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UT ranks 44th among all public universities and 104th nationally, according to the 2020 U.S. News and World Report undergraduate rankings released today.

The university improved in key areas measured by U.S. News—including six-year graduation rate and peer assessment.

“It is always nice to be recognized as a top university, but what excites us more than the ranking is the improvement we are seeing in our graduation rates,” said Provost David Manderscheid. “This increase shows that the resources we have been investing in our student success efforts are paying off.”

These gains come as UT continues to grow its enrollment, exceeding 29,000 students this fall for the first time in more than 20 years. The university welcomed the largest freshman class on record with more than 5,250 students this year, bringing undergraduate enrollment above 23,000. As the state’s flagship land-grant university, UT maintains its commitment to access and offers a pathway to admission for nearly 90 percent of its in-state freshman applicants.

UT has seen sustained growth in retention and graduation rates in recent years, reaching a 73 percent six-year graduation rate this year. UT’s peer assessment score also rose, moving from 3.2 out of 5 last year to 3.3 this year.

The Haslam College of Business rose to 31st among all public universities. The college’s overall undergraduate program moved up eight spots among public universities and 12 spots nationally, ranking 50th. The college’s supply chain management program ranks seventh nationally, and its marketing program ranks 21st among public schools and 37th nationally.

“The Haslam College of Business seeks to offer a world-class business education to each student crossing our threshold with a desire to apply and push themselves,” said Lane Morris, associate dean of undergraduate studies and student affairs and the Ergen Professor in Business. “We are thrilled to join the top 35 public business colleges, enforcing what we have known here for some time—UT is a place where excellence and possibility come together in tangible ways.”

The Tickle College of Engineering’s overall undergraduate program ranks 37th among all public universities and 66th among all undergraduate programs in this year’s U.S. News rankings. Dean Janis Terpenny took over leadership of the college in July, and a new $129 million engineering building under construction is scheduled to open in late 2021.

“Our ranking as a top-40 public college highlights our growth in enrollment, faculty, research, and facilities in recent years,” said Terpenny. “I’m excited about the opportunities ahead to build on our reputation for conducting groundbreaking research and graduating the next generation of engineering leaders and innovators.”

The university was also named a top 50 public university for military veterans.

In the overall public university ranking, UT tied with Auburn University; Temple University; the University of California, Merced; the University of Colorado Boulder; the University of Oregon; the University of South Carolina; the University of South Florida; and the University of Utah.

The rankings released today are based on data gathered in spring 2019 on a variety of metrics, including student retention and graduation rates, Pell Grant recipient graduation rates, peer assessments, faculty resources, and alumni giving.


Tyra Haag (865-974-5460,