TEMPE, Ariz. - For the third consecutive year, U.S. News and World Report has ranked ASU the nation's most innovative college -- the only school to top the list since the category was created.

Being one of the largest universities in the country, with high-performing schools and educational programs, it's not all so surprising that ASU would be considered innovative, but how is innovation measured?

According to U.S. News and World Report's website, the Most Innovative Schools rankings are based solely on the nominations from college presidents, provosts and admissions deans.

"This ranking enables top college officials to pick schools that the public should be watching because of the cutting-edge changes the colleges are making on their campuses," the website reads.

ASU cited some programs in a recent press release that may be the reasons why academics see Sun Devils as so innovative. To name a few:

• A voice-enabled dorm hall equipped with Amazon Echo Dot devices-- the first of its kind.
• Partnerships with big companies like Adidas and Starbucks that provide scholarships to employees.
• A $1 million Center for Mindfulness, Compassion and Resilience that will bring together researchers, practitioners and educators to study and spread ideas.
• ASU recently won the inaugural "Best Game Day Technology Experience" award for its technologies that contribute to the fan experience at Sun Devil sporting events.

Other innovative projects that 12 News has covered include ASU students working to create a hyperloop, allowing travel between Phoenix and Los Angeles and the W.P. Carey School of Business's Professional Flex MBA program offering robots to take students' place in class.

“Our colleagues at colleges and universities around the country are very interested in what we’re doing, and they pay close attention to all that we have been able to achieve,” said ASU President Michael Crow. “They know that all the cool stuff is going on at ASU.”

ASU leads Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on the list of most innovative schools.