Baylor Graduate Programs Excel In U.S. News & World Report Rankings

April 2, 2004
News Photo 1874

by Alan Hunt

America's top graduate programs include several at Baylor University, according to U.S.News & World Report in its "2005 Best Graduate School" rankings released today.

The publication ranks Baylor Law School's trial advocacy program as the seventh best in the United States, while the executive MBA program at Baylor's Hankamer School of Business is ranked by U.S. News in the nation's top 20. "Top" listings also include the joint Baylor-U.S. Army program - the master of physical therapy degree at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio - which is ranked fifth nationally.

Other Baylor graduate programs featured in the prestigious U.S.News 2005 rankings include Baylor's education, clinical psychology, speech-language pathology, social work and other health-related programs.

Baylor Law School

Baylor Law School's seventh-ranked trial advocacy program is up four spots from last year's 11th-place listing. The ranking puts Baylor Law School ahead of trial advocacy programs at such schools as Harvard and the University of Texas at Austin. In 2002, Baylor's trial advocacy program was ranked 16th. Overall, Baylor Law School is ranked 50th by U.S. News in its "Top 100 Schools" listing, or tier one category - a jump of one place for Baylor Law School over last year's listing. The magazine evaluated 177 accredited law schools nationwide, using 12 "measures of quality."

Only two other Texas law schools, the University of Texas and Southern Methodist University, join Baylor Law School in the top 50 category. One Texas law school is ranked 59th, another one is in the magazine's third-tier ranking and four others are listed in the four tier. The third and fourth tiers are listed alphabetically.

"This recognition for the overall program, and specifically for the trial advocacy program, is a testament to the dedication of our faculty and staff," said Brad Toben, law school dean. "Our team is consistently looking for ways to make the program better yet. Our approach to legal education is distinctive. We're focused upon the student and we assume a professional responsibility to assure that our graduates are really ready to serve in the profession. This sort of recognition no doubt is a reflection of this mission."

"Without question, Baylor provides the finest trial advocacy training available at any law school, anywhere," said William D. Underwood, The Leon Jaworski Professor of Practice and Procedure and director of the Practice Court program. "It is gratifying to see that its national reputation is beginning to catch up with that longstanding reality."

Hankamer School of Business

The Executive MBA program at Baylor's Hankamer School of Business is ranked by U.S. News at 20th in the nation, up one spot from last year's 21st-place ranking. Baylor offers its Executive MBA in Austin, Waco and Dallas. The Baylor EMBA program, taught only by the most distinguished, full-time faculty, is well known for an abundance of international experiences and for its participatory format.

Hankamer's entrepreneurship program also gets high marks from U.S. News at 28th in the nation. Baylor's highly regarded entrepreneurship program, one of the first such programs in the nation, is ranked in the top tier by Entrepreneurship magazine. The program has been recognized by its innovative style and rigorous curriculum.

"It is certainly gratifying to have this external confirmation of what those of us familiar with the program already know. Baylor Business graduate programs are in the 'world class' category," said Dr. Terry Maness, dean of the business school and professor of finance.

School of Education

Included in the publication's "Top Education Schools" category is Baylor's School of Education, which is ranked at 73rd in a newly completed survey of the nation's education schools. Last year was the first U.S. News ranking for the School of Education.

Academy of Health Sciences

The fifth place nationwide ranking held by the joint Baylor-U.S. Army program - the master of physical therapy degree at Fort Sam Houston - represents a jump of eight places from the 13th place it held in the previous U.S. News survey conducted in 2000. Another joint Baylor-U.S. Army master's program - in health services administration - is rated 20th. This is based on a survey conducted in 2003. The Baylor-U.S. Army programs are operated at the Academy of Health Sciences at San Antonio's Fort Sam Houston for students from the armed forces.

Louise Herrington School of Nursing

The master's degree program at Baylor's Louise Herrington School of Nursing in Dallas, is rated 58th in U.S. News, also based on rankings completed in 2003. In that survey, nursing schools nationwide were evaluated, based on the results of peer assessment surveys sent to deans, faculty and other administrators, who were asked to rate the academic quality at accredited degree programs or schools.

Other Baylor Programs

Other Baylor programs featured in the U.S. News graduate listings are the speech-language pathology program, which is ranked 62nd in the nation, and Baylor's doctoral program in clinical psychology (PsyD), which is rated 77th, up five spots from the ranking in the magazine's last nationwide survey conducted in 2001. Breaking into the U.S. News rankings for the first time is Baylor's master's degree program in social work, which is ranked 87th 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. The U.S. News rankings can be found at U.S.News & World Report.

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