The University of South Carolina is inching toward its cross-state rival in the latest U.S. News and World Report rankings.
USC moved up two places, to No. 104 best national university, while Clemson University slipped from No. 66 to No. 70, according to the 2020 rankings released Monday.
In specific program areas, USC tied for No. 44 best national public school, a slight increase from the No. 46 ranking it received last year. USC’s business program tied for a No. 38 ranking overall and No. 1 for its international business program.
The school’s first-year student experience was also rated No. 1 among the nation’s public universities. This is the first time in nearly 20 years U.S. News has included a numerical ranking for first-year experience programs, according to USC.
“The University of South Carolina offers students an experience unmatched by any other institution in the country,” President Bob Caslen said in a news release. “Students here have the opportunity to learn and grow in ways that position them to be future leaders in their own communities and around the world.”
The promise of boosting rankings has been a major selling point for Caslen, who became president last month. While he was the superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the school received several No. 1 rankings from U.S. News and World Report. Caslen has also vowed to beat Clemson on any possible playing field, whether that’s academic or athletic, according to a previous article from The State.
Clemson ranked No. 27 best national public school, slightly less than its No. 24 ranking last year. The school tied for a No. 54 ranking for best engineering school, beating USC’s engineering school, which tied for a No. 108 ranking.
Clemson tied Harvard University for the No. 17 most innovative national university in the country and ranked No. 34 for best undergraduate teaching for national universities.
Furman University ranked No. 5 for most innovative national liberal arts college, and tied for No. 12 best undergraduate teaching at national liberal arts colleges.
Schools are ranked by graduation and retention rates, the percentage of students from impoverished families who graduate, class size, student to faculty ratio, opinions of college presidents and deans, per-student spending, test scores and the percent of alumni who donate to the school, according to the report’s methodology page.
Top ranked national colleges
No. 70: Clemson
No. 104: University of South Carolina
Top ranked liberal arts colleges
No. 46: Furman University
No. 72: Wofford College
No. 140: Presbyterian College
Nos. 164-215: Allen University, USC Beaufort
Best regional universities in the south
No. 2: The Citadel
No. 8: College of Charleston
No. 17: Winthrop University
No. 22: Converse College
No. 34: Bob Jones University
No. 38: Columbia International University
No. 41: Coastal Carolina University
No. 43 Coker College
No. 50 Anderson University (tie)
No. 50: North Greenville University (tie)
No. 54: Columbia College
No. 58: Charleston Southern University
No. 61: Francis Marion University
No. 75 (tie) Southern Wesleyan University
No. 82: South Carolina State University
Best regional Colleges in the south
No. 6: Erskine College
No. 9: Claflin University
No. 11 (tie): USC Upstate
No. 13: USC Aiken
No. 16 (tie): Newberry College
No. 29: Lander University
No. 49: Limestone College
Nos. 65-84: Benedict College, Morris College
Best Historically Black Colleges and Universities
No. 9 (tie): Claflin University
No. 29 (tie): South Carolina State University
No. 56: Benedict College
Nos. 59-76: Allen University, Morris College, Voorhees College