Penn State Programs Rank Highly in 2015 Best Graduate Schools

UNIVERSITY PARK — Fourteen Penn State graduate school disciplines rank among the top 10 in the nation, with others also recognized among the best in the country in the latest academic rankings from U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Graduate Schools,” announced this week.

The 2015 edition updates the rankings for the largest professional graduate school disciplines — business, law, education, engineering, medicine and the sciences. It also includes categories ranked in previous years such as social sciences and humanities, nursing and health disciplines.

Of the 14 ranked in the top 10, two programs this year placed at No. 1 among their counterparts at other national universities — geology and technical/vocational education.

In addition, Penn State ranked No. 2 in environmental sciences; No. 2 in geochemistry; No. 3 in higher education administration; No. 5 (tied) in nuclear engineering; No. 6 in earth sciences; No. 6 in supply chain/logistics; No. 7 in administration and supervision; and No. 9 (tied) in education policy.

Previously ranked disciplines in the top 10 include rehabilitation counseling tied at No. 4; criminology tied at No. 5; sociology of population at No. 6; and developmental psychology tied at No 5. Ranked in a prior year, these areas were not re-ranked this year.

Two “Top Schools” made substantial gains — Penn State Dickinson School of Law, which jumped 13 points to tie at No. 51 among its peers, and Smeal College of Business, which increased 8 points to tie at No. 41. The College of Engineering ranked at No. 25, with the College of Education tied at No. 33. The College of Nursing, ranked in 2011, tied at No. 44.

Released annually, the graduate school rankings are based on expert assessments and statistical measures of a school’s faculty, research and students, involving more than 1,350 graduate programs in a variety of disciplines and more than 13,500 academics and professionals. U.S. News also periodically ranks graduate programs based on ratings of academic experts in science, social sciences and humanities, health and other areas.

For this year’s rankings, U.S. News adjusted its methodology slightly for the fields of law, medicine and education, with the other methodologies remaining the same as last year.

Extended rankings and methodologies are available from the U.S. News website. The print edition of “Best Graduate Schools 2015″ is scheduled to be published in late March.

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