What Are the Best Masters Programs in the U.S.?
A master's degree is the lowest-level graduate degree available to students who have already completed their bachelor's degrees. Master's degree programs are available in both professional and academic disciplines and can also lead to professional or doctorate degree programs. Read on to learn more about universities which offer some of the top-ranked master's programs in the country.
Choosing a Master's Degree Program
Many factors go into selecting a master's program, including your professional goals, academic interests and whether or not you plan to pursue continued doctoral or professional study.
Many students choose their subject or field before they begin searching for specific programs. Master's degrees are available in almost every academic and professional area, from nursing to history to computer science.
Once you know either the specific topic or general field that you would like to study, it can be helpful to identify the top-ranked programs in that area. U.S. News & World Report ranks graduate schools based on discipline. Although it doesn't distinguish between master's and doctoral programs, most top-ranked schools in the U.S. News list include both.
Top Graduate Schools in the U.S.
In 2011, U.S. News & World Report ranked the following schools #1 in their respective graduate fields:
|Discipline||Top-Ranked College or University||Location|
|Biology||Stanford University||Stanford, CA|
|Business||Stanford University||Stanford, CA|
|Chemistry||California Institute of Technology (Cal Tech)||Pasadena, CA|
|Computer Science||Carnegie Mellon University||Pittsburgh, PA|
|Clinical Psychology||University of California - Los Angeles||Los Angeles, CA|
|Criminology||University of Maryland - College Park||College Park, MD|
|Earth Science||California Institute of Technology||Pasadena, CA|
|Economics||Harvard University||Cambridge, MA|
|Education||Vanderbilt University||Nashville, TN|
|Engineering||Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)||Cambridge, MA|
|English||University of California - Berkeley||Berkeley, CA|
|Fine Arts||Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)||Providence, RI|
|Healthcare Management||University of Michigan - Ann Arbor||Ann Arbor, MI|
|History||Princeton University||Princeton, NJ|
|Library & Information Studies||University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign||Champaign, IL|
|Math||Massachusetts Institute of Technology||Cambridge, MA|
|Nursing||Johns Hopkins University||Baltimore, MD|
|Occupational Therapy||Boston University||Boston, MA|
|Political Science||Harvard University||Cambridge, MA|
|Physical Therapy||University of Southern California||Los Angeles, CA|
|Physics||California Institute of Technology||Pasadena, CA|
|Public Affairs||Syracuse University||Syracuse, NY|
|Public Health||Johns Hopkins University||Baltimore, MD|
|Psychology||Stanford University||Stanford, CA|
|Social Work||Washington University in St. Louis||St. Louis, MO|
|Sociology||University of California - Berkeley||Berkeley, CA|
|Statistics||Stanford University||Stanford, CA|
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