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Graduate programs remain among nation's best in U.S. News ranking

  • Top graduate programs
    Top graduate programs  U.S. News and World Report ranked William & Mary's graduate education, U.S. colonial history, law and business programs among the country's best.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
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The William & Mary School of Education catapulted 11 spots to 32nd in U.S. News & World Report's graduate school rankings released today, tied with Purdue, the University of Illinois, the University of Iowa and the University of Pittsburgh. This is the largest jump within the rankings in the School of Education’s history. In 2010, the program jumped nine spots from 48th to 39th following the opening of its new facility.

In this year’s survey, the education program placed well among ratings from both peer groups and school system superintendents, ranking fourth among the schools surveyed on superintendent’s rating and 13th with peers. The School of Education was ranked 43rd overall in the 2012 ranking and 41st in 2011.

“As one of the smallest schools of education in the top 100, it’s especially gratifying to see the high reputational rankings,” said Virginia McLaughlin, dean of the School of Education. “The superintendents, those who employ our graduates, have always ranked William & Mary very highly.”

U.S. News & 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. Every four years, the survey also ranks select doctoral programs. This year, William & Mary’s U.S. colonial history program ranked third in its field nationwide, up one spot from the 2010 survey.

“The history department is thrilled by this honor, which recognizes not only the cutting-edge work of our faculty but also the excellence of our graduate students in all fields,” said Brett Rushforth, associate professor and director of graduate studies, department of history.

The annual report also ranked William & Mary Law School 33rd, up two spots from last year, in a three-way tie with the University of Georgia and the University of Wisconsin at Madison. In 2012, the Law School ranked 35th, tied with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Wisconsin at Madison. The school was 27th in 2011 (tied with Boston College and the University of Iowa).

This month also has brought good news for the school in admissions, said Dean Davison M. Douglas, who noted that applications to the William & Mary Law School have increased despite a steep drop in law school applications nationally.

By March 11, the school had received 5,769 applications for its expected first-year class of fewer than 200 students, which is about a three percent increase compared to last year. The Law School Admissions Council reported that as of March 1 only six law schools had reported an increase in applications; nationally, as of that date, the number of applications to all U.S. law schools had dropped by 23.1 percent.

William & Mary’s Mason School of Business ranked 70th in this year’s survey among graduate business programs, the same as in last year’s survey.

Highlights of the graduate school rankings are scheduled for publication in the 2014 issue of The Best Graduate Schools guidebook which will be available for purchase as of April 9. A complete list of the rankings is also available online.