U.S. News ranks WMU health programs among best in nation

Contact: Mark Schwerin
Photo of a WMU audiology student.

Nation's Best Grad Schools

KALAMAZOO--U.S. News & World Report's recently published rankings of graduate programs puts six Western Michigan University health programs among the best in the nation, with three of them--occupational therapy, physician assistant and speech-language pathology--rated both the highest in Michigan and among the top 50 nationwide.

The 2013 edition of U.S. News & World Report's Best Grad Schools includes new rankings in seven health fields, including occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, audiology and social work. Rankings of other health fields, including physician assistant and rehabilitation counseling, are based on earlier surveys conducted in 2011. In all, six of WMU's programs in the health disciplines garnered top-50 ratings, while a seventh was included in the top-100 of such programs.

The latest rankings put both of WMU's programs in occupational therapy--one in Kalamazoo and one in Grand Rapids, Mich.--in the top 50, along with WMU's programs in speech-language pathology and audiology.

The occupational therapy program in Kalamazoo came in at No. 21 in the nation out of 151 programs ranked, while WMU's OT program in Grand Rapids, which was established in 2009, was ranked No. 36.

The University's speech-language pathology program came in at No. 35 out of 229 ranked programs, while WMU's doctoral program in audiology, established in 2003, was No. 45 out of 64 programs.

In addition to those programs, the WMU School of Social Work finished in the top 100, landing at No. 66 out of 200 ranked programs.

Other WMU programs, also within the College of Health and Human Services, are in fields last surveyed in 2011. The WMU programs remain highly ranked. Results of those earlier surveys were included in the 2013 edition as well.

WMU's physician assistant program was ranked No. 38 out of 123 programs nationally--the highest ranking among PA programs in Michigan. The rehabilitation counseling/teaching program, established in 1963 as the first program of its kind in the nation, was No. 45 out of 96 ranked programs.

"These distinctive rankings reflect an exceptional educational experience for students and outstanding contributions to the health and human services professions," says Dr. Earlie Washington, dean of the College of Health and Human Services. "The CHHS family can take pride in these accomplishments as we move toward a future of transformational teaching, research and service."