'America's best'

April 27, 2007

Baylor University graduate programs in law, business, biological sciences and health disciplines were among those nationally ranked in the 2008 edition of “America’s Best Graduate Schools,” which was released in March by U.S.News & World Report.

Baylor Law School

Baylor Law School ranked 53rd in the magazine’s “Top 100 Schools” listing for 2008, along with Case Western Reserve University, Florida State University and the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Last year, Baylor Law was ranked 51st in the U.S. News rankings.

In the law specialties rankings, Baylor’s trial advocacy program was rated 11th best in the country by U.S. News, tied with Samford University and the University of Texas-Austin.

Only three other Texas law schools joined Baylor in the Top 100 list – UT-Austin in 18th place, Southern Methodist University at 46th, and the University of Houston, which was tied with five other schools for 60th place. One other Texas law school is ranked in the publication’s third tier, and four others are ranked in the fourth tier. Rankings are only given to schools included in the Top 100 Schools category. The third and fourth tiers are listed alphabetically.

Baylor is one of seven Big 12 schools included in the Top 100 Law Schools listing. The others are the University of Texas, the University of Colorado-Boulder (tied for 36th place with seven other schools), the University of Missouri-Columbia and the University of Kansas (tied for 66th place with two other schools), the University of Oklahoma (tied for 70th place with six other schools) and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (tied for 77th place with four other schools).

The rankings of 184 accredited law schools are based on a weighted average of 12 measures, including quality assessments by deans, faculty, lawyers and judges; selectivity, including median LSAT scores, median undergrad GPA and acceptance rate; placement success; and faculty resources.

Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business

Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business climbed 4 spots to No. 73 in the magazine’s “Top Business Schools” list. There are 406 master’s programs in business accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

The magazine’s evaluations are based on 12 “quality measures,” including quality assessments by business school deans, directors of accredited master’s programs in business, corporate recruiters and company contacts who hire from previously ranked programs, as well as placement success (starting salaries and employment rates) and student selectivity (GMAT scores, GPA and acceptance rate).

Baylor’s business school is among four other Texas universities – UT-Austin, Texas A&M, Rice and the University of Texas at Dallas – that are ranked in the Top Business Schools category. In addition to Baylor, UT-Austin and A&M, other Big 12 business schools ranked by U.S. News include the University of Colorado, University of Missouri and University of Oklahoma.

The sciences

Baylor also is featured in a newly ranked list, “Top Biological Sciences Programs.” Baylor’s ranking in the biological sciences (PhD) category jumped 13 spaces from last year to a 77th place tie with 11 other schools. The rankings of 165 doctoral programs in the sciences are based on the results of surveys sent to academics in the biological sciences and chemistry in fall 2006.

Other Baylor programs

Three Baylor graduate programs in the health disciplines were nationally ranked by U.S. News.

The joint Baylor-U.S. Army master’s degree program in health administration was ranked the 20th best in the country, along with Duke University, Trinity University, University of Pittsburgh and Yale University. The Baylor-U.S. Army doctoral degree program in physical therapy was ranked fifth nationally in a 2004 survey, tied with MGH Institute of Health Professions in Massachusetts, and the University of Iowa.

The Baylor-U.S. Army programs are operated at the Academy of Health Sciences at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio.

U.S. News ranked the master’s degree program in nursing at Baylor’s Louise Herrington School of Nursing in Dallas as 72nd best in the country, tied with 22 other programs.

Many health discipline categories were not newly surveyed by U.S. News this year and retain their rankings from previous years. These “top” current lists include the following Baylor programs:

  • the speech-language pathology program, ranked 62nd in the nation in 2004 along with nine other universities
  • Baylor’s doctoral program in clinical psychology (PsyD), rated 77th in 2004 along with 14 other universities
  • Baylor’s master’s degree program in social work, ranked 87th in 2004 along with 14 other universities.

U.S. News first published a reputation-only graduate school ranking in 1987. The annual “America’s Best Graduate Schools” report began in 1990.

The latest graduate school rankings can be found at www.usnews.com. Highlights of graduate school rankings can be found in the April 9 edition of U.S. News & World Report magazine and America’s Best Graduate Schools guidebook.

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