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Texas Grad Schools Climbing in U.S. News and World Report Rankings

More Texas graduate schools rated well in the 2017 US News & World Report roundup of the nation’s law, business, medicine, nursing, engineering, and education programs. The University of Texas at Austin led the state in its top-rated graduate school offerings.

The flagship Austin campus maintained its place as 15th top law school in the nation. The graduate engineering program rated 10th, and the business school came in 16th. According to the Texas Tribune, UT-Austin touts the highest ranking graduate accounting program in the nation.

“The breadth of excellence at UT-Austin is validated by the high rankings of our graduate programs,” said President Gregory L. Fenves in response to the annual list. “Our programs provide tremendous value through the results of research and the education of innovators and leaders who will change the world for the better.”

The intellectual property program at Texas A&M’s law school, ranked 14th, tied with Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania. Overall, Texas A&M’s law school rocketed into 111th place, up from 149th last year. In a statement, Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp called the rankings “an extraordinary achievement, especially given the fact we weren’t even on the list in 2014.”

Other notable law schools around the state included the University of Houston, which cracked the Top 50, up by nine from 59th last year; Southern Methodist bumped up to 45th; and Baylor University came in at 55th. Only Texas Tech dropped five points to 123rd. The U of H intellectual property law program ranked 8th in the nation.

While Rice University’ s graduate school of engineering came in again at 31st, their business school moved up six points to place 25th. Business schools that did not perform as well this year included Texas A&M, which dropped from 27th to 31st and UT-Dallas, from 33rd to 37th. However, the engineering schools at the UT Dallas and Arlington campuses moved up on the 2017 US News and World Report rankings.

Baylor College of Medicine rated 20th among the nation’s research-based medical schools, placing as 9th for its primary care program, 7th in its pediatric program, and 2nd in its nurse anesthesia program.“The numbers are no surprise to our deans, faculty and trainees,” said Dr. Paul Klotman, Baylor president, CEO and executive dean in a statement. “We are pleased to be ranked among the top programs in the country, but more importantly, we are proud of the success of our students after graduation.”

In June, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law his University Research Initiative, earmarked as one of his five “emergency items” outlined in his 2015 State of the State address. The initiative intends to raise the level of Texas universities by providing these institutions of higher learning with more than $8 billion in bonds and funding to promote research, attract esteemed researchers, and construct facilities that will appeal to the current and future generations of students and faculty.

“We want to elevate the higher education colleges and universities in Texas to be ranked number one in the United States,” Abbott said previously.

In calculating best graduate schools, US News and World Report relies on complete and accurate statistical data provided by the universities, including respective graduate school entrance exams, acceptance rates, placement statistics, standardized test scores,  and grade point averages (GPA). They reported that not providing the requested data can have a significant effect on a school’s ranking. Currently, California held the largest concentration of top-ranked graduate school programs, followed by New York and Pennsylvania.

“Going to graduate school is a major commitment of time and money,” said Anita Narayan, managing editor of Education at U.S. News and World Report. “Our rankings and advice offer guidance throughout the decision-making process to help prospective students and their families find the right fit.”

Follow Merrill Hope on Twitter @OutOfTheBoxMom.

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