Education program rankings: Leaders at all levels

March 20, 2018

For the first time, Michigan State University has been ranked No. 1 in the nation for its graduate programs in higher education administration, according to U.S. News & World Report.

For an incredible 24th year in a row, the university is also ranked No. 1 in elementary education and secondary education. These results, released today, show that the College of Education at MSU is considered one of the best places to pursue advanced study across the entire spectrum of education.

The college also remains No. 1 in a fourth study area, rehabilitation counseling, since it was last ranked by U.S. News.

Image of Erickson Hall

“These top rankings reflect the insightful and influential work of our faculty and alumni, whose work touches all levels of education,” said Robert E. Floden, dean of the College of Education. “They are at the forefront of research, policy and practice, providing instruction and mentoring to the next generation of education leaders.”

What is HALE?

The Higher, Adult and Lifelong Education, or HALE, programs at MSU prepare students for roles as professionals, leaders and researchers in postsecondary education institutions or organizations.

MSU has one of the largest faculties in the nation dedicated to the study of higher education. Three programs are available: master’s in Student Affairs Administration, and master’s or Ph.D. in HALE.

Rankings across programs

In total, 10 educational specialty areas at MSU placed within the nation’s top dozen programs based on a survey of education school deans across the country.

Here is the full list of MSU College of Education programs ranked in U.S. News‘ 2019 edition of “Best Graduate Schools:”

Elementary education – #1

Secondary education – #1

Higher education administration – #1 (tied)

Rehabilitation counseling – #1 (tied, last ranked in 2015)

Curriculum and instruction – #2

Educational psychology – #4 (up from #5)

Administration/supervision – #8

Education policy – #9

Special education – #11 (tied, up from #12)

Counseling/Personnel Services – #12

MSU has not been ranked in Counseling/Personnel Services since 2011.

Overall, the College of Education is now ranked #22 in the nation, or #12 among public universities.

Read MSU Today for details about other graduate program rankings across campus. Visit for more information.