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UW–Madison graduate programs excel in U.S. News guide 

April 25, 2023 By Käri Knutson
Several students walking quickly past Bascom Hall under a banner of a scowling Bucky Badger

Students scurried past Bascom Hall on the first day of classes Sept. 8. Photo: Bryce Richter

UW–Madison graduate programs are once again ranked among the nation’s best in the 2023-24 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Graduate Schools.”

“UW–Madison has a long tradition of providing our students a world-class education,” says Eric Wilcots, interim provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. “Rankings are one of many measures that reflect this commitment.”

The School of Education is ranked second among public universities and third overall, marking the 10th straight year it has ranked in the top five; its Rehabilitation Counseling program ranking first overall, an honor it also achieved in 2020, the last year the category was ranked.

Other highlights include the School of Veterinary Medicine, seventh overall (three-way tie); along with the Wisconsin School of Business full-time MBA rising to 40th, up from 47th last year; and computer science rising to 12th, up from 17th last year.

“Our mission is to foster excellence in graduate education by offering students research opportunities and experiences that prepare them to be thought leaders in a wide range of disciplines,” says William Karpus, dean of UW–Madison’s Graduate School. “We are always pleased to have the work and expertise of our faculty and staff recognized.”

Although rankings are just one measure of UW–Madison excellence, the U.S. News set has been a source of controversy this year.

U.S. News delayed the release by one week to address questions from universities and has temporarily withdrawn rankings of law and medicine programs.

The University of Wisconsin Law School has created a webpage with information to help prospective students navigate data in light of its decision to withdraw from the U.S. News survey in 2023.

U.S. News does not rank all programs each year. View the most recent graduate program rankings for each department here.

The UW–Madison programs ranked this year, including ranked specialties, are:

Business: 40th full-time MBA (two-way tie; 47th last year); 33rd for part-time MBA (two-way tie); ranked specialties include 26th in accounting (three-way tie), 20th in marketing (three-way tie) and sixth in real estate (two-way tie).

Chemistry: 14th overall (two-way tie). Ranked specialties include eighth in analytical, 16th in biochemistry (three-way tie), seventh in inorganic (three-way tie), 12th in organic, ninth in physical (four-way tie) and 10th in theoretical (two-way tie).

Computer Science: 12th overall (two-way tie, up from 17th last year). Ranked specialties include 10th in programming language (two-way tie), 23rd in artificial intelligence, 10th in systems (two-way tie) and 19th in theory (up from 27th last year).

Earth Science (this category was named Geology last year): 20th overall (four-way tie). Ranked specialties include 10th in geochemistry and 16th in geology (two-way tie).

Education: Third overall (three-way tie) and second among publics. Ranked specialties include fourth in curriculum and instruction, sixth in educational administration, fourth in education policy, second in educational psychology, fourth in elementary teacher education, 13th in higher education administration, second in secondary teacher education, 10th in special education and fifth in student counseling.

Engineering: 27th overall (three-way tie). Ranked specialties include 12th in agriculture (two-way tie), 25th in biomedical (three-way tie), 12th in chemical (two-way tie), 16th in civil (three-way tie), 16th in computer (two-way tie), 16th in electrical/electronic/communications (seven-way tie), 17th in environmental (four-way tie), 10th in industrial (four-way tie), 13th in materials (two-way tie), 17th in mechanical six-way tie) and third in nuclear (four-way tie).

Math: 16th overall (four-way tie). Ranked specialties include 11th in algebra (two-way tie), 20th in analysis (three-way tie) and 22nd in applied math (two-way tie).

Nursing: 45th in schools with a doctor of nursing practice (four-way tie).

Physician Assistant: 27th overall (13-way tie).

Physics: 21st overall (seven-way tie). Ranked specialties include 12th in elementary particles/field/string theory (three-way tie).

Public Affairs: 25th overall (three-way tie; up from 29th last year). Ranked specialties include 12th in health policy, 28th in public management and leadership (two-way tie), 19th in public policy analysis and fifth in social policy.

Public Health: 36th overall (seven-way tie).Ranked specialties include 17th in biostatistics (two-way tie).