UMass solidifies position as one of nation's leading public university systems

BOSTON - For the second consecutive year, the University of Massachusetts was one of the only public university systems in the nation to have all of its undergraduate campuses ranked as National Universities in U.S. News & World Report's Best Colleges list.

Among all public university systems in the nation, only UMass and the University of California have all of their undergraduate campuses ranked as National Universities and have at least one campus within the top 100.

The prestigious National University designation is reserved for comprehensive universities that offer undergraduate, master's and doctoral programs, and are committed to producing groundbreaking research.

Of more than 3,000 four-year postsecondary institutions in the United States, only 311 universities are recognized with this classification.

"Striving for excellence at UMass ensures that the citizens of Massachusetts have access to world-class public higher education and the Commonwealth benefits from a top-tier research university focused on supporting the economy and workforce of the state," said President Marty Meehan. "These rankings demonstrate that our commitment to quality is paying dividends for Massachusetts."

"These rankings are increasingly important to students and families seeking a strong return on their education investment," said Rob Manning, chair of the UMass Board of Trustees. "They serve as a third party-validation of what we already know, which is that across all of our campuses, UMass students receive a top-grade education that prepares them to compete in the global economy."

UMass Amherst was ranked No. 29 among public universities, retaining its spot in the elite Top 30 Public Universities ranking and the top 75 among all National Universities, public or private.

UMass Boston, which just two years ago was unranked, made rapid gains in its ranking this year, climbing to No. 202 from No. 220 last year.

UMass Dartmouth, which emerged as a National University for the first time last year, rose to No. 207 from No. 220.

UMass Lowell, which has been one of the fastest-rising universities in the nation since first making the list, is ranked No. 156 this year, including No. 80among public institutions.

The rankings weigh up to 15 indicators of academic quality, including graduation and retention rates, assessment of excellence, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, graduation rates and alumni giving, among others.

U.S. News & World Report's Best Graduate Schools rankings, which were released in March, ranked UMass Medical School as the No. 1 medical school in New England for primary care education, and No. 14 nationally. UMass Medical School also ranked No. 50 for research in those rankings.