4 Md. universities rated among best graduate programs


Four universities in Maryland have some of the nation's best graduate programs in public health, medicine, law, engineering and art, according to a national survey.

The Johns Hopkins University medical school ranked No. 2 among research-oriented programs, as it has for several years, behind Harvard University, according to the survey of academic officials in this week's U.S. News and World Report.

In specialties, the Hopkins medical school ranked No. 1 in drug and alcohol abuse and in geriatrics, and No. 2 in four areas -- AIDS, internal medicine, pediatrics and women's health.

As reported earlier, the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health ranked as the best public health school in the nation.

Hopkins' biomedical engineering program, a joint venture between the university's medical and engineering schools, also was rated as the nation's best.

Of the nation's 209 graduate engineering programs, Hopkins' ranked 25th, while the one at the University of Maryland College Park was 37th. The survey placed the Massachusetts Institute of Technology first.

The University of Maryland at Baltimore's law school ranked in the top five in two categories -- clinical law and health law.

Overall, the law school ranked 45th of the 176 accredited programs nationwide. Yale University was ranked first.

The rankings were based on surveys of deans, top administrators and senior faculty at accredited schools in each discipline.

In graduate programs in fine art, the Maryland Institute, College of Art in Baltimore tied for eighth place with Pratt Institute in New York, Indiana University, San Francisco Art Institute and the University of Iowa. The School of the Art Institute of Chicago was ranked first.

"We feel the Maryland Institute has exceptional graduate programs in painting, sculpture, photography and art education," said Debra Rubino, a campus spokeswoman. "And we're proud to be among the nation's leaders."

Maryland Law Dean Donald E. Gifford said he was happy with the rankings, noting that only three law schools in the Baltimore-Washington area cracked the top 50: Maryland, Georgetown University (No. 13), and George Washington University (No. 44).

The other four law schools that had top rankings in more than one specialty area were Harvard, Columbia University, New York University and Georgetown.

"That's pretty good company," he said.

In the clinical law program, students working with professors provide free legal services. Among the program's clients are homeless people and AIDS victims.

Dr. Michael E. Johns, dean of the Hopkins medical school, praised the breadth and quality of research at the school.

"This is a very large medical school with a spectacular set of faculty," Dr. Johns said. "Frequently, we take the place for DTC granted."

Perhaps the only negative finding, he said, was that the Hopkins school ranks eighth among research-oriented medical schools in selectivity, which measures incoming students' grades, test scores and the percentage of applicants accepted.

Dr. Johns said that ranking is probably because of the school's location in a poverty-stricken area of Baltimore. "That may be perceived as less attractive by some students," he said.

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