New grad school ranking list uses data from students who actually attended those schools

schools-grad-rankingOne of the most popular trends in higher education, it seems, is to rank college, universities, and graduate schools in ways that are more meaningful not just to prospective students and parents, but to the institutions themselves.

Recently, rankings have included everything from comparing institutions based on their social media standings, on their graduation rate, and on their ability to provide career success.

Now, a new ranking system from Graduate Programs has released the second ever Graduate School Rankings. It’s a comprehensive list of the best graduate programs in the country, based solely on ratings and reviews posted on

Data analysis based on actual experience, this extensive list of programs was compiled using information submitted by current and recent grad students between Sept. 1, 2012 and April 15, 2014. The rankings encompass reviews posted by more than 60,000 students participating in over 1,500 graduate programs. Ratings are based on a 10 star system (with 1 being the worst and 10 being the best). assigns 15 ranking categories to each graduate program at each graduate school. Rankings cover a variety of student topics, such as academic competitiveness, career support, financial aid, and quality of network—characteristics that experts say are crucial for choosing graduate programs that could potentially lead to student debt if the ROI isn’t there.

For a given graduate program, rankings are determined by calculating the average score for each program based on the 15 ranking categories. These scores are then compared across all ranked schools for that program and are translated into a final ranking for that graduate program, i.e., business and management. A given graduate program is not ranked until a minimum threshold of graduate student surveys is completed for that graduate program.

(Next page: The best and worst grad schools)

The top graduate programs in the country are:

Business and Management: Rice University (9.2 stars)

Accounting: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (9.9 stars)

Business Administration: Rice University (9.1 stars)

Executive MBA: University of Virginia (9.7 stars)

Full-time MBA: Harvard University (9.5 stars)

Marketing: University of California-Los Angeles (9.3 stars)

Part-time MBA: The University of Iowa (9.1 stars)

Communications: California State University, Fullerton (9.2 stars)

Education: University of California-Berkeley (9.4 stars)

Adult Education: University of Missouri-Columbia (9.2 stars)

Curriculum and Instruction: Purdue University-West Lafayette (9.9 stars)

Counselor Education: Old Dominion University (9.4 stars)

Education Administration: Providence College (9.2 stars)

Elementary Education: University of Arkansas (9.4 stars)

Educational Leadership: California State University, Los Angeles (9.8 stars)

Higher Education: Boston University (9.7 stars)

Secondary Education: American University (9.7 stars)

Special Education: University of Pittsburgh-Main Campus (9.8 stars)

Teacher Certification: University of Virginia (9.7 stars)

Engineering: Rice University (9.1 stars)

Biomedical Engineering: Columbia University (9.5 stars)

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering: Penn State University Park (9.6 stars)

Civil Engineering: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (9.1 stars)

Computer Science: Carnegie Mellon University (9.6 stars)

Electrical Engineering: Purdue University-West Lafayette (9.6 stars)

Engineering Management: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (9.3 stars)

Mechanical Engineering: Case Western Reserve University (9.6 stars)

Fine Arts and Architecture:

Architecture: University of Utah (8.8 stars)

Art: American University (9.1 stars)


Healthcare Administration: Oregon Health and Science University (9.7 stars)

Health Policy and Management: Tulane University (9.7 stars)

Kinesiology: University of Tennessee-Chattanooga (9.3 stars)

Mental Health Counseling: Syracuse University (9.4 stars)

Nutritional Science: Northeastern University (9.6 stars)

Occupational Therapy: University of Indianapolis (9.4 stars)

Physical Therapy: University of Wisconsin-Madison (9.0 stars)

Physician Assistant: Quinnipiac University (9.4 stars)

Public Health:  Eastern Virginia Medical School (8.9 stars)


Criminal Justice: University of Maryland, University College (9.7 stars)

JD: University of Colorado, Boulder (8.7 stars)

Liberal Arts and Humanities:

English: University of Colorado, Boulder (9.9 stars)

Theology/Religious Studies: University of Washington Seattle (9.5 stars)

Medicine and Dental

Anatomy: Pacific University Oregon (9.4 stars)

Dental Medicine: University of Florida (9.2 stars)

MD: Emory University (9.1 stars)

Nursing: University of Pittsburgh-Main Campus (9.2 stars)

Pharmacy: Butler University (9.3 stars)

Veterinary: Virginia Tech (9.7 stars)

Public Affairs:

Public Administration: The University of Texas at Arlington (9.0 stars)

Public Policy: Rutgers University-New Brunswick (9.5)


Biochemistry, microbiology, molecular biology: University of California-Irvine (9.5 stars)

Biology: Indiana University, Bloomington (9.5 stars)

Chemistry: Rice University (9.2 stars)

Information Science: Northwestern University (9.9 stars)

Mathematics: Stanford University (9.6 stars)

Neuroscience: The Ohio State University (9.2 stars)

Physics: University of California-Santa Barbara (9.1 stars)

Speech-Language Pathology: Long Island University Brooklyn Campus (9.5 stars)

Social Sciences:

Anthropology: Cornell University (9.8 stars)

Economics: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (9.8 stars)

History: Harvard University (9.8 stars)

Political Science: Arizona State University (8.9 stars)

Psychology: Harvard University (9.1 stars)

Social Work: University of Southern California (8 stars)

Sociology: Duke University (9.3 stars)

For a complete list, visit the graduate school rankings page.

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