The news magazine's survey gives high marks to KU graduate programs in special education, social welfare and music.
The special education program at Kansas University emerged as the best in the nation, a new survey shows.
"We're thrilled, as you can probably guess, to be ranked No. 1 -- again," Nancy Peterson, professor and chair of KU's special education department, said Tuesday.
U.S. News and World Report's eighth-annual review of graduate schools returned KU to the top of the pile, a position held in 1995 before Vanderbilt University knocked KU from that perch in 1996.
Peterson said KU's teaching and research program for people with disabilities had been rated No. 1 in national studies as far back as 1978. The stream of accolades reflects the quality of the department's faculty, she said.
"What makes me so proud of this department is that ... it has distinguished itself repeatedly," she said.
U.S. News' "1997 America's Best Graduate Schools" recognized the KU master of social work program as 21st in the nation. In this category, KU tied with five universities.
In addition, KU's master of music program was 21st.
"I'm very pleased that KU fared so well in such diverse areas as education, social work and music," said KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway.
Currently, KU has 80 master's and 55 doctoral programs.
The magazine published a 178-page guide containing rankings of graduate programs in education, business, law, medicine, physical therapy, health services, pharmacy, social work, engineering, film, drama, architecture, music, fine arts, creative writing and veterinary medicine.
Education program rankings were based on faculty resources, research activity, student selectivity and the opinions of college faculty and school superintendents.
Overall, KU's School of Education graduate programs ranked 27th. The school was rated 10th in the country for research productivity, attracting $10.9 million in 1996.
Surveys of social work and music faculty and administrators determined ratings in those fields.