Law School and School of Education Move Up in U.S. News Rankings

Two professional schools at the College of William & Mary improved their ranking among the nation's best, according to the U.S. News & World Report survey of graduate programs and professional schools.

In the magazine's annual rankings released Friday, the William & Mary School of Law ranked tied for 27th in the nation, up from 29th a year ago. William and Mary's School of Education also improved two spots and ranked tied for 45th -- compared to 47th in 2004. The college's doctoral program in U.S. colonial history ranked tied for fourth in the nation.

"Our extraordinary professional programs continue to outshine institutions across the country with far greater resources," President Timothy J. Sullivan said. "These rankings simply affirm what we already know - William & Mary is a special place and our graduate programs continue to make significant strides thanks to the dedication and leadership of our talented faculty and staff."

The magazine ranks professional schools and graduate programs using a variety of scoring categories, such as peer assessments, student/faculty ratios, number of degrees awarded and funding available for faculty research.

William & Mary's Law School and School of Education consistently rank among the nation's Top 50 each year in U.S. News. The School of Education ranked 44th in 2003 and 50th in 2002, according to the annual ranking.

"Our continued strong showing despite our small size and limited resources reflects the tremendous productivity of our faculty and staff," said School of Education Dean Virginia McLaughlin. "We are especially pleased that the survey of school superintendents rated our programs eighth in the nation -- a wonderful tribute to the outstanding performance of our graduates who are serving in schools throughout the country. We are also very proud to rank 35th in externally funded research dollars per faculty member."

The Law School, which celebrated its 225th anniversary this school year, improved to two spots to claim its best ranking ever by U.S. News. The magazine ranked the school 29th in 2004, 28th two years ago and 32nd in the nation in 2002.

"Twenty-seventh is the best U.S. News ranking ever for the country's oldest law school, though not one that makes our hearts sing," Law School Dean Taylor Reveley. "As was true last year, we have another crush of applicants this year -- more than 20 for each available seat in the class that will arrive in August. Earth is being moved to prepare the site for the new law library building.

"All in all, the Law School is thriving."

Each year, the magazine ranks professional-school programs in education, law, medicine, engineering and business. For the first time since 2001, U.S. News updated their rankings of Ph.D. programs in the social sciences and humanities. William % Mary consistently ranks near the top of the list for colonial history and was ranked second overall in the previous ranking in 2001.

The 2006 edition of the newsstand book, America's Best Graduate Schools, hits newsstands Monday, April 4, 2005. Many of the rankings will also appear in the April 11th issue of U.S. News, which goes on sale that same day.