Updated: March 13, 2013

Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering for the third consecutive year ranks 24th among the nation’s best engineering schools for graduate studies, according to U.S. News and World Report’s America’s Best Graduate Schools 2014 survey released today. 

Additionally, the Pamplin College of Business jumped to 34th from 37th among top part-time master’s of business administration programs.

More standout rankings: Virginia Tech’s public affairs program in the School of Public and International Affairs, part of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, again ranks 37th in the nation for the fourth year in a row, tying with Cornell University in New York, University of Arizona, University of Delaware, and the University of Illinois-Chicago, a feat repeated from the 2013 Best Graduate Schools survey released spring of last year. In the same college, the Center for Public Administration and Policy ranked 17th.

Boasting more than 2,000 graduate students, the College of Engineering’s graduate program ranks as the highest ranked engineering school in Virginia. Among fellow public universities, it ranks among the top 13 universities in the nation for engineering.

“Our hands-on, minds-on philosophy of education at Virginia Tech has always been the backbone of our outstanding reputation, one not possible without the immense talent of our faculty, who help guide and work closely with our graduate students,” said Richard C. Benson, dean of the College of Engineering. “Our students regularly collaborate on ground-breaking research projects, including working to make helmeted sports such as football safer, building a humanoid robot that one day could save lives during a disaster, and other robots that can mimic jellyfish in appearance and action, while helping safeguard the oceans and seas of the world. These projects exemplify our motto of Ut Prosim, That I May Serve.”

The magazine gives high marks to several of the College of Engineering’s programs and departments, including the Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at seventh for industrial/ manufacturing programs, the Charles E. Via Jr. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering’s civil engineering programs ranking seventh;  and the biological systems engineering department, also part of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, ranking ninth among biological/agricultural programs. Other ranked programs include: Aerospace at 15th, computer and electrical engineering (listed separately) at 19th; environmental (part of the civil engineering department) at 13th; and mechanical at 17th.

The Pamplin College of Business’s jump to 34th among the nation’s best part-time MBA schools ranks it alongside Colorado State University, Lehigh University, and University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The jump comes after the school’s ranking of 37th in the 2013 rankings and 45th in the 2012 rankings.

Pamplin’s program is based at Virginia Tech’s National Capital Region campus, near Washington, D.C., and is designed to meet the needs of mid-level managers and other full-time professionals with potential for advancement in their organizations. It is commonly referred to as the Pamplin Evening MBA.

The College of Science’s paleontology program, part of the Department of Geoscience, ranks ninth in nation for the third consecutive year, again tying with Ohio State University. Elsewhere in the college, the Department of Psychology ranks 67th in the nation, tying with 10 other universities.  Additional rankings: Biological sciences was listed at 92; the Department of Chemistry at 53; clinical psychology at 47; earth sciences at 28; geochemistry at 13th; economics at 58; math at 59; the Department of Physics at 63, and statistics at 48. 

The School of Education, part of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, again ties for 100th in the nation, ranking alongside City University of New York and Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, La. The Career and Technical Education program ranked fourth in the nation, under the listing of Technical/Vocational Programs. The Department of Sociology, also part of the college, ranked 69th.

U.S. News and World Report’s graduate rankings of colleges, published annually since 1987, are based on several categories of data gathered from the surveyed schools, plus peer assessments by deans, senior faculty, and other professionals in their respective fields. Rankings of the specialty programs are based solely on peer assessments. The annual survey is intended to provide prospective students with information about the nation’s top graduate schools and programs of study. 

Not all data on college, department, and program rankings is new for the 2014 year. For instance, rankings of the College of Engineering and the Pamplin College of Business are new, with data collected in 2013. However, some data is older. Briefly, rankings for the Department of Chemistry date back to 2010; as does information for the Department of Computer Science, ranked at 44, and the Department of Math. The Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech ranks 17th in the nation, from data first ranked in 2011.

View the U.S. News and World Report survey online.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

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