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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Six UA grad programs ranked in the top 10 of their respective fields

Out of the 473 graduate programs offered at the UA, six have established themselves among the best in the nation.

Speech-language pathology, audiology, management information systems, rehabilitation counseling, earth sciences and photography all earned themselves a top-10 finish in their respective categories in the U.S. News and World Report rankings.

The U.S. News and World Report was created to help prospective graduate students calculate returns on investment. The six major disciplines in the report are business, law, education, engineering, medicine and nursing.

The highest concentration of top-ranked graduate programs were in California, New York and Pennsylvania.

The rankings are decided through statistical marks that rate the university’s students, research and facilities. They are also based on expert evaluations of the program’s excellence.

“The UA has a long history of excellence in speech, language and hearing sciences,” said Pélagie M. Beeson, professor and head of the UA Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences Department. “The speech-language pathology program has been in the top 10 since the 1980s, when U.S. News and World Report rankings first began.”

The speech-language pathology program ranked seventh out of 249 graduate programs and the audiology program ranked ninth out of 74. The UA’s speech-language pathology program currently has 60 graduate students and the audiology program has 40.

While small compared to other departments at the UA, these departments have excellent national reputations, especially for their contributions to their specialized areas of research. Both speech-language pathology and audiology fall under the School of Mind, Brain and Behavior in the College of Sciences.

“We are fortunate enough to have excellent graduate students come to our program from all over the country,” Beeson said.

She added that admission to both programs is highly competitive.

The management information systems graduate program ranked fifth in this year’s U.S News and World Report poll. This marks the 28th straight year the MIS program has been in the top five public programs in the country.

Within the College of Education, the rehabilitation counseling graduate program ranked sixth. The program focuses on preparing graduates for professional certification as certified rehabilitation counselors and is well respected among counseling graduate programs.

The earth sciences graduate program, within the Department of Geosciences, ranked seventh. The program is heavily focused on research and has held onto its No. 7 ranking since 2014.

Under the College of Fine Arts, the masters of fine arts in studio arts, photography emphasis, ranked ninth. Overall, the School of Art is ranked 55th in the nation.

This was also the first year doctor of nursing practice programs were included in the rankings. UA ranked 28th out of 149 national programs. The College of Nursing’s master’s in nursing program improved it’s 2016 ranking, moving it from 38th to 30th.

While they may not have made it into U.S. News and World Report’s top 10, several other UA graduate programs rank competitively nationally, including pharmacy, sociology and public health.

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