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W&M graduate programs ranked among nation's best in U.S. News

  • All rise.
    All rise.  The William & Mary Law School also recently dedicated the Wolf Law Library, whose namesake was elected Rector of the College's Board of Visitors April 17.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • Going up.
    Going up.  The School of Education at The College of William & Mary is in the process of constructing a new facility. The new facility will house W&M’s nationally-ranked School of Education and will bring all of its academic programs, outreach centers, and research projects together in a highly professional setting designed to stimulate collaboration and innovation.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • Almost ready
    Almost ready  The Mason School of Business is set to open its new facility, Alan B. Miller Hall, in late August, in time for the 2009 fall semester. A formal dedication is planned for later in the fall.  Courtesy New Media Systesms, Inc.
  • Back in time.
    Back in time.  In addition to graduate programs in colonial history, the William & Mary Department of History also runs the National Institute of American History and Democracy. Here, History Professor James Whittenburg (center) leads students on a field trip to Jamestown.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
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(Williamsburg, VA) – The William & Mary Law School, School of Education and School of Business climbed in U.S. News & World Report’s 2010 graduate school rankings released today. The Law School jumped two places among law schools in the United States ranking tied for 28th in the country. The School of Education appeared in the “Top 50,” ranking tied for 48th. William & Mary’s Mason School of Business ranked tied for 55th among graduate business programs. Also recognized was William & Mary’s graduate program in U.S. colonial history. This program was ranked fourth in its field nationwide. Doctoral programs are ranked every four years by discipline.

"The US News rankings matter because lots of people believe they have significance. It's always refreshing, accordingly, to see William & Mary doing well in the rankings,” said William & Mary president Taylor Reveley. “Congratulations are due our colonial history program and the law, education and business schools."

The ranking comes in the midst of a great spring for the Law School. Last month alone they announced the appointment of their new dean, Davison Douglas, and received news that the William & Mary Black Law Students Association was named National Chapter of the Year. The ranking also comes as the Law School marks a year of record applications – 4978 for the approximately 200 seats in the juris doctor program.  This total represents an 8.3 percent increase compared to last year while the national law school applicant pool has increased less than 4 percent.

The William & Mary Law School, which has the distinction of being the oldest law school in the country, has consistently ranked among the best in the magazine’s survey. U.S. News ranked the school 30th in 2008, 31st in 2007. This year the Law School tied with the George Washington University Law School.

“Though we remain skeptical about the rankings, rising two spots to No. 28 supports a message that I have been delivering all year – that William & Mary Law School is in an especially good place right now,” said Lynda Butler, interim dean of the Law School. “It continues to set records in admission applications. Our faculty continues to produce thought-provoking scholarship and to demonstrate why our classroom experience is second to none. Our students continue to impress both in and out of the classroom, running high quality law journals, winning prestigious moot court and trial team competitions, securing jobs in a tight market, and giving back to the greater community in countless ways. Our alumni continue to care about their school, giving their time, their money and their hearts to advance our interests. Together we have strengthened the position of the nation’s oldest law school and nurtured a dynamic environment for intellectual pursuit.”

For the School of Education, U.S. News’ recognition comes as the school is set to open a new state-of-the-art facility in 2010.  Construction of the new 112,000-square-foot education building is well underway at the Monticello entrance to campus. The new facility will bring all of the School of Education’s programs under one roof.

“Our new facility will help to showcase the tremendous work of our faculty and students. To have this recognition only adds to the momentum we have moving forward,” said Virginia McLaughlin, dean of the School of Education.

The School of Education prepares elementary and secondary teachers through baccalaureate and master’s degree programs. Programs for specialist and administrators are offered at the master’s and doctoral levels. In 2008, the School of Education generated $8 million in external funding for research and outreach programs. It was ranked 48th tied with Purdue University – West Lafayette and University of Illinois – Chicago in this year’s survey.

William & Mary’s Mason School of Business is also preparing for a new facility as construction of Alan B. Miller Hall, the future home of the business school, is nearing completion. Work on the new 163,000-square-foot building at the corner of Ukrop Way and Jamestown Road began in spring 2007. The state-of-the-art academic facility is scheduled to be open for students, faculty and staff for the fall 2009 semester.

“We are pleased to be ranked in the top10 ten percent of accredited business schools,” said Dean Lawrence B. Pulley of the Mason School of Business. “This distinction reflects the quality and dedication of our faculty and staff and the talent and career success of our students. We look forward to continuing our assent among business schools.”

U.S. News 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 rations and funding for faculty research.

The 2010 edition of the newsstand book, America’s Best Graduate Schools, hits newsstands Tuesday, April 28. Many of the rankings will also appear in the May 2009 issue of U.S. News, which goes on sale April 28. Additional information on the rankings is available on line.