U.S. News & World Report

U.S. News & World Report
U.S.News & World Report

U.S.News & World Report Cover
Categories Newsmagazine
Frequency Monthly
Circulation 1,269,260[1]
Publisher Kerry F. Dyer
First issue 1933 (United States News)
1946 (World Report)
1948 (merger)
Final issue 2010 (print)
Company U.S. News & World Report, L.P.
Country New York City  United States
Language English
Website usnews.com
ISSN 0041-5537

U.S. News & World Report is an American news magazine published from Washington, D.C. Along with Time and Newsweek it was for many years a leading news weekly, focusing more than its counterparts on political, economic, health and education stories. In recent years, it has become particularly known for its ranking system and annual reports on American colleges, graduate schools and hospitals.

Since June 2008, the magazine has gradually reduced its publication frequency three times, switching first from weekly to bimonthly,[2] then going monthly in November 2008.[3] In November 2010, it was reported that U.S News & World Report would be switched to an online-only format, effective after it published its December issue; it will still publish special issues in print on colleges, hospitals, and personal finance.[4]


Publication history

United States News was founded in 1933 by David Lawrence (1888–1973), who also started World Report in 1946. The two magazines initially covered national and international news separately, but Lawrence merged them into U.S.News & World Report in 1948 and subsequently sold the magazine to his employees. In 1984, it was purchased by Mortimer Zuckerman, who is also the owner of the New York Daily News.

The editorial staff of U.S.News & World Report is based in Washington, D.C., but the magazine is owned by U.S.News & World Report, L.P., a privately held company based in the Daily News building in New York City.

It conforms to the owner's political point of view, and tends to be more conservative than its two primary competitors, Time and Newsweek. It also eschews sports, entertainment and celebrity news.[5]

In 1995, its web site, 'usnews.com' was launched providing access to all articles from the print edition.

In 2007, U.S. News published its list of the nation's best high schools for the first time. Its ranking methodology includes state test scores and the success of poor and minority students on these exams, and schools' performance in Advanced Placement tests.

In June 2008, citing the decline in overall magazine circulation and advertising, "U.S.News & World Report" announced that it will become a biweekly publication, starting January 2009.[6] It hoped advertisers would be attracted to the schedule, which allowed ads to stay on newsstands a week longer. However, five months later the magazine changed its frequency again, becoming monthly.[7]

In August 2008, U.S. News expanded and revamped its online opinion section. The new version of the opinion page included daily new op-ed content as well as the new Thomas Jefferson Street blog.

An internal memo[4] was sent on Friday, November 5, 2010 to the staff of the magazine informing them that the "December issue will be our last print monthly sent to subscribers, whose remaining print and digital replica subscriptions will be filled by other publishers." The memo went on to say that the publication would be moving to a primarily digital format, but that it would continue to print special issues such as "the college and grad guides, as well as hospital and personal finance guides."

America's Best Colleges

In 1983, U.S. News & World Report published its first "America's Best Colleges" report. It has been compiled and published annually since 1985 and are the most widely quoted of their kind in the U.S.

These rankings are based upon data which U.S. News & World Report collects from each educational institution, either from an annual survey sent to each school, or from the school's website. They are also based upon opinion surveys of university faculties and administrators who do not belong to the schools.

The popularity of U.S. News & World Report's college rankings is reflected in its 2007 release[8]

  • within 3 days of the rankings release, U.S. News website received 10 million page views compared to 500,000 average views in a typical month
  • 80 percent of visitors access the ranking section of the website directly rather than navigating via the magazine’s home page
  • the printed issue incorporating its college rankings sells 50 percent more than its normal issues at the newsstand

U.S. News also publishes comprehensive college guides in book form.[9]

Criticism of college rankings


During the 1990s, three educational institutions in the United States were involved in a movement to boycott the U.S.News & World Report college rankings survey. The first was Reed College which stopped submitting the survey in 1995. The survey was also criticized by Alma College, Stanford University, and St. John's College[10] during the late 1990s.


Washington, D.C. region headquarters.

On 19 June 2007, during the annual meeting of the Annapolis Group, members discussed the letter to college presidents asking them not to participate in the "reputation survey" section of the U.S.News & World Report survey (this section comprises 25% of the ranking).

As a result, "a majority of the approximately 80 presidents at the meeting said that they did not intend to participate in the U.S. News reputational rankings in the future." [11] The statement also said that its members "have agreed to participate in the development of an alternative common format that presents information about their colleges for students and their families to use in the college search process." [12] This database will be web based and developed in conjunction with higher education organizations including the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities and the Council of Independent Colleges.

On 22 June 2007, U.S.News & World Report editor Robert Morse issued a response in which he argued, "in terms of the peer assessment survey, we at U.S. News firmly believe the survey has significant value because it allows us to measure the 'intangibles' of a college that we can't measure through statistical data. Plus, the reputation of a school can help get that all-important first job and plays a key part in which grad school someone will be able to get into. The peer survey is by nature subjective, but the technique of asking industry leaders to rate their competitors is a commonly accepted practice. The results from the peer survey also can act to level the playing field between private and public colleges."[13] In reference to the alternative database discussed by the Annapolis Group, Morse also argued, "It's important to point out that the Annapolis Group's stated goal of presenting college data in a common format has been tried before [...] U.S.News has been supplying this exact college information for many years already. And it appears that NAICU will be doing it with significantly less comparability and functionality. U.S.News first collects all these data (using an agreed-upon set of definitions from the Common Data Set). Then we post the data on our website in easily accessible, comparable tables. In other words, the Annapolis Group and the others in the NAICU initiative actually are following the lead of U.S. News." [13]

Some higher education experts, like Kevin Carey of Education Sector, have argued that U.S. News and World Report's college rankings system is merely a list of criteria that mirrors the superficial characteristics of elite colleges and universities. According to Carey, "[The] U.S. News ranking system is deeply flawed. Instead of focusing on the fundamental issues of how well colleges and universities educate their students and how well they prepare them to be successful after college, the magazine's rankings are almost entirely a function of three factors: fame, wealth, and exclusivity." He suggests that there are more important characteristics parents and students should research to select colleges, such as how well students are learning and how likely students are to earn a degree.[14] In January 2011, US News and World Report became associated with the National Council for Teacher Quality to begin an evaluation of teacher education programs across the nation. Because NCTQ's methodology in previous rankings of teacher education programs across the country was highly controversial, this undertaking raises serious questions about the validity of these rankings and US News as an unbiased reviewer.[15]

America's Best Hospitals report

For the past 20 years, U.S. News has compiled a list of America's Best Hospitals[16] after evaluating thousands of hospitals across multiple medical specialties.[17] U.S.News & World Report evaluates hospitals, excluding military and veterans hospitals, based upon sixteen specialties. Specialty rankings include Cancer, Diabetes & Endocrinology, Ear Nose & Throat, Gastroenterology, Geriatrics, Gynecology, Heart & Heart Surgery, Kidney Disorders, Neurology & Neurosurgery, Ophthalmology, Orthopedics, Psychiatry, Pulmonology, Rehabilitation, Rheumatology, and Urology. To be considered one of the top hospitals overall, medical centers must score at or near the top (at least two standard deviations above the mean) in a minimum of six specialties.

In the latest 2010-2011 rankings, 4,852 hospitals were considered of which only 152 were ranked in any one of 16 specialities. Fourteen hospitals ranked highly enough within at least 6 specialties to qualify them for the Honor Roll.[18] Johns Hopkins Hospital has been ranked #1 for 21 consecutive years.[19] It should also be noted that U.S. News & World Report does not offer archives of previous rankings for U.S. hospitals,[citation needed] which inhibits the longitudinal tracking of hospital rankings.


Rank Hospital Name Location Points in specialties
1 Johns Hopkins Hospital Baltimore, MD 30 points in 15 specialties
2 Massachusetts General Hospital Boston, MA 29 points in 15 specialties
3 Mayo Clinic Rochester, MN 28 points in 15 specialties
4 Cleveland Clinic Cleveland, OH 26 points in 13 specialties
5 Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center Los Angeles, CA 25 points in 14 specialties
6 New York-Presbyterian University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell New York, NY 22 points in 12 specialties
7 University of California San Francisco Medical Center San Francisco, CA 20 points in 11 specialties
8 Brigham and Women's Hospital Boston, MA 18 points in 12 specialties
9 Duke University Medical Center Durham, NC 18 points in 10 specialties
10 Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA 17 points in 12 specialties
11 Barnes-Jewish Hospital / Washington University in St. Louis St. Louis, MO 16 points in 11 specialties
12 UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center) Pittsburgh, PA 14 points in 8 specialties
13 University of Washington Medical Center Seattle, WA 13 points in 9 specialties
14 University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers Ann Arbor, MI 10 points in 6 specialties
14 Vanderbilt University Medical Center Nashville, TN 10 points in 6 specialties
16 Mount Sinai Medical Center New York, NY 8 points in 6 specialties
17 Stanford Hospital and Clinics Stanford, CA 7 points in 6 specialties


  1. ^ "Average Total Paid & Verified Circulation for Top 100 ABC Magazines". Association of Magazine Media. http://www.magazine.org/CONSUMER_MARKETING/CIRC_TRENDS/ABC2009TOTALrank.aspx. Retrieved 2010-11-09. 
  2. ^ Pérez-Peña, Richard. "U.S. News Plans to Publish Biweekly and Expand Consumer Focus". The New York Times. June 11, 2008.
  3. ^ Pérez-Peña, Richard. "U.S. News Will Become a Monthly Magazine". The New York Times. November 4, 2008.
  4. ^ a b "USN&WR: 'December issue will be our last printed monthly sent to subscribers'". PoytnerOnline. 2010-11-05. http://www.poynter.org/column.asp?id=45&aid=194030. Retrieved 2010-11-05. 
  5. ^ "U.S. News & World Report". Encyclopædia Britannica. 2008. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/620229/US-News-World-Report. Retrieved 2008-06-24. 
  6. ^ Pérez-Peña, Richard (2008-06-11). "U.S. News Plans to Publish Biweekly and Expand Consumer Focus". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/11/business/media/11mag.html. Retrieved 2008-06-24. 
  7. ^ "Red Ink: 'U.S. News' Goes Monthly, Hearst and Rodale Cut Staff". MediaPost. 2008-11-06. http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.san&s=94198&Nid=49092&p=966247. Retrieved 2008-11-06. 
  8. ^ Putting a Curious Eye on a High School Ranking System" The New York Times (December 5, 2007)
  9. ^ Amazon's listings of U.S. News "College Guides"
  10. ^ Christopher B. Nelson, "Why you won't find St. John's College ranked in U.S.News & World Report", University Business: The Magazine for College and University Administrators.
  11. ^ Jaschik, Scott (20 June 2007). "More Momentum Against ‘U.S.News’". Inside Higher Ed. http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2007/06/20/usnews. 
  12. ^ "ANNAPOLIS GROUP STATEMENT ON RANKINGS AND RATINGS". Annapolis Group. 19 June 2007. http://www.collegenews.org/x7131.xml. 
  13. ^ a b Morse, Robert (22 June 2007). "About the Annapolis Group's Statement". U.S. News and World Report. http://www.usnews.com/blogs/college-rankings-blog/2007/6/22/about-the-annapolis-groups-statement.html#read_more. 
  14. ^ Carey, Kevin. "College Rankings Reformed". educationsector.org. http://www.educationsector.org/usr_doc/CollegeRankingsReformed.pdf. Retrieved July 28, 2009. 
  15. ^ Robinson, Sharon. "AACTE Offers Feedback on Forthcoming National Teacher Preparation Program Ratings Report". AACTE.org. http://aacte.org/index.php?/Media-Center/Press-Releases/aacte-offers-feedback-on-forthcoming-national-teacher-preparation-program-ratings-report.html. Retrieved January 27,2011. 
  16. ^ http://health.usnews.com/sections/health/best-hospitals/index.html
  17. ^ Pomarow, Avery (2008-07-10). "A Look Inside the Hospital Rankings". U.S.News & World Report. http://health.usnews.com/articles/health/best-hospitals/2008/07/10/a-look-inside-the-hospital-rankings.html. Retrieved 2008-09-15. 
  18. ^ "Best Hospitals 2010-11: The Honor Roll". U.S.News & World Report. 2009-07-15. http://health.usnews.com/health-news/best-hospitals/articles/2010/07/14/best-hospitals-2010-11-the-honor-roll.html. Retrieved 2010-07-15. 
  19. ^ "21 Years in a Row: The Johns Hopkins Hospital Again Tops U.S. News & World Report "Honor Roll"". Johns Hopkins Medicine. 2010-07-15. http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/20_years_in_a_row_the_johns_hopkins_hospital_again_tops_us_news__world_report_honor_roll. Retrieved 2010-07-15. 

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