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Rankings and Recognitions

Michigan State University has been advancing the common good with uncommon will for more than 160 years, pushing the boundaries of discovery and forging enduring partnerships to solve the most pressing global challenges. With innovative academic programs, research, and outreach, MSU is recognized internationally as a top research university and a leader in international engagement.

University-wide distinctions

  • MSU is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, a group of only 60 U.S. and two Canadian universities widely regarded as among the top research-intensive institutions in North America.
  • MSU is one of the top 70 universities in the world, according to the Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings 2018.
  • Times Higher Education ranks MSU No. 83 in its World University Rankings 2018, an 18-place improvement over 2016. The ranking puts Michigan State in the top 8 percent of 1,102 universities assessed around the world.
  • MSU ranks in the top 8 percent of universities in the United States, according to the latest annual assessment from the Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education’s Higher Education College Ranking 2018. MSU came in at No. 80 out of 1,054 institutions.
  • MSU ranks No. 35 among public universities and No. 85 overall in U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges 2019.”
  • Michigan State is among the top 100 universities in the world, according to a new set of rankings from U.S. News & World Report. According to the rankings, which list the top 500 universities in the world, MSU is tied for 75th with the Netherlands’ Leiden University. This is the first time U.S. News & World Report has rated universities on a global scale. It used a new set of criteria, with a heavy emphasis on the schools’ research prowess.
  • MSU is among a group of 53 universities Times Higher Education calls “international powerhouses”—institutions with exceptional research output that have the best chance of catching up with or overtaking the world’s best universities. 
  • MSU is No. 1 in the Big Ten and No. 22 in the nation for employability of graduates, according to Times Higher Education’s 2017 Global University Employability Ranking.  
  • MSU ranks 10th in the nation for education abroad participation, with 2,391 students participating in 2015-16, according to the Institute of International Education’s 2017 Open Doors Report. MSU ranks No. 16 in the country for international student enrollmentIn 2016-17, MSU hosted 7,779 international students on campus.
  • Money Magazine ranks Michigan State No. 41 in its 2018 list of "727 Best Colleges for Your Money," which takes into account quality of education, affordability, and outcomes. 
  • MSU's increasingly good value is reflected in Kiplinger’s 2018 edition of "Best College Values," which ranks MSU 40th among public universities for in-state students—a ranking that has improved from 85th in 2007. Kiplinger bases its rankings entirely on measureable criteria such as student–faculty ratio, admission rate, graduation rate, cost, and financial aid.
  • MSU ranks in the top 50 among 316 U.S. universities ranked in Washington Monthly’s 2018 College Guide and Rankings. Ratings are based on a school’s contribution to the public good in three broad categories: social mobility, research, and service.
  • MSU earned gold status in the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency’s 2017-18 Veteran-Friendly School program rankings. 
  • MSU is among the top 30 in Forbes' list of America's best large employers for 2018. MSU ranks 28th of 500 companies who employ 5,000 or more.
  • Michigan State ranked No. 17 among large schools on the Peace Corps’ 2018 Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges and Universities list. There are 47 Spartans currently volunteering worldwide. Since the Peace Corps’ founding in 1961, 2,407 MSU alumni have traveled abroad to serve as volunteers.
  • U.S. News & World Report ranks MSU No. 27 on its list of the “100 Best Global Universities for Environment/Ecology,” a directory that identifies “the world’s best universities for the field of environment and ecology, based on their reputation and research.”
  • Architectural Digest named MSU's Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum one of the "Best University Art Museums in America."
  • MSU’s Beal Botanical Garden and Hidden Lake Gardens are among the “50 Most Amazing University Botanical Gardens and Arboretums in the U.S.” according to Best Colleges Online. MSU is the only school on the list to have two gardens featured. 
  • The U.S. Department of Energy has selected MSU to design and establish the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, also known as FRIB, a $730 million facility that will advance understanding of rare nuclear isotopes and the evolution of the cosmos as it provides research opportunities for scientists and students from around the globe. A world leader in rare isotope research, Michigan State has been committed to advancing accelerator-based sciences for more than 50 years.
  • MSU is the only university in the country with on-campus medical schools graduating allopathic (MD) and osteopathic (DO) physicians, as well as veterinarians. As the university extends the College of Human Medicine and the College of Osteopathic Medicine to new areas of the state, MSU will be among the largest universities in the United States in terms of the number of medical school graduates.
  • More than 32,000 MSU students participated in community-engaged learning and service opportunities during the 2016–17 academic year.
  • MSU's outstanding record of students earning prestigious scholarships: Goldwater, 44; Rhodes, 18; Churchill, 18; Truman, 16; Marshall, 16; Udall, 12; Hollings, 7; Gates, 4; and Mitchell, 4.

U.S. News & World Report's latest editions of America's Best Colleges (undergraduate) and America's Best Graduate Schools rankings

MSU has 25 undergraduate and graduate programs ranked in the top 20 nationally, by U.S. News & World Report. These include nine No. 1-ranked programs in undergraduate supply chain management/logistics and graduate programs in African history, nuclear physics, elementary and secondary education, higher education administration, organizational psychology, rehabilitation counseling, and supply chain. 

Undergraduate

Supply chain management/logistics No. 1                                            

Production/operations management No. 11                                      

Biological/agricultural engineering No. 12                                             

Accounting No. 14

Management No. 18    

Graduate

African history No. 1

Nuclear physics No. 1                                                    

Elementary education No. 1 for 24 straight years

Secondary education No. 1 for 24 straight years

Organizational psychology No. 1                                          

Rehabilitation counseling (education) No. 1

Supply chain/logistics No. 1

Higher education administration No. 1      

Curriculum/instruction No. 2                                                   

Educational psychology No. 4

Educational administration No. 8

Education policy No. 9

Criminal justice No. 10        

Production/operations management No. 10

Veterinary medicine No. 12

Biological/agricultural engineering No. 13

Special Education No. 13

College of Education (overall) No. 15

Primary care (College of Osteopathic Medicine) No. 15  

Marketing No. 18                           

U.S. News & World Report’s Best Online Graduate Programs for 2017 show all four MSU programs that participate in the rankings improving from last year.

Online graduate education program up three places to No. 8

Online graduate program in criminal justice up six places to No. 10

Online graduate programs in business up 10 places to No. 16

Online graduate nursing program up five places to No. 26

 

Additional top academic programs, centers, and initiatives

  • In 2017, Times Higher Education ranked MSU No. 10 in its first-ever ranking of global institutions that offer education as a subject.
  • MSU’s communications program is No. 2 in the world, according to a 2017 ranking by ShanghaiRanking, an independent organization dedicating to research on higher education.
  • The Broad College of Business Full-Time MBA Program ranks No. 10 among the nation’s public programs, according to the 2017 Financial Times Global MBA ranking. 
  • MSU is No. 1 in the 2016 SCM World University 100 ranking, which asked supply chain practitioners to select their top three universities “as a marker of supply chain talent.” More than 2,000 professionals around the world participated, including nearly 200 based in Asia, 400 in Europe, and the balance in the Americas. 
  • MSU has been ranked No. 6 on a list of the top 10 best colleges in the nation to study health professions, according to College Factual, an online ranking source for students looking for the “right fit” when it comes to selecting a school. 
  • MSU’s master’s program in social work was ranked among the top 25 in the nation by TheBestSchools.org, an independent organization that focuses its ranking system on three criteria: academic excellence, return on investment, and benefits that affect quality of life during studies.
  • MSU is one of the top schools for game design in North America, earning the No. 7 spot for its undergraduate program and No. 8 for its graduate program in the Princeton Review’s list of Top Schools for Video Game Design for 2018. 
  • Of the 141 medical schools in an Annals of Internal Medicine study, MSU's College of Human Medicine ranked sixth overall for social mission—defined as producing doctors who are minorities, practice primary care, or work in underserved areas—and seventh for underrepresented minorities in its student population.
  • MSU’s Student Organic Farm ranks No. 8 in Best College Reviews’ list of top college farms in the country.
  • The media and information studies doctoral program in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences was ranked second in the mass communication category by the Chronicle of Higher Education.
  • MSU is home to BEACON, one of five highly coveted National Science Foundation Science and Technology Innovation Centers. The Bio/computational Evolution in Action Consortium brings together biologists, computer scientists, and engineers to study evolution in both natural and virtual settings and apply knowledge to real-world problems.
  • With accreditation from the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs, MSU's nurse anesthesia program in the College of Nursing becomes the fifth such program in the state, enabling the college to help address a shortage in a critical area of health care.
  • MSU leads U.S. universities in the number of African language courses offered and in the number of different African languages taught.
  • MSU offers 26 study abroad programs in Africa, more than any other U.S. university.
  • MSU was the first major university in the United States with a dean of international programs.
  • MSU and the University of Wisconsin–Madison partner in the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center with $125 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, focusing on the conversion of plant biomass to bioenergy.
  • MSU is the leader in a research project funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Homeland Security that created the Center for Advancing Microbial Risk Assessment, a consortium of scientists from seven universities with expertise in quantitative microbial risk assessment methods, biosecurity, and infectious disease transmission through environmental exposure.
  • MSU's Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, formerly the Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health, is one of the country's premier and busiest veterinary diagnostic laboratories. From just over 9,700 cases when it first opened in 1973, the facility now handles more than 200,000 cases and more than 1.2 million diagnostic tests per year.
  • As Michigan's land-grant institution, MSU is home to AgBioResearch, which funds the research of more than 300 scientists who conduct research in on-campus facilities and at 13 outlying research centers across the state.