McNeese State University is the highest ranked Louisiana regional public university in the South in two categories according to the 2013 Best Colleges edition of U.S. News & World Report that was released Wednesday. There are 625 institutions nationwide in the regional category.

In the Best Regional Universities-South category, McNeese was the second highest rated Louisiana university, with only Loyola University in New Orleans, a private institution, ranked higher.

U.S. News ranked McNeese in a tie for 43rd place in the Top Public Schools-Regional South category. The only other Louisiana universities that placed in the top 49 in this category were the University of Louisiana at Monroe and Nicholls State University.

McNeese also tied for 151st place in the Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs category for an ABET-accredited program where a doctorate was not offered. U.S. News rankings of undergraduate engineering programs are based on a peer assessment survey and are divided into two groups of institutions based on the highest degree offered. Ranked programs must be accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.

U.S. News ranked 1,600 schools for the 2013 publication. The 625 nationwide institutions in the "Best Regional Universities" offer a full range of undergraduate programs and provide graduate education at the master's level, but offer few, if any, doctoral programs. The universities in this category are then ranked within four geographic regions in the country. U.S. News bases its rankings on several indicators used to measure academic quality that include: peer assessment; retention and graduation of students; faculty resources; student selectivity; financial resources; and alumni giving.