Iowa State moves up a spot in U.S. News rankings of public universities

Iowa State Wall and Campanile at night

AMES, Iowa – Iowa State University is tied for 55th among public universities ranked in the 2020 U.S. News and World Report’s “Best College” undergraduate rankings.

The magazine has Iowa State tied for 121st in its overall national rankings of universities. Last year, Iowa State was tied for 56th among publics and tied for 119th overall.

Iowa State was ranked second overall, and second among publics, for best undergraduate agricultural and biosystems engineering program.

The 2020 rankings include separate lists for best undergraduate engineering and business programs. The rankings are based solely on the judgments of deans and senior faculty at peer institutions. Here’s where Iowa State ranked:

  • Engineering was tied for 25th among publics, tied for 46th overall
  • Business was tied for 48th among publics, tied for 79th overall. The college's supply chain management program was tied for 23rd.

The magazine also recognized Iowa State in the following categories: 

  • Undergraduate student experience – learning communities. Iowa State offers more than 90 learning communities, and more than 77 percent of first-year students participate.
  • Best Value Schools, which considers academic quality, cost and percentage of undergraduates receiving need-based scholarships or grants.
  • “A+ School for B students,” which looks at overall ranking and freshman retention rates. To be considered, colleges must admit a meaningful proportion of students who didn’t get straight A’s.  

Iowa State is a public, land-grant institution, committed to providing students with a high-quality education that is both accessible and affordable. Methodology for the rankings is based on student outcomes (graduation, retention rates), faculty resources (faculty salary, class size), academic reputation (judged by academics at peer institutions), financial resources (average spending per student), student excellence (SAT, ACT scores) and alumni giving.

The U.S. News & World Report “Best Colleges 2020” rankings can be found on the magazine’s website.