Elon ranks #1 for teaching, innovation and academic excellence in U.S. News & World Report’s 2017 'America’s Best Colleges'

The top-selling college guide ranks Elon the #1 Southern University and the national leader in academic programs that lead to student success.  

U.S. News & World Report ranks Elon University #1 among Southern master's-level universities, and #1 for undergraduate teaching and innovation.

For the fourth year in a row, U.S. News & World Report ranks Elon #1 among master’s-level universities in the South, with #1 rankings for best undergraduate teaching and for innovation. The annual U.S. News rankings were released Sept. 13.

Elon also earns top national honors in the U.S. News feature on academic programs that lead to student success. Based on a survey of college presidents, chief academic officers and deans, Elon is the only university in the nation recognized for excellence in all eight program categories:

  • Study Abroad
  • Undergraduate Research/Creative Projects
  • Internships/Co-ops
  • Learning Communities
  • Service Learning
  • Writing in the Disciplines
  • First-Year Experiences
  • Senior Capstone

> Read more about the “Programs to Look For” ranking…

With the #1 ranking among 140 Southern universities, Elon joins top schools in three other regions – Providence College of Rhode Island in the North, Creighton University of Nebraska in the Midwest, and Trinity University of Texas in the West.

Elon earns its #1 ranking with a 90 percent first-year student retention rate, an 83 percent four-year graduation rate, a 12-to-1 student faculty ratio, and strong student qualifications and alumni giving rate. Elon also has the highest peer reputation score in its category.

Elon earns a #1 ranking for undergraduate teaching based on a survey of college presidents, provosts and admissions deans who were asked to identify schools with a strong commitment to teaching quality. Those same academic leaders identify Elon as a #1 innovative school for its improvements in curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology and facilities.  

Elon is included in the U.S. News ranking of the nation’s best undergraduate business programs accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The results are based on a survey of business school deans and senior faculty members. Only six North Carolina business schools make the list of the top 184 schools.

U.S. News also ranks Elon #1 in the South as a “Best College for Veterans.” Schools in that ranking have strong academics, are certified for the GI Bill and enrolled 20 or more students using those benefits, and participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program.