U.S. News & World Report names USD one of nationâ�?�?s best For the 18th consecutive year, The University of South Dakota ranks as one of the â�?�?Best National Universities,â�? according to U.S. News & World Report. In the magazineâ�?�?s annual â�?�?Americaâ�?�?s Best Colleges 2009â�? issue, USD is listed as one of the top 188 institutions in the United States, ranking in the same â�?�?Best National Universitiesâ�? category as George Mason University (VA), DePaul University (IL.), Oklahoma State University, Rutgers (NJ), St. Johnâ�?�?s University (NY), University of Louisville, and West Virginia University. â�?�?Best National Universitiesâ�? recognition is based on several key measures of quality, including academic excellence, peer assessment, faculty resources, graduation and retention rates, and student selectivity. Academic quality categories for the rankings were established by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in 2006. Schools achieving â�?�?Best National Universitiesâ�? status (164 public, 98 private) offer a full range of undergraduate majors, masterâ�?�?s and Ph.D. programs, and emphasize faculty research. â�?�?Itâ�?�?s a tribute to our extraordinary faculty, student body and alumni that The University of South Dakota is one of Americaâ�?�?s â�?�?Best National Universitiesâ�?�? for the 18th consecutive time,â�? said James W. Abbott, president of The University of South Dakota. â�?�?We are fortunate at USD to be recognized for our commitment to a quality liberal arts education and for developing exceptional research programs.â�? The annual rankings provided by U.S. News & World Report are a significant resource for college-bound students and their parents. More than 1,400 colleges and universities were surveyed for the â�?�?Americaâ�?�?s Best Colleges 2009â�? edition, which spotlights schools with outstanding academic programs, study abroad opportunities, successful internship programs and service learning curriculum. Highlights of the college rankings will be published in the Sept. 1 issue of U.S. News & World Report. The exclusive rankings will be featured in the 2009 Americaâ�?�?s Best Colleges guidebook, featured on newsstands Aug. 26 and available online at www.usnews.com/colleges.