11 graduate programs rank among top 25

Eleven graduate programs at Rice are ranked among the country’s top 25 in the 2018 edition of U.S. News and World Report’s “Best Graduate Schools.”

The rankings are based on expert opinions about program excellence and on statistical indicators that measure the quality of a school’s faculty, research and students. U.S. News sent reputation surveys to more than 16,500 academics and professions in the disciplines, and statistical surveys to administrators at more than 1,970 graduate programs. The surveys were conducted in fall 2016 and early 2017. The sciences were not included in the surveys, so their rankings from 2014 were reprinted.

The George R. Brown School of Engineering, which is tied for No. 29 nationally (up from No. 31 last year), has seven programs or specialties in the top 25: bioengineering program (No. 9), environmental engineering (seven-way tie for No. 15, up from No. 24), computer engineering (four-way tie for No. 17, up from 20), electrical engineering (four-way tie for No. 22, up from No. 27), civil engineering (five-way tie for No. 25, up from No. 27), computer science (five-way tie for No. 20, based on the 2014 ranking) and the specialty of programming languages (tied for No. 11, based on the 2014 ranking).

The Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business, which is in a three-way tie for No. 29 based on its full-time MBA program ranking, has two programs in the top 25: entrepreneurship (No. 11, up from No. 14 last year) and the part-time MBA program (No. 24, which was tied for this ranking last year but now stands alone).

The Wiess School of Natural Science has a program and a specialty in the top 25 based on the 2014 rankings: atomic/molecular/optical specialty in physics (tied for No. 10) and the Earth sciences program (five-way tie for No. 25).

In addition to the programs above that rank in the top 25, the following Rice programs are ranked in the 2018 edition of “Best Graduate Schools 2018.”


  • Aerospace/aeronautical/astronautical engineering (five-way tie for No. 26).
  • Chemical engineering (five-way tie for No. 27).
  • Mechanical engineering (three-way tie for No. 31).
  • Materials science (four-way tie for No. 35).
  • Statistics (three-way tie for No. 39, based on the 2014 ranking).


  • History (four-way tie for No. 34).
  • English (seven-way tie for No. 35, up from No. 36).

Social sciences:

  • Political science (four-way tie for No. 33).
  • Economics (five-way tie for No. 42, up from No. 48).
  • Psychology (three-way tie for No. 50, up from No. 67).

Natural sciences:

  • Physics (three-way tie for No. 26, based on 2014).
  • Math (six-way tie for No. 28, based on 2014).
  • Chemistry (tied for No. 33, based on 2014).
  • Biological sciences (eight-way tie for No. 42, based on 2014).

For more information on the rankings, 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.