The validity of the 2004 U.S. News & World Report's rankings of schools of social work

Robert G. Green, Frank R. Baskind, Andreas Fassler, Anne Jordan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The exceedingly influential U.S. News & World Report's rankings of the educational quality of graduate schools of social work are based on responses of a small group of deans and faculty members to a single item on a mailed survey. This study evaluated the validity of these "quick and dirty" commercial ratings by comparing the 2004 USNWR results to three more objective measures of overall program quality - admissions selectivity, faculty publications, and program longevity - and by conducting a replication study of 1,516 deans, faculty members, students, and practitioners. Results revealed USNWR rankings are consistent with objective indicators of program success and representative of the views of a larger sample of deans, faculty members, and to a lesser degree, of practitioners and students. In spite of this empirical support, the authors recommend strategies for eliminating the reliance on commercial ratings and developing professionally driven and disseminated systems of evaluating graduate schools.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-146
Number of pages12
JournalSocial Work
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2006


  • Educational quality
  • Graduate education
  • School rankings


Dive into the research topics of 'The validity of the 2004 U.S. News & World Report's rankings of schools of social work'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this