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Tuesday, March 13, 2012 8:33 p.m.

Graduate programs see mixed results in U.S. News rankings

The GW Law School held its No. 20 spot in the U.S. News & World Report rankings in the first year of Paul Schiff Berman's deanship. | Hatchet File Photo

The GW Law School held its No. 20 position while business and education graduate programs fell in the U.S. News & World Report’s coveted rankings released Tuesday.

The law school secured the No. 20 spot for the third year in a row, a sign of steadiness after it dropped to No. 28 in 2009.

The law school edged just behind Georgetown University as second-best for part-time students, a one-spot improvement from a year ago. Its specialty programs in international law and intellectual property law were among the nation’s top six for the third and seventh consecutive year, respectively.

New rules for law schools reporting graduates’ employment data, which were finalized in December by the American Bar Association, were not collected in time for this year’s ranking, according to U.S. News’s website.

After assuming the law school deanship, Paul Schiff Berman said last June that aiming for a high ranking became a “self-fulfilling prophecy.”

“I, like everyone in academia, think that the rankings do not measure well the relative qualities of law schools,” Berman said. “And yet I know that I need to pay attention to them if only because students pay attention to them.”

The graduate programs in the GW School of Business slipped to No. 57 in Doug Guthrie’s second year as dean. The part-time master of business administration program also fell 11 spots to No. 47 in the past year.

The drop comes in spite of the school reporting slightly better employment numbers for its graduates – one of the most heavily weighted factors in business school rankings – than the year before.

The Graduate School of Education and Human Development also fell seven spots to No. 42, the first time the school has fallen out of the top 35 since 1995. The school climbed to No. 19 in 2003.

The School of Engineering and Applied Science, which has tried to rapidly build its faculty and research credentials in preparation for the 2015 opening of the Science and Engineering Hall, jumped nine spots to No. 93.

The rankings for medical research saw the School of Medicine and Health Sciences move up five spots to No. 55.

The public affairs programs in the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration garnered a No. 12 ranking. The School of Public Health and Health Services also earned a No. 16 nod.

This post was updated on March 14, 2012 to reflect the following:
Because of reporting errors, The Hatchet incorrectly reported that the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration was ranked No. 14 this year. In fact, it was ranked No. 12. The Hatchet also misreported the ranking of the business school as No. 37. The Hatchet also incorrectly reported the name of the The Graduate School of Education and Human Development as the The Graduate School of Human Development. We regret these errors.

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