TU advances from unranked to nation’s 75th best university during decade of progress

Monday, September 12, 2011

TU ranked among Top 50 private universities in the nation, Oklahoma’s only Top 100 university

U.S. News & World Report's 2012 edition of Best Colleges has named The University of Tulsa as the nation’s 75th best university – marking TU’s decade-long journey from unranked third-tier school to a top 75 national university. TU’s #75 ranking is TU’s highest position ever in the U.S. News survey.

us news 2012

This marks the ninth consecutive year that TU has been listed in the Top 100 national universities, and TU is the only Oklahoma university to be included within the top 100. The publication’s 2012 rankings, released on Sept. 13, also show TU as 46th among the nation’s private doctoral universities.

TU advanced 18 positions this year, the most of any institution within the report’s top 100 rankings.

President Steadman Upham noted these improvements were the result of the increased academic quality of TU’s student body, recruitment of top faculty, revitalization and expansion of its physical campus, and completion of a recent comprehensive campaign that raised more than $698 million.

“Far from an overnight success, this achievement is the result of more than a decade of strategic planning and focused effort aimed at advancing the university along all fronts,” Upham said.

TU’s improvements were measured across a number of the report’s ranking metrics, including gains in the following areas:

  • overall score, where TU’s nine-point gain was the largest within the top 100 national universities,
  • percentage of incoming freshmen who were in the top 10 percent in their graduating high school class,
  • freshman retention rate,
  • graduation rate,
  • ACT scores,
  • admission selectivity, and
  • peer assessment/reputational score ratings.

TU’s dedication to providing a personal learning environment is readily seen through the percentage of classes containing fewer than 20 students, where 70 percent of TU classes meet this criteria. The only other top 100 schools with a higher percentage in this category were Harvard University, Princeton University, Yale University, Columbia University, Stanford University, University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, Duke University, and Washington University in St. Louis. Only 1 percent of TU classes are larger than 50 students, with TU one of only three schools on the list to share that claim.

“Today’s announcement by U.S. News affirms 10 years of hard work undertaken by the entire TU family,” Upham said. “We also know, however, that today’s announcement does not mark a final destination, but rather the latest milestone in TU’s journey to become recognized as one of the nation’s Top 50 universities.”