RMU is a Nationally Ranked University for the First Time

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Pittsburgh, Sept. 13, 2016 – Robert Morris University made its first appearance on the U.S. News and World Report rankings of national universities, debuting at No. 188 on a list of venerable institutions that includes Princeton, Harvard, Stanford and Duke, as well as other Pittsburgh-area schools such as Carnegie Mellon, Penn State, and the University of Pittsburgh.

Previously, U.S. News and World Report ranked RMU among regional universities in the northeast. But in February, the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education reclassified RMU from a master’s university to a doctoral university, based on the number of doctoral degrees the university awards each year. Thus, U.S. News and World Report, which categorizes institutions based on the Carnegie Classification system, bumped RMU up into the national rankings.

“We are excited to be ranked among such august institutions by U.S. News and World Report, and it’s a testament to the hard work of our faculty, staff, students, and alumni,” said RMU President Chris Howard.

“The U.S. News rankings are far from perfect, but some of the criteria the magazine considers to be important are things that we should be judged by, including graduation and retention rates,” said Howard. “This is a great day for the Colonial Nation.”

To rank colleges and universities, U.S. News and World Report provides a weighted value to each of the criteria it considers. In the U.S. News rankings of national universities, the freshman-to-sophomore retention rate and six-year graduation rate account for a combined 22.5 percent of the weighted rankings, and an institution’s expected graduation rate accounts for another 7.5 percent.

According to the magazine, the expected graduation rate is derived by controlling for spending per student, admissions selectivity, and the proportion of undergraduate students who receive federal Pell grants. RMU exceeds its expected graduation rate by 9 percentage points. 

Other factors U.S. News takes into account are alumni giving and the reputation of each university, as measured by surveys, among its peer institutions and high school guidance counselors. 


Through 49 undergraduate and 35 graduate degree programs across five academic schools, Robert Morris University (RMU) in Pittsburgh, Pa., works to change its students' lives so that they can go out and change the lives of others for the better. More than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate, nontraditional and online students from 45 states and 41 nations are enrolled at RMU, which sits on 230 scenic acres just 20 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh. Emphasizing experiential learning, Robert Morris focuses on professional development, service learning, global awareness, undergraduate research, campus leadership, and cultural experiences, all of which are documented on our innovative Student Engagement Transcript. More than 100 clubs and organizations help students to develop leadership skills, network professionally, and meet friends. RMU also has 16 NCAA Division I athletic programs, including football, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s ice hockey, and men's and women's lacrosse.


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