Four Michigan Tech Graduate Engineering Programs Rank in Top 50

By Jennifer Donovan | Published

Graduate school rankings released today by U.S. News & World Report rate four of Michigan Technological University's graduate engineering programs in the top 50 nationwide. Nearly 200 programs were ranked.

Michigan Tech's national rankings were:
* Environmental engineering - 26
* Materials science and engineering - 41.
* Civil engineering - 43.
* Mechanical engineering—48.

Michigan Tech's College of Engineering ranked 78th overall out of 198 schools evaluated, up from 84th of 191 schools last year. Michigan Tech's geological and mining engineering graduate program ranked 77th in the nation among earth sciences programs. That ranking was based on 2006 data and remained the same as last year's.

"We are very proud of this important external confirmation of the growing strength of our engineering graduate programs," said Michigan Tech President Glenn D. Mroz. "It shows that we are moving in the right direction toward making Michigan Tech a world-class technological research university."

Tim Schulz, dean of engineering, called the rankings "recognition of the quality and impact of our graduate and research programs and of the accomplishments of our outstanding faculty, staff and students." Schulz said he thinks the biggest factor contributing to Michigan Tech’s improvement in rankings this year is the University's increase in reported research expenditures.

Each year, U.S. News and World Report ranks graduate schools of business, education, engineering, law and medicine. According to the magazine, the rankings are based on two types of data: the opinions of graduate school deans, program directors, senior faculty and employers of new graduates; and statistical measures of the quality of students and faculty, such as student to faculty ratio, research activity of the faculty and doctoral degrees awarded.

This year, Massachusetts Institute of Technology ranked first in mechanical and materials engineering and number one among engineering schools overall. Stanford University, which ranked second overall, took top place in environmental engineering, and the University of California, Berkeley, ranked first in civil engineering.

Highlights of the new graduate school rankings will be published in the April 7, 2008 issue of U.S. News and World Report, which goes on sale at newsstands on March 31. The complete guidebook, titled America's Best Graduate Schools, goes on sale April 1.

The weekly newsmagazine also ranks undergraduate colleges, universities and programs. Those rankings are released in August.

Engineering specialties were ranked solely on the basis of assessments by department heads in each specialty. The department heads surveyed were recommended by the American Society for Engineering Education.

All 425 master's degree programs in business accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business were surveyed. Of those, 127 were ranked. Specialty rankings were based on nominations made by business school deans and MBA program heads.

Rankings of doctoral programs in the sciences were based on surveys sent to academics in computer science, mathematics and physics during fall 2007; biological sciences and chemistry in fall 2006; and all other fields in fall 2005. Specialty rankings were based on nominations by department heads and directors of graduate studies at peer schools.

Neil Hutzler, acting chair of civil and environmental engineering, credited his faculty and graduates for the rankings Michigan Tech's graduate civil and environmental programs received. "We've got some great people doing some exciting things," he said. "Our faculty get out there and publish and hold offices in national professional societies. It's good to see that other people think we're as good as we think we are."

Of his department's ranking, Mark Plichta, chair of materials science and engineering, said: "I'm pleased that we're heading in the right direction, and I'm proud of the efforts being made by our faculty, staff and graduate students."

William Predebon, chair of mechanical engineering-engineering mechanics, called his department's ranking "an important recognition by our peers of the quality and accomplishments of our faculty, staff and students."

And Wayne Pennington, chair of geological and mining sciences, expressed pride that Michigan Tech's graduate programs in earth sciences continue to rank so high. "Michigan Tech is one of the few schools in the country where geological engineering and the sciences of geology and applied geophysics are fully integrated," he noted. "This enables us to promote the development and application of basic science concepts to the understanding of our planet and humanity's place in it."

Earlier this week, - a respected automotive website - ranked Michigan Tech's automotive engineering program as one of the top three in the nation.

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 54 countries. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.