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August 20, 2007

Purdue's undergrad engineering specialties among best

Leah Jamieson
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Ten of the disciplines in Purdue University's College of Engineering have been ranked among the top 20 in the nation by U.S.News & World Report.

In reports made available last week, the College of Engineering tied for ninth nationally among doctoral-granting public universities. In an expanded version of the magazine released online, the specialty areas were ranked.

Purdue's engineering specialties were ranked as follows:

* Industrial/manufacturing engineering, No. 3.

* Agricultural engineering, No.4 (tied with Texas A&M University and University of California, Davis).

* Aerospace/aeronautical/astronautical, No. 6 (tied with the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign).

* Mechanical engineering, No. 7.

* Civil engineering, No. 8.

* Computer engineering, No. 11.

* Electrical engineering, No. 12.

* Materials engineering, No. 12 (tied with Ohio State University).

* Chemical engineering, No. 15.

* Environmental engineering, No. 19 (tied with Duke University and the University of Wisconsin).

U.S.News & World Report did not include a category for nuclear engineering this year. The magazine bases its specialty rankings on ratings by deans and senior faculty in those disciplines at peer institutions.

"Purdue has always been a leader in engineering, and these rankings reflect that," said Leah Jamieson, the John A. Edwardson Dean of Engineering. "With our new buildings coming online, the college's stature will only increase."

Since 2000 the College of Engineering has upgraded its infrastructure.

With current expansion plans, research and educational space will more than double. This fall, the $53.2 million Neil Armstrong Hall of Engineering will open as the hub of engineering research and education on campus. The Forney Hall of Chemical Engineering opened in 2004, adding 94,000 square feet of space. Also planned are the new 41,020-square-foot Seng-Liang Wang Hall, a second building for the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and the new 42,000-square-foot Roger B. Gatewood Mechanical Engineering Wing and Ray W. Herrick Laboratories in the Mechanical Engineering Building.

Purdue's overall undergraduate program tied with the University of Connecticut and the University of Iowa for No. 24 nationally among public doctoral degree-granting universities. The data for determining the nation's best institutions of higher education overall comes from questionnaires sent to all accredited four-year colleges and universities. The magazine then determines its rankings based on several measures that fall into seven broad categories: peer assessment, retention, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, alumni giving and graduation rate.

The College of Engineering is composed of 11 schools and departments: aeronautics and astronautics, agriculture and biological, biomedical, chemical, civil, electrical and computer, engineering education, industrial, materials, mechanical, and nuclear. The college includes the divisions of engineering professional education, construction engineering and management, and environmental and ecological engineering. Also, the college houses programs such as Engineering Projects in Community Service, the Minority Engineering Program, the Women in Engineering Program, and the Indiana Space Grant Consortium.

In addition to the more than 6,400 undergraduate students, the college enrolls 2,200 graduate students. U.S.News & World Report ranked Purdue's graduate engineering program No. 12 in the country last March.

Information on the rankings can be found at the U.S.News & World Report Web site at The magazine's college guidebook "America’s Best Colleges" contains a directory of more than 1,400 institutions.

The U.S.News & World Report issue ranking America's best colleges and universities will appear on newsstands Monday (Aug. 20).

Writer: Clyde Hughes, (765) 494-2073,

Source: Leah Jamieson (765) 494-5346,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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