By Chad Binette
Assistant Vice President, UCF Communications and Marketing
The University of Central Florida ranks alongside Harvard, MIT, Stanford and Duke among the most innovative universities in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges 2016 guide.
University presidents, provosts and admissions deans around the nation selected the institutions they credit with making the most innovative improvements in curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology or facilities.
UCF was tied as the 13th “Most Innovative School” along with Georgia Tech and the University of Southern California. This is the first year the category has been included in the magazine’s annual rankings.
“We added this ranking so that college officials could pick schools that the public should be watching because of the cutting-edge changes being made on their campuses,” according to the magazine.
In the magazine’s overall rankings, UCF moved up four places on the Best Colleges listing of national institutions, from 173rd to 168th, and eight places among public universities, from 99th to 91st.
A total of 1,376 colleges and universities are included in the rankings.
The “Most Innovative Schools” list included three of UCF’s partner institutions in the University Innovation Alliance. The alliance consists of 11 top public research universities working together to help more low-income and first-generation students earn college degrees.
Alliance member Arizona State University ranked No. 1 in the nation for innovation, while Georgia State University placed No. 5 and Purdue University ranked No. 21.
UCF also was tied for 50th for online degree programs and 131st for best business programs. The university also is listed among the nation’s best colleges for veterans.
The print edition of the “Best Colleges 2016” guidebook will be available on newsstands Sept. 29.
This story originally appeared Sept. 9, 2015, on UCF Today.