UW–Madison ties for No. 1 ranking among public schools of education

U.S. News and World Report released its 2020 Best Education Graduate Schools rankings on March 12, and UW–Madison is home to the highest-rated public school of education in the nation, a distinction it is sharing this year with the University of California-Los Angeles.

UW–Madison’s School of Education is No. 3 overall, trailing only Ivy League privates Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania. UW–Madison, UCLA, and Stanford University all tied for the No. 3 spot.

This marks the 20th time in the past 21 years that UW-Madison has maintained a top-10 ranking among all schools of education.

“It is an honor to again be recognized as one of the finest schools of education by U.S. News and World Report,” says UW–Madison School of Education Dean Diana Hess, the Karen A. Falk Distinguished Chair of Education. “While these rankings are but one measure, they are special because they recognize 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 addition to this overall rank, UW–Madison’s School of Education is also home to nine specialty programs ranked among the top 10 in the nation — including the top-ranked program in rehabilitation counseling, which is housed within the Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education.

“We are honored and humbled by such a prestigious recognition,” says UW–Madison Associate Professor Melinda Leko, who chairs the Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education. “It is a testament to the dedication and excellence exemplified by our faculty, staff, students, and alumni who are working tirelessly every day to improve outcomes for individuals with disabilities within our society.”

According to these latest rankings, the UW–Madison School of Education is home to top-10 programs in the following specialty areas:

  • No. 1 — Rehabilitation Counseling
  • No. 2 — Curriculum and Instruction
  • No. 2 — Educational Administration and Supervision
  • No. 2 — Educational Psychology
  • No. 3 — Education Policy
  • No. 3 — Student Counseling and Personnel Services
  • No. 4 — Elementary Education
  • No. 5 — Secondary Education
  • No. 8 — Special Education

UW–Madison also ranked 20th in the specialty area of Higher Education Administration.

To calculate its overall 2020 Best Graduate School rankings, U.S. News explains that it sent surveys to 392 institutions granting doctoral degrees in the fall of 2018 and early 2019. Of those, 258 provided data needed 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. (View details about U.S. News’ methodology here.)

These most recent overall rankings make UW–Madison home to the top-rated public school of education for the fifth time in the past six years.

U.S. News explains that the education program specialty rankings are “based solely on nominations by education school deans and education school deans of graduate studies from the list of schools surveyed.” Those participating could select up to 10 top programs in each 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.

Not all graduate programs are ranked by U.S. News & World Report each year. For example, the School of Education’s Art Department is home to the top-ranked printmaking program and the 15th-ranked fine arts program (as voted on by deans and department chairs in the fine arts). The Department of Kinesiology, meanwhile, houses the 14th-ranked occupational therapy program (as voted on by program directors and faculty in health disciplines). However, updated rankings in those areas were not included in U.S. News’ 2020 Best Graduate Schools rankings.

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