A pair of advanced degree programs at Mississippi College have placed the Christian University among the best graduate schools in the country, according to one of the nation’s leading consumer reporting companies.
U.S. News and World Report has included the graduate programs in MC’s Department of Counseling and the Mississippi College School of Law in its 2023 Best Graduate Schools Rankings released today (Tuesday, March 29).
MC’s counseling program was listed by U.S. News as the top-ranked psychology graduate program at a private institution in Mississippi, and received the fourth-highest overall ranking for psychology graduate programs in the state. MC Law, the only private law school in the state, captured the second-highest U.S. News law school ranking in Mississippi.
Designed for prospective students looking to further their education beyond college, the U.S. News rankings represent the most current figures on enrollment, job placement, faculty, and other critical quality indicators that help students make informed decisions about their graduate education.
Dr. Debbie C. Norris, associate provost and graduate school dean at MC, said the latest U.S. News rankings emphasize the excellence of Mississippi College’s graduate programs.
“This acknowledgement by external sources signifies the quality of our graduate counseling and law programs,” Norris said. “Although this is something we knew already, it is gratifying to see that external sources agree.
“The three things that likely affected this U.S. News rankings are the academic leadership, the faculty, and those students who graduated from these programs and have gone on to do meaningful things with their education. In all cases, these programs produce the kinds of students who benefit their communities in meaningful ways.”
According to U.S. News, the best graduate school rankings are based on two types of data: expert opinion about program excellence and statistical indicators that measure the quality of a school’s faculty, research, and students. The data for the rankings came from statistical surveys of more than 2,150 programs and from reputation surveys sent to more than 23,000 academics and professionals.
As prospective students research course offerings and weigh each school’s intangible attributes, they can use the information on the U.S. News website to compare concrete factors, such as student-faculty ratio and job placement success upon graduation, according to Robert Morse, chief data strategist at U.S. News.
“The Best Graduate Schools Rankings evaluate schools across nearly 200 different areas,” Morse said. “We regularly update the methodology and add new programs to keep the rankings relevant and valuable to prospective students.”
The rankings of doctoral programs in the social sciences and the humanities – including MC’s graduate programs in psychology – were based solely on the results of peer assessment surveys sent to academics at 331 psychology programs nationwide.
The graduate counseling programs at MC include the M.E.D. in School Counseling, the M.S. in Marriage and Family Counseling, the M.S. in Mental Health Counseling, the Education Specialist in Counseling, and the Doctorate in Professional Counseling.
The U.S. News Best Law School Rankings evaluated institutions on their successful placement of graduates, faculty resources, the academic achievements of entering students, and opinions by law school faculty, lawyers, and judges on overall program quality. The rankings measured 192 law schools that were fully accredited by the American Bar Association.
MC Law offers both J.D. and L.L.M. programs. The school’s inclusion in the U.S. News rankings is a testament to its faculty, staff, and students, said Dr. Keith Elder, MC provost and executive vice president.
“U.S. News and World Report is one of the most regarded and well-known rankings. So, this recognition is highly noteworthy,” Elder said. “Dean Pat Bennett should be commended for her leadership, and the faculty, staff, and students should be applauded for their effort in receiving this recognition.
“It takes collective effort to bring this to fruition.”