In its “2017 Best Colleges Rankings,” USFSP landed at No. 24. Criteria for the rankings include graduation and first-year student retention rates, undergraduate academic reputation, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, alumni giving, and graduation rate performance. The most heavily weighted measures are graduation and retention rates, and academic reputation. USFSP is ranked at No. 72 among all public and private regional universities in the South.
“These rankings are a testament to our outstanding faculty and staff, to the education excellence they are delivering to our students,” Regional Chancellor Sophia Wisniewska said. “We are delighted to be ranked among the top, having met significant benchmarks for academic quality and student success.”
Among its criteria, the magazine measures student-faculty ratio, which for USFSP is 17 to 1, with nearly 30 percent of classes having fewer than 20 students. With an emphasis on smaller class sizes, faculty members can work closely with students, encouraging them to excel not only in the classroom but also in research and civic learning.
“Many students are attracted to a smaller institution and opportunities to work with faculty and community partners, and/or engage in undergraduate research,” said Martin Tadlock, regional vice chancellor of academic affairs. “These rankings can help students and parents identify institutions, like USFSP, which can deliver on those expectations.”
U.S. News & World Report describes its ranking formula as using “quantitative and qualitative measures that education experts have proposed as reliable indicators of academic quality,” and it is based on the magazine’s “researched view of what matters in education.” Regionally accredited schools are categorized by criteria developed by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. U.S. News & World Report made a few changes for the 2017 edition of Best Colleges, implementing Carnegie System updates. About 12 percent of ranked schools were moved into different categories, resulting in some shifts in overall placement.
In January 2016, U.S. News & World Report ranked USFSP’s Online MBA Program among the best in the nation in its survey of “Best Online MBA Programs.” Of 167 universities, USFSP is ranked No. 15 in the nation and No. 2 in Florida. The rankings were based on five general categories: student engagement, admissions selectivity, peer reputation, faculty credentials and training, and student services and technology. USFSP’s program scored especially well in faculty credentials and training, in which it tied at No. 3 nationally.