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Virginia Tech News / Articles / 2004 / 04 

Several individual graduate programs at Virginia Tech receive high national rankings

April 2, 2004

Seven individual graduate engineering programs at Virginia Tech were ranked among the top 30 in this year’s U.S.News & World Report’s graduate school rankings.

The rankings appear in the magazine’s "America’s Best Graduate Schools" issue and on the U.S. News Web site ( April 2. The "Best Graduate Schools" newsstand book, featuring the current rankings and ratings for academic disciplines that were published previously, will be available April 5.

Despite the top thirty showing of the seven graduate programs in the College of Engineering, the college’s overall ranking dropped from 26th last year to 32nd this year. The graduate program in the Pamplin College of Business is ranked 55th among the nation's business schools. Previously, only the top 50 business schools were listed.

"The U.S.News & World Report rankings for overall college programs are based on a number of quantitative criteria, such as research expenditures," said Ed Henneke, associate dean of research and graduate studies for Virginia Tech's College of Engineering. "Our college improved in most of those criteria this year. However, our standing fell because several engineering schools in other states were able to make even greater improvements. Virginia's state-supported engineering schools are working hard, but still slipping in these national rankings as state funding is reduced."

Individual Virginia Tech graduate engineering programs at Virginia Tech ranked in the top 30 included the industrial engineering program (seventh), environmental engineering (11th), aerospace engineering (15th), civil engineering (15th), mechanical engineering (22nd) and materials engineering (23rd), and electrical engineering (26th).

“Individual program rankings are based on the opinions of engineering department heads throughout the nation," Henneke said. "They're the ones who know the true strengths and achievements of their peers. Despite the budget cuts that have diminished our standing in the quantitative rankings, our engineering departments have retained their excellent reputations among their peers."

Reductions in state support also affected the rankings of Virginia Tech’s graduate (master’s) program in public affairs in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies. This year, U.S. News ranked the program 26th in the nation, down two spots from last year. Tech’s highly regarded public management administration program fell from tenth last year to 13th this year.

Among other individual programs ranked in this year’s survey, Virginia Tech’s graduate program in vocational and technical education in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences was again ranked fifth in its category. The program has been ranked fifth among vocational/technical graduate specialties for the last three years, and a top-10 selection for 10 straight years. Virginia Tech’s graduate program in clinical psychology in the College of Science was ranked 62nd in the nation.

U.S.News & World Report’s graduate survey, published annually since 1987, uses data gathered from the surveyed schools plus ratings based on reputation. The survey is intended to provide prospective students with information about the nation’s top graduate programs.