Several LSU Programs Ranked in 2013 U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Graduate Schools”
BATON ROUGE – Several LSU post-graduate programs are ranked in the 2013 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Graduate Schools,” released March 13. Programs that saw improvement in their rankings include the LSU College of Education, the LSU College of Engineering, the Flores MBA Program and the university’s ranking among fine arts university graduate programs.
Each year, U.S. News & World Report ranks professional-school programs in business, education, engineering, law and medicine. These rankings are based on two types of data: expert opinions about program quality and statistical indicators that measure the quality of a school’s faculty, research and students. This information comes from surveys of more than 1,200 programs that were conducted in fall 2011.
In the new report, the LSU College of Education saw its graduate program ranking improve 16 places, moving from 116 in the 2012 report to 100 in the 2013 report.
“We are pleased to be recognized once again as one of the country’s best graduate schools of education,” said Laura Lindsay, interim dean of the College of Education. “We play a critical role in preparing outstanding teachers, counselors, administrators and scholars to work in every facet of education statewide, nationally and internationally.”
The LSU Flores MBA Program, part of the E.J. Ourso College of Business, gained ground both overall and among public institutions in the 2013 rankings. Overall, the program improved eight spots, and among public institutions the program improved its standing by six spots. U.S. News & World Report ranked the LSU Flores MBA Program at 81 overall, and 41 among public institutions.
“The recent rankings by U.S. News & World Report validate our strategy of excellence in the E. J. Ourso College of Business,” LSU E. J. Ourso College of Business Dean Eli Jones said. “The rise in the rankings, particularly during these fiscally challenging times, is truly a testament to the quality of our LSU faculty and students. It also speaks to our company recruiters, who have partnered with us in hiring their future business leaders.”
Ed Watson, director of the LSU Flores MBA Program and associate dean for Graduate Programs, stated the students entering the program today will continue to help boost its ratings.
“These rankings have been increasingly competitive over the past few years,” Watson said. “We have improved the quality of the student body these past few years, and they have been effective at securing new careers in leading companies. I also think our globalization initiative and new MBA specializations are paying dividends. Our new Business Education Complex will further demonstrate our commitment to excellence and this will send a positive message to our peers and recruiters, which are all important factors in this ranking.”
According to U.S. News & World Report’s website, all 441 master’s programs in business accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International were surveyed in fall 2011 and early 2012 (393 responded, of which 136 provided the data needed to calculate full-time MBA rankings).
The LSU College of Engineering’s graduate program moved up two spots in the overall rankings, with each of the college’s departments also showing improvement in the ranking as well. The college moved from an overall ranking of 95 out of 184 programs in the 2012 report to a ranking of 93 out of 193 programs in the 2013 report.
Departmentally, the college saw the following improvements in graduate programs:
• chemical engineering improved from 53 out of 95 programs in the 2012 report to 51 out of 91+ programs in the 2013 report
• civil engineering improved from 65 out of 111 programs in the 2012 report to 54 out of 106 programs in the 2013 report
• mechanical engineering improved from 73 out of 123 programs in the 2012 report to 72 out of 109 programs in the 2013 report
• environmental health engineering improved from 70 out of 79 programs in the 2012 report to 65 out of 68 programs in the 2013 report
• electrical/Electronic/Communications engineering improved from 121 out of 135 programs in the 2012 report to 89 out of 112 programs in the 2013 report
“This year’s movement up in the U.S. News & World Report rankings emphasizes the desires of our students, faculty, staff and alumni to build a better, stronger LSU,” said Richard Koubek, dean of the LSU College of Engineering. “Now more than ever, I am encouraged by the leadership and dedication of all those committed to improving lives, transforming Louisiana and changing the world. This year’s advancement in the rankings again proves the strength of those committed to elevating our state’s flagship institution.”
In addition to the five main professional disciplines ranked annually, U.S. News & World Report also periodically ranks programs in the sciences, social sciences and humanities, the health arena, and many other areas based solely on the ratings of academic experts. This year, new peer assessment surveys were conducted and new rankings were published online for the health specialties of occupational therapy, pharmacy, physical therapy, social work, audiology, speech-language pathology and clinical psychology, as well as for public affairs and fine arts.
In the ranking of Best Fine Arts graduate programs, LSU saw a 14-position improvement since its last ranking. The program ranked 62 in the 2013 report, tied with nine other universities. The ranking shows improvement from a rank of 76 in the 2009 report.
“We’re highly gratified to note that the work of our faculty over the past four years to develop the profile of our graduate programs has been recognized by our peers,” said Rod Parker, director of the LSU School of Art. “With support in place from the state and the university to renovate the Studio Art Buildings over the next two years, the School of Art is on track for a Top 50 ranking in 2016.”
In this year’s rankings for public affairs programs, the first updated rankings in three years, the LSU E.J. Ourso College of Business’ Public Administration Institute, or PAI, was ranked 73 overall and 52 among public institutions.
“What this ranking shows is that LSU is in the top 30 percent of all institutions, public and private, in terms of its MPA program,” said LSU PAI Director James Richardson. “We think the ranking shows that the program has respectability nationwide and shows we’ve got room to improve and grow. We expect to do so in our next couple of years.”
Richardson also noted the disparity between LSU’s MPA program and schools that are ranked above it.
“We are competing with programs that have more faculty and have been growing their programs for many years,” Richardson said. “We are excited about where we are ranked, but we expect to be higher the next time this list comes out in three years.”
Other university graduate programs that saw updated periodic rankings in the 2013 report include the LSU School of Social Work, ranked 79, the LSU Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders’ master’s program in speech-language pathology, ranked 52; the LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center, ranked 79; and the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, ranked 22.
For more information on the 2013 U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Graduate Schools,” visit http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools.