U.S. News & World Report announced its annual Best Colleges rankings with data for more than 1,900 colleges and universities, and four Missouri schools made the top 200 for national universities.
Washington University in St. Louis topped Missouri’s universities at No. 19 on the list for the second year in a row. The school also ranked 32nd in global universities, coming in seventh for immunology, eighth for microbiology and ninth for neuroscience and behavior.
St. Louis University came next at No. 97, improved from its rank last year at No. 106. The University of Missouri was No. 139, down 10 spots from last year. The Missouri University of Science and Technology ranked No. 179, down from No. 157 a year ago.
The national universities category included schools that offer a full range of undergraduate majors, plus master’s and doctoral programs, according to U.S. News. These universities emphasize faculty research or award professional practice doctorates.
Only one Missouri school ranked at all among national liberal arts colleges, which are colleges that focus almost exclusively on undergraduate education. At least 50% of their degrees are awarded in the arts and sciences. Westminster College in Fulton ranked No. 157 in the category.
U.S. News included rankings for the top 100 regional universities in the Midwest, a region that includes 12 states. Missouri had 10 schools ranked, most notably Truman State University in Kirksville at No. 7, Rockhurst University in Kansas City at No. 13 and Webster University in St. Louis at No. 17.
Regional colleges were categorized similarly to national liberal arts colleges, but they grant fewer than 50% of their degrees in the liberal arts disciplines and sometimes predominantly award two-year associate degrees. Missouri had three universities in the top 10 in the Midwest, including Cottey College in Nevada at No. 2, College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout at No. 3 and William Jewell College in Liberty at No.9.
U.S. News used a variety of factors to determine the list. Outcomes, such as graduation rates, accounted for 35% of the ranking, while expert opinion and faculty resources, such as student-faculty ratios and faculty salaries, each accounted for 20% of the ranking. Finally, financial resources and student excellence, including standardized test scores and high school class standings, accounted for 10% each, and alumni giving rounded out the formula with 5%.