For the FSU-FAMU College of Engineering, research and diversity are the most significant factors in the school’s rising national ranking.
According to Murray Gibson, dean of the shared college, they have increased their rankings by about 19 points in the last two years. He says it’s all due to their messaging and their research funding.
“We created an office of research with an associate dean about two years ago and that provides a lot of staff support for faculty that are trying to raise funding through research,” Gibson said. “We’ve increased our research funding by 30 percent in two years and we’ve doubled our funding at FAMU in two years.”
The dean says the increased funding is helpful because the degree of research funding is one of the factors considered in the rankings. Those rankings and the diversity of having Florida A&M University, a leading HBCU, and a top research institution, are what helps the college increase enrollment and makes the school more marketable.
“We’ve been telling a story,” Gibson said. “We are unique in the nation because we are a partnered college that’s shared by FAMU and Florida State. Students can go to either of those two schools and get a degree in engineering.”
According to the Florida Board of Governors, the school has a diversity unmatched by any other engineering school with 20 percent of students being African American, 20 percent Hispanic and another 28 percent female.
The college moved up from 123 to 116 this year alone on the U.S. News & World Report's 2019 edition of Best Graduate Schools.
The school is the No. 1 producer of African American doctorates in engineering in the U.S. According to the dean it is the only institution among the top 20 engineering schools that can be considered an HBCU.
The future looks bright for the college and Gibson hopes the school will be ranked the number one engineering school in the nation in the next 5-10 years.
Daniella Dominique, a sophomore biomedical engineering major from FSU, says the rigor and inclusivity is the benefit of having the joint school because it brings everyone together.
“The caliber of the school, it forces you to raise your standards,” Dominique said. “We’re all one and we are all engineering at the end of the day.”