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KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee remained among the nation’s 40 top public universities, and its business program entered the top 25, according to U.S. News and World Report’s 2007 college and university rankings.

The magazine’s annual report, released today, marked the second year in a row that Tennessee has been listed among the top 40 public universities. UT ranked 39th, tying SEC peers Auburn and Alabama, as well as the University of Kansas, the University of California-Riverside and the University of Missouri-Columbia. UT was 38th place in 2006 and 44th place in 2005.

Among the “best national universities,” both public and private, UT ranked 88th place. The list includes 248 research universities, 162 public and 86 private institutions.

“Being ranked in the top 40 for a second consecutive year is a strong sign that UT continues to be highly regarded among its peers as one of the best national universities,” said Chancellor Loren Crabtree. “The credit for this excellence belongs to our dedicated faculty and staff and our bright, energetic students.”

UT’s peer assessment score, which gauges what other universities think of the institution, rose from 3.1 on a 5-point scale last year to 3.2 this year.

UT’s undergraduate business program rose three spots to 25th place among top public institutions, and climbed five spots to 42nd place among all national universities. The business program’s curriculum in supply chain management/logistics was ranked 8th place nationally.

Tennessee’s undergraduate engineering program was ranked 42nd among national public universities offering doctorate degrees, and ranked 71st place among all national universities.

“This year, one-third of incoming freshmen have core GPAs of 4.0. That’s the highest percentage of straight-A students ever in a freshman class,” Crabtree said. “This new class has an average ACT score of 25.8 and an average GPA of 3.6 – also the best in the university’s history.”

The academic rankings reflected in the U.S. News survey are a good indicator of how UT is seen in the eyes of its peers, Crabtree said, but the university’s impact extends much further.

“The joint institutes for research we’ve formed with Oak Ridge National Laboratory are an outstanding example of UT’s growing leadership in fields such as materials science and biological science,” Crabtree said. “As the UT/ORNL partnership and our research profile grows, we expect more great results.”

UT Chattanooga ranked 40th and UT Martin ranked 56th in the south region of the category of Best Universities-Master’s, which are the best regional schools offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees but not with a heavy emphasis on doctoral degrees.

Last March, the UT College of Education, Health and Human Science’s overall graduate program in education was ranked 35th place in the nation and 24th among public institutions, and their research funding was ranked in the top 10 nationally and among public universities. The College of Law was ranked 60th place in the U.S.

In previous years, UT’s graduate program in audiology ranked 30th, speech pathology ranked 32nd, and engineering ranked 68th with a 10th place ranking for nuclear engineering.

U.S. News and World Report rankings are based on peer assessments of student quality, retention, graduation rates, student-to-faculty ratio, financial resources and alumni support, among other factors.

U.S. News ranks undergraduate and graduate programs annually. Select graduate programs are evaluated periodically, but not on an annual basis.

The rankings are available online at the U.S. News and World Report Web site,

Contact: Tom Milligan (865-974-9438)