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Academics

UNC-Chapel Hill ranks fifth among national public universities for 20th consecutive year

U.S. News & World Report names Carolina Best Value among public universities for 16th time.

The top of the Old Well.
(Photo by Jeyhoun Allebaugh)

For two decades, the nation’s oldest public university has consecutively been ranked one of the country’s best.

U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 Best Colleges rankings named Carolina fifth in their list of top public schools among national universities. The rankings also placed the University atop their best value schools list among public national universities, and 14th overall among both public and private institutions.

“Carolina strives every day to serve the people of our state, the nation and the world through excellence in teaching, research and service,” said Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz. “Our passion and dedication to this effort has earned Carolina a top-five ranking among public universities for the 20th consecutive year. Remaining accessible and affordable to all is fundamental to our mission, and we are honored with the distinction of ‘best value’ among public universities.”

U.S. News & World Report assessed this year’s Best Colleges rankings by looking at 17 academic quality indicators, including graduate and retention rates; social mobility; faculty resources; academic quality assessments by peer institution presidents, provosts and deans; financial resources; student excellence and alumni giving.

Additional 2021 Best Colleges rankings for UNC-Chapel Hill include:

  • Tied seventh overall and tied for fourth among public universities for the third year in a row with the University of Virginia for best undergraduate business program
  • 12th best college among national universities for veterans, reflecting the ongoing support Carolina provides its military students through initiatives such as its Veterans Resource Center,  its student veteran orientation, Boot Print to Heel Print; and the UNC Core, a distance-learning program
  • Tied 16th in the nation for service learning in the “Academic Programs to Look For” list, highlighting the ways in which the University helps students learn in situations beyond the classroom. Each year, Carolina’s APPLES Service-Learning program enrolls more than 2,400 students who complete more than 84,000 hours of service in service-learning courses.
  • Tied 28th overall for best national university with Wake Forest University among both public and private schools