PULLMAN, Wash. — When U.S. News & World Report recently ranked Washington State
University’s graduate programs in education in the top tier in the nation, education joined a
select group of WSU graduate programs ranked nationally in recent years.
Many of the university’s graduate programs in the health sciences are nationally ranked, as
are its highly respected degree programs in sociology. The earlier rankings come from U.S. News,
which ranks some programs only once every three years, and from the National Research
“What we’re seeing are rising national reputations of our graduate programs in many of our
strongest fields,” Karen DePauw, interim dean of the Graduate School, said. “They are joining
undergraduate programs such as our Honors College in national recognition for quality.”
In its recent 1999 rankings, U.S. News placed WSU’s graduate programs in education 37th in
the country. This was the first time the college made the list of upper tier programs. A total of 188
education colleges offer doctoral degrees.
In 1998, U.S. News ranked WSU’s doctoral programs in sociology 35th in the country. A
total of 121 universities offer graduate programs in sociology. WSU’s specialty in social
psychology was ranked 10th, ahead of the University of California, Berkeley, and the University
of Minnesota. Sociology also did well in the National Research Council’s 1992 report, placing in
the second quartile.
U.S. News has also ranked many of WSU’s health sciences graduate and professional
programs in the upper tier in the country. These rankings include:
–Nursing, ranked 64th in 1998 A total of 339 institutions offer master’s degrees in nursing.
WSU’s College of Nursing is the Intercollegiate Center for Nursing Education in Spokane.
— Speech pathology, ranked 57th, and audiology, ranked 50th, both in 1998. Some 222
institutions offer speech pathology programs, while 114 institutions offer audiology. These
master’s degree programs are located at WSU Spokane, with personnel and facilities located on
both the Pullman campus and in Spokane. The graduate programs are operated cooperatively
with Eastern Washington University.
— Pharmacy, ranked 27th in 1997. There are 81 pharmacy colleges in the country. WSU’s
College of Pharmacy recently changed from the bachelor’s degree in pharmacy to the Doctor of
Pharmacy, or Pharm.D, as the beginning professional degree. The program is offered in Pullman
and Spokane.
— Veterinary medicine, ranked 11th in 1997. There are 27 veterinary colleges in the United
In the liberal arts, WSU’s master of fine arts ranked 67th in 1997. A total of 283 universities
offer the MFA degree. In the same survey, WSU’s ceramics specialty ranked 11th.
The National Research Council Doctoral Program Assessment looked at reputational
rankings for 41 disciplines for quality of faculty, program effectiveness, and change in quality
since the previous report. The most recent report, published in 1992, placed programs in four
A number of WSU graduate programs made the second quartile in these rankings. These
include biochemistry and molecular biology; chemistry; ecology, evolution and behavior;
English language and literature; mechanical engineering; pharmacology; and sociology.
According to DePauw, the National Research Council is now preparing for a new survey of
graduate programs.
In the United States, 482 universities grant graduate degrees — master’s and doctoral
degrees. This includes 265 private and 217 public universities. Not all majors and specialties are
offered at each institution.
WSU will celebrate 100 years of graduate education in 2002. The university granted its first
master’s degree in botany in 1902, and its first doctoral degree or Ph.D. — in bacteriology and
public health — in 1929.