Emory University fell to No. 24 in the 2024 U.S. News & World Report’s (USNWR) “Best Colleges” ranking for national universities, according to a ranking released today. This continues a downward trend for the University, which dropped to No. 22 last year after five years sitting at No. 21.  

This is Emory’s lowest ranking since earning the No. 25 spot in 1994. The University is tied with Carnegie Mellon University (Pa.), University of Virginia and Washington University in St. Louis (Mo.).

The University of Michigan and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which previously ranked No. 25 and No. 29, respectively, rose above Emory this year. Georgetown University (D.C.), which was tied with Emory alongside Carnegie Mellon at No. 22 last year, remained at No. 22.

Emory University fell from No. 22 to No. 24 in this years U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges” ranking for national universities

Student Government Association President Khegan Meyers (24B) said that, as a student, he is not “overwelmingly concerned with the ranking.”

“A lot of schools are recognizing that,” Meyers said “Rankings are through this private company, may or may not be legitimate.”

This year, the USNWR altered their ranking methodology, taking factors like class size, faculty with terminal degree, alumni giving and high school standing out of consideration. Additionally, the USNWR increased emphasis on institutions’ “success in graduating students from different backgrounds.”

“This year’s rankings reflect one of the most significant changes in the methodology used by U.S. News in decades,” Assistant Vice President of University Communications Laura Diamond wrote in an email to the Wheel. “As a result, the year-to-year shift in schools’ ranks are greater than in previous reports.”

College Council President Neha Murthy (24C) believes that the USNWR’s rankings and methodology may be questionable, but noted that the rankings still impact prospective students’ decisions on where to attend college. 

“For my parents, especially being immigrants to this country … They don’t know the system, they don’t know what education is like here,” Murthy said. “Their metric of what’s good or what’s ideal for their child or to go to a reputable institution is based off ranking.”

USNWR ranked the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing No. 3 for undergraduate nursing programs, slightly dropping from last year’s No. 2 spot. Duke University (N.C.), which passed Emory after securing the No. 3 spot last year, tied with the University of Pennsylvania for No. 1. 

Goizueta Business School’s undergraduate program held onto its No. 13 spot from last year.

Emory remained the No. 21 “Best Value” school, which considers student outcomes and cost. However, the University dropped from last year’s No. 21 spot to No. 24 for undergraduate teaching, which considers institutions’ ability to focus on teaching undergraduate students instead of solely conducting graduate-level research.

Update (9/20/23 at 2:16 a.m.): The article has been updated to reflect new statements from Khegan Murthy (24B) and Neha Murthy (24C). 

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Spencer Friedland (26C) is from Long Island, New York and is the Emory Wheel's Managing News Editor. He is a Philosophy, Politics and Law major and has a secondary major in Film. Spencer is also a part of the Franklin Fellows program at Emory.

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Madi Olivier is from Highland Village, Texas, and is majoring in psychology and minoring in rhetoric, writing and information design. Outside of the Wheel, she is involved in psychology research and works for the Trevor Project. In her free time, you can find her trying not to fall while bouldering and watching Criminal Minds with her cat.