OT: US News Grad School Rankings

Submitted by BlueCE on March 11th, 2014 at 6:02 PM

UM did very well in all the rankings:

MBA: #11 (Wharton, Harvard and Stanford tied for #1)

Education: #8 (John Hopkins #1)

Engineering: #8 (MIT #1)

Law: #10 (Yale #1)

Medicine (Research): #12 (Harvard #1)

Medicine (Primary Care): #8 (Washington #1)

Well done by Michigan, very few schools are ranked in the top across all categories.



March 11th, 2014 at 6:26 PM ^

The MBA progream being ranked 11 is ok, but I'd argue that we're a stronger porgram than Stern and CBS, especially outside of finance. Hard to find fault with any of the other schools being ahead of us.



Zone Left

March 11th, 2014 at 6:35 PM ^

I'd argue that Columbia and Stern should be lower too, but when salary is a marker, both will beat Ross every time. Bankers have the highest salary and I feel like Ross is weakest there. 

I had a great experience at Ross, so the ranking isn't too important for me.

Also, Wharton should be below Harvard and Stanford. Those two are, at least for me, head and shoulders above the pack in reputation.


March 11th, 2014 at 7:09 PM ^

Depends, in many industries (finance, marketing, health care, real estate) and countries Wharton is on par or above H/S.  Right now Stanford is really hot because of the tech boom.  I'd actually go to Wharton over Harvard if I had the choice, but in reality any of those top 3 is about the same in terms of professional opportunities and network.


If I had to make changes: move up Michigan and Dartmouth, move down Stern, Berkeley and Kellogg (a bit)


March 11th, 2014 at 7:54 PM ^

Alumni network I would say Wharton has a stronger one than Stanford, especially outside of CA or tech (where Stanford is supreme).  I worked in NYC and FL many years and the number of Stanford alumns I met was almost zero.  On the other hand in Mexico Stanford reigns supreme while in South America few people apply to Stanford. 

Recruiting opportunities are about the same at those 3 schools (with more startups and tech recruiting at Stanford and more general management / finance / consulting at the east coast schools).  Check the companies that recruit at the 3 schools if you want. 

Name I agree with you re: Harvard and Stanford, especially due to the larger universitiy brands behind them.

Application numbers can be misguided a bit.  Stanford has the higher yield thanks in part to smallest class size, tech/entrepreneurship focus and unique style of the program (touchy feely, etc). 

I agree that focus level rankings are somewhat irrelevant, but not 100%.  Marketing opportunities at Kellogg are as good as any of the top 3 schools, and Chicago has the same access to top finance job as the top 3.  

I personally do love the Stanford program especially because of the D-School.

Zone Left

March 11th, 2014 at 9:03 PM ^

Companies that recruit is a huge deal that too few applicants pay attention to during the application process. Ross isn't as strong a finance school because a lot of the top firms recruit lightly there, not because of some ranking. It's also why we're so strong in consulting and marketing, for example.

Regardless, I think perception is everything in b-school. The education at the top schools is basically the same, with the main difference being total emphasis on cases vs some lecture. If you think Kellogg is best and the firms you care about agree, then it is best.

People tried really hard to complicate b-school selection. I basically looked at the previous paragraph and it was easy. I got everything I wanted from Ross.


March 11th, 2014 at 7:56 PM ^

The list of top MBA schools and the order they are listed is nearly identical to where it was in 1980.   Virtually no difference.  You are who they think you are.



March 12th, 2014 at 2:40 PM ^

I'd agree.  I remember applying to law school back in 2003 and then checking 10 years later for a friend's sister and saw virtually no real movement inside the top 15.  Sure, a couple of schools changed places, but you rarely saw much movement.

I also think the major factor, especially in service fields like BLM, people at the top like to hire from a small pool, and once you get your name in that pool they are inclined to keep you there (plus guys at the top tend to come up through the system and favor alumni).


March 11th, 2014 at 6:36 PM ^

I'm a little disappointed that the law school is tied for 10th with Duke. We have been consistently in the "Third Tier" of top law schools with UVa, UPenn, and Berkley, so this is a bit of a downgrade. Oh well.


March 11th, 2014 at 7:26 PM ^

I would disagree. There are several factors to be considered other than just employment statistics. And I would argue that while employment may be very, very important, the way it is calculated for U.S. News purposes is flawed, and therefore it's importance to the rankings is appropriately discounted. What counts as "post-graduate" employment for a law student is a very manipulable concept, and Michigan MAY be at a disadvantage in how it keeps track of the statistic due to the scrutiny it receives as a public university.

Everyone Murders

March 11th, 2014 at 7:37 PM ^

MLaw may also be at a disadvantage because a large proportion of its graduates stay in Michigan after graduation, which is not a red-hot employment market for lawyers - especially of the corporate ilk.

That stated, the placement office at MLaw has historically been weak compared to other top schools and hurts the school's rankings.  (More importantly, it hurts the law students.)


March 11th, 2014 at 7:43 PM ^

Most of the other schools have a large home market (NYC, Chicago, Boston, DC, SF) that they can send grads too. Michigan only has Detroit, which most U of M grads don't want to work in anyway (only 12.5% of Michigan Law grads stay in Michigan)

I've heard the law school has recently made some efforts to reform the placement office. We'll see when the new employment figures come out in April if  that worked. 

Clarence Beeks

March 11th, 2014 at 9:43 PM ^

"We'll see when the new employment figures come out in April if that worked."

Can't really judge the April numbers based upon any recent changes (unless by "recent" you meant three years ago), for a couple of reasons:

(1) the data that comes out in April is for December 2012 - July 2013 grads, and

(2) those classes were recruited by "Big Law" firms way back in August of 2011.

It takes a good three years for any major changes in "placement" to shake through and show up in a measurable way.


March 11th, 2014 at 10:15 PM ^

There are barely any Michigan law grads who work in Detroit.  Most go to NYC, Chicago, DC or Palo Alto.  Only 25% of Michigan law students are from Michigan, and yes, only 12.5% stay in Michigan. 

The placement office does not directly affect your job prospects.

Most students get a 2L summer job through OCI or working their networks. 

I want to add one additional fact that I feel like gets missed when comparing T14 law schools.  If you go to Michigan law, you, honestly, only compete with a small subset of your law school who is applying to firms in your city of choice.  E.g., only 20% of Michigan law students apply for jobs in NYC, whereas 90% of students at NYU apply for jobs in NYC.  Therefore, it's easier to stand out.  Just my two cents, but I think its worth noting.


March 11th, 2014 at 7:40 PM ^

being able to pay back your debt (i.e employment) is really the only figure that matters. USNWR's rankings are indeed flawed but their recent inclusion of employment numbers was a rare good move for them.

I mean, these are the top law schools in the county. They ALL get heavy scrutiny. And Michigan has lagged behind its peers in two very important catagories for several years now:

1. placement into long term, full time jobs for which a JD is required


2. placement into "big law" and federal clerkships, which are generally considered to be the most prestigious (and high paying) forms of legal employment. 


March 11th, 2014 at 8:14 PM ^

clerkships than its peers (meaning the top half of the top fourteen schools).


(It's tied for 6th with 11.1 %.  You'll notice that the schools with the highest percentages are relatively tiny schols, e.g. Yale/Stanford compared to Harvard.  Michigan actually does extremely well in this category for being such a large school).  





March 11th, 2014 at 8:27 PM ^

It's a 2013 comparison based on 2011 numbers (go figure).  




I don't have access to the pay walled numbers because I'm well past that point in my career.  


8.5% is extremely good for a school the size of Michigan.  


Also, the state clerkship is basically a wasted stat for a school like Michigan.  And no, I'm not going to go into why.  


March 11th, 2014 at 6:36 PM ^

OK - here's the weird thing I saw on this, and maybe someone can explain it to me:  On the list for Medicine - Primary Care, directly below us is MSU's School of Osteopathic Medicine (not the School of Human Medicine, which is their "regular" med school).  It lists crazy tuition as well, notably the $82k/year out of state tuition.  

Anyone want to clear any of that up for me?

Bill the Butcher

March 11th, 2014 at 7:15 PM ^

First, MSU's osteopathic school has long been known as a top primary care institution in both the MD and DO world from what I know it is one of the most competitive and prestigious D.O. schools in the country.


Second, if you look at the methodology for the rankings it becomes a bit more clear why they are so high.  30% of the ranking is based on the percentage of students who go into primary care.  MSU in general, and more specifically their D.O. school are huge primary care institutions.  So by virtue of so many of their students going into primary care, they achieve a high ranking.  Additionally, 20% of the rating is made up by peers assessing the quality of physicians that come from the school.  As I said, MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine is reknown for the primary care docs that they produce.  Those two categories alone comprise 55% of the total rating and those are things that they will score high in that has no regard to them being D.O. or M.D.  The things that seperate the students (MCAT, GPA, Research etc) all comprise a very miniscule percent of the overall score.  


Hope that helps




March 11th, 2014 at 8:52 PM ^

Only a little.  Why do they have two med schools?  Why is the osteopath school ranked and the human medicine school not?  Why is the osteopath school so crazy expensive?

The only thing you answered was "why is the MSU school of osteopathic medicince" ranked highly, which I didn't even ask.  I meant more of why is it ranked in place of what I thought was their actual med school.


March 11th, 2014 at 9:16 PM ^

Their out of state tuition is so expensive bc they highly prefer students that are from the state and likely will practice within the state, preferably in primary care fields. It's a part of their mission to provide the state with no shortage of primary care physicians, and they want to attract those students. Some med schools don't even accept applications from OOS students. A couple schools in California and Florida come to mind, with a similar thought process. The DO school in Ohio makes you sign a contract if you're an OOS applicant stating that you will practice in Ohio for at least 5 years after your post-graduate training. Same idea.


March 12th, 2014 at 2:52 PM ^

When I was there for law school, I had a couple of friends who went to/were with people going to the DO school.  MSU charged that much because (a) they typically had good placement numbers, so people figured they would get a good job to pay it back, and (b) MSU wanted to charge that much because they found they still got high-quality applicants.  To them, it really was as simple as people were willing to pay for it.


March 11th, 2014 at 10:30 PM ^

I'm a wolverine alum and long time mgoblog reader who is a current MSUCOM student. This is a helpful (although slightly immature) examination of osteopathic medicine in case you're interested: http://www.buzzfeed.com/ninjacowboy/osteopathic-medicine-does-exist-ira…

Long story short, both DOs and MDs are legit and MSU graduates a lot of the state of Michigan's primary care providers. There is an interesting history as to why MSU has two medical schools that is too long to tell in this space. Suffice to say COM graduates more in state primary care physicians than our counterparts in CHM which is one of many reasons for the higher ranking.

Should go without saying, but before I'm questioned about loyalties: Always and forever, Go blue!

Avon Barksdale

March 11th, 2014 at 6:45 PM ^

I was looking at them today as a prospective law student (not looking at any Tier 1 schools), but it's incredible to me at how many schools "tie." There are essentially sixty+ "Top 50 schools." That for one could be a reason law schools get such a hard time from outsiders.


March 11th, 2014 at 6:52 PM ^

Because it's more of an art than a science.  The jist is "this group of schools are all about the same, so there's no reason to distinguish them, but they're all better than that next group."  If there are 60 schools in the "Top 50" then just think of it as "top 60" or "top tier" if that helps you wrap your brain around it.

Avon Barksdale

March 11th, 2014 at 7:05 PM ^

I find most of their rankings laughable. They have a set "methodology," but a great deal of it is flawed. But as was stated earlier, it's not an exact science. Personally, I think learning the law is learning the law. The program is going to be as good as you make it.

For example, if one goes to Memphis as opposed to going to Tennessee, you are going to learn the same thing. Both schools possess reputable judges, attorneys, and litigators as professors. Memphis has a newly renovated and state of the art facility. Memphis is a tad cheaper, but job placement is about the same. Yet, US news thinks Tennessee is a top 70 program and Memphis is in tier 4 - despite being in a better legal market than that of east TN. Their conclusion there makes very little sense to me, as I am sure it would if I looked at other states like Texas, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.


March 11th, 2014 at 10:32 PM ^

You don't go to law school to learn the law.  If you wanted to learn the law, you can buy a set of used BAR/BRI books on ebay for 50 bucks and read it over a summer and learn enough of the law to pass the bar exam in any state of our great country.

The reason why you go to an elite law school is so that you can get access to top legal jobs, clerkships, academic positions, etc.  If you don't care about any of those, then you probably shouldn't worry too much about where you go to law school.


March 12th, 2014 at 3:31 PM ^

That was my feeling when I applied to law school.  I wanted to become a patent attorney, so I went where I could get a scholarship and not worry about being hundreds of thousands in debt.  My motivation and level of intelligence is such that I was never going to snag a top-tier job anyway, so no need for the price tag.  I definitely see a value if you are interested in that big-firm goal, but like business school you have to justify the price tag with your career goals.


March 11th, 2014 at 7:15 PM ^

law schools are getting a deservedly bad rap because they collectively graduate 50k students per year when there are only around 25k legal job openings each year. So many law students are paying 40-50k to end up unemployed, or underemployed. 


There are almost no law schools worth paying full price for outside of Harvard, Yale, and Stanford. And probably only 25 or so law schools worth attending at all.


March 11th, 2014 at 8:03 PM ^

I'd say MLaw is worth the 50k price tag.  Except for Harvard, it places around the country in big law better than any.  As long as you can interview and get decent grades, there are so many awesome alumni around the country that those seeking out law firms / finance jobs do very very well out of MLaw.  Most of the other top law schools tend to be regional heavy.