U.S. News & World Report’s selection of Purdue University’s agricultural and biological engineering program as the best such undergraduate specialty in the country follows the graduate program’s top ranking earlier this year.
The magazine ranked the specialty engineering undergraduate programs Monday (Sept. 12) as part of its annual listing of the nation’s top universities. It based its specialty rankings on a spring 2011 survey of deans and department heads at peer institutions.
The magazine also rated the Purdue ABE program as the top graduate program in the country in special rankings released in March.
"The two No. 1 rankings certainly place Purdue ABE in a unique position," said Bernard Engel, department head. "When students chose the Purdue program, they knew they were pursuing a degree in an excellent program. The ranking confirms they made an outstanding choice."
Engel attributed the rankings to the accomplishments of ABE alumni; faculty and staff committed to excellence in discovery, learning and engagement; the breadth of undergraduate and graduate programs offered; and the quality of students pursuing degrees within the program.
Purdue’s ABE undergraduate and graduate enrollments have grown significantly in recent years, with students pursuing opportunities in agricultural engineering, biological engineering and agricultural systems management. Since 2004, graduate program enrollment has doubled to about 110 and undergraduate enrollment from about 250 to 350. Most of the growth has been in biological engineering.
Purdue’s agricultural systems management students typically go on to work in the grain storage, handling and processing industry as well as many agribusinesses such as farm machinery dealerships and coops.
Agricultural engineers work at farm machinery companies and other off-road equipment companies. The fluid power industry also has been a significant employer of those graduates. Others go to government agencies and consulting firms to work on a variety of water resources and environmental issues.
Purdue’s biological engineers historically have gone to food processing, pharmaceutical and related companies.
In the overall rankings, Purdue was 23rd overall among public universities and 62nd among all universities.
U.S.News' college guidebook, "America's Best Colleges," contains a directory of the more than 1,400 institutions. Information on the rankings is available at the U.S.News & World Report website at http://www.usnews.com/