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Graduate Programs Rise in Rankings

This year's U.S. News rankings bring good news for graduate programs across the university. Three programs place in the top 10 nationwide while numerous other graduate programs advance.

The NC State Belltower at dusk and night. Photo by Marc Hall

NC State’s graduate programs in education, engineering, statistics, business, social work and nonprofit management advanced on the annual list of America’s best graduate schools published this week by U.S. News & World Report. Graduate programs in veterinary medicine, nuclear engineering, and biological and agricultural engineering continued their dominance on the biennial list, ranking among the top 10 programs in their respective disciplines.

The 2023 rankings are based on quality indicators such as student-faculty ratio, average GRE scores of incoming students and alumni success in the job market. They also rely heavily on peer assessments, giving significant weight to each school’s academic reputation.

Moving Up

NC State’s College of Education continued its steady rise in the rankings, moving up nine spots on this year’s list to rank 28th in the nation. That’s an impressive achievement, considering the college wasn’t even in the top 50 in 2017. What’s more, four of the college’s specialties ranked in the top 25 this year: education administration and supervision, 14th; secondary teacher education, 18th; elementary teacher education, 22nd; and curriculum and instruction, 24th.

The College of Engineering, which slipped one spot to 26th in the nation, saw many of its specialties advance in the rankings. Biological and agricultural engineering, which it administers jointly with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, moved up four spots to rank third in the nation. Mechanical engineering jumped eight spots to rank 38th and civil engineering moved up four spots to rank 26th. Several specialties moved up one spot this year, including chemical engineering, 20th; environmental engineering, 21st; materials science and engineering, 22nd; and electrical and electronic engineering, 34th.

Nuclear engineering maintained its third-place ranking, which it first achieved in 2019.

By the Numbers

In the College of Sciences, statistics moved up five spots to rank 11th in the nation. And applied math made the list for the first time, ranking 21st in the nation.

In the Poole College of Management, the part-time Jenkins MBA program recovered after losing ground in 2021 and is now ranked 57th in the nation — on par with its 2019 ranking.

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences also had reason to cheer this year’s graduate school rankings. Its graduate program in nonprofit management moved into the top 25 nationwide, advancing two spots to 24th this year. And the graduate program in social work ranked 79th in the nation, up from 96th in 2021.

NC State’s College of Veterinary Medicine again ranked fourth in the nation this year, a position it has held since 2019.