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University of Utah Trends Up in ‘U.S. News’ Rankings

April 15, 2010 – Many graduate level programs at the University of Utah moved up in the new issue of U.S. News & World Report‘s 2011 edition of America’s Best Graduate Schools.

For the third year in a row, the S.J. Quinney College of Law improved its overall ranking, this year moving up a full three spots coming in at 42. It was also ranked 15 nationally for environmental law. “Once again, the rankings reflect the school’s achievements along almost every index that the methodology weighs, including selectivity in admissions, improvement in reputation, a lower student-faculty ratio, success in career placement, and an increase in resources per student,” said Dean Hiram Chodosh. “We are well aware of the instrumental importance of rankings as a rough (albeit highly imperfect) measure of value for applicants, peers, donors, employers, and others.”

The College of Education was ranked 91 in the nation overall this year. That school also did well in two specialty programs. Special education was number 17 and administration & supervision was 25.
The U’s David Eccles School of Business ranked 66 nationally for its graduate programs. In the specialty category of part-time (or professional) MBA the school ranked 58, tying it with 11 other schools.

The University’s solid science programs continued their upward trend with mathematics moving up three spots to number 30. Other programs also held their own or advanced: chemistry at 36, biology moved up two spots to 56, earth sciences 45, and physics 63. “The new rankings show that the departments in the College of Science are continuing on their upward march to our goal of moving all of them into the top 25 programs in the country,” says Pierre Sokolsky, dean of the College of Science. “We have great faculty and excellent new hires and people around the country are really taking notice now.”

The high math ranking is in part due to the U retaining quality faculty, according to Chair and Professor Aaron Bertram. “The administration has played a crucial role in helping the mathematics department retain its quality faculty,” said Bertram. “Especially in these difficult economic times, it is a major accomplishment for the College of Science and the University of Utah to enable us to move up in the national rankings.”

University of Utah Health Sciences continued its strong showing in the U.S. News rankings. This year, the medical school is ranked 52 in the nation for research and 25 for primary care; the latter is an increase of four spots. It also received recognition for the specialty of physician assistant at number 4 in the country, pharmacy at 16, physical therapy and family medicine ranked 19, rural medicine came in at 17, women’s health was 18, nursing was at 47, nursing-midwifery showed up at 8.

“The School of Medicine continues to perform among the nation’s best programs, offering a well-balanced education in both successful research and in areas in critical need of providers,” said Lorris Betz, senior vice president for health sciences. “In fact, the rankings show that all of our health sciences colleges continue to distinguish themselves among the best in both academics and research.”

Other University of Utah programs fared well in the rankings. The College of Engineering ranked 63, tying it with two other schools. Engineering also ranked 23 for biomedical/bioengineering, 39 for computer sciences, 52 for chemical engineering, 53 in electrical/electronic/ communications engineering, 65 for civil engineering, and 67 for mechanical engineering.

U.S. News included a number of rankings based on data that was gathered in previous years. The U’s College of Health had several programs included again this year, with audiology at 36, and occupational therapy at 65.

Programs in social sciences and humanities showed up again. The English program held steady at 63, the psychology program was 66, clinical psychology was 57, and history was 92.

U.S. News also recognized the U’s Master of Public Administration program, which the publication ranked 51 in the category of Public Affairs, and the U’s fine arts program came in at number 106.

Each year, U.S. News ranks school programs in business, education, engineering, law, and medicine. From time to time, other programs are also surveyed and ranked. U.S. News says its rankings are based on two types of data: expert opinion about program quality and statistical indicators that measure the quality of a school’s faculty, research, and students.

Highlights of the graduate school rankings are scheduled to be published in the May print issue of U.S. News & World Report magazine, available for newsstand purchase beginning on April 27, and the America’s Best Graduate Schools guidebook available on April 20.

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