March 29, 2022

Master’s degree program in homeland security in Watts College tied for the top spot in the country

Arizona State University has 13 graduate degree programs that rank in the top 10 nationwide — including one that is ranked No. 1, according to new rankings just released by U.S. News & World Report.

ASU’s master’s degree program in homeland security was ranked No. 1 in the country, tied with the Naval Postgraduate School, and ranked higher than the programs at Harvard and Columbia universities. Last year, the homeland security degree program, in the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions, ranked third.

Of the 13 top-ranked degree programs, seven are in the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions. The list was released March 29 after the magazine assessed more than 2,150 degree programs for 2023. (Note that some programs are ranked only every three or four years, so not every area is included in the latest rankings.) 

Watts College Dean Cynthia Lietz said the college is home to some of the most highly ranked programs in the country.

“It is wonderful to see our focus in emergency management and homeland security recognized as one of the best in the nation,” Lietz said.

U.S. News & World Report provides several higher education rankings throughout the year, and last fall rated ASU as the most innovative university in the country for the seventh year in a row.

Besides homeland security, the other 12 graduate degree programs at ASU that ranked in the top 10, with last year’s ranking in parentheses, are:

  • MBA in project management, in the W. P. Carey School of Business: No. 2 (5), ahead of Boston University and Georgetown University.
  • Geochemistry, in the School of Earth and Space Exploration in The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: No. 3, tied with Penn State and the University of California at Berkeley and ahead of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard. This discipline was not ranked last year.
  • MBA in supply chain management, in the W. P. Carey School of Business: No. 3 (3), ahead of Penn State and Ohio State.
  • Information and technology management, in the School of Public Affairs in the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions: No. 4 (3) out of five programs rated.
  • Local government management, in the School of Public Affairs in Watts College: No. 4 (3), tied with the University of Georgia and ahead of Syracuse and the University of Southern California.
  • Legal writing, in the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law: No. 4 (3), tied with Suffolk University and ahead of Georgetown and Wake Forest.
  • Nonprofit management, in the School of Community Resources and Development in Watts College: No. 4 (5), ahead of American University and Ohio State.
  • Public management and leadership, in the School of Public Affairs in Watts College: No. 4 (16), tied with American University and ahead of Harvard and Georgetown.
  • Geology, in the School of Earth and Space Exploration in The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: No. 5, tied with University of California at Santa Barbara and ahead of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford. This discipline was not ranked last year.
  • Environmental sciences, in the School of Earth and Space Exploration in The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: No. 5, ahead of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Duke. This discipline was not ranked last year.
  • Environmental policy, in the School of Public Affairs in Watts College: No. 8 (5), ahead of Columbia, Harvard and Princeton.
  • Urban policy, in the School of Public Affairs in Watts College: No. 6 (5), ahead of Harvard, Cornell and Columbia.

“Our growing national reputation for graduate education is thanks to the scholarship and research of our distinguished faculty and the rich academic experience they design for our graduate students,” said Nancy Gonzales, executive vice president and university provost. 

“We are also proud of the fact that the graduate degree programs that are ranked in this year’s U.S. News & World Report include a diversity of academic disciplines, all of which are committed to educating future experts and leaders who are prepared to make positive impact through their careers.”

Overall, 39 ASU programs were ranked in the top 20 nationwide.

Eleven are in the W. P. Carey School of Business. Besides the top-10 programs in supply chain management and project management, the others are: MBA in information systems, No. 11 (7); executive MBA, tied for No. 13 (18); MBA in business analytics, tied for No. 13 (10); MBA in accounting, tied for No. 14 (12); MBA in production and operations, tied for No. 16 (11); MBA in management, tied for No. 16 (16); part-time MBA, No. 18 (22); MBA in international business, tied for No. 20 (20); and MBA in marketing, tied for No. 20 (20).

The School of Public Affairs has 10 top-20 programs, including the overall program ranking of No. 12 (13), tied with seven universities, including Carnegie Mellon, Georgetown and Princeton, and ahead of Ohio State, Duke and Columbia. Besides the seven in the top 10 listed above, the others are public finance, tied for No. 12 (16), and public policy analysis, tied for No. 19 (20).

Seven are in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, including the overall program ranking of No. 12, tied with the University of Washington and ahead of Johns Hopkins and the University of Texas. The overall program ranked No. 11 last year. The others are: curriculum and instruction, tied for No. 11(14); elementary education, No. 12 (7); special education, No. 12 (11); educational administration, tied for No. 15 (14); educational psychology, tied for No. 17 (25); and secondary teacher education, No. 17 (12).

Besides the No. 4-ranked program in legal writing, the other top-20 programs in the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law are: health care law, tied for No. 13 (16); dispute resolution, tied for No. 13 (14); and environmental law, tied for No. 17 (20).

The Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering had two top-20 programs: environmental engineering, tied for No. 16 (20), and industrial engineering, No. 18 (18).

And besides the top-10 programs in geochemistry, geology and environmental sciences, the overall earth sciences graduate programs in the School of Earth and Space Exploration were ranked No. 12, tied with Harvard, Brown, Princeton, the University of California at Los Angeles, the University of California at San Diego and the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and ahead of Yale and Cornell. And the geophysics degree program was tied at No. 17.

ASU had 33 graduate degree programs in the top 20 last year.

“Graduate education is critical to ASU's success and commitment to advancing research and the discovery of public value, so we are thrilled to see our efforts to build outstanding graduate programs for our students recognized in the national rankings,” said Elizabeth Wentz, vice provost and dean of the Graduate College at ASU. “The current rankings are a testament to our exceptional faculty, students, staff and alumni."

The U.S. News & World Report rankings are based on two types of data: expert opinion about program excellence and statistical indicators about the schools’ faculty, research and students.

ASU individual graduate degree programs that were in the top 50 of the magazine’s rankings include: social policy, tied for No. 22; entrepreneurship, tied for No. 23; education policy, No. 25; aerospace engineering, tied for No. 27; computer engineering, tied for No. 27; social work, tied for No. 28; criminal law, tied for No. 28; full-time MBA, tied for No. 29; civil engineering, tied for No. 30; full-time law, tied for No. 30; international law, tied for No. 32; electrical engineering, tied for No. 34; materials engineering, tied for No. 35; economics, tied for No. 38; tax law, tied for No. 39; psychology, tied for No. 39; constitutional law, tied for No. 40; overall engineering, No. 40, the college's highest ever overall ranking; mechanical engineering, tied for No. 41; commercial law, tied for No. 45; nursing, doctor of nursing practice, tied for No. 47; chemical engineering, tied for No. 48; physics, tied for No. 48; nursing, master’s, No. 49; computer science, tied for No. 49.

Top photo by Charlie Leight/ASU News

Mary Beth Faller

Reporter , ASU News

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