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April 23, 2008
By Sue Putnam
For the first time, U.S. News & World Report magazine ranked three University of Nevada, Reno graduate programs in the top 50 of public institutions in the nation in their recent 2008 report.
Civil and Environmental Engineering made the rankings for the second time in three years and came in at the 44th spot. Geologic Sciences, which was also previously ranked, came in 45th, and speech pathology and audiology in the University’s School of Medicine ranked 46th. It’s the first time speech pathology and audiology made the list in the 15-year history of the report.
“The fact that three of our graduate programs ranked in the top 100 for all colleges and universities, both public and private, and in the top 50 ranking of public institutions speaks to the overall quality of graduate education at the University of Nevada, Reno,” Marsha Read, the associate vice president for research and associate dean of the Graduate School said. “The University grants more than 600 advanced degrees a year from over 60 different graduate programs, ranging from fine arts to the humanities, social sciences, and the physical and life sciences. We are proud of all of our graduates and know they are integral to Nevada’s future. For instance, workforce projections for the state of Nevada (2004- 2014) indicate that there will be a 55.4 percent increase in the demand for master’s prepared individuals.”
Started in 1956, the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology is internationally recognized for excellence in communication disorders and sciences. As the Medical School’s first clinical department, faculty members treat about 4,000 patients per year. The department offers three degree programs, including bachelor of science, master of science and doctor of philosophy.
“I am pleased to learn, but not at all surprised, that our program is considered one of the top speech pathology and audiology programs in the nation,” Thomas Watterson, Ph.D., and chair of the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology at the University of Nevada School of Medicine said. “This distinction is a credit to the quality of our faculty and the accomplishments of our students. We have an excellent, dedicated faculty and a bright, hard-working student body, so it is no surprise that we have achieved this recognition from our peers.”
Manos Maragakis has been the chair of the civil engineering department for 14 years, and he believes the College of Engineering and its programs will continue to rise in both national and international esteem.
“Our department experienced record highs in terms of research funding and scholarly activities and recognitions,” Maragakis said. “It is certainly very rewarding to see the recognition of our peers across the nation. All this is primarily due to the hard work of our faculty and technical and classified personnel and I want to express my thanks and congratulations for a job so well done.”
The Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering, located in the Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering, which encompasses a wide range of research disciplines. It is closely associated with the offices of the United States Geological Survey, the Nevada Seismological Laboratory, the Desert Research Institute and with the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology.
“I would attribute our ranking to our diversity of degree programs, proximity to areas of geological interest, like the Sierra, Great Basin, and Death Valley, and the larger geosciences community that we work with,” said Gina Tempel, associate professor and chair of geological sciences. “This larger community provides students with abundant opportunities to conduct interdisciplinary research. So the sum of all the parts makes for a great opportunity for graduate students to conduct thesis and dissertation research in this department.”
According to their Web site, U.S. News ranks professional school programs in business, education, engineering, law and medicine every year. The rankings are based on two types of data: expert opinion about program quality and statistical indicators that measure the quality of a school's faculty, research and students. The data comes from surveys of more than 1,200 programs and some 14,000 academics and professionals that were conducted in fall 2007.
The magazine also ranks programs in the sciences, social sciences, humanities and many other areas, including selected health specialties. These rankings are based solely on the ratings of academic experts and this year the magazine staff produced new rankings of graduate health programs in audiology, clinical psychology, occupational therapy, pharmacy, physical therapy, social work and speech-language pathology.