MORGANTOWN — Led by impressive showings from the College of Law and the School of Medicine, West Virginia University placed eight programs among the top 100 in the nation in the latest U.S. News Graduate School rankings released Tuesday.
“These accolades reflect the strength of our faculty and staff in providing a quality academic environment for our students,” President Jim Clements said. “It is extremely important that these rankings show we’re excelling in areas of importance to the people of West Virginia, especially in rural health care and in education. I congratulate the faculty, staff and students of these programs for being recognized among the best.”
The School of Medicine jumped from ninth to third for rural medicine and the College of Law rose 10 spots to 91st in the nation.
“Our improved ranking speaks strongly to our intense commitment to improve the health and wellness of West Virginians,” said School of Medicine Dean Arthur J. Ross III, M.D., MBA. “But as we train the next generation of West Virginia’s healthcare providers, we want to be No. 1. The people of West Virginia deserve nothing less.”
College of Law Dean Joyce McConnell said, “We are very excited about our U.S. News rankings and the national recognition it gives us. It points to the hard work being done by the faculty and staff to ensure a top-flight legal education for our students and it reflects the high level of support we receive from our alumni, university leadership and the law community.”
Other updated graduate school rankings for WVU released Tuesday are:
Business School: 104
Education School: 111
Engineering School: 105
Aerospace/Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering: 47
Civil Engineering: 97
Electrical/Electronic/Communications Engineering: 64
Mechanical Engineering: 104
Medical Schools/Primary Care: 66
Medical Schools/Research: 85
“These rankings clearly reflect the university’s commitment to being an exemplary land-grant institution for the 21st century,” said Provost Michele Wheatly. “The areas in which we shine indicate that we are serving not only our students in these critical fields, but also the members of our community and our state.”
“Recognition like this can be useful for students who are deciding where to go for their medical and health professional education,” said Chancellor for WVU Health Sciences Christopher C. Colenda, M.D., M.P.H. “It’s also really important to us, because it means that our efforts are valued throughout the country. We take very seriously our responsibility to transform lives and eliminate health disparities in West Virginia.”
Gene Cilento, Glen H. Hiner Dean of the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, said, “There are more than 380 engineering colleges nationally and to be listed 105, which ranks the Statler College near the top 25 percent, is very good. While we have much higher expectations for the College, we are proud to have our graduate programs in civil engineering and industrial and manufacturing systems engineering ranked in the top 100, and aerospace engineering ranked in the top 50 nationally by U.S. News and World Report. We certainly have a strong base on which to build and our growth in recent years shows the College is headed in the right direction.”
And Lynne Schrum, dean of the College of Education and Human Services, said, “The College of Education and Human Services is pleased to be ranked as an excellent graduate school, given that our exemplary undergraduate programs are not considered in this ranking. We continue to reflect on new ways to improve our programs for West Virginians and others and look forward to continuing recognition for our faculty, staff and students.”
The College of Business and Economics is “moving in the right direction, going from 124 in 2011, 121 in 2012 to 104 this year – a jump of 20 spots in just two years, and we intend to crack the top 100,” said Dean Jose “Zito” Sartarelli. “We are able to continue to gain ground by attracting a higher caliber of student that now rivals the top programs in the country.”
Earlier this year, U.S. News released its ranking of online programs, and three WVU programs were in the top 30: graduate nursing, 21; education, 26; and business, 29.
“I’m especially pleased that U.S. News and World Reports is now recognizing online programs and that our programs have been ranked among the best,” said Sue Day-Perroots, dean of extended learning. “Faculty have embraced online learning when they see how effective it can be.”
Previous year’s evaluations, which will be included in Best Graduate Schools 2014 Guidebook to be published later this year, are:
n 2012: audiology, 64; clinical psychology, 42; fine arts, 72; ceramics, 18; occupational therapy, 116; pharmacy, 26; physical therapy, 63; public affairs, 104; social work, 104; and speech-language pathology, 84.
n 2011: nursing, 99 and rehabilitation counseling, 30.
n 2010: biological sciences, 181; chemistry, 107; computer science, 110; earth sciences, 102; and physics, 122
U.S. News said it arrives at the rankings through a variety of methodologies, “but admissions selectivity and expert opinions on program quality are part of the equation for most programs. Job-placement statistics were also used to gauge the effectiveness of business schools and law schools, and salary data factored into the b-school rankings.”