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 Rochester

2016 University Academic Rankings

The University of Rochester (commonly referred to as U of R or UR) is a private, nonsectarian, research university in Rochester, New York. The university grants undergraduate and graduate degrees, including doctoral and professional degrees. The university has six schools and various interdisciplinary programs.

The University of Rochester is particularly noted for its Eastman School of Music. The university is also home to the Institute of Optics, founded in 1929, the first educational program in the US devoted exclusively to optics. Rochester's Laboratory for Laser Energetics is home to the second most energetic fusion laser in the world.

In its history, five university alumni, two faculty, and one senior research associate at Strong Memorial Hospital have been awarded a Nobel Prize; eight alumni and four faculty members have won a Pulitzer Prize, and 19 faculty members have been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. The departments of political science and economics have made a significant and consistent impact on positivist social science since the 1960s; the distinctive, mathematical approach pioneered at Rochester and closely affiliated departments is known as the Rochester school, and Rochester graduates and former affiliates are highly represented at faculties across top economics and political science departments.

The University of Rochester, across all of its schools and campuses, enrolls approximately 5,600 undergraduates and 4,600 graduate students. Its 158 buildings house over 200 academic majors. Additionally, Rochester (along with its affiliated Strong Health System) is the largest employer in the Greater Rochester area and the sixth largest employer in New York.


The University of Rochester was founded in 1850 as a Baptist-sponsored institution. The impetus to form the university came primarily from the town of Hamilton, New York, which has been home to Colgate University since 1819. In 1848, the Baptist Education Society planned to move Colgate University (then known as Madison University) to the city of Rochester, but was halted by legal action in Hamilton. Dissenting Colgate trustees, faculty, and students founded the University of Rochester with a charter granted from the Regents of the University of the State of New York on January 31, 1850. Classes began that November, with approximately 60 students enrolling, including 28 transfers from Madison.

The University of Rochester's campus was originally in downtown Rochester at the United States Hotel, which was located on Buffalo Street near Elizabeth Street, which today is West Main Street near the I-490 overpass. In 1853, the campus moved east to a then-suburban location on what is now University Avenue. Local businessman and Congressman Azariah Boody donated 8 acres (3.2 ha) of land for the new campus, and the University purchased a further 17 acres (6.9 ha) from him. UR would remain on this campus until the current River Campus was constructed in 1930, and the university continues to own a small part of the University Avenue campus (where the university-owned Memorial Art Gallery is located).

The first female students were admitted in 1900, the result of an effort led by Susan B. Anthony and Helen Barrett Montgomery. During the 1890s, a number of women took classes and labs at the university as "visitors" but were not officially enrolled nor were their records included in the college register. President David Jayne Hill allowed the first woman, Helen E. Wilkinson, to enroll as a normal student, although she was not allowed to matriculate or to pursue a degree. Thirty-three women enrolled among the first class in 1900, and Ella S. Wilcoxen was the first to receive a degree, in 1901. When the River Campus was completed in 1930, male students moved there while the female students remained on the Universi ... [more on wikipedia]

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

University of Rochester Details

University of Rochester Details
detail value
stateNew York
conferenceUniversity Athletic Association
overall ROI rank[93
scores validTrue
Common Questions...

What are the academic rankings for University of Rochester?

1. number 39 for Academics.

2. number 93 for ROI (Return on Investment).

What universities are similar to University of Rochester?

1. Villanova University

2. University of Miami

3. Vanderbilt University

4. SUNY College at Geneseo

5. Washington University in St Louis

6. Tufts University

7. Lehigh University

National Academic Rankings

(summary of all ranking placements)

University of Rochester National Academic Rankings

University of Rochester National Academic Rankings
category rank scores difficulty smartest brainpower faculty research salary ROI overall ROI
All Nonivy364734437548367555
Stem Low303134355841358558
New England Region183422243824184929
State of New York51066755126
Top Ten Top2503957425188604616893
Top Ten State of New York576674376

Peer Universities / Similar Universities

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

University of Rochester Peer Universities, Similar Universities to University of Rochester

University of Rochester Peer Universities, Similar Universities to University of Rochester
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI
Villanova UniversityPennsylvaniaColonial Athletic Association ...PrivateExcellent9968
University of MiamiFloridaAtlantic Coast ConferencePrivateExcellent4493
Vanderbilt UniversityTennesseeSoutheastern ConferencePrivateElite148
SUNY College at GeneseoNew YorkState University of New York A...PublicExcellent111184
Washington University in St LouisMissouriUniversity Athletic AssociationPrivateElite86
Tufts UniversityMassachusettsNew England Small College Ath ConfPrivateElite2334
Lehigh UniversityPennsylvaniaPatriot LeaguePrivateExcellent6932
Columbia University in the City of New YorkNew YorkIvy LeaguePrivateElite742
University of Notre DameIndianaAtlantic Coast ConferencePrivateElite3112
Northwestern UniversityIllinoisBig Ten ConferencePrivateElite1113
SUNY at BinghamtonNew YorkAmerica EastPublicExcellent65125
University of VirginiaVirginiaAtlantic Coast ConferencePublicExcellent3227
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityVirginiaAtlantic Coast ConferencePublicGood7540
University of Maryland-College ParkMarylandBig Ten ConferencePublicExcellent3460
University of Michigan-Ann ArborMichiganBig Ten ConferencePublicExcellent1716
University of California-Los AngelesCaliforniaPacific 12 ConferencePublicExcellent2984
University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignIllinoisBig Ten ConferencePublicExcellent2417
University of Minnesota-Twin CitiesMinnesotaBig Ten ConferencePublicExcellent3022
Johns Hopkins UniversityMarylandCentennial ConferencePrivateElite1647
Duke UniversityNorth CarolinaAtlantic Coast ConferencePrivateElite133
Stanford UniversityCaliforniaPacific 12 ConferencePrivateElite917
Princeton UniversityNew JerseyIvy LeaguePrivateElite411
Emory UniversityGeorgiaUniversity Athletic AssociationPrivateExcellent3629
Case Western Reserve UniversityOhioPresidents' Athletic Conferenc...PrivateExcellent2814
Rice UniversityTexasConference USAPrivateElite204
Bucknell UniversityPennsylvaniaPatriot LeaguePrivateExcellent13193
University of PennsylvaniaPennsylvaniaIvy LeaguePrivateElite127
St Olaf CollegeMinnesotaMinnesota Intercollegiate Ath ConfPrivateExcellent144127
Northeastern UniversityMassachusettsColonial Athletic AssociationPrivateElite40109
Lafayette CollegePennsylvaniaPatriot LeaguePrivateExcellent165106
Union CollegeKentuckyMid - South Conference / Appal...PrivateBelowAverage162178
University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh CampusPennsylvaniaAtlantic Coast ConferencePublicGood5075
Colby CollegeMaineNew England Small College Ath ConfPrivateExcellent132155
Grinnell CollegeIowaMidwest ConferencePrivateExcellent114123
Whitman CollegeWashingtonNorthwest ConferencePrivateExcellent153154
Brigham Young University-ProvoUtahOther / West Coast ConferencePrivateGood7227
Reed CollegeOregonNo Conference AffiliationPrivateExcellent106144
University of Washington-Seattle CampusWashingtonPacific 12 ConferencePublicGood5566
University of Wisconsin-MadisonWisconsinBig Ten ConferencePublicExcellent3325
University of FloridaFloridaSoutheastern ConferencePublicGood4338
The University of Texas at AustinTexasBig Twelve ConferencePublicGood3851
Ohio State UniversityOhioBig Ten ConferencePublicGood4043
Southern Methodist UniversityTexasAmerican Athletic ConferencePrivateExcellent8073
Rensselaer Polytechnic InstituteNew YorkUpstate Collegiate Athletic As...PrivateExcellent2734
Santa Clara UniversityCaliforniaWest Coast ConferencePrivateExcellent12398
Tulane University of LouisianaLouisianaAmerican Athletic ConferencePrivateExcellent61106
Wake Forest UniversityNorth CarolinaAtlantic Coast ConferencePrivateExcellent6650
United States Military AcademyNew YorkDivision I-A Independents / Pa...PublicGood14578
Harvard UniversityMassachusettsIvy LeaguePrivateElite210
University of TulsaOklahomaAmerican Athletic ConferencePrivateGood13975

Academic Peer Universities / Similar Academics

(mathematically similar academics)

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

University of Rochester Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to University of Rochester
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI
Boston CollegeMassachusettsAtlantic Coast ConferencePrivateExcellent4775
Brandeis UniversityMassachusettsUniversity Athletic AssociationPrivateExcellent46116
University of VirginiaVirginiaAtlantic Coast ConferencePublicExcellent3227
Emory UniversityGeorgiaUniversity Athletic AssociationPrivateExcellent3629
New York UniversityNew YorkUniversity Athletic AssociationPrivateExcellent35101
University of MiamiFloridaAtlantic Coast ConferencePrivateExcellent4493
University of North Carolina at Chapel HillNorth CarolinaAtlantic Coast ConferencePublicExcellent3764
University of Maryland-College ParkMarylandBig Ten ConferencePublicExcellent3460
Pacific - 12 Conference (Average)-Pacific 12 Conference-Conf-Excellent-32
Northeastern UniversityMassachusettsColonial Athletic AssociationPrivateElite40109
Ivy League (Low)-Ivy League-Conf-Elite-21
Georgetown UniversityWashington DCPatriot League / Big East Conf...PrivateElite4288
Bowdoin CollegeMaineNew England Small College Ath ConfPrivateElite64162
Williams CollegeMassachusettsNew England Small College Ath ConfPrivateElite58161
The University of Texas at AustinTexasBig Twelve ConferencePublicGood3851
Franklin W Olin College of EngineeringMassachusettsNo Conference AffiliationPrivateElite4853
Pomona CollegeCaliforniaSouthern California Intercoll ...PrivateElite52125
University of FloridaFloridaSoutheastern ConferencePublicGood4338
Harvey Mudd CollegeCaliforniaSouthern California Intercoll ...PrivateElite4919
Ohio State UniversityOhioBig Ten ConferencePublicGood4043
University of Washington-Seattle CampusWashingtonPacific 12 ConferencePublicGood5566