Drexel Ranked in the Top 8 Percent of U.S. Colleges and Universities


Drexel University was ranked in the top 8 percent of U.S. colleges and universities in a list compiled by The Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education. In the list, released today, Drexel placed 82nd overall out of 1,061 institutions. The Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education also released a companion rating of universities from around the world that places Drexel in the top 400 of 980 top international universities.

“Our commendable positions on these lists are evidence that we’re on target in trying to attract and enroll students who we think are best suited not only to succeed here, but to make a huge impact on Drexel, the nation and the world,” said President John A. Fry.

The Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education’s pioneering ranking of American colleges and universities is significant because its methodology emphasizes how ranked institutions enable student success. Unlike other “top” or “best” college lists, such as those released by U.S. News & World Report, this series of rankings values outputs (like students’ postgraduate success) more than inputs (like average SAT scores or acceptance rates). The list also ranks universities that are both private and public, as well as both research and liberal arts institutions, to provide a comprehensive benchmark of all of the different higher-ed options in the country.

Scores were tallied using results from a national survey of 100,000 college students. The scores also used data from Times Higher Education’s Academic Reputation Survey to determine a university’s reputation for excellence in teaching.

A university’s ranking on this list is based on 15 factors spanning four categories: Student outcomes, such as what students do after graduation, make up 40 percent of the score; the school’s resources make up 30 percent; how well a university engages its students is worth 20 percent; and the university’s learning environment and diversity contributes to the final 10 percent. A full breakdown of the methodology can be found here.

Overall, Drexel scored a 69.8 out of 100. The University scored 25.2 out of 40 in outcomes; 21.1 out of 30 for resources; 16.7 out of 20 for engagement; and 6.8 out of 10 for environment. As a result, Drexel placed higher than local universities such as Penn State (96) and Villanova (117). Within the Northeast region, Drexel ranked 39th out of 305 institutions.

Stanford University topped the overall list with a score of 92 out of 100. However, the rankings also included separate lists in categories like “Top Schools for Resources,” in which Harvard University was No. 1 and Stanford didn’t crack the top 10. 

For the international World University rankings, Drexel scored in the 351–400 range out of 980 universities (the exact ranking is not displayed for all institutions on the list after the top 200). The University placed higher than other East Coast schools including Lehigh University (401–500) and American University (401–500). More information on the results can be found here.

The list for international universities and colleges used an overall ranking compiled from categories including teaching, industry income, research, citations and international outlook; Drexel scored highest in the last two categories.

“The impressive showing in these new academic and research rankings confirms that our emphasis on experiential learning, innovation and research is strengthening Drexel’s competitive position,” said President Fry.

Both the national and international rankings’ place extra emphasis on student outputs and outcomes rather than acceptance rates and the statistics of incoming freshmen. As a result, Drexel’s dedication to ensuring student success before and especially after graduation is more valued and rewarded. The rankings reflect the opportunities of present and incoming Drexel Dragons as well as the outcomes of recent alumni to show that the Drexel approach to research, student success and co-operative education really does make a difference.

Corrections: this post previously incorrectly stated that Drexel was in the 94th percentile and in 81st place. After the date of this article's publication, the rankings were adjusted and Drexel came in 93rd place.