UT Knoxville Graduate Programs Gain Ground in National Rankings; Several Among Nation’s Best

KNOXVILLE — University of Tennessee graduate programs in education, law, speech pathology and social work gained significant ground this year in U.S. News and World Report’s 2009 rankings released today.

Top-flight programs in the College of Business Administration and the College of Arts and Sciences’ School of Art held their prestigious top 5 and 10 slots among all universities in the nation.

The School of Art’s printmaking graduate program is fourth in the nation, with the school’s master of fine arts program ranked 50th overall and 22nd among public universities.

For the third year, the UT College of Business Administration’s supply chain and logistics graduate program is ranked 10th in the nation. The program is sixth among public institutions.

The College of Engineering’s specialty in nuclear engineering ranked 11th place nationally and 10th among public institutions — one slot higher than last year. The college’s computer engineering specialty ranked 57th nationally, up 11 slots from last year, and its overall graduate program ranked 69th nationally and 39th among public institutions.

The magazine’s 2009 graduate rankings will be available on newsstands March 31 and are now online at http://www.usnews.com/usnews/edu/grad/rankings/rankindex_brief.php.

“With graduate programs becoming ever more vital to our nation, these rankings are a testament to the talent and drive of our faculty and the depth of our academic programs,” said Interim Chancellor Jan Simek. “As we work to raise our profile among national universities, our academic strengths benefit our students and the entire state.”

College of Business Administration Dean Jan Williams noted that such placement speaks to the quality of all levels of business programs.

“Ours is one of the foremost supply chain and logistics programs in the country, thanks to the caliber of our curriculum and faculty,” said Williams. “This ranking recognizes our graduate program, but UT also is known for its strong supply chain and logistics curriculum across all levels of education, from undergraduate through graduate and executive education.”

“We’re very pleased to see the rankings results,” said Wayne Davis, associate dean of engineering. “Our college is doing extremely well, our graduate enrollment and graduation rate are up substantially from six years ago, and our faculty have attracted major increases in research dollars.”

The College of Education, Health and Human Sciences’ education graduate program ranked 35th overall, up from 41st place, and 25th among all public institutions. The program ranked one slot higher than Rutgers University and the University of Pittsburgh and three slots higher than Cornell University.

“At a time when the preparation of highly qualified teachers is more important than it has ever been in the history of our nation, it is gratifying that our faculty and students are getting the recognition they so richly deserve,” said Education, Health and Human Sciences Dean Bob Rider. ”As dean of the college, I am so proud of the very good work on the part of our faculty that led to a six-place advancement in our rankings.”

The College of Law climbed to 52nd overall and 26th place among all public universities. This is among 184 accredited law schools, including 80 national public institutions. The college realized a one-slot gain overall and jumped eight slots since 2007. The college’s specialty in clinical training rose to 16th place nationally and eighth place among public institutions, a one-slot jump from last year’s ranking.

The College of Arts and Sciences’ speech pathology graduate program ranked 30th nationally and 25th among public institutions, gaining ground since its 2006 rankings.

The college’s graduate program in audiology ranked 24th nationally.

Also raising its profile is the College of Social Work’s graduate program, which ranked 26th overall and 15th among public universities. The program climbed two slots among all schools since it was last ranked in 2005.

Social Work Dean Karen Sowers said it is a major accomplishment to move up in these rankings, as UT competes with many top schools.

“This is recognition of the outstanding accomplishments of our faculty in scholarly activities and externally funded research,” Sowers said. “Our faculty members are committed to designing and providing leading-edge curricula.”

UT Knoxville has 6,000 graduate students enrolled in academic programs and has taken several significant steps over recent years to enhance benefits for graduate students, grow enrollment and strengthen support of the graduate academic units.

Other UT graduate programs that have been ranked in previous years include the College of Nursing’s graduate program, which was ranked 72nd in 2007 and will be included in this new edition.

Last year U.S. News rated UT as one of the best universities for undergraduate education, ranking it 45th among the nation’s 50 top-tier public universities alongside peers such as Auburn, Arizona and California-Riverside.

Contact: Karen Ann Collins (865-974-5186)