Nuclear Engineering rises to No. 13 in U.S. News rankings

March 12, 2019 - By Kim Delker

NE lab

The University of New Mexico School of Engineering placed in the top 100 in the U.S. News & World Report 2020 Best Graduate Schools rankings for engineering, released today. The School of Engineering ranks No. 85 this year. Last year, the School placed No. 83, rising from No. 99 the previous year.

“The competition is very steep for these rankings, so even though our ranking is slightly lower than last year, when you examine the individual metrics of the rankings, we are clearly moving ahead,” said Christos Christodoulou, Jim and Ellen King Dean of Engineering and Computing. “Our reputation score among other deans rose, as did our score among those in industry who hire our students. Those advances are proof that we are making solid progress in telling our peers and future students about all the great things the School of Engineering’s faculty and students are accomplishing.”

Among New Mexico schools of engineering, UNM was the only institution to rank in the top 100 in the survey.

Christodoulou said that another area where UNM shines is in the research expenditures per faculty member. Of the $34.5 million the School received in research expenditures for the fiscal year, per faculty member, the allocation is around $375,000, which is a higher allocation than faculty in many higher-ranked schools received.

The 2020 U.S. News survey also ranked specialty programs. UNM ranked No. 75 in chemical engineering, No. 89 in civil engineering, No. 73 in computer engineering, No. 72 in electrical engineering, No. 87 in mechanical engineering, and No. 13 in nuclear engineering. A new ranking for this year for UNM is environmental engineering, where UNM ranked No. 67. Computer science is ranked in the Best Science schools and ranked No. 75.

The Best Graduate Schools rankings are based on two types of data: expert opinions about program excellence, and statistical indicators that measure the quality of a school's faculty, research and students.

For the rankings of graduate engineering programs, more than 200 engineering schools that grant doctoral degrees were surveyed. Data were collected in fall 2018 and early 2019. Factors that went into the rankings include:

  • Peer assessment: U.S. News asked deans, program directors, and senior faculty to judge the academic quality of programs in their field on a scale of 1 (marginal) to 5 (outstanding). In business, education, engineering, law and medicine, U.S. News also surveyed professionals who hire new graduates. The schools supplied the names of the surveyed professionals.

  • Recruiter assessment: Corporate recruiters and company contacts are asked to rate programs on a scale from marginal to outstanding. All the names of those surveyed for the recruiter assessment score were provided by the engineering schools themselves.

  • Student selectivity: Mean GRE scores and acceptance rate.

  • Faculty resources, including student-faculty ratio, percentage of faculty in the National Academy of Engineering, doctoral degree awarded.

  • Research activity, including total research expenditures and average research expenditures per faculty member.