Which Programs Are in the Next Grad School Rankings

Data collection has begun for the next Best Graduate Schools guide.

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We've just started the data collection for the upcoming 2009 edition of America's Best Graduate Schools, which will be published at the end of March 2008. The statistical survey data collection for business, law, engineering, medicine, and education programs began on Oct. 17, 2007, on our password-secured website. The deadline to complete the statistical surveys is Nov. 16, 2007.

The grad school peer assessment surveys also started going out in October. Our goal is to have the first mailings done by October 26. The peer surveys have roughly eight weeks in the field, with a second survey mailing that goes to those who haven't responded. U.S. News works with a contractor, Synovate, to administer the peer survey mailings.

What's new this time? For the 2009 edition, we're doing new peer-assessment-only rankings in occupational therapy, pharmacy, physical therapy, social work, audiology, speech-language pathology, computer science, mathematics, physics, public affairs, public policy and public administration, clinical psychology, and the fine arts.

We'll also have new rankings of the larger grad school programs. As in the past for the America's Best Graduate School rankings, U.S. News continues to survey both academics and professionals in business, education, engineering, law, and medicine who give us expert opinions about a program's quality.

For our law school rankings, we are continuing to conduct separate peer surveys in clinical training, dispute resolution, environmental law, healthcare law, intellectual property law, international law, legal writing, tax law, and trial advocacy. In engineering, we will once again do engineering specialty peer-assessment-only rankings in aerospace/aeronautical/astronautical engineering, petroleum engineering, bioengineering/biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, electrical/electronic/communications engineering, environmental/environmental health engineering, industrial/manufacturing engineering, materials engineering, mechanical engineering, and nuclear engineering. These rankings are based solely on assessments by department heads in each specialty area. The names of department heads came from the American Society for Engineering Education.