MACOMB, Ill. (AP) — Western Illinois University has awarded more master's degrees, on average, than any other school nationally.

The school announced Thursday that the American Physical Society ranked WIU first in average numbers of degrees awarded from 2015 to 2017.

It awarded an average of 17 degrees per year. California State University Long Beach averaged 14.

The ranking is based on a statistical analysis of U.S. Education Department data.

Interim Physics Chairman Kishor Kapale notes that during the same period, WIU ranked first in total number of women receiving master's of science degrees in physics.

This year the American Institute of Physics also ranked WIU second in the nation among schools offering a physics master's as its highest degree. It was the fourth year in a row WIU was ranked second.