UW–Madison School of Education up to No. 3 in latest U.S. News rankings

For the 10th straight year, UW–Madison’s School of Education has been ranked among the top five education schools in the country, according to the 2023-24 U.S. News & World Report Best Graduate School Rankings released Tuesday. This year, the School of Education moved up two spots and landed in a tie for third.

Diana Hess photo

Additionally, 10 graduate programs within the School of Education were ranked by U.S. News in the latest ratings — including the No. 1 Rehabilitation Counseling program, which is housed in the Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education.

“Although the U.S. News & World Report rankings are just one measure, they highlight something we take pride in and believe is a great strength of ours — and that’s the range of high-quality programs that are housed across our School of Education,” says Dean Diana Hess. “These rankings recognize the collective contributions of dedicated and talented faculty, staff, students, and alumni of our School.”

U.S. News & World Report ranks nine graduate program specialty areas in the education realm — and UW–Madison is ranked among the top 15 in all nine areas: No. 2 in Educational Psychology; No. 2 in Secondary Teacher Education; No. 4 in Curriculum and Instruction; No. 4 in Education Policy; No. 4 in Elementary Teacher Education; No. 5 in Student Counseling; No. 6 in Educational Administration; No. 10 in Special Education; and No. 13 in Higher Education Administration.

U.S. News rankings graphic depicting where School ranks

In rankings of the top health graduate programs, the UW–Madison School of Education is home to the No. 1-ranked program in Rehabilitation Counseling.

Susan Smedema, chair of the Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education, says the No. 1 ranking for the Rehabilitation Counseling program “is a reflection of our exceptional faculty, staff, and students, who have dedicated themselves to advancing the field of rehabilitation counseling through their innovative research, outstanding teaching, and commitment to serving their communities.”


“I am absolutely delighted that our program is once again being recognized as the No. 1 Rehabilitation Counseling program in the United States,” adds Smedema, a professor in the Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling/Rehabilitation Counselor Education programs. “This recognition will motivate us to continue our unwavering dedication to improving the lives of individuals with disabilities and their families.”

U.S. News does not rank all specialty programs across all disciplines every year.

How the rankings are calculated

To calculate its overall 2023-24 Best Education Graduate Schools rankings, U.S. News collected statistical and reputational data survey results from 276 institutions that grant doctoral degrees.

U.S. News derived each education school’s overall rank by scoring it on nine distinct ranking factors that broadly cover: quality assessment (peer assessments and educational professional assessments); research activity (total research expenditures and average expenditures per faculty member); student selectivity (acceptance rate); and faculty resources (total doctoral degrees granted, faculty-to-student ratio, percentage of faculty with awards, and doctorates granted-to-faculty ratio). Learn more about the methodology here.

In the overall U.S. News Best Education Graduate Schools rankings, Teachers College, Columbia University, and the University of Michigan tied for the top spot. UW–Madison tied for third with Northwestern University and the University of Pennsylvania. The rest of the top 10 included: No. 6 Vanderbilt University; No. 7 (tie) Stanford University and the University of California–Los Angeles; and No. 9 (tie) Harvard University and New York University.

Education program specialty rankings, U.S. News explains, are based solely on nominations by education school deans and deans of graduate studies at education schools from the list of schools surveyed. They selected up to 15 top programs in each specialty area.

Similarly, the UW–Madison School of Education’s top ranking in the Rehabilitation Counseling specialty area came from surveys provided by program directors and faculty in health disciplines.

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