Graduate programs across CU system rate highly

Annual rankings by U.S. News point to excellence in research, teaching
By Staff

University of Colorado graduate programs hold dozens of spots in the latest annual rankings from U.S. News & World Report, whose survey spotlights excellence in higher education across the country.

All four CU campuses are recognized for research and teaching achievement in the fields of health care, engineering, law, education and business.

Below is a sampling of CU’s rankings from the 2016 edition of Best Graduate Schools (U.S. News Media Group). Some rankings include ties with other institutions:

University of Colorado Boulder

  • No. 1: CU-Boulder’s atomic/molecular/optical physics program maintains the top spot nationally.
  • Top 10: Other CU-Boulder programs ranking in the top 10 are environmental law (fifth), ceramics (eighth), quantum physics (eighth), geology (ninth), physical chemistry (ninth) and aerospace engineering (10th).
  • Another 28 CU-Boulder schools and programs hold places on the national rankings within their fields: chemical engineering (16), education policy (16), clinical psychology (18), environmental engineering (18), physics (18), civil engineering (21), earth sciences (23), chemistry (24), speech-language pathology (25), audiology (27) School of Education (29), biological sciences (30), psychology (30), College of Engineering and Applied Science (34), mechanical engineering (35), electrical engineering (37), computer engineering (38), computer science (40), Law School (40), political science (45), mathematics (46), sociology (46), English (50), history (50), Leeds School of Business (52 for part-time MBA schools), economics (53), fine arts (53) and the Leeds School of Business (86). Not all disciplines are ranked by the publication.

University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

School of Medicine

  • Top 10: The school ranks eighth nationally for primary care, with the specialties of pediatrics (fifth) and family medicine (seventh) also ranking high. The physician assistant program ranks fifth.
  • The School of Medicine ranks 35th overall for research.

College of Nursing

  • Top 10: The online nursing degree ranks fifth.
  • The nursing master’s degree is 30th.

Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

  • No. 24 for pharmacy (most recent data available). Also No. 5 for NIH funding.

Colorado School of Public Health

  • No. 31 for public health.

University of Colorado Denver

  • Top 10: The online criminal justice program ranks ninth.
  • Other schools and programs ranking: health care management (two spots: 18th, in partnership with the Network for Healthcare Management; and 23rd), School of Public Affairs (29), Department of Integrative Biology (Biological Sciences Ph.D. program) (75), the Business School’s part-time MBA program (91) and the School of Education and Human Development (96).

University of Colorado Colorado Springs

  • Top 20: The online engineering degree ranks 20th.
  • Also ranking are the online business MBA (40), nursing master’s degree (75) and part-time MBA (130).

Rankings are based on two types of data: expert opinions about program quality, and statistical indicators that measure the quality of a school’s faculty, research and students. These data come from surveys of more than 1,900 programs and more than 13,700 academics and professionals. The publication aims to provide a tool to students and parents who are comparing college programs at accredited public and private universities in the United States.

The 2016 Best Graduate Schools includes rankings in five of the largest professional graduate school disciplines (businesslaweducationengineering, and medicine), as well as part-time MBA and part-time law school programs. For the first time, U.S. News also is ranking master’s programs in nursing based on both statistical and reputational data.  Detailed statistical data collected about each nursing school will be displayed on searchable directory pages on, as well as in the Best Graduate Schools 2016 print guidebook, on sale at newsstands on April 7.

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