Elon earns national recognition, #1 rankings in 2018 U.S. News & World Report “America’s Best Colleges”

Elon is the #1 master’s university in the South and the national leader in academic programs that lead to student success.​

For the fifth year in a row, U.S. News & World Report has ranked Elon University the #1 Southern master’s-level university, with #1 rankings for excellence in undergraduate teaching and innovation. The annual best-selling college guide, “America’s Best Colleges,” was released Sept. 12.

In a ranking of colleges and universities across the nation, Elon is the leader in eight academic programs that lead to student success. This distinction is based on a survey of college presidents, chief academic officers and admissions deans who were asked to identify programs of excellence. For the third straight year, Elon is the only college or 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 142 Southern master’s 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 91 percent first-year student retention rate, an 82 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 higher education leaders who were asked to identify schools where the faculty has an unusually strong commitment to undergraduate teaching. Those same academic leaders identify Elon as a #1 innovative school for its improvements in curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology and facilities. 

Elon also ranks as a top-25 “Best Value” university in the South, based on academic quality and the net cost of attendance for students who receive need-based financial aid. 

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 seven North Carolina business schools make the list of the top 183 schools.

U.S. News & World Report has been producing college rankings since 1983. The rankings are based on an extensive annual data survey of institutions along with opinion surveys of university faculty and administrators.