Three Boston College graduate schools rose in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2023 graduate university rankings while two others dropped from their previous spots.
BC Law School ranked 37th this year, falling eight spots from No. 29 last year.
In an email sent to BC Law students obtained by The Heights, Interim Dean Diane Ring said that BC Law only dropped one point—from 67 to 66—in U.S. News & World Report’s overall score.
“The impact of the increasing number of ties around us continues to grow, leading to more significant volatility in rankings year over year,” Ring wrote. “Small changes in metrics can result in large relative shifts on the list.”
Ring said that BC Law’s drop in the rankings resulted partially from its admission numbers—though its median LSAT improved and its incoming GPA for the Class of 2024 remained stable, other schools improved their admissions metrics further.
Citing pandemic-related upheavals in the job market, Ring also said BC Law placed fewer of its recent graduates in full-time, long-term, bar-required—or advantaged—positions than the previous year.
BC Law is working with the University to improve its ranking, Ring said.
“Although we do know that US News rankings are not the true measure of the quality of any institution, we do take these rankings very seriously, as we know they impact the perceptions of students, faculty, and alumni,” Ring said in a statement to The Heights.
The School of Social Work ranked 11th—the highest ranking of all of BC’s graduate and professional schools—falling one spot from No. 10 last year.
Gautam N. Yadama, dean of SSW, was not immediately available for comment.
The Carroll School of Management, the Lynch School of Education and Human Development, and the Connell School of Nursing, however, rose in graduate school rankings this year.
Lynch ranked 19th this year, rising two spots from No. 21 last year. David Goodman, associate dean for strategic initiatives and external relations in Lynch, said the school is delighted to see the dedication of its faculty and staff and the talent of its students recognized in the rankings.
“At a time when educators and clinicians are facing tremendous strain, we view our teaching and research as being a source of nourishment to these vital professions,” Goodman said. “That this is recognized through the U.S. News and World Report numbers is an honor to these deeper values.”
The Connell School of Nursing surged 21 spots, rising from No. 48 last year to No. 27 this year. This is a return to its previous 2021 U.S. News ranking after last year’s sharp drop—which BC News said was due to high volatility in that year’s survey.
“The US News and World Report rankings are one data point we monitor with respect to our academic programs,” said CSON Dean Katherine Gregor. “We are glad to see the increase in ranking for our Graduate Programs in Nursing and look forward to continuing our strong work within the Connell School at Boston College”
CSOM’s full-time MBA program rose to No. 41 this year from No. 44 last year, and its part-time MBA program rose to No. 30 from No. 35.
Andrew Boynton, the dean of CSOM, was not immediately available for comment.
In the BC News release, Provost and Dean of Faculties David Quigley said that though there are limitations in these graduate rankings, they provide useful data that influence University decisions.
“Deans and department chairs are interested in the ways in which our peers around the nation assess our approach to graduate education, and pleased that our programs continue to be recognized among the very best in higher education,” Quigley said.
Featured Image by Steve Mooney / Heights Editor