The Emory School of Law rose six spots while other programs, such as the part-time Master of Business Administration (MBA), dropped in the 2013 U.S. News and World Report
’s “America’s Best Graduate Schools Rankings.”
The Law School rose to No. 24 from No. 30 this year following an eight-spot drop in the rankings last year. In addition, the Goizueta Business School’s (B-School) full-time MBA rose to 19th from 23rd while the part-time MBA program dropped to 13th from 11th. The physical therapy program rose to 7th from 11th.
The School of Medicine remained at No. 21, the highest in Georgia, and ranked 40th among primary care schools, down from 33rd last year. U.S. News
ranked Emory’s clinical psychology program at No. 18, up from No. 25.
In addition, Emory’s joint Department of Biomedical Engineering program with the Georgia Institute of Technology was ranked No. 2 for the sixth consecutive year.
The annual professional school rankings are based on two types of data, including expert opinions on program excellence and statistical indicators that measure the quality of faculty, research and students, according to the U.S. News website.
acquires this data from surveys completed by administrators at more than 1,200 programs and nearly 15,000 academics and professionals. The surveys were conducted during fall 2011 and early 2012.
Robert Schapiro, interim dean of Emory School of Law, said that in light of last year’s drop to No. 30 in the U.S. News rankings, he is glad that this year’s ranking “better reflects the outstanding quality” of the school.
Though he said it is difficult to determine the precise reasons for specific rankings, Schapiro attributed the rise in the rankings to expanding law degree programs, field placement opportunities in Atlanta and career advising during the past few years, among other factors.
“We think this ranking captures the underlying quality of Emory Law ... in terms of our outstanding faculty and students, resources and programs,” Schapiro said.
According to Harold Lewis, associate dean of the part-time MBA program, the part-time MBA program’s drop to No. 13 is the result of a new set of criteria that U.S. News
used for its 2012 graduate rankings.
According to the U.S. News
website, the new factors included the percentage of a school’s enrollment that is part-time, the mean undergraduate Grade Point Average of incoming part-time students, the mean Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) scores of entering part-time students and the average months of experience of incoming part-time students, in addition to the peer assessment score.
The B-School’s full-time MBA program, nonetheless, saw the largest jump of any of the top 25 programs. Brian Mitchell, associate dean of Emory’s full-time MBA program, wrote in an email to the Wheel that he is “very pleased” with the B-School’s rise.
According to Mitchell, the rise was likely the result of faculty redesigning the curriculum a few years ago based on recruiter feedback, market dynamics and other factors.
“The objective of that redesign was to ensure that Goizueta students were exceptionally well-prepared to add immediate value in their summer internships and full time jobs,” he wrote, adding that the Career Management Center has done a great job of partnering with companies that recruit MBA students for high-level positions.
Though Mitchell explained he does not believe the rankings are the ultimate measure of success for the B-School’s full-time program, he noted that the rankings are significant in terms of the information they provide about employment and salary figures.
“Those figures are indicators of the success of our recent graduates, so I place high importance on them,” he wrote. “Prospective students also place high importance on those particular metrics when deciding where they want to apply.”
Still, Lewis added that while the part-time MBA program does not run its program “with an eye on the rankings,” the information is beneficial because it shows areas in which programs can be improved.
“[The rankings] give us another entity’s perspective on our program,” he explained. “Sometimes you come away with interesting points, and sometimes it’s just a good data point. But rankings are a good place to begin research.”
Like Lewis, Schapiro said he believes that one set of rankings does not illustrate the overall quality of a law school.
He noted that the Law School’s focus is not on the measures of a particular publication, though he recognizes that rankings are an important factor when students are choosing a school.
“Looking at one set of rankings is not a good way to capture a law school,” he said. “But we think this ranking captures the underlying quality of Emory Law ... in terms of our outstanding faculty and students, resources and programs.”
— Contact Jordan Friedman.