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W&M’s colonial history grad program ranked #1 by U.S. News

William & Mary’s graduate program in U.S. colonial history is the best in the country, according to rankings released today by U.S. News & World Report.

In the report on the nation’s best graduate schools, William & Mary’s colonial history program ranked first. Harvard and Yale tied for second place on the ranking of colonial history programs, followed by the University of Virginia at fourth and a tie of Johns Hopkins University and the University of Pennsylvania to round out the top five. W&M’s overall history graduate program ranked 26th this year, tied with Emory University and CUNY Graduate School and University Center.

"We’re delighted of course, but it really takes a village,” said Frederick Corney, professor and chair of W&M’s Department of History. “Our graduate program is built on talented faculty and excellent graduate students. But it also thrives within a rich intellectual community — including the Omohundro Institute, NIAHD (National Institute of American History & Democracy), and the Lemon Project to name just three — that examines the local, national and international — and often difficult — legacies of the colonial past and beyond."  

U.S. News ranks graduate history programs every four years. In 2017 and 2013, W&M’s colonial history program was third in the country. According to U.S. News, the rankings of doctoral programs in the social sciences and humanities are based on peer assessment surveys. For the rankings released today, those surveys were administered in fall 2020 and early 2021.

Specialty rankings, like the one for colonial history, are based completely on nominations by department heads and graduate studies directors at peer institutions. Schools that receive a minimum of seven nominations are then ranked in descending order based on the number of nominations received.

W&M’s other graduate programs and schools were also noted in the rankings from U.S. News. W&M’s full-time law program was tied at 35th while education was tied at 59th and business ranked at 71st. Programs under each of those schools were also highlighted in various categories, with W&M ranking well in such areas as constitutional law and criminal law, both tied at 18th on their respective lists.

The U.S. News graduate rankings are just the latest in a series of recent rankings that have highlighted various aspects of W&M. Last month, W&M was designated a Top 10 Military Friendly School for 2021-2022 by G.I. Jobs, coming in at fourth. Earlier this semester, Poets & Quants ranked W&M’s undergraduate business program 15th in the country and its online MBA program 19th.

In the fall, U.S. News ranked W&M’s undergraduate teaching fourth in the nation, tied with Princeton. In that same U.S. News report on the nation’s best colleges, W&M was ranked 39th overall among national universities and 11th among public institutions.