The University of Missouri-Rolla is again listed in U.S. News and World Report’s annual listing of the nation’s top colleges and universities.
UMR is ranked No. 118 among the nation’s doctoral-granting universities, according to the U.S. News guidebook, “America’s Best Colleges 2008,” which hits newsstands next week. The university, which is known for its focus on engineering and science, also made the magazine’s list of top undergraduate engineering programs.
The university has set a goal of becoming a top five technological research university by 2011. While the “technological research university” designation does not appear in “America’s Best Colleges 2008,” it aptly conveys UMR’s essence, says UMR Chancellor John F. Carney III. “The U.S. News rankings are important, but they don’t tell the whole story about our university,” Carney says.
“America’s Best Colleges 2008” features rankings of colleges and universities in a number of categories, including top national universities, liberal arts schools, business programs, engineering programs and master’s-level colleges and universities by region. UMR is ranked 52 on the list of engineering programs.
Carney developed his definition of a technological research university last fall, when he first proposed the university discuss the idea of changing its name to something that “better describes the intrinsic nature of our university.” The university will become Missouri University of Science and Technology, or Missouri S&T, on Jan. 1, 2008.
For a university to fit Carney’s definition, it must have at least one-fourth of its students majoring in engineering; a majority in engineering, the sciences, business and mathematics; graduate and research programs in each of those fields; and comprehensive liberal arts, humanities and social sciences degree programs.
The U.S. News rankings are just one of several criteria UMR uses to measure itself against other technological research universities. Other criteria include graduation and retention rates; the student body’s average ACT and SAT scores; the number and percentage of students who were in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating class; the number and percentage of merit scholars; the number of doctorate degrees awarded; research expenditures; the number of students participating in cooperative education programs; and the number and percentage of faculty who receive national awards for their research, such as the National Science Foundation CAREER, presidential or young investigator awards.