Three programs ranked #1 in nation

March 10, 2015

The Michigan State University College of Education now has three graduate programs ranked No. 1 in the nation: elementary education, secondary education and rehabilitation counseling!

According to the latest graduate school rankings from U.S. News & World Report, released today, this is the 21st consecutive year that both elementary and secondary education have held the top spot. Along with rehabilitation counseling, the college is home to a total of six program areas ranked in their respective top 5 nationally.

Three-quarters of the educational program areas at MSU increased their ranking this year or remained the same. In addition, the College of Education jumped from No. 15 to No. 13 overall (No. 6 among public universities) in U.S. News’s 2016 edition of America’s Best Graduate Schools.

“The foundation of any college is made up of the faculty, staff and students who contribute to the teaching, learning and research,” said Donald E. Heller, dean of the College of Education. “I am gratified to see the wonderful work being done by people here in our college recognized by our peers around the country. Having six programs ranked in the top 5 in the nation – and three ranked first – is a wonderful accomplishment of which we are immensely proud.”

Only one other school of education (University of Wisconsin-Madison) also has three programs currently ranked #1.

The overall college rankings reflect the quality of the curriculum, faculty, students and research within the college, as well as data from surveys of education deans and school superintendents nationwide. The individual program rankings are based on the survey of deans.

Here is the list of College of Education programs ranked:

Elementary education – #1

Secondary education – #1

Rehabilitation counseling – #1 (tied, up from #2)

Curriculum and instruction – #3 (up from #4)

Higher education administration – #4 (up from #5)

Educational psychology – #4 (up from #6)

Administration/supervision – #8

Education policy – #11

Special education – #12 (tied, up from #16)

Rehabilitation counseling programs were newly ranked by U.S. News in 2015 after a four-year hiatus. The Office of Rehabilitation and Disability Studies prepares students to become leaders in the field of rehabilitation counseling and conducts research that improves lives for people with disabilities. Graduates develop expertise in counseling; the medical, social and psychological aspects of disability; employment; independent living; transition from school to work and other issues.

Director Michael Leahy said the faculty continues to expand cross-disciplinary projects to solve problems for individuals with autism and intellectual disabilities. Leahy and his colleagues established the DOCTRID Research Institute, an international research coalition of U.S. and Irish institutions that led to the creation of the Institute for Research in Autism, Intellectual and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (RAIND) at MSU.

“We are all extremely pleased with this No. 1 ranking in rehabilitation counseling,” said Leahy. “I believe it is a clear reflection of the remarkable productivity and impact that our faculty, students and alumni have had in the area of disability and rehabilitation at the state, national and international levels in recent years.”

The No. 1 ranking for elementary and secondary education reflects the university’s long-standing reputation as a place where internationally respected faculty members and highly accomplished doctoral students transform K-12 education. Over time, MSU has become known for improving the practice of teaching and learning in schools through innovative research, graduate study and programs that prepare new teachers for careers in elementary and secondary classrooms, which include a yearlong internship.

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Check MSU News for information about graduate programs across campus.
In addition, the doctoral program in kinesiology at MSU, also offered within the College of Education, ranks #6 in the nation, according to a report from the National Academy of Kinesiology (NAK). Learn more.