Agricultural and biosystems engineering graduate program takes top ranking

The atrium of Iowa State's Biorenewables Complex

Better facilities -- such as Elings and Sukup halls -- have helped raise the profile -- and the rankings -- of the department of agricultural and biosystems engineering. Larger photo. Photo courtesy agricultural and biosystems engineering.

AMES, Iowa – It's no longer a tie for first – Iowa State University's graduate program in agricultural and biosystems engineering is in sole possession of the No. 1 ranking, according to rankings of graduate programs released today by U.S. News and World Report magazine.

Last year's rankings of biological/agricultural engineering had Iowa State and Indiana's Purdue University tied for first overall. That's no longer the case.

What made the difference?

"Our faculty have continued to excel in mentoring graduate students, publishing peer-reviewed research in high-impact journals, obtaining competitive grants and receiving national and international awards," said Steven Mickelson, the department’s chair and the Charles R. and Jane F. Olsen Professor in Engineering.  "They are also leaders in their professional societies and within their peer groups."

Other Iowa State highlights in this year's graduate rankings include the College of Engineering ranked 24th among public universities, eight engineering programs ranked in the top 25 of publics and the Debbie and Jerry Ivy College of Business's full-time Master of Business Administration program ranked in a tie for 28th among publics.

Each year, the magazine ranks programs in business, education, engineering, law, medicine and nursing. Those rankings are based on different measures in each field, but common assessments are preparedness of incoming students and the career or academic outcomes of graduates.

The magazine also periodically ranks programs in the sciences, social sciences, humanities and other disciplines. Those rankings are based on the ratings of academic experts.

The magazine’s latest rankings of Iowa State graduate programs include:


Colleges and schools 2020 rankings:

  • Engineering, 24th among publics and tied for 43rd overall
  • Business (full-time MBA), tied for 28th among publics and tied for 53rd overall
  • Education, Tied for 90th among publics and tied for 112th overall


Programs and departments 2020 rankings:

  • Industrial/Manufacturing/Systems Engineering, tied for 17th among publics and tied for 25th overall
  • Civil Engineering, tied for 18th among publics and tied for 27th overall
  • Chemical Engineering, tied for 20th among publics and tied for 33rd overall
  • Aerospace/Aeronautical/Astronomical Engineering, tied for 23rd among publics and tied for 31st overall
  • Materials Engineering, tied for 23rd among publics and tied for 36th overall
  • Electrical/Electronic/Communications Engineering, tied for 23rd among publics and tied for 39th overall
  • Computer Engineering, tied for 24th among publics and tied for 42nd overall
  • Mechanical Engineering, tied for 26th among publics and tied for 48th overall
  • Master of Fine Arts Programs, tied for 60th among publics and tied for 99th overall
  • Part-Time MBA, tied for 67th among publics ands tied for 112th overall.