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U.S. News & World Report ranks some CWRU graduate, professional programs

Methodology changes lead to range of shifts in newest rankings

In its first round of 2025 rankings of top graduate and professional programs, U.S. News & World Report included multiple Case Western Reserve University programs in business, law, nursing, sciences and social work. (The publication announced yesterday that engineering and medicine rankings would be delayed due to questions about source data.)

Following widespread critiques of the criteria used in developing such rankings, the publication has again shifted its methodology in many areas—leading to impressive jumps for some CWRU programs, slight declines for others, and entirely new rankings for a few more.

U.S. News says its rankings generally now focus more on research, scholarship and student outcomes with less emphasis on reputation and selectivity/student quality.

“Though we all know rankings can’t possibly convey the true experience and value of a Case Western Reserve education, I appreciate U.S. News’ increased emphasis on quantitative data,” President Eric W. Kaler said. “That said, the quality of our programs and our people is what makes Case Western Reserve truly exceptional, and I look forward to finding ways to ensure others recognize our impact.”

The schools’ general rankings are:

  • Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing: #17 among best nursing schools for both master’s programs (down three) and Doctor of Nursing Practice programs (up three)
  • Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences: tied for #12 among best social work schools (down three)
  • School of Law: #89 among best law schools (down nine)
  • Weatherhead School of Management: #66 among best business schools (up two).

Breakdowns by school—including specific programs, specialties and changes to methodologies—are outlined below.

Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing

Nursing rankings this year had an “increased emphasis on program size, research and faculty resources while reducing emphasis on reputation,” the publication reported. These shifts led to Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing being ranked No. 17 for its nursing master’s and doctoral programs. 

In addition, the publication introduced two new specialty rankings: CWRU is now No. 4 for best adult primary care nurse practitioner and No. 12 for best family nurse practitioner programs. The school’s acute care nurse practitioner ranking remains at No. 7 in the U.S., while its midwifery program slipped one to No. 22 and the nurse anesthesia program remained at 36th.

Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences

In a shift from its decreased emphasis on reputation, U.S. News’ biannual ranking of social work schools remains entirely reputation-based. This year, the Mandel School is tied with seven schools at No. 12 in the country.

School of Law

Similar to other schools, law rankings now have significantly less focus on peer assessments, selectivity and faculty resources and instead focus on outcomes: placement success and bar passage. Case Western Reserve University School of Law now ranks No. 89 in the U.S., with a few specialty programs among the top 50:

  • International law: No. 13 (down three)
  • Health law: No. 15 (down four)
  • Environmental law: No. 36 (up eight)
  • Legal writing: No. 37 (up nine)
  • Trial advocacy: No. 42 (up five)

Weatherhead School of Management

A two-spot increase to No. 66 overall wasn’t the only highlight for Weatherhead School of Management’s rankings: The school’s part-time MBA program jumped 10, now ranked No. 40 in the United States. The rankings methodology for business schools places more emphasis on job-placement success with less on peer and recruiter assessments.

College of Arts and Sciences

Only one program from the College of Arts and Sciences was ranked this year—and the speech-language pathology program moved up one spot to No. 44, based on peer assessments.

U.S. News & World Report ranks undergraduate programs in the fall. To see the full graduate/professional rankings, visit the U.S. News & World Report website. The Daily will report medicine and engineering rankings when they become available.