8 Rice graduate programs ranked among nation’s top 20 by US News

Eight graduate programs at Rice University are ranked among the country’s top 20 in “U.S. News 2015 Best Graduate Schools.”

At the George R. Brown School of Engineering, which ranks No. 33 nationally, the bioengineering program is in a three-way tie for No. 7; computer engineering is in a three-way tie for No. 18; and environmental engineering is tied for No. 19.

The computer science program and the programming language specialty, which are part of the School of Engineering but listed in the sciences section of U.S. News’ graduate school guide, also made the top 20. Computer science is in a five-way tie for No. 20, and the specialty of programming languages is tied for No. 11.

At the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business, which is tied for No. 33 nationally based on its full-time MBA program ranking, the entrepreneurship program is No. 13 and the part-time MBA program is tied for No. 18.

At the Wiess School of Natural Sciences, the atomic/molecular/optical specialty in physics is tied for No. 10.

The new rankings were announced March 11. They are based on expert opinions about program excellence and statistical measures of the quality of a school’s faculty, research and students.

U.S. News surveyed administrators at more than 1,350 programs and more than 13,500 academics and professionals to collect data for the rankings. The surveys were conducted during the fall of 2013 and early 2014. Rankings for programs in the humanities and social sciences were carried over from 2013.

In addition to the programs above that rank in the top 20, the following Rice programs are ranked in “2015 Best Graduate Schools”:


  • Electrical engineering — three-way tie for No. 21.
  • Chemical engineering — tied for No. 26.
  • Mechanical engineering — eight-way tie for No. 26.
  • Materials — six-way tie for No. 29.
  • Civil engineering — five-way tie for No. 31.
  • Statistics — three-way tie for No. 39. (U.S. News lists this as a science program, but it’s part of Rice’s School of Engineering.)

Natural sciences:

  • Earth sciences — five-way tie for No. 25.
  • Physics — three-way tie for No. 26.
  • Math — six-way tie for No. 28.
  • Chemistry – tied for No. 33.
  • Biological sciences – eight-way tie for No. 42.

Humanities (2013 rankings):

  • History — six-way tie for No. 30.
  • English — three-way tie for No. 36.

Social sciences (2013 rankings):

  • Political science — four-way tie for No. 32.
  • Economics — five-way tie for No. 48.
  • Psychology — 11-way tie for No. 67.

For more information on how the rankings were conducted, click here.


About B.J. Almond

B.J. Almond is senior director of news and media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.