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Utah Graduate Programs Pepper Top of U.S. News Rankings

University of Utah recognized by U.S. News & World Report.

March 13, 2012—Graduate programs at the University of Utah are getting some impressive exposure in this year’s edition of “America’s Best Graduate Schools” published by U.S. News & World Report. The 2013 edition will go on sale April 3.

The College of Engineering made a big jump in the rankings. The state’s pre-eminent engineering program is ranked 54 in the nation, up six spots from last year. “I am pleased that the College of Engineering is being recognized by U.S. News for its growth in research and graduates. As a result of strong support from the state, private donors, industry and the university, we have increased the number of degrees granted by 84 percent since 1999, and annual research expenditures have grown from $24 million to more than $74 million in nine years,” says Richard Brown, dean of the college. “Utah’s significant growth in technology companies over the past decade has depended upon a supply of well-educated engineering graduates. The College of Engineering produces innovators; it has grown the regional economy by spinning out 42 companies in the past four years.”

The College of Engineering’s School of Computing was ranked 39. “I’m pleased that our computer science ranking remained at 39,” says Al Davis, director, School of Computing. “I look forward to moving up in future rankings due to the significant impact of the six new faculty that we have hired in the past year, which starts to be recognized externally.”

The separate discipline of computer engineering is ranked number 47 in the nation. Other ranked programs include biomedical/bioengineering at 30; electrical/electronic/communications at 51; materials engineering at 53; civil engineering at 54; chemical engineering at 57; environmental/environmental health engineering at 65; mechanical engineering at 72.

The university’s respected science programs continue to make their mark with mathematics ranking number 30 in the nation. “Utah’s strong performance in this survey represents the university’s commitment not only to aggressively recruit outstanding new faculty members, but also to successfully retain the ones we already have,” says Peter Trapa, chair of the mathematics department. Other science programs held their rankings with chemistry at 36 and biology at 56.

The Department of Psychology in the College of Social and Behavioral Science is ranked 66 in the nation this year. The college’s clinical psychology program moved into the top 50 for the first time ever and is ranked 47.

The S.J. Quinney College of Law was once again recognized as an elite national program, ranking number 47 in the nation. Dean Hiram Chodosh says, “Given the still uncertain economic climate and wide national variability in employment data and reporting, we anticipated a high level of unreliability and volatility in the rankings’ methodology this year.  But even given the imperfections in the rankings, we are pleased to be among the top 50 for the fourth consecutive year.”

University of Utah Health Sciences again shined in the U.S. News rankings. The medical school is ranked 48th in the nation for research, up six spots. It also moved up five places to number 21 for primary care. “The latest U.S. News rankings confirm that University of Utah Health Sciences is providing our future physicians and health care professionals with a world class education,” said Vivian Lee, senior vice president for Health Sciences.

U.S. News also ranked the University of Utah School of Medicine at No. 2 in physician assistant education. Pharmacy ranked number 10, rising six spots. Physical therapy moved up five places to number 14, while the College of Nursing graduate programs remained at 36 and the nursing-midwifery program held steady at 8.

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. For more information, visit