For the 13th consecutive year, LSU is ranked in the top tier for “Best National Universities” in U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 college rankings, with the school’s undergraduate petroleum engineering program ranking 2nd in the country. However, the university remains in the lower half of flagship institutions nationwide and falls in the second tier among Southeastern Conference schools.
Overall, LSU ranks 153rd in the national universities category, out of 389 universities. It’s tied with six others: Colorado State University, Michigan Technological University, Oregon State University, Quinnipiac University, Rutgers University-Camden, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Though LSU maintained the same overall ranking it held on the 2020 list, it has slipped 13 spots since the 2019 edition, where it ranked 140th, and 20 spots since the 2018 edition, where it placed 133rd overall in a seven-way tie.
Like last year, LSU is ranked 36th among flagship universities nationwide, ahead of other flagships such as West Virginia University, the University of Rhode Island and the University of Nevada. Among public universities, LSU has improved over the past year, from 79th to 71st, ahead of public peers including Kansas State University and Oklahoma State University.
LSU also remains the highest-ranked public university in Louisiana. Tulane is the state’s top-rated school at No. 41, down from No. 40 last year.
In the SEC, however, LSU ranks 11th among the 14 institutions, below Vanderbilt (14), Florida (30), Georgia (47), Texas A&M (66), Auburn (97), Tennessee (112), South Carolina (118), Missouri (124), Kentucky (133) and Alabama (143).
Of its SEC peers, LSU only outranks Arkansas and Ole Miss (tied at 160) and Mississippi State (206).
U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 edition of Best Colleges assesses 1,452 U.S. bachelor’s degree-granting institutions on 17 measures of academic quality.
In other rankings, LSU appeared on the Best Colleges for Veterans, Best Value Schools, Top Performers on Social Mobility and “A-Plus Schools for B Students” lists. LSU’s undergraduate petroleum engineering program ranks second in the country, while its engineering, business and computer science programs were also recognized.