ISU graduate programs rank among nation’s best

Carmen Leng

Six ISU graduate programs are ranked among the nation’s best by U.S. News & World Report.

Each year, U.S. News ranks professional-school programs in business, education, engineering, law and medicine. The rankings are based on opinions about program excellence of the school’s faculty, research and students.

The statistics are collected from peer assessment data, deans, program directors and senior faculty to judge the academic quality of programs in their field on a scale of one, the lowest, to five, outstanding.

The six graduate programs to make the top 20 were no surprise to David Holger, associate provost for academic programs and dean of the graduate college.

“It certainly is meaningful if colleges across the country say this program is one of the better ranked programs,” Holger said.

Mark Imerman, director of recruitment services, believes that by having higher ranked graduate programs we attract better graduate students and the graduate programs don’t go unknown.

“Having highly ranked graduate programs isn’t something we should just yawn at and say well it’s great research, it’s what makes better undergraduate programs possible,” Imerman said.

Although the ranking of the six graduate programs is rewarding, Imerman and Holer agreed that Iowa State has a handful of great graduate programs across the board that may have not made the top 20 graduate programs.

In addition to the five professional disciplines ranked annually, U.S. News also periodically ranks programs in the sciences, social sciences and humanities, the health arena and other areas based strictly on the ratings of academic experts.

Rankings of other health fields — the doctoral programs in the humanities and social sciences and the sciences and master’s programs in public affairs and public policy, fine arts and library and information studies — are based on previous surveys and are reissued, according to U.S. News.