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Several colleges and programs at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, earned recognition from U.S. News and World Report in its 2021 graduate school rankings, which were released today.

Two of UT’s academic colleges are ranked in the top 35 among public institutions:

  • The Haslam College of Business climbed six spots and is now ranked 23rd.
  • The Tickle College of Engineering is ranked 32nd.

“Graduate education is an important part of our mission as the state’s flagship land-grant university,” said Provost David Manderscheid. “Today’s rankings reflect what we have long known: that our graduate students are learning from incredible faculty, conducting cutting-edge research, and making a difference in our community.”

Other colleges ranked in the top 50 among public institutions: the College of Law is 36th, and the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences is 47th.

Sixteen academic specialties from across UT were among the top 35 graduate programs in their area among both public and private institutions. Top placements include the following areas:

  • The School of Art’s graduate printmaking program is fourth nationally and third among public universities, and its Master of Fine Arts (MFA) is 22nd among publics and 42nd overall. Both programs are based in the College of Arts and Sciences.
  • The Haslam College of Business’s supply chain management program rose one spot to third among publics and rose one spot to fourth in the nation.
  • The Tickle College of Engineering’s nuclear engineering program ranked 7th among publics and 8th overall; aerospace engineering is 28th among publics; computer engineering is 30th among public institutions; materials science is 31st among publics; mechanical engineering rose 11 spots to 33rd among public institutions; and civil engineering rose two spots to 35th among publics.
  • The biosystems engineering and soil science program in the Herbert College of Agriculture rose three spots to 22nd among public schools and 23rd nationally.
  • The College of Law’s clinical training specialty rose two spots to 8th among publics and 17th overall.
  • The College of Nursing’s doctoral program in nursing practice is 27th among publics and 38th overall.

“These rankings are testimony to the strength of our graduate and professional programs,” said Dixie Thompson, dean of UT’s Graduate School. “We are fortunate to attract and retain such excellent students across a wide range of academic disciplines, whose future work will improve the lives of all Tennesseans.”

About U.S. News and World Report rankings

In late 2019 and early 2020, U.S. News sent statistical surveys to administrators at more than 2,000 graduate programs and compared them with reputational surveys completed by more than 24,000 academics and professionals to derive the rankings.

While U.S. News ranks programs in business, education, engineering, law, medicine, and nursing every year, programs in the sciences, social sciences and humanities, health fields, and other areas are ranked only periodically.

For those older rankings as well as the full 2021 graduate rankings, visit U.S. News and World Report. The rankings also will be included in the 2021 edition of Best Graduate Schools, an annual U.S. News publication typically available in bookstores in April.

Quotes from our deans:

Janis Terpenny, dean of the Tickle College of Engineering and Wayne T. Davis Endowed Dean’s Chair: “We are pleased that six of our graduate programs rose in the rankings. It is also great to see that seven of our graduate programs are in the top 35 among public institutions, but our goals and aspirations are higher still.”

Stephen L. Mangum, dean of the Haslam College of Business and Stokely Foundation Leadership Chair: “At the Haslam College of Business, we provide high-caliber MBA students with the real-world skill set that prepares them to immediately make an impact in the business world upon graduation. This ranking confirms how much our students and the business community benefit from Haslam’s education and career preparation.”

Mangum also lauded the supply chain program’s ranking and its reflection on faculty dedication and the overall quality of supply chain management education received by students. “Haslam’s supply chain program has placed in the top 10 in the U.S. News and World Report rankings for the last five years and has now reached its highest ranking yet,” he said. “That is a credit to the faculty’s professionalism and the hard work of our students and support staff.”

Theresa Lee, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences: “Our printmaking faculty are key to maintaining a highly ranked program in our college. Their dedication to their craft is foundational for our students—many of whom have very successful careers after graduation.”

Victoria Niederhauser, dean of the College of Nursing: “These rankings are a direct result hard work and dedication of our amazing nursing students as well as our faculty and staff, who work tirelessly to support excellence in nursing education.”

Carla Beyl, dean of the Herbert College of Agriculture: At the Herbert College of Agriculture, we provide real life solutions by offering world-class educational opportunities that prepare our students for the world’s challenges through experiential learning. A prime example is our biosystems engineering and soil science program, which is now ranked among the top-25 graduate programs in the nation. Without the leadership of Julie Carrier, our BESS department head, and a brilliant team of faculty, post-docs, and graduate students, this honor wouldn’t be possible. I’m incredibly proud of the work they’ve done to achieve this recognition.”


Karen Dunlap (865-974-8674,