Latest NSF rankings: Penn State scores high in broad range of research fields

By David Pacchioli
March 18, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA -- In the most recent institutional rankings released by the National Science Foundation of total research expenditures for science and engineering, Penn State stands second in the nation, behind only Johns Hopkins and tied with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in the number of fields in which it is ranked in the top ten.

The rankings, released in February 2015, are for the 2013 fiscal year. Overall, Penn State ranked 17th nationally in total research expenditures across the board. In 12 individual fields, however, the University achieved rankings in the top ten nationally. Only Johns Hopkins, with 15 top-ten rankings, had more.

"This is testament not just to our overall strength, but to the extraordinary breadth and variety of Penn State's research enterprise," said Neil Sharkey, Vice President for Research. "Very few other institutions can demonstrate such a high level of achievement in fields as disparate as materials science and psychology."

The fields and sub-fields in which Penn State ranked in the top ten are materials (1st), psychology (2nd), mechanical engineering (3rd), sociology (3rd), electrical engineering (4th), total engineering (5th), aerospace engineering (8th), computer science (8th), agricultural sciences (8th), civil engineering (9th), atmospheric sciences (9th), and earth sciences (9th).

In eleven of these fields, moreover, the University has repeated top-ten status every year since at least 2008.

"This consistent record of excellence is a credit to our hard-working faculty, and shows the remarkable balance that Penn State enjoys," said Sharkey. "That balance, in turn, is the basis for our interdisciplinary strength, which is crucial to solving the complex challenges of the 21st century." 

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated July 28, 2017