East Carolina University students stroll across campus on their way to class at the beginning of the fall semester. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

ECU listed in annual 'Best Colleges' ranking

Sept. 9, 2015

By Crystal Baity
ECU News Services

East Carolina University ranks in the top tier of national universities in a new listing by U.S. News & World Report.

In the magazine’s 2016 “Best Colleges” guide released on Sept. 9, ECU is ranked at 194, tied with the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and just behind UNC-Greensboro, which ranked 187th.
Ron Mitchelson

ECU Provost Ron Mitchelson said ECU provides “remarkable educational value for our students” based on successful student outcomes.

“We are pleased to be recognized in the top tier of national universities by U.S. News,” Mitchelson said. “ECU’s excellent academic programs are reflected in that ranking.”

To develop the rankings, U.S. News assigned ECU and other universities to a peer group based on the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching classification for higher education institutions.

The magazine listed 280 institutions in the national universities category (173 public, 100 private and seven for-profit) offering a range of undergraduate, masters and doctoral degrees and research. Scores for each institution were measured by: assessment of excellence (by academic peers and high school counselors); graduation and retention rates; faculty resources; student selectivity; financial resources; graduate performance; and alumni giving.

ECU’s ranking moved up from last year when it scored in the second tier of national universities by U.S. News.

Among UNC system schools, UNC-CH ranked 30th (fifth among public schools) and NCSU ranked 89th in the best national universities. NC A&T University is listed in the second tier.

Included among the best regional universities in the South, Appalachian State ranked 10th, UNC-Wilmington was 16th, Western Carolina was 32nd, NC Central ranked 65th, Fayetteville State and Winston-Salem State tied at 84th, and UNC-Pembroke was 93rd. Elizabeth City State University was ranked 30th among the best regional colleges in the South.

ECU is the UNC system’s largest producer of teachers and nurses and the only one with professional schools of medicine, dental medicine and engineering.

Last month, Washington Monthly magazine ranked ECU the “Best Bang for the Buck” in the Southeast based on the net price of attendance, the university’s graduation rate and whether students go on to earn enough to pay off their loans.

U.S. News provides rankings for national universities, national liberal arts colleges, regional universities and regional colleges. More information is available at