The Lion Shrine

The Penn State Nittany Lion Shrine on Feb. 2, 2018.

In U.S. News & World Report's National University Rankings for the 2020 year, Penn State ranked 57th out of 399 universities — a two place jump compared to last year's ranking.

Penn State shares the 57th ranking with Florida State University, Purdue University, the University of Miami and the University of Pittsburgh. Last year, Penn State ranked 59th.

Penn State was also ranked 18th in top public schools, 26th in study abroad schools, 30th in best colleges for veterans, 77th in most innovative schools, 158th in best value schools and 348th in top performers on social mobility.

The university’s engineering program was ranked 25th in the nation, with its petroleum program at third, industrial and manufacturing program at eighth, materials and biological program at 10th, and aerospace program at 12th.

In the report, Penn State was described as being full of opportunities and events, including THON and Division 1 football. Greek life was also mentioned as a big part of Penn State’s campus.

Compared to its Big Ten rivals, Penn State ranked relatively high. Big Ten schools that outranked Penn State included Northwestern at ninth, the University of Michigan at 25th, the University of Wisconsin at 46th and — this one might hurt for Penn State fans — Ohio State at 54th.

U.S. news uses 15 categories when scaling a university’s quality, and ranks it in comparison to other colleges.

According to U.S. News, 35 percent of the ranking comes from graduation and retention rates, which takes into consideration the performance and success rate of graduating classes.

Twenty percent comes from faculty resources, which measures the quality of faculty based on a variety of factors including class size, salary, amount of field professionals, student-faculty ratio and proportion of full-time staff.

Expert opinion accounts for 20 percent of the ranking, which can be found through various surveys and studies.

Financial resources make up 10 percent, while student excellence, standardized test scores, high school standing and alumni giving make up the remaining 15 percent.


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