Medical School breaks top 25
U.Va. graduate schools hold their
own in latest U.S. News rankings
a time when fiscal and budgetary uncertainty is the norm in
public higher education, five of the University’s graduate
schools continue to be ranked among the best in the nation,
by the latest U.S. News & World Report annual rankings
of graduate schools and programs, which were released April
there were no significant changes overall, four U.Va. schools
landed in the top 25 — including, for the first time,
the School of Medicine, which moved up two notches to No.
25. The Law School, consistently ranked in the top 10, was
ninth for the second year in a row. The Darden School moved
from 11 to 12, the Curry School from 21 to 20, and the School
of Engineering from 38 to 42.
many in academic circles have criticized the much-anticipated
and highly publicized rankings, believing them to be an artificial
measure of success, and arguing that too much emphasis has
been placed on them by potential applicants. Several years
ago, the love-hate relationship with the rankings spurred some
in academia to launch an alternative ranking system, but it
failed to gain momentum.
School dean John C. Jeffries calls the emphasis on rankings
regrettable. “For certain technical reasons, the U.S.
News rankings are tough on public universities, but more fundamentally
the business of ranking is misguided. If I grade the papers
in a class or seminar and identify a group of superior performers,
I give them all A’s. That’s a reasonable way to
describe the results of the exam,” Jeffries said. “If
I had to rank them numerically, very small — indeed,
insignificant — differences in performance are translated
into very large differences in rank. In short, rankings are
good for publicity, but not for decisions.”
said, when a school shows well in the rankings, deans and faculty
are often pleased, knowing that the rankings draw attention
to an institution and can enhance its reputation in the eyes
of prospective students, donors and academic peers.
the School of Medicine, Dr. Arthur “Tim” Garson
Jr., vice president and dean, saw reason to celebrate the news
and credited the dedication of his faculty and staff. “Through
their efforts we have moved into the ranks of the top 25 research
schools for the first time.”
F. Rainey Jr., the University’s rector, views the rankings
as good news, and like Garson, said he believes that University
employees deserve high praise. “The consistently high
rankings achieved by our graduate schools are a tribute to
the hard work of all members of the U.Va. community,” he
said. “Their commitment ensures the superior quality
of the University’s educational experience.”
U.S. News does not rank every graduate school or graduate program
every year, the University also had several areas of excellence
recognized. The Law School’s international law program
was ranked No. 7, as was the Darden School’s management
program. The Curry School’s special education program
came in at No. 4, its secondary education program at No. 10.
The School of Medicine ranked No. 31 in primary care programs.
August, U.Va. was ranked the No. 1 public university (in a
tie with the University of California-Berkeley), and No. 21
among all universities in the U.S. News’ annual rankings
of America’s Best Colleges.
rankings are available online at the 2005 edition of U.S. News’ “America’s
Best Graduate Schools” Web site at www.usnews.com.