See further below for an explanation of the proportion of each graduate discipline that U.S. News numerically ranks and the meaning of the terms "Rank Not Published" and "Unranked."
If an accrediting body exists for a discipline or professional preparation program, we use the list of accredited programs at the time our survey is constructed to define the population of schools or programs to be considered in our ranking.
In a very few instances, schools or programs may be excluded, usually because of restricted access, because a program is too young to permit gathering of all the data needed to compute indicators based on multiyear data, or because a program is not fully accredited by the appropriate accrediting agency.
Our list of law schools contains virtually all schools in the United States accredited by the American Bar Association. We consult the American Medical Association and the American Osteopathic Association for lists of accredited medical schools, and AACSB International, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, for accredited master's programs in business located in the United States.
For the fields of engineering and education, we use the "Survey of Earned Doctorates" and other resources to develop our lists of schools. The list of engineering schools is similar but not necessarily identical to the list of engineering schools having programs accredited by ABET. In engineering, we survey schools that offer a doctoral degree in engineering; in education, we survey schools that offer a doctoral degree in education.
The following list contains the total number of schools or programs that we surveyed in each discipline:
• Biological Sciences—256
• Clinical Psychology—215
• Computer Science—155
• Earth Sciences—112
• Fine Arts—230
• Healthcare Management—75
• Library Science—51
• Medical Schools—126
• Nurse Anesthesia—113
• Occupational Therapy—156
• Osteopathic Medicine Schools—23
• Physical Therapy—201
• Physician Assistant—130
• Political Science—119
• Public Affairs—266
• Public Health—44
• Rehabilitation Counseling—98
• Social Work—206
• Speech-Language Pathology—250
• Veterinary Medicine—28
The following are the programs, in addition to all the rankings in business, education, engineering, law, and medicine and their specialties, that are newly ranked in the Best Graduate Schools 2014 edition: This year, new peer surveys were conducted and new rankings published for social science and humanities Ph.D. programs in economics, English, history, political science, psychology, and sociology. In addition, new peer surveys were conducted and new rankings published for master's degree programs in library and information studies.
The rankings in all the other programs have been republished from previous years and have been labeled for the year the ranking was conducted. This year's new rankings are all labeled online as "ranked in 2013." Other rankings have different years representing the calendar year that the ranking was first published.
For the first time, the new Ph.D. rankings were based on the results of the two latest surveys, in 2008 and 2012.
Also for the first time, we changed the way we computed the admissions selectivity component of the full-time and part-time MBA rankings and have introduced the GRE quantitative and verbal scores of students entering in fall 2012 as a ranking factor, while retaining GMAT scores. This allowed us to take into account the admissions test scores of the entire entering class.
In education and engineering, we incorporated both the new GRE scores (on a 130-170 scale) and the old GRE scores as ranking variables. In education and engineering, only the new GRE scores are displayed in the ranking tables. These GRE data are only available via a U.S. News Graduate School Compass subscription.