UW–Madison School of Education No. 1 among public institutions in U.S. News rankings

UW–Madison’s School of Education and several of its programs are once again ranked among the very best in the nation in the 2021 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Graduate Schools rankings released Tuesday, March 17.

UW-Madison is home to the No. 1-ranked public school of education in the nation, a distinction it is sharing again this year with the University of California, Los Angeles.

UW–Madison’s School of Education is No. 4 overall, trailing only private institutions Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Stanford University. UW–Madison, UCLA, and private Vanderbilt University all tied for the No. 4 spot overall.

This marks the 21st time in the past 22 years that UW-Madison has maintained a top-10 ranking among all schools of education in the nation, and the sixth time in the past seven years that it is home to the No. 1 public school of education.

2021 U.S. News rankings infographicIn addition, nine graduate specialty programs housed within the School of Education are rated among the Top 10 nationally — including No. 1-ranked programs in curriculum and instruction (Department of Curriculum and Instruction), and printmaking (Art Department).

“I am thrilled that our School of Education has once again been ranked the No. 1 public school of education in the United States, an honor we share with UCLA,” says Dean Diana Hess, the Karen A. Falk Distinguished Chair of Education. “Additionally, the fact that many of our departments and programs are so highly rated is a testament to the collective contributions of our many talented and dedicated faculty and staff. The depth of our highly regarded programs is a great strength of ours.”

In U.S. News’ education program ratings, UW–Madison’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction regained the top spot in this year’s rankings and has now been home to the No. 1-ranked curriculum and instruction program every year but one since 2001.

“It’s always an honor to be recognized as the top curriculum and instruction program in the country,” says Professor John Rudolph, chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. “The fact that we’ve enjoyed this recognition over so many years says so much not only about the great faculty we have and have had, but also about the culture and intellectual environment of the department, the School of Education, and the university more broadly that creates the space for and nurtures this kind of excellence.”

Similarly, the printmaking program within the School of Education’s Art Department also maintained its top ranking. This marks the first time U.S. News has ranked master of fine arts printmaking programs since its 2016 ratings, when UW-Madison also held the top spot. UW–Madison is also No. 15 in the 2021 U.S. News and World Report’s Best Art Schools overall ratings.

“We are thrilled that our Art Department remains highly ranked,” says Professor Doug Rosenberg, chair of the Art Department. “Our No. 1-ranked printmaking program faculty has worked hard to create an inclusive and rigorous space where students can explore a multitude of techniques in the context of both personal expression and historical framework.”

Adds Rosenberg: “Our Art Department MFA program being ranked 15th, and in a tie with such free-standing art schools as the Pratt Institute in New York, The Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan, and the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, is a remarkable achievement for a state school in the Midwest. It’s a testament to our brilliant, dedicated, and internationally renowned faculty and the ongoing support of Dean Diana Hess and the School of Education.”

The nine graduate programs ranked among the top 10 and housed within the School of Education according to the 2021 U.S. News Rankings are:

The UW-Madison School of Education also is home to these Top 20 programs: No. 14 Higher Education Administration; No. 17 Occupational Therapy. And as noted previously, UW-Madison is ranked 15th in the 2021 Best Art Schools ratings.

U.S. News does not rank all specialty programs every year. For example, last year’s 2020 Best Graduate Schools Rankings had the School of Education’s rehabilitation counseling program, housed in the Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education, ranked No. 1. But rehabilitation counseling programs were not rated this year.

To calculate its overall 2021 Best Graduate School rankings, U.S. News utilized survey results returned from more than 200 institutions that grant doctoral degrees. These surveys collected both expert opinions about program excellence and statistical indicators. This information is used to calculate rankings based on a weighted average of 10 measures. These measures include: peer assessments based on surveys filled out by education school deans and deans of graduate studies; professional assessments based on responses from school superintendents, school hiring contacts and professionals who hire people who graduate from graduate education programs; student selectivity measures, such as GRE scores and acceptance rates; faculty resource measures; and research activity. (Learn more about the U.S. News methodology.)

U.S. News explains that specialty program rankings are based on academic reputation surveys sent to deans, program directors and senior faculty.