Duke dropped to ninth in the U.S. News and World Report annual college rankings after being ranked eighth for the past three years.
The new rankings placed the University of Pennsylvania one spot ahead of Duke at eighth. Other changes in the top 10 list included the Massachusetts Institute of Technology moving up from seventh into a tie for fifth place with Columbia University and Stanford University. Additionally, the California Institute of Technology moved back into tenth place after being displaced by Johns Hopkins University last year.
Michael Schoenfeld, vice president for public affairs and government relations, said the new rankings were likely due to “small changes in the measurements that produce outsized results,” as Duke has regularly been ranked between eighth and 10th throughout the past decade.
“It’s no coincidence that the same universities have been in the top 10, in roughly the same order, for more than two decades,” he said. “The fact remains that the totality of the Duke experience places us firmly among the best universities in the country, and in the world, by many different measures, something that should be a source of pride and inspiration for all of us.”
U.S. News also published other lists looking at specific aspects of the college experience. Duke dropped in the "Best Value Schools" ranking from eighth last year to 10th this year.
The University also completely disappeared this year from the “Colleges for Veterans” category, where it placed third one year ago.
The engineering program, based at the Pratt School of Engineering, also received a worse ranking than last year, from 18th to 20th. Duke’s biomedical engineering program declined from third to fourth in the rankings.
However, Duke made improvements in some categories. Last year, Duke ranked 12th on the “Most Innovative Schools” list, but moved up to 10th this year. The University also moved up on the “Undergraduate Teaching” list, where it was 14th last year and now is 10th.
Like last year, Wake Forest University was ranked 27th and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ranked 30th in the listing. UNC was ranked fifth among public schools. Davidson College dropped from ninth to 10th place for National Liberal Arts colleges.
Despite the University’s drop in the U.S. News rankings, the most recent rankings from College Factual and the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education placed Duke fourth and seventh among U.S. universities, respectively.