It’s been a banner year for the University of Utah’s John and Marcia Price College of Engineering.

Two major gifts. Two significant education and research partnerships. A new name for the college. And now, the state’s premier engineering school has risen in the nationally recognized U.S. News & World Report rankings for best graduate engineering programs in the country.

The U’s John and Marcia Price College of Engineering has moved up four spots in the 2024 rankings for “Best Graduate Schools for Engineering,” from 57th to 55th of 202 Ph.D.-granting institutions according to the newest survey from U.S. News & World Report released Tuesday, April 18. Meanwhile, the college’s Kahlert School of Computing doctoral program rose from 43rd to 41st in the nation in computer science. That ranking was last conducted for 2020.

The college rankings are based upon several factors, including assessments by other engineering deans, department chairs and company recruiters, student selectivity, number of graduate students, and research expenditures. Department rankings are based solely on dean and department chair rankings.

“We are pleased that the majority of our departments, as well as the college, moved up in the U.S. News rankings this year,” said Richard B. Brown, dean of the John and Marcia Price College of Engineering.

For more than two decades, the college has experienced tremendous growth to meet the increasing demands of a state and national economy hungry for engineers and computer programmers. In that time, the number of engineering and computer science graduates has tripled while annual engineering-related research funding quadrupled. In that same period, the number of tenure-track faculty has doubled.

But the last year has been especially meaningful for the college.

  • In February of 2022, the college announced an education and research partnership with the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory that encourages these organizations to collaborate on research and development projects aimed at advancing the nation’s energy and security technology.
  • In November, the college received a $15 million donation from The Kahlert Foundation to provide support for the university’s renowned School of Computing, which is now named the Kahlert School of Computing.
  • Also in November, the college forged an education partnership with the U.S. Air Force and Hill Air Force Base in Layton, Utah, that will create valuable learning opportunities for students, and research projects that can advance technologies from wireless communications and cybersecurity to robotics and composite materials.
  • In January, the college received a $50 million gift from the John and Marcia Price Family Foundation to benefit future students, educational programs, research centers, and entrepreneurism, as well as the construction of a new $190 million computing and engineering building. It was the largest donation in the history of the college and one of the largest ever for the University of Utah. The college was named the John and Marcia Price College of Engineering.
  • Last month, the college and university received a prestigious IEEE Milestone recognition for its contribution to the development of computer graphics in the 1960s and 1970s. The college hosted a once-in-a-lifetime reunion of legendary U alum such as Ed Catmull (Pixar), John Warnock (Adobe), Jim Clark (Netscape) and more, all pioneers who launched the computer graphics revolution while students at the college.
  • The college also announced it will construct the new John and Marcia Price Computer Science and Engineering Building, a 252,000 square-foot, six-story structure that will be the new home for the Kahlert School of Computing. The building will enable the college to increase its output of graduates by an additional 500 per year.

Currently, the college has 5,244 undergraduate students, 665 master’s students, and 717 Ph.D. students. The college has 214 tenure-track faculty members and more than $100 million in annual research expenditures.