By Robert Morse, Kenneth Hines, and Elizabeth Martin
FOR THE U.S. NEWS rankings of graduate engineering programs, 214 engineering schools that grant doctoral degrees were surveyed.
Statistical data were collected in fall 2018 and early 2019. Rankings for the 199 schools that provided the necessary data were calculated based on a weighted average of the 10 indicators described below.
Quality Assessment (weighted by 0.40)
• Peer assessment score (0.25): In fall 2018, as in previous years, engineering school deans and deans of graduate studies at engineering schools were asked to rate programs on a scale from marginal (1) to outstanding (5). Those individuals who did not know enough about a school to evaluate it fairly were asked to mark “don’t know.” Sixty-two percent of those surveyed in 2018 responded.
A school’s score is the average rating of all the respondents who rated it in the fall 2018 surveys. Responses of “don’t know” counted neither for nor against a school.
• Recruiter assessment score (0.15): In fall 2018, as in previous years, corporate recruiters, employers and company contacts who hired from all the engineering programs and provided U.S. News respondent names were asked to rate programs on a scale from marginal (1) to outstanding (5). Those individuals who did not know enough about a school to evaluate it fairly were asked to mark “don’t know.” The engineering schools provided the names of those surveyed for the recruiter assessment score in summer 2018 to U.S. News.
A school’s score is the average rating of all the respondents who rated it in the three most recent years of survey results. Responses of “don’t know” counted neither for nor against a school.
U.S. News collected all the peer and recruiter assessment data.
Student Selectivity (weighted by 0.10)
• Mean GRE quantitative score (0.0675): This is the mean quantitative score on the GRE for master’s and doctoral students entering in fall 2018.
These GRE data are only available via a U.S. News Engineering School Compass subscription.
Schools reporting that less than 50 percent of their entering students submitted GRE scores had their weighted percentile distributions adjusted downward by the proportion of the percentage of the student body that submitted test scores in relation to the 50 percent threshold. For example, if 25 percent of the entering class submitted GRE test scores, then the test scores were reduced in value in the ranking model by 50 percent.
• Acceptance rate (0.0325): This is the proportion of applicants to a school’s master’s and doctoral programs who were offered admission for fall 2018.
Faculty Resources (weighted by 0.25)
• Student-faculty ratios: This is the ratio of full-time doctoral students to full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty (0.075) and full-time master’s students to full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty (0.0375) in fall 2018.
• Percentage of faculty in the National Academy of Engineering (0.075): This is the proportion of full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty who were members of the National Academy of Engineering in fall 2018.
• Doctoral degrees awarded (0.0625): This is the total number of doctoral degrees granted in the 2017-2018 school year.
Research Activity (weighted by 0.25)
• Total research expenditures (0.15): This is the total of externally funded engineering research expenditures. These expenditures refer to separately funded research, public and private, that the school conducted and are averaged over fiscal years 2017 and 2018. U.S. News’ statistical surveys use the American Society for Engineering Education’s, or ASEE, definition of research expenditures. In many of cases, U.S. News cross-checks reported research expenditure data with research expenditure data engineering schools submitted to the ASEE for the same time period.
• Average research expenditures per faculty member (0.10): This is the average amount of externally funded engineering research expenditures per full-time faculty member, averaged over fiscal years 2017 and 2018.
Data were standardized about their means, and standardized scores were weighted, totaled and rescaled so that the top-scoring school received 100; scores for the others were calculated as a percentage of the top score. Graduate engineering schools were then numerically ranked in descending order, based on their scores.
In the main engineering rankings, U.S. News numerically ranked the top three-quarters of the engineering schools that qualified to be ranked. The bottom quarter of the rank-eligible engineering schools are listed alphabetically as Rank Not Published.
If a school is listed as Unranked, that means that U.S. News did not calculate a numerical rank for it because the school did not supply enough key statistical data to be numerically ranked. Schools marked as Unranked are listed alphabetically below those marked as Rank Not Published.
Engineering specialty rankings, such as chemical engineering and civil engineering, are based solely on peer assessments by department heads in each specialty area. U.S. News conducted peer assessment surveys in fall 2018 for the specialty rankings.
Specialty department heads rated the other schools that offered a doctoral degree in their specialty on a 5-point scale. Schools with the highest average scores appear in the rankings.
In summer 2018, engineering schools provided U.S. News with the names of schools granting doctoral degrees in each specialty, as well as the names of department heads surveyed.
The number of schools rated in each doctoral department specialty ranking and the response rate among those schools surveyed in fall 2018 were as follows:
In the engineering specialty rankings, programs with an average peer assessment score of equal to or greater than 2.0 are numerically ranked. Schools with scores below 2.0 in a specialty are listed alphabetically as Rank Not Published. For these schools, U.S. News calculated a numerical rank but decided for editorial reasons not to publish it. In the engineering specialty rankings, if an engineering program received fewer than five votes, it is listed as Unranked.
U.S. News will supply programs in the engineering specialties that have an average peer assessment score of less than 2.0 with their numerical ranks if they submit a request following the procedures listed in the Information for School Officials.