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UW-Madison Places High in Numerous Recent Rankings

Once again, UW-Madison has been recognized in a number of recent college rankings, with honors for both campus life and academics. From Forbes Magazine and Money Magazine to The Princeton Review and The Active Times, the university received high marks. But Badgers have always known the UW is in a class by itself.

Käri Knutson
September 03, 2014

Originally appeared on

Once again, the University of Wisconsin-Madison has been recognized in a number of recent college rankings, with honors for both campus life and academics.

Forbes Magazine ranked UW-Madison as one of its Top Colleges in the United States, placing 70th overall and 11th among best public colleges. Forbes partners with the Washington, D.C.-based Center for College Affordability and Productivity for the seventh annual list. The rankings are determined using five main criteria: student satisfaction, post-graduate success, student debt, graduation rate and nationally competitive awards.

Money Magazine named UW-Madison 99th in its list of Best Colleges, tops in the UW System. The ranking is determined using quality of education, affordability and outcomes such as salaries following graduation.

The Center for World University Rankings ranked UW-Madison 25th among all institutions worldwide and 18th nationally. CWUR publishes global university performance tables that measure the quality of education and training of students as well as the prestige of the faculty and the quality of their research. UW-Madison placed by category: publications, 21st; influence, 24th; citations, 23rd; patents, 28th; quality of faculty, 34th; alumni employment, 28th; and quality of education, 31st.

The Princeton Review features UW-Madison in the 2015 edition of its annual college guide, “The Best 379 Colleges.” The education services company also recognized UW-Madison in numerous categories, including 4th for best health services, 7th for LGBT-friendly, 10th for best college newspaper, 15th for students who love their college, and 16th for best college library. Only about 15 percent of America’s 2,500 four-year colleges and only four colleges outside the U.S. are profiled in the book, which is The Princeton Review's flagship college guide. Its ranking are based on surveys of 130,000 students attending the colleges.

The Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), conducted by Shanghai’s Jiao Tong University, ranked UW-Madison 24th, tying with the University of Toronto. It is the second highest ranking of any Big Ten school, just behind the University of Michigan, which tied for 22nd.

Rankings are based on alumni and staff winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals, research performance, highly cited researchers and papers published in Nature and Science, articles indexed in Thomson Reuters’ Science Citation Index Expanded and Social Sciences Citation Index, and per capita performance based on the size of an institution.

More than 1,200 universities are ranked by ARWU every year with the best 500 universities published.

Washington Monthly magazine ranked UW-Madison 17th in its annual College Guide and Rankings, based on three criteria: civic engagement, research and social mobility. Washington Monthly gives high marks to institutions that contribute to society, enroll low income students, help them graduate and are affordable to attend.

The Active Times named UW-Madison the 22nd fittest college in a list of 50. It writes,  “At first glance, varsity teams may take center stage at UW, but there are many more ways for the average student to stay fit at this top school," writes the web site. "There are outdoor clubs for everything from mountaineering to SCUBA and if students are around in the summer they can join the sailing club, too. At UW students know that overall fitness is more than jogging on a treadmill and staring at a TV screen.”

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