As the year draws to a close, UVa Today will look back at milestones, achievements, trends and big stories of 2011. To share your 2011 thoughts, visit the UVA Today News Blog or send us a tweet @uva using hashtag #uva2011.
December 19, 2011 — National publications ranked the University of Virginia and several of its schools among the country's top institutions of higher education in 2011.
Despite eroding state support and tight budgets, U.Va. remained ranked No. 25 in the 2012 U.S. News & World Report college rankings, released in September.
Among public universities, U.Va. tied for No. 2 with the University of California, Los Angeles, behind the University of California, Berkeley. That marked the eighth consecutive year U.Va. was second among public universities. Only 15 public universities are ranked among the top 50 in the 2012 rankings.
The University started 2011 on a rankings high note. In January, U.Va. retained its No. 3 ranking for the fifth time in six years in the "100 Best Values in Public Colleges" list, released by Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine.
U.Va. was also again the leading tuition-charging public university in Forbes Magazine's "America's Top Colleges" rankings, released in August.
U.Va. ranks 46th overall among the 650 undergraduate schools on the Forbes list, which was compiled by the Center for College Affordability & Productivity. The only public institutions rated higher in the rankings – which take into account tuition and student debt – are the United States Military Academy (No. 3), the U.S. Air Force Academy (No. 10) and the U.S. Naval Academy (No. 17), which are all free of charge to students.
Various schools and graduate programs at U.Va. also fared well in the 2011 rankings.
Rankings of research and primary care programs at the School of Medicine improved in U.S. News & World Report's 2012 edition of America's Best Graduate Schools, released in March. The School of Nursing [http://www.nursing.virginia.edu/], whose graduate program was last ranked in 2007, rose from No. 19 to No. 15.
Darden took fourth place in the world in The Economist newspaper's 2011 ranking of full-time MBA programs, released in October. It leapt ahead from 11th position the previous year. In the North American ranking, Darden ranked third, up from seventh.
U.S. News & World Report also ranked five medical specialties at the U.Va. Health System among the tops in their field in its annual "Best Hospitals" guide.
In March, the McIntire School of Commerce was once again ranked second among the nation's best undergraduate business programs, according to the annual Bloomberg Businessweek rankings, and it remains the top-rated program among public institutions.