UT Earns Best Graduate Schools Designation from U.S. News and World Report

Source: UT Knoxville | News; Tyra Haag | March 31, 2021

Spring flowers bloom around the Torchbearer in Circle Park on the evening ofThe University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has multiple graduate programs highly ranked in the 2022 U.S. News and World Report graduate school rankings report—enough to earn a U.S. News Best Graduate Schools designation.

The Haslam College of Business climbed six spots and is now ranked 17th among public universities. This is the college’s highest ranking in U.S. News Best Graduate Business Schools and places the college among the top 20 public universities. The college’s Supply Chain Management MBA ranked fifth among public universities, its sixth consecutive year in the top 10.

The Tickle College of Engineering ranked 32nd among public institutions. The ranking is the same as last year’s, helping maintain the college’s standing as a strong engineering program. Nine of the college’s disciplines now rank in the top 40 among public institutions in their respective fields. Additional engineering field rankings among public universities include the following:

  • Aerospace engineering rose one spot to 27th
  • Biomedical engineering rose four spots to 58th
  • Biosystems engineering, which is run through the Herbert College of Agriculture, ranked 23rd
  • Chemical engineering ranked 48th
  • Civil engineering tied for 39th
  • Computer engineering tied for 33rd
  • Electrical engineering rose one spot to 29th
  • Industrial and systems engineering saw the biggest climb, moving up nine spots to 32nd
  • Materials science and engineering moved up three spots to 28th
  • Mechanical engineering tied for 38th
  • Nuclear engineering ranked 6th

Other colleges ranked in the top 50 among public institutions: the College of Law is ranked 31st (rising from 36th last year), and the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences rose two spots from 47th last year to 45th this year.

Academic specialties from across UT were among the top graduate programs among public universities in their area. Top placements include the following areas:

  • The College of Communication and Information School of Information Sciences’ library and information studies program ranked 9th, school library media ranked 11th, and digital librarianship ranked 11th.
  • The College of Law’s business and corporate law ranked 8th, and clinical training specialty ranked 10th.
  • The College of Nursing’s doctoral program in nursing practice ranked 38th.

Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor John Zomchick said the rankings show the strength of graduate programs in several colleges.

“I am proud and grateful for the efforts of all faculty across all colleges, and I am delighted that many have earned national recognition for the strength of their research and scholarship, which is the driver for all graduate education,” he said. “UT continues to be a choice destination for those seeking to do advanced work in many disciplines.”

US News and World Report ranks graduate programs each spring based on dean and department head votes in the fall, with undergraduate programs ranked in the fall from spring votes. Colleges as a whole are ranked based on a variety of factors, including peer and recruiter perception, research expenditures, doctoral degrees granted, and enrollment, while department rankings are based solely on perception scores from other department heads.

“UT has many exceptional graduate and professional programs. I’m proud of the hard work and dedication of our faculty, staff, and students that allow these programs to thrive,” said Dixie Thompson, dean of UT’s Graduate School.

In late 2020 and early 2021, U.S. News sent statistical surveys to administrators at more than 2,000 graduate programs and compared them with reputational surveys completed by more than 24,000 academics and professionals to derive the rankings. While U.S. News ranks programs in business, education, engineering, law, medicine, and nursing every year, programs in the sciences, social sciences and humanities, health fields, and other areas are ranked only periodically.

What college leaders are saying

Bruce Behn, associate dean for graduate and executive education in the Haslam College of Business: “The Haslam College of Business’s continuing rise in these MBA rankings is a reflection of the quality of students the program attracts and the importance of the real-world preparation they receive here. While we are proud that our MBA students enter the business world ready to make an immediate impact, we are not resting on our laurels. We work constantly to improve the college’s overall educational experience, and we look forward seeing those efforts continue to benefit our stakeholders in the future.”

Carla Beyl, dean of the Herbert College of Agriculture: “The Herbert College of Agriculture educates students to take an active leadership role in solving the problems that will face the world in the future. Biosystems engineering and soil science does this in an exceptional way by providing excellent in-class learning coupled with an extraordinary hands-on approach that solidifies what they have learned. The faculty, staff, and leadership in the department excel at all levels and have faced the challenges offered by the pandemic in a proactive and innovative way to continue to offer this stellar education.”

Doug Blaze, interim dean of the College of Law: “We are very gratified that our hard work and impact are being recognized. The faculty and staff at the College of Law work together to provide the very best legal education possible for our students. We do that not because it’s an effort to improve our rankings, but because it’s our mission.”

Ellen McIntyre, dean of the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences: “The College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences graduates professionals who work to improve lives of all people, including our most vulnerable. With deep partnerships with community agencies, schools, and businesses, the work we do makes a direct impact on our community. We are thrilled to see that work pay off in our recognition, external funding, rankings, and especially in the stories told by our students and our community partners.”

Matthew Mench, interim dean of the Tickle College of Engineering: “The Tickle College of Engineering takes great pride in providing a world-class education to our students. What is even more exciting to me is the progress we have continued to make over the past decade in building for our future. I am happy to see that even during such a tumultuous year, we have maintained our momentum, and I look forward to all the great things I know are coming. This is a very exciting time to be a Tennessee engineer.”

Victoria Niederhauser, dean of the College of Nursing: “At the College of Nursing we work to produce Doctor of Nursing Practice students that will influence health care outcomes for individuals and patient populations by using evidence-based practice, evaluating and implementing health policy, developing new and innovative clinical systems, and becoming leaders in nursing. This ranking is a direct reflection of our amazing nursing students. It is also a tribute to the commitment of our faculty and staff, who work tirelessly to support excellence in nursing education.”

Carol Tenopir, interim director of the School of Information Sciences: “We are thrilled to be recognized as one of the top 10 programs in library and information sciences. Our faculty are excellent teachers and productive researchers, our students go on to exciting careers, and we have all worked hard together to be at the forefront of the information sciences. Our master’s degree program has grown to more than 300 distance and on-campus students and our new bachelor’s program is emphasizing our expertise in user experience and data management. The future looks bright for SIS.”