Awards and Accolades

ETC-Rankings-Logo-2015-RGB- to 408 top-College smPlymouth State University alumni rank in the top 15 percent in a recent national review of more than 1,200 institutions that was conducted by a national non-profit agency, Educate to Career (ETC). PSU alumni are better positioned to work in their chosen field and receive better-than-average salaries compared to graduates from competing institutions, according to ETC, which offers data-driven, outcome-focused tools that enable high school students and their parents to make informed, objective university and career planning decisions.


The Carnegie Foundation recognized Plymouth State University with the Community Engagement Classification in honor of ongoing engagement with and work on behalf of our region.  The classification indicates that teaching, learning, and research are done in collaboration with communities and enhance the well-being of the region through, for example, application of knowledge to economic development.  According to the Carnegie Foundation, PSU demonstrates “excellent alignment among mission, culture, leadership, resources, and practices that support dynamic and noteworthy community engagement.”  Only 361 higher education institutions nationwide have achieved this classification.



The Sierra Club has named PSU to its list of America’s Greenest Schools. According to the Sierra Club, the rankings are based on “an extensive questionnaire that asks about everything from where a campus gets its energy to whether its landscapers use native plants and its cafeterias offer recycled napkins.” Founded by conservationist John Muir in 1892, the Sierra Club is the nation’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization — with more than two million members and supporters.



Plymouth State University has been named one of the nation’s top schools for encouraging community service among its students. PSU is one of six New Hampshire institutions of higher learning named to the President’s Honor Roll, through the federal Learn and Serve America program, which supports and encourages service-learning throughout the United States. PSU has received this honor every year since 2008.


Chronicle of Higher Education Great CollegesPlymouth State University is one of the best colleges in the nation to work for, according to a survey by The Chronicle of Higher Education. Only 103 of the 294 institutions in the survey achieved “Great College to Work For” recognition for specific best practices and policies. Plymouth State won honors in two categories this year:   Teaching Environment and Tenure Clarity and Process. PSU also received this honor in 2009.


Plymouth State University’s Athletic Training program received the 2012 Bill Cramer Professional Development Award. The cash award, provided by Cramer Sports Medicine, will support travel expenses for two PSU athletic training students to attend the National Athletic Training Association (NATA) conference. PSU was chosen for the national prize because of the work its students undertake in the local and regional community and for the quality of its academic program.


Business NH Magazine awarded the Savage Welcome Center and Hanaway Rink the 2011 Lean and Green Building Award, recognizing the facility for how its design and construction incorporated cost containment and sustainability, particularly with the savings and energy efficiency of its operation through the closed loop geothermal heating/cooling design.


PSU has been recognized in The Princeton Review’s Guide to 311 Green Colleges, a compilation of the most environmentally-responsible higher education institutions in the United States and Canada.  As criteria for inclusion, the Guide considers an institution’s commitment to LEED building certification, environmental literacy programs, formal sustainability committees, use of renewable energy resources, and recycling and conservation programs.


CADY (Communities for Alcohol and Drug-Free Youth) named PSU its Partner of the Year for work with youth in central Hew Hampshire, promoting healthy life choices and promising futures for young people.



PSU President Sara Jayne Steen was named one of New Hampshire’s Seven Remarkable Women of the World by New Hampshire Magazine in recognition of PSU’s increasing international initiatives that are making a difference in central New Hampshire.



Business NH Magazine recognized PSU as one of “The Ten Best Companies to Work for in NH” and listed PSU among the five best large companies to work for in the state, the first time an educational institution has ever before received this recognition.

View the Business NH Magazine article >>


Plymouth State University is one of the top Five Best Colleges in New Hampshire according to an article on Newsmax.   The article sites the University’s 40 major fields of study as well as the meteorology and natural sciences departments as highlights of Plymouth State.

View the Newsmax article


Parade Magazine named PSU one of the best small public colleges and universities in the nation as rated by high school guidance counselors across the country.


PSU has been honored by the New Hampshire Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve with the “Above and Beyond” award for its support of the National Guard and Reserve. PSU was cited as a longtime supporter of uniformed military members, whether student, faculty or staff, through its policies and programs, and the newly situated Veterans Common recognizing student and alumni veterans.


Plymouth State University’s Langdon Woods Residential Complex is one of the nation’s top 10 Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified projects, according to Interiors and Sources magazine. The magazine rated buildings nationwide according to the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Green Building Rating System. Langdon Woods is one of the nation’s first and largest university residence halls to earn gold certification. It is one of only two collegiate buildings to make the Interiors and Sources top 10 list. Langdon Woods is the first building in New Hampshire to earn LEED gold certification.

View the Interior and Sources LEED list and story

Plymouth was named one of the 50 next great adventure towns in the United States in which to live by National Geographic Adventure magazine. In  “Where to Live + Play Now! The fifty next great adventure towns”, Plymouth ranks fourth in the east region. The article also cited the region’s many recreational opportunities. “Life in Plymouth is like a master class in recreation,” wrote National Geographic journalist Sarah Tuff. “Wedged between Mount Washington Valley and the Granite State’s glittering lakes region, this college-meets-covered-bridge depot is home to the new White Mountain Exploration center, with instruction in ski touring, ice climbing, mountain biking, and rock climbing all run by Eastern Mountain Sports.”

Best in the NortheastPlymouth State University has been named one of the “Best in the Northeast” by The Princeton Review. The designation identifies some of the colleges and universities that the Review feels stand out within each region and, in particular, to raise public awareness of many schools that may not be as well-known as they should be. Each college had to meet two criteria: they had to meet the Review’s standards for academic excellence within their region and the Review had to be able to survey their students anonymously. The Princeton Review, founded in 1981, helps more than half of university-bound students research, apply to, prepare for and learn how to pay for their higher education.