U.S. News & World Report's 2021 America's Best Colleges guide has ranked Concordia University Wisconsin among the top tier of national universities.


For 2021, CUW’s ranking rose 23 places from 281 to 258 among the nation’s four-year public, private and for-profit national universities.

There are a total of 389 National Universities ranked by U.S. News based on data gathered in spring and early summer 2020. The placement of 258 designates CUW as a top tier national university.

The mission of Concordia University Wisconsin is to prepare men and women in mind, body, and spirit for service to Christ in the Church and world. The university’s commitment to its mission is one of the 17 indicators of academic quality that was evaluated.

“Ultimately, Concordia University’s excellence stems from fidelity  to our clear Christian mission,” says Dr. Gretchen Jameson, senior vice president for strategy. “We are distinct precisely because we embrace the whole learner – mind, body, and spirit. We encounter and we value each and every person as unique, and see it as our highest calling to equip them to achieve their full potentials.”

Other indicators, including test scores, retention rates, graduation rates, student faculty ratio, and alumni engagement, were also considered.

Schools in the National Universities category offer a full range of undergraduate majors, plus master’s and Ph.D. programs. Last year, Concordia was lifted out of the Midwest Regional Universities category and into the National Universities ranking due to a growing portfolio of doctoral programs, such as the Ed.D, OTD, and Milwaukee’s only approved Doctorate in Business Administration program, and a wider range of undergraduate and master’s degree programs.

“We’re in the major leagues now with some tough competition with the likes of Princeton, Harvard, and Columbia,” says Dr. Tamara Ferry, executive director of institutional research. “Nonetheless, our percentile rank increased on important indicators such as graduation and retention, social mobility, faculty resources, financial resources, and peer rankings.”

Concordia University Wisconsin operates campuses both in Wisconsin and Ann Arbor, Michigan. It is an institution of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and one of seven colleges and universities that form the nation-wide Concordia University System. CUWAA provides a robust and uncommon learning experience in person and online that wholly develops students to use their talents and gifts for meaningful lives. Concordia University Wisconsin is the only Concordia in the National University ranking.

For the past 36 years, U.S. News & World Report has produced the Best Colleges rankings.

— Lisa Liljegren is assistant vice president of strategic communications within the Office of Strategy and University Affairs.

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