AMHERST, Mass. – The Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is ranked among the best business schools in the country and its part-time MBA program and online study options are in the top 25, according to U.S. News and World Report’s 2014 edition of Best Graduate Schools.
The rankings, which were announced today, rank UMass Amherst’s College of Engineering 57th in the nation, while its School of Education placed 58th and the School of Nursing was 64th. The Isenberg School is ranked 51st. In addition, UMass Amherst’s psychology is ranked 46th and the computer science department is ranked 20th, while its specialty in artificial intelligence is No. 8.
Each year, U.S. News ranks professional school programs in several fields, including business, education and engineering. The rankings 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 come from surveys of administrators at more than 1,250 programs and more than 13,000 academics and professionals, conducted during the fall of 2012 and early 2013.
Rankings for graduate nursing programs are based solely on the ratings of academic experts.
To gather the peer assessment data, deans, program directors and senior faculty were asked to judge the academic quality of programs in their field on a scale of 1 (marginal) to 5 (outstanding). In business, education and engineering, professionals who hire new graduates were also surveyed.
The guide also factors in admissions test scores by discipline.
For the rankings of online graduate degree programs, U.S. News surveyed more than 3,000 master’s programs at regionally accredited colleges. Only programs with classes entirely online were ranked, based on their success at promoting student engagement, the training and credentials of their faculty, the selectivity of their admissions processes, and the services and technologies available to distance learners. The business and engineering rankings also incorporated opinions of deans and other academics at peer distance education programs. Other factors considered were retention and graduation rates, student indebtedness at graduation, the average undergraduate grade point averages of new entrants, proportion of faculty members with terminal degrees and who are tenured or tenure-track, and support services like career placement assistance and academic advising accessible to students remotely.
The U.S. News part-time MBA ranking is based on five factors: average peer assessment score (50 percent of the overall score); average GMAT score and GRE scores of part-time MBA students entering in the fall of 2012 (15 percent); average undergraduate GPA (5 percent); work experience (15 percent); and the percentage of the fall 2012 M.B.A. enrollment that is part time (15 percent). The average peer assessment score is calculated from a fall 2012 survey that asked business school deans and MBA program directors at each of the nation’s 325 part-time MBA programs to rate the other part-time programs on a 5-point scale, from marginal to outstanding; 45 percent responded. To be eligible for the part-time ranking, a program needed to be accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and have at least 20 students enrolled part time in the fall of 2012; 282 programs met those criteria.