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UW-Madison: U.S. News Unveils Rankings of Graduate Programs

CONTACT: Martin Cadwallader, (608) 262-1044

MADISON - Several University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate programs have received high rankings in the 2004 edition of U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Graduate Schools," which hits newsstands on Monday.

While UW-Madison continues to perform well in the rankings - even improving in many areas - officials continue to caution that the rankings should not be the sole measure students use to choose where they go to school.

"We're pleased to be viewed so highly by our peers and to fare so well in the measures U.S. News uses to come up with its rankings. They are a good testament to this institution's reputation for world-class teaching and research," says Martin Cadwallader, Graduate School dean. "However, we always encourage prospective students to look beyond rankings when deciding where to continue their education."

U.S. News ranks graduate programs in the areas of business, education, engineering, law and medicine every year. Rankings for those areas are based on opinion data from academics and professionals working in those areas, and on statistical data that varies depending on the field.

Select other programs, which this year included public affairs and a sampling of health fields, are not ranked on an annual basis. Rankings for those are based solely on the opinions of those working in academia.

The School of Business, which is tied for 36th place, saw a large jump from its previous ranking of 46th, the second-highest increase of all schools in the top 50. The school was also ranked in a number of career specializations, including marketing (16th), accounting (24th-tie), production/operations (20th-tie) and supply chain/logistics (16th-tie).

"This increase in our ranking reinforces our commitment to the career-focused MBA strategy that we are currently implementing," says Michael Knetter, School of Business dean. "The career specializations deliver programs that are enriched by dedicated faculty, staff, alumni support and external advisory boards."

The School of Education's graduate program, which ranked 6th overall, continued its historically strong showing in a number of specialties, including curriculum/instruction (1st), educational psychology (1st), administration/supervision (2nd), secondary education (2nd), elementary education (2nd), education policy (3rd), counseling/personnel services (6th-tie) and vocational/technical (7th-tie).

"We are gratified by the excellent reputation for quality that our departments and programs enjoy. However, I would urge prospective students to look at programs in detail - not just rankings - as they decide where they'd like to go to graduate school and in which degree program they'd like to enroll," says Charles Read, School of Education dean.

Likewise, the College of Engineering, tied for 14th overall, did well in a number of specialty areas: biomedical/bioengineering (26th-tie), chemical (5th), civil (18th-tie), electrical/electronic/communications (19th-tie), environmental/environmental health (11th-tie), materials (13th-tie), mechanical (18th-tie) and industrial/mechanical (10th-tie).

The Law School, which is tied for 31st overall, did receive a special notation in the U.S. News rankings for diversity because eight percent of the school's enrolled students are African American.

"We are honored to be recognized among the nation's leading law schools on matters of diversity, a subject of critical importance to us," says Kenneth B. Davis, Law School dean. Law schools were the only units in which diversity was reviewed.

The Medical School improved from 29th to 25th in the area of research and from 6th to a tie for third in the area of primary care. Philip Farrell, the school's dean, notes that very few medical schools ranked in the top 25 on both the research and primary care scales.

"Ranking on both scales reflects the dual emphasis we place on creating new knowledge and serving the health needs of the state," he says. U.S. News also ranked the school 4th for family medicine.

UW-Madison also showed up in the rankings for a number of other health disciplines, including: audiology (5th-tie), clinical psychology (2nd-tie), physical therapy (40th-tie) and social work (10th-tie).

In the area of public affairs, where UW-Madison is tied for 17th, the university continues to rank well in a number of specialty areas, including environmental policy and management (19th), public finance and budgeting (21st-tie), public management and administration (20th), public policy analysis (11th) and social policy (3rd-tie).

"We're probably the smallest public affairs program in the top 20," says Don Nichols, director of the LaFollette School of Public Affairs, "but we're one of the best in the country in terms of the quality of the senior faculty we put in front of our first-year students."

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