Case Western Reserve University’s graduate and professional programs experienced mixed results in this year’s U.S. News & World Report’s graduate school rankings, with two schools achieving impressive gains, three holding steady, and one suffering a small dip.

With improvement in its employment statistics and recruiter ratings, the Weatherhead School of Management’s MBA program came in at 55th, 22 slots better than last year. The Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, meanwhile, saw a dramatic increase in research funding lift its master’s program to No. 6 in the nation. And the law school’s Health Law specialty moved up four positions this year to place fifth in the nation.

The School of Medicine (25th) and Case School of Engineering (50th) both managed to maintain their respective rankings, while the social work master’s degree at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences continued to stand at No. 9 in the country. The School of Law, meanwhile, slid three spots to 65th.

“I am pleased to see our management and nursing schools both making their own kind of impressive rankings progress, and the social work program maintaining its place in the top 10 in the country,” President Barbara R. Snyder said. “I also appreciate the medicine, engineering and law programs’ gains in key categories. Yet again, we see margins among schools shrinking in this increasingly competitive environment.”


The Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing grew its research funding to $8.5 million in 2017—an increase of more than 50 percent over the previous year. That increase largely drove the master’s program’s vault into the top 10, where the Doctor of Nursing Practice program reclaimed its fifth-ranked position.


Weatherhead School’s large leap up the rankings, meanwhile, came from three interrelated categories: proportion of graduates employed at commencement (69.4 percent, up from 60 percent in 2017); employed three months after graduation (89.8 percent, up from 82.2 percent); and recruiter rating (3.2 on a five-point scale, up from 2.9). The result reversed a four-year decline and was joined by a 33-point jump—to 30th—for the part-time MBA program.


Research improvement played the primary role in helping the School of Medicine maintain its top 25 position for the third consecutive year despite earning two fewer points (out of 100) than last year. Total research funding climbed nearly $12 million to $322.5 million—the highest level since 2011. In addition, the school saw small gains in entering students’ GPAs and standardized test scores.


Engineering, meanwhile, held on to 50th despite losing one point overall, in part because of a decline in selectivity of nearly 9 percent over last year. The school maintained its research funding, and increased its average quantitative GRE (Graduate Record Examination, akin to the SAT or ACT for undergraduates) by two points, to 165 (out of 170).

Social Work

The Mandel School’s social work program, meanwhile, took the No. 9 spot for a third straight time as a result of a survey conducted among the nation’s 251 accredited programs in the profession.


The law school’s overall ranking fell three spots to 65th, despite improved performance in ratings among peer institutions and judges (one-tenth of a point each), and its acceptance rate (to 39 percent from 43 percent). The school’s bar passage and employment rates (at graduation and three months after graduation)—accountable for 20 percent of the total score—all declined modestly.

The law school’s Health Law specialty moved up four positions this year to place fifth in the nation, while the Intellectual Property program broke into the top 20—at 20. International Law, meanwhile, remained in the top 15 after dropping two slots, to 14.


Finally, dental schools nationwide do not participate in U.S. News rankings.

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