The Washington Monthly ranks liberal arts colleges—four-year institutions that award almost exclusively bachelor’s degrees and that focus on arts and sciences rather than professional programs—based on their contribution to the public good. The three categories for the ranking include social mobility, research, and promoting public service.
This year, the University of Pennsylvania ranked particularly high in the research category, coming in at number two, with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) taking first place.
The research score for national universities is based on five measurements: 1) the total amount of an institution’s research spending; 2) the number of science and engineering PhDs awarded by the university; 3) the number of undergraduate alumni who have gone on to receive a PhD in any subject, relative to the size of the college; 4) the number of faculty receiving prestigious awards, relative to the number of full-time faculty; and 5) the number of faculty in the National Academies, relative to the number of full-time faculty. For national universities, we weighted each of these components equally to determine a college’s final score in the category.
To read the full list of rankings and learn more about the methodology, read here.