Baylor Law, Other Programs Highly Ranked In U.S. News Grad School Survey

April 1, 2005

by Alan Hunt

The 2006 edition of "America's Best Graduate Schools" announced today by U.S.News & World Report ranks Baylor Law School's trial advocacy program as the sixth best in the nation, while Baylor's School of Education is one of only four Texas schools to make it into the magazine's "Top Education Programs" listing.

A number of other Baylor graduate programs currently are featured in the categories that U.S. News chose not to "newly rank" this year. They include clinical psychology, health services administration, nursing, physical therapy, social work, speech language pathology, and biological sciences.

Baylor Law School

Baylor Law School's sixth-ranked trial advocacy program is up one spot from last year and five spots up from 2003, when it was ranked 11th. In 2002, Baylor's trial advocacy program was ranked 16th nationally. This latest ranking has Baylor Law School tied for sixth place with the trial advocacy programs at New York University, Northwestern University, the University of California (Hastings), the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, the University of Notre Dame, and the University of Texas-Austin.

U.S. News states that its law speciality rankings, such as trial advocacy, are based solely on votes by law faculty nationwide who are listed in the AALS (Association of American Law Schools) Directory of Law Teachers 2003-2004 as teaching in the field. "They named up to 15 of the best in each field," the magazine points out. "Schools receiving the most votes are listed."

Overall, Baylor Law School is ranked 52nd by U.S. News in what it terms its "Top 100 Schools" listing. Baylor is tied for this ranking with Southern Methodist University (SMU), the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Last year, Baylor Law School was ranked 50th. For its 2006 rankings, the magazine evaluated 179 accredited law schools nationwide, using 12 "measures of quality."

Baylor and SMU are joined by only two other Texas law schools in the Top 100 list -- the University of Texas (UT), tied with another school for 15th place; and the University of Houston, tied with three other schools for 65th place. One other Texas law school is ranked in the publication's third tier, and four others are ranked in the fourth tier. The third and fourth tiers are listed alphabetically.

Among published statistics for the Texas law schools ranked by U.S. News, Baylor has the highest bar passage rate at 94.2 percent, which is just below the 94.8 percent bar passage rate of the number one school in the Top 100 list, Yale University. Baylor Law School also has the highest entering undergrad GPA figures (3.45-3.87, 25th-75th percentile) among the nine Texas law schools. The figures also show that Baylor Law is more selective when it comes to admissions. The school's acceptance rate, 13.6 percent, is the lowest among the Texas law schools surveyed.

Seven Big 12 schools are included in the Top 100 Law Schools listing - UT; the University of Colorado-Boulder (in 48th spot); Baylor; the University of Missouri-Columbia (tied for 69th place); the University of Oklahoma and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (tied for 77th place); and the University of Kansas (tied for 100th place).

School of Education

Included in the publication's "Top Education Programs" category is Baylor's School of Education, which is ranked at 82nd, tied with Auburn University and the University of Nevada-Las Vegas in a newly completed survey of the nation's education schools. Baylor, which last year was ranked 73rd, is one of only four Texas schools in the list. The others are the University of Texas-Austin, Texas A&M University-College Station, and the University of Houston.

Other Baylor Programs

Most 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 joint Baylor-U.S. Army program - the master of physical therapy degree at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio - which was ranked fifth nationally in a 2004 survey

* another joint Baylor-U.S. Army master's program - in health services administration - which was rated 20th in 2003

* the master's degree program at Baylor's Louise Herrington School of Nursing in Dallas, ranked 58th nationally in 2003

* the speech-language pathology program, ranked 62nd in the nation in 2004

* Baylor's doctoral program in clinical psychology (PsyD), which was rated 77th last year

* and Baylor's master's degree program in social work, which was ranked 87th nationally in 2004.

The Baylor-U.S. Army programs are operated at the Academy of Health Sciences at Fort Sam Houston for students from the armed forces.

Baylor also is featured in another previously ranked list, "Top Biological Sciences Programs," surveyed by U.S. News in 2002. Baylor is tied with seven other schools for the 87th spot in the Biological Sciences (Ph.D.) category, which ranks nearly 140 schools and universities nationwide.

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

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