University Benchmarks

Ranking the Top 100 Academic Universities ranks the universities that attract and produce the best academic students.

There are many 'University Rankings' on the internet. Most rankings rely heavily on subjective metrics like 'reputation' and 'selectivity'. UniversityBenchmarks is purely an academic ranking model. The rankings are based on the reported academic and financial metrics of the colleges. There are no subjective factors like 'reputation' that are used. The calculations are performed using normal statistical models. All universities are considered equal and there is no weighting of the ranking categories.

The university 2014-2015 dataset is comprised of over 2400 US Universities & Colleges and comes from multiple sources using the most favorable reported metrics for a university.

The universities are ranked against each other in each filtered set. It is an iterative process whereby lower ranking universities are removed and the set is re-ranked until the final set of 100 is reached.

Selecting 'Rank Top 10 Only' will show the Top 10 for each filter category ranked against each other.

The academic rankings of the universities within the major conferences (ACC, Big12, Big10, Pac12, SEC) are available.

The 2017 rankings will be available in August.

  • It is possible for universities to be ranked higher/lower than one another depending on the filter set.
  • Conference averages are based on the top 8 schools in the conference.
  • Public Schools are highlighted
  • Clicking on the university's seal icon will take you to the university's website.

Ranking Fields

Rank - Overall rank based on the average of the ranking fields (Scores, Difficulty, Smartest, Brainpower, Faculty and Research).

Scores - SAT & ACT scores. The university's test scores are corrected for dropout rate when score level is Good, Excellent or Elite. This will slightly boost scores for highly competitive schools.

Difficulty - Academic rigor is estimated based on how difficult it is to get an "A" at the university. An estimated GPA at the university is calculated for the average US Student. University grade inflation, average GPA, and STEM density are factors.

Smartest - University that can field the highest scoring students based on the average US University size. Higher Smartest Rank = "Smartest for the Average University"

Brainpower - The average "smartest" rank using 5 reference populations (CalTech, MIT, Stanford, GaTech and Berkeley). Higher Brainpower Rank = "Higher Density of Smart Students". The university ranked higher can mathematically field 'X' number of smarter students than universities ranked below them.

Faculty - Ranking based on number of % of faculty with awards and academy membership.

Research - Ranking is achieved by iteratively ranking the average of 3 research metrics (r-pop, r-stem, r-other ). The lowest ranked college is then removed and the new set is re-ranked. The result is the schools with potentially the strongest research environments per student bubble up to the top regardless of size or research budget.

  • r-pop - Average research spending for student population
  • r-stem - STEM research spending
  • r-other - Other/Medical/Health research spending

Salary ROI - "Salary Return on Investment" is not used in the overall ranking but is provided for additional information. Using the undergraduate average starting and mid-career salaries, the rank is based on a 20yr salary accumulation (with raises) minus the cost of a 4 year education at the university. Salaries are normalized across the country using the average COLA for the university's geo-economic region (7 regions total). The COLA effect is diminished by the level of the university. Elite, Excellent and Good universities have a greater distribution of graduates across the country and a diminishing COLA effect. The resultant value would be the graduate's spending potential over the 20yr period.

Overall ROI - "Overall Return on Investment" is not used in the overall ranking but is provided for additional information. The average of Overall Rank and Salary ROI. This would be the "Best academic bang for the buck". Colleges that produce the best education, at the best price, with the best return will be ranked higher.

Color Key - ranks are colorized as follows 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 50 100

The 2016 University Academic Rankings

University of Denver

2016 University Academic Rankings

The University of Denver (DU) is a coeducational, four-year university in Denver, Colorado. Founded in 1864, it is the oldest independent private university in the Rocky Mountain Region of the United States. DU enrolls approximately 5,600 undergraduate students and 6,100 graduate students. The 125-acre (0.51 km2) main campus is a designated arboretum and is located primarily in the University Neighborhood, about seven miles (11 km) south of downtown Denver.


On March 3, 1864, John Evans, former Governor of the Colorado Territory, appointee of President Abraham Lincoln, founded the Colorado Seminary in order to help "civilize" the newly created (1858) city of Denver, which was then a mining camp. The seminary was founded as a Methodist institution and struggled in the early years of its existence. In 1880 it was renamed the University of Denver. Although doing business as the University of Denver, DU is still legally named Colorado Seminary. The first buildings of the university were located in downtown Denver in the 1860s and 1870s, but concerns that Denver's rough-and-tumble frontier town atmosphere was not conducive to education prompted a relocation to the current campus, built on the donated land of potato farmer Rufus Clark, some seven miles (11 km) south of the downtown core. The university grew and prospered alongside the city's growth, appealing primarily to a regional student body prior to World War II. After the war, the large surge in GI bill students pushed DU's enrollment to over 13,000 students, the largest the university has ever been, and helped to spread the university's reputation to a national audience.


The heart of the campus has a number of historic buildings. The longest-standing building is University Hall, built in the Romanesque Revival style which has served DU since 1890. The cornerstone to this building is exactly one mile above sea level. Just a few blocks off campus sits the historic Chamberlin Observatory, opened in 1894. Still a fully operational observatory, it is open to the public twice a week as well as one Saturday a month.

The central campus area also includes Evans Chapel, an 1870s-vintage small church which was once located in downtown Denver, and was relocated to the DU campus in the early 1960s. Buchtel Tower (1913) is all that remains of the former Buchtel Chapel, which burned in 1983. The administrative offices are located in the Mary Reed Building, a former library built in 1932 in the Collegiate Gothic style. Margery Reed Hall (named for the daughter of Mary Reed) was also built in the collegiate gothic style in 1929. Margery Reed Hall has recently been designated to house the Undergraduate Program for the Daniels College of Business; an $8 million overhaul and renovation was just completed early 2014. The update for the building was to include more classroom space, a larger hall to host guest speakers, as well as mechanical and technical improvements.

Under the leadership of former Chancellor Daniel Ritchie (now Chairman of the Denver Center for Performing Arts), about $500 million in capital improvements have taken place in the last decade and the learning inside these new buildings has improved in the same period, as admissions selectivity and rankings have improved dramatically.

In autumn 2003, DU opened a new $63.5 million facility for its College of Law, what was later named the "Sturm College of Law." The building includes a three-story library with personal computers accessible to students. Donald and Susan Sturm, owners of Denver-based American National Bank, had given $20 million to the University of Denver College of Law. The gift is the largest single donation in the 112-year history of the law school and among the largest gifts ever to the university.

The Daniels C ... [more on wikipedia]

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "University of Denver", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0

University of Denver Details

University of Denver Details
detail value
conferenceThe Summit League
overall ROI rank[186
scores validTrue
Common Questions...

What are the academic rankings for University of Denver?

1. number 204 for Academics.

2. number 186 for ROI (Return on Investment).

What universities are similar to University of Denver?

1. Saint Joseph's University

2. Seton Hall University

3. Georgia College and State University

4. Duquesne University

5. Loyola Marymount University

6. Adelphi University

7. State University of New York at New Paltz

National Academic Rankings

(summary of all ranking placements)

University of Denver National Academic Rankings

University of Denver National Academic Rankings
category rank scores difficulty smartest brainpower faculty research salary ROI overall ROI
South West Region171416273211265936
State of Colorado545783576
Top Ten Top250204166173194219102149141186
Top Ten State of Colorado545783576

Peer Universities / Similar Universities

(mathematically similar student body, size, academics, stem, salary... etc)

University of Denver Peer Universities, Similar Universities to University of Denver

University of Denver Peer Universities, Similar Universities to University of Denver
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI
Saint Joseph's UniversityPennsylvaniaAtlantic 10 ConferencePrivateAboveAverage398372
Seton Hall UniversityNew JerseyBig East ConferencePrivateAboveAverage365390
Georgia College and State UniversityGeorgiaPeach Belt ConferencePublicAboveAverage334352
Duquesne UniversityPennsylvaniaNortheast Conference / Atlanti...PrivateAboveAverage346374
Loyola Marymount UniversityCaliforniaWest Coast ConferencePrivateAboveAverage218233
Adelphi UniversityNew YorkNortheast 10 ConferencePrivateAboveAverage365444
State University of New York at New PaltzNew YorkState University of New York A...PublicAboveAverage341457
University of San FranciscoCaliforniaWest Coast ConferencePrivateAboveAverage226241
Hofstra UniversityNew YorkColonial Athletic AssociationPrivateAboveAverage231298
Harding UniversityArkansasGreat American ConferencePrivateAboveAverage395316
Loyola University MarylandMarylandPatriot LeaguePrivateAboveAverage249245
Butler UniversityIndianaPioneer Football League / Big ...PrivateAboveAverage349204
Providence CollegeRhode IslandBig East ConferencePrivateAboveAverage286350
Saint Edward's UniversityTexasHeartland ConferencePrivateAboveAverage418480
University of ScrantonPennsylvaniaLandmark ConferencePrivateAboveAverage399368
University of RedlandsCaliforniaSouthern California Intercoll ...PrivateAboveAverage380460
Syracuse UniversityNew YorkAtlantic Coast ConferencePrivateAboveAverage172216
DePaul UniversityIllinoisBig East ConferencePrivateAboveAverage193150
CUNY Hunter CollegeNew YorkCity University of New York At...PublicAboveAverage193228
University of North TexasTexasConference USAPublicAboveAverage192165
The University of AlabamaAlabamaSoutheastern ConferencePublicAboveAverage175112
Ramapo College of New JerseyNew JerseyNew Jersey Athletic ConferencePublicAverage369437
Elon UniversityNorth CarolinaColonial Athletic AssociationPrivateGood200178
SUNY OneontaNew YorkState University of New York A...PublicAverage365466
SUNY College at CortlandNew YorkNew Jersey Athletic Conference...PublicAverage479490
Quinnipiac UniversityConnecticutMetro Atlantic Athletic ConferencePrivateAverage353433
Monmouth UniversityNew JerseyBig South Conference / Metro A...PrivateAverage478477
SUNY at Purchase CollegeNew YorkSkyline ConferencePublicAverage490470
Texas Christian UniversityTexasBig Twelve ConferencePrivateAboveAverage214181
Pace University-New YorkNew YorkNortheast 10 ConferencePrivateAverage476465
Catholic University of AmericaWashington DCOld Dominion Athletic Conferen...PrivateAboveAverage381458
Dallas Baptist UniversityTexasHeartland ConferencePrivateAboveAverage408342
Drake UniversityIowaPioneer Football League / Miss...PrivateAboveAverage263136
Samford UniversityAlabamaSouthern ConferencePrivateAboveAverage431272
Bethel UniversityMinnesotaMinnesota Intercollegiate Ath ConfPrivateAboveAverage423428
Lipscomb UniversityTennesseeAtlantic Sun ConferencePrivateAboveAverage303255
Stetson UniversityFloridaPioneer Football League / Atla...PrivateAboveAverage344395
Messiah CollegePennsylvaniaMiddle Atlantic States Athleti...PrivateAboveAverage387436
Rollins CollegeFloridaSunshine State ConferencePrivateAboveAverage262338
University of Puerto Rico-Rio PiedrasPuerto RicoIndependent Southeast RegionPublicAboveAverage176232
Point Loma Nazarene UniversityCaliforniaPacific West ConferencePrivateAboveAverage357440
West Chester University of PennsylvaniaPennsylvaniaPennsylvania State Athletic Co...PublicAboveAverage315361
Stonehill CollegeMassachusettsNortheast 10 ConferencePrivateAboveAverage467469
Bowling Green State UniversityOhioMid American ConferencePublicAverage442351
John Brown UniversityArkansasSooner Athletic ConferencePrivateAboveAverage489421
DePauw UniversityIndianaNorth Coast Athletic ConferencePrivateAboveAverage304173
Willamette UniversityOregonNorthwest ConferencePrivateAboveAverage300402
CUNY Bernard M Baruch CollegeNew YorkCity University of New York At...PublicAboveAverage135182
Franciscan University of SteubenvilleOhioAllegheny Mountain Collegiate ...PrivateAboveAverage410310
Taylor UniversityIndianaMid - States Football Associat...PrivateAboveAverage391261

Academic Peer Universities / Similar Academics

(mathematically similar academics)

University of Denver Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to University of Denver

University of Denver Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to University of Denver
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI
University of San DiegoCaliforniaPioneer Football League / West...PrivateGood203195
Truman State UniversityMissouriGreat Lakes Valley ConferencePublicAboveAverage208189
University of Alabama in HuntsvilleAlabamaGulf South ConferencePublicAboveAverage181103
Denison UniversityOhioNorth Coast Athletic ConferencePrivateGood204170
American Athletic Conference (Low)-American Athletic Conference-Conf-AboveAverage-162
Clark UniversityMassachusettsNew England Women's & Men's At...PrivateGood201224
Chapman UniversityCaliforniaSouthern California Intercoll ...PrivateGood208242
Elon UniversityNorth CarolinaColonial Athletic AssociationPrivateGood200178
Emerson CollegeMassachusettsNew England Women's & Men's At...PrivateGood207240
University of KentuckyKentuckySoutheastern ConferencePublicAboveAverage159130
University of CincinnatiOhioAmerican Athletic ConferencePublicAboveAverage202106
University of KansasKansasBig Twelve ConferencePublicAboveAverage172130
Mountain West Conference (Average)-Mountain West Conference-Conf-AboveAverage-193
Texas Tech UniversityTexasBig Twelve ConferencePublicAverage176104
Pacific - 12 Conference (Low)-Pacific 12 Conference-Conf-AboveAverage-115
Lafayette CollegePennsylvaniaPatriot LeaguePrivateExcellent165106
University of Hawaii at ManoaHawaiiMountain West Conference / Big...PublicAverage204245
University of California-RiversideCaliforniaBig West ConferencePublicAverage167212
Occidental CollegeCaliforniaSouthern California Intercoll ...PrivateExcellent158162