KALAMAZOO—Western Michigan University is one of just four Michigan public universities included in the U.S. News & World Report's annual list of top-tier national universities.
The publication's 2012 ranking of more than 1,500 four-year colleges and universities was unveiled today at usnews.com and will be available Sept. 18 in a print guidebook on newsstands. WMU is among the 281 institutions—173 public, 101 private and seven for-profit—the magazine singles out as having national standing and being among the nation's best. WMU's numerical rank this year is 189 among the total group.
This is the 22nd year WMU has appeared in the magazine's top grouping of "best national universities." The top 75 percent of the nation's schools recognized by U.S. News are given a numeric ranking. The schools in the bottom 25 percent of the group are listed alphabetically and without ranking as the second tier.
Release of the U.S. News listing comes just weeks after WMU learned it was included on the Washington Monthly's list of the country's top 100 national universities. That list ranks schools that are good for students and the nation. Earlier this summer, the University also was named for the eighth time to Princeton Review's "Best Midwestern Colleges" list.
Four Michigan public universities are among the schools numerically ranked in the U.S. News' top tier of public and private institutions that is led by Harvard, Princeton and Yale in the top three slots.
- University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
- Michigan State University
- Michigan Technological University
- Western Michigan University
Another three Michigan schools appear in the unranked lower tier of "best national universities." They are Central Michigan, Oakland and Wayne State universities. Several other state schools are on the magazine's various lists of top liberal arts schools and regional top master's-level universities and baccalaureate colleges.
WMU was first named to the overall "Best National Universities" list in 1991 and moved up to the third of four tiers on the 1999 list. The publication eliminated the four-tier system last year when it moved to the two groups of ranked and unranked schools. The widely read U.S. News list is based on 16 criteria, including academic reputation, retention and graduation rates, student/faculty ratios, class size, faculty resources, student test scores and alumni giving.
WMU has an enrollment of some 25,000 students and is classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a university with high research activity. The University offers more than 240 degree programs, including 30 at the doctoral level and has regional locations at seven sites around Michigan. A learner-centered, discovery-driven and globally engaged university, WMU attracts students from every state in the union and 90 other nations, and its more than 900 faculty members have been trained at some of the world's finest institutions.