The Naval Academy maintained its stature as one of the country’s top colleges, according to the annual rankings released on Tuesday by U.S. News and World Report.
Annapolis came in tied with its rival, West Point, as the 14th best national liberal arts college. But both trounced the U.S. Air Force Academy, which clocked in at a respectable 33rd place. (There are 280 “national liberal arts colleges” according to U.S. News and World Report.) The Annapolis ranking is a slight rise from last year’s report, when it came in 16th. In addition, the academy ranked fifth in the undergraduate engineering category.
Liberal arts may seem an odd category for Annapolis. That puts the service academy in the same bracket as St. John’s College, its Annapolis neighbor whose students have been mocked by generations of midshipmen for being too caught up reading the Great Books. (St. John’s Co came in ranked #139.) These colleges were all ranked against each other because they focus on undergraduate education and more than half their diplomas awarded are for liberal arts degrees, according to U.S. News and World Report. The annual survey ranks colleges by metrics like graduation rates, faculty resources, standardized test scores and alumni donations, as well as a subjective assessment rendered by the heads of other colleges in the same category.
“It’s an honor for the Naval Academy to be included once again among the best colleges and universities in America,” Vice Adm. Michael Miller, the head of the academy, said in a statement Tuesday. “We take great pride in developing the next generation of leaders to serve the nation, and I’m pleased that our academic programs have been recognized for leading their fields of study.”