School of Education News

UW-Madison School of Education ranked No. 1 among public institutions by U.S. News

March 14, 2017

U.S. News and World Report released its annual rankings of the top graduate schools on Tuesday and UW-Madison’s School of Education and many of its programs once again were recognized as being among the very best in the nation.

The UW-Madison School of Education is tied for No. 3 in U.S. News’ 2018 Best Education Graduate Schools ratings. This makes UW-Madison’s School of Education the top-ranked public school of education in the nation for a fourth straight time, a distinction it is sharing this year with the University of California-Los Angeles.

According to this Best Education Graduate Schools index, Harvard University is No. 1 and Stanford University is No. 2, while UW-Madison, UCLA and the University of Pennsylvania all tied for third. UW-Madison improved one spot after being ranked No. 4 overall last year.

Diana Hess
“It is an honor to be ranked the No. 1 public school of education in the United States, and the third-highest ranked school of education overall,” says UW-Madison School of Education Dean Diana Hess, the Karen A. Falk Distinguished Chair of Education. “I am often asked what these rankings actually mean. Our peers in other schools of education across the nation rate us based on a number of factors (as we do them). Moreover, education leaders outside of universities are asked to weigh in on which schools of education in the nation are of exceptional quality. I attribute our high ranking to a very talented, committed and productive faculty and staff, excellent students and the fact that we are in an institution -- UW-Madison -- that believes in our mission and provides us the support we need to do our best work.”

In addition to this overall rank, UW-Madison’s School of Education is also home to several of the nation’s most highly regarded specialty programs.

In new ratings compiled by U.S. News over the past year, UW-Madison’s School of Education is home to No. 1-ranked programs in the categories of Curriculum/Instruction and Educational Psychology.

UW-Madison’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction has been No. 1 every year since 2001, according to U.S. News.

“Following a turbulent year that found Curriculum and Instruction faculty heavily recruited by other institutions, it is satisfying to be recognized again this year,” says Elizabeth Graue, Sorenson Professor and chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. “The ranking is a reflection of a group of strong scholars who have been nurtured in Wisconsin’s unique educational environment.”

SoE Specialty Rankings 2018This also marks the sixth time in the past seven years that UW-Madison’s Department of Educational Psychology has received a No. 1 ranking.

“It's a humbling experience to be in the midst of such remarkable scholars and students doing outstanding teaching and research,” says UW-Madison Professor Bradford Brown, who chairs the department. “We are grateful for the recognition as the nation’s leading Department of Educational Psychology.”

In all, eight programs housed within UW-Madison’s School of Education were highlighted this year by U.S. News as being among the top 10 in the nation.

According to U.S. News’ 2018 Best Graduate Schools specialty ratings released Tuesday, the following programs housed within UW-Madison’s School of Education are ranked:

No. 1 -- Curriculum/Instruction

No. 1 -- Educational Psychology

No. 2 --

No. 3 -- Secondary Education

No. 4 -- Counseling/Personnel Services

No. 4 -- Education Policy

No. 4 -- Elementary Education

No. 7 -- Special Education

To calculate its overall 2018 Best Graduate School rankings, U.S. News explains that it sent surveys to 379 institutions granting doctoral degrees, with 256 providing data the publication used to calculate rankings based on various measures. These measures include: quality assessments based on surveys filled out by education school deans and deans of graduate studies; student selectivity; faculty resource figures; and research activity. Ratings of programs were also provided by K-12 superintendents, people who hire graduates and other education experts. (More information about the U.S. News methodology is available here.)

Best Grad School rankingsMeanwhile, U.S. News explains that the program specialty rankings are “based solely on nominations by deans of graduate studies who were asked to choose up to 10 programs for excellence in each specialty.”

Not all graduate programs are ranked by U.S. News and World Report each year.

For example, the School of Education’s Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education remains No. 1 in Rehabilitation Counseling, while the School’s Art Department is still home to the No. 1 printmaking program (as voted on by deans and department chairs in the fine arts). But those marks are from past years, as U.S. News did not re-rank those specialty programs this year.

Similarly, in other specialty programs that were not re-ranked by U.S. News this year, the School of Education remains home to the No. 14 Occupational Therapy program (as voted on by program directors and faculty in health disciplines) and the No. 15 Fine Arts program (as voted on by deans and department chairs in the fine arts; the School of Education is home to the Art Department).

This marks the 18th time in the past 19 years that UW-Madison has maintained a top 10 ranking among all schools of education in the U.S. News ratings. UW-Madison is the only Big Ten Conference institution to crack the top 10 each year since 2010.

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