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Last modified: Thursday, March 27, 2008

Six grad schools at IU ranked as Top 20 by 'U.S. News,' including three in the Top 10

School of Public and Environmental Affairs moves up to No. 2

12:01 a.m. on March 28, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- U.S. News and World Report magazine has chosen three programs at Indiana University -- including its School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) -- as top 10 among their peers. Three others, including its School of Education and Kelley School of Business, are among the magazine's top 20.

SPEA and the Kelley School of Business each showed progress in the rankings, which will appear in the new edition of U.S. News' annual survey of "America's Best Graduate Schools." SPEA moved up from third to second position, while the Kelley School returned to the top 20 from being 24th a year ago and 27th in 2006.

Other top programs in the U.S. News rankings were IU's clinical science program, which was sixth; its speech language pathology program, 10th; the audiology program, 18th; and the School of Education, 19th.

"It is gratifying that our Bloomington public affairs program continues to be highly respected among our peers throughout the country," said Kurt Zorn, interim dean of SPEA. "It especially is heartening to see that SPEA has joined Harvard's John F. Kennedy School to share the second spot in the overall rankings. This is a validation of what we at SPEA have known for many years -- that the vision then-IU President John Ryan and Charles Bonser, the school's founding dean, created something unique and wonderful."

The school also has the No. 1 environmental policy and management program, and the No. 1 non-profit management program. Its Indianapolis non-profit management program was ranked third. Other top 10 SPEA specialties were public management and administration, and public finance and budgeting, which were ranked third, and information and technology management, which was sixth.

"It is through the hard work of the faculty and staff and the notable achievements of our alumni that we continue to find our program ranked as an elite public affairs program, and I believe it is noteworthy that SPEA remains Indiana University's top ranked graduate school," Zorn added. "What continues to amaze me is how much SPEA has accomplished in its relatively short life span -- approximately 35 years. It is a testament to what energy, ambition and commitment to its mission by everyone associated with SPEA, and support from the Indiana University community and administration can accomplish."

Linda Smith, Chancellor's Professor and chair of the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, said she is "not at all surprised" by the ranking of IU's clinical science program because "we are always in the top 10."

She noted that IU's program is a national leader in defining clinical training and is grounded in cutting edge research. It offers students opportunities to advance understanding, early diagnosis and treatment of various disorders. This includes training and research in molecular, cellular and systems neuroscience, in imaging and electrophysiological studies of humans, in behavioral and in genetic studies.

"One example of our excellence -- and the vision of the training approach -- is the new training grant from National Institutes of Health that pursues an understanding of addiction from the molecular to systems neuroscience to cognitive neuroscience to the behavioral level with the explicit goal of translating these basic science discoveries to treatment," Smith added.

Gerardo M. Gonzalez

Gerardo M. Gonzalez

Print-Quality Photo

The IU School of Education remains firmly a part of the top 20; it was ranked 19th (down from 17th). It also had five specialty programs in the top 10 -- the same as last year. Based on data from 242 programs that responded to the magazine, the school was ranked sixth in higher education administration, seventh in elementary education, ninth in curriculum and instruction, and counseling and personnel services, and 10th in administration and supervision.

"It's remarkable that despite the severe budgetary pressures we've experienced recently, the school has been ranked nationally among the top 20 schools overall for the 10th year in a row," said Gerardo M. Gonzalez, dean of the School of Education. "Having five of the nine specialty programs we offer ranked by U.S. News in the top 10 again this year also speaks to the excellent reputation of the school and the esteem in which its faculty and graduates are held."

Likewise, Kelley School Dean Dan Smith said he was was pleased with his school's recognition.

"There are over 3,000 colleges and universities that offer business degrees. To be ranked among the nation's top 20 and among the top ten public programs places us in elite company," Dan Smith said. "We also are quite proud of moving up seven places in two years. That said, our focus is on executing our mission effectively -- to transform the lives of our students and to advance business practice through our research and teaching."

Two of the Kelley School's disciplines are ranked in the top 10 -- entrepreneurship, which is seventh, and productions and operations, eighth. The school expects other specialties -- including accounting, management, information systems, international business and marketing -- will be included in top 20 specialties lists that will be made available on Friday.

"Our recent improvements in the U.S. News rankings reflect several key elements of our mission. The peer review aspect of the ranking recognizes the outstanding scholarship of our faculty and our marketing communications efforts. Our improved student quality is attributable to a series of new student recruiting initiatives we have undertaken. Our 96 percent job placement rate and corporate recruiter scores reflect not only the quality of our students and the academic preparation they receive, but also advancements we have made in how we prepare students for their interviews," Smith added.

"Our intent is to continue to improve and innovate in all aspects of our program. If we do that, and if we continue to inform leaders of other business schools of the many good things going on at IU and the Kelley School, the rankings should take care of themselves."

IU's two schools of law also were well represented. The IU School of Law-Bloomington remained at 15th among public law schools and 36th overall. The IU School of Law-Indianapolis experienced one of the largest improvements in the rankings, from 85th to 68th.

"Although the law school's overall U.S. News ranking did not change this year, we went up on nearly every specific metric used in the rankings, including reputation among lawyers and judges, and the employment success of our recent graduates," said Lauren Robel, dean of the IU School of Law-Bloomington. "The recent news about the Vault survey of legal employers -- where we were ranked 14th in the nation and fourth among public universities -- combined with the transformative impact of the $25 million Lilly Endowment gift that was announced last December, gives us good reason to be very optimistic about our future."

Gary R. Roberts, the Gerald L. Bepko Professor of Law and dean of the IU School of Law--Indianapolis said, "This 17-point jump reflects the momentum that is building at the law school here in Indianapolis. It underscores the strides we are beginning to make toward becoming one of the very top public law schools in the nation."

Primary care programs at the IU School of Medicine in Indianapolis declined from 16th in 2007 to 26th this year, and its research ranking went from 45th to 46th. "We are pleased to be recognized in the U.S. News rankings for excellence in education and training of young scientists and doctors," said D. Craig Brater, M.D., dean of the IU School of Medicine and IU vice president of life sciences.

The School of Social Work moved up in the rankings from 33rd to tied for 26th.

Mathematics was tied with five schools -- including Purdue and Penn State universities -- for 28th. IU was tied for sixth in the nuclear physics specialty. The Master of Fine Arts program was tied for 30th with seven other schools and programs, and its printmaking specialty was ranked fifth.

U.S. News did not issue new rankings for the biological sciences, chemistry, criminology, earth sciences, economics, English, history, library science, nursing, political science, psychology, public health and sociology.

The full rankings by U.S. News & World Report will be released to the public online at on Friday (March 28), on newsstands Monday (March 31) and in the America's Best Graduate Schools guidebook Tuesday (April 1).