Schools receive high ranks

Business, law programs top several of Princeton Review

Two of the University's graduate schools - the Darden School and Law School - received high ratings in the Princeton Review's latest rankings.

The Darden School took the top spot for "Best Professors," second in "Best Campus Facilities" and fifth in "Best Campus Environment." The Law School, meanwhile, was deemed No. 1 in the country for the quality of life of students and No. 2 for "Best Classroom Experience."

Darden School Dean Robert Bruner pointed to Thomas Jefferson's original philosophy regarding the University. The Academical Village "is the defining quality of U.Va., not only creating the appearance, but the reality of a community of students and teachers," he said.

This sense of community likely is related to the Darden School's general culture of challenging its students. Bruner attributed the high professors ranking to the professors' "responsiveness and concern for students."

Similarly, Law School Dean Paul Mahoney noted "a strong sense of community and a faculty unusually dedicated to the craft of teaching." The strength of the school's faculty, he said, has contributed to the collaborative nature of the school, which in turn contributes to the quality of the institution.

As a result, the Princeton Review also ranked graduates from Law School as No. 7 in the "Best Career Prospects" category.

Mahoney said the school assists students in becoming well-versed with not only the intricacies of law but also with the interpersonal skills required in the field. "[They're] not just smart and knowledgeable," he said, "but also adept at dealing with clients and other lawyers, which makes them very desirable to employers."

In spite of these high rankings, though, the schools acknowledge that they still have some work to do in regards to solidifying their scores. The Darden School, for example, is undertaking "numerous initiatives this fall to improve [its] programs, scholarship and teaching," Bruner said.

One of these initiatives is the Darden MBA for Global Executives program, which will invite numerous executives from various backgrounds for a 20-month program with six modules that address topics such as "Leading the Global Enterprise" and "What's Next? Creating the Future."

The Princeton Review compiles most of their rankings by using student surveys, according to the publication's website. Four of five business school rankings are either entirely or partially derived from surveys given to students. Meanwhile, 10 of 11 law school rankings are based either entirely or partially on student surveys. Lists not based on surveys use data provided by school administrators.

Published October 19, 2010 in News

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