Rice ranks among top 20 national universities, still best in Texas

Jeff Falk

Rice ranks among top 20 national universities, still best in Texas
US News survey also rates Rice in top 10 list for teaching undergraduates

HOUSTON – (Sept. 9, 2019) – Rice University continues to rank among the top 20 national universities in the newly released 2020 U.S. News & World Report ratings of the country’s best colleges, retaining its position as the highest ranked university in Texas.

Rice ranks no. 17 in the annual survey of more than 300 U.S. universities that offer a full range of undergraduate majors and master’s and doctoral degrees while placing a strong emphasis on research. Rice has consistently rated in the top 20 of this closely watched report since first appearing on the list in 1988.

Rice also ranks No. 8 on the U.S. News “Best Undergraduate Teaching” list for national universities, reflecting goals outlined in President David Leebron’s Vision for the Second Century, Second Decade (V2C2).

The university is also rated one of the nation’s top 20 “Best Value Schools.” Among national universities in this category, Rice ranks 13th and it’s the only institution in Texas in the top 50.

The university’s undergraduate engineering program is lauded as one of the nation’s top 20 such programs offering doctoral degrees. Rice shares the 20th spot on the list in a tie with four other universities.

Rice also ranks among the nation’s the most innovative schools (27th), as well as ratings of institutions with the greatest economic diversity (16th) and campus ethnic diversity (29th).

U.S. News also surveyed college presidents, chief academic officers and admissions deans, asking which universities they believe have especially strong programs focusing on student success.  Rice ranked among the top 20 for providing students with a strong learning community (No. 13) and for providing students with senior capstone projects that offer culminating experiences at the end of their college careers (tied with eight other universities for No. 20).

U.S. News is the second major publication in a week to rank Rice among the nation’s top 20 universities. The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings rated Rice No. 16, the only university in Texas in the top 50. The survey also lauded Rice in its “Top Schools for Resources” list, ranking the university No. 7 in its assessment of academic spending, student-faculty ratios and research output.

The WSJ/THE rankings focus on how well colleges prepare students for life after they graduate. The overall ranking is based on 15 factors in four main categories: student outcomes (including graduate salaries and debt burdens), academic resources, student engagement and diversity. The survey takes into account the responses to questions answered by roughly 174,000 students.

More information on the 2020 U.S. News rankings can be found at www.usnews.com/best-colleges/rankings/national-universities.

More information on the WSJ/THE rankings can be found at https://www.wsj.com/articles/explore-the-full-wsj-the-college-rankings-11567638555.


Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,962 undergraduates and 3,027 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is just under 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for lots of race/class interaction and No. 4 for quality of life by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.


About Jeff Falk

Jeff Falk is director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.