Blasting Off: CU-Boulder’s College of Engineering and Applied Science Gains National Recognition

Published: May 23, 2016

FPOEarning a top-flight engineering degree from a nationally recognized school isn’t just for the coasts anymore. The University of Colorado Boulder’s College of Engineering and Applied Science has been named one of the top engineering schools in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report. CU-Boulder’s undergraduate engineering program is No. 36 in the nation and is No. 21 among public institutions whose highest degree is a doctorate, according to the publication’s annual Best Colleges issue. Two of its programs, aerospace and environmental engineering, also earned recognition among the top 6 or 7 public programs. For CU-Boulder officials, the honor comes as no surprise.

“We here at CU-Boulder have known for years the role we’ve played in the state’s aerospace industry,” said Robert H. Davis, Dean. “It is gratifying to see national publications such as U.S. News & World Report recognize that our College of Engineering and Applied Science is doing more than providing an education for students. We are helping drive the state’s economy and the nation’s aerospace industry.”

Colorado has the nation’s third largest aerospace economy and also the highest number of private aerospace jobs per capita in the country. About 40 percent of CU-Boulder graduates from the aerospace programs remain in the state, taking jobs with local aerospace companies. 

In total, four of CU-Boulder’s engineering programs gained top-20 national acclaim from U.S. News & World Report:

  • Aerospace: No. 6 among public institutions, No. 10 overall
  • Chemical: No. 13 among public institutions, No. 20 overall
  • Civil: No. 11 among public institutions, No. 17 overall
  • Environmental: No. 7 among public institutions, No. 13 overall

The significance of this recognition is it validates what faculty, staff and students at CU-Boulder’s College of Engineering and Applied Science have known for years: the college is driving aerospace technology for the entire state and getting noticed nationally for it.

“I am thrilled that aerospace engineering sciences and CU-Boulder received this recognition,” said Penina Axelrad, chair and professor of aerospace engineering sciences in the College of Engineering and Applied Science. “It acknowledges the great work of the faculty and staff and the talent and drive of our outstanding students.”

U.S. News & World Report rankings are based on its measures of academic peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources and alumni giving. “National Universities” are the 280 institutions – 173 public, 100 private and seven for-profit institutions – that offer a wide range of undergraduate majors as well as master’s and doctoral degrees; some emphasize research.

Read the complete rankings at on the US News & World Report site.  

U.S. News’ annual rankings for graduate programs are issued in the spring. See more on the CU-Boulder News site.