Graduate School Rankings 2012

As an undergrad, choosing your graduate school is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make. The right school can mean higher-paying jobs, a great alumni and career network, many financial aid programs, and a place you feel comfortable, while the wrong school can lead to academic problems and unfulfilled career goals. Rankings lists can help you decide which program is right for you.

There are a number of different organizations and publications that compile graduate school rankings. Some focus on schools in a certain location, while others look at specific kinds of programs. Still others rank graduate schools in general, without bias to type of program or location. All of these lists can help you determine which graduate schools are best for you.

US News Rankings

US News and World Report is one of the most respected sources for college rankings. Their annual ranking includes a graduate school list includes over 12,000 programs, and is divided according to type of study. They have lists for business schools, education schools, engineering schools, law schools, and medical schools, in addition to offering rankings for graduate schools that focus on the sciences, library and information studies, social sciences and humanities subjects, the fine arts, public affairs programs, and more.

BusinessWeek Rankings

If you’re interested in an MBA program, the list compiled by BusinessWeek is by far one of the best resources you can use to find out more about schools offering education in this area. They also have a list for undergraduate schools, as well as non-degree education, but as a graduate student to-be, you’ll likely be most interested in the part-time MBA program listing, the full-time MBA program listing, or the Executive MBA (EMBA) listing.

Law School Rankings

Along with US News’ rankings, you should also check out the Gourman Report and the Education Quality Rankings (EQR). While the Gourman Report doesn’t come out every year, it was the original ranking list for law schools, and it can still be useful, since many law programs are very old and haven’t changed much over the past several years. The EQR is also a list you should consider. Compiled by Professor Brian Leiter at the University of Texas law school, this listing looks at quality of faculty, quality of student body, and quality of teaching.

NRC Rankings

If you’re interested in school beyond a master’s degree program, check out the National Research Council (NRC) rankings, which lists doctorate programs in a number of subject areas. This list is only updated occasionally (the last report was in 1995), but it is by far one of the most comprehensive reviews of the doctorate programs available.

As an undergraduate student, you probably already realize that the right school can make or break your college experience and career success. You probably also already realize that the best school for you may not necessarily be the school at the top of any ranking list. Check out a number of colleges that offer graduate programs in your subject of choice, not only looking at their rank on various lists, but also talking to professors and students, visiting campuses, and more.

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