Clark School Undergraduate Programs Move Up in U.S. News & World Report Rankings

The A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland is moving...up.

The Clark School moved up three spots, to No. 22 from 25 nationally, among undergraduate engineering programs in U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 Best Colleges report released today. The Clark School ranks as No. 12 among public institutions.

“We’re committed to engineering that helps people live better lives, from protecting students, families and first responders from COVID to solving problems that impact communities across the state, country and the world. This ranking recognizes the impact of that work,” Interim Clark School Dean Robert M. Briber said. “It’s important to acknowledge and congratulate everyone involved—from students, faculty, staff and supporters—for their commitment to engineering and our school.”

In addition to its overall ranking, four of the Clark School’s engineering disciplines ranked in the top 25:

  • Aerospace engineering (No. 10 overall, No. 6 among publics)
  • Mechanical engineering (No. 25 overall, No. 14 among publics)
  • Computer engineering (No. 17 overall, No. 10 among publics)
  • Electrical engineering (No. 20 overall, No. 13 among publics)

Reasons for Ranking Success: Recent Engineering Accomplishments

A student team took a top spot in this year’s NASA Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts – Academic Linkage (RASC-AL) competition. UMD’s Team ASTRO entry, "Robotic Habitat Technologies for Minimizing Crew Maintenance Requirements,” took first place in the theme "Autonomous Utilization and Maintenance for Gateway and/or Mars-class Transportation.”

Other recent undergraduate successes include:

  • Launching an Academy of Machine Learning to provide a concentration of courses around these topics and incorporate a real-world design experience, including probability and statistics, large data analytics, optimization techniques, and computer algorithms.
  • Developing an Internet of Things framework that allows experiments to be performed remotely — with undergraduate students leading the effort.

The Clark School also recently offered undergraduates the chance to compete in the Mpact Challenge, which was funded in part by the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation, to innovate solutions to societal challenges. What resulted was student innovation writ large: a drone with the execution of a flying carpet; an industry-changing 3D-printed prosthetic foot; an electric bicycle able to travel 125 miles on a single charge; an electric race car that’s significantly quieter than a standard Formula vehicle and produces no greenhouse emissions.

The U.S. News & World Report undergraduate rankings of engineering programs are used by prospective college students and their families in making decisions about colleges and universities and are based on a survey of deans and faculty members of undergraduate engineering programs accredited by ABET, the engineering accrediting body. 

Overall, the University of Maryland (UMD) ranks No. 19 among the nation’s top public institutions. UMD jumped from No. 24 from last year on that list and from No. 64 to 58 among national universities in the rankings.

Published September 14, 2020