The Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at Texas A&M University retained its position as one of the best programs in the nation, according to the annual Best Colleges ranking by U.S. News & World Report.

A graphic with Agricultural Engineering No.  4, first in Texas; Petroleum Engineering No. 2 overall & No. 1 in Texas; Education Abroad No. 19, up 12 spots and first in Texas; Marketing No. 13, up 6 spots; biomedical engineering, No. 27 and cyber security, No. 20
(Graphic by Texas A&M University Marketing and Communications)

U.S. News & World Report today released the 2023 edition of its Best Colleges rankings, which place the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering in the Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences ranked No. 4 among undergraduate agricultural engineering programs in the nation. The department remained the No. 1 program of its kind in Texas.

The Best Colleges ranking looks at undergraduate programs nationwide and measures factors including graduation and retention rates, academic reputation, student selectivity, faculty resources, social mobility and debt, among others.

Best Colleges rank shows department’s focus on excellence

Patricia Smith, Ph.D., department head, said students, staff and faculty should be proud the department consistently ranks among the top biological and agriculture engineering programs in the nation. She said there are many factors that weigh into the department’s place in the peer-driven ranking surveys, including its size and quality. The department is one of the larger biological and agricultural engineering programs in the nation and is well-recognized for its high-quality teaching programs.

“Students, faculty and staff in this department are keenly aware of what the ‘A’ and the ‘M’ in Texas A&M stand for, and how we all represent that legacy in classrooms, labs and fields, and as former students,” she said. “So, for us, bridging both agricultural and engineering at Texas A&M should be a daily inspiration and challenge to be the best as we set our sights on a bright future.” 

Smith hopes a concerted commitment to excellence by the department and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences can push the program higher in future rankings.  

“There is a deep sense of pride that comes with knowing your institution and its programs are among the best,” said Jeffrey W. Savell, Ph.D., vice chancellor and dean for Agriculture and Life Sciences. “We look forward to growing our undergraduate student numbers and continue to prove what many already know, that Texas A&M provides world-class education in agriculture and life sciences.”

Texas A&M ranked among Best Colleges

Texas A&M was ranked the nation’s 26th best public university and moved up one spot to No. 67 overall.

The Best Colleges ranking looks at undergraduate programs nationwide and measures factors including graduation and retention rates, academic reputation, student selectivity, faculty resources, social mobility and debt, among others.

“I’m proud to see continued national recognition of Texas A&M’s founding disciplines of agriculture and engineering, in addition to growth in areas of great importance to our nation such as business and cybersecurity,” said Texas A&M University President M. Katherine Banks. “Our outstanding students, faculty and staff, participating in innovative programs across the university, are making positive impacts here and around the world.” 

Since last year’s ranking, the College of Engineering has moved up two spots nationally to No. 13 and is the No. 7 best public institution in engineering. Programs within engineering that rank in the Top 20 nationally are:

  • Aerospace, No. 10
  • Chemical, No. 19
  • Civil, No. 9
  • Computer, No. 17
  • Electrical, No. 14
  • Industrial, No. 12
  • Materials, No. 19
  • Mechanical, No. 12
  • Petroleum, No. 2

Biomedical engineering rose six spots since the last ranking, placing at No. 27.

“Our goal always has been, and always will be, to provide our students with the best engineering education experience possible. Seeing that work recognized on a national level is rewarding,” said John E. Hurtado, interim vice chancellor and dean of the College of Engineering. “We are constantly reassessing our college’s offerings to make sure we are providing the best engineering education we can.”

Both A&M’s education abroad and cybersecurity programs have seen substantial gains this year.

Education abroad entered the top 20 nationwide for the first time at No. 19, up 12 places from the previous year’s ranking, and No. 1 in the state. For five consecutive years, Texas A&M’s Education Abroad program, commonly referred to as “study abroad,” has been the nation’s top public program – No. 2 overall – in the number of students pursuing credit-bearing international experiences as reported by the Institute of International Education.

Texas A&M’s cybersecurity program is up eight places to No. 20 overall and No. 12 public.

“Cybersecurity is vital to our national security, and Texas A&M researchers are targeting areas of vulnerability in online environments and developing solutions to keep digital assets safe,” Hurtado said. “These rankings show that people are becoming more aware of the outstanding work our faculty are doing in this important area of research.”

Mays Business School is the 23rd best business school in the nation, No. 13 public and No. 2 in Texas. Several programs within the school rank in the nation’s Top 20:

  • Accounting, No. 15
  • Management, No. 8
  • Marketing, No. 13 (up six spots since 2020)

“We’re proud of the great work by Mays students and faculty that results in outcomes like these rankings for our school and for our programs in accounting, management and marketing,” said Interim Dean of Mays Business School Ricky Griffin. “Mays Business School’s mission includes developing transformational leaders and our vision is to advance the world’s prosperity. Together, students, faculty and staff are always working toward our goal of becoming a truly preeminent public business school. This is a clear marker of progress and we’ll continue working toward that goal.”

Another jump for the university came in the category of Most Innovative, in which Texas A&M moved up 29 places since last year to No. 41.

For more on this year’s rankings, visit U.S. News & World Report.

The original story by Lesley Henton, Texas A&M University Division of Marketing and Communications, first appeared on Texas A&M Today.

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