Wooster’s Independent Study senior capstone program tops U.S. News’ “Best Colleges” ranking

20 straight years

WOOSTER, OH—The College of Wooster’s Independent Study program once again tops U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of the best “Senior Capstone” programs, coming in second only to Princeton University in the magazine’s “Best Colleges 2022” guidebook released Monday. Wooster also climbed to No. 8 in the rankings for “Undergraduate Research/Creative Projects,” again joining elite company with some of the top research universities in the world, including several Ivy League schools and major R1 institutions.  

Since 2002, U.S. News has asked college presidents, chief academic officers, and deans which colleges provide the best undergraduate research opportunities and senior capstone experiences. Only two have made both lists every year: Wooster and Princeton.

Independent Study, known to generations simply as I.S., is the centerpiece of Wooster’s commitment to mentored research and a badge of distinction for all graduates as they head into the world of work. Participating in mentored research helps develop independent judgment, creativity, project-management and time-management skills, self-confidence, and strong written and oral communication skills: precisely the abilities prized by employers and graduate schools alike.

“Every Wooster student adds to the world’s understanding through our signature Independent Study (I.S.) senior capstone program. The latest recognition from U.S. News demonstrates this model of providing dedicated opportunities to all students, not just a select few, is respected by leaders at colleges across the country,” said Sarah Bolton, president of Wooster. “I thank our faculty and staff for their deep dedication to fostering a diverse and inclusive community of learners and an excellent educational experience for each and every Wooster student.” 

Wooster remains a leader for the number of international students on campus, ranking No. 16 in the U.S. for “Most International Students” and second in Ohio. 

Wooster placed highly on several other of the publication’s lists, jumping up to No. 27 for “Best Undergraduate Teaching” and No. 32 for “Most Innovative Schools,” recognizing our cutting-edge approach to curriculum and course delivery, campus life, and more. The College was also listed among the top in the country for “First-Year Experiences” at No. 64, “Best Value Schools” at No. 73, and as one of the “Top Performers on Social Mobility” at No. 158.

Overall, Wooster ranks No. 71 among National Liberal Arts Colleges. 

2-Senior Capstone8-Undergraduate Research16-Most International27-Undergraduate Teaching32-Most Innovative





































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