LSU Recognized as a Top Tier National University by U.S. News & World Report for the 12th-Straight Year

Petroleum engineering program ranks third in the country

LSU Campus

In U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 edition of Best Colleges, LSU is ranked 72nd among public universities, is 6th among flagship universities nationwide and is the the highest ranked public university in Louisiana.

Photo: LSU Division of Strategic Communications

BATON ROUGE – In U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 edition of Best Colleges, LSU is ranked in the top tier for “Best National Universities” for the 12th-straight year, and the undergraduate petroleum engineering program ranks 3rd overall.

LSU is ranked 72nd among public universities – ahead of public peers such as Kansas State University, Colorado State University and Oklahoma State University – and is ranked 36th among flagship universities nationwide – ahead of other flagships such as West Virginia University, University of Rhode Island and the University of Nevada.

LSU remains as the highest ranked public university in Louisiana, and in the SEC, LSU is tied with the University of Alabama and the University of Arkansas at 153rd overall.

“While we are pleased to be recognized as a top tier university and the leading public university in Louisiana by U.S. News & World Report, we maintain that this ranking is based on inputs and not the outcomes that truly matter for students and their families,” said LSU President F. King Alexander. “Among rankings that value graduate success, low debt loads, and high rates of social mobility, LSU has performed increasingly well and we celebrate those rankings and their impact on student decision-making.”

In the 2020 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges “Best National Universities” category, in addition to Alabama and Arkansas, LSU is tied with six other universities – George Mason University, Mercer University, The New School, Quinnipiac University, Thomas Jefferson University and Valparaiso University. LSU also appeared on the Best Colleges for Veterans, Best Value Schools, Top Performers on Social Mobility and “A-Plus Schools for B Students” lists.

In program-specific rankings, LSU’s undergraduate petroleum engineering programs ranks #3 in the country, and the overall undergraduate engineering program jumped 11 spots to 93rd and 56th among publics.

“These latest rankings reflect the tradition of excellence our college and its departments have striven to exhibit for the last 100-plus years,” said LSU College of Engineering Dean Judy Wornat. “It’s gratifying to see the work that our students, faculty and staff put in each day to make this college recognized nationally.”

LSU’s undergraduate business program also jumped up in the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings, moving up 18 spots to 90th overall and 52nd among public universities.

The National Universities category consists of the 399 institutions – 211 public, 180 private and eight for-profit – that offer a full range of undergraduate majors, as well as master’s and Ph.D. programs, and some emphasize research.

LSU of Alexandria appears on the student debt load list for least debt among Regional Colleges – 42% graduate with debt with a $18,454 median amount of debt.

Alexander has long been a proponent of more transparency and having universities publicizing their outcome measures. Alexander has worked closely with ranking agencies such as Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings to help them continue to refine their rankings to appropriately reflect the mission of and the public good created by public universities.

LSU has been named as one of the top universities in the country in other recently released rankings as well.

In the recently released Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education Rankings, LSU has climbed 148 spots in the overall ranking list since these were introduced three years ago.  

LSU is ranked #84 among public universities and is ranked #33 among flagship peers.

LSU made a significant jump in the latest Washington Monthly 2019 College Guide and Rankings, climbing nearly 20 spots to #71 among public universities nationwide. In addition, LSU moved up six spots to #24 among flagship universities this year. LSU also remained Louisiana’s highest ranked university and once again is ranked in the top half of the SEC.

In the recently released Payscale 2019-20 College Salary Report, a student who earns a bachelor’s degree from LSU has early-career earnings of $54,800 and mid-career earnings of $102,900 – the highest among all public universities in Louisiana. This is an increase from early-career earnings of $51,800 and mid-career earnings of $98,800 in last year’s Payscale report.

When considering all alumni who attended LSU, graduates have early-career earnings of $55,900 and mid-career earnings of $105,400 – also the highest among Louisiana public universities. This is an increase from early-career earnings of $52,700 and mid-career earnings of $100,400 in last year’s Payscale report.

The 2020 edition of the Best Colleges book is available online at





Contact Ernie Ballard
LSU Media Relations