The University Record, April 2, 2001

"U.S. News and World Report" announces annual rankings

Editor’s Note: U.S. News and World Report does not rank every discipline every year.

By Britt Halvorson

For the fourth consecutive time, the School of Social Work is No. 1 in its discipline in U.S. News and World Report’s 2001 ranking of graduate programs. Numerous University graduate and professional programs, including engineering, political science, psychology, nursing and sociology, are ranked among the top four in the nation, according to U.S. News. The rankings were announced March 30.

“I believe that students and alumni, faculty and staff, and citizens of Michigan rightfully expect the University of Michigan to be on a list of the nation’s finest universities, and we are delighted to be so recognized,” said Provost Nancy Cantor. “We are gratified that these rankings show the broad-based strengths of our professional schools and graduate programs, as so many different programs are in the top 10 in their fields.

“As validating in many ways as these rankings may be, we don’t believe it is possible for U.S. News to capture all the factors that contribute to a world-class education,” the provost noted. “For instance, these measures don’t adequately capture the broad range of the interdisciplinary opportunities our students enjoy, or the opportunities our graduate and professional students have for interaction with our outstanding liberal arts faculty, or the array of offerings or variety of interconnections available at research universities in general.

“I urge prospective students not to rely solely on rankings, but to consider what they want in a university experience and to look for schools that match those expectations,” Cantor said.

The magazine’s ranking methodology varies among disciplines but often includes examining reputational ratings, student selectivity (enrolled students’ GRE scores, for example), faculty resources (ratio of full-time doctoral candidates to full-time faculty), research activity (total research expenditure and research dollar-per-faculty), placement success (employment rate at graduation), overall rank (assessment based on performance in the indicators mentioned above) and specialty rankings.

The U-M School of Social Work leads U.S. News’ 2001 social work rankings, followed by Washington University, St. Louis; Columbia University; University of California, Berkeley; and the University of Washington in the top five.

As in 2000, the College of Engineering ranked fourth overall in the nation, behind the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); Stanford University; and the University of California, Berkeley. Nine U-M engineering specialties made the top 10 when ranked by engineering school deans at the request of U.S. News: aerospace/aeronautical/astronautical engineering (4), bioengineering/biomedical (9), civil (8), computer (8), electrical/electronic/communications (5), environmental/environmental health (2), industrial/manufacturing (2), materials (6) and mechanical (5).

Other graduate and professional schools ranking in the top 10 were the School of Nursing (4), School of Public Health (4), Law School (7), School of Education (7), Ford School of Public Policy (7) and School of Business Administration (10).

The Medical School tied for ninth place with Stanford University among the top medical schools in research. Harvard University; Johns Hopkins University; Duke University; University of Pennsylvania; Washington University, St. Louis; Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons; University of California, San Francisco; and Yale University rounded out the top 10 medical schools in research.

When ranked by primary care provision, the Medical School tied for 26th place with the State University of New York, Stony Brook. Last year, the Medical School was ranked 12th overall, tied with Baylor College of Medicine, and 28th in primary care with Tufts University and the University of Virginia.

Top-ranking medical specialties include family medicine (8), geriatrics (7) and internal medicine (7).

Business rankings are led by Stanford; Harvard; Northwestern University; Pennsylvania; MIT; Columbia; University of California, Berkeley; Duke; and the University of Chicago, with the U-M School of Business Administration in 10th place. Ten U-M business specialties ranked among the top 10 programs in the nation: accounting (5), general management (4), management information systems (10), international business (8), entrepreneurship (10), executive M.B.A (8), marketing (5), production/operations management (5), quantitative analysis (6) and nonprofit organizations (5).

The U-M School of Education ranked seventh after Harvard; Stanford; Teachers College, Columbia University; University of California, Los Angeles; Vanderbilt University; and University of California, Berkeley. The School of Education, which also ranked seventh in 2000, had six specialties that ranked in the top 10. These are administration/supervision (8), education policy (5), educational psychology (4), elementary education (8), higher education administration (1) and curriculum/instruction (6).

The Law School tied for seventh place with the University of Virginia. Topping the list of law schools were Yale, Stanford, Harvard, Columbia, New York University and the University of Chicago. Two U-M law specialties ranked among the top 10: clinical training (9) and international law (7).

U.S. News also published a law school diversity index, indicating the racial and ethnic diversity of schools’ 2000–01 student population. The U-M Law School was listed among the most diverse law schools with a 0.39 diversity index and 9 percent Asian American students enrolled. St. Thomas University (Fla.) had the highest diversity index (0.62) with 32 percent Hispanic students. U.S. News was unable to prepare a diversity index for other graduate and professional programs, as diversity data was not consistently available for those programs.

Leading the top 10 in public policy are Harvard; Syracuse University; Indiana University, Bloomington; Princeton University; University of California, Berkeley; and University of Georgia. The Ford School of Public Policy tied for seventh place with Carnegie Mellon University, University of Southern California and University of Texas, Austin. The Ford School had five specialties ranked in U.S. News’ top 10: public policy analysis (3), health policy and management (3), environmental policy and management (6), information and technology management (9), and social policy (3).

The School of Nursing, in fourth place behind University of Washington, University of California, San Francisco, and Pennsylvania, ranked sixth in the nurse practitioner-family specialty, as it did in 2000. Other highly ranked specialties include nurse practitioner-adult (4), -pediatric (7) and -geron-tological/geriatric (6); clinical nurse specialist-adult/medical-surgical (3), -community/public health (3) and -psychiatric/mental health (9); and nursing service administration (6).

In other graduate programs, the health services administration master’s degree program ranked No. 1 in the country, with the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in second place and Northwestern University third.

The economics program tied for 11th place with the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. In 2000, the program ranked 12th. Top-ranking specialties include international economics (7) and public finance (7). The University’s English graduate program rose to 11th place from its 14th-place ranking in 2000. The program tied for 11th place with the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of Virginia. Among English specialties offered at the U-M, African American literature ranked ninth, and gender and literature studies ranked fifth.

The history graduate program tied for fifth place with Columbia University and the University of Chicago. The program rose from sixth place in 2000. Six specialties ranked in the top 10: modern U.S. history (10), European history (5), women’s history (2), African American history (1), cultural history (8) and Asian history (9).

As in 2000, political science tied for second overall with Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley. U-M political science specialties made the top 10 in all those listed by U.S. News. These are American politics (1), international politics (5), comparative politics (10) and political theory (9).

The psychology program ranked second, up from third place in 2000. Three specialties were among the top 10 listed: cognitive psychology (3), experimental psychology (2) and developmental psychology (2).

The sociology program also rose one place in the rankings. The program tied for third place this year with the University of Chicago. Four specialties were among the top 10: social stratification (3), historical sociology (1), social psychology (3) and economic sociology (10).

U.S. News has ranked graduate schools annually since 1990.

For more information, visit the Web at