School of Medicine ranked 3rd in nation by U.S. News

Top-20 status held by 16 University graduate-level, professional programs

Washington University’s School of Medicine is rated the third-best medical school in the nation, according to this year’s U.S. News & World Report rankings of graduate and professional programs released April 1.

The School of Medicine ranked third after Harvard University and Johns Hopkins University, which moved into the second spot in this year’s ranking. The No. 4 slot went to the University of Pennsylvania.

The report also revealed the WUSTL School of Medicine’s students had the highest under-graduate grade-point averages and the highest scores on medical school entrance exams. Additionally, the medical school ranked second in grant dollars from the National Institutes of Health per faculty member.

“This is the eighth consecutive year the School of Medicine’s students have had the highest undergraduate grade-point averages and highest scores on medical school entrance exams,” said Larry J. Shapiro, M.D., executive vice chancellor for medical affairs and dean of the School of Medicine. “The medical school has remained in the top 10 since U.S. News began the annual rankings in 1987.”

Numerous specialty areas at the medical school also were listed among the nation’s best. Internal medicine and pedatrics ranked sixth in the nation, the drug and alcohol abuse program tied for 12th, and the AIDS program tied for 19th.

In this year’s overall medical school standings, the rest of the top 10 are, in descending order: University of California, San Francisco; Duke University; University of Washington; Stanford University; University of Michigan; and Columbia University.

The WUSTL School of Law was tied with the University of Notre Dame for 24th after being tied for 20th in 2004.

“The School of Law continues to be bunched with a very tightly contested group of schools in the rankings process,” said Dean Joel Seligman, J.D., the Ethan A.H. Shepley University Professor.

“While we are disappointed to have dropped somewhat in our overall ranking, we are proud that our Clinical Education Program is now ranked third in the nation and our Intellectual Property and Technology Law Program is tied for 19th, our highest historical rankings in these areas. We also are pleased that our International Law Program was recognized with a 16-place ranking.”

Also rising were the Olin School of Business and the School of Engineering & Applied Science.

The School of Business was ranked 32nd, up from a 39th-place tie last year.

Stuart I. Greenbaum, Ph.D., dean of the Olin School and the Bank of America Professor of Managerial Leadership, said: “I’m pleased at the positive momentum suggested by the seven-place jump in the Olin School’s U.S. News ranking.

“However, the school’s position remains inconsistent with the ranking of our part-time M.B.A. (11th) and executive M.B.A. (16th) programs as well as the No. 11 placement for Olin’s B.S.B.A. program. Forbes most recently ranked the Olin School’s full-time M.B.A. 12th.

“The variability among rankings reflects both compression and measurement idiosyncrasies that ultimately cloud as much as they clarify.”

The engineering school was ranked 34th — compared with 36th in 2004 — in a tie with North Carolina State University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the University of Virginia.

“The School of Engineering & Applied Science strives every day of the year to improve the educational experience we offer our students,” said Dean Christopher I. Byrnes, Ph.D., the Edward H. and Florence G. Skinner Professor of Systems Science and Mathematics. “It’s always good to see that our efforts are being recognized.”

The Department of Education in Arts & Sciences, competing in a field of schools rather than departments, rose from a tie at 55 last year to 40th in 2005, in a tie with the University of Delaware.

William F. Tate, Ph.D., professor of education and chair of the department, said: “We are pleased with this recognition of improvement by U.S. News and attribute our rise in the rankings to several factors, including increased productivity of faculty and the addition of outstanding new hires, an increase in funded research, improvement in the quality of graduate students, and our commitment to maintain one of the lowest student-teacher ratios among graduate education schools and programs.

“In addition, we are very proud to note that our Depart-ment of Education in Arts & Sciences is the only department ranked in the top 40 in graduate education by U.S. News. All others in the top 40 are separate schools of education.”

Altogether, WUSTL has 16 schools, departments or programs listed in the top 20 rankings, including women’s health, 11th; biomedical engineering, 14th; cognitive psychology, 11th; political science, 16th; and political methodology, ninth.

The newsstand book, America’s Best Graduate Schools, hit newsstands April 4. Many of the 2005 rankings are in the April 11 U.S. News magazine, already available at newsstands.

The most current rankings for all WUSTL schools, departments and programs is online at