Belmont University moved up four spots in the latest annual ranking of America’s best colleges and universities from U.S. News & World Report magazine and is now ranked as one of the 15 best universities in the south in the “Best Universities-Masters” category. Belmont is the highest-ranked Tennessee school in the Master’s category, which includes 130 schools across the south, including 14 in Tennessee. Other top Master’s institutions include such schools as Rollins College, James Madison University, Mercer University, Samford University and The Citadel. The rankings in the America’s Best Colleges 2006 guide are based on several quality indicators including student retention rates, graduation rates, student-faculty ratios and scores on college entrance exams.
“While we are pleased to be ranked in the top 15, what excites us most is what’s driving it – increases in our academic reputation, our strong student retention and graduation rates and increases in our academic preparedness for our entering freshmen. All of these are the result of Belmont’s intense focus on improving the quality of the educational process and innovative academic programming,” said Belmont University President Dr. Robert Fisher.
Belmont has the third-lowest student-faculty ratio of any school in the top 15 and the fourth-highest percentage of entering freshman (in 2004) who were in the top 25 percent of their high school class.
“Our growing recognition as one of the top universities in the south is helping us to attract the interest of increasingly highly qualified students from across the nation. Ultimately, however, these students are choosing to come to Belmont because of our outstanding faculty, unique and creatively designed academic programs and the quality of the overall student experience,” Dan McAlexander, Belmont University Provost, said.
Belmont’s high rankings come as the university is enjoying rapid growth in both enrollment and its physical campus. Fall enrollment is expected to grow to over 4,100 undergraduate and graduate students. Construction is currently under way on the Gordon E. Inman College of Health Sciences and Thrailkill Hall, a new residence hall, both to be completed in August 2006.
Belmont’s consistent growth has been coupled with its increase in national honors as well. Belmont’s entrepreneurship program has been ranked in the top 10 nationally for “entrepreneurship emphasis” programs by Entrepreneur magazine, its student-athletes have won the Atlantic Sun Conference’s All-Academic Trophy for a record-setting fourth year in a row and its world-renowned music and music business programs continually receive national accolades and recognition.
Belmont recently adopted a new core curriculum designed to foster the skills, knowledge, perspectives and values that will enable students to apply their abilities and understanding beyond the classroom. Belmont also expanded its Engaged Scholars program designed to promote and recognize undergraduate students’ participation in forms of active learning that extend beyond the classroom and enhance the university’s long-standing commitment to active learning in settings outside the classroom.
Belmont Climbs in ‘U.S. News’ Rankings – Nashville City Paper, August 19, 2001
Belmont rises in magazine’s national evaluation – The Tennessean, August 19, 2005