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March 21, 2013

Katz, Swanson up in U.S. News rankings

Pitt’s graduate business and engineering schools rose in this year’s U.S. News & World Report Best Grad Schools rankings while Pitt’s graduate education, law and medical school rankings fell.

Each year, U.S. News evaluates graduate programs in business, law, medicine, engineering and education. The publication’s latest grad school report also includes graduate programs in the social sciences and humanities and library and information studies, all ranked in 2013. More than 1,200 graduate programs were ranked, with methodologies varying by discipline.

The publication is available at and will be on newsstands April 9.


Of 140 master’s programs in business that were ranked, Pitt’s Katz Graduate School of Business was tied for No. 61. In last year’s ranking, it tied for No. 68.

Harvard and Stanford tied for No. 1 with Penn at No. 3 and MIT and Northwestern tying for No. 4 to round out the top five.

The rankings were based on a combination of factors: quality assessment, which included peer and recruiter assessment; placement success, which included mean salary and starting bonus and employment rates for graduates of the full-time programs, and student selectivity, which included mean GMAT and GRE scores, mean undergraduate GPA of those entering the programs and acceptance rates.

Business specialties

Of a dozen business specialties evaluated, Pitt’s part-time MBA was the sole MBA specialty in which the University’s program was ranked. Pitt tied for No. 64, down from No. 47 last year. Specialty rankings were based on ratings by business school deans and directors of accredited master’s programs from the list of schools surveyed.


Of 235 education programs ranked, Pitt dropped to No. 32 (from No. 24 last year), tied with William and Mary, Purdue-West Lafayette, University of Illinois-Chicago and Iowa.

At the top of the rankings were Vanderbilt, Johns Hopkins, Harvard, University of Texas-Austin and Stanford.

Programs were ranked based on peer and school superintendent assessments, student selectivity, faculty resources and research activity.

Education specialties

Of the education specialties ranked, Pitt tied for No. 13 in educational psychology, the same rank as last year, and was No. 17 in education policy.

Education specialty ratings were based on nominations by deans of education schools and education school graduate studies.


Of 191 engineering schools ranked, Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering was No. 45, tied with Lehigh and Notre Dame. Last year Pitt tied for 47th.

MIT topped this year’s list, followed by Stanford and University of California-Berkeley at No. 2, California Institute of Technology at No. 4 and Carnegie Mellon, Georgia Institute of Technology and University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign.

Among the factors included in the rankings were peer and recruiter assessments, student selectivity, research activity and faculty resources.

Engineering specialties

Of the engineering specialties ranked, Pitt’s graduate program in biomedical engineering/bioengineering tied for No. 16 (down from 15th last year); industrial/manufacturing/systems engineering tied for No. 21 (down from No. 19); chemical engineering tied for No. 38 (up from No. 39); materials engineering tied for No. 47 (down from No. 46); mechanical engineering tied for No. 49 (up from No. 58); computer engineering tied for No. 50 (up from No. 52); environmental/environmental health engineering tied for No. 53 (up from No. 60); electrical/electronic/communications engineering tied for No. 55 (up from No. 57), and civil engineering tied for No. 56 (up from No. 61).

Engineering specialty rankings were based on peer assessments by department heads in each specialty area.


Of 194 American Bar Association-accredited law schools, Pitt’s law school tied for No. 91. It ranked No. 69 last year.

Yale topped this year’s list, followed by Harvard and Stanford tied at No. 2, and Columbia and the University of Chicago tied at No. 4.

The rankings were based on a weighted average of quality measures that included assessments by peers, judges and lawyers, median LSAT scores, median undergraduate GPA, acceptance rates, placement success, bar passage rates, expenditures per student, faculty-student ratio and library resources.

Of law specialties, Pitt ranked No. 13 in health-care law, up from No. 14.

Specialty rankings were based on nominations by legal educators chosen from listings in the Association of American Law Schools’ Directory of Law Teachers 2010-2011.

Library and information studies

Among 51 programs ranked by the publication, Pitt tied for No. 10 in library and information studies; it was No. 10 when last ranked in 2009.

Rankings were based on surveys from program deans, directors and senior faculty.

Library and information specialties

Pitt fell in two library and information specialties, ranking No. 3 in health librarianship (down from No. 1 in 2009) and No. 6 in archives and preservation (down from No. 2). Its ranking rose in two other specialties: to a tie at No. 4 in information systems (up from No. 6) and No. 10 in digital librarianship (up from No. 12).

Specialty rankings were based on nominations from program deans, directors and senior faculty.


The publication ranked 114 accredited medical and osteopathic schools in two categories: research and primary care preparation, as well as in eight medical specialties.


Pitt’s School of Medicine fell in the research category, slipping to No. 16, tied with Cornell, from No. 15 last year.

This year’s top five schools in research were Harvard, Stanford, Johns Hopkins, University of California-San Francisco and Penn.

Primary care preparation

In the medicine primary care preparation category, Pitt’s medical school fell to No. 24, tied with Baylor, Brown, Johns Hopkins and Ohio State. Last year, Pitt ranked 18th.

This year’s top five in primary care preparation were the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, University of Washington, Oregon Health and Science University, University of California-San Francisco and University of Colorado-Denver.

According to the publication, rankings in the medicine category were based on a weighted average of student selectivity admission statistics (MCAT, GPA and acceptance rate) and faculty-student ratio.

The research category factors in research activity; the primary care category includes the proportion of graduates who enter primary care specialties.

Medical specialties

Among medical specialties ranked, Pitt’s medical school tied for No. 4 in women’s health (up from No. 8), No. 6 in pediatrics (up from No. 9), No. 10 in drug and alcohol abuse (unranked last year), No. 10 in geriatrics (up from No. 11) and tied for No. 15 in internal medicine (up from 16th).

Pitt’s AIDS specialty, which was not ranked this year, was No. 14 in last year’s rankings.

Medical specialty rankings were based on ratings by medical school deans and senior faculty members.

Social sciences and humanities

In the publication’s social sciences and humanities specialties, which were last ranked in 2009 (see April 30, 2009, University Times), Pitt’s rankings rose in four of six programs: The University tied for No. 36 in economics (up from No. 39 in 2009), tied for No. 36 in history (up from No. 42 in 2009), tied for No. 30 in psychology (up from No. 36 in 2009) and tied for No. 52 in sociology (up from No. 54 in 2009).

Pitt’s ranking fell to a tie at No. 39 in English (from No. 35 in 2009), and to a tie at No. 40 in political science (from No. 39 in 2009).

According to the publication, rankings of doctoral programs in the social sciences and humanities were based on peer assessment surveys in each discipline.

Graduate programs online

The publication also ranked online graduate programs in business, education, information technology and nursing. Three Pitt disciplines appeared in the listings.

Education online

Of 208 schools with online graduate education programs, Pitt ranked No. 45. Schools were ranked on admissions selectivity, student engagement, faculty credentials and student services/technology.

Engineering online

Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering was listed but unranked among 70 schools offering online master’s programs in engineering.

Schools were ranked on peer reputation, admissions selectivity, student engagement, faculty credentials and student services and technology.

Nursing online

Pitt ranked No. 9 among 101 schools offering graduate nursing programs.

Rankings were based on admissions selectivity, student engagement, faculty credentials and student services/technology.

—Kimberly K. Barlow

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