Grad Schools Rank First
HBS, HMS, and GSE all achieve top spots in US News ranking
This marks the third consecutive year that Harvard Business School (HBS), Harvard Medical School (HMS), and the Harvard Graduate School of Education (GSE) have all been ranked number one. The magazine’s issue came out earlier this month.
Harvard Law School (HLS) remained in the number two spot in the law school division for the second consecutive year. Yale Law School once again beat out Harvard for the top ranked law school in the country.
Harvard increased its lead over second place Stanford in the business school rankings. Stanford also slipped to number three in the education school rankings after tying Harvard for the top spot last year.
Harvard Medical School placed first in the research-oriented division, commanding a sizable 18-point lead over the next-ranked institution, Johns Hopkins University.
While acknowledging the prestige of achieving such high rankings, spokespeople at HBS and HMS underscored that students should weigh other factors besides rankings when deciding which graduate school to attend.
“I think that clearly everyone likes to be appreciated,” said James E. Aisner ’68, Director of Media Relations at HBS. “But, stepping back a moment, it’s important to realize we don’t feel rankings alone are the best way for a student to decide where he or she wants to go to school.”
He said interested students should talk to alumni and evaluate potential graduate schools on other dimensions, such as size, location, and teaching techniques.
“You want to have the right match between the student and the school,” Aisner said.
Leah B. Gourley, a public information officer at HMS, expressed a similar view, stating that “a single survey instrument” failed to capture the many different aspects of a medical school that potential students should consider.
“Just as Harvard Medical School’s student selection process goes beyond test scores—looking to build classes with students from a variety of backgrounds and experiences—prospective medical students should consider a range of personal interest factors in choosing a school,” Gourley wrote in an e-mail.
Aisner also questioned the long-term accuracy of the rankings.
“It’s probably not terribly accurate in the long run,” Aisner said.
U.S. News bases the ratings on a composite of several elements including assessments by deans and faculty of graduate schools as well as recruiters and professionals in the field, employment rates, scores on standardized tests, the average undergraduate GPA, acceptance rates, and the average starting salary for graduates, among others.