CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University is ranked 33rd in the nation and first among colleges and universities in the Pacific Northwest for innovation, according to rankings released today by U.S. News & World Report.

“Innovation at Oregon State extends throughout everything we do,” said OSU President Ed Ray. “Examples of innovation at the university include initiatives to support student success and grow graduation rates, employ nationally renowned faculty, conduct globally impactful research and discovery, expand cutting-edge campuses and educational facilities in Corvallis and Bend, offer nationally top ranked online teaching, and provide university centers in Portland and Newport.”

In other U.S. News rankings, Oregon State placed 64th nationally in the top public schools category, up nine spots in the past two years; 76th in best undergraduate teaching; 99th in best colleges for veterans; and 139th in the national universities category – one spot higher than in 2019. In addition to the rankings released today, U.S. News ranked Ecampus, Oregon’s State’s online degree programs, No. 3 in the nation last January.

In the latest innovation rankings, Oregon State tied for 33rd nationally with several universities, including Yale and Georgetown. Boise State University ranked 42nd, and University of Washington placed 52nd. Last year, Oregon State was ranked 37th for innovation.

The U.S. News innovation ranking is based on nominations from college presidents, provosts and admissions deans, who are asked to name colleges making the most innovative improvements in curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology or facilities.

Ray said innovation at Oregon State University can be found in numerous efforts, including:

  • Innovative research breakthroughs in discovery including the use of nanoparticles to kill cancer with heat; creating portable, solar-thermal desalination technology to serve people in drought-stricken coastal communities; and developing a vaccine for antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea.
  • Opening a Learning Innovation Center, a Corvallis campus building that includes new styles of learning spaces that support collaboration and student participation, including "in-the-round" classroom designs.
  • Constructing a new building for the College of Forestry that uses innovative cross laminated timber products and another new building at the Hatfield Marine Science in Newport with state-of-the-art architectural and engineering techniques, including one of the nation’s first vertical evacuation tsunami sites.
  • Offering as part of a university-wide Undergraduate Student Success Initiative, micro grants to 162 seniors with high financial need to help them remain enrolled and continue working toward graduation. Financial aid programs and other student success initiative efforts also have helped increase OSU’s six-year graduation rate to 67%.
  • Meanwhile, 46.5% of students who entered OSU as true freshmen in 2015 graduated in 2019 with no debt compared to a national average of 34%.

General OSU

About Oregon State University: As one of only three land, sea, space and sun grant universities in the nation, Oregon State serves Oregon and the world by working on today’s most pressing issues. Our more than 36,000 students come from across the globe, and our programs operate in every Oregon county. Oregon State receives more research funding than all of the state’s comprehensive public universities combined. At our campuses in Corvallis and Bend, marine research center in Newport, OSU Portland Center and award-winning Ecampus, we excel at shaping today’s students into tomorrow’s leaders.

Story By: 

Sean Nealon, 541-737-0787, [email protected]


Steve Clark, 541-737-3808, [email protected]


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