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Editor's note: This story is being highlighted in ASU Now's year in review. To read more top stories from 2017, click here.
Two of the largest graduate schools at Arizona State University jumped significantly in the latest rankings from U.S. News & World Report, with two business programs ranked among the best in the country.
The Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College ranked No. 11 out of 256 schools evaluated by U.S. News, climbing three spots from last year. The college's graduate program moved up 24 spots since 2012 in the news magazine’s "Best Graduate Schools" annual survey for 2018. ASU's Teachers College was tied with the education school at the University of Texas at Austin and was ahead of those at New York University, Ohio State University and the University of California at Berkeley.
The supply-chain management program in the W. P. Carey School of Business was ranked third in the country, ahead of Stanford University, while the full-time MBA program ranked 25th out of the 129 schools U.S. News evaluated, improving 10 spots.
The Thunderbird School of Global Management at ASU was ranked fourth in the country among international programs, higher than Stanford, Columbia and Georgetown.
The Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at ASU, meanwhile, retained its ranking of 25th place from last year. That's out of 197 law schools ranked by U.S. News. It is the 8th highest ranked law school at a public university, ahead of the law schools at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Ohio State University.
The widely touted set of annual rankings was released Tuesday by the news magazine, which compared hundreds of graduate programs on a variety of metrics.
Carole Basile, dean of the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, said that rankings are only one indicator of quality and progress.
“But our trend line makes a strong case that our college has done outstanding work for a considerable period of time. A trend line like that is signal, not noise. It’s worth recognizing and celebrating,” she said.
Melissa Woodward, a graduate student in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, said she chose the higher and postsecondary education program because she knew she wanted an immersive experience and saw the rankings improving every year.
“It’s been a great fit for me, and the faculty associates who teach the courses work in all different areas of the university, so I’ve really seen how higher education functions,” said Woodward, who also is the communications director for ASU’s Graduate and Professional Student Association.
Woodward is enjoying her position as an intern in ASU’s Education Outreach and Student Services department and is interested in student services as a career, possibly as an administrator.
“The rankings place a value on our degrees, are a great way to recruit students and show ASU’s commitment to academic excellence,” she said. “And it’s great to be part of a college that continues to do so well.”
One measure used by U.S. News & World Report to rank the education colleges was research funding, and the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College tied with Columbia for second-highest research funding at $60.1 million — behind only the University of Wisconsin, which spent $78.6 million.
This year’s full-time MBA students are the first cohort in W. P. Carey’s Forward Focus MBA — an initiative to draw highly qualified students who might not otherwise seek an advanced degree, such as entrepreneurs and non-profit leaders.
Amy Hillman, dean of the W. P. Carey School of Business, said it’s an honor to be in the top 25.
“This ranking confirms the quality of our full-time MBA, but it also reinforces the access to a great education we’re providing with our Forward Focus curriculum and scholarship,” she said.
“By opening the door to talented students from so many different backgrounds and with so many different goals, we’re not only elevating the program and the W. P. Carey School, we’re elevating the future of business.”
Among the top 25 full-time MBA programs, ASU was in the top five for highest percentage of graduates employed three months after graduation — 95.1 percent, good for fourth place.
Douglas Sylvester, dean of the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, said the school’s ranking is a testament to the quality of the students and the support from the community.
“Despite the tremendous challenges facing legal education, ASU Law continues to thrive and we are honored to be recognized for this achievement,” he said.
U.S. News & World Report did not rank grad schools in public affairs or fine arts this year. Last year, ASU’s College of Public Service and Community Solutions ranked 13th overall, and its city management program was rated fourth in the country. The Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts ranked 20th overall, with the print-making program rated fifth.
The magazine evaluated the graduate programs on measures including surveys of deans and hiring recruiters; student selectivity; faculty resources, including the ratio of full-time doctoral students to faculty, for education programs; research activity, including expenditures; overall rank and specialty rankings.
U.S. News & World Report releases several higher education rankings throughout the year, most recently rating ASU’s online bachelor’s degree program fourth in the nation. In 2016, ASU was named the most innovative university for the second year in a row.