Emory’s law school dropped eight spots while other programs such as the graduate business school rose in the 2012 U.S. News & World Report Best Graduate Schools Rankings
In addition to the School of Law’s ranking decline from 22 to 30, the Rollins School of Public Health ranked 6th this year, up from 7th; the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing rose five spots to rank 21st; Goizueta Business School ranked 23rd, up from 27th, and its part-time MBA program was ranked 11th in the nation; and the Emory School of Medicine ranked 21st among research-oriented medical schools from 20 last year, as well as 33rd among primary care schools, down from 25th last year.
Emory’s joint Department of Biomedical Engineering with Georgia Tech maintained its last year’s ranking as second in the nation. Emory’s physician assistant program is now No. 4, down from No. 3, while the physical therapy program stayed at No. 11.
David Partlett, dean of the Emory School of Law, wrote in an e-mail to the Wheel
that the move to No. 30 for the law school in the U.S. News
rankings is surprising, but also notes that the rankings reflect “a change in the methodology” U.S. News
uses to calculate employment statistics.
According to Partlett, this year, U.S. News
adjusted its employment rate calculations to present a more accurate reflection of actual employment.
For business, education, engineering, law and medicine, U.S. News
surveyed professionals who hire graduates, according to the U.S. News
website, but this year, the two most recent years’ professional ratings were averaged to compute the 2012 rankings.
“Historically, many of our students pursue careers in large law firms — the sector most impacted by the recession,” Partlett wrote.
He added that many of the United States’ larger law firms are “regaining their feet and employing more graduates.”
Partlett explained that Emory’s relationships with these law firms remain strong, which is demonstrated by Emory’s ranking of No. 18 among hiring partners at the nation’s top law firms.
does not rate each program of a graduate school every year. Laney Graduate School Dean Lisa Tedesco wrote in an e-mail to the Wheel
that Laney Graduate School tries its best to “provide useful and accurate information to potential students and applicants,” which aids in ensuring that students make the best choice for their graduate study.
Tedesco said the approach to establishing rankings is not uniform across all programs.
According to the U.S. News
website, rankings for business, education, engineering, law and medicine are based on two sets of data: expert opinions regarding program excellence and statistics that measure the quality of a school’s faculty, research and students.
This data comes from surveys taken by administrators at more than 1,200 programs as well as approximately 13,000 academics and professionals, which were conducted fall 2010 and early 2011.
In addition, this year, U.S. News
conducted new surveys and produced new rankings for several health-related fields, including those for nursing and physician assistant programs.
Tedesco explained that she believes U.S. News
rankings are primarily based on ratings of reputation and perceptions of quality and that they do not systematically measure the actual quality of programs or program outcomes.
“Our excellent and dedicated faculty, our highly qualified, motivated and diverse student body, and our outstanding facilities all contribute to the success of our school and its educational programs,” Rollins Dean James Curran said in a Mar. 15 University press release.
— Contact Jordan Friedman.