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The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, once again has multiple graduate programs recognized in the U.S. News and World Report Best Graduate School rankings, with the 2023 rankings released today. Graduate programs in supply chain and nuclear engineering continue to be among the very best in the country—both ranking in the top five among public institutions.

“Our graduate programs are recognized for excellence and outstanding contributions to their fields across our state and nation, and around the world,” said Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor John Zomchick. “Behind the achievement of U.S. News rankings are faculty and students who work together every day to discover new ideas, tackle the world’s big challenges, and create a culture where they can thrive as scholars and leaders.”

Top Five Rankings for Supply Chain and Nuclear Engineering

The supply chain management graduate programs in UT’s Haslam College of Business are ranked third among public institutions and fourth nationally. This marks the eighth consecutive year that UT’s supply chain graduate programs have placed in the top 10. The full-time MBA program ranks 27th among public universities.

The nuclear engineering program in UT’s Tickle College of Engineering rose one spot to fifth among public institutions and sixth overall nationally. The college remains in a solid position, ranking 35th among public institutions.

Engineering Disciplines Highly-Ranked, among the Top in the Nation

Of the 12 engineering disciplines measured in the rankings, 10 UT programs are in the top half of public institutions in their respective field. Engineering field rankings among public universities include the following:

  • Aerospace engineering ranks 28th.
  • Biomedical engineering is 51st, up seven spots.
  • Biosystems engineering, which is run through the Herbert College of Agriculture, rose one spot to 22nd.
  • Chemical engineering is 44th, up four spots.
  • Civil engineering is 40th.
  • Computer engineering is 26th, up seven spots.
  • Computer science, which U.S. News ranks every three years, is 54th.
  • Electrical engineering is 30th.
  • Industrial and systems engineering is 34th.
  • Materials science and engineering is 29th.
  • Mechanical engineering ranks 37th.

Law, Education, Nursing and Social Work Programs Continue Excellence

Several colleges continue to perform at a high level and are ranked in the top 50 among public institutions. The College of Law is ranked 29th with its clinical training program ranked 10th. The College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences–which is experiencing a record number of applicants–is ranked 43rd. The College of Nursing’s doctoral program is ranked 39th.

For the first time in four years, U.S. News published new data on academic reputation rankings for social work, and UT’s College of Social Work ranked 30th among public universities.

Graduate School Dean Dixie Thompson says the rankings show the strength of UT’s graduate programs and the university’s commitment to excellence across academic disciplines.

“The University of Tennessee has a wide variety of impactful programs across many disciplines. It is encouraging to see rankings highlight some of our stellar programs,” she said.

What college leaders are saying

Bruce Behn, associate dean for graduate and executive education in the Haslam College of Business: “Supply chain represents some of the fastest-growing programs in Haslam’s graduate and executive education portfolio, with the online MS in supply chain management now enrolling more than 200 students. Our programs attract high-caliber graduate students who thrive in our supportive, energizing environment. Students emerge from their experience, regardless of the program format, with the skills necessary to make an immediate impact in their careers.”

John Bell, head of the Department of Supply Chain Management in the Haslam College of Business: “The rankings indicate the breadth of faculty expertise and the strong experiential instruction students receive. The supply chain management administration, faculty, and staff put every effort into providing an exceptional supply chain management learning experience for all our students. Our connections with industry and hands-on training prepare them to step into leadership roles in this dynamic and challenging field.”

Caula Beyl, dean of the Herbert College of Agriculture: “The Herbert College of Agriculture educates students to take an active leadership role in solving the problems that will face the world in the future. Biosystems engineering and soil science does this in an exceptional way by providing excellent in-class learning coupled with an extraordinary hands-on approach by stellar faculty that solidifies what they have learned. The faculty, staff, and leadership in the department excel at all levels in providing exceptional experiential learning.”

Doug Blaze, interim dean of the College of Law: “Our rise in the U.S. News rankings is a tribute to the extraordinary lengths our faculty and staff undertake each day. Rankings absolutely do not define the work we do, but seeing our gains in admissions and bar passage affirms us in our efforts to deliver an affordable and excellent education to our students.”

David Cihak, associate dean of professional licensure and director of the David T. Bailey Graduate School of Education in the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences: “UT has long been a leader in graduate-level educator preparation, and we’re dedicated to continuous program improvement, as reflected by the rise in our rankings. The high quality of UT’s graduate programs in education continue to attract talented prospective educators. While many programs in education are reporting a decline in enrollment, we’re experiencing record numbers of applicants into our programs. Now and in the future, we’ll continue to provide the highest quality preparation for teachers, leaders, and support professionals in education.”

Ellen McIntyre, dean of the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences: “Our excellence in preparing the next generation of professional educators is based on our amazing network of partnerships with local schools and districts, community organizations, and the Tennessee Department of Education. As the flagship institution, we lead the state in educator preparation quality, educational practice and research, and innovation to meet the needs of the ever-changing educational landscape. Additionally, we have some incredible scholars who have significant funding, which clearly supports our higher rank.”

Matthew Mench, dean and Wayne T. Davis Dean’s Chair of the Tickle College of Engineering: “Our students and their future successes are at the core of the Tickle College of Engineering, so being able to provide them with demonstrated valuable learning environments across our disciplines is vital. These rankings serve as confirmation that the growth and momentum that we have built in the last decade is recognized by our peers and reflected in their estimations of our programs. There has never been a better time to be an engineering student at UT.”

Lori Messinger, dean of the College of Social Work: “The College of Social Work prepares social work practitioners, clinicians, educators, and scholars to serve the state and the country. Our undergraduate and graduate enrollments have grown steadily over the past five years, and we proudly produce over 40 percent of Master of Social Work graduates each year in Tennessee. Our faculty brings their cutting-edge research and extensive practice backgrounds to the classroom. As we launch our new strategic plan this year, we see great potential to expand our impact and effectiveness and increase national recognition of our work.”

Victoria Niederhauser, dean and Sara Rosenbalm Croley Endowed Dean’s Chair of the College of Nursing: “The College of Nursing continues to produce top-notch Doctor of Nursing Practice students that will influence health care outcomes for individuals and patient populations by using evidence-based practice, evaluating and implementing health policy, developing new and innovative clinical systems, and becoming leaders in nursing. The education our doctoral students receive helps us to progress our mission of improving health care for all.”

About U.S. News and World Report rankings

U.S. News and World Report ranks six major graduate disciplines annually: business, education, engineering, law, nursing, and medical. The rankings are derived from in-depth reputation surveys completed by more than 24,000 academics and professionals and statistical surveys sent to more than 2,000 graduate programs. The surveys were conducted in fall 2021 and early spring 2022.

The rankings are categorized for the year following their release because they are intended to help the next round of students make decisions.


Tyra Haag (865-974-5460,