Virginia Tech ranks 71st among the nation’s best universities in the U.S. News and World Report’s survey of undergraduate programs – “America’s Best Colleges 2012” -- released today. The university’s College of Engineering ranked 15th in the nation, and its Pamplin College of Business ranked No. 46.

Overall, Virginia Tech ranked 28 among the Top 30 public national universities, one of three institutions to do so in Virginia. It also ranked 42nd among high school counselor’s picks for top national universities, a repeat from the 2011 rankings when U.S. News introduced the poll.

Virginia Tech previously ranked 71st from 2008 to 2010, moving ahead to 69th place in 2011. Despite the slight year-over-year decline in overall ranking, Virginia Tech again showed increased performance overall and six of 11 metrics used by U.S. News and declined in only two metrics. The university this year ties with Bringham-Young University, Michigan State University, and University of Iowa.

Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering traditionally is rated as one of the top 20 U.S. undergraduate engineering schools that offer doctorate degrees. The college ties with Johns Hopkins University this year at 15th place, and again is among the highest percent of more than 600 institutions accredited by the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology. Among public universities, the College of Engineering ranks seventh.

Two programs within the College of Engineering ranked in the top 10 nationally in their respective categories, civil engineering ranked seventh and industrial engineering was 10th, the latter tying with Texas A&M and Northwestern universities.

“Our College of Engineering’s outstanding reputation comes from the extraordinary talent of our faculty, who help guide and work closely with our undergraduate students in diverse fields from materials engineering, including nanotechnology, to robotics energy systems to advanced computing and environmental engineering,” said Richard C. Benson, dean of the College of Engineering. “We will continue to offer one of the nation’s premier engineering curricula, and we will continue to invent the future -- a very bright future.”

Ranked No. 46 among the top 50 U.S. businesses undergraduate programs, Pamplin College of Business is tied with nine other universities including Auburn University, University of Oklahoma, and University of Tennessee. The Pamplin College of Business is ranked No. 46 overall, which puts it in the top 10 percent of the 600-plus U.S. undergraduate programs accredited by Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International, and No. 26 among public institutions.

The individual college rankings released by U.S. News & World Report are based solely on peer assessment surveys of deans and senior faculty at accredited business and engineering schools.

U.S. News & World Report bases the overall university rankings, which have been published annually since 1983, on a number of criteria, including peer assessment, retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, graduation rates, and alumni giving.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

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