Wichita State’s engineering graduate programs are the highest ranked in Kansas

  • Wichita State's College of Engineering graduate programs are again ranked in the top 100 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Engineering research expenditures, in which Wichita State is also highly ranked, are a key component for the College of Engineering's status.
  • Wichita State increased its research and development expenditures by $47 million, according to the NSF comparison.

In the latest U.S. News and World Report rankings of universities offering a Ph.D. in engineering, the College of Engineering at Wichita State University is again ranked in the top 100 engineering graduate programs, the only institution from the state of Kansas to make it in the top 100.

The 2021 rankings by U.S. News and World Report are based on a number of factors including reputation among peer institutions and industry recruiters, student selectivity, faculty resources and research expenditures – an area where Wichita State far outperforms peers. A recently released National Science Foundation report of FY2019 total engineering research expenditures ranked Wichita State 27th in the nation, well ahead of any other institution in Kansas.

On the U.S. News and World Report list, Wichita State’s College of Engineering ranks in a tie for No. 77 on the list, up from No. 94 a year ago.

“These rankings demonstrate that Wichita State continues to grow in prestige,” said Steven Skinner, interim dean of the College of Engineering. “Not only do we provide an excellent and affordable education to our students, we are growing in our service to industry and the community through research.  This new ranking will greatly impact our college’s ability to attract top graduate and undergraduate students to our programs.”

In the latest National Science Foundation’s comparison of research and development expenditures among the nation’s universities, Wichita State rose in all categories, increasing expenditures by $47 million.

Wichita State’s total R&D expenditures portfolio increased from $81 million in fiscal year 2018 to $128 million in FY2019. In overall engineering expenditures, Wichita State leaped from No. 54 to No. 27 in the nation with $109 million in expenditures.

Last fall, Wichita State announced that it successfully surpassed its goal to double the number of engineering bachelor’s degrees awarded annually. The goal was set in 2011, when the Kansas Legislature made a commitment to invest $35 million in WSU’s College of Engineering through the University Engineering Initiative Act, in an effort to provide more engineers for the Kansas workforce.

In order to assess the research activity and performance of the National Institute for Aviation Research, Wichita State also tracks its yearly progress in aeronautical R&D expenditures as assessed by the NSF.

Wichita State held steady in fourth place among the nation’s universities in aeronautical R&D expenditures with $105 million – nearly doubling its FY18 expenditures of $57 million. Wichita State also continues to rank first in industry-funded expenditures with $74 million, up from $39 million in 2018.

The NSF’s Higher Education Research and Development Survey is the primary source of information on R&D expenditures at U.S. colleges and universities. The survey collects information on R&D expenditures by field of research and source of funds; and gathers information on types of research, expenses and headcounts of R&D personnel. The survey is an annual census of institutions that expended at least $150,000 in separately accounted for R&D in the fiscal year. 

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