The University of Virginia is perhaps best known for the quality of its undergraduate student experience, but the U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings of graduate and professional programs underscores U.Va.’s qualities in those areas as well.
The School of Law (rated No. 8 overall), Darden School of Business (No. 11), Curry School of Education (No. 22), School of Medicine (No. 26) and School of Engineering and Applied Science (No. 40) are all among the best in the nation, according to fresh rankings in the “2015 U.S. News & World Report Best Graduate Schools” report, released today. (The School of Nursing also ranks No. 15 overall, but U.S. News has not updated that ranking since 2011).
“It’s gratifying to see our graduate and professional programs earn a well-deserved reputation for excellence,” said John D. Simon, U.Va.’s executive vice president and provost. “The U.S. News rankings reflect the effort put forth by both our high-quality faculty and our high-achieving students.”
U.S. News ranks business, education, engineering, law and medicine each year; rakings of other graduate specialties are rated less frequently. It bases its rankings on two kinds of data: expert opinions about program excellence and statistical indicators that measure the quality of a school’s faculty, research and students.
Several Curry School programs stood out among the subspecialty rankings. The administration and supervision program improved from 10th to seventh, special education moved from fifth to fourth and secondary education went from ninth to eighth. The elementary education program held steady at No. 7.
The Curry School’s ranking “reflects the exceptional quality of our faculty and students,” Curry Dean Robert Pianta said. “And our doctoral programs overall are among the top three public universities in terms of competitiveness for admission.”
The Darden School had one nationally ranked subspecialty: it’s management program, which rated sixth.
“At Darden, our goal is to deliver the world’s best business education experience,” said Dean Robert Bruner. “It’s gratifying to see the school rise once again in several key categories that this poll measures, including student quality and career placement, and to hold a top-10 position at No. 6 in the category of management.”
The School of Medicine also had a nationally ranked discipline: primary care, which was rated No. 29.
U.S. News also ranks other graduate programs on a rotating basis, and this was the year for the sciences, most of which had not been ranked since 2011. In the new rankings, U.Va. boasts five national-caliber science programs, including four in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences: physics (No. 44), chemistry (No. 49), biological sciences (No. 50) and mathematics (No. 52). In the Engineering School, computer science ranked No. 29.
U.Va. remains highly rated in several fields that were ranked in past years, but whose rankings were not updated this time around.
Last year. U.S. News rated several U.Va. programs in the social sciences and humanities among the nation’s best, including English (10th overall, with top-five subprograms in American literature before 1865, American literature after 1865 and British literature from the 18th to the 20th centuries); history (20th overall, with a top-five ranking in U.S. colonial history); psychology (No. 26 overall, with a top-five program in developmental psychology); economics (No. 30 overall); sociology (No. 35 overall); and political science (No. 36 overall).
In older rankings, clinical psychology was rated No. 18 overall in 2012, while two nursing fields rated highly in 2011: the clinical nurse specialist (No. 8) and nurse practitioner (No. 21) programs.