Chapman University campus

Chapman University Achieves National Ranking in U.S. News & World Report List

Chapman University is among the top universities in the country, according to the latest rankings from U.S. News & World Report.  For the first time in its history, Chapman was ranked as a top-tier institution, an indication of its rising reputation, student selectivity, world-class faculty and growing research programs.

The annual U.S. News report ranked Chapman at No. 125 in the National Universities group, an elevated category that includes 399 of the leading private and public research universities across the United States, from Princeton and Harvard to UCLA and UC Berkeley.

Rising Stature

“We are thrilled to be moved into the category of National universities,” said President Daniele C. Struppa. “It is a great recognition of the increased quality, stature and reputation of Chapman. We have record student applications, distinguished faculty who are all very active in their disciplines, and incredible research and scholarly activity being recognized throughout the world. All of this has contributed to Chapman no longer being classified as a regional university.”

U.S. News editors also gave Chapman high marks for its commitment to the learning experience, placing the University among the top 50 in the Best Undergraduate Teaching category.

How Research Helps

Chapman was previously ranked in the smaller Western region, where it rose to No. 5. However, robust growth in its doctoral and professional practice degree programs triggered its reclassification by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. In 2018, Carnegie also elevated Chapman to R2 status in recognition of its high research activity. U.S. News uses the Carnegie Classifications to group the institutions it evaluates.

The move into the national category reflects Chapman’s extraordinary rise in the past several years, demonstrated by the establishment of the new Fowler School of Engineering, the opening of the Keck Center for Science and Technology and the launch of several new programs and research centers.

“I believe we are now, in fact, a top 100 university when you consider the quality of our faculty and students, as well as our record of growth and success,” said Chapman Provost Glenn Pfeiffer. “We now have the opportunity to share the news from Chapman with our peers so that we move up in future rankings.”

Chapman University's Keck Center. The opening of Keck Center for Science and Technology helped raise Chapman's national stature and rankings.
The opening of Keck Center for Science and Technology helped raise Chapman’s national stature.

Moreover, having a presence on the national list helps attract international students, whose home-country funding sources are sometimes only available to them if they attend nationally ranked institutions.

“Some countries restrict students from attending foreign universities unless they are on a list consisting of the most highly regarded universities in the world,” said Pfeiffer. “Being in the national rankings gives us more exposure internationally and can only help when we recruit international students.”

Other Notable Rankings

The new ranking is just one of several recent accolades the University has received. In the 2020 Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings Chapman ranked 158 out of 800 U.S. colleges and universities, placing it in the top 25 percent of schools across the country.

Like other rankings, the WSJ list measures several factors related to student experience and academics, but also puts particular emphasis on alumni success after graduation. Chapman graduates can expect to earn more in their working lives than 75 percent of their peers across the nation, according to the rankings.

Chapman scored in the top 9 percent of 20,000 higher education institutions worldwide in the Center for World University Rankings released in August. Measured factors included alumni and faculty achievements, research activity, faculty publishing and more.


Dawn Bonker

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