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March 30, 2007
Contact: Todd Cohen, University Relations, (785) 864-8866.

Education, biological sciences at KU leap higher in U.S. News rankings

LAWRENCE — Four graduate programs at the University of Kansas — education, petroleum engineering, biological sciences and law — moved up in national rankings and a fifth, special education, retained its hold on the No. 1 spot in the nation among public universities according to U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Graduate Schools” rankings for 2007. The rankings were released today.

KU now has 43 nationally ranked programs, 23 in the top 25 and 12 in the top 10 among public universities. In addition to special education, KU’s city management and urban policy program holds a No. 1 ranking.

At 12th in the nation among public universities, the School of Education has jumped 13 spots in just three years. The school was ranked 15th among public universities in 2006, up from 20th in 2005 and 25th in 2004. Among all universities, the school now ranks 20th in the nation.

“The U.S. News rankings are terrific recognition from our peers of the quality of programs, faculty and students in the school,” said Rick Ginsberg, dean of the School of Education.

Ginsberg said he was especially pleased about the school’s rise in total research dollars — from $21.6 million last year to $25.3 million this year — and in assessment scores from school superintendents.

“KU is a special place, and these lofty rankings for the School of Education, the Department of Special Education and for secondary education underscore the excellence that those associated with us appreciate,” said Ginsberg.

Biological sciences leaped in the rankings to 30th among public universities, up from 56th a year ago. Graduate programs in the biological sciences include the departments of molecular biosciences and ecology and evolutionary biology.

“The movement up in the rankings is striking,” said Joseph Steinmetz, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “We have made recent investments to grow and enhance the life sciences at KU, and this significant movement up in the rankings by our biology departments is a great sign that these long-term investments are paying off. The biology ranking reflects a growing respect of our KU departments by others in the field.”

Also in the top 10 this year is petroleum engineering, which is listed at No. 7. KU’s petroleum engineering program is the only one in Kansas. Students receive a well-rounded education, and research efforts provide additional focus on extracting the vast amount of petroleum that remains in the state’s more mature but less productive oil reservoirs.

The KU law school, led by Dean Gail Agrawal, rose for the second year in a row to 34th among public universities.

KU’s programs ranked in the top 25 among public universities are:

1. City management and urban policy (master)
1. Special education (master/doctorate)
2. Community health (master/doctorate) tied
3. Paleontology (doctorate)
4. Public management administration (master)
4. Occupational therapy (master/doctorate), tied
5. Audiology (master/doctorate)
5. Public affairs (master), tied
6. Speech-language-pathology (master)
7. Petroleum engineering
8. Social work (master) tied
9. Nursing-midwifery (master/doctorate) tied
10. Physical therapy (master/doctorate) tied
12. Music (master) tied
12. School of Education (doctorate) tied
16. Pharmacy (PharmD) tied
17. Public finance and budgeting (master)
19. Clinical child psychology (doctorate) tied
22. Healthcare management (master) tied
23. Clinical psychology (doctorate) tied
23. Drama/theatre (master) tied
24. History (doctorate) tied
25. Nursing-anesthesia (master) tied

At 26th is the fine arts master’s program. Nursing is ranked 28th.

U.S. News has published the “Best Graduate Schools” report since 1990.

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The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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