Kansas University has gained ground in its goal of becoming a top-25 university, according to rankings released Thursday by U.S. News and World Report.
The magazine's annual "Best Graduate Schools" rankings have 25 KU programs ranked in the top 25 among public universities, up from 22 last year. Twelve programs are in the top 10, with two -- special education and city management and urban policy -- ranked No. 1.
"I was very pleased," Chancellor Robert Hemenway said. "There was a lot of recognition that KU has absolutely first-rate programs."
Six top-25 KU programs improved in their rankings this year. Three programs are new to the top 25 -- clinical child psychology (19th), rural medicine (22nd) and aerospace engineering (24th).
But five programs ranked in the top 25 slipped. The biggest drops came in public finance and budgeting, which dropped from ninth to 17th, and clinical psychology, which dropped from 14th to 23rd.
"There's always fluctuations," Hemenway said. "The key is not to be so concerned if you're up or down a couple slots. The important thing is we have a number of programs in the top group."
Overall KU school programs that were ranked held relatively steady. The School of Education dropped one spot from 35th to 36th, and the School of Law dropped one spot from 32nd to 33rd.
Many in academia consider the U.S. News and World Report rankings to be the best benchmark for tracking university quality. The magazine -- which hits newsstands Monday -- uses a combination of surveys of program reputations from those in academia with such statistics as average salary of graduates and test scores.
While KU's graduate rankings improved, its overall university ranking -- published each fall by the magazine -- has slipped in the past five years. KU was ranked 30th in 1998 and 44th in 2003.
Hemenway said he thought having additional programs in the top 25 would help KU attract higher-quality graduate students.
"It does affect recruiting," he said. "Graduate students in particular are pretty savvy consumers. They want to come to a nationally ranked program so when they graduate they'll be more in demand."
|Twelve Kansas University graduate programs were in the top 10 in rankings released Thursday by U.S. News and World Report magazine:City management and urban policy, firstSpecial education, firstCommunity health, secondPaleontology, thirdPublic management, fourthOccupational therapy, fourthPublic affairs, fifthAudiology, fifthSpeech-language-pathology, sixthSedimentology and stratigraphy, seventhSocial work, eighthPhysical therapy, 10th|