Belmont University is among the top 20 universities in the south in its category in the U.S. News & World Report magazine’s annual ranking of America’s best colleges and universities, released today. Belmont University ranked 19th out of the 131 schools included in the South region of the “Best Universities – Masters” category. At No. 19, Belmont University is the highest-ranked university in Tennessee in the Master’s category, which includes such schools as University of Richmond, James Madison University and Mercer University
Along with that overall quality ranking, the magazine’s prestigious college guides have also given high rankings to Belmont’s School of Physical Therapy. The America’s Best Graduate Schools 2005 guide lists Belmont University’s School of Physical Therapy as the top school of physical therapy in Tennessee and one of the top 40 nationally.
Belmont’s overall No. 19 ranking in the 2005 edition of America’s Best Colleges is based on several quality indicators including student retention rates, graduation rates, student-faculty ratios and scores on college entrance exams.
“Belmont owes its success to our outstanding students, faculty and staff,” said Dan McAlexander, Belmont University Provost. “In addition, our professors are committed to premier teaching with a focus on the students’ success not only at Belmont but in the real world as well.”
This is the first year Belmont’s School of Physical Therapy has been included in the rankings, which the magazine compiles once every three years. The magazine lists 196 physical therapy programs nationally. Belmont ranked 40th, ahead of University of Tennessee-Memphis (#64) and UT-Chattanooga (#74), The physical therapy program at East Tennessee State University was unranked.
Belmont’s School of Physical Therapy also ranks very highly among all programs in the southeastern U.S at number eight, just behind the physical therapy program at the University of Kentucky.
The U.S. News accolade reflects what you see if you critically evaluate Belmont’s PT program and compare it with other schools that offer the doctorate in physical therapy.
“Our faculty, facilities, DPT curriculum, and clinical education, as well as our full accreditation status, compare favorably with the other first-choice PT schools throughout the country,” said Dr. David G. Greathouse, professor and chairman of Belmont University’s physical therapy program. “The success of our graduates especially reflects the high quality of our program. Ninety-eight percent of all our graduates have successfully passed the national licensing examination, which is far above the national average of 82 percent. All of our graduates who have sought employment in the field of physical therapy are currently employed in the profession.”
Belmont’s high rankings come as the university is enjoying rapid growth in enrollment, the quality of incoming students and its physical campus with the recent additions of the Curb Event Center complex, a new residence hall and a new state-of-the-art facility for the innovative New Century Journalism program. This year’s freshman class comes to a university whose College of Business was recently honored as having one of the Top Ten “entrepreneurship emphasis” academic programs in the nation by Entrepreneurship magazine and whose student-athletes have won the Atlantic Sun Conference’s All-Academic Trophy for an unprecedented third year in a row.
Belmont’s record enrollment of 3,629 for the fall 2003 semester was up 22 percent over enrollment in the fall of 2000, and the university is expecting another record enrollment this fall.
Ranking Touts Belmont – Nashville City Paper