FRIDAY, DECEMBER 19, 2014

Florida State graduate programs moving up in rankings

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Florida State University’s graduate programs in education, law, statistics, chemistry and physics continue to move up in national rankings and are listed among the best graduate and professional programs in the United States, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2015 edition of “Best Graduate Schools.” 

“Our goal is to advance the quality of the graduate education that we provide our students, and the rise in the rankings of several programs is a testament to the hard work of our faculty, staff and students,” said Nancy Marcus, dean of The Graduate School. “These rankings reflect the continued enhancement of Florida State’s academic reputation.”

Florida State’s College of Education was ranked 39th in the nation, up from No. 44 last year.

“Our continual upward movement in the rankings speaks to our commitment to providing our graduate students with excellent faculty, facilities and partnerships within our community," said Dean of the College of Education Marcy P. Driscoll. “This ranking reflects our increasing success in securing research grant funding, which is a heavily weighted component of the scoring. With more grant funding, we are also able to attract highly qualified doctoral students.”

The College of Law was ranked 45th, up from No. 48 last year, and is now the highest ranked law school in the state. Its environmental law program is ranked the nation’s 14thbest. 

The jump in rankings for the College of Law is, in large part, a result of the school’s extremely strong employment rates. Florida State is Florida’s No. 1 law school, and the nation’s 39th best, in terms of the percentage of 2012 graduates employed nine months after graduation in full-time, long-term, bar passage-required or J.D.-advantage jobs, according to the U.S. News data. Among public law schools, Florida State is the nation’s 18th best in terms of that metric.

“We are thrilled that U.S. News has rated us the No. 1 law school in Florida,” said College of Law Dean Don Weidner. “The student success at getting jobs shows the value of a degree from Florida State.”

Statistics, physics and chemistry, all departments in the College of Arts and Sciences, also saw improvements in their rankings.

Statistics was ranked No. 39 compared to its previous ranking of 40th. Both physics and chemistry moved up four spots compared to their previous rankings. Physics is ranked 44th, up from 48th, and chemistry is ranked 49th compared to its previous ranking of No. 53. 

"Our faculty and students are talented, hard working and very productive,” said College of Arts and Sciences Dean Sam Huckaba. “I am pleased to see that their efforts have been rewarded with a jump in the rankings."

In January, U.S. News released its online graduate program rankings in which the online graduate nursing program was ranked 10th and the online graduate business program was ranked 43rd.

The 2015 edition of “Best Graduate Schools” also contains previously ranked programs, including a No. 7 ranking for Florida State’s criminology program (2009); No. 13 for the library and information studies program, with its school library media program ranked No. 1 in the nation, its services for children and youth ranked 5th and its digital librarianship ranked 11th (2013); No. 16 in public affairs, with its city management and urban policy program ranked No. 15, its public management administration ranked No. 18 and its public-policy analysis ranked No. 28 (2012); No. 21 for the speech-language pathology master’s degree program (2012); No. 38 in rehabilitation counseling (2011); No. 39 in sociology (2013); No. 40 in political science (2013); No. 44 in social work (2012); and No. 47 in clinical psychology (2012).

U.S. News & World Report ranks professional school programs in business, education, engineering, law and medicine on an annual basis. The rankings are based on two types of data: expert opinions about program excellence and statistical indicators that measure the quality of a school’s faculty, research and students.

Beyond the five disciplines ranked annually, U.S. News & World Report also periodically ranks programs in the sciences, social sciences, humanities, the health arena and other areas based solely on the ratings of academic experts.