Santa Clara University, Loyola Marymount University, Gonzaga University, and Seattle University ranked among the top eight universities in the Western United States in the latest rankings by U.S. News & World Report.
Santa Clara University is ranked No. 2, earning an overall score of 95 out of 100. SCU’s first-year retention rate of 95 percent ranks the highest of any master’s university in the country, and its 84 percent graduation rate is the highest in the West.
SCU maintained its No. 2 overall ranking from last year and was highly ranked in several other notable areas:
The survey compared Santa Clara University with 653 other universities that offer a full range of undergraduate programs and master’s degrees, but few doctoral programs.
Loyola Marymount University
For the third year in a row, Loyola Marymount University is No. 3 among the best regional universities in the West.
"I am proud that LMU continues to be recognized among the best universities in the nation, a result of the unmatched Jesuit education we offer,” said LMU President Timothy Law Snyder, PhD. “This report offers a glimpse of our extraordinary student-centered learning community. Prospective students and families should take note: we challenge intellectuals and thought leaders to live lives of meaning and purpose in the heart of Silicon Beach, where tomorrow’s thought and tech innovation thrives. These rankings confirm that LMU faculty and students are impactful on a global scale.”
LMU’s Seaver College of Science and Engineering is tied at No. 13 — up from No. 28 — in the ranking of the best undergraduate engineering programs at schools where no doctorate is offered.
LMU was named once again among the best 100 undergraduate business programs, and continues to rank in the top 20 for its entrepreneurship and marketing programs.
Additionally, LMU is No. 3 among the best colleges for veterans in the West, and is named among schools in the West with the most international students.
Gonzaga University was ranked the 4th best regional university in the West for the second year in a row. Gonzaga’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences is the 22nd best (tie) engineering program nationwide (among engineering schools whose highest degree is a bachelor’s or master’s). Gonzaga also ranks No. 4 among the West’s best colleges for veterans.
Gonzaga ranks No. 2 in the West for its average first-year student retention rate of 94 percent and it also ranks No. 2 (tie) in the region for its (2015) graduation rate of 83 percent. First-year retention indicates the average percentage of first-year students entering from fall 2011 through fall 2014 who returned the following fall.
Gonzaga’s No. 13 best value ranking among regional universities in the West is based on the 2015-2016 net cost of attendance for a student who received the average level of need-based financial aid; 55 percent of Gonzaga undergraduates received need-based grants in 2015.
This marks the 18th consecutive year that Gonzaga has been ranked among the top four regional universities in the West, and the 22nd consecutive year (29th in the past 32 years) it has been ranked among the best regional universities.
The regional universities classification includes 653 institutions. Like national universities, regional universities offer a full range of undergraduate majors and master’s programs; a primary difference between regional and national universities in the rankings is that the former offer few, if any, doctoral research programs. Gonzaga offers doctoral degrees in leadership studies and nursing practice as well as a juris doctorate from the School of Law.
Seattle University maintained its more than decade-long Top 10 ranking as one of the West’s best regional universities, ranking eighth among 124 western regional universities that offer a full range of undergraduate, master’s, and select doctoral degree programs. The university has maintained a position in the Top 10 in U.S. News & World Report since 2004.
Reflecting the quality of the university’s faculty, the latest U.S. New & World Report rankings also rate Seattle University second among western regional universities in its commitment to undergraduate teaching, based on surveys of college presidents, provosts, and admissions deans.
The university earned high national marks in other categories, including #31 for best undergraduate engineering programs and #114 in best undergraduate business programs. In the business subspecialties, the undergraduate finance and accounting programs placed in the Top 25 nationally. Finance tied for #16 in the nation (second on the West Coast and first in the Northwest), and the accounting program tied for #23 in the nation (fourth on the West Coast and second in the Northwest).
Seattle University was named one of the nation’s best universities for service learning, which is required or for-credit volunteer work in the community. And, the university outperformed the magazine’s predicted 2015 graduation rate of 73 percent by posting an actual graduation rate of 79 percent.
(The full rankings are available online at http://www.usnews.com/colleges. The print edition of the “Best Colleges 2017” guidebook will be available at newsstands on Oct. 4.)