Certain professions, such as law and medicine, require a graduate-level credential, while in other fields, graduate degrees may not be required but make workers more marketable.
Those who decide graduate education is the right path can find guidance during their school search by exploring the U.S. News Best Graduate Schools rankings, which were released today.
The 2019 edition of the rankings rates programs in business, law, medicine, nursing, engineering and education, among others. The ranking methodology varies by discipline, taking into account factors that may include test scores of entering students, the job placement rates and starting salaries of recent graduates, academic quality ratings by officials at peer institutions and opinions of hiring managers.
Business: The University of Chicago's Booth School of Business rose to the top of the full- time MBA programs rankings, jumping from No. 3 to a tie at No. 1 this year with Harvard Business School. This marks the first time that Booth is No. 1 in the rankings of full-time programs. The University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, which tied for the No. 1 spot with Harvard last year, is now No. 3.
There were some notable shifts a little farther down the list. The University of Michigan—Ann Arbor's Ross School of Business, for example, rose from No. 11 to a tie at No. 7, and Rice University's Jones Graduate School of Business leapt six spots from a tie at No. 29 to a tie at No. 23 this year.
Among part-time MBA programs, the top two schools remain the same, with the Haas School of Business at the University of California—Berkeley retaining its No. 1 spot and Chicago's Booth School of Business remaining in second place. Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management rose from No. 5 to No. 3, pulling ahead of New York University's Stern School of Business at No. 4 and the University of California—Los Angeles Anderson School of Management at No. 5.
Law: There was stability among full-time law school programs, with the top five ranked in the same order as last year. Yale Law School is once again No. 1, followed by Stanford Law School at No. 2 and Harvard Law School at No. 3.
28 to reach No. 21. The University of Kentucky lost ground, falling from a tie at No. 57 to a tie at No. 65 this year.
Among part-time law programs, schools in major metropolitan areas took the lead. Georgetown University and George Washington University in the District of Columbia are once again No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, and New York City's Fordham University maintained its spot at No. 3.
[Explore photos of the Best Law Schools.]
Medicine: Harvard Medical School is No. 1 once again in the research-based medical school rankings, but Johns Hopkins University and Stanford University swapped places, with Hopkins rising to No. 2 and Stanford falling to a tie at No. 3.
There were significant changes in the primary care medical school rankings this year. The University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill jumped from No. 2 to No. 1, replacing the University of Washington, which fell to No. 3 this year. The University of California—San Francisco is now No. 2, up from No. 3 last year.
U.S. News introduced a variety of new specialty rankings, identifying institutions that excel in the following five areas of medicine: anesthesiology, obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry, radiology and surgery.
[Get answers to frequently asked questions about the grad schools rankings.]
The top two schools in the Doctor of Nursing Practice programs rankings remained the same, with Duke at No. 1 and Johns Hopkins at No. 2.
Engineering: The top three schools in the rankings of graduate engineering programs are the same as last year, with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology leading the pack at No. 1, followed by Stanford University at No. 2 and the University of California—Berkeley at No. 3.
Education: The University of California—Los Angeles rocketed to the top of the graduate education programs rankings, moving from a tie at No. 3 to No. 1 this year. UCLA snatched the top spot from Harvard University, which tied with the University of Wisconsin—Madison for No. 2 this year.
Searching for a grad school? Access our complete rankings of Best Graduate Schools.