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

Washington University in St Louis

2016 University Academic Rankings

Washington University in St. Louis (Wash. U., or WUSTL) is a private research university located in St. Louis, Missouri, United States. Founded in 1853, and named after George Washington, the university has students and faculty from all 50 U.S. states and more than 120 countries. Twenty-five Nobel laureates have been affiliated with Washington University, nine having done the major part of their pioneering research at the university. Washington University's undergraduate program is ranked 15th by U.S. News and World Report. The university is ranked 32nd in the world by the Academic Ranking of World Universities.

Washington University is made up of seven graduate and undergraduate schools that encompass a broad range of academic fields. Officially incorporated as "The Washington University," the university is occasionally referred to as "WUSTL," (pronounced /whu- stḷ/) an acronym derived from its initials. More commonly, the school is referred to as "Wash. U." To prevent confusion over its location, the Board of Trustees added the phrase "in St. Louis" in 1976.

History | Early history (1853-1900)

Washington University was conceived by 17 St. Louis business, political, and religious leaders concerned by the lack of institutions of higher learning in the Midwest. Missouri State Senator Wayman Crow and Unitarian minister William Greenleaf Eliot, grandfather of the poet T.S. Eliot, led the effort.

The university's first chancellor was Joseph Gibson Hoyt. Crow secured the university charter from the Missouri General Assembly in 1853, and Eliot was named President of the Board of Trustees. Early on, Eliot solicited support from members of the local business community, including John O'Fallon, but Eliot failed to secure a permanent endowment. Washington University is unusual among major American universities in not having had a prior financial endowment. The institution had no backing of a religious organization, single wealthy patron, or earmarked government support.

During the three years following its inception, the university bore three different names. The board first approved "Eliot Seminary," but William Eliot was uncomfortable with naming a university after himself and objected to the establishment of a seminary, which would implicitly be charged with teaching a religious faith. He favored a nonsectarian university. In 1854, the Board of Trustees changed the name to "Washington Institute" in honor of George Washington. Naming the University after the nation's first president, only seven years before the American Civil War and during a time of bitter national division, was no coincidence. During this time of conflict, Americans universally admired George Washington as the father of the United States and a symbol of national unity. The Board of Trustees believed that the university should be a force of unity in a strongly divided Missouri. In 1856, the University amended its name to "Washington University." The university amended its name once more in 1976, when the Board of Trustees voted to add the suffix "in St. Louis" to distinguish the university from the nearly two dozen other universities bearing Washington's name.

Although chartered as a university, for many years Washington University functioned primarily as a night school located on 17th Street and Washington Avenue in the heart of downtown St. Louis. Owing to limited financial resources, Washington University initially used public buildings. Classes began on October 22, 1854, at the Benton School building. At first the university paid for the evening classes, but as their popularity grew, their funding was transferred to the St. Louis Public Schools. Eventually the board secured funds for the construction of Academic Hall and a half dozen other buildings. Later the university divided into three departments: the Manual Training ... [more on wikipedia]

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Washington University in St Louis", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0

Washington University in St Louis Details

Washington University in St Louis Details
detail value
conferenceUniversity Athletic Association
overall ROI rank[6
scores validTrue
Common Questions...

What are the academic rankings for Washington University in St Louis?

1. number 8 for Academics.

2. number 6 for ROI (Return on Investment).

What universities are similar to Washington University in St Louis?

1. Stanford University

2. Vanderbilt University

3. Duke University

4. Yale University

5. Emory University

6. Brown University

7. Johns Hopkins University

National Academic Rankings

(summary of all ranking placements)

Washington University in St Louis National Academic Rankings

Washington University in St Louis National Academic Rankings
category rank scores difficulty smartest brainpower faculty research salary ROI overall ROI
All Nonivy4410242711155
Stem Low7512362711186
South East Region113123252
State of Missouri111111121
Top Ten Top2508713583711226
Top Ten All9785810437
Top Ten All Nonivy546248754
Top Ten Private778579436
Top Ten Stem Low558369444
Top Ten South East Region113123242
Top Ten State of Missouri111111121

Peer Universities / Similar Universities

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

Washington University in St Louis Peer Universities, Similar Universities to Washington University in St Louis

Washington University in St Louis Peer Universities, Similar Universities to Washington University in St Louis
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI
Stanford UniversityCaliforniaPacific 12 ConferencePrivateElite917
Vanderbilt UniversityTennesseeSoutheastern ConferencePrivateElite148
Duke UniversityNorth CarolinaAtlantic Coast ConferencePrivateElite133
Yale UniversityConnecticutIvy LeaguePrivateElite337
Emory UniversityGeorgiaUniversity Athletic AssociationPrivateExcellent3629
Brown UniversityRhode IslandIvy LeaguePrivateElite2534
Johns Hopkins UniversityMarylandCentennial ConferencePrivateElite1647
University of ChicagoIllinoisUniversity Athletic AssociationPrivateElite1014
Princeton UniversityNew JerseyIvy LeaguePrivateElite411
Tufts UniversityMassachusettsNew England Small College Ath ConfPrivateElite2334
Cornell UniversityNew YorkIvy LeaguePrivateElite1539
University of Notre DameIndianaAtlantic Coast ConferencePrivateElite3112
Southern Methodist UniversityTexasAmerican Athletic ConferencePrivateExcellent8073
University of RochesterNew YorkUniversity Athletic AssociationPrivateExcellent3993
Northwestern UniversityIllinoisBig Ten ConferencePrivateElite1113
Harvard UniversityMassachusettsIvy LeaguePrivateElite210
Dartmouth CollegeNew HampshireIvy LeaguePrivateElite1921
Northeastern UniversityMassachusettsColonial Athletic AssociationPrivateElite40109
Villanova UniversityPennsylvaniaColonial Athletic Association ...PrivateExcellent9968
SUNY College at GeneseoNew YorkState University of New York A...PublicExcellent111184
University of MiamiFloridaAtlantic Coast ConferencePrivateExcellent4493
University of PennsylvaniaPennsylvaniaIvy LeaguePrivateElite127
Rice UniversityTexasConference USAPrivateElite204
University of VirginiaVirginiaAtlantic Coast ConferencePublicExcellent3227
University of North Carolina at Chapel HillNorth CarolinaAtlantic Coast ConferencePublicExcellent3764
University of Southern CaliforniaCaliforniaPacific 12 ConferencePrivateElite2281
Carleton CollegeMinnesotaMidwest ConferencePrivateElite8443
University of Michigan-Ann ArborMichiganBig Ten ConferencePublicExcellent1716
University of California-Los AngelesCaliforniaPacific 12 ConferencePublicExcellent2984
University of Wisconsin-MadisonWisconsinBig Ten ConferencePublicExcellent3325
Pomona CollegeCaliforniaSouthern California Intercoll ...PrivateElite52125
Swarthmore CollegePennsylvaniaCentennial ConferencePrivateElite6748
Georgetown UniversityWashington DCPatriot League / Big East Conf...PrivateElite4288
Carnegie Mellon UniversityPennsylvaniaUniversity Athletic AssociationPrivateElite219
Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyMassachusettsNew England Football Conferenc...PrivateElite52
SUNY at BinghamtonNew YorkAmerica EastPublicExcellent65125
Georgia Institute of TechnologyGeorgiaAtlantic Coast ConferencePublicElite61
Bucknell UniversityPennsylvaniaPatriot LeaguePrivateExcellent13193
Boston UniversityMassachusettsPatriot LeaguePrivateExcellent45116
St Olaf CollegeMinnesotaMinnesota Intercollegiate Ath ConfPrivateExcellent144127
Lafayette CollegePennsylvaniaPatriot LeaguePrivateExcellent165106
Gettysburg CollegePennsylvaniaCentennial ConferencePrivateExcellent170148
Union CollegeKentuckyMid - South Conference / Appal...PrivateBelowAverage162178
Lewis & Clark CollegeOregonNorthwest ConferencePrivateExcellent179221
Williams CollegeMassachusettsNew England Small College Ath ConfPrivateElite58161
Colorado CollegeColoradoSouthern Collegiate Athletic C...PrivateExcellent149160
Rhodes CollegeTennesseeSouthern Athletic AssociationPrivateExcellent191147
Colby CollegeMaineNew England Small College Ath ConfPrivateExcellent132155
Bowdoin CollegeMaineNew England Small College Ath ConfPrivateElite64162
Grinnell CollegeIowaMidwest ConferencePrivateExcellent114123

Academic Peer Universities / Similar Academics

(mathematically similar academics)

Washington University in St Louis Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to Washington University in St Louis

Washington University in St Louis Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to Washington University in St Louis
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI
Columbia University in the City of New YorkNew YorkIvy LeaguePrivateElite742
Stanford UniversityCaliforniaPacific 12 ConferencePrivateElite917
University of ChicagoIllinoisUniversity Athletic AssociationPrivateElite1014
Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyMassachusettsNew England Football Conferenc...PrivateElite52
Northwestern UniversityIllinoisBig Ten ConferencePrivateElite1113
Georgia Institute of TechnologyGeorgiaAtlantic Coast ConferencePublicElite61
Ivy League (Average)-Ivy League-Conf-Elite-20
Vanderbilt UniversityTennesseeSoutheastern ConferencePrivateElite148
Yale UniversityConnecticutIvy LeaguePrivateElite337
Princeton UniversityNew JerseyIvy LeaguePrivateElite411
Duke UniversityNorth CarolinaAtlantic Coast ConferencePrivateElite133
University of PennsylvaniaPennsylvaniaIvy LeaguePrivateElite127
California Institute of TechnologyCaliforniaSouthern California Intercoll ...PrivateElite15