RMU Skyrockets in the latest U.S. News and World Report Rankings

Friday, October 16, 2015

Pittsburgh -- Robert Morris University leaped 30 spots in the latest U.S. News and World Report rankings of colleges and universities nationwide, climbing to No. 66 in the list of Top Regional Universities North – RMU’s best showing on the list in the university’s history. The university improved in 14 of the 16 criteria the magazine uses to rank colleges and universities, and RMU remained the same in the other two categories.

“Perhaps the most gratifying element of this tremendous improvement in ranking is the across-the-board success that we had,” said Interim President and Provost David Jamison. “To have improved in nearly every category of evaluation is a testimony to the way we have built our core values into the very DNA of an RMU education.”

Another point of pride this year for RMU is U.S. News and World Report included among its national rankings the RMU the School of Engineering, Mathematics, and Science (SEMS) and the School of Business, each for being among the nation’s best undergraduate programs in their respective categories. Only schools with ABET-EAC and AASCB accreditations --  for SEMS and the School of Business, respectively -- were eligible for national ranking. 

“The national recognition of academic excellence of our engineering programs is a true testament to the quality of our curriculum, strong faculty expertise and applied approach to technical education,” said Maria Kalevitch, dean of the School of Engineering, Mathematics, and Science. 

According to Jamison, Robert Morris has long been identified as offering among the highest quality business programs in the region: in accountancy and tax, finance, marketing, management and sport management, hospitality and tourism, and economics. With the achievement of AACSB accreditation in 2009, the school confirmed its well-deserved national and international reputation for excellence.

“This national recognition is a long time coming for the School of Business,” says Lois Bryan, acting dean of the School of Business. “We have professors involved in research that complements their teaching, facilities that raise the expectation of our prospective students and give them more real-world experience, and student organizations and honor societies, like Beta Gamma Sigma.”

The biggest factors in RMU’s climb in the rankings were the improvement in the peer assessment score and the university’s expected graduation rate, which RMU exceeded by nine percentage points. The alumni giving rate also climbed from 5 percent to 6 percent.

To rank colleges and universities, U.S. News and World Report provides a weighted value to each of the 16 criteria it considers.  The peer assessment score carries the largest ranking weight at 22.5 percent, while other factors include

  • Six-year graduation rate (18 percent)
  • Educational expense per FTE student (10 percent)
  • Expected graduation rate (7.5 percent)
  • Average full-time faculty compensation (7 percent)
  • Percentage of classes with fewer than 20 students (6 percent)
  • Alumni donation rate (5 percent)

The university also ranked regionally in the top 50 best colleges for veterans, and made the list for best undergraduate online programs for the first time in school history.

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