Just weeks away from moving into a new, state-of-the-art facility, the School of Education at the College of William and Mary vaulted up nine spots in U.S. News & World Report’s most recent survey of the nation’s top graduate and professional schools. The School of Education ranked 39th, tied with the University of Georgia. Last year, the School was ranked 48th. The William & Mary Law School also ranked among the nation’s best graduate programs, retaining its rank at 28th in the survey.
“It’s always refreshing to see William & Mary do well in the U.S. News rankings. A lot of people do pay attention to them”, said William & Mary President Taylor Reveley. “Good for our law and education schools.”
The rankings news comes during an exciting spring semester for the School of Education. Faculty and staff are preparing to move into their new building next month. Located off of Monticello Avenue on the former site of the Sentara Williamsburg Community Hospital, the new facility includes 113,000 square feet that will bring together all of the school’s classes, programs, faculty and staff under one roof. The new facility will also allow the school to expand its outreach programs. In addition, the school’s graduate programs saw the largest number of applications in more than 20 years – over 520, up by nearly 20 percent over last year.
“These rankings are a wonderful recognition of the fabulous work of our faculty,” said Virginia L. McLaughlin, dean of the School of Education. “Even greater national attention is likely to come as we occupy our new facility. I’m confident the School of Education will remain a great asset to the College of William & Mary and to higher education in Virginia.”
According to this year’s U.S. News survey, the William & Mary Law School tied with Boston College, University of California – Davis, University of Georgia, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, and the University of Wisconsin – Madison for its 28th place ranking. Spring brought other good news for the nation’s oldest law school. Applications for admission to William & Mary Law School’s J.D. program for the Class of 2013 increased by a record 26%. Since 2007, William & Mary’s Law School applications have increased by 48%. The Law School received 6,287 applications, for slightly more than 200 seats in the J.D. Class of 2013, breaking the previous record of 4,984 applications received last year. Applications were received from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 72 other countries. According to recent data compiled by the Law School Admission Council, only 17% of the accredited law schools in the United States experienced an application increase this year of more than 20%. The Law School has consistently ranked among the best law schools in the country in U.S. News & World Report’s survey, also ranking tied for 28th last year.
“Though we have questions about the methodology used to compile these rankings, we certainly don't quarrel with their conclusion that William & Mary is one of the top law schools in the nation,” said Davidson M. Douglas, dean of the William & Mary Law School.
U.S. News and World Report annually ranks graduate and professional school programs in education, law, medicine, engineering and business using a variety of scoring categories, such as peer assessments, student/faculty ratios and funding for faculty research. Highlights of the graduate school rankings are scheduled for publication in the May 2010 issue of the magazine, available for newsstand purchase as of April 27. The America's Best Graduate Schools guidebook will be available for purchase as of April 20. A complete list of the rankings is available on line.