According to re-released rankings from U.S. News and World Report, the Ford School is tied with Harvard's Kennedy School for the #1 ranking in "social policy" among U.S. schools of public affairs. The school is also ranked third in "public policy analysis" and third in "environmental policy and management." In overall rankings, the Ford School tied for #12.
The rankings were released today in the magazine's 2016 edition of "Best Graduate Schools," but unlike other fields such as business and law, rankings for schools of public affairs were not refreshed. The rankings reflect the opinions of faculty members at departments or schools of public affairs, collected by survey in fall 2011.
U.S. News & World Report does not rank schools of public policy, nor does it rank schools of international affairs or schools with strong international programs. Rather, the magazine surveys schools and departments of public affairs, which typically have quite different emphases in curricula and research than public policy programs.
The number three ranking in public policy analysis is probably the most accurate overall rating of the Ford School against its competitors. The other specialties reflect the strength of the school's faculty in particular fields and the high level of interdisciplinary work done at Michigan, much of which supports the professional training of public policy students.
The Ford School's #1 ranking in "social policy" was up from #2 in 2008. Our #3 ranking in "public policy analysis" was unchanged from 2008, and our #3 ranking in "environmental policy and management" was up from #6.
Other categories in which the Ford School was ranked in the top ten include health policy and management (#6) and public finance and budgeting (#10).
According to its published methodology, the magazine surveyed "deans, directors, and department chairs representing 266 master's of public affairs and administration programs, two per school. Respondents were asked to rate the academic quality of master's programs on a scale of 1 (marginal) to 5 (outstanding)." The response rate was 39 percent.