ASU Brand Guide - Elements of the Brand
Elements of the ASU brand


Rankings used by ASU are reviewed monthly by the university rankings committee which consists of Academic Enterprise Communications, the Enterprise Marketing Hub and EdPlus. They are selected based on methodology, reputation of the authority providing the ranking and the meaning behind the ranking.


Approved rankings sources

  • National rankings, U.S. News & World Report (USNWR) is the primary source. 
  • International rankings, we recognize:
    • ShanghaiRanking. 
    • Times Higher Education. 
    • QS World University Rankings.

These are the approved ranking authorities for communications and advertising use. The rankings listed on the ASU rankings page are also available for use.


Attribution and comparable universities

When using a ranking in marketing or promotional materials, the ranking authority should be cited. For digital assets in positions with limited space, where it is not possible to display the ranking authority within the creative materials, the URL to which the asset is linked must take the viewer to a page that clearly displays the full ranking details. Full ranking details include the ranking authority and approved comparable universities listed along with the ranking.  

Testing has shown that rankings are more meaningful when comparatives are used. Comparable schools should always accompany rankings. These schools are selected by the Provost office and can be found in the University Rankings and Accolades spreadsheet.


New rankings announcement cadence

U.S. News & World Report rankings are announced three times during the academic year: 

  • September — university and undergraduate rankings.
  • January — online college rankings, including online bachelor's degree, graduate program rankings and veteran/military rankings.
  • March — graduate program rankings. 

All current USNWR rankings for ASU schools, colleges and programs can be found in the University Rankings and Accolades spreadsheet. Each row provides useful information including the ranking title and year, approved verbiage, comparables, the date the ranking was issued, the date it expires and a link to the source.

Rankings Accolades


Please use the following guidelines when citing a ranking in communications.

  • When citing rankings in text, use “No.” instead of “#” (per AP style). Exceptions can be made for channels with limited space or character counts. See below
  • Use either ASU or the specific school or college as the subject in a ranking. 
    • For example, for “No. 2 for best undergraduate supply chain management/logistics programs” you can use “ASU is ranked ... ” or “W. P. Carey School of Business is ranked … ” because the program is offered through the W. P. Carey School of Business.   
  • When citing the ranking, use the approved verbiage as the wording must align with how the ranking is presented by the ranking authority. 
    • For example, “No. 6 for best online bachelor’s programs,” is the correct verbiage, whereas “No. 6 best online university” is incorrect. 
  • Ranking statements must always cite the ranking authority. Include the year where applicable or a badge where one is available. Always include the most current ranking noting that if the ranking authority has not published a new one then the last ranking is still valid. 
    • For example, use “... by U.S. News & World Report, 2022.” Rankings more than two years old should be reviewed and approved by the rankings committee for continued use.
  • Rankings should include comparable universities when they demonstrate high achievement from ASU and when there are no space limitations for the ranking. Comparables are approved by the Office of the University Provost. Abbreviations for university names can be used when there is a character count limit. Please refer to the abbreviations tab
  • All rankings are based on all universities, both public and private. If you prefer to use the ranking for only public universities, you will need to have this approved by the rankings committee. Research has shown that using “public” to highlight a higher ranking does not always result in greater affinity for the brand.
  • You can use “top 5,” “top 10” or “top 20” if your ranking is closest to the “top” number. For example, if the ranking is #19 you can use “ASU ranks in the top 20 nationally … ”
  • Retiring a ranking. If the ranking authority has not reassessed a ranking in at least two years, it is highly recommended that it be retired or reevaluated. If you would like the ranking to be reevaluated, you may reach out to the rankings committee.

Examples of properly written rankings for communications:

  • ASU ranks No. 1 for best graduate homeland security programs by U.S. News & World Report, 2023, ahead of Columbia, Harvard and University of Texas.
  • Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions ranks No. 1 for best graduate homeland security programs by U.S. News & World Report, 2023, ahead of Columbia, Harvard and University of Texas.

Abbreviated rankings for channels with limited space or character counts:

Accolades and proof points can be abbreviated for use in channels where characters are limited by ad specs, such as social media and web ads. Here are some examples of approved abbreviations:

  • ASU is ranked #1 in innovation ahead of MIT and Stanford for 7 consecutive years (80).
  • ASU is ranked #1 in innovation ahead of MIT and Stanford (56).
  • ASU is ranked #1 in innovation for 7 consecutive years (54).
  • Leading the country in innovation (33).
  • ASU is ranked #1 in innovation (30).
  • #1 university for innovation (28).
  • Ranked #1 in innovation (23).
  • #1 in innovation (16).


Rankings Example 1

Rankings Example 2

Rankings Example 3


Ranking lockups:

No. 1 in innovation lockups can be downloaded from Widen, our digital asset management system.

Download ranking lockups

Download ranking lockups

Request to use a ranking:

To request use of a ranking that is neither listed as approved on the university rankings and accolades sheet nor listed on ASU’s ranking webpage, please submit a request to the rankings committee for review.