U.S. News & World Report: SPH, ENG Biomedical Engineering in Top 10

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ENG Advances to Highest Ranking Ever

By Joel Brown, BU Today

BU synthetic biology core faculty (from left): Assistant Professors Wilson Wong (BME), Ahmad (Mo) Khalil (BME, Bioinformatics) and Douglas Densmore (ECE, BME, Bioinformatics) (Photo by Mike Pecci)
BU synthetic biology core faculty (from left): Assistant Professors Wilson Wong (BME), Ahmad (Mo) Khalil (BME, Bioinformatics) and Douglas Densmore (ECE, BME, Bioinformatics) (Photo by Mike Pecci)

The School of Public Health climbed into the top 10 schools of its kind in this year’s U.S. News & World Report national ranking of graduate schools, and the College of Engineering’s biomedical engineering department rose to the number 9 position among similar graduate school departments.

“This reflects the extraordinary work of our faculty, students, and staff over the school’s history,” says Sandro Galea, who took over as SPH dean from longtime dean Robert Meenan (MED’72, GSM’89) in January. “It also represents a recognition of our commitment to be both a global leader in public health scholarship and to train the next generation of the public health workforce with a real world approach to empowering communities, locally and globally.”

SPH tied for 10th with the UCLA School of Public Health, moving up one spot from the last U.S. News ranking in the category, in 2011.

Galea points to an expanding research portfolio and important breakthroughs in genetics, environmental health, and epidemiology, among other fields, including recent progress on finding the causes of a devastating kidney disease epidemic in Central America. He also cites SPH’s focus on providing all students with practical, meaningful, real-world experience that has them tackling problems from asthma in Boston to malaria in Africa.

The U.S. News ranking, released last week, “certainly helps to motivate us to continue to expand our research and educational efforts,” Galea says, “and it encourages us to look ahead to further engaging with the public health challenges of the next decade, and the next.”

The College of Engineering jumped 3 places overall in the most recent rankings, to a tie for 37th, with the University of California, Irvine, in its category, while the college’s biomedical engineering department rose 4 spots, from 13th to a tie for 9th, with Rice University, overall.

“The College of Engineering is now ranked the highest it has ever been, a reflection of our increasing excellence across all of our departments and divisions,” says Kenneth R. Lutchen, dean of ENG. “Particularly gratifying is the recognition of our biomedical engineering department, ranking in the top 10 alongside departments at MIT, Stanford, and Berkeley, which are housed in engineering schools that are ranked one, two, and three overall by U.S. News.”

The U.S. News rankings also boosted the Graduate School of Management 2 spots, to a tie for 43rd position among top MBA programs, while the School of Law climbed a spot to a tie for 26th. (Boston College Law School came in tied for 34th.)

Business, education, engineering, law, and medical schools are ranked annually based on a mix of quantitative data and subjective assessments by academics and professionals in the appropriate discipline. Department and specialty rankings are based on peer assessments alone.