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WCU graduate programs included in US News and World Report national rankings

By Geoff Cantrell

WCU's master's of public affairs program is a hybrid format at the Biltmore Park instructional site in Asheville.

The 2023 ranking of graduate schools by U.S. News & World Report includes Western Carolina University, which offers master’s and doctoral degree programs online, in hybrid format, and through traditional classroom instruction at its Cullowhee campus and the Biltmore Park instructional site in Asheville.

WCU offers more than 45 graduate degrees and certificate programs, with a wide range of concentrations and specialties.

“The Best Graduate Schools rankings evaluate schools across nearly 200 different areas, such as law, business and nursing,” said Robert Morse, chief data strategist at U.S. News. “We regularly update the methodology and add new programs to keep the rankings relevant and valuable for prospective students.”

WCU was among the up-to approximately 300 institutions in individual categories reviewed. The following are the national evaluations by U.S. News and comments about each by Brian Kloeppel, dean of WCU's Graduate School and Research. 

Graduate Education “Graduate enrollment has continued to grow at Western Carolina University and is currently at its highest level since 2010. The high-quality curricula delivered by excellent credentialed faculty in nationally ranked programs attracts students who enroll in flexible programs delivered in online, hybrid or residential formats.”

Social Work “The Masters in Social Work program attracts applicants to its advanced-standing and traditional two-year program in Cullowhee and in Asheville by incorporating advanced clinical training and graduate mentoring with future potential employers in the Western North Carolina region and beyond.”

Part-Time MBA “Students in the part-time MBA program are typically employees who are incorporating cutting-edge hybrid course-work that benefits them in their current position and is preparing them for future opportunities and promotions.”

Public Affairs “MPA graduates learn from faculty and regional experts in a hybrid format at our Asheville location where they prepare for careers in county, state and federal public service or nonprofit organization management.”

Prospective students can view complete rankings, indicator values and institutional profiles through a subscription-based U.S. News Graduate School Compass. The tool also provides the full versions of specialty rankings in the broader disciplines, which include business analytics, constitutional law, environmental engineering, executive MBA, finance, marketing and nursing administration, among others.

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