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Engineering Ranks First in U.S. News

Jennifer Lane--The Tech
The Sloan School of Management ranked fourth in business schools in this year's U.S. News and World Report ranking of graduate schools. Sloan placed second last year

By Shang-Lin Chuang
Contributing Editor

The School of Engineering retained its hold as the top-ranked engineering graduate school for the eighth straight year in the U.S. News and World Report's annual survey of graduate schools.

The School of Architecture and Planning placed second this year in the fine arts category, up from fifth last year.

The Sloan School of Management fell to fourth place in the business category from second place last year and first the year before.

"There is a good deal of noise' in these surveys. The main thing anyone should take away from these surveys is that MIT is a very good school in almost all of its departments," said Vice President for Research and Dean for Graduate Education J. David Litster PhD '65.

The rankings, officially announced today, will be published in the March 10 issue of the magazine.

In the overall engineering rankings, MIT was rated first and Stanford University stood second. The University of California at Berkeley and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign tied for third, and the Georgia Institute of Technology at fifth.

Among the 12 engineering specialties, the Institute was awarded seven first-place, one second-place, and two third-place rankings.

According to the survey, MIT was ranked number one by academics and number one by practicing engineers. The Institute was ranked number one in research activity with the greatest amount of research revenue.

"I think the distinguishing feature of MIT's engineering school is excellence across the board, in all of the disciplines we are involved in," Litster said.

The rankings were based on academic reputation, professional reputation, research revenue, and other factors. The surveys were issued to the directors of major departments and institutions to collect the peer reputation ranking.

The total scores were scaled such that the top ranked business and engineering school had a perfect 100.0 points. Fine arts graduate schools are ranked on a one to five scale, with one being distinguished.

Architecture places second

Harvard University ranked first in graduate architecture schools, and MIT earned the second-place ranking. Princeton University, Columbia University, and Yale University rounded out the top five.

"I have seen some significant improvement in the department and that probably corresponded to the higher ranking," said Dean of the School of Architecture and Planning William J. Mitchell.

"The last few years we have put a lot of hard work into improving the department," Mitchell said. "We have been hiring faculty, instituting new research programs, creating more space for studio teaching, and being a lot more visible to the external world with interesting publications by the faculty," he said.

"I don't think we are at the point where we should be yet. We need to continue to work hard to make a good working environment and develop in the design and computing area," Mitchell said.

Sloan School falls to fourth place

In the survey, Sloan was ranked first in management information systems, production/operations management, and quantitative analysis business specialities.

Stanford University placed first, followed by Harvard University at second and the University of Pennsylvania at third. The University of Chicago ranked fifth.

"I am pleased that Sloan has again been recognized as one of the country's top management schools," said Dean of the Sloan School Glen L. Urban. "Our consistently high ratings illustrate the relevance of Sloan's approach of balancing theory and practice in management education."

"In this way, we provide a solid base of technical expertise coupled with communication, team-building, and leadership skills," Urban said.

In the area of academic reputation, Sloan tied for number one with the top six schools. Sloan was ranked third in placement success rate.

"MIT provides an extraordinarily creative and relevant environment for a business school," said Director of the Master of Business Administration Program Lawrence S. Abeln. "Applications for the MBA program have gone up nearly 100 percent in the past three years. This shows that tomorrow's business leaders are looking for what Sloan has to offer."

Two years ago, Sloan was ranked first by U.S. News and World Report, and last year, the school was ranked second.

"The margins between the rankings of the top schools are so small that it is quite easy to vary from year to year without many changes in some of the criteria," Abeln said. "We are not very concerned about being first or second, but rather with consistently ranking well in the eyes of applicants, recruiters, and others in academics. Being consistently in the top five says something about the success we have achieved."