News, Academics

Three BC Grad Schools Rank in ‘U.S. News’ Top 30

Three Boston College graduate schools ranked in the top 30 in the U.S. News and World Report’s 2021 graduate university rankings, released March 17. The Lynch School of Education and Human Development and the Connell School of Nursing improved in the rankings, while rankings for BC Law School and the Carroll School of Management fell.

Lynch came in at No. 19 for graduate education schools, rising three places from last year, and several Lynch programs ranked in the top 25. Student counseling and personnel services ranked 15th; secondary education ranked 18th; elementary education ranked 20th; and curriculum and Instruction ranked 24th.

Dean of Lynch Stanton Wortham said he believes Lynch’s external research funding is one of the main factors contributing to the school’s high ranking. Lynch receives 31 percent of the University’s overall external research funding, while many peer schools receive 5 to 7 percent of total funding for their schools of education, Wortham said.

“I would say the external research funding is probably the most important thing in terms of the ranking, but also student quality and faculty quality are making a difference,” Wortham said. “Our goal is over the long run to try and keep improving steadily, and the rankings I think are going to go up and down a little bit. But it’s nice to go up three slots, it’s nice to be in the teens, and hopefully we can keep it up.”

Lynch is the top-ranking Catholic graduate school of education and the second-highest-ranking Massachusetts school, behind No. 1 Harvard University. Wortham said that Lynch’s position as the top-ranked Catholic school of education gives Lynch the opportunity to develop Catholic educators and perform research for the specific needs of Catholic schools.

CSON ranked 27th in graduate nursing schools, an improvement of one place from last year’s rankings, and the school’s family nurse practitioner program rose from 22nd to 9th. 

CSON Dean Susan Gennaro said she believes that, due to the changing methodologies for the ranking system and the peer evaluation factor, the rankings are not always reflective of the positive growth in schools and quality education.

“We pay attention to the U.S. News & World Report because it’s one of the factors that might make a difference to people, but I really do believe that the really important thing is working for quality, and quality doesn’t always mean that other people see it,” Gennaro said. “You have to make sure it exists whether or not other people see, and no matter how people are counting things. We are a good program, and we will continue to be better.” 

BC Law ranked 31st this year, dropping four spots, though BC Law Dean Vincent Rougeau said that the shift is due to improvements in other law schools’ scores while BC Law’s score remained the same.

“Although we improved in several important metrics and our overall score did not change from last year, there are a total of 18 schools with total scores between 61 and 65, which means that very small changes in metrics among schools around us can result in larger relative shifts in ranking,” Rougeau said in an email to The Heights.

CSOM dropped five spots to No. 48 for full-time MBA programs. The part-time program is ranked 43rd, and the accounting program’s ranking rose from 31st to 14th.

The School of Social Work is currently ranked 10th, though social work program rankings were not updated this year.

Featured Image by Madeleine Romance / Heights Editor

April 17, 2020