Virginia Tech's undergraduate program is again ranked among the top 100 in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges 2004" survey released today.

Virginia Tech's College of Engineering is ranked 17th--a slight dip from last year's placement of 15th--among all the nation's engineering schools that offer doctorates. The college is ranked 11th among engineering schools at public universities.

The college's industrial engineering program, which has been ranked among the top 10 peer programs for several years, made it to the top five this year.

The rankings of engineering and business schools, which are included each year in the U.S. News & World Report undergraduate survey, are based solely on the assessments of deans and senior faculty at peer institutions.

"In spite of the significant budget cuts that have been imposed on the Pamplin College, we are pleased to maintain our Best Business Programs peer assessment score of 3.3, with a ranking of 39th nationally," said Richard E. Sorensen, dean of Virginia Tech's Pamplin College of Business.

The Pamplin College shares the ranking with business schools at Boston University, Georgia State University, Syracuse University, Tulane University, University of Colorado-Boulder, and University of South Carolina-Columbia.

Sorensen said that the college continues to work towards enhancing the high quality of its undergraduate programs, developing the leadership and technology skills and ethical (contactname, contactphone, contactemail, headline, leadsentence, morepara, releasedate, storysource, releasenumber, college, itemnumber, releaseyear) VALUES of its students, and preparing them for global business challenges.

"Virginia Tech is pleased to again be ranked among the nation's top 100 national universities," said Larry Hincker, associate vice-president for university relations. "Student selectivity and student quality indicators are rising, even though the university's overall rank slipped slightly from 66th in last year's survey to 73rd this year."

The overall rankings include private universities, such as Harvard and Yale. Virginia Tech is ranked 32nd among the nation's public universities.

Virginia Tech's slight drop is most likely the result of reductions in the number of undergraduate course sections, Hincker commented, which is directly attributable to loss of state funding.

"Virginia Tech lost $62 million in state appropriations last year and an additional $10.5 million in the current fiscal year," Hincker said. "In light of decreasing financial resources, the Commonwealth of Virginia receives excellent value from its top public universities--the University of Virginia, College of William and Mary, and Virginia Tech."

However, he noted, further erosions in state funding for higher education "will continue to chip away at our ability to provide quality opportunities for Virginians. In this new survey, Virginia Tech ranks 73rd overall, but 148th in financial resources. William and Mary ranks 31st overall, but 120th in financial resources."

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