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Virginia Tech graduate programs garner top spots in U.S. News & World Report's latest rankings

March 14, 2017

Virginia Tech Evening MBA program graduates
Virginia Tech Evening MBA program graduates at a recent commencement ceremony.

Virginia Tech’s Evening master of business administration (MBA) program and three College of Engineering graduate programs were among the best in the nation in U.S. News & World Report's 2018 survey of graduate programs released today.

The MBA program, offered by the Pamplin College of Business, ranked No. 7 among the nation's part-time MBA programs. The program serves aspiring business leaders in the Washington, D.C., area with classes taught at the Northern Virginia Center. As the college’s flagship MBA program, the Evening MBA has seen significant growth in recent years.

“Our Evening MBA’s top 10 ranking solidifies Virginia Tech’s position among the premier part-time MBA programs in the country and is unsurpassed in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.,” said Pamplin Dean Robert Sumichrast.  “We intentionally focused on enhancing our Evening MBA as we suspended the full-time MBA.”

“Working professionals enjoy the convenience of evening classes, a flexible schedule that fits within demanding lives, and building their network with the vast Hokie Nation,” said Dana Hansson, director of the Evening MBA program.

Parviz Ghandforoush, associate dean for graduate programs, credits the rankings to students who are highly academically qualified and professionally accomplished, faculty who are deeply engaged in teaching and research, and program staff who have created a positive learning community.

In addition to the U.S. News ranking, Pamplin’s hospitality and tourism management program was recently ranked sixth in the world, according to QS World University Rankings by Subject.

For the fourth year, the College of Engineering remains among the top 30 in the nation, at No. 27. Three of its specialty programs were among the top-10 listed: civil at No. 7, environmental/environmental health at No. 6, and industrial/manufacturing/systems at No. 6.

The School of Education, in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, is ranked No. 85.

The report included some ranking information that is not updated annually. The Public Affairs programs in the College of Architecture and Urban StudiesSchool of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) was ranked No. 34 in 2017. Three programs in the College of Science were ranked in 2014: chemistry was No. 60, earth sciences was No. 30, and psychology was No. 67.

The programs in the 2018 rankings, which are just a sampling of the the 150 graduate programs Virginia Tech offers, are important to the university's mission as a global land-grant university, said Vice President and Dean for Graduate Education Karen P. DePauw. She also noted that education is important not only to graduate students but also to their communities as they grapple with global challenges and complex social problems.

“Earning a graduate degree has been seen as both a private and a public good," she said. "Such programs can help individuals to become well-informed and productive global citizens for the betterment of society."

Students in all Virginia Tech graduate studies have access to the Graduate School’s programs and services, which aim to provide students with a transformative graduate education experience. Those include training for graduate teaching assistants, supporting interdisciplinary research, and offering a range of courses, such as communicating science, community-oriented scholarship, global research, and preparation as future faculty and career professionals.

U.S. News & World Report’s graduate rankings of colleges, published annually since 1987, are based on several categories of data gathered from the surveyed schools, plus peer assessments by deans, senior faculty, and other professionals in their respective fields. Rankings of the specialty programs are based solely on peer assessments.

You can find the full new rankings and data on the U.S. News Graduate School Compass.

Sookhan Ho and Lindsey Haugh contributed to this report.

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