For the first time in its history, UNC Charlotte has achieved a coveted position among the nation’s top 100 public universities, according to the 2024 U.S. News & World Report Best College rankings, which were released Monday, Sept. 18.
The new national ranking also places Charlotte as one of the fastest-rising institutions in the nation, climbing 41 spots overall.
“With our largest-ever class of first-time college students this fall, rising enrollment overall and now our best national rankings, there is much to celebrate here at Charlotte,” said Chancellor Sharon L. Gaber. “However, this is just the beginning as we pursue a bold vision as one of this nation’s great public research universities. Through innovative student success initiatives, Charlotte has made significant strides over the past decade, with rising graduation and retention rates, work that is continuing. It’s exciting to see Charlotte being recognized for the work we’re doing to help students of all backgrounds succeed.”
Over the past decade, Charlotte has demonstrated significant gains in several key metrics used by U.S. News, including six-year graduation rates, first-year retention, graduate debt and the graduation rates for first-generation and Pell-eligible students.
Charlotte’s overall ranking is No. 178 (tie), its highest ranking since debuting as a national university in 2008. Among public universities, Charlotte is No. 96 (tie).
Charlotte showed strong gains in two U.S. News specialty categories:
- Best Value Colleges: Charlotte moved up 16 spots to No. 164, highlighting its affordability for students receiving financial aid
- Best Colleges for Veterans: The University rises 22 spots to No. 123 (tie), showcasing its commitment to providing top-quality education for veterans
Charlotte also maintains its status as a national leader in social mobility, sharing the No. 72 position overall. This ranking underscores Charlotte’s dedication to supporting Pell Grant-eligible students, typically those from households with an adjusted gross income under $50,000.
Charlotte’s undergraduate business, computer science, nursing and engineering programs continue to earn national recognition based on peer assessment scores. The University also debuted in two new program categories introduced by U.S. News: psychology and economics.
For this year’s rankings, U.S. News collected data from more than 1,850 institutions. The U.S. News Best Colleges rankings, first published in 1983, are among the oldest and most recognized in higher education.
The rankings reflect U.S. News' revamped methodology, which places a heightened emphasis on economic mobility and graduation outcomes.
Climbing the ranks
This is one of four University rankings released annually by U.S. News, with Charlotte showing overall increases in each:
- 2023 Best Online Programs: U.S. News ranked Charlotte No. 4 (tied) in the nation for its online bachelor’s programs
- 2023-24 Best Graduate Schools: 11 Charlotte graduate programs or specialties increased their rankings
- 2022-23 Best Global Universities: Charlotte increased 25 spots overall and is No. 3 among UNC System institutions