Newswise — More than one dozen Florida Atlantic University graduate programs are included in the latest U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Graduate Programs” for 2021. Each year, U.S. News ranks professional school programs in business, education, engineering, law, medicine and nursing, including specialties in each area. Beyond the six major disciplines ranked annually, U.S. News also periodically ranks programs in the sciences, social sciences and humanities, health, and many other areas based solely on academic experts' ratings.

This year, U.S. News also published fresh academic reputation rankings for graduate programs in public affairs, audiology, physical therapy, speech-language pathology, pharmacy, clinical psychology, occupational therapy and nursing midwifery and for master's programs in fine arts.

The FAU programs listed in the 2021 “Best Graduate Programs” include the part-time MBA (No. 138); overall education (No. 158); overall engineering (No. 152-200); computer engineering (No. 127); electrical engineering (No. 155); mechanical engineering (No. 160); overall fine arts (No. 178); medical school research (No. 94-122); medical school primary care (No. 94-122); nursing master’s (No. 47), which is the top-ranked program for public schools in Florida; nursing doctorate (No. 62); public affairs (No. 90); and speech-language pathology (No. 146).

“To once again be recognized by U.S. News & World Report is a great accomplishment for Florida Atlantic University and a tribute to our outstanding faculty and staff who provide top-notch and innovative graduate programs that span multiple disciplines,” said Bret Danilowicz, Ph.D., FAU provost and vice president for academic affairs. “This year, 13 is our lucky number and we couldn’t be more proud that these programs are included in the 2021 ‘Best Graduate Programs.’ We are elated to share credit for this important distinction with our exceptional students, faculty and staff university-wide.”

In January, several of FAU’s programs were listed in U.S. News for the “Best Online Graduate Programs,” with the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing’s online master’s degree soaring to the No. 7 spot in the nation and the top-ranked program in Florida. In September 2019, FAU landed the No. 140 spot for the first time in the university’s history for the “Top Public Schools” listing in the annual ranking of the nation’s best universities.

The Best Graduate Schools rankings in these areas are based on two types of data: expert opinions about program excellence and statistical indicators that measure the quality of a school's faculty, research and students. The data for the rankings in all six disciplines comes from statistical surveys of more than 2,081 programs and from reputation surveys sent to more than 24,603 academics and professionals, conducted in fall 2019 and early 2020. To gather the peer assessment data, U.S. News asked deans, program directors and senior faculty to judge the academic quality of programs in their field. 

Statistical indicators used in the six disciplines ranked annually fall into two categories: inputs, or measures of the qualities that students and faculty bring to the educational experience, and outputs, or measures of graduates' achievements linked to their degrees. As inputs, for example, U.S. News uses the appropriate admissions test scores for each discipline: LSAT, GMAT, MCAT or GRE. Different output measures are available for different fields.

As prospective students research course offerings and weigh schools’ intangible attributes, the information on the U.S. News’ website can help applicants compare concrete factors, such as student-faculty ratio and job placement success upon graduation.

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About Florida Atlantic University: Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University, with an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion, serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students at sites throughout its six-county service region in southeast Florida. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University is placing special focus on the rapid development of critical areas that form the basis of its strategic plan: Healthy aging, biotech, coastal and marine issues, neuroscience, regenerative medicine, informatics, lifespan and the environment. These areas provide opportunities for faculty and students to build upon FAU’s existing strengths in research and scholarship. For more information, visit