Virginia Tech's undergraduate engineering program is ranked 17th and the business program is ranked 37th in the "America's Best Colleges 2007" survey released today by U.S. News & World Report.

Overall, Virginia Tech is ranked among the top 50 public universities in the magazine’s annual survey of the nation’s undergraduate programs.

The Virginia Tech College of Engineering, which typically is ranked by the survey among the top 20 of all accredited engineering schools in the U.S. that offer doctorates, is tied in the 17th ranking slot with the undergraduate program at Texas A&M University. This puts the two schools among the top three percent of the more than 550 institutions accredited by the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology.

Both schools slipped one ranking slot from last year, when they were tied with two other schools at 14th. Among engineering schools at public universities, Virginia Tech and Texas A&M share the rank of ninth. Undergraduate program rankings are based solely on a peer survey of engineering deans and senior faculty at accredited schools.

“The college’s rank of 17th confirms our standing as one of the nation’s premier universities for undergraduate engineering education,” said Richard Benson, dean of the Virginia Tech engineering school. “It is a well deserved reputation, built on the depth and breadth of our offerings, our focus on ‘hands on, minds on’ education, and an unceasing commitment to advancing the art of instruction.”

“Our best ambassadors are our students, who excel in national design competitions and then go on to join a long line of VT alumni renowned for their engineering skills,” Benson said. “It will always be our goal to attract, educate and graduate the best engineering students in the country.”

Among undergraduate business programs, Virginia Tech's Pamplin College of Business is ranked 37th overall, along with four other schools, and 22nd among those at public universities. Last year, the college was 40th overall and 24th among public institutions.

The Pamplin College's overall ranking keeps it among the top 10 percent of the 418 U.S. undergraduate programs accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International. The business rankings are solely based on a survey of deans and senior faculty at schools accredited by the association.

The college, said Pamplin Dean Richard E. Sorensen, continues to work towards enhancing the high quality of its programs, developing the leadership and technology skills and ethical values of its students, and preparing them for global business challenges. “We will continue to strengthen our curriculum to give students an even better education than before,” he said.

Among all national universities, Virginia Tech moved forward one ranking slot, this year tying for 77th with Stevens Institute of Technology, St. Louis University and the University of Colorado-Boulder.

All of the universities ranked in the top 20 are privately funded schools, with Princeton, Harvard and Yale as the top three. Among publicly funded universities, Virginia Tech is ranked 34th.

U.S. News & World Report bases the undergraduate rankings, which have been published since 1983, on data gathered from a national survey of universities. The magazine uses a number of criteria, including peer assessment, retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, graduation rates and alumni giving.

Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech has grown to become among the largest universities in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Today, Virginia Tech’s eight colleges are dedicated to putting knowledge to work through teaching, research, and outreach activities and to fulfilling its vision to be among the top research universities in the nation. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg and other campus centers in Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls more than 28,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 180 academic degree programs.