Skip to main content

Villanova University Ranked in the Top 50 of the Nation’s Best Colleges and Universities by U.S. News & World Report

Villanova University

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova University has been ranked in the top 50 of the nation’s best colleges and universities by U.S. News & World Report in the 2017 “Best Colleges” rankings, released Sept. 13. Villanova earned a #50 ranking in the National Universities category, placing it in the top 16 percent of nationally ranked institutions on the list. Of the approximately 1,400 four-year colleges and universities nationwide listed by U.S. News & World Report, 310 are classified as National Universities.

In determining the rankings, U.S. News uses a series of widely accepted indicators of excellence, including academic reputation, student retention, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, alumni giving, graduation rate performance and ratings by high school counselors. According to U.S. News, “schools in the National Universities category offer a full range of undergraduate majors, plus master's and doctoral programs. These colleges also are committed to producing groundbreaking research.”

“This new ranking is a significant milestone in the University’s history, and is one more example of how Villanova continues to move forward academically,” said the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, Villanova University President. “It signals the overall strength of the Villanova academic experience and the emphasis we place on successful student outcomes. It will also help Villanova to continue to attract the most talented undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff to our University.”

U.S. News uses the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education—the leading framework for recognizing and categorizing the diverse institutions in higher education—as the basis for its “Best Colleges” ranking system. In February, Carnegie elevated Villanova to the Doctoral Universities category from the Master’s Colleges and Universities category. With this new classification, Villanova appears on the National Universities list in the U.S. News “Best Colleges” ranking for the first time this year. While classified in the Master’s Colleges and Universities category, the University had been ranked as #1 on the U.S. News Regional Universities North list for the past 23 years.

“Villanova’s move to the U.S. News National Universities list was a long-planned and intentional strategic decision,” said Patrick G. Maggitti, PhD, Villanova University Provost. “These changes allow Villanova to create a new model as an institution with an unwavering focus and commitment to undergraduate education that also graduates a select number of PhDs, produces world-class and relevant research in a variety of areas, and offers a wide range of master’s degrees. Villanova is an excellent example in higher education of how undergraduate and graduate education can strengthen the overall academic experience and provide a return on investment that is unrivaled.”

Villanova’s ranking on the U.S. News National Universities list further affirms the University’s upward trajectory over the past decade. The University continues to attract high-achieving students in record numbers, receiving 17,200 applications for 1,670 spots in its 2016 freshman class. Villanova students consistently earn prestigious national scholarships and awards, including Rhodes, Gates Cambridge and Fulbright. Upon graduation, Villanovans are highly sought-after by companies and organizations around the country and the world—with the University being recognized for career outcomes and value by a number of publications.

During this time of forward momentum for the University, “For the Greater Great, The Villanova Campaign to Ignite Change” has been an overwhelming success, and is rapidly approaching its $600 million goal. The University has also undertaken a major development initiative that will dramatically enhance its facilities and campus landscape.

About U.S. News & World Report:  Founded as a newsweekly magazine in 1933, U.S. News transitioned to primarily web-based publishing in 2010, and is best known today for its influential “Best Colleges” and “Best Hospitals” rankings. Since 1983, the U.S. News “Best Colleges” ranking system has rested on two pillarsthe formula uses qualitative measures that education experts have proposed as reliable indicators of academic quality and U.S. News’ researched view of what matters in education. The lists are defined by Carnegie Classification categories that are the accepted standard in higher education: National Universities, National Liberal Arts Colleges, Regional Universities and Regional Colleges.

About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's six collegesthe College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. Ranked among the nation’s top universities, Villanova supports its students’ intellectual growth and prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them. For more, visit


Jonathan Gust, Director of Media Relations

Villanova University

(610) 519-6508