U.S. News & World Report released its 2013 rankings of the nation’s top graduate schools March 13, with Northwestern law, engineering, medicine, education and business all in the top 20 of their respective categories.
Rankings are arranged by a point value, given out of 100 points. The points are collected through an evaluation of school characteristics, such as selectivity, quality assessment and placement success.
The rating of the Northwestern School of Law remained unchanged from last year at 12th place, and McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, Feinberg School of Medicine and Kellogg School of Management all moved up one ranking to 19th, 18th and 4th place, respectively.
“None of these were particularly significant changes, but it’s always good to be ranked,” University spokesman Al Cubbage said.
Cubbage said although the U.S. News & World Report is well-known for its ranking at the undergraduate level, he believes it carries slightly less weight for graduate programs. He said NU graduate schools are consistently ranked among prestigious institutions, not only in U.S. News & World Report, but in the National Law Journal, Businessweek and Forbes, publications also giving rankings to professional schools.
“Northwestern is really known for excellence in teaching and really good education in all of our disciplines,” Cubbage said.
In U.S. News & World Report’s graduate business school rankings, NU placed in the top four, among schools such as Harvard, Stanford, University of Pennsylvania and the University of Chicago.
“We are in good company,” Cubbage said.
Cubbage attributed the rankings not only to teaching proficiency but also to the careers of students after graduation, especially at NU Law.
The National Law Journal ranked NU Law as second in “go-to” law schools in the nation in 2012. The ranking is based upon percentages of graduates joining the nation’s largest law firms. Among 2011 NU Law graduates, 52.1 percent went on to work at one of the 250 selected National Law Journal law firms, according to a February article from NU Newscenter.
“Our graduates go on to really good positions … (They) go on to succeed,” Cubbage said.
Julie Lee, a second-year law student at NU Law, said she took school rankings into account while applying to colleges, and she thinks others consider rankings when applying to law school.
“Rankings are really important for law school decisions, because I think mainly law school reputation is important for employment,” Lee said.
Lee has already been through on-campus recruiting and was offered a job at a law firm in New York City.
“I have been very pleased overall with my academic experience and how employment prospects have been,” she said.
Third-year NU Law student Kate Riordan said she chose NU Law over other higher-ranked law schools.
“I just thought I’d be happier at NU,” Riordan said. “I didn’t see any reason why a couple spots on the U.S. News & World Report should make up for three years of misery.”