Archive for Saturday, March 31, 2001

Graduate schools ranked

March 31, 2001


The best place to become a family doctor is the University of Washington, while Harvard is tops for those interested in medical research, or earning a doctorate in education. So says U.S. News & World Report in its new issue ranking graduate-degree programs.

Stanford's is first among business schools, according to the Washington-based weekly, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is peerless in engineering. Yale outdoes anyone in law.

J-W Staff ReportsTwo Kansas University graduate programs were named best in the nation in the upcoming edition of U.S. News and World Report.KU's programs in special education and city management and urban policy received the top honor.In addition, KU's graduate program in public management and administration was ranked seventh, and the KU Medical Center's occupational therapy program was eighth. The university's public affairs master's programs ranked seventh overall among public institutions.The magazine ranks a handful of disciplines each year. This year's rankings were in education, business, law, medicine and engineering.KU now has 20 programs that are ranked in the top 30 in the country.The new edition hits newsstands Monday.

Each top-ranked school led a list of about 50, based on such factors as reputation, grades, graduate admission test scores, research grants and graduates' success entering the profession.

But critics think the annual rankings have already become too important, both to prospective students and schools, since they began in 1990. Some schools are going harder after research grants, and doing more to get the students they accept to actually enroll because those are the magazine's criteria to judge them, said Arthur Levine, president of Columbia University's Teachers College.

Meanwhile, image-conscious universities also may take fewer chances on students with less-than-sterling admission test scores. "Frequently that translates to minorities," Levine said.

Debra Stewart, president of the 450-member Council of Graduate Schools, said it's good to rate graduate programs, but U.S. News' rankings create a false sense of precision.

"In a rational world," she said, "is there any difference between 1 or 2, or 7 and 9, or 18 and 19? No."

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