U.S. News & World Report: Air Force Academy best in the West

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The U.S. Air Force Academy was named the best baccalaureate college in the west for the third year in a row and received high rankings in engineering in the U.S. News and World Report's America's Best Colleges 2010 rankings. 

U.S. News evaluated universities which offer only undergraduate degrees, and ranked the colleges in four geographic regions: west, north, midwest and south. 

In the west region, the Academy was the best baccalaureate college. This region includes Texas, Oklahoma, and every state directly north, south and west of Colorado, including Alaska and Hawaii. 

The ranking was based on a wide range of criteria, including student-faculty ratio, percentage of full time faculty, acceptance rate, class size and freshman retention rates. 

"We are very proud of the rankings that we have received. These national public rankings are indeed a source of pride," said Brig. Gen. Dana H. Born, USAFA's dean of the faculty. "The rankings validate the many achievements of our cadets and faculty, including top-flight senior capstone design programs, many nationally-competitive scholarships, awards at student research and writing competitions, and relevant, sponsored research for the Department of Defense." 

The Academy also received top rankings in undergraduate engineering. The Academy ranked second in the nation in aeronautical and astronautical engineering for the ninth consecutive year, behind only Embry Riddle Aeronautical University's main campus. The Academy also ranked second in the county in electrical, electronic and communications engineering, behind only Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. 

USAFA also fared well in mechanical engineering, according to U.S. News, placing second in the nation, with Rose-Hulman being first. Overall, the Academy tied for sixth in the country for having the best undergraduate engineering program. 

The Academy also finished first among schools of business with undergraduate degrees only and 12th in the country among schools of business where a doctorate is not offered. 

The Academy tied for 74th with eight other schools for the best undergraduate business program in the nation. 

The U.S. News and World Report ranking is just one of the recent accolades the Academy has garnered recently. Earlier this month, Forbes ranked USAFA as the seventh best undergraduate institution in America. 

"While we will continue to keep an eye on the national public rankings, it is my hope that all of us (graduates, educators, administrators, prospective students, parents and taxpayers at large), will ask even more questions about the quality of student learning and development," General Born said. "When you drill down into what goes on every day, you see that we invest in our cadets, because tomorrow they become our wingmen with whom we will fly, fight, and win in air, space and cyberspace." 

The U.S. Air Force Academy is a four-year bachelor of science degree university. USAFA's mission is to educate, train and inspire men and women to become officers of character motivated to lead the U.S. Air Force in service to our nation. All graduates are commissioned as second lieutenants in the U.S. Air Force. For more information on the Academy, visit www.usafa.af.mil.