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 Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus

2016 University Academic Rankings

The University of Pittsburgh (commonly referred to as Pitt) is a state-related research university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1787 after the American Revolutionary War, it was founded on the edge of the American frontier as the Pittsburgh Academy. It developed and was renamed as Western University of Pennsylvania by a change to its charter in 1819. After surviving two devastating fires and various relocations within the area, the school moved to its current location in the Oakland neighborhood of the city; it was renamed as the University of Pittsburgh in 1908. For most of its history, Pitt was a private institution, until 1966 when it became part of the Commonwealth System of Higher Education.

The university is composed of 17 undergraduate and graduate schools and colleges located at its urban Pittsburgh campus, home to the university's central administration and 28,766 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. The university also includes four undergraduate schools located at campuses within Western Pennsylvania: Bradford, Greensburg, Johnstown, and Titusville. The 132-acre Pittsburgh campus has multiple contributing historic buildings of the Schenley Farms Historic District, most notably its 42-story Gothic revival centerpiece, the Cathedral of Learning. The campus is situated adjacent to the flagship medical facilities of its closely affiliated University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), as well as the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, Schenley Park, and Carnegie Mellon University.

The university has an annual operating budget of approximately $2 billion, which includes nearly $900 million in research and development expenditures. A member of the Association of American Universities, Pitt is the sixth-largest recipient of federally sponsored research funding among U.S. universities in 2013, and it is a major recipient of research funding from the National Institutes of Health. It is the second-largest non-government employer in the Pittsburgh region behind UPMC. Pitt is ranked among the top public universities in the United States in both domestic and international rankings, and has been listed as a "best value" in higher education by several publications.

Pitt students have access to various arts programs throughout the campus and city, and can participate in approximately 350 student organizations. Pitt's varsity athletic teams, collectively known as the Pittsburgh Panthers, compete in Division I of the NCAA, primarily as members of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

History | Founding

Founded by Hugh Henry Brackenridge as Pittsburgh Academy in 1787, the University of Pittsburgh is one of the few universities and colleges established in the 18th century in the United States. It is the oldest continuously chartered institution of learning in the U.S. west of the Allegheny Mountains. The school began as a preparatory school, presumably in a log cabin, possibly as early as 1770 in Western Pennsylvania, then a frontier. Brackenridge obtained a charter for the school from the state legislature of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on February 28, 1787, just ten weeks before the opening of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. A brick building was erected in 1790 on the south side of Third Street and Cherry Alley for the Pittsburgh Academy. The small two-story brick building, with a gable facing the alley, contained three rooms: one below and two above.

The Western University

Within a short period, more advanced education in the area was needed, so in 1819 the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania amended the school's 1787 charter to confer university status. The school took the name the Western University of Pennsylvania, or WUP, and was intended to be the western sister institution to ... [more on wikipedia]

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

University of Pittsburgh Details

University of Pittsburgh Details
detail value
conferenceAtlantic Coast Conference
overall ROI rank[75
scores validTrue
Common Questions...

What are the academic rankings for University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus?

1. number 50 for Academics.

2. number 75 for ROI (Return on Investment).

What universities are similar to University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus?

1. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

2. University of Connecticut

3. University of California-Santa Barbara

4. The University of Texas at Dallas

5. University of Washington-Seattle Campus

6. University of Kansas

7. Boston University

National Academic Rankings

(summary of all ranking placements)

University of Pittsburgh National Academic Rankings

University of Pittsburgh National Academic Rankings
category rank scores difficulty smartest brainpower faculty research salary ROI overall ROI
All Nonivy477580494862136151
Div1 Nonivy24353730304287039
Div1 Public15151819213336634
Stem Low386574403953167356
Atlantic Coast Conference79108893108
New England Region28626027253683727
State of Pennsylvania312114452147
Top Ten Top250501201205756811513075
Top Ten Atlantic Coast Conference889879389
Top Ten State of Pennsylvania377445263

Peer Universities / Similar Universities

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

University of Pittsburgh Peer Universities, Similar Universities to University of Pittsburgh

University of Pittsburgh Peer Universities, Similar Universities to University of Pittsburgh
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityVirginiaAtlantic Coast ConferencePublicGood7540
University of ConnecticutConnecticutBig East ConferencePublicGood87139
University of California-Santa BarbaraCaliforniaBig West ConferencePublicGood63122
The University of Texas at DallasTexasAmerican Southwest ConferencePublicGood7055
University of Washington-Seattle CampusWashingtonPacific 12 ConferencePublicGood5566
University of KansasKansasBig Twelve ConferencePublicAboveAverage172130
Boston UniversityMassachusettsPatriot LeaguePrivateExcellent45116
University at BuffaloNew YorkMid American ConferencePublicAboveAverage124190
Mississippi State UniversityMississippiSoutheastern ConferencePublicAboveAverage197130
University of VirginiaVirginiaAtlantic Coast ConferencePublicExcellent3227
The University of Tennessee-KnoxvilleTennesseeSoutheastern ConferencePublicAboveAverage116188
University of KentuckyKentuckySoutheastern ConferencePublicAboveAverage159130
George Mason UniversityVirginiaAtlantic 10 ConferencePublicAboveAverage156143
Colorado State University-Fort CollinsColoradoMountain West ConferencePublicAboveAverage143139
Virginia Commonwealth UniversityVirginiaAtlantic 10 ConferencePublicAboveAverage178207
University of UtahUtahPacific 12 ConferencePublicAboveAverage14286
University of CincinnatiOhioAmerican Athletic ConferencePublicAboveAverage202106
University of California-IrvineCaliforniaBig West ConferencePublicAboveAverage108162
Baylor UniversityTexasBig Twelve ConferencePrivateGood134128
Montana State UniversityMontanaBig Sky ConferencePublicAboveAverage217168
University of Colorado BoulderColoradoPacific 12 ConferencePublicAboveAverage7959
Brigham Young University-ProvoUtahOther / West Coast ConferencePrivateGood7227
University of California-Los AngelesCaliforniaPacific 12 ConferencePublicExcellent2984
University of Alabama at BirminghamAlabamaConference USAPublicAboveAverage153148
Purdue UniversityIndianaBig Ten ConferencePublicAboveAverage5720
University of Wisconsin-MadisonWisconsinBig Ten ConferencePublicExcellent3325
The University of Texas at AustinTexasBig Twelve ConferencePublicGood3851
Ohio State UniversityOhioBig Ten ConferencePublicGood4043
University of Nebraska-LincolnNebraskaBig Ten ConferencePublicAboveAverage11998
Clemson UniversitySouth CarolinaAtlantic Coast ConferencePublicAboveAverage9851
Auburn UniversityAlabamaSoutheastern ConferencePublicAboveAverage13979
University of Oklahoma-Norman CampusOklahomaBig Twelve ConferencePublicAboveAverage13754
University of Massachusetts-AmherstMassachusettsMid - American Conference / At...PublicAboveAverage88144
University of IowaIowaBig Ten ConferencePublicGood6879
Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical CollegeLouisianaSoutheastern ConferencePublicAboveAverage14888
SUNY at BinghamtonNew YorkAmerica EastPublicExcellent65125
University of Massachusetts-LowellMassachusettsAmerica EastPublicAboveAverage247275
University of North Carolina WilmingtonNorth CarolinaColonial Athletic AssociationPublicAboveAverage221228
University of Michigan-Ann ArborMichiganBig Ten ConferencePublicExcellent1716
University of MiamiFloridaAtlantic Coast ConferencePrivateExcellent4493
University of FloridaFloridaSoutheastern ConferencePublicGood4338
University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignIllinoisBig Ten ConferencePublicExcellent2417
Rutgers University-New BrunswickNew JerseyBig Ten ConferencePublicAboveAverage56115
Arizona State University-TempeArizonaPacific 12 ConferencePublicAboveAverage10182
Pennsylvania State UniversityPennsylvaniaBig Ten ConferencePublicAboveAverage5384
Texas A & M University-College StationTexasSoutheastern ConferencePublicAboveAverage7122
The College of New JerseyNew JerseyNew Jersey Athletic ConferencePublicGood164193
University of Central FloridaFloridaAmerican Athletic ConferencePublicAboveAverage103141
University of RochesterNew YorkUniversity Athletic AssociationPrivateExcellent3993
University of TulsaOklahomaAmerican Athletic ConferencePrivateGood13975

Academic Peer Universities / Similar Academics

(mathematically similar academics)

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

University of Pittsburgh Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to University of Pittsburgh
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI
The University of Texas at AustinTexasBig Twelve ConferencePublicGood3851
Ohio State UniversityOhioBig Ten ConferencePublicGood4043
University of FloridaFloridaSoutheastern ConferencePublicGood4338
Boston UniversityMassachusettsPatriot LeaguePrivateExcellent45116
University of California-Santa BarbaraCaliforniaBig West ConferencePublicGood63122
University of Washington-Seattle CampusWashingtonPacific 12 ConferencePublicGood5566
George Washington UniversityWashington DCAtlantic 10 ConferencePrivateExcellent51135
University of Maryland-College ParkMarylandBig Ten ConferencePublicExcellent3460
Rutgers University-New BrunswickNew JerseyBig Ten ConferencePublicAboveAverage56115
Pennsylvania State UniversityPennsylvaniaBig Ten ConferencePublicAboveAverage5384
University Athletic Association (Low)-University Athletic Association-Conf-Excellent-32
University of California-DavisCaliforniaBig Sky Conference / Big West ...PublicAboveAverage58142
University of MiamiFloridaAtlantic Coast ConferencePrivateExcellent4493
Purdue UniversityIndianaBig Ten ConferencePublicAboveAverage5720
Brandeis UniversityMassachusettsUniversity Athletic AssociationPrivateExcellent46116
Boston CollegeMassachusettsAtlantic Coast ConferencePrivateExcellent4775
College of William and MaryVirginiaColonial Athletic AssociationPublicExcellent5460
Georgetown UniversityWashington DCPatriot League / Big East Conf...PrivateElite4288
Swarthmore CollegePennsylvaniaCentennial ConferencePrivateElite6748
Ivy League (Low)-Ivy League-Conf-Elite-21
Pomona CollegeCaliforniaSouthern California Intercoll ...PrivateElite52125
Bowdoin CollegeMaineNew England Small College Ath ConfPrivateElite64162
Franklin W Olin College of EngineeringMassachusettsNo Conference AffiliationPrivateElite4853
Williams CollegeMassachusettsNew England Small College Ath ConfPrivateElite58161
Harvey Mudd CollegeCaliforniaSouthern California Intercoll ...PrivateElite4919