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William & Mary’s grad and professional programs counted among nation’s best

  • A brick sign that says William & Mary sits in a bed of flowers
    Counted among the best:  The report is the latest in several that have come out in recent months highlighting various aspects of William & Mary, from its graduate programs to its support for veterans.  Photo by Emily Phillips
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University’s MBA programs, Law School make significant strides in U.S. News rankings

William & Mary’s master’s degree programs in business administration jumped up more than 20 places in this year’s U.S. News rankings of the nation’s best graduate schools.

In the report released today, W&M’s full-time MBA program is tied at 47th, and the part-time program is tied at 48th. Last year, the programs ranked 71st and tied for 73rd, respectively.

The university’s graduate law programs also fared well in the new report with top rankings in multiple categories including the overall ranking, in which W&M tied for 30th, up five spots from last year. W&M Law School also ranked in the top 30 for Criminal Law (18th), Constitutional Law (19th), Contracts-Commercial Law (23rd), and Business-Corporate Law (27th).

According to U.S. News, the rankings were based on expert opinion and statistical indicators of the quality of each school’s faculty, research and students.

The report is the latest in several that have come out in recent months highlighting various aspects of William & Mary, from its graduate programs to its support for veterans. Even W&M’s hometown of Williamsburg did well in a recent ranking from Southern Living, which placed it at number two on the magazine’s list of the South’s Best Small Towns.

“It's a bustling community with a big roster of things to do and places to explore,” the magazine says.

Graduate schools

In addition to appearing in U.S. News, W&M’s Raymond A. Mason School of Business was recently lauded in CEO Magazine for having a “Tier One” MBA program as part of the magazine’s 2022 Global MBA Rankings. The publication also ranked W&M’s Executive MBA program 72nd and its online MBA program at 56th.

Financial Times named W&M to its Global Top 100 MBA program list, and at the end of 2021, the program was included in five top 10 lists in Princeton Review’s Best Business Schools for 2022 guide, including Best MBA Program for Human Resources, Best Family-Friendly MBA Program, Best MBA Program for Diverse Students, Most Competitive MBA Students and Best MBA Professors.

Poets&Quants also recently ranked W&M’s online MBA program 11th in the nation and near the top of its lists for best career outcomes (fourth) and academic experience (second).

In U.S. News’ ranking of online MBA programs, W&M ranked 37th overall and 10th for student engagement. In the same report, W&M was ranked 18th for its online graduate business program and third for student engagement.

“While the rankings will always have their mercurial elements, we are pleased when the rankings that actually survey students, alumni and recruiters confirm what we already know, which is that the caliber, efforts and outcomes of our talented faculty, program teams, students and alumni stand side-by-side with those of the better and best business programs around the nation and the world,” said Lawrence B. Pulley '74, dean of the Raymond A. Mason School of Business.

W&M Law School has also appeared on several rankings in recent months. The school was ranked 21st by median score for most-cited law faculty in the country according to the Sisk rankings of law schools by scholarly impact, the most prominent ranking of scholarly impact in the legal academy. The law school’s faculty were highlighted again in Princeton Review’s most recent ranking of law schools, in which W&M tied at 12th for teaching. Additionally, in the most recent ranking of Moot Court teams, the law school ranked fifth.

“This progress happens because of deliberate, considered steps that we have taken, and keep taking, in service of our community’s commitment to excellence,” said A. Benjamin Spencer, Dean and Trustee Professor of Law. “To help sustain this momentum, we’re continuing to emphasize the hiring and retention of top-tier faculty, providing additional resources for bar preparation, and strengthening the support our students receive from our Office of Career Services and other student-facing departments.”

The W&M School of Education’s Executive Ed.D. program was recently named 20th in the country in the 2022 Best Online Doctor of Education Programs rankings from EdDPrograms.org. The Executive Ed.D. program trains bold educational leaders to meet today’s pressing educational challenges and offers concentrations in gifted education, higher education administration, international school leadership and K-12 administration.

The School of Education also saw a significant leap in its ranking for its online master’s in education programs. In the latest ranking of those programs from U.S. News, W&M climbed 63 places from last year, its first year being included in the rankings, to tie at 130th. The increase is likely due to the launch of its Online Master of Education in Counseling program, which graduated its first cohort and saw applications more than double last year. In a ranking from Counseling Degree Guide, the online master’s in clinical mental health counseling was named number one in the country. In today’s U.S. News report on graduate schools, the School of Education tied at 76th overall.

“This is an exciting time in the School of Education,” said Robert C. Knoeppel, dean of the W&M School of Education. “We’re seeing tremendous growth in enrollment as we launch new online offerings and redesign on-campus programs. These rankings reflect our commitment to working collaboratively with partners to develop programs and research that address the perplexing problems of society and advance our shared goals of equity and opportunity.”

While the U.S. News rankings of graduate schools include six disciplines annually, they will also occasionally rank other programs. This year, W&M appeared on several of those lists, including: biology (158th tied), computer science (69th tied), geology (89th tied), physics (83rd tied) and public affairs (88th tied).

Other rankings

William & Mary and its graduate schools also received acknowledgement in recent rankings for their support of military and veteran students.

Both the university overall and W&M Law School earned gold-medal ratings in the 2022-2023 list of Military Friendly Schools, published by G.I. Jobs magazine. The gold status is the highest designation and is presented based on leading practices, outcomes and effective programs, according to the magazine.

W&M’s work with veterans was also recognized in U.S. News’ most recent ranking of Best Online Programs for Veterans. The university tied at 18th on the list of Best Online Master's in Business Programs for Veterans (excluding MBA), 53rd for Best Online MBA Programs for Veterans and 34th for Best Online Master's in Education Programs for Veterans.

“William & Mary has established a comprehensive, individualized and holistic military and veteran program under the direction of the special assistant for military and veteran affairs,” said Bob Merkl, special assistant to the president for military and veterans affairs. “This program not only reinforces the college’s reputation for veteran friendliness but moves several steps beyond to empower veteran students and their families as they transition to roles of continued service and leadership in their communities.”

In addition to being a good place for veterans, W&M has been recognized as a good place for employees. In March, the university was ranked among the most promising places to work in student affairs by Diverse: Issues in Education. According to the magazine, the recognition “celebrates student affairs workplaces that are vibrant, diverse, supportive and committed to staff work-life balance, professional development and inclusive excellence.”

W&M was also included in Virginia Living’s Top Schools & Universities 2022 list, and the McLeod Tyler Wellness Center was featured in an article on student well-being in its April 2022 issue, which included a “state of education” section.