Big Ideas Begin Here: MSU ranked #1 in the nation by U.S. News

April 25, 2023

Michigan State University is #1 in the nation for elementary and secondary teacher education, according to U.S. News and World Report.  

The accolade comes from the 2023-2024 U.S. News Best Education Schools, which also heralded MSU as #1 for curriculum and instruction for the fifth straight year.

“These top rankings highlight our dedication to and expertise in many areas across education,” said Jerlando F. L. Jackson, dean of the College of Education and MSU Foundation Professor of Education. “Our continued prominence in the U.S. News rankings is credit to the proactive and thoughtful work of our faculty, students and alumni.” 

Overall, MSU is ranked #21 (tied) in the nation, continuing its upward momentum from recent years. The university was ranked #22 (tied) in 2022, #23 (tied) in 2021 and #24 in 2020

“I am proud to see MSU’s excellence celebrated,” Jackson continued. “We will build on this recognition to continue to improve policy and practice in support of learners across the lifespan.”  

In total, nine programs are currently ranked in the annual publication of top programs and specialties.  

Here is the full list of MSU College of Education programs listed in the 2023-2023 U.S. News edition of “Best Education Schools:” 

  • Elementary Teacher Education – #1
  • Secondary Teacher Education – #1
  • Curriculum & Instruction – #1
  • Rehabilitation Counseling* – #2
  • Educational Administration – #2 (tied)
  • Higher Education Administration – #2
  • Education Psychology – #5
  • Education Policy – #10
  • Special Education – #11 (tied)

The rankings are assessed based on statistical and reputation data directly from education schools. The overall rankings are calculated from research activity, including expenditures; number of doctoral degrees granted; student-to-faculty ratio; acceptance rate and more. The specialty rankings are created based on nominations from education school deans and deans of graduate studies at education schools. 

The annual Best Education Schools rankings are one of the many ways in which Michigan State University and the College of Education are recognized for excellence.  

Earlier in 2023, four program areas in the College of Education were ranked among the top 10 in the nation in the ranking of Best Online Master’s Programs in Education by U.S. News.  

Worldwide, MSU is also celebrated as a leading institution in the field of education. Recent rankings include:  

The rankings in this recent publication celebrate MSU’s expertise across areas of education. In addition, MSU’s Doctoral Program in Kinesiology is also rated as among the best, ranking at #23 in the country, according to the National Academy of Kinesiology (2020, the most recent available).  

“It is clear—through these rankings and through our long-standing tradition of excellence in research and outreach—that MSU and the College of Education create and continue momentum in the field of education and kinesiology,” Jackson added. “Big ideas begin at Michigan State University College of Education.”

*Rehabilitation counseling is ranked in the U.S. News Rehabilitation Counseling rankings; not the Education rankings.  

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