Graduate Education at UConn Soars in New National Rankings

Plaudits for programs across a range of disciplines and specialties

The UConn large letter sign at dusk on June 12, 2021.

(Sean Flynn/UConn Photo)

Graduate education at the University of Connecticut across a wide variety of fields and disciplines rates among the best in the nation, according to new rankings from U.S. News & World Report.

Programs in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Neag School of Education, and the School of Business earned high marks, as did the School of Public Policy, the School of Law, and the School of Social Work. The recognition highlights UConn’s commitment to student excellence and support generally, as well as the particular efforts of the individual schools and colleges measured in the rankings.

Neag School Makes the Honor Roll

For the first time, four graduate programs within UConn’s Neag School of Education have been ranked among the best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report’s 2024 Best Education Schools.

In addition, the Neag School appears for the ninth consecutive year as one of the top 25 public graduate schools of education in the United States, tied at No. 24. Among all graduate schools of education across the nation, both public and private, the Neag School stands tied at No. 34.

“I’m immensely proud of the hard work and dedication of our faculty, staff, and students that have led to these impressive rankings,” Dean Jason G. Irizarry says. “Four of our programs being named to specialty lists is a testament to the high standards we set across all our Neag School departments, and I’m thrilled we are once again recognized as one of the top public graduate schools of education in the nation.”

Each of the Neag School’s three departments are represented in the 2024 specialty education program rankings:

The Neag School’s special education program has been ranked previously, rising four spots from No. 17 last year, but the other three programs are new to the rankings this year.

Hard Work Pays Off for Public Policy

The UConn School of Public Policy, within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, boasts two programs ranked highly in the nation: Public Affairs and Public Financing and Budgeting. The latter program is ranked 9th best in the country, while Public Affairs climbed six places from 2023, landing at the 39th spot among all public affairs programs in the US. That puts the Public Financing and Budgeting program at the top spot in New England, with Public Affairs ranking at number two in the region.

“The top 10 status in Public Finance and Budgeting and the top 40 status in Public Affairs are earned by the hard work of our faculty, staff, students and alumni,” says Mohamad Alkadry, professor and Director of the School of Public Policy. “The UConn School of Public Policy faculty are engaged in impactful applied and scholarly research. Our programs have cutting edge competency-based curricula and close to 100 percent job placement rate for our graduates. We are honored by the six-rank jump from last year.”

The Verdict is In: UConn Law is On the Rise

UConn School of Law rose 16 points to reach a rank of 55 in the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings, and the school’s part-time Evening Division program advanced 9 points to No. 10 in the nation.

The overall rank in the magazine’s 2024-25 Best Law Schools list reflects particular strength in bar passage and employment outcomes for UConn Law graduates.

Ninety-four percent of the Class of 2022 was employed 10 months after graduation, including 13% of the class employed in state and federal judicial clerkships.

The outcomes for the Class of 2023 are equally impressive. Among UConn Law graduates who took the Connecticut bar exam for the first time in July 2023, 84% passed, which was 17 points above the state average. These accomplishments are due to the hard work of outstanding students, staff, and faculty, aided by the support of remarkable alumni.

“Everyone at UConn Law is committed to excellence and works tirelessly to support the success of our students and law school,” Dean Eboni S. Nelson says. “Although no ranking can truly reflect the results of their efforts or capture the many strengths of our campus community, we are pleased with the recognition.”

Last year, the UConn School of Law was among many law schools to withdraw from active participation in the U.S. News & World Report ranking process. U.S. News has since revised its approach and made more data available to prospective students at no charge, which factored into UConn Law’s decision to resume its participation this year.

Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences Department is Unique in New England

Within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences has long been renowned for its education, research, clinical practice, and public outreach missions, and the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings reflect its impressive national reputation.

The department is the only one of its kind in the region with both Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology programs ranked in the top 20% of programs nationally. The Audiology program was ranked 19th best in the country, while Speech-Language Pathology was ranked 39th best of all such programs in the US.

“UConn’s Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences is the only department in New England to have both its Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology programs ranked in the top 20 percent nationally,” says Derek Houston, department head and professor. “It’s a source of Husky Pride to be the region’s premiere program for preparing students to become the professionals that meet the hearing and communication needs of our communities.”

UConn Social Work is a National Leader

On April 9, U.S. News & World Report released its national rankings of graduate schools of social work, with the UConn School of Social Work (SSW) ranked at No. 28. That ranking, which is up from No. 36, puts the UConn SSW among the top 9% of graduate social work programs nationally.

With this ranking, the UConn SSW continues to lead graduate social work programs in Connecticut and be a top choice for students across the country.

“The UConn School of Social Work stands strong among graduate social work programs nationwide,” says Dean and Professor Laura Curran. “Building upon more than 75 years of history, we have a growing research portfolio, innovative academic programming, and long-standing partnerships that impact communities locally and globally.”

The UConn SSW is the first public university in Connecticut to offer bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. degrees in social work, and its research doctorate is the only public social work Ph.D. program in the region. Areas of distinction include child and adolescent well-being, health and behavioral health, LGBTQ youth and families, aging, policy practice and community organizing, and global social work.

In 2023, the UConn SSW expanded its national footprint by welcoming Innovations Institute, an interdisciplinary, translational research center. The SSW is actively involved in a growing number of interdisciplinary collaborations within the University – including with UConn Health and the Gladstein Family Human Rights Institute – and has extensive collaborations with public and private human service agencies.

Earlier this year, the SSW launched a new fully Online MSW program to provide greater access to aspiring social workers across the state and region.

SSW graduates – more than 8,800 strong – play major roles in planning, administering, and providing social and mental health services in Connecticut, the region, and beyond.

Business is Booming at UConn

U.S. News & World Report has again ranked the UConn School of Business’ part-time MBA program, known as the FLEX MBA, as among the top graduate business programs in the nation.

The UConn program now ranks at No. 33 in the nation according to the new rankings, up from No. 37 last year – and a significant increase from the No. 70 ranking in 2018-19.

Mia Hawlk, Executive Director of MBA Programs, attributes the ranking increase to a commitment to the student experience, the creation of innovative courses, and the dedication of faculty and staff.

“To see our ranking go up that much over six years is really impressive,’’ she says. “We find ourselves in the company of private colleges, but we are delivering the same level of excellence at a much lower cost.’’

“Our program is never stagnant. We’ve recently added innovative courses, addressing sustainability in business, artificial intelligence for managers, emotional intelligence in business, and revolutionary technologies,’’ she said. “These are just some of the many ways we distinguish ourselves from our competitors.’’

Professor Jose M. Cruz, Associate Dean for Graduate Programs at the School of Business, says it is an honor to rank so highly in such a competitive hierarchy.

“The UConn MBA program has consistently defined the pinnacle of excellence in a fiercely competitive landscape,’’ Cruz says. “Renowned for its rigorous curriculum, active student involvement, emphasis on vital leadership cultivation, and robust career support, the program stands as a beacon of quality and innovation.’’

The FLEX MBA program is offered in-person in Hartford and Stamford and online. The program currently has about 600 students.