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UA grad programs among top in US



Ten UA grad programs are ranked among the best in the nation, according to the U.S. News & World Report’s 2013 list of best graduate schools.

The Best Graduate Schools rankings annually evaluate programs in business, education, engineering, law and medicine, and periodically rank programs in sciences, social sciences, humanities, health sciences and other disciplines, to produce several Top 10 lists.

U.S. News & World Report looked at more than 1,200 graduate programs for this year’s rankings. The data came from surveys of administrators at more than 1,200 programs and more than 13,000 academics and professionals.

The UA’s geology graduate program ranked No. 1 in the nation for the third year in a row. Karl Flessa, department head of geosciences, said that although the geosciences graduate program has held a No. 1 status for a long period of time, it is great to now be recognized nationally.

“I think that it is because of the quality of graduate students that we produce,” Flessa said. “Our grad students go on to prestigious positions in the industry and at universities, this is a testimony of the quality of education and research guided by our faculty. We can’t be number one without the students.”

Six other graduate programs in the UA College of Science also placed in the top 10 of each of their fields, including speech, language and hearing sciences at No. 5; ecology and evolutionary biology at No. 9; Earth and environmental sciences at No. 7; geochemistry at No. 10; atomic, molecular and optical physics also at No. 7 and analytical chemistry at No. 6.

Two programs in the Eller College of Management rose up the ranks on the Top 10 lists from 2012 to 2013, including management information systems from No. 7 to No. 5, and the McGuire entrepreneurship program from No. 10 to No. 8.

Paulo Goes, management information systems professor and department head, said one of the reasons that the program jumped in rank is because the quality of students has gone up and the programs have attracted new faculty.

“In the last year, we have solidified our focus on the general topic of business intelligence and analytics, creating great impact, not only through a new concentration, but working diligently to establish solid connections with industry,” Goes said.

The College of Education’s rehabilitation counseling graduate degree program placed at No. 6, also climbing up the list’s rankings. The UA’s College of Pharmacy doctoral program ranked No. 10.

J. Lyle Bootman, dean of the College of Pharmacy and senior vice president of Health Sciences, said the rankings are very important to the college because it shows that the program’s curriculum and quality of graduates are well respected.

“We don’t overlook the fact that our alumni are contributing to the rankings,” Bootman said. “The University of Arizona is often mentioned when asked, ‘Where did you go to school?’ This gives the program a lot of attention.”


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