University of Georgia graduate programs remained among the best in the nation, according to U.S. News and World Report's 2009 edition of America's Best Graduate Schools. Graduate schools ranked in the top 50 included the Terry College of Business (49th), the College of Education (25th) and the School of Law (32nd).
"It is a tribute to the ongoing excellent scholarship and research of our graduate faculty and students that UGA's graduate programs remain among the best in the nation," said President Michael F. Adams. "We look forward to continued growth and success of these and all of our graduate programs."
The Terry College of Business maintained its top 50 ranking, as it has annually since the start of the decade.
"More than 500 business schools have graduate programs that are accredited by AACSB International, and the number that earn accreditation represents less than 10 percent of the world's business schools," said Robert T. Sumichrast, dean of the Terry College. "It's an incredibly competitive environment, so achieving a top 50 ranking is an elite measure of quality among MBA programs.
"But we view Terry's top 50 stature as the base from which we are launching a campaign to elevate the quality of our students and faculty, improve our programs and raise the national prominence of the Terry College," Sumichrast said, noting that some objective measures of quality such as standardized test scores and starting salaries had improved in this year's ranking over the previous year.
Among the "business specialties" ranked this year by U.S. News, the Terry College is ranked in two categories. Terry's Management Information Systems Department is ranked 15th — up two spots from last year — and the J.M. Tull School of Accounting is ranked 22nd.
UGA's College of Education is ranked 19th among the nation's public universities. It also ranked among the top three education colleges in the South. UGA rose one spot in the latest rankings to 25th from last year's rankings to tie with Arizona State University, the University of Illinois and the University of Maryland.
"Consistent excellence always has been an important goal in the College of Education," said Arthur M. Horne, interim dean. "The latest national rankings provide just one indication that we are fulfilling this goal, but we recognize that the most important measure of our success is how well we carry out our core mission — serving the people of Georgia, especially when it comes to educating our children."
Nearly all of the education college's six ranked specialty programs improved their top 10 standings. Elementary education tied for third; vocational/technical education ranked third; secondary education ranked fourth; higher education administration ranked seventh (down one point); counseling/personnel services ranked sixth; and the curriculum/instruction program ranked eighth.
The School of Law rose four spots in this year's rankings, moving to 32nd from 36th.
"We are pleased to be regarded among our nation's top law schools and remain committed to providing the finest legal education possible," School of Law Dean Rebecca H. White said. "Not only are our faculty dedicated and respected scholars and teachers, but year in and year out, our entering classes boast some of the highest academic credentials.
"Additionally, our alumni continue to bring added distinction to the school," White said. "For instance, counting the October 2007 term, School of Law graduates have served our nation's highest court as judicial clerks for three consecutive years, placing the School of Law among the top five public law schools in the nation for supplying clerks to the U.S. Supreme Court from 2000 to 2007."
The School of Public and International Affairs' Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree program shared the fourth place ranking with Princeton University. SPIA also had two highly ranked specialty programs. The public finance and budgeting specialization and the public management and administration specialization both held second place rankings in their respective top 10 categories.
"I am so pleased that our public administration and policy degree program is once again ranked among the top four programs in the nation," said Thomas P. Lauth, dean of the School of Public and International Affairs. "This ranking demonstrates the excellence of the faculty and graduate students in our department of public administration and policy. I congratulate them for their many accomplishments."
UGA's Ph.D. program in clinical psychology tied for 33rd and its master of fine arts program tied for 37th. Both programs are in UGA's Franklin College of Arts and Sciences.
"We're delighted to know that these programs in the Franklin College continue to draw attention in national rankings," said Garnett S. Stokes, dean of the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. "It is a tribute to the quality of our faculty, students and staff that we are able to gain such notice."
The rankings, along with methodology, are available online at www.usnews.com. The full rankings will be available in book form April 1. Highlights of the rankings will be published in the April 7-14 edition of U.S. News and World Report magazine, available March 31.