Embry-Riddle Keeps Top Spot in U.S. News & World Report's Best College Rankings for Ninth Year in a Row

New Doctoral Programs in Aviation and Engineering Physics Planned

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Aug. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- For the ninth year in a row, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has earned the top ranking in the annual "America's Best Colleges" guide published by U.S. News & World Report magazine.

In the specialty category of "Best Aerospace/Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering Programs at Schools Whose Highest Degree is a Bachelor's or Master's," Embry-Riddle's Daytona Beach campus has been number one every year since the category was introduced in 2001. Embry-Riddle's Prescott, Ariz., campus has been number three in that category since 2004. The U.S. Air Force Academy took second place this year, the U.S. Naval Academy fourth, and Cal Poly - San Luis Obispo fifth.

Embry-Riddle has one of the largest and most well-regarded Aerospace Engineering programs in the nation. The Daytona Beach and Prescott campuses offer a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering. The Daytona Beach campus also offers two different master's programs in Aerospace Engineering.

"For the ninth straight year, U.S. Newshas honored Embry-Riddle for outstanding achievement," said Dr. John P. Johnson, Embry-Riddle president. "This prestigious accomplishment was made possible by top-caliber faculty, staff, and students in our engineering departments and throughout the University."

Embry-Riddle's Daytona Beach campus is 12th in the overall category of "Best Universities - Master's (South)," up one spot from last year. This category lists 121 master's degree-granting institutions in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

In related news, Embry-Riddle also announced plans to offer two Ph.D. programs in 2009, pending accreditation by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

The University will offer the first Ph.D. in Aviation in the United States through the combined efforts of the Colleges of Aviation at Daytona Beach and Prescott and the Worldwide Campus beginning in May. The Ph.D. in Aviation is primarily an online program with one-week residencies each year.

An August debut is planned for a traditional Ph.D. program in Engineering Physics at the Daytona Beach campus, with special emphasis on space physics, upper atmospheric physics, remote sensing, spacecraft instrumentation, spacecraft systems engineering, and control of aerospace systems. Faculty research in these areas is one of the major strengths of the University.

"These doctoral programs are designed to give both working professionals and research professionals the opportunity to pursue their intellectual interests through rigorous programs and meet their professional goals to prepare them to serve as our aviation, science, and engineering technology leaders of tomorrow," said Dr. Johnson.

Embry-Riddle is accepting applications for the first class of candidates for the Ph.D. in Aviation now through Jan. 15, 2009. For more information, please call (800) 359-3728 or go to http://aviationphd.erau.edu. Interested candidates for the Ph.D. in Engineering Physics can go to http://www.erau.edu/engineeringphd or call Dr. John Olivero at (386) 226-6453 for more information.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world's largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, offers more than 30 degree programs in its colleges of Arts and Sciences, Aviation, Business, and Engineering. The University educates more than 34,000 students annually in undergraduate and graduate programs at residential campuses in Prescott, Ariz., and Daytona Beach, Fla., through the Worldwide Campus at more than 130 campus centers in the United States, Europe, Canada, and the Middle East, and through online learning. For more information, visit www.embryriddle.edu.

Editors/Reporters Note:

**The U.S. News & World Report rankings for the "Best University" category are based on reputation (25%), graduation and retention rates (25%), faculty resources (20%), student selectivity (15%), financial resources (10%), and alumni giving rate (5%). The rankings for the engineering programs are based on the judgments of deans and senior faculty who rated each program they are familiar with; the pool of eligible schools is based on ABET accreditation.

The Sept. 1 issue of U.S. News & World Report, now available for newsstand purchase, includes highlights of the college rankings. The 2009 "America's Best Colleges" guidebook will be available Tuesday, Aug. 26 .

SOURCE Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University