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the U.S. News and World Report logo for Best National Universities 2015

U.S. News & World Report rankings

The University of Cincinnati was again named in the Top Tier of the country's "Best National Universities" and moved up six spots to 129th in the 2015 special issue. In the past four years, UC has jumped a remarkable 27 places on the list, from 156, and is now tied with Ohio University, the University of Kentucky, Arizona State, Louisiana State and University of Utah. No other university in the top 130 has jumped as many places in only five years. (2014-15)

Last year, UC also made the list of the top 13 colleges with the best co-op or internship opportunities.

In addition, UC has numerous programs ranked among the top 100 public universities in the nation, including 50 in the Top 50.

In particular, the MBA program rose a total of 39 spots for its full-time program and 69 spots for its part-time program. Both rankings exemplified the largest increase of any school in the nation, leading U.S. News & World Report to call the UC move "one of the most noteworthy changes" in the most current rankings.

While these are the most recent rankings, all categories are not ranked yearly.

(Note: USN&WR generally ranks only graduate programs. Rankings from other sources are listed below the USN&WR list.)

University-wide rankings

  • Top 13 — Cooperative Education, 2013 ranking still current
  • 63 — Top public school, 2015


Graduate schools

Best online programs

Music and arts graduate programs

  •   3 — opera/voice
  •   3 — interior design
  •   5 — musical conducting
  •   6 — industrial design
  •   6 — music
  •   9 — music composition
  •   9 — orchestra/symphony
  • 37 — drama
  • 46 — creative writing
                            — 2014 rankings still current for all

Medical and health graduate programs

  •   3pediatrics, 2015 ranking
  • 35speech, language pathology graduate program (CAHS), 2012 ranking still current
  • 37audiology graduate program (CAHS), 2012 ranking still current
  • 43 — otolaryngology graduate program, 2014 ranking still current
  • 78College of Medicine's primary-care program, beating out Ohio U., Rutgers; 2014 ranking still current
  • 99physical therapy graduate program, 2012 ranking still current

Science, engineering, business graduate programs

  •   6 — paleontology (2010)
  • 20 — environmental engineering (2014)
  • 31 — aerospace engineering (2014)
  • 48 — civil engineering (2014)
  • 60 — mechanical engineering (2014)
  • MBA:
    • 45 — best part-time program, a 35-spot rise over the previous year
    • 70 — best full-time program
    • top 10 — greatest financial value upon graduation, based upon highest first-year salaries relative to debt load out of 437 for programs   
                            — 2014 rankings still current for all MBA programs

Misc. programs

  • 10 — accounting undergraduate program, 2014 ranking still current
  • 88Earth sciences/Geology graduate program, 2014 ranking still current
  • 93biological sciences graduate program, 2014 ranking still current
  • 94 sociology graduate program, 2013 ranking still current
  • 96 — chemistry graduate program, 2014 ranking still current
University of Cincinnati

Various other rankings applaud UC

Note: Most rankings do not occur yearly.

Physical campus

Top in the world

  • Forbes magazine — Forbes named UC among the world's most beautiful college campuses. Others making that short list were Oxford University in England as well as Princeton University, Stanford University, Yale University and the University of Virginia. (2010)
  • Delta Sky magazine — UC made the list of the world’s Top Ten most inspiring campuses, as selected by Delta Sky magazine. Campuses were deemed inspiring based upon their settings, design or architecture. (2011)

Top in the country

  • Best College Reviews named UC’s rec center No. 1 among the “25 most amazing campus student recreation centers” in the country. “UC students have all the amenities that modern students expect, but they enjoy partaking of them in world class architectural achievements, which is a big part of why Cincinnati takes our top spot,” the announcement read. Ohio made a good showing with Ohio State University placing at No. 5 and University of Akron at No. 14. (2013)
  • Allied Health World named UC’s Campus Recreation Center on West Campus, along with the East Campus Fitness Center in the CARE/Crawley building, to be in the top 10 university fitness centers in the country. The announcement praised the quantity and quality of equipment, swimming pools, etc., but also bragged on the architecture -- Pritzker Prize-winning architect Thom Mayne and Kristina Loock for the former building, and the latter for winning the Chicago Athenaeum American Architecture Award. (June 2013)
  • The Fiscal Times listed UC among the "10 Public Colleges with Insanely Luxurious Dorms," citing the upperclassman housing located in the same building as the Campus Recreation Center and CenterCourt, the dining facility with five food stations. (fall 2012)
  • HomeTalk.com listed UC's Morgens Hall among its national list of 7 university residence halls with must-have features. Morgens was included for its sustainability features. (2015)
  • Top Colleges Online named UC as having three of "The 50 Most Amazing Examples of College Architecture." The top three were the Vontz Center, the Steger Student Center and the Engineering Research Center. (2012)
  • Travel & Leisure magazine listed UC among the nation's most beautiful campuses, along with Cornell, Duke, Notre Dame, Princeton, Stanford, Vanderbilt and Yale. (Oct. 2011)
  • Yahoo Travel lists UC among the nation's most beautiful college campuses, noting that such architecture not only nabs indecisive students, but also attracts tourists. UC is listed along with Yale, Notre Dame, Harvard, Cornell, Princeton, Duke and William and Mary. (Oct. 2011)

Financial considerations

"Biggest Bang for Buck"

  • No. 1 — PolicyMic, a millennial generation news site, ranked UC as top in the nation for giving students the "Best Bang For Their Buck." (2013 study still current)

NACUBO endowment ranking

  • 80 in the U.S. -- UC's endowment ranks 80th among all U.S. and Canadian colleges and universities, based upon financial figures from FY09, released in the National Association of College and University Business Officers study (2013 study still current)

Barron's Profiles of American Colleges

  • Competitive+ — The University of Cincinnati is ranked as "Competitive+." (2011)

Academics, research, diversity, more

Princeton Review

  • UC among 'Nation's Best' — UC has been named as one of the nation's best institutions for undergraduate education for the seventh straight year, according to the Princeton's Review's 2015 edition of "The Best 379 Colleges." (2008-15)
  • Named a "Green University" — For the fifth straight year, UC was listed in the top tier of the nation's "green" universities. (2014)
  • Lindner College of Business among best 295 — UC's College of Business is ranked one of the best, based largely upon the opinions of students.(2014, also among the top in '09-13)
  • Best Professor in Nation — LisaMarie Luccioni, adjunct professor of communications, was named one of the best 300 undergraduate teachers in the country. She teaches business etiquette and professional image courses in the Lindner Honors-PLUS program and communications in the McMicken College of Arts & Sciences. She is one of fewer than 100 Certified Image Professionals in the U.S. (2012)
  • College of Law, among best 172 — UC's College of Law was ranked among the top schools in the country. (2011, '09, '05)
  • 19th most diverse — UC is ranked 19th in the nation for having a diverse student population. (2009)
  • Entrepreneur Program in top 25 — UC's undergraduate entrepreneurship program in the Lindner College of Business is ranked 21st among Princeton's "Top 50 Entrepreneurial Colleges." (2008)

Academic Ranking of World Universities

  • Top 300 in the world — UC placed in the top 300 worldwide universities, out of more than 1,200 universities ranked by the Center for World-Class Universities, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China. The Chronicle of Higher Education says the ARWU survey "is considered the most influential international ranking". (2014)
  • Top 104 of American universities (2014)

Center for Measuring University Performance


  • Survey of employers
    • Industrial design No. 1 — UC's College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning was named as having the country's best undergraduate industrial design program for the fourth straight year —  (2015)
    • Interior design No. 6 — For more than a dozen years, DAAP’s undergraduate interior design program has ranked in the top six in the nation. (2015)
    • No. 18 for graduate architecture — DAAP’s graduate-level architecture program has ranked in the top 20 for four years in a row. In the Midwest, it was ranked No. 3. (2015)
    • No. 9 for graduate design — DAAP’s graduate-level design program was ranked 9th nationally and 2nd in the Midwest. (2015)

  • Subsurvey of deans and department heads
    • Interior design No. 1 — For the second year in a row, interior design deans and department heads ranked UC’s undergraduate program No. 1 as the “most admired undergraduate interior design program.” (2014)
    • Industrial design No. 1 — Industrial design deans and department heads ranked UC’s undergraduate program No. 1 as the “most admired undergraduate interior design program.” (2014)
  • Among the nation's top 30 most-admired industrial-design educators (from survey comments)
    • Dale Murray, associate professor — described as a “personally well-versed designer," "an advocate for design to help others throughout the world" and "admired for his knowledge of sustainable design, his passion for industrial design, and his encouragement of logical research and strong presentation skills.” (2014)
    • Brigid O’Kane, associate professor of practice — described as having a great deal of industry experience, which she uses to provide "a broad range of insightful information about how the industry really works.” (2014)


  • No. 8 in the country — DAAP's School of Design ranked eighth among design schools, based upon career outcome data of more than 313 million members. (2014)


  • No. 150 in the world — The Cybermetrics Lab in Spain measures "the performance and impact of universities through their web presence," ranking the University of Cincinnati 150 in the world. Webometrics scores each university on four criteria, the most heavily weighted being the number of links to the institution's website from other sites -- a way of evaluating that site's general impact on the web community say the rankers. (2014)

Business Insider's Global Design Rankings

  • DAAP college No. 3 in world — Art directors, product designers and other design professionals rated UC's College of Design, Architecture, and Planning No. 3 in the world as a school that "is best suited to get you the design job you want." The college was the No. 1-ranked public university in that category. (2013)

The Washington Center

Military Friendly School (MFS)

  • UC has been designated an MFS for the sixth straight year, placing us among the top 20 percent of schools nationwide, as ranked by Victory Media, a veteran-owned marketing/publishing company. UC has approximately 1,500 student veterans enrolled in 2014, the year the ranking took place. UC has also received the following related rankings:


  • Best for actors on a budget — UC’s College-Conservatory of Music was named one of the top six college programs in the nation for actors on a budget by Backstage.com. Out of 200 incoming freshmen in the fall, about 60 percent of CCM students received some talent-based scholarship. (2013)

Bloomberg BusinessWeek

  • Lindner College of Business in top 100 — UC’s business school placed 36th in the nation among public business schools. Out of all business schools in the nation, UC placed 84th. The ranking was five places higher than the previous year's. (March 2013 and '12)
  • Full-time MBA program in top 50 — The UC Lindner College of Business MBA program was ranked 47th in the nation. (November '14)
  • College of Business' undergraduate program rankings among public schools (2013):
    • No. 5 marketing
    • No. 5 accounting
    • No. 6 quantitative methods
    • No. 7 ethics
    • No. 10 microeconomics
    • No. 10 macroeconomics
    • No. 14 international business
    • No. 15 operations management
    • No. 16 finance
    • No. 37 information systems
    • No. 40 sustainability
    • No. 41 entrepreneurship
    • No. 45 corporate strategy
    • No. 55 business law


Master’s Marketing Degree Online

Washington Monthly

(1st "Smart Choice" ranking for online degrees)

  • Criminal justice No. 2 in nation — The College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services' online criminal-justice degree program was named second best in the nation. Arizona State University took first. (2012)

Chronicle of Higher Education

  • At top of Fulbright Scholar list — Among research institutions, the University of Cincinnati ranked near the top of the list when the Chronicle published "Top Producers of U.S. Fulbright Scholars." UC had seven faculty earning Fulbrights, surpassing Harvard, Columbia, Cornell and Ohio State universities. Only four universities ranked ahead of UC (Pennsylvania State, University of Kansas, Arizona State and New York University). Fulbright awards allow faculty to teach and conduct research internationally. (2011)

Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

  • Research classification — UC was classified as a "Very High Research Activity" university, placing us among 35 research-intensive universities to receive the classification. (2011)
  • Community Engagement — UC received a Community Engagement classification, acknowledging UC's emphasis on service in improving teaching and learning, as well as its commitment to benefiting the local and global community. (2011)

Diverse Issues In Higher Education

  • Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award (2014) 
    The University of Cincinnati was among the recipients in September 2014 of the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.
  • Top 100 — The University of Cincinnati is ranked among the Top 100 schools in awarding master’s degrees to African American and Native American students. UC also ranks among the Top 100 schools in awarding doctoral degrees to African American, Asian and Native American students, and in awarding medical degrees to African American students. (2010)

SCImago Research Group

  • The SCImago Research Group's Institutions Rankings World Report 2010 combines four global indicators revealing performance, institutions' ability to generate scientific knowledge and to achieve international visibility. UC ranks as follows:
  1. 203th in the world out of 3,290 institutions (2012)
  2. 70th in North America 581 institutions (2011)

Fashionista.com (based in New York City)

  • No. 12 in the country — The UC fashion design program in the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning was included in rankings of the top 20 fashion design programs in the nation and placed 12th. Judges looked at jobs procured, opinions of people in the industry and standout program offerings. (2011)

Poets & Writers magazine

  • Creative-writing doctoral program No. 8 in nation —- Department head Russel Durst largely attributes the placement to "the accomplishments of the faculty, who in recent years have produced prize-winning books and won highly competitive awards including the Fulbright, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Guyana Prize for Literature Caribbean Award.” (2011)

International Student Barometer (2014)

  • The International Student Barometer, an annual survey of international students attending 178 global institutions, gives UC high marks. In the latest International Student Barometer (ISB), the University of Cincinnati ranked 7th among national peers and 37th globally. 

Chronicle of Higher Education

National Research Council (survey repeated every 10+ years)

  • 7th in country — UC's classics PhD program ranked 7th best in country. (2010)

London (UK) Times Higher Education Supplement

  • 190th in the world — The Times Higher Education supplement, emphasizing research universities, ranks the University of Cincinnati 190th among all the universities in the world, 69th among United States universities and 28th among public U.S. universities. (2011, '09)

Planetizen Guide 

  • Graduate urban-planning 17th in U.S. — The DAAP urban-planning master's degree program ranks 17th in the nation and fourth in the Midwest, according to the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs. Additionally, the guide placed the program sixth in the nation for providing training to international students and seventh in the nation for program that allow part-time students. With its Top-25 ranking, UC stands with other such schools as Harvard, Cornell and MIT. Planetizen is the only ranking system that currently exists for Schools of Planning. (20015)

National Science Foundation

  • One of America’s top 26 public research — UC is so ranked. (last ranking done in 2011)