Levin College of Law

UF made significant rises in law and business in the U.S. News and World Report’s 2020 rankings of graduate schools nationwide.

The report released Tuesday ranked graduate schools in business, education, engineering, law, medicine and nursing and has sub-rankings under each category, said UF Provost Joseph Glover.

UF is pleased with how it stood in the 2020 rankings, Glover said. Graduate rankings are important to UF because they can draw in faculty and graduate students, as well as validate the university’s progress.

“The fact that we’re ranking well, and that we’ve been on an upward trajectory over the past several years is telling people that you get a real quality experience,” he said.

In total, the university has 28 programs ranked in the top 30 of their category, which is eight more than UF had two years ago, said UF spokesperson Steve Orlando. Of those, seven are in the top 10 of their category, and 17 are in the top 20.

Warrington College of Business Administration’s full-time MBA leaped from No. 34 to No. 25 and Levin College of Law moved up from No. 41 to No. 31, Orlando said. UF’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program moved up four spots to No. 24.

The Levin College of Law Dean Laura Rosenbury said she was thrilled with the results because it validated their strategy of high selectivity in faculty and students of the college that was implemented three years ago.

“It’s great to see the strategy finally paying off,” Rosenbury said.

The director of UF’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program, Stacia Hays, credits the program’s success to the school’s response to the ever-changing health care system.

“Our ranking definitely demonstrates that we have been able to respond appropriately and provide leadership for health care,” she said.

Initiatives such as aiming to hire 500 new faculty members, as well as the goal of moving from the rank of eighth to a top five public university in the nation on the U.S. News and World Report, can be factors into the improved rankings, Orlando said.

Excelling in the rankings can raise the national profile of a university and can impact the pull of potential students and other stakeholders, Brittany Wise, director of communications for the Florida Board of Governors, wrote in an email.

“It is an independent recognition of Florida’s success offering high-quality education at an affordable cost,” Wise said.

UF jumped from No. 65 last year to No. 53 for medical schools for primary care, now tied with the University of Southern California at Keck, according to the report.

Other programs, however, saw a slight decrease in their standings. For graduate research, UF College of Medicine now comes in at No. 43, tied with the University of Minnesota, according to U.S. News and World Report. This is a drop from UF’s spot at No. 41 last year.

The Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering dropped in its place from No. 43 last year to No. 45 this year in the overall engineering category, now tied with the University of Rochester, according to the report.

The College of Education’s graduate ranking also dropped in the overall education category from No. 24 to No. 25. Last year, UF was tied with the University of California at Irvine, which is now No. 23 in this category.

Dean Hasan, a UF doctor of pharmacy candidate graduating in May, said ranking was a priority in his search for a pharmacy graduate program.

The UF College of Pharmacy is currently ranked at No. 9, Orlando said.

Hasan applied to the top 10 pharmacy schools at the time, in addition to UF, which was then ranked No. 14, he said. He sent in his application to UF because of its in-state location.

“A ranking tells me that I’m getting my money’s worth,” Hasan said. “If they’re in the top 10 percent, even the top 20 percent, they’re doing something right.”

Kelly Hayes is a journalism and political science junior at the University of Florida. Before becoming a staff writer at The Alligator, she wrote as a contributor, and also as the marketing intern for The Florida Museum of Natural History.