Area grad schools rated among the best

UM law enters top 50, Hopkins medicine continues at No. 2


April 05, 2001|By Michael Hill | Michael Hill,SUN STAFF

The University of Maryland's law school cracked the top 50 in the latest version of U.S. News and World Report's graduate school rankings. The same rankings kept the Johns Hopkins University's medical school in second place, though much closer to category leader Harvard.

"I feel that recognition of this law school is long overdue," said its dean, Karen Rothenberg, of making the top tier of law schools by tying for 50th. "Some consider us one of the best-kept secrets in the country. My expectation is that we will continue to climb because the data they were using was from 1999 and we have improved since then. This is a first-class law school."

Rothenberg said she was particularly happy that the school's three specialty programs in health law, clinical training and environmental law ranked in the top five.

"No other public law school had three programs ranked that high," she said.

In the rankings of research medical schools, Harvard got 100 points - the score given to the leader of each category - and Johns Hopkins scored 94 points. Last year, Hopkins was also in second place but with 73 points behind Harvard's 100.

U.S. News spokesman Richard Folkers attributed this to a change in methodology that takes into account the fact that Harvard's huge lead in research grants - at $677 million, more than twice the amount of other schools - is due in large part to its 17 affiliated hospitals, meaning much of the money would never affect its medical students.

"That is one reason we discourage year-to-year comparisons, because the change in rankings might be due to a different formula," Folkers said. "We are always tinkering with them."

A look at the U.S. News data shows Hopkins and Harvard basically equal in all categories other than research grants, including reputation, undergraduate grade point average, student selectivity and medical school admissions test scores, while Hopkins has a much better faculty-student ratio.

The University of Maryland Medical School - which, like the law school, is part of the University of Maryland, Baltimore - moved up one position to 43rd in the research rankings. In primary care rankings, Maryland jumped five positions to 32nd. Hopkins ranked 17th in primary care training, down from ninth last year.

Among medical specialties, Hopkins' pediatrics was ranked top in the country, moving up from third last year.

"I inherited as director of pediatrics one of the most prestigious and innovative pediatric residency training programs," Dr. George J. Dover, director of Hopkins' department of pediatrics, said in a statement that credited the work of program director Dr. Julia McMillan and the previous chairman, Dr. Frank Oski. "I am proud of the recognition given to the Harriet Lane Service," the name of the school's pediatrics residency program.

Hopkins tied Harvard for first in internal medicine, was second in geriatrics, drug and alcohol abuse, and AIDS, and third in women's health.

U.S. News ranked schools of public affairs for the first time since 1998 and the University of Maryland, College Park and Hopkins showed up - UMCP's program was tied for 19th while Hopkins' ranked 29th.

Several UMCP public policy specialties made the top 10 - public financing, criminal justice, environmental policy and social policy - while Hopkins' programs in health management and nonprofit management also made those lists.

UMCP's business school went from 34th last year to 29th, while the education school moved up one spot to 22nd and engineering dropped one to 18th. Hopkins' engineering school ranked 27th, down from 24th, while its biomedical engineering specialty was No. 1.

U.S. News ranks graduate schools of medicine, engineering, business, education and law every year. Surveys are conducted periodically for other schools and departments.

This year's lists include new data for humanities and social sciences departments that show Hopkins with top-10 departments in English and history, while ranking 19th in sociology, 24th in psychology and tying for 24th with UMCP in economics. UMCP's sociology department tied for 24th.

Complete rankings are available on the magazine's Web site -

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