in the rankings on admissions and alumni giving data. 

This year, U.S. News introduced a category of undergraduate computer science programs, where NU ranked 25th — tied with Duke, the University of Chicago, Brown University, the University of Southern California and the University of California, Irvine. 

U.S. News also ranked NU in the top 15th for Best Value Schools and Best Undergraduate Engineering Program. The undergraduate engineering ranking was based on peer assessment surveys, University spokesperson Jon Yates told The Daily, meaning they’re based solely on the judgment of deans and senior faculty at peer institutions. 

“While the University experience looks a bit different this year, we are confident that our community will be able to continue the excellent work and learning that makes Northwestern one of the leading research universities in the world,” Hagerty said in the release. 

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Twitter: @isabellesarraf

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