Individual colleges spark University’s success

Kelly Skahan

In recent years, Villanova has been a powerhouse in the US News and World Report’s college rankings, scoring the top spot in its category (“Best Universities- Masters”) for over a decade, a feat few other schools can claim. The award reflects the university’s combination of strong undergraduate programs and extremely successful graduate programs, with a special emphasis on the Master’s programs at the School of Business and the College of Engineering.

The rankings, based on reviews written and submitted by deans at other colleges, reflect the high opinion other universities hold for the School of Business and College of Engineering.

Dr. Gary A. Gabriele, dean of the College of Engineering, attributes the consistent ranking to a combination of highly talented students and an extremely active faculty, citing that though professors at the school have a higher teaching load than those at other universities, they maintain a high level of research and scholarship, a strength he feels is recognized by his peers.

The School of Business is also seen as a power in its field, particularly for being innovative in teaching methods and use of facilities. Last year, in the first compiled rankings for undergraduate business schools by BusinessWeek, the magazine ranked the School of Business 19th. By comparison, Georgetown ranked 13th and Lehigh ranked 18th. Boston College, meanwhile, ranked 23rd and Penn State ranked 32nd.

Additionally, the Applied Finance Lab, located in the bottom floor of Bartley Hall, is cited as a particularly impressive element, as it simulates a Wall-Street trading room and allows students access to the same data that day traders have as they make decisions in the business world.

The strengths of both schools reflect highly on the University, but Dr. Gabriele is quick to state that the high rankings, though attributed to specific schools, are also indicative of an overall pursuit of excellence throughout Villanova.

“The combination of a No. 1 ranked liberal arts university and [top 10 programs] is unique among our peers,” he says. “I believe that this [combination], along with the Augustinian values of the University, create a unique strength.”