April 07, 2022
CUA Law school graduates clapping during part of their commencement ceremony

Catholic University rankings for social work and law programs both jumped up in the 2023 U.S. News & World Report graduate school rankings, with social work moving into the top 20% of programs nationwide and law into the top 100 nationally.

The improved ranking for the National Catholic School of Social Service MSW program — number 62 in the nation — is 15 places higher than the last rankings, which were released in 2020. 

“I could not be more proud of our faculty, staff, and alumni who have worked hard to continue to build on our 100+ years of delivering a high quality educational experience to prepare students to be professional social workers,” says Dean of Social Work Jo Ann Regan. “While rankings are not everything in determining the quality and experience of students in a social work program, it is recognition from our peers in 298 other MSW programs across the country on the academic quality of our program.  

“Our MSW program has been known for delivering an innovative curriculum and new ways of learning. We have had a highly successful online clinical social work program since 2016 that provides a MSW degree to anyone in the United States. We have partnerships with more than 450 field agencies that provide our students with internship experiences that build their skills for practice in an increasingly complex world especially during the pandemic. We are continuing to update our MSW curriculum to address the relevant social and justice issues for the next 100 years.”

The Columbus School of Law rose eight places this year (following a nine-place gain last year), moving them to 94, their highest ranking in nearly a decade. 

“We have driven our improvement in the rankings with a strategic focus on all measures of selectivity in admissions, continued growth in the highest-quality job placements, and high bar-passage rates … but the real story is the high-quality applicant pool we attracted,” said Law Dean Stephen Payne in a letter to the community.

“We continue to place significant strategic focus on initiatives that are good for our students, faculty, staff, and alumni, regardless of the US News rankings, but we hope that they will also benefit the ratings we receive from other law schools, judges, and practitioners over the long term,” he continued. “We … do not think [the rankings] accurately reflect the strength of our program and the benefits of our close-knit community. Nonetheless, we need to pay some attention to our ranking and try to make progress in areas that make sense and are good in themselves. I am very happy and grateful that the hard work of our staff, faculty, alumni, and students has helped us do that so well again this year.”

The U.S. News Best Graduate Schools rankings in these areas 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 came from statistical surveys of more than 2,150 programs and from reputation surveys sent to more than 23,200 academics and professionals, conducted in fall 2021 and early 2022.