BYU grad schools achieve high among national rankings

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BYU law student Joni McDougal studies at the Law Library. The BYU Law School is ranked number 38 in the nation according to the 2016 U.S. News Grad School Rankings. (Maddi Driggs)
BYU law student Joni McDougal studies at the BYU Law Library. The BYU Law School is ranked number 38 in the nation according to the 2016 U.S. News Grad School Rankings. (Maddi Driggs)

Four BYU grad programs received national recognition with high rankings in the U.S. News 2016 Graduate School Rankings.

Programs ranking nationally include BYU’s Marriott Business School (No. 31), J. Reuben Clark Law School (No. 38), David O. McKay School of Education (No. 78 — a 10-spot improvement from 2015) and College of Nursing (No. 99 — a 16-spot improvement from 2015).

University Spokesman Todd Hollingshead said the recognition helps boost the prestige of BYU’s graduate schools and their students.

“It’s great to see so many of our graduate programs being recognized and to see some of them moving up quite a few spots in this latest set of rankings,” Hollingshead said.

BYU Marriott School Managing Director Treavor Peterson said the high ranking is a reflection of the high caliber of students within the program.

“We know we have top-ranked students and we want them to be recognized as such,” Peterson said. “Our students are influential, they make a difference, they have an impact and they are leaders.”

McKay School of Education Public Relations Director Cindy Glad said she thinks the School of Education ranked highly because of its high-quality students and faculty.

“We made a nice jump and hopefully we’ll continue to rise,” Glad said. “The university has made the education of teachers a high priority, so I think that’s reflecting in a lot of places.”

Joni McDougal, a third-year student at the BYU Law School, is grateful to study at a law school with such a high ranking.

“I feel very grateful and proud to be a part of the law program,” McDougal said. “I’m grateful for the faculty and staff who really work to make it a great program.”

McDougal said the BYU Law School’s alumni network and international opportunities set it apart from other law schools. She was able to fulfill an internship assignment in Germany as a law student because an alumna sought out the European internship and paved the way for future BYU law students to fill the position.

Associate Dean Mary Williams of the BYU College of Nursing said she thinks there are many factors contributing to the college’s high ranking among U.S. graduate schools.

“We have excellent faculty with very good clinical expertise, we have a very strong curriculum, we have very good students, and all of those things put together make for a very good program,” Williams said.

One of the ways Williams said the administration helps students excel is by constantly reviewing the nursing program and evaluating ways to make it better. She said implementing this process has helped the college consistently improve.

“We just continue to work at that, and by that constant reviewing, we do become better,” Williams said. “We’re very proud of our program and we’re proud of our students and faculty.”