The independent news organization of Duke University

Duke gains one spot in U.S. News and World Report rankings, tying Penn

Duke regained its eighth position in the U.S. News and World Report rankings this year.

The University, which fell behind the University of Pennsylvania to ninth place last year, is tied with Penn for the 2019 rankings. The three years previously, Duke was in eighth.

Princeton maintained its position at the top of the rankings for the eighth year in a row, beating out Harvard, which again came in second. This year, there was a four-way tie for third place between Columbia, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Chicago and Yale.

The four-way horse race was followed by Stanford, then Duke. Johns Hopkins moved back into the top-10 in a tie with Northwestern, bumping out the California Institute of Technology.

As Duke gained one spot in the national university rankings, Williams maintained its hold on the top of the list for best liberal arts colleges.

Aside from the best national university and liberal arts colleges rankings, U.S. News and World Report also publishes more specific rankings for a wide swath of college features.

In the "Best Values School" category, Duke dropped from its 10th position last year to 13th this year. 

The Pratt School of Engineering moved up from 20th place to a tie for 18th place this year, compared to 18th in 2017.

Duke dropped from 10th last year to a tie for 16th this year in the "Most Innovative Schools Category." For "Undergraduate Teaching," Duke maintained its hold on 10th place, compared to ranking 14th in 2017.

The Blue Devils, however, remain firmly ahead of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, which moved into a tie for 30th from its ranking of 30th last year. UNC ranked tied for fifth this year among the best public schools.

The U.S. News and World Report rankings are based on statistical and qualitative measures to parse out the rankings, and the rankings take into account a wide variety of factors. In order of their weight, the factors they consider are graduation and retention rates, undergraduate academic reputation, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, graduation rate performance and alumni giving rate.

In recent years, Duke has hovered safely inside of the top-10 bubble. Its highest ranking in the last five years was a tie with the MIT in 2014 for seventh place.

The rankings for the top-10 universities are somewhat stagnant from year to year. From 2013 to 2018, the same 12 schools—Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Columbia, University of Chicago, MIT, Stanford, Duke, Penn, Dartmouth, Johns Hopkins and CalTech—have floated in and out of the top-10 spots. This year, Northwestern entered the mix.

For the last seven years, Princeton has held the top spot, beating out its repeated runner-up Harvard each year since the schools tied in 2013. 

Last week, the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education rankings Duke slipped to seventh place position for U.S. schools from fifth.

The University maintained its tie in the WSJ rankings for first in graduate outcomes, tied with Harvard and Yale.  

Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated Duke's position in this year's Wall Street Journal rankings. The Chronicle regrets the error.


Share and discuss “Duke gains one spot in U.S. News and World Report rankings, tying Penn” on social media.