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What are university regional rankings and what does it mean if a school is at the top of the list?

IP41IP41 Registered User Posts: 9 New Member

Replies to: What are university regional rankings and what does it mean if a school is at the top of the list?

  • katliamomkatliamom Registered User Posts: 11,202 Senior Member
    It means it's the top school in the region.
  • IP41IP41 Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    Understood, but when you look at the top colleges in the North, colleges such as the Ivies, big time state schools and other highly regarded colleges are completely absent.
  • aunt beaaunt bea Registered User Posts: 8,263 Senior Member
    It means it's the top school in the region.

    And, why in the blue blazes does it matter????
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 14,052 Senior Member
    Some of the list are almost ridiculously specific. Best LAC in the mid-south region. Best engineering programs at schools with under 2000 students. Southeast v. midwest.
  • millie210millie210 Registered User Posts: 352 Member
    >> Understood, but when you look at the top colleges in the North, colleges such as the Ivies, big time state schools and other highly regarded colleges are completely absent.

    They're on the national lists.
  • OrangeCrush75OrangeCrush75 Registered User Posts: 29 New Member
    You probably should specify that you are referring to the US News rankings.

    The US News ranks colleges that have less doctoral programs and research as regional universities.
  • LindagafLindagaf Registered User Posts: 6,898 Senior Member
    This post illustrates why no one should use the USNWR list as a guideline when choosing a college. It's only meaningful to the person reading the list. It is useful for informing people of such colleges, but beyond that, don't assume anything. The average company manager isn't going to know which college is number one or two in the USNWR list.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 24,540 Senior Member
    Lol, it's a way to give out more "prizes." You may not be Harvard or Swat, you may only be known in your region (or draw applicants mostly from there,) but hey, there's a ranking for you, too.

  • OrangeCrush75OrangeCrush75 Registered User Posts: 29 New Member
    I kind of doubt 'Swat' is a household name for most people, given it is only has an enrollment of 1620 students.
  • CorbettCorbett Registered User Posts: 2,656 Senior Member
    edited July 17
    According to USNews, a "regional university" is one that has a full range of bachelor's and master's degree programs, but does not emphasize research and offers few or no doctoral-level programs. They are ranked in a separate category from "national universities", just as "liberal arts colleges" are ranked in a separate category.

    In general, "national universities" are better known, more selective, and more prestigious than "regional universities". However, some "regional universities" also have strong reputations. For example, Cal Poly is highly ranked in the "regional university (West)" category; Cal Poly is comparable in selectivity to the mid-range UCs, which are ranked ~ 37-44 in the "national university" category.

    Another example is Villanova, which was historically ranked #1 in the "regional university (East) category. They recently got reclassified as a "national university" and immediately achieved a relatively high ranking (#50).
  • Middleman68Middleman68 Registered User Posts: 172 Junior Member
    Didn't Santa Clara recently move in the other direction -- national to regional? That's an excellent university in an excellent location, regardless of category.
  • CorbettCorbett Registered User Posts: 2,656 Senior Member
    edited July 17
    Didn't Santa Clara recently move in the other direction -- national to regional?
    Historically, SCU did not grant research doctorates (PhDs). As far as I know, USNews has always considered them as a "regional university".

    A few years ago, however, SCU began offering PhDs in engineering and computer science (which are among their major strengths). As a result, USNews recently reclassified SCU for purposes of their engineering rankings, from the "engineering schools whose highest degree is a bachelor's or master's" category, to the larger and more competitive "engineering schools whose highest degree is a doctorate" category.

    If their PhD programs grow large enough, SCU could eventually be reclassified as a "national university". However, USNews normally sorts schools depending on their Carnegie Classification, and this is only updated every five years, with the next update not due until 2020. SCU could potentially be reclassified in 2020 (as Villanova was in 2015), but it would depend on the size of their PhD programs at that time and the criteria that Carnegie decides to use for that update. I don't think there is a fixed threshold.

    Either way, SCU is indeed excellent for engineering and CS (which is not surprising, given its location in Silicon Valley). If you want to study engineering or CS in the Bay area, and you can't get into Stanford or Berkeley (and you probably can't), then SCU is the next best choice.
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