IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs rises to No. 1 in U.S. News graduate school rankings

Schools of law, business, nursing, medicine and fine arts, as well as health disciplines, also highly esteemed

  • March 16, 2016


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs in Bloomington is No. 1 in U.S. News & World Report's Best Graduate Schools rankings.

The IU Maurer School of Law also returned to U.S. News’ top 25, joining the Kelley School of Business, the IU School of Nursing and several health disciplines in the College of Arts and Sciences that are similarly ranked. IU graduate programs in education, fine arts and medicine also were ranked by the publication.

“We have a terrific, diverse and comprehensive array of graduate and professional programs,” said IU Bloomington Provost and Executive Vice President Lauren Robel. “These rankings again reflect their excellence and quality.”

U.S. News last reviewed public affairs programs in 2012, when the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs moved to No. 2, ahead of similar schools at Harvard, Princeton and other major universities. It now is at the top of the rankings, tied with the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.

The school also was ranked No. 1 in three specialties -- environmental policy and management, nonprofit management, and public finance and budgeting -- and third in public management and administration.

Adding to this good news, SPEA programs at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis were ranked 41st out of 272 public affairs schools overall, and its nonprofit management specialty was ranked fourth.

“This is a momentous day for Indiana University and for SPEA,” said John D. Graham, dean of the school. “To be ranked as the top program in the nation, ahead of legendary programs such as Harvard and Princeton, is a crowning achievement for our faculty and staff. It is testament to the remarkable foundation built by our SPEA family going back to the school’s launch in 1972.

“The improvement in our overall ranking is certainly reason enough to celebrate, but there is more good news. Our programs in nonprofit management, environmental policy and management, and public finance and budgeting are also considered the best in the nation, and our program in public management and administration is in the top three,” Graham added.

“With this reputation for excellence comes an obligation. So as we enjoy this day, we also rededicate ourselves to advancing knowledge that improves our world.”

“The rankings are a reflection of all that we do at SPEA: the research by our faculty, the accomplishments of our students and the remarkable impact our alumni are having through careers that started here,” said Michael McGuire, the school’s executive associate dean. “To be considered the best in the nation is an honor, and it motivates us to continue to excel.”

The IU Maurer School of Law again is ranked in the top 25 overall and is eighth among public universities and fifth in the Big 10. Three Maurer specialties were ranked in the top 25. It was ranked 18th for international law, 20th for tax and 23rd for intellectual property.

“We are pleased to regain our position as a top 25 law school and to be ranked eighth among public law schools,” said Austen Parrish, dean and James H. Rudy Professor of Law. “The ranking reflects the quality of our students and faculty and the reputation of our outstanding alumni, whose support plays a crucial role in our success.”

The IU McKinney School of Law at IUPUI also was ranked by U.S. News, 100th overall and 54th among public universities. Its health law specialty was 11th overall and fourth among public schools. McKinney’s part-time program was ranked 23rd overall and ninth among publics. Its legal writing program was ranked 23rd overall and 10th among publics.

The IU School of Nursing was ranked 23rd overall and 11th among public universities. Its Doctor of Nursing Practice degree was ranked 24th overall.

Three health-related programs in IU's College of Arts and Sciences were ranked in the top 20. Its speech-language pathology master's program was ranked 12th overall and eighth among public universities. Its audiology doctoral program was ranked 13th overall and eighth among publics, and the clinical psychology doctoral program was 16th overall and 11th among publics.

The Master of Fine Arts program, also in the College of Arts and Sciences at IU Bloomington, was 33rd overall and 14th among public universities.

“I am delighted to see four of the College’s graduate programs, all of which are important contributors to public health and well-being, standing at the very top of the scale among their peers in the best public universities,” said Executive Dean Larry Singell. “The quality of our Master of Fine Arts program, now ranked 14th among publics, has long been established. It is truly exciting to be able to offer our students both a vast range of academic programs and a high degree of excellence.”

The IU Kelley School of Business Master of Business Administration programs maintained their position among elite schools of business. Its full-time program at IU Bloomington was ranked 22nd overall, seventh among public universities and third in the Big Ten. Its part-time Evening MBA program at IUPUI moved up to sixth overall -- its highest ranking -- and fourth among public universities. This is the fifth time it has been ranked in the top 10 since U.S. News started ranking part-time MBA programs in 2011.

Six of the Kelley School's specialties were highlighted by peers, with entrepreneurship at eighth overall and third among public institutions; and accounting at 11th overall and fifth among publics. Its information systems program and its production/operations program were 13th, its marketing program was 15th and its management program was 19th.

The IU School of Education was 28th overall and 18th among public university graduate schools. The school had top rankings for eight of its degree programs: ninth for elementary education and for higher education administration; 10th for curriculum/instruction and for secondary education; 12th for student counseling and personnel services; 13th for educational administration and supervision; 15th for education policy; and 16th for educational psychology.

The IU School of Medicine moved into the top 50 for research, up to 48th from 51st a year ago, and it stayed at 24th for primary care.

While business, education, engineering, law and medicine are ranked every year, graduate programs in other disciplines typically go several years between rankings. U.S. News did not issue new rankings for the biological sciences, computer science, chemistry, earth sciences, economics, English, history, political science, psychology, mathematics, physics, statistics, economics, library science, nursing, mathematics and sociology.

The rankings are available at

School of Public and Environmental Affairs in Bloomington

School of Public and Environmental Affairs in Bloomington

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John D. Graham

John D. Graham

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Austen L. Parrish

Austen L. Parrish

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