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U.S. News: W&M grad schools remain among nation's best

William & Mary graduate programs are consistently ranked among the nation’s best in U.S. News and World Report’s annual graduate school ranking.

In this year’s survey, released March 9, the FlexMBA program at William & Mary’s Raymond A. Mason School of Business made impressive movement in the ranking, leaping 22 spots to 35th from 57th. The same program last year moved up 12 spots. The Business School's full-time MBA program also advanced in the survey, moving up eight spots to 74th from 82nd.  

“Our investments in our world-class faculty, career services, innovative curricula and program leadership are making a huge difference for our students. I am pleased to see that progress reflected in this ranking,” said Mason School Dean Lawrence B. Pulley.

Chief among the many investments cited by Pulley is the recent launch of the Mason School’s Online MBA Program. The completely revolutionized curriculum for the “Renaissance Thinker” is the first fully online degree from the university. The first cohort will start in August 2015.

William & Mary Law School placed in the top 30 of the nation's law schools in the 2016 survey, ranking 29th. Law School Dean Davison M. Douglas noted that the Law School continues to enjoy tremendous forward momentum.

“In recent years, we have enrolled some of the best students that we’ve ever had, and have continued to build an exceptional faculty,” Douglas said. “We have also dramatically expanded our legal clinics.”

In 2014, the Law School climbed nine spots in the annual survey to a program-high 24th, tied with the University of Washington. William & Mary Law School was in a three-way tie at 33rd in 2013, ranked 35th in 2012, 27th in 2011 and was at a six-way tie at 28th in 2010.  

National Jurist recently named William & Mary among the top 20 best law schools for practical training. The law school also took 30th place on National Law Journal’s “Top 50 Go-To Schools” list, which ranked law schools that sent “the highest percentage of 2014 graduates into associate jobs at the nation’s 250 largest law firms.”

In fall 2016, William & Mary Law School is slated to open a new Center for Experiential Learning and Leadership. The center will house the Law School’s nine clinics and Legal Practice Program. The school also recently announced significant outside funding for two of its law clinics. These include a grant of more than $250,000 over two years from the Department of Justice for the Domestic Violence Clinic, and $245,000 in funding from the Commonwealth of Virginia in FY2015/16 for the Puller Veterans Benefits Clinic through the state budget passed by the Virginia General Assembly in February. This legislation is now before Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe for his approval.

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. In this year’s survey William & Mary’s School of Education ranked 46th, tied with George Mason, Lehigh and Texas A&M-College Station.

“Our consistent rankings in the top 50 of all schools of education in the United States reflects the incredible work performed by our outstanding faculty, students, and staff. I’m amazed at all that we accomplish, particularly given the fact that we are one of the smallest schools of education within the top 50 rankings. Our faculty continue to strike an excellent balance between expanding the reach of the school while also maintaining strong faculty-student connections. The result is that our students learn directly from some of the leading scholars in the field of education,” said Spencer Niles, dean of the School of Education.

The debut of a new facility in 2010 helped catapult the School of Education from 43rd to a tie for 32nd in the 2014 survey. The program ranked 39th in the 2015 survey, tied with Florida State and Rutgers.

Highlights of the graduate school rankings are scheduled for publication in the 2015 issue of The Best Graduate Schools guidebook which will be available for purchase in April. A complete list of the rankings is also available online.