For the fourth straight year, Gonzaga University is ranked the No. 4 best university in the West by U.S. News & World Report in its "Universities-Master's" classification. It marks the 11th consecutive year (18th in the past 21 years) that GU has been ranked among the West's best.
Also in the rankings to be made public Aug. 19, Gonzaga is rated the No. 2 best value in its classification based on the 2004 average annual cost of $20,476 (after receiving need-based grants); 61 percent of GU students received need-based grants in 2004, and the average discount from the total cost in 2004 was 36 percent. Also, for the second year in a row GU's School of Engineering remained tied for the No. 21 best undergraduate engineering program in the nation among engineering schools without a doctoral program. The engineering rankings are based solely on the judgements of deans and senior faculty who rated each program with which they are familiar.
Dennis Horn, dean of the Gonzaga School of Engineering, said he was gratified with his school's rankings. "It is gratifying to know that our peers continue to recognize the academic strength of both Gonzaga and its School of Engineering," Horn said.
GU Admission Dean Julie McCulloh echoed Horn's sentiments.
"We are pleased to be listed with such tremendous schools as we know that families often use rankings and guidebooks as starting places for a college search," McCulloh said. "However, we also recognize that surveys cannot give a potential student an accurate picture of all of the strengths, weaknesses, and unique attributes each school holds. One of the reasons we encourage students to visit campus is to experience the academic and community environment for themselves. And how wonderful for Spokane that students from outside our area can visit so many wonderful institutions right here in our city -- Eastern Washington University, Washington State University-Spokane and, of course, Whitworth, which also received very high rankings."
The rankings will be printed in the Aug. 29 issue of the weekly U.S. News & World Report magazine and the 2006 newsstand book "America's Best Colleges," both of which go on sale at newstands Aug. 22. The rankings will be posted Aug. 19 on the Web at www.usnews.com
The "Universities-Master's" classification include 572 universities within four geographical areas -- North, South, Midwest and West -- that provide a full range of undergraduate and master's-level programs but provide few, if any, doctoral programs. Gonzaga's sole Ph.D. program is the Doctoral Program in Leadership Studies.
Gonzaga's mission to care for the individual student and support the growth of the whole person B mind, body, and spirit B is evidenced by its 12-to-1 student-faculty ratio (2004). Only 2 percent of GU classes include more than 50 students, and 41 percent include fewer than 20 students (2004).
Gonzaga also ranks high in the publication's measure of retention: Ninety-one percent of freshmen entering Gonzaga from 2000 to 2003 returned the following fall for their sophomore year. Seventy-one percent of GU freshmen who entered in fall 2004 ranked in the top 25 percent of their high school class. Gonzaga also ranks third-highest in the West in terms of its graduation rate as 75 percent of GU freshmen who started from 1995-98 graduated within six years or less.
Other factors used by U.S. News to measure academic quality include: peer assessment (from top academic administrators at peer institutions); percentage of full-time faculty; acceptance rate; test scores; and alumni-giving rate.
The Top 10 "Universities-Master's" in the West:
1. Trinity University (Texas)
2. Santa Clara University (California)
3. Loyola Marymount University (California)
4. Gonzaga University (Washington)
5. Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo (California)
6. Whitworth College (Washington)
7. University of Redlands (California)
8. University of Portland (Oregon)
9. Seattle University (Washington)
St. Mary's College of California