Baylor Graduate Programs Ranked in U.S. News 2017 Best Graduate School Rankings

March 16, 2016
SOE graduate August 2015

Baylor School of Education graduate student Brandi Ray receives her degree during summer commencement last August. Education faculty members participating in the ceremony were Dr. Randy Wood (left)and Dr. Gretchen Schwartz (behind Ray). (Robert Rogers/Baylor Marketing & Communications)

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WACO, Texas (March 16, 2016) – Baylor University graduate programs in law, business, nursing and health disciplines, education, engineering, the sciences and social sciences and humanities were among those nationally ranked in the 2017 U.S. News Best Graduate Schools rankings.

The latest rankings are published online at and in the U.S. News "Best Graduate Schools 2017" guidebook.

Each year, U.S. News ranks professional school programs in business, education, engineering, law, nursing and medicine, as well as various specialty areas within those fields. The rankings in these six 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 come from surveys of administrators at more than 1,900 graduate programs and more than 18,400 academics and professionals, conducted during fall 2015 and early 2016.

Baylor Law School

Baylor Law School moved up one place to No. 55 overall in the magazine's "Top Schools" listing for 2017. In the law specialties rankings, Baylor's trial advocacy program is ranked No. 4 in the nation.

The rankings of 196 law schools fully accredited by the American Bar Association were calculated on a weighted average of 12 measures of quality, including assessments by peers and by lawyers and judges, student selectivity, placement success and faculty resources. Specialty rankings were based solely on nominations by legal educators at peer institutions.

Baylor's Hankamer School of Business

Baylor's Hankamer School of Business, which moved into its new Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation in fall 2015, moved up one place to No. 57 among the top-rated master's programs in business.

To determine the rankings, U.S. News surveyed all 470 master's programs in business accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International, with 379 responding. The rankings were calculated on a weighted average of nine measures of quality, including peer and recruiter assessments, placement success and student selectivity.

Among specialty rankings, Baylor's online MBA program, which began in May 2014, was ranked No. 69, based on factors such as admissions selectivity, reputation for excellence among peer institutions and academic and career support services offered to students.

Baylor Louise Herrington School of Nursing

The master of science degree in nursing (MSN) program at Baylor's Louise Herrington School of Nursing (LHSON) in Dallas moved up 14 places to No. 58 in the 2017 U.S. News graduate rankings, while the doctor of nursing practice (DNP) program improved 27 places to No. 45. In addition, LHSON's nursing-midwifery program also was ranked No. 10 nationally under the U.S. News health disciplines category.*

To determine the rankings, U.S. News surveyed 519 nursing schools with master's or doctoral programs accredited in late summer 2015 by either the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, with 259 responding. The nursing school graduate program and DNP rankings were calculated on a weighted average of 14 measures of quality, among them peer assessment, master's and DNP program student selectivity and master's and DNP program size, faculty resources and research activity.

"We are honored to be ranked in U.S. News & World Report and listed among other distinguished graduate programs. Our programs are designed to prepare graduates to lead and transform today's complex health care environments," said Shelley F. Conroy, Ed.D., MSN, RN, CNE, dean of Baylor's Louise Herrington School of Nursing.

"We are very proud of our doctor of nursing practice (DNP) program in three advanced practice fields: nurse midwifery, family nurse practitioner and neonatal nurse practitioner. This program is one of the only ones in Texas that is available for graduates with a BSN to enter and pursue their DNP while other statewide programs are only available for nurses post-masters," Conroy said. "We see a great potential for nurse researchers and faculty who are uniquely prepared in accordance with the Baylor mission and vision for the future."

The nursing school's online master's degree program in nursing was ranked No. 79 in last year's U.S. News graduate program rankings. The rankings were based on factors such as graduation rates, academic and career support services offered to students and admissions selectivity.

Baylor's School of Education

Baylor's School of Education advanced to No. 78 in the 2017 U.S. News graduate program rankings, up five places from last year. To determine the rankings, U.S. News surveyed graduate education programs at 376 schools granting doctoral degrees in fall 2015, with 255 responding. The rankings are calculated on a weighted average of 10 measures of quality, including peer and superintendent assessments, student selectivity, faculty resources and research activity.

"Our current standing within these rankings demonstrates the growing talent and productivity of our faculty and students, as we dedicate ourselves to higher levels of excellence across our graduate and professional programs," said Michael K. McLendon, Ph.D., professor and dean of Baylor's School of Education.

Baylor School of Engineering and Computer Science

In the U.S. News graduate rankings of engineering schools that grant doctoral degrees, Baylor's School of Engineering and Computer Science and its graduate engineering program debuted at No. 118. To determine the rankings, U.S. News surveyed 215 engineering schools in fall 2015 and early 2016, with 194 responding. The rankings were calculated on a weighted average of 10 measures of quality, including peer and recruiter assessments, student selectivity, faculty resources and research activity.

In the engineering specialty rankings, Baylor graduate engineering programs also were ranked, with electrical engineering at No. 109 and mechanical engineering at No. 124. Engineering specialty rankings were based solely on peer assessments by department heads in each specialty area. The peer assessment surveys for the specialty area rankings were conducted in fall 2015.

Baylor Health Disciplines

For the 2017 graduate rankings, U.S. News newly ranked a number of health disciplines through peer assessment surveys sent to deans, other administrators and/or faculty at accredited degree programs or schools in each discipline.

Moving up in the new rankings were several Baylor graduate programs in the health disciplines, including:

Jon E. Singletary, Ph.D., interim dean of social work and The Diana R. Garland Endowed Chair of Child and Family Studies, said he was pleased with the recognition for the hard work and dedication of the talented faculty, students and staff of the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work.

"The School was celebrated for Diana's leadership in ways that have helped increase our ranking year after year; now, as the School is honored to carry her name, we will continue to be recognized for the ways she shaped our teaching and research endeavors," Singletary said. "Year after year, Diana reminded us that we work hard, not for this recognition, but because we are called to be faithful. We have a history of not paying attention to the numbers that are counted by these scores, but to the impact we hope to have because of our commitment to quality education and scholarship. However, it is an honor to be recognized by our peers, and I am grateful that they see the quality of what we are doing."

Other graduate health disciplines included in the U.S. News rankings but not newly ranked include:

  • the U.S. Army-Baylor master's degree program in health care management at No. 7 (ranked in 2015) and the U.S. Army-Baylor doctor of physical therapy degree at No. 8 (ranked in 2016)
  • the MBA in health care administration, a specialization in Baylor's MBA program in the Hankamer School of Business, at No. 18 (ranked in 2015)

U.S. Army-Baylor health programs are operated at the Academy of Health Sciences at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. The business school MBA in health care administration program is a part of the Robbins Institute for Health Policy and Leadership, the foundation for health care-related initiatives in Baylor's business school.

Baylor Sciences, Social Sciences and Humanities

U.S. News also did not update its graduate rankings on the Sciences (last ranked in 2014) or the Social Sciences and the Humanities (last ranked in 2013). Ranked Baylor graduate programs in the College of Arts and Sciences include:

  • Biological Sciences, No. 84
  • Chemistry, No. 96
  • Earth Sciences, No. 106
  • Mathematics, No. 134
  • Physics, No. 123
  • Statistics, No. 75
  • Sociology, No. 84
  • Psychology, No. 101
  • English, No. 121

U.S. News first published a reputation-only graduate school ranking in 1987. The annual "America's Best Graduate Schools" report began in 1990.

For more information about Best Graduate Schools, visit To learn more about the methodology and data research, visit


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.