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Utah Graduate School Programs Make Big Gains in U.S. News Rankings

University of Utah John R. Park Building

March 12, 2013—The David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah made the biggest jump among the university’s graduate programs in this year’s edition of “America’s Best Grad Schools 2014,” published by U.S. News & World Report, moving up an impressive 23 spots from the year before.

The business school graduate programs ranked 61 in the nation in the new 2014 ranking, tying with four other schools. Last year, the business school was ranked number 84. While statistical ties can change a school’s ranking by several spots, a rise like this is impressive says Taylor Randall, dean of the business school. “We are proud of the improvements the school is making to establish itself as a national leader in student education, business research and job placement,” says Randall.

All of Utah’s premiere programs did well, either moving up in the new rankings or holding steady. 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

Another bright spot is the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law, which is now the highest ranked law school in the state of Utah at a rank of 41, moving up six spots from the year before. The College also ranked number 12 nationally for the specialty of environmental law.

“The rankings, albeit an imperfect measure of our innovative program, reflect the tremendous achievements of our brilliant faculty, dedicated staff, and talented, service-driven students,” says Dean Hiram Chodosh. “We are very proud of our sharp rise the past several years.”

Utah’s highly respected College of Engineering moved up three spots this year, to rank 51 nationally for its comprehensive graduate programs. “We are pleased the College of Engineering’s growth in graduates (up 97 percent since 1999), strong externally-funded research, and leadership in technology commercialization (48 College-based startups since 2006) are being recognized in the rankings,” says Dean Richard Brown. “Most importantly, College of Engineering graduates are the workforce fueling the expansion of Utah’s high tech economy.”

In the rankings of specialty disciplines for engineering, the University of Utah was ranked nine times: 27 for biomedical/bioengineering, up three spots; 38 for computer engineering, moving up nine spots; 39 for the separate discipline of computer science; 44 for electrical/electronic/communications, gaining seven spots; 55 for materials engineering; 66 for civil engineering; 57 for mechanical engineering, a rise of 15 spots; 60 for chemical engineering; and 71 for environmental/environmental health engineering.

University of Utah Health Sciences made a strong showing in the U.S. News rankings. The medical school is ranked 48 once again for research, while it came in at 29 for primary care. The College of Nursing moved up a full seven spots to be ranked number 29 in the nation.

“The latest US News rankings verify that in a transitioning health care environment, one that demands adaptability, University of Utah Health Sciences remains ahead of the curve in training our future physicians, nurses and other health care professionals,” says Vivian Lee, senior vice president for health sciences.

The rest of the university’s Health Science rankings held steady, as U.S. News used data from the previous year to rank them. The discipline of physician assistant education ranked number 2 in the nation; pharmacy came in at number 10; physical therapy was number 14; and the nursing-midwifery program held steady at 8.

The grad program of Department of Psychology in the College of Social and Behavioral Science is ranked 67 this year, while the clinical psychology program remains at number 47.

The university’s respected doctoral science programs went unchanged in the graduate rankings, as U.S. News once again used data from the previous year. Mathematics ranked number 30 in the nation; chemistry came in at 36; and biology at 56.

U.S. News Best Graduate Schools 2014 guidebook will be available in stores on April 9.