Campus News

Public affairs master’s program ranks third in magazine survey

The master’s program in public administration offered in UGA’s School of Public and International Affairs is ranked third in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report’s “2005 Best Graduate Schools.” The program is joined in the top five by those at Syracuse, Harvard, Indiana (Bloomington) and Princeton universities and the University of California at Berkeley.

SPIA, founded in 2001 in a consolidation of UGA’s well-regarded programs in public and international affairs, also saw two of its specializations ranked highly: public management and administration was ranked second nationally and public finance and budgeting was ranked third.

“It is gratifying to have peer assessment confirm the quality of our public administration program,” says Thomas P. Lauth, dean of SPIA. “The faculty and students of the department of public administration and policy are to be congratulated on this recognition.”

Four other UGA colleges joined SPIA in the national graduate programs rankings. The College of Education tied for 24th, the School of Social Work tied for 28th, the School of Law tied for 31st and the Terry College of Business was ranked 42nd.

“A strong graduate studies program is one of the hallmarks of a great university,” says President Michael F. Adams. “I am pleased to see that our efforts are paying off, as evidenced by this recognition of the quality of UGA’s graduate programs in a number of areas.”

“These rankings articulate to the world the fact that we have been ­engaged in and committed to quality education for a long time,” says Maureen Grasso, dean of the Graduate School. “The Graduate School has a global presence in the preparation of future leaders and the promotion of innovative research, and we are delighted with this acknowledgment.”

UGA’s graduate programs in education ranked among the top 14 public universities in the nation and the top three in the Southeast, along with Vanderbilt University and the University of Virginia. Five specialty programs ranked in the top 10 nationally: secondary education ranked third, elementary education tied for third place, vocational and technical education ranked fourth, counseling and personnel services ranked fifth, and curriculum and instruction ranked sixth.

Three other graduate education programs ranked among the nation’s top 20: educational psychology 13th, higher education administration 18th and administration/supervision 19th.

The U.S News rankings also show that UGA’s College of Education is the most productive of the nation’s best education schools in turning out licensed teachers. UGA leads the top 50 universities in the number of 2003 graduates licensed to teach at 647, followed by Michigan State at 644 and Penn State at 624.

“This is a wonderful affirmation of the hard work of our faculty,” says Louis Castenell, dean of the education college. “I’m proud of this college and our efforts to build on what are already excellent programs. We have great faculty and students who are engaged in innovative and ­significant work. They earn this ­recognition every day.”

The School of Social Work was rated 39th in the previous listing (2000) and sixth in the South. This year the program progressed to rankings tied for 28th overall and third in the South, behind only UNC and Virginia Commonwealth University.

“We are proud that our social work education colleagues around the nation recognize the quality of our program,” says Larry Nackerud, interim dean of the School of Social Work. “I believe our rise in the rankings is a direct reflection of the hard work of students, faculty and staff of the school and the excellence of our three academic programs-B.S.W., M.S.W., and Ph.D.”

The School of Law ranking places it 11th among public law schools and fourth among public law schools in the Southeast.

“Although one must be careful about placing too much emphasis on U.S. News rankings, I’m pleased our law school continues to perform well,” says Rebecca H. White, interim dean of the law school. “We have an outstanding law school, and our ranking is no doubt a source of pride for our alumni and law school community. Our strong academic reputation, student credentials and excellent placement and bar passage rates are solid indicators of the strength of our school.”

The Terry College of Business maintained its top 20 standing among public business schools.

The rankings are available online ( and in book form, with excerpts in the current issue of the magazine. U.S. News published its first reputation-only graduate school ranking in 1987, with the first issue of “America’s Best Graduate Schools” coming in 1990.