The school will be seeking to maintain its top ranking next year with a new president for the first time in 15 years. President Robert Zimmer announced earlier this year that he will step down next June, sooner than expected, and take a newly created role as chancellor after surgery this year removed a malignant brain tumor.
Meanwhile, its private counterpart north of the city, Evanston-based Northwestern, hung onto a tie for No. 9 with John Hopkins University in Maryland and California Institute of Technology. The University of Notre Dame in Indiana, dropped to No. 19 from its slot last year at No. 15.
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the largest in the state, edged up one slot to no. 47 in a tie with the University of Georgia, and they also tied at No. 15 among public universities.
University of Illinois at Chicago jumped significantly to No. 112 from 132 last year and was No. 30 in the nation in terms of ethnic diversity. UIC tied in the overall ranking with Loyola University Chicago, and four others. DePaul, the biggest Catholic university in the country, tied for No. 124 with Illinois Institute of Technology and seven others.
The ranking by U.S. News is a key barometer for students evaluating the nation’s thousands of colleges and universities and it stokes competition among the schools. It evaluates schools on 17 indicators of academic quality, such as graduate indebtedness and social mobility, to determine an overall score. For a look at U.S. News’ full rankings, click here.
Editor’s note: This story has been corrected. The University of Illinois’ ranking was incorrect in a previous version.