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 Puget Sound

2016 University Academic Rankings

The University of Puget Sound (Puget Sound. UPS) is a private liberal arts college located in the North End of Tacoma, Washington, in the United States. It is the only national, independent undergraduate liberal arts college in Western Washington.

Puget Sound offers Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Music, Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Education, Master of Occupational Therapy, and Doctor of Physical Therapy degrees. The college draws approximately 2,600 students from 44 states and 16 countries. It offers 1,200 courses each year in more than 50 traditional and interdisciplinary areas of study.

In 2012 Puget Sound was named one of 40 schools nationwide in the college guide Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges. The guide cites the college's dynamic curriculum, close interaction between students and professors, ideal location, and enduring success of its alumni as qualities that set it apart from other schools.

Ties to The United Methodist Church remain, though the college is no longer officially affiliated with the church and the board of trustees is independently elected.


The University of Puget Sound was founded by the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1888 in downtown Tacoma. The idea for a college in Tacoma originated with Charles Henry Fowler, who had previously been the president of Northwestern University. Fowler was in Tacoma for a Methodist conference when he spoke of his vision of a Christian institution of learning in the area. The conference released a report:

We commit ourselves...heartily to the building up within the bounds of the conference of an institution of learning which shall by its ample facilities...command the respect and patronage of Methodist people within the bounds of the territory...and so by united and prayerful efforts advance to the establishment of a school of learning which shall be a praise in all the land.

Two cities vied for the location of the school: Port Townsend and Tacoma. The committee eventually decided on Tacoma. A charter was drawn up and filed in Olympia on March 17, 1888. This date marks the legal beginning of the school. At this time, the school's legal title was "The Puget Sound University". In September 1890, UPS opened its doors, taking in 88 students.

The beginnings of the school were marked by moral conviction: students were warned against intoxicating liquors, visits to saloons, gambling, tobacco use, and obscene drawings or writings on the college grounds. The university also had a financially tumultuous beginning. There was no endowment and the school often struggled for funds to pay the professors. It moved locations three times in 13 years and, at one time, the school was merged with Portland University (former campus is now the University of Portland). It opened up a year later (1899) back in Tacoma on the 9th and G Street. In 1903, the school was "reborn" and re-incorporated as a different entity, different trustees, and a different name: the "University of Puget Sound".

The character of the school changed dramatically during the presidency of Edward H. Todd (1913-1942), who worked tirelessly to bring financial and academic stability. During his tenure, the "Million Dollar Campaign" was started, raising $1,022,723 for buildings, equipment, and endowment. With this money, the campus moved in 1924 to its current location in the residential North End of Tacoma, with five buildings, setting a stylistic tone for the institution. In 1914 the university was renamed the "College of Puget Sound".

President R. Franklin Thompson (1942-1973) led a massive physical and institutional expansion: During this era almost all of the university's buildings were constructed. In 1960, the university's name changed from t ... [more on wikipedia]

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

University of Puget Sound Details

University of Puget Sound Details
detail value
conferenceNorthwest Conference
overall ROI rank[223
scores validTrue
Common Questions...

What are the academic rankings for University of Puget Sound?

1. number 227 for Academics.

2. number 223 for ROI (Return on Investment).

What universities are similar to University of Puget Sound?

1. Trinity University

2. Muhlenberg College

3. Union University

4. Furman University

5. Yeshiva University

6. Clark University

7. Denison University

National Academic Rankings

(summary of all ranking placements)

University of Puget Sound National Academic Rankings

University of Puget Sound National Academic Rankings
category rank scores difficulty smartest brainpower faculty research salary ROI overall ROI
West Coast Region331920524728262321
State of Washington422863384
Top Ten Top250227132154222228153159187223
Top Ten State of Washington422763354

Peer Universities / Similar Universities

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

University of Puget Sound Peer Universities, Similar Universities to University of Puget Sound

University of Puget Sound Peer Universities, Similar Universities to University of Puget Sound
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI
Trinity UniversityTexasSouthern Collegiate Athletic C...PrivateGood212170
Muhlenberg CollegePennsylvaniaCentennial ConferencePrivateGood223217
Union UniversityTennesseeGulf South ConferencePrivateGood225213
Furman UniversitySouth CarolinaSouthern ConferencePrivateGood232192
Yeshiva UniversityNew YorkSkyline ConferencePrivateGood141208
Clark UniversityMassachusettsNew England Women's & Men's At...PrivateGood201224
Denison UniversityOhioNorth Coast Athletic ConferencePrivateGood204170
The College of WoosterOhioNorth Coast Athletic ConferencePrivateGood277317
Cedarville UniversityOhioPrivateAboveAverage287278
Wagner CollegeNew YorkNortheast ConferencePrivateAboveAverage385412
Gordon CollegeMassachusettsCommonwealth Coast ConferencePrivateAboveAverage394475
Point Loma Nazarene UniversityCaliforniaPacific West ConferencePrivateAboveAverage357440
Gettysburg CollegePennsylvaniaCentennial ConferencePrivateExcellent170148
Rollins CollegeFloridaSunshine State ConferencePrivateAboveAverage262338
Concordia College at MoorheadMinnesotaMinnesota Intercollegiate Ath ConfPrivateAboveAverage430444
Dickinson CollegePennsylvaniaCentennial ConferencePrivateExcellent187201
Messiah CollegePennsylvaniaMiddle Atlantic States Athleti...PrivateAboveAverage387436
California Lutheran UniversityCaliforniaSouthern California Intercoll ...PrivateAboveAverage481488
Rockhurst UniversityMissouriGreat Lakes Valley ConferencePrivateAboveAverage404250
Colgate UniversityNew YorkPatriot LeaguePrivateExcellent9283
Lipscomb UniversityTennesseeAtlantic Sun ConferencePrivateAboveAverage303255
DePauw UniversityIndianaNorth Coast Athletic ConferencePrivateAboveAverage304173
Oberlin CollegeOhioNorth Coast Athletic ConferencePrivateExcellent8155
Lewis & Clark CollegeOregonNorthwest ConferencePrivateExcellent179221
Willamette UniversityOregonNorthwest ConferencePrivateAboveAverage300402
Bethel UniversityMinnesotaMinnesota Intercollegiate Ath ConfPrivateAboveAverage423428
Franciscan University of SteubenvilleOhioAllegheny Mountain Collegiate ...PrivateAboveAverage410310
Saint Michael's CollegeVermontNortheast 10 ConferencePrivateAboveAverage329452
Taylor UniversityIndianaMid - States Football Associat...PrivateAboveAverage391261
Berry CollegeGeorgiaSouthern Athletic AssociationPrivateAboveAverage390412
Eckerd CollegeFloridaSunshine State ConferencePrivateAboveAverage495417
Siena CollegeNew YorkMetro Atlantic Athletic ConferencePrivateAboveAverage462479
Macalester CollegeMinnesotaMinnesota Intercollegiate Ath ConfPrivateExcellent133146
Colorado CollegeColoradoSouthern Collegiate Athletic C...PrivateExcellent149160
Occidental CollegeCaliforniaSouthern California Intercoll ...PrivateExcellent158162
Rhodes CollegeTennesseeSouthern Athletic AssociationPrivateExcellent191147
Seattle Pacific UniversityWashingtonGreat Northwest Athletic ConferencePrivateAboveAverage383384
Wittenberg UniversityOhioNorth Coast Athletic ConferencePrivateAboveAverage441295
University of RichmondVirginiaColonial Athletic Association ...PrivateExcellent128150
Drake UniversityIowaPioneer Football League / Miss...PrivateAboveAverage263136
University of Minnesota-MorrisMinnesotaUpper Midwest Athletic ConferencePublicAboveAverage321161
Illinois Wesleyan UniversityIllinoisCollege Conference of Illinois...PrivateAboveAverage298225
Hope CollegeMichiganMichigan Intercollegiate Athle...PrivateAboveAverage244227
Dallas Baptist UniversityTexasHeartland ConferencePrivateAboveAverage408342
Webster UniversityMissouriSt.Louis Intercollegiate Ath ConfPrivateAboveAverage458421
Catholic University of AmericaWashington DCOld Dominion Athletic Conferen...PrivateAboveAverage381458
University of PortlandOregonWest Coast ConferencePrivateAboveAverage235245
Davidson CollegeNorth CarolinaPioneer Football League / Atla...PrivateExcellent155129
Brandeis UniversityMassachusettsUniversity Athletic AssociationPrivateExcellent46116
University of Mary WashingtonVirginiaCapital Athletic ConferencePublicAboveAverage424386

Academic Peer Universities / Similar Academics

(mathematically similar academics)

University of Puget Sound Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to University of Puget Sound

University of Puget Sound Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to University of Puget Sound
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI
Union UniversityTennesseeGulf South ConferencePrivateGood225213
Furman UniversitySouth CarolinaSouthern ConferencePrivateGood232192
Denison UniversityOhioNorth Coast Athletic ConferencePrivateGood204170
New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference (Low)-New England Women's & Men's At...-Conf-Good-161
Muhlenberg CollegePennsylvaniaCentennial ConferencePrivateGood223217
University of PortlandOregonWest Coast ConferencePrivateAboveAverage235245
Thomas Aquinas CollegeCaliforniaNo Conference AffiliationPrivateGood223243
University of San FranciscoCaliforniaWest Coast ConferencePrivateAboveAverage226241
Loyola University ChicagoIllinoisMissouri Valley ConferencePrivateAboveAverage228206
SUNY College of Environmental Science and ForestryNew YorkNo Conference AffiliationPublicAboveAverage229244
Hofstra UniversityNew YorkColonial Athletic AssociationPrivateAboveAverage231298
Appalachian State UniversityNorth CarolinaSun Belt ConferencePublicAboveAverage230228
American Athletic Conference (Low)-American Athletic Conference-Conf-AboveAverage-162
University of CincinnatiOhioAmerican Athletic ConferencePublicAboveAverage202106
University of North TexasTexasConference USAPublicAboveAverage192165
University of MississippiMississippiSoutheastern ConferencePublicAverage232197
Liberty UniversityVirginiaBig South ConferencePrivateAverage230248