Growing UMBC community celebrates U.S. News spotlight on innovation and teaching

Published: Sep 12, 2017

As UMBC welcomes its largest freshman class ever this fall, Retrievers have three more reasons to feel confident in their college choice: The 2018 U.S. News & World Report college guide ranks UMBC the #7 Most Innovative university in the nation, #13 top national university for Strong Commitment to Undergraduate Teaching, and one of the nation’s top universities overall on the Best National Universities list.

“UMBC’s most recent recognition truly displays how our excellence is not by accident,” says UMBC Student Government Association President Joshua E. Massey ’18, computer engineering. “The time and effort our community puts into developing high-value research and learning experiences, plus engaging student life on campus, is worthy of national attention.”

For students, families, and educators following UMBC’s rise to prominence as a top public research university, these lists will sound familiar. U.S. News has now recognized UMBC as a higher ed trailblazer for a decade, first on its Up-and-Coming list and now on its newer Most Innovative list. This year, UMBC appears alongside Arizona State University, Stanford, MIT, Georgia State University, Carnegie Mellon, and Harvard.

The U.S. News innovation metric incorporates everything from research and technology to curriculum and campus life, while the Undergraduate Teaching list hones in more specifically on the core classroom experience.

“These rankings reflect the respect thought leaders across the country have for our university, and they speak to our strength as an institution focused on both research and the undergraduate educational experience,” says President Freeman Hrabowski. “We are proud to be included on both lists.”

UMBC’s recognition for Strong Commitment to Undergraduate Teaching for the past several years demonstrates consistency in high quality teaching, with a firm emphasis on student support and inclusive excellence. The 2018 list highlights UMBC’s educational excellence alongside such universities as Princeton, Dartmouth, Brown, Rice, the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Duke, and Yale.

“UMBC faculty are dedicated to providing each student with a distinctive educational experience,” says Katharine H. Cole, vice provost and dean of Undergraduate Academic Affairs. “UMBC creates an enriching environment for students to explore new ideas, and develop into effective and compassionate global leaders.”

This U.S. News recognition comes on the tail of several other major rankings and honors for UMBC. In summer 2017, Princeton Review again featured UMBC in its popular undergraduate guide, The Best 328 Colleges. Like U.S. News, the publication’s UMBC profile highlights the quality of teaching found at the university and UMBC faculty’s deep commitment to student success.

UMBC has also been featured on several lists of top-value national universities that balance quality and affordability, such as Forbes and Money magazines and Princeton Review’s 2017 Colleges That Pay You Back guide, which includes the top U.S. colleges that balance “a superb education with great career preparation at an affordable price.”

For more details on the latest rankings news, see the UMBC News rankings page.

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