Elon gets top national honors for student success programs in annual U.S. News & World Report college rankings

Elon is the nation’s only university recognized for excellence in eight academic programs that promote student success.  

Elon is the nation's only university recognized for excellence in all eight academic programs that promote student success. – U.S. News & World Report 2018 "America's Best Colleges"


College presidents and top higher education administrators across the nation nominated Elon more often than any other university in the annual U.S. News & World Report feature on academic “Programs to Look For.” The report was released Sept. 12 as part of the U.S News 2018 “America’s Best Colleges” rankings. Elon is ranked #1 among 142 Southern master’s universities and #1 for undergraduate teaching and innovation.

For the past 15 years, U.S. News has asked college executives, chief academic officers and deans to name schools that are outstanding on eight academic programs that lead to student success. The program categories were identified by education experts, including staff of the Association of American Colleges and Universities.

For the third straight year, Elon is the only university recognized in all eight categories:

Other universities recognized in multiple categories include the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, Yale, Stanford and Brown in six programs, with Duke and Northeastern recognized in five programs. Universities recognized in four categories include Princeton, Vanderbilt, Dartmouth, Wisconsin-Madison, Butler, Belmont and Carleton College.

Elon has a long history of excellence in co-curricular programs, with high participation rates in programs known collectively as the “Elon Experiences.” Participation rates for members of the Class of 2017 are as follows:

  • Service: 89%
  • Internships: 87%
  • Study Abroad: 79% + Study USA: 16%
  • Leadership: 45%
  • Undergraduate Research: 27%

In addition, Elon has a wide array of living-learning communities in its seven residential neighborhoods. And Elon’s selection for excellence in writing is the result of a major initiative to promote writing skills for students in all majors.

The undergraduate Core Curriculum includes an interdisciplinary Capstone Seminar to help students integrate and apply what they have learned during their Elon education. More than 40 different seminar topics are offered each academic year.

First-year students at Elon participate in numerous opportunities coordinated through the New Student and Transition Programs and the Core Curriculum includes First-Year Foundations courses that challenge students to think critically, engage globally and communicate effectively.