Wooster’s Independent Study program tops U.S. News’ Best Colleges ranking

21 years Wooster named premier research institution

The College of Wooster’s Independent Study program again topped U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of best “Senior Capstone” programs, coming in second only to Princeton University in the magazine’s “Best Colleges 2023” guidebook released Sept. 12. Wooster is No. 15, among several tied numbers, in the rankings for “Undergraduate Research/Creative Projects,” joining elite company of 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 of Wooster alumni 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 explores new knowledge to share with the world 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 only a select few, is respected by leaders at colleges across the country,” said Wayne Webster, interim 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 placed highly on several of the publication’s other lists, jumping up to No. 13 for “Best Undergraduate Teaching,” an increase of 13 positions from last year. Up three positions from last year to No. 29 for “Most Innovative Schools,” the publication recognized the College’s 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. 65, “Best Value Schools” at No. 71, and as one of the “Top Performers on Social Mobility” at No. 142. Wooster remains a leader in percentage of international students at 15 percent, second in Ohio and among the top 20 in the U.S. for “Most International Students.” Overall, Wooster ranks No. 76 among National Liberal Arts Colleges.

Posted in News on September 12, 2022.