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Graduate engineering and education programs again ranked among top ten


BLACKSBURG, Va., March 30, 2007 – Graduate programs in Virginia Tech's College of Engineering and College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences are again ranked nationally among the top 10 in their fields, according to the "America's Best Graduate Schools 2008" survey released today by U.S. News and World Report.

For the second year, the industrial engineering graduate program in the Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering is ranked eighth among peer programs nationally, and the civil engineering program in the Via Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is ranked tenth.

The College of Engineering’s overall graduate program slipped slightly from last year’s ranking of 30th to 33rd in the current survey. For the third year, the college stands at 18th among graduate engineering programs at public universities. Programs at 191 public and private engineering schools that award Ph.D.s were included in this year’s survey.

“The overall rankings this year fail to reflect the good news — that the College of Engineering's research expenditures increased by nearly 13 percent, and that 147 of our students completed their Ph.D.s in 2006, our largest number ever,” said Ed Henneke, associate dean of research and graduate studies for engineering. “Once again, our graduate program is ranked 18th among engineering programs at public universities and our industrial engineering and civil engineering specialties are judged among the best in the nation by peer faculty.”

“An important assessment that remains consistently high for the College of Engineering is the National Science Foundation’s annual survey of research expenditures,” said Richard Benson, dean of engineering. “For the third year in a row, our faculty’s efforts have resulted in a national ranking of 13th — a true achievement in the highly competitive arena of research funding.”

The Career and Technical Education graduate program in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences' School of Education ranked sixth among vocational and technical specialties in this year's survey, holding at the same spot as the previous year. The program has placed among the top five programs a number of times and has been a top-10 selection for the past 13 years.

The program currently has 125 master's students and 30 doctoral students in fields such as business and marketing education, family and consumer sciences, agricultural education and health education.

“Our master's degree courses are available to educators throughout the state online or through video-conferencing,” said Daisy Stewart, Career and Technical Education faculty member and associate director of the School of Education. “That accessibility, combined with the professional organization leadership provided by Virginia Tech's faculty, has enhanced our national recognition.”

U.S. News & World Report’s graduate rankings, published annually since 1987, are based on several categories of data gathered from the surveyed schools, plus peer assessments of deans, senior faculty and other professionals in their respective fields. The survey is intended to provide prospective students with information about the nation’s top graduate schools and programs of study.

Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech is the most comprehensive university in the Commonwealth of Virginia and is among the top research universities in the nation. Today, Virginia Tech’s eight colleges are dedicated to quality, innovation, and results through teaching, research, and outreach activities. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg and other campus centers in Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 180 academic degree programs.