The University of Virginia’s undergraduate program consistently ranks among the best in the nation. UVA is a great place to pursue an advanced degree as well: in the 2017 edition of the U.S. News & World Report Best Graduate Schools rankings, released today, six of the University’s graduate and professional schools and several programs are ranked in the top 40 in their fields.
The School of Law, at No. 8, tops the rankings of UVA schools. The Darden School of Business ranked No. 11; the School of Nursing’s master’s and Doctor of Nursing Practice programs were both rated No. 18; the Curry School of Education tied for No. 21; the School of Medicine tied for 25th in primary care (up from 40th a year ago) and ranked 28th in research; and the School of Engineering and Applied Science tied for 39th.
U.S. News bases its major rankings upon a combination of statistical indicators and reputational surveys of academics and professionals in the various disciplines.
The magazine publishes annual rankings of professional school programs in business, education, engineering, law, nursing and medicine. It also periodically ranks programs in the sciences, social sciences, humanities, health sciences and other areas – rankings based solely on the opinions of academic experts.
This year’s periodic listings included public affairs and clinical psychology. The Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy’s Master of Public Policy program, still less than a decade old, rose to No. 41 in the nation from a tie for 46th in 2012, when the magazine most recently rated public affairs programs.
UVA’s clinical psychology program, also not rated since 2012, leapt from 18th to a tie for eighth.
Though U.S. News does not rank architecture programs, UVA’s School of Architecture’s Master of Architecture and Master of Landscape Architecture programs both ranked in the top four of public institutions for graduate degree programs, according to the 2016 Design Intelligence rankings of “America’s Best Architecture and Design Schools.”
“It is gratifying to see so many of our graduate programs ranked among the top 40 in the country and a number in or at the threshold of top 20 and top 10,” Executive Vice President and Provost Thomas C. Katsouleas said. “This is a good position on which to build as we invest aggressively in research and graduate education as a Cornerstone Plan priority.”
Dr. David S. Wilkes, dean of the School of Medicine, added: “We are pleased to see recognition for the dedication of our faculty to researching breakthrough treatments and educating the next generation of physicians. With our ‘Next Generation’ curriculum and our work to recruit more talented physician-scientists, we look forward to enhancing our research and education missions in the coming years.”
U.S. News also provided rankings for subspecialties within the schools, also ranked only be reputation.
The School of Nursing had UVA’s highest-ranked subspecialty: its Clinical Nurse Leader program was rated second in the nation again this year. Its Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program is ranked No. 7, up a spot from 2016.
“We’re thrilled that our Clinical Nurse Leader program was ranked No. 2 again this year,” Dorrie K. Fontaine, dean of the School of Nursing, said, “and proud of the strong placement of our other master’s and doctoral programs, too. As we continue to build research capacity, it’s heartening that Virginia Nursing remains a destination and will continue to occupy an important role for commonwealth nurses, and far beyond.”
Among business schools, Darden’s management program rated No. 6.
That, along with an earlier U.S. News ranking, was encouraging to Darden Dean Scott Beardsley. “In this year’s U.S. News & World Report Best Business Schools survey, Darden set the bar in the job placement success category, leading the field of top 20 schools for both the percentage of graduates employed at graduation and three months after,” he said. “We are pleased with this acknowledgment of our exceedingly well-prepared and enterprising students and of Darden’s Career Development Center and The Armstrong Center for Alumni Career Services, which provide best-in-class career management services.”
Among education schools, Curry had several top-10 programs, including special education (tied for fifth), secondary education (No. 7), administration and supervision (No. 8) and elementary education (No. 10).
“The rise in rankings of the Curry School, as well as several of our programs, is further evidence of our commitment to hire top faculty, attract exceptional graduate students and secure increasing amounts of sponsored research funding that supports the innovative work happening here,” Curry School Dean Robert Pianta said.
The Engineering School also celebrated its second consecutive year in the top 40.
“Among a very competitive list of nationally ranked engineering schools, the UVA School of Engineering continues to excel in preparing the next generation of engineering leaders,” Dean Craig Benson said. “We will remain focused on that educational mission while we accelerate our capacity for interdisciplinary research that addresses society’s most pressing challenges. This is in alignment with the University’s vision of advancing knowledge and serving the world through research, scholarship and innovation.”