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U.S. News and World Report re-issues 2008 rankings for schools of public affairs

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Ford School ranks #7 overall among schools of public affairs, according to U.S. News and World Report data released online on March 15, 2011 and in print on April 5.

These rankings were originally released in the magazine's 2008 edition of "America's Best Graduate Schools." The rankings reflect the opinions of deans and other senior faculty at schools or departments of public affairs, collected by survey in fall 2007.

In overall rankings, the Ford School tied with University of Southern California's School of Policy, Planning, and Development and Kansas University's Department of Public Administration. In addition, the Ford School ranked second nationally in "social policy," third in "public policy analysis," and third in "health policy and management." Other categories in which the Ford School was ranked in the top fifteen include environmental policy and management (#6) and information and technology management (#12). The number three ranking in public policy analysis is probably the most accurate overall rating of the Ford School against its competitors. The other specialties reflect the strength of the school's faculty in particular fields and the high level of interdisciplinary work done at Michigan, much of which supports the professional training of public policy students.

According to its published methodology, the magazine "surveyed deans or program directors as well as department chairs or faculty members and asked them to rate the quality of each program in their field on a scale from "marginal" (1) to "outstanding" (5). If the respondent was unfamiliar with any program, he or she had the option of indicating "don't know."" The magazine sent the survey to two faculty at each of 269 schools or departments. The response rate was 40 percent.

The rankings combine schools of public policy and schools of public administration into a single group (even though these schools can have quite different emphases.) Schools focused on international affairs are not ranked, nor are the international programs of many schools, including the Ford School, which offer both domestic and internationally focused work.