The University’s College of Engineering is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best for graduate engineering programs.
The media company released its 2023 Best Engineering Schools Ranking on March 29, 2022: the College of Engineering received rankings in overall engineering, as well as in the categories of biomedical, chemical, civil, computer, electrical, environmental, materials and mechanical engineering.
“As we continue our pursuit of excellence and national prominence, it is very important that all of our graduate programs continue to be nationally ranked,” College of Engineering Dean Manos Maragakis said. “We have outstanding faculty who offer our students a first-class graduate and undergraduate education, and the College of Engineering continues to be the main contributor to the University’s efforts to maintain its position and increase its rankings in the R1 elite research university group.”
The R1 classification is part of the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education; R1 status is for doctoral universities with very high research activity.
‘Cutting-edge, nationally and internationally recognized’
U.S. News prepares the Best Graduate Schools rankings to assist students in finding the programs that may be the best fit, according to information provided with the rankings. Statistical data from 200 schools dating to fall 2021 and early 2022 was used to calculate the rankings. For engineering programs, rankings are based on weighted averages of 10 indicators, including research activity, which has been a priority for the College of Engineering.
“It is extremely gratifying to see our College of Engineering’s graduate programs ranked among the nation’s best, although this is, in many ways, no surprise for those who have seen the college’s trajectory at the graduate program level over the past several years,” University of Nevada, Reno President Brian Sandoval said. “The University’s research portfolio, a prime driver in our classification as a Carnegie R1 ‘Very High’ Research Institution, has been greatly enhanced by the cutting-edge, nationally and internationally recognized work done by the faculty of our College of Engineering. Additionally, our master’s and Ph.D.-level students in the college are taking the exceptional preparation and involvement they’ve had in many of these successes into the industries of innovation that are shaping a more prosperous and safe future for our country.”
Research activity comprises 25% of each school’s standing in the U.S. News ranking. Schools are assessed based on externally funded engineering research expenditures, averaged over fiscal years 2020 and 2021; as well as average research expenditures per faculty member, also averaged over fiscal years 2020 and 2021.
Other indicators factored into the rankings are peer assessment scores, recruiter assessment scores, doctoral degrees awarded, ratio of full-time doctoral students to full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty, ratio of full-time master’s degree students to full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty and percentage of faculty in the National Academy of Engineering. Also considered are student acceptance rates (the proportion of applicants to a school’s master’s and doctoral programs who were offered admission for fall 2021) and mean GRE quantitative scores for master’s and doctoral students entering in fall 2021.
Globally competitive education
The College of Engineering is focused on providing students with a globally competitive education: the school utilizes several strategies to achieve that objective, including robust research efforts. Key areas of research focus in the College of Engineering include advanced manufacturing, big data, biomedical engineering, cybersecurity, engineering education, infrastructure and environment, high-performance computing, robotics and autonomous systems, sensors and sustainable and renewable energy.
To support those efforts, the College of Engineering opened the William N. Pennington Engineering Building in 2020. The 100,000-square-foot facility houses 40 laboratories, a large-scale computer laboratory, 150 graduate workstations and an IS0-5 (Class 100) Cleanroom. A number of research centers are housed within the College’s five departments, including the Electron Microscopy and Microanalysis Facility, the Center for Civil Engineering Earthquake Research, the Cybersecurity Center, the Intelligent Autonomous Systems Lab and the Nuclear Packaging Program.