Wagner College was named one of America’s best colleges in the Princeton Review’s new “Best 385 Colleges” guide, which was released today.
Special kudos went to the Wagner College Theatre program, which was ranked Number 3 in the nation.
“It is gratifying to see Wagner receive recognition from a well-regarded, independent organization,” said President Joel W. Martin, who began his work at Wagner this summer. “This honor is a tribute to the hard work of our faculty and students and the staff members who support them. I am proud to be a part of this mission-driven, student-focused community.”
“Since 1992, our annual Best Colleges guide has showcased the schools we recommend to college applicants and their parents as our picks of the nation’s best schools for undergraduate academics. Only about 13% of America’s four-year colleges are in the book,” said Robert Franek, Princeton Review’s editor-in-chief and lead author of the book.
“We chose the 385 colleges for this edition as our ‘best’ overall, academically, based on data we gathered in 2018–19 from more than a thousand school administrators about their schools' academic programs and offerings,” Franek said.
In its overall profile on Wagner College, this year’s Princeton Review “Best 384 Colleges” guide quotes extensively from students surveyed for the book. Wagner students describe the college as a “tight-knit and fun, yet academically challenging” liberal arts school. The school is “in the perfect location with a surplus of unique resources” and is composed of “an excellent and vibrant community that supports its students every step of the way.” The “commitment the faculty and staff have for the student body is outstanding.” Students universally agree that Wagner “lets you experience all different types of subjects by following the concept: learning by doing.”
Theater program #3 in America
Wagner College Theatre was ranked #3 among collegiate theater programs in America in the Princeton Review’s “Best 385 Colleges” guide for 2020.
The ranking reflects the survey responses of Wagner College students to the question, “How do you rate your college’s theater productions?”
Wagner came ahead of Brown, Elon, Vanderbilt, Bard, Sarah Lawrence and Columbia, among others.
The WCT has been ranked among the top 5 collegiate theater programs in the United States by the Princeton Review since 2004. See this year’s complete list here.
“We are so pleased to learn that Wagner College Theatre has again been ranked so highly on the Princeton Review’s Best College Theaters list!” said Felicia Ruff, chairwoman of the college’s Department of Performing Arts. “This is a testament to the strength, talent, resilience and success of theater students working beautifully with our faculty and guest artists as they create productions on the main stage and in our black box that make our audiences — including our student audience members — proud.
“But as wonderful as this news is, I’m just so thrilled that our department has remained in the top 5 for nearly 20 years,” Ruff said. “That is a truly remarkable endorsement, not just of our work last year, but over the decades.
“So here’s to another 20 years of producing excellent student theater at an excellent college — in 2020, and beyond!”
Wagner College has several strong programs in the performing arts, including majors in Arts Administration, Dance Education, Theatre Performance and Design, a dual major in Theatre and Education, and minors in Theatre and Dance. Wagner alumni are working on Broadway shows like “Dear Evan Hansen,” “Fiddler” in Yiddish, “Aladdin,” “Come From Away,” “Pretty Woman” and “Moulin Rouge.” They are working behind the scenes at major venues like Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Met and BAM, and they are serving in key roles in casting and producers’ offices, P.R. firms, touring productions, festivals, cruises and educational settings.
The Top 20 lists
The Princeton Review tallied the rankings for the Top 20 lists in the new Best Colleges guide based on its surveys of 140,000 students (about 359 per campus) attending the 385 colleges in the book in 2018-19 and/or the previous two school years.
The survey asks students 80 questions about their school’s academics, administration, student body, and themselves. The format uses a five-point Likert scale to convert qualitative student assessments into quantitative data for school-to-school comparisons. You’ll find more information on the ranking methodology on the Princeton Review website.