Archives / Archived News - April 2001  
University Times
The faculty and staff newspaper
of the University of Pittsburgh
Volume 33 Number 15
April 5, 2001

U.S. News & World Report issues rankings

  Pitt was included among the nation's top graduate schools in several disciplines by U.S. News & World Report's annual rankings of America's best graduate schools.
The magazine measures grad programs in five major disciplines (business, education, engineering, law and medicine), using measures such as entering students' test scores and faculty/student ratios, and reputation ratings drawn from inside and outside academia.

The information was published in the magazine's April 9 edition, which came out this week.

U.S. News issues two separate medical school rankings, one emphasizing research activity and the other a school's preparation of primary care physicians.

Pitt's School of Medicine was tied for 20th (for research) among 51 listed and was rated 28th for primary care among the top 54 schools listed.

The School of Education tied for 47th (out of 51 listed) in this year's rankings, which have changed from previous years, according to the magazine.

Education school rankings "are intended to show how well schools perform as centers of research and preparers of cutting-edge leaders and policymakers," U.S. News said. "Our goal is to next add a ranking of education schools based on how well they prepare teachers. Since this year's model is focused more on doctoral programs and research expenditures than was the old model, this ranking should not be compared to previous lists."

(Pitt ranked 33rd of 50 in last year's list.) The School of Law was ranked among the second-tier schools, numbers 55-88, which are listed alphabetically. A total of 175 law schools were ranked nationwide.

The Katz Graduate School of Business tied for 50th in the top 50 list.

Within the five disciplines, U.S. News & World Report bases its rankings on data collected each fall from statistical surveys and "reputational" surveys.

"Our rankings are based on expert opinion about program quality and on statistical indicators of a school's faculty, its research and student performance," the magazine reported. "U.S. News gathered the data by surveying more than 1,000 programs and 12,000 academics and other professionals in the fall of 2000."

Deans, program directors and senior faculty are asked to judge the overall academic quality of programs in their field. Nonacademicians are asked to submit a list of up to 25 schools that they consider to be the best in their field.

Additionally, in medicine, U.S. News surveys residency program directors; in law, hiring partners at law firms and professionals in public service; in education, superintendents from large school districts are asked to identify the best schools based on their experience in hiring graduates; and in business and engineering, corporate recruiters, including recruiters who attended job fairs, are canvassed for their knowledge of business and engineering programs.

According to U.S. News & World Report, the statistical measures that account for the greatest proportion of a school's ranking fall into two categories: inputs (resources that students and schools bring to the educational experience, such as mean undergraduate grade point average of entering students and the number of faculty members engaged in research) and outputs that measure how well a program prepares students for success (such as bar exam success rates for law school graduates or the mean starting salary of new MBAs).

U.S. News also ranks schools and master's and doctoral programs in other disciplines, publishing the information on the magazine's web site (

Pitt school's that were nationally ranked by U.S. News include: nursing (tied for 12th, among 199), social work (tied for 13th, among 79), and public health (tied for 13th among 18).

In addition, programs in the arts, sciences, social sciences and the allied health fields are ranked by reputation as measured by surveys of deans and school administrators within their discipline.

U.S. News and World Report rankings of individual programs and subdisciplines at Pitt include:

* Arts and Sciences doctoral programs with national ranking are: clinical psychology (tied for 19th out of 114); economics (46th out of 53); English (tied for 30th of 81); literary criticism and theory (tied for 16th out of 20); history (tied for 45th of 89); political science (tied for 45th of 62); psychology (45th of 176), and sociology (tied for 59th among 65).

* The public affairs master's program at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, tied for 19th out of 108. Specialty areas within public affairs include: nonprofit management program (9th out of 19); public management administration (22nd out of 39), and public policy analysis (26th out of 29).

* In the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, four graduate programs were nationally ranked. They include master's/doctoral programs in physical therapy (tied for 3rd among 81); audiology (tied for 23rd out of 66) and occupational therapy (tied for 17th out of 68), and the master's program in speech/language pathology (tied for 18th out of 119).

* The pediatric nursing master's program in the School of Nursing was ranked 8th out of 10.

* In the medical school, the internal medicine program ranked tied for 29th out of 31, and the women's health program was tied for 15th among 21.

* In the business school, the management information systems program was tied for 16th out of 33.

* The health law program in the law school was ranked 12th of 13 listed.

* Two education school programs received national rankings: educational psychology tied for 16th out of 25, and educational policy ranked 21st of 24.

* The health services administration program in the Graduate School of Public Health tied for 26th out of 40.

* In the School of Information Sciences, ranked specialty areas include: library science ranked tied for 3rd out of 24; archives and preservation (4th out of 10); health librarianship (1st out of 6); information systems (3rd out of 11), and services for children and youth (4th out of 10).

--Peter Hart