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U.S. News ranks UTA Graduate Engineering, Business, Nursing and Education programs among nation’s best for 2017

Wednesday, March 16, 2016 • Media Contact: Kristin Sullivan

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U.S. News & World Report ranks University of Texas at Arlington graduate programs in engineering, business, nursing and education among the best in the country based on peer evaluations and the quality of faculty, research and students, the news organization announced today. Highlights are:

J.-C. Chiao, professor of electrical engineering, is among the many excellent faculty and student researchers helping to elevate the UTA College of Engineering's reputation.

  • The 2017 Best Graduate Schools list marked a steady rise for UTA graduate engineering programs, now ranked No. 82 among 215 doctoral-granting engineering schools surveyed.
  • The Master of Science in Nursing saw a significant improvement on the U.S. News list, climbing 15 places from last year to be ranked No. 75.  A total of 519 accredited nursing schools with master’s or doctoral programs were surveyed.  
  • The UTA College of Business Part-time MBA ranked No. 82 among 470 accredited programs surveyed – the first time the College has broken into the Top 100 on the U.S. News list.
  • UTA’s Master of Education degree also ranked in the top tier at No. 120 among the 376 doctoral-granting schools surveyed as the nation’s best graduate schools of education.

The rise in rankings is evidence of progress toward excellence under UTA’s Strategic Plan 2020: Bold Solutions | Global Impact.

“U.S. News & World Report lists represent a measure of comparison in college rankings, and all of us at UTA are pleased to see graduate programs in the essential areas of engineering, business, nursing and education continuing to garner such positive, national recognition,” UTA President Vistasp M. Karbhari said. “These rankings signal that by every metric, our reputation for excellence continues to grow at a remarkable pace due to the efforts of our faculty and because of the tremendously talented students studying at UTA. This progress demonstrates that we offer a top quality affordable education that meets the needs of the workforce and the region’s economy, and continues to increase research and development activity in North Texas. ”

State Sen. Konni Burton, R-Colleyville, said, “UTA has such a positive impact on our region and on the people who live and work here. These rankings are evidence that others across the nation see UTA’s success, too. National rankings signal that UTA is a destination for excellence, and I applaud University faculty, staff and students for all that they do to ensure that UTA is the model for what a 21st century urban research university should be.”

The UTA College of Nursing and Health Innovation recently earned the distinction of becoming a National League for Nursing Center of Excellence.

Engineering Dean Khosrow Behbehani pointed to several factors that have elevated the College’s reputation, including the recent hiring of internationally recognized faculty members and an all-time high of total engineering funding in excess of $41 million last year. Engineering enrollment in fall 2015 exceeded 7,000 for the first time, an increase of 16.4 percent over the previous fall.

Kenneth Reifsnider, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, joined the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department in June. Hong Jiang, a former National Science Foundation program director, was appointed chair of the Computer Science and Engineering Department in September. Michael Cho, a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Bioengineering and former faculty at the University of Illinois-Chicago, was named chair of the Bioengineering Department in July.

“Our improved rankings in each of the past two years are a testament to the ongoing quality of our faculty and students,” Behbehani said. “I am proud that as our enrollment continues to grow, particularly among our graduate students, our stature grows as well. Our commitment to hiring high-quality faculty who are very active in research and attracting top students goes hand-in-hand with our success.”

Anne Bavier, dean of the College of Nursing and Health Innovation, called the rise in graduate nursing rankings a reflection of the Master of Science in Nursing program’s quality, accessibility, affordability and relevance to working professional nurses. The College also has garnered accolades over the past year as a prestigious National League for Nursing Center of Excellence.

“The program is highly relevant, practice-based and geared for working professionals,” Bavier said. “It is tailored toward working students who are independent and want control over when and how to go to school. I’m proud that we are able to achieve excellence while ensuring flexibility and affordability.”

College of Business Dean Rachel Croson celebrated the first-time Top 100 Part-time MBA ranking and said that the program is structured to give graduate students the skills they need to advance from contributing to a functional area within an organization to a leadership position.

The U.S. News & World Report 2017 Best Graduate Schools rankings are designed to help prospective students research programs across six disciplines and evaluate the potential return on their investment.

“When I arrived at UTA, I felt that our program was as strong as that of schools in the top 100 overall, and the top 50 among public institutions. Being ranked appropriately was an important metric for the College’s strategic plan,” Croson said. “I am delighted to see the program getting the recognition it deserves.”

John A. Smith, interim dean of the College of Education, said the UTA Master’s of Education programs have become programs of choice for classroom teachers and school administrators who want to strengthen their instructional and leadership expertise and expand their professional options.

 “Much of our success has come from programs that allow graduate students to design their program with a selection of courses that meets their curricular and professional needs,” Smith said. “UTA has a deep understanding of what professional educators need to excel in schools and in academic leadership roles, and we are inspired by what our alumni are achieving in the world each and every day.”

Among the College’s standout alumni are 2015 National Teacher of the Year Shanna Peeples and Austin Aeschbacher, the 2015 Texas PTA Teacher of the Year.

About The University of Texas at Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington is a Carnegie “highest research activity” institution of more than 50,000 students in campus-based and online degree programs and is the second-largest institution in The University of Texas System. U.S. News & World Report ranks UTA fifth in the nation for undergraduate diversity. The University is a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is ranked as the top four-year college in Texas for veterans on Military Times’ 2016 Best for Vets list. Visit to learn more, and find UTA rankings and recognition at