Rankings Again

Engineering 6 Building, Chemical Engineering

I’ve written various posts in past years about rankings and the potential problems with them, especially if secondary school students try to use them for choosing a university or program. Often, the rankings are not based on factors that actually impact an undergraduate student’s experience very much. Use the search tool in my blog to find these old posts if you want more information.

However, it’s still fun to look at rankings once in a while, and the U.S. News ones came out recently. I’ll focus on engineering rankings, which can be found at this link.

Waterloo Engineering comes out at #57 overall globally, tied with Caltech in Pasadena California. For comparison, Toronto Engineering is slightly higher at #54, and UBC slightly lower at #63. Essentially all similar, given the vagaries and uncertainties of ranking processes.

On a department level at Waterloo, Chemical Engineering made #87, while Electrical Engineering was #25, Civil Engineering was #73, and Mechanical Engineering was #49 globally. Other departments don’t necessarily show up in rankings because of the way U.S. News categorizes things. However, Waterloo ranks #82 in the “Nanoscience and Nanotechnology” category, which could include various departments in Engineering and Science.

Many of the top ranked engineering programs globally are in China, ranking above the usual U.S. and U.K. schools that you might think of. I haven’t looked at their ranking criteria, so I don’t know why the rankings come out the way they do. Just an interesting observation, and a comment on how much engineering research and activity has grown in China in recent decades.

2 thoughts on “Rankings Again

  1. I don’t know if this will be answered but anyways: do taking AP courses have an advantage for being admitted? Taking AP courses will lower my grades compared to taking regular chem/physics so I am wondering if I should take AP courses still, and there is no mark book for taking AP at my school.

    • Since I now don’t participate in Admissions, this is just my opinion. But generally someone who chooses to take AP courses as an enhancement catches a bit more attention and consideration. So if you’re in that “grey zone” where there are a lot of applicants with somewhat similar grades, then the AP courses can be a positive deciding factor.

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