By Trudy Garber Hoya Staff Writer

The U.S. News and World Report magazine’s graduate program ratings for 2001, featured in the April 10 issue, placed Georgetown Law School in 14th place, the School of Medicine in 44th place, the BA program at the McDonough School of Business in 29th place and the School of Nursing in 36th place.

The U.S. News evaluation of graduate programs happens annually. It includes rankings of American universities in five major disciplines: business, education, engineering, law and medicine.

“Georgetown is pleased that our graduate programs consistently have been ranked by U.S. News among the top graduate programs in the United States,” University Spokesman, Daniel Wackerman said.

“In particular,” Wackerman continued, “we are pleased that the report recognized the breadth of our law program with high ratings in six specialty areas, including: No. 1 ranking for the Clinical Program, No. 3 in International Law, No. 3 in Tax Law, No. 4 in Trial Advocacy, No. 7 in Dispute Resolution and No. 4 in Environmental Law.”

The Schools of Medicine and Nursing also received very high ratings. “They have excellent programs and leadership. The high rankings continue to show the strength of the medical programs,” said Amy DeMaria, the interim director of external affairs.

DeMaria also noted that about one in every five people applying to medical school submits an application to Georgetown University, which makes for incredible competition for spots in this program. In fact, in 1999, only 4.4 percent of the Medical School’s applicants were offered acceptance.

Lawrence Abeln, the associate dean and director of graduate business programs, voiced his disappointment with the rating of the BA program, yet said that the survey will provide the program with pointers on how to improve. “While we are disappointed with the ranking, we believe the data is useful for us as we strengthen the program and identify areas of improvement.”

Abeln also pointed out that “Our ranking [must be placed] in the context of the external environment. Georgetown MBA, which graduated its first students in 1983, is among the youngest programs in the top 30. We also have among the smallest MBA alumni populations. Given our youth and small scale, we performed well against our competition. It is our goal to continue to make the necessary improvements to our MBA career placement function and admissions process, in particular, to ensure that we are ranked in the top 20 schools in the future.”

The magazine says it aims to “rank [the universities] using objective measures, such as entering students’ test scores and faculty/student ratios and reputation ratings drawn from inside and outside of academia,” according to its Web site.

The ranking process also includes subjective measures, such as tallying surveys filled out by deans, program directors and senior faculty, who are asked to judge “the overall academic quality of programs in their field” and non-academics who are “asked to submit a list of up to 25 schools that they consider to be the best in their field,” according to the U.S. News ranking procedure.

“These measures fall into two categories: inputs, or the qualities that students and schools bring to the educational experience, and outputs, measures of how well the program prepared students for success,” says U.S. News.

“It is important not to place too much emphasis on these rankings, as they are only one of many measures of a school’s success,” Wackerman said.

Related Links

Georgetown Ranked 23rd by U.S. News (9/27/99)

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