By Tisha Keller, FSU News
The FAMU-FSU College of Engineering vaulted 51 spots to reach No. 69 among all doctoral granting undergraduate engineering schools in the U.S. and 37 spots to No. 40 among public universities, according to the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings.
The improvement ranks the joint college second among all, both public and private, engineering schools in Florida.
The college serves as the engineering institution for both Florida A&M and Florida State universities. FAMU President Larry Robinson and FSU President John Thrasher agree that the college’s collaborative model, which is unique in the U.S., has contributed to the success of both universities and the joint college, beyond just the rankings.
“The recent U.S. News and World Report rankings reflect the outcome of a 38-year partnership between FAMU and FSU with a commitment to excellence and with a clear understanding of the need to catalyze change through diversity, equity and inclusion in our students and all aspects of the operation,” Robinson said. “I am proud to partner with Florida State University and see our joint college recognized as a national leader in engineering education.”
The college’s movement up 51 places was the highest of any engineering institution and more than double that of any other school.
FAMU-FSU College of Engineering Dean J. Murray Gibson attributes the dramatic rise to rapidly growing recognition for the nature and impact of the joint engineering school. At times, this model has sometimes confused outsiders through its unique affiliation with not one but two great universities. FSU’s Thrasher agrees.
“FSU and FAMU broke the mold on collaborations between universities when the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering was established,” Thrasher said. “The college has made incredible strides in recent years under the leadership of Dean Gibson, and I’m pleased that today it is recognized as one of the nation’s Top 40 public engineering schools. This is further evidence that our partnership with FAMU embodies excellence and diversity in engineering education.”
Gibson points out that while the college is getting better every year, the unprecedented jump in ranking reflects quality that the college and its graduates have long known but has not always been seen by others.
“The partnership is a win-win for FAMU and FSU, and I am delighted to have the quality and impact of our engineering education increasingly recognized,” Gibson said. “I’m also proud that our student body, combined from two major universities, is uniquely diverse and is changing the face of engineering for future generations.”
Gibson thanked presidents Robinson and Thrasher, FSU Provost Sally McRorie and FAMU Provost Maurice Edington for their strong commitment and support for the college.
“Some people might object to having two bosses, but in this case, it has been a wonderful gift,” Gibson said.
The college also enjoyed a rise in total enrollment for Fall 2020 over the past year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic and remote learning for many students.
Both of the college’s parent universities performed well in the rankings, with FSU retaining its place in the Top 20 among national public universities and FAMU ranking as the No. 1 public Historically Black College & University (HBCU).
The rankings appear in U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges 2021” guidebook.