Graduate programs in education and engineering at Virginia Tech fared well in this year's U.S. News & World Report "America's Best Graduate Schools 2006" survey released today.
The Career and Technical Education Program in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences’ School of Education is ranked third in the nation by the survey. In addition, seven of the College of Engineering's individual graduate programs are ranked among the top 30.
Results of the survey will appear on the magazine's website (http://www.USNews.com) on April 1 and in a book edition at newsstands on April 4.
The Career and Technical Education (CTE) graduate program climbed to third in the nation after being ranked fifth among vocational/technical graduate specialties for the last four years. The program has been a top-10 selection for 11 straight years.
"The fact that our master's degree is available by distance learning has increased our visibility and we have received many compliments about the relevance of the program for career and technical educators," said Daisy Stewart, CTE program leader and graduate coordinator. "The national emphasis on having highly qualified educators is enhanced by making rigorous professional development opportunities available to all teachers, whether or not they are located near a university."
The overall ranking for the Virginia Tech College of Engineering rose this year from 32nd to 31st and achieved a rating of 18th among engineering schools at public universities. Individual engineering graduate programs ranked in the top 30 are industrial (eighth), civil (11th), environmental (12th), aerospace (13th), mechanical (20th), materials (26th) and electrical (29th).
U.S. News & World Report does not conduct new surveys for all graduate programs each year, and two programs in the College of Science retain high rankings from the 2003 survey. Sedimentology/stratigraphy, a program in the Department of Geological Sciences, is ranked ninth in the nation, and the applied mathematics program in the Department of Mathematics retains a rank of 33rd.
"It's gratifying that the university is recognized for excellence in graduate programs and this ranking is a useful tool for students seeking advanced degrees," said Larry Hincker, Virginia Tech's associate vice-president for University Relations. "However, journalism-generated rankings should always be kept in perspective. They are but one of many metrics to determine program quality."
U.S. News & World Report's graduate survey, published annually since 1987, uses data gathered from the surveyed schools plus rating based on reputation. The survey is intended to provide prospective students with information about the nation's top graduate programs.