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U.S. News gives high marks
to three UConn graduate programs
February 23, 1998

The audiology program is ranked in the top 20 and the schools of education and law are among the top 50 in their categories, in the latest ranking of the nation's best graduate school programs by U.S. News and World Report.

The audiology program, in the communication sciences department, is ranked 14th, the School of Education 37th out of 191, and the School of Law 48th of 174 in the magazine's annual rankings.

The graduate school rankings are published in the March 2 issue of the weekly magazine and in a guidebook, 1998 America's Best Graduate Schools. This is the first year the magazine has ranked audiology programs.

The audiology rankings take into account both master's and Ph.D. programs. The University of Iowa topped the list. UConn ranked 14th, tied with Ohio State University, the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and the University of Texas, Austin.

The education school rankings look at graduate education programs that grant Ph.D. or Ed.D. degrees. The list is topped by Teachers College at Columbia University tied with the University of California, Berkeley. UConn ranks 37th in a tie with Florida State University, the University of Arizona and the University of California, Santa Barbara. Yale topped the list of law schools. UConn ranked 48th, tied with the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

"It is heartening to see, for a second year in a row, some of the University's academic programs ranked among the best nationally," said Chancellor Mark Emmert. "Such rankings are a testimony not only to the quality of these programs but also to our continuing, selective, and focused enhancement of them."

The School of Education has risen from 48th last year. The School of Law ranked 35th last year.

Antonia Brancia Maxon, professor and head of the audiology program, said their specialty in childhood hearing impairment is unique. She also pointed out that since 1991 the program has received competitive training grants from the U.S. Department of Education, and that student applications have risen dramatically over the last five years.

"This is a great day for the School of Education," said Richard Schwab, dean of the school. "It's recognition of all the hard work that the faculty and staff have been doing to identify ourselves as one of the top schools in the country. "It's an all-around indicator that we are a school on the move," he said.

Law School Dean Hugh Macgill said, "Six years ago we weren't ranked at all. Then we went up like a rocket, and now we take a hit.

"Naturally I believe we are a much better school than this year's ranking suggests. We are glad to be among the leaders in our own field, and we share the University's pride in the achievements of the audiology program and the School of Education."

Legal educators around the country have become more insistent that applicants pay too much attention to the rankings. The Association of American Law Schools has asked U.S. News to stop ranking schools and the Law School Admission Council and 164 law deans have sent a letter to applicants to American law schools, criticizing rankings in general and using U.S. News as an example. Among other issues, the deans say that the rankings ignore important factors such as faculty quality and curricula.

Sherry Fisher