Graduate College programs listed on national ranking system

Tara Larson

Iowa State’s graduate college programs were recently listed on a national ranking as some of the best in the country.

An annual list compiled by U.S. News and World Report throughout fall 2015 and early 2016 features some of Iowa State’s graduate programs. These rankings are based off of surveys of over 1,900 programs as well as reputation surveys.

Biological/Agricultural Engineering was ranked third overall in the nation on last year’s list, but has climbed to second this year. Other engineering programs the university offers placed higher on the list as well.

Aerospace/Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering tied for 23rd overall and 16th among public schools. Industrial/Manufacturing Systems Engineering tied for 26th overall and 17th on the public school list.

Other programs outside of engineering placed on the list as well, including Business, which was tied for 71st overall and 39th for public universities. Education tied for 83rd overall and 60th for public schools.

“I feel honored to have been a part of such an established graduate program at a nationally ranked R1 institution,” said Sarah Huffman, postdoctoral research associate in the graduate college. “The university’s high standards for academic and research achievement pushed me to grow as a professional and scholar in my discipline.”

David Holger, associate dean of the Graduate College, said he is not very surprised by the rankings this year.

“The [programs] have changed a little bit but not really beyond the bound of expected error,” Holger said.

Although some of the programs have adjusted a few places from last year, Holger said this is nothing too substantial.

“Sometimes a shift of three to five places is within the error-bound of accuracy,” Holger said. “However, a lot of programs [from other schools] are trying to move up, so if we hold our own that’s a good thing.”

The graduate college’s rankings may shift a bit year to year, but Holger said they are focusing on long-term impacts.

“We’ve done some things that we think in the long run will have a positive impact on graduate students,” Holger said. “I would expect that to change the ratings. One thing we’re trying to do is to be more systematic in the recruitment process about targeting the better applicants we have and encouraging them to [apply] and accept.”

The graduate college plans on maintaining its rankings in future years.

“We’re aimed at improving the quality of life of our graduate students,” Holger said.