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AU, UA score high marks on college list

BIRMINGHAM – The University of Alabama and Auburn University have received high marks in a magazine’s ranking of the nation’s top public universities.

The 2009 rankings compiled by U.S. News & World Report puts Alabama at No. 37, the school’s highest ranking ever and an improvement over 42nd in 2008. Auburn is listed at No. 45, which is the same as the previous year.

Among all national universities, Alabama ranks No. 83 and Auburn No. 96, while Samford University ranks No. 130.

Birmingham-Southern College ranks 81st among national liberal arts colleges.

Auburn President Jay Gogue said the state as a whole made an impressive showing.

“Beyond the specific rankings, having worked in other states for much of my career, I am astounded at what higher education in Alabama has been able to accomplish,” Gogue said in a statement.

Among Southern schools granting master’s degrees, Spring Hill in Mobile ranks No. 13, the University of Montevallo is No. 47 and the University of South Alabama was No. 51.

In a ranking of the nation’s top historically black colleges and universities, Tuskegee ranks No. 6, Alabama A&M No. 24, Oakwood in Huntsville No. 27 and Stillman is No. 33.

The undergraduate program of Auburn’s Samuel Ginn College of Engineering is ranked 51st nationally overall among public universities that offer doctoral programs in engineering, moving up from 57th.

The business schools at Alabama and Auburn are tied for No. 52 on the rankings of undergraduate business programs.

In a ranking created by U.S. News this year, the magazine surveyed high school guidance counselors around the country and asked them which universities offered the best education to their students.

In that survey, Auburn ranked No. 58; Samford No. 73; UA No. 89; the University of Alabama at Birmingham No. 144 and the University of Alabama in Huntsville No. 190 among national universities.

In a separate ranking of national liberal arts colleges, counselors ranked Birmingham-Southern No. 87 in the nation.