Case Western Reserve University sign in front of adelbert HallCase Western Reserve’s schools of medicine, engineering and law all improved their rankings in U.S. News & World Report’s annual list of the nation’s top graduate and professional schools this year, with one program—health law—earning recognition as the third-best in the entire country.

“Our health law program was the first of its kind when we opened the Law-Medicine Center in 1953,” said Interim Dean Jessica Berg, herself a member of the center’s faculty. “We have only benefited from the extraordinary gains of our medical school and the region’s growing emphasis on health care and biomedical innovation. We are honored to be so highly recognized by our peers.”

In June, the university announced a landmark partnership with Cleveland Clinic to create a state-of-the-art structure to house both tracks of the medical school’s education efforts, the university program and the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine. Ranked 25th last year, the school climbed to 23rd in the rankings released Tuesday.

“This improvement is particularly welcome in light of the work we are doing with Cleveland Clinic to set new standards for health care education in the 21st century,” Dean Pamela B. Davis said. “It also testifies to the talent and dedication of our faculty, who continue to secure significant federal funding despite the challenges we faced during the sequester.”

The medical school’s specialty rankings slipped slightly, with family medicine falling two notches to 14th and pediatrics declining one slot to 15th.

The Case School of Engineering climbed five spots to 46th nationwide. The intensity of the competition in this area is evident in that the school was one of seven tied for that ranking (the others were Brown, Iowa State, New York University, Northeastern, Notre Dame and Washington University in St. Louis). The school improved its figures for peer assessment, average quantitative score on the Graduate Record Exam, faculty membership in the National Academy of Engineering, and overall research funding as well as research funding per faculty member. The biomedical engineering program slipped one slot, to 15th nationwide.

In 2010, the university and school collaborated on a strategic hiring initiative that focused on recruiting new faculty in key areas of strength and opportunity. Out of more than 400 applicants, the school appointed 11 in such areas as advanced materials, energy and human health.

“The U.S. News rankings reflect the achievements we have been able to make by drawing on the intellect and inventiveness of existing and new faculty, increasing focus on industry needs and new funding opportunities, and impressive engagement of our alumni and other stakeholders,” Dean Jeffrey L. Duerk said. “In short, it has been a team effort. I thank everyone who contributed to this year’s progress, and look forward to continuing our progress in the year to come.”

Finally, the law school climbed from 68th to 64th overall, thanks in large part to improvements in graduates’ bar passage and employment numbers, as well as a more competitive acceptance rate and improved undergraduate grade point averages among those accepted. The international law program slipped two slots over last year, to 15th.

“These results illustrate the momentum we have been building with regard to emphasizing our areas of strength and providing students the academic and extracurricular experiences required to succeed,” said Interim Dean Michael P. Scharf, a professor of international law. “As we launch a new curriculum this fall, we expect to see even greater gains for our graduates.”

The MBA program ranking for the Weatherhead School of Management fell 13 notches to 65th this year, while the part-time program dropped from 30th to 46th. In addition, the graduate program in biological sciences, last ranked in 2010, fell from 34th to 38th.

Some of the magazine’s rankings are calculated only every few years. Social work, for example, saw its last update in 2012, when the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences’ program climbed to No. 9. Similarly, U.S. News last ranked nursing in 2011, when the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing stood at 15th. The magazine does not rank dental programs.

To see a full list of rankings, visit grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools.