Each year, U.S. News ranks professional school programs in business, education, engineering, law, and medicine. The rankings are based on two types of data: expert opinions about program excellence and statistical indicators that measure the quality of a school's faculty, research, and students.
The data come from surveys of administrators at more than 1,250 programs and more than 13,000 academics and professionals, conducted during the fall of 2012 and early 2013.
As you research course offerings and weigh schools' intangible attributes, the information on our website can help you compare concrete factors such as faculty-student ratio and placement success upon graduation. It's important that you use the rankings to supplement—not substitute for—careful thought and your own inquiries.
Beyond the five disciplines ranked annually, we also periodically rank programs in science, social sciences and humanities, health, and many other areas based solely on the ratings of academic experts.
This year, new peer surveys were conducted and new rankings published for social sciences and humanities Ph.D. programs in economics, English, history, political science, psychology, and sociology. For the first time, the new Ph.D. rankings were based on the results of the two latest surveys, in 2008 and 2012.
In addition, new peer surveys were conducted and new rankings published for master's degree programs in library and information studies.
Rankings of graduate health fields, Ph.D. programs in science, and master's degree programs in public affairs and fine arts are based on earlier surveys and will be republished. The year that the ranking was first published appears at the top of each list.
To gather the peer assessment data, we asked deans, program directors, and senior faculty to judge the academic quality of programs in their field on a scale of 1 (marginal) to 5 (outstanding). In business, education, engineering, law, and medicine, we also surveyed professionals who hire new graduates.
Statistical indicators used in these disciplines fall into two categories: inputs, or measures of the qualities that students and faculty bring to the educational experience, and outputs, measures of graduates' achievements linked to their degrees. As inputs, for example, we use the appropriate admissions test scores for each discipline: the LSAT, GMAT, MCAT, or GRE.
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 rankings tables. These GRE data are only available via a U.S. News Graduate School Compass subscription.