success stories

Posted September 4, 2003

Catholic colleges ranked among best in nation

In the national ranking, three Catholic colleges made the top 50: The University of Notre Dame in Indiana (19th), Georgetown University in Washington (23rd) and Boston College (40th).

The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., was 27th among national liberal arts colleges.

Harvard and Princeton tied for top ranking for best national universities with doctoral programs while Yale placed third. Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., topped the list of national liberal arts schools.

This year's college rankings, published in the Sept. 1 edition of U.S. News & World Report, were based on a wide range of factors that the magazine has used in its 20 years of conducting this survey: peer assessment, academic reputation, retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources and alumni giving.

Catholic colleges and universities fared best in the category of best universities -- master's. The category ranks schools with undergraduate and master's programs but few, if any, doctoral programs.

In this category, divided by region, Villanova University in Pennsylvania topped the list in the North and Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., placed first in the Midwest. Catholic schools had strong showings in every region except the South.

Other schools making it to the top 15 in the North, in addition to Villanova, included Providence College in Rhode Island (second) and a tie for third place between Fairfield University in Connecticut and Loyola College in Baltimore. Other ranking colleges included: University of Scranton in Pennsylvania (sixth), St. Michael's College in Colchester, Vt. (11th) and St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia (13th). Several other Catholic colleges placed in the top 30.

In the Midwest, in addition to Creighton, ranking Catholic schools included John Carroll University in Cleveland (fourth), Xavier University in Cincinnati (sixth), Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Mo. (13th), and Dominican University in River Forest, Ill. (14th).

Seven of the top 15 regional universities in the West were Catholic. They were: Santa Clara University in California (second), Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles (third), Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash. (fourth), University of Portland in Oregon (eighth), St. Mary's College of California in Moraga, Calif. (ninth), Seattle University (10th) and St. Mary's University of San Antonio (13th).

Two Catholic schools made the top 15 in the Southern region -- Loyola University in New Orleans (sixth) and Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala. (13th).

In the category of best comprehensive colleges -- bachelor's, which focuses on undergraduate programs primarily in the liberal arts, Catholic schools in the North took three of the top 10 spots. They were: Stonehill College in North Easton, Mass. (first), Merrimack College in North Andover, Mass. (seventh) and Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pa. (10th).

In the Midwest, St. Mary's College in Notre Dame, Ind., ranked first among liberal arts colleges and St. Norbert College in DePere, Wis., placed third. There were no Catholic liberal arts colleges among the top 10 in the South and only one -- Carroll College in Helena, Mont., which placed fourth -- in the Western region's top 10.