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NC State Continues To Rise in U.S. News Rankings 

NC State has achieved its highest ranking ever on the 2024 Best Colleges list, landing at 28th overall among the top public universities in the nation. The university continues to be recognized for value, educational quality and student success.

The NC State belltower with spring blooms.

For the second consecutive year, NC State made big moves in a national ranking of colleges and universities to rank 60th in the nation, an increase of 12 spots over 2022. Among public institutions, the university remains in the top 30 nationally, moving up one place to 28th.

The Best Colleges list, published annually by U.S. News and World Report, assesses more than 1,500 public and private colleges and universities on a set of 19 weighted indicators. Over the past several years, NC State has made significant strides in the overall rankings — jumping a total of 32 spots since 2017 to this year’s ranking of 60th best in the nation. 

“Our work is driven by our mission of providing education, research and service to help North Carolinians thrive, and we are pleased to see our efforts reflected in these rankings,” said Chancellor Randy Woodson. “Our greatest strength as a university is our people — our incredibly talented and dedicated faculty, staff and students who come together to help us achieve that mission and make a lasting impact on our world. I am proud to see that NC State continues to be recognized as a place where ideas turn into action — a place where we truly think and do.”

The university was also ranked 53rd for best value this year, an improvement of 13 spots over last year’s rankings. And NC State continues to be one of the best universities in the country for veterans, ranking 36th overall, gaining seven spots since last year.

While the rankings look at universities as a whole, NC State was ranked higher than ever this year for first-year and undergraduate experiences as well. NC State ranks 51st nationally for first-year experiences and 41st overall for undergraduate research and creative projects. 

Each year, U.S. News makes changes to its Best Colleges methodology by adjusting weights or adding/removing indicators. U.S. News made significant changes to its methodology for 2024 by omitting five indicators that had previously constituted 18% of an institution’s score, adjusting indicator weights and adding seven new indicators that now account for 14% of an institution’s score. 

A number of the new indicators reflect various outcomes, including faculty research citations and first-generation student graduation rates. These methodological changes caused some volatility in the rankings and generally favored public universities.

Additional 2024 Best Colleges rankings for NC State include:

  • 3rd overall for graduate nuclear engineering
  • 30th overall for engineering
  • 50th overall for undergraduate computer science
  • 70th overall for undergraduate business
  • 80th overall for undergraduate psychology
  • 99th overall for undergraduate economics

This year’s performance is NC State’s best ever in the U.S. News rankings.