3 graduate programs earn high rankings in national report

By Kayla Pickrell

The U.S. News & World Report recently released the rankings for graduate programs, placing UK with some of the top colleges in the U.S.

One in the rankings is the College of Pharmacy, ranked No. 5 of 85 schools.

“We are extremely happy for the College of Pharmacy because they are consistently highly ranked,” Jeannine Blackwell, dean of the Graduate School, said.

However, she said she thinks there is no way to show if improvement is needed.

“The ranking is purely reputational,” Blackwell said. “It shows how well-known your program is within the college realm.”

The U.S. News & World Report compiles a list of rankings from graduate programs ranking other graduate programs.

They are told to rank the programs by how much they know about one over the other, Blackwell said.

Ed Jennings, director of graduate studies for the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration, said there are limitations to what the U.S. News & World Report does.

“The ranking doesn’t base itself off of objective data,” Jennings said. “We really try to focus on the skills and knowledge of the students, which should eventually lead to a reputation nationally.”

Public finance and budgeting received a high ranking as well. The Martin School ranked No. 2 out of 166 schools.

“The Martin School is another program that is consistent on their rankings,” Blackwell said.

Jennings said that there is always room for improvement, and that shows through how the program has grown gradually over the past several years.

“We work really hard to maintain the quality of the program,” Jennings said. “We think the ranking reflects positively on the University of Kentucky, as well as the other programs at the university.”

The third program that receives high rankings each year is the clinical psychology program within the College of Arts & Sciences.

This year it was ranked No. 42 out of 177 programs.

“We have such strength in the social sciences at UK,” Blackwell said.

The College of Engineering and the College of Law were two programs not ranked within the report.

Even though some of the programs at UK were not ranked, Blackwell is confident that the programs are going in the right direction.

“The worry with the ranking system is that you don’t know how they rank the programs,” Blackwell said. “You want to make sure it is a full comprehensive overview of the program.”

She said that there are quite a few programs that have been ranked by the U.S. News & World Report for many years, but have also been ranked other ranking systems.

“Because they were ranked by many different systems, the Graduate School is given a positive reaffirmation that the programs are on the right track,” Blackwell said.