The University of Dallas has recently made the lists for several national and regional rankings, recognitions from prestigious institutions that highlight the growing success of the university in the past few years.
Last week, the U.S. News & World Report included UD on their list of 2015 Best Colleges, coming in as No. 13 among 120 other regional universities in the West Region. More specifically, they rated UD as No. 1 in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, No. 2 among 33 other regional universities in Texas and No. 7 among Catholic universities in the Western region. They also named UD a “Best Value School” in the West region, a list including only seven other colleges and universities.
Forbes magazine also named UD one of America’s Best Colleges in their most recent annual rankings of public and private colleges, released last month. They placed UD at No. 212 on their list of all colleges and universities, No. 8 among all Texas colleges and universities, No. 2 among colleges and universities in the DFW area, and No. 14 among Catholic colleges and universities in the U.S.
In August, the university was recognized as a 2014-15 College of Distinction, an honor that recognizes colleges that provide students with the highest level of undergraduate education as evidenced by its exemplary commitment to student engagement, great teaching, vibrant communities and successful outcomes.
The political magazine Washington Monthly ranked UD as No. 22 on their college guide, a publication which ranks universities based on their contributions to the public good in the categories of social mobility, research and service.
The Math department, in particular, garnered much attention last week when it was ranked first in a study by the Council of Independent Colleges, a study that included Harvard University, the University of California-Berkeley, the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University-College Station, among others. According to the study, UD had the highest percentage of mathematics and statistics baccalaureate graduates from 2001 to 2005 who went on to receive doctorates in mathematics or statistics in 2006 to 2010.
UD has also earned a spot on several lists in the annual rankings by the Princeton Review, in both serious and more lighthearted categories.
The University of Dallas earned the No. 1 spot for “Least Beautiful Campus,” a title that most UD students generally have not disputed. Although students seem to view the campus as ugly, it was not a deal breaker for incoming students.
“It’s kind of true that the campus is ugly, but you grow into it, and the campus starts to feel like home,” freshman Elizabeth Parker commented.
Elizabeth Kerin, a junior art history major, notes that architecture is often intended to blend into the environment. While not a fan of it herself, Kerin stated that she could see how the architecture emulates the Texan environment.
Most students were also unsurprised with UD’s rankings as No. 5 for “Most Conservative Campus” and No. 7 “Most Religious Campus” affirming that the qualities that led to these rankings were big draws for them to come to the university.
“UD has an incredible conservative community… it is an incredible gift to find like-minded persons in academia that have the same worldview as you,” student government president Christina Davis remarked.
Sophomore and transfer student, John Simpson, said that he came to UD because the Catholic experience here was different from any other school he had seen.
“People here are very strong in their faith, while not being ‘in your face’ about it,” said Simpson. “The fact that the confession line is so long is a good testament to this. It’s annoying, but it’s a good kind of annoying.”
The Princeton Review also ranked UD for having the No. 8 “Most Popular Study Abroad Program.”
“[The Rome Program] makes the experience much more rewarding, which I think is attractive to a lot of people,” senior Zachary Kraus stated.
UD was additionally ranked as No. 20 for “Stone-Cold Sober Schools” by the Princeton Review. Students were most surprised by this ranking.
“I don’t think they did much research on the drinking. They should have come here on a Thursday night,” Kraus said. “There are definitely people who don’t drink here, but the ones who do make up for them.”
Parker also expressed her uncertainty about the accuracy of the ranking.
“You’re not alone if you don’t want to drink here. There’s plenty of other things to do if you’re not interested in parties,” Parker said.
Additionally, the Princeton Review ranked UD as No. 6 in “Future Rotarians and Daughters of the American Revolution” and No. 9 in “This is a Library?”
Though the Princeton Review rankings got students talking, the academic rankings remained the most important.
“I don’t recommend UD because it’s gorgeous here, or because the tuition is low, or because we’re a huge party school,” Kerin said. “And I think that speaks to the caliber of the school — they come here for the integrity of the education.”