Published: March 29, 2006

Five University of Colorado at Boulder graduate specialty programs were rated in the top 10 nationally in a new but limited U.S. News & World Report graduate school rankings report scheduled for release March 31.

CU-Boulder and other universities and colleges with doctoral programs in law, engineering, business, education, library and information studies, biological sciences, chemistry, earth sciences, computer science, mathematics, physics, medicine and several health fields were ranked in 2006. Not ranked by the magazine this year were disciplines that include psychology, English, economics, music, journalism, history, sociology and political science.

The CU-Boulder physics department garnered three specialty rankings in the top 10. They include atomic/molecular/optical physics (first), plasma physics (tied for 10th) and quantum physics (tied for 10th). The physics department was ranked in a tie for 16th in the nation.

The CU School of Law's environmental law specialty program was ranked ninth best in the country in 2006. Overall, the CU law school was ranked in a tie for 43rd in the nation.

The specialty program of physical chemistry was ranked ninth nationally. Overall, CU-Boulder's chemistry program tied for 24th in the nation.

Other CU-Boulder graduate program rankings in the top 50 nationally include earth sciences (tied for 25th), biological sciences (tied for 28th), engineering (tied for 39th), education (tied for 43rd) and mathematics (tied for 47th).

Magazine officials said expanded specialty rankings for selected disciplines would be released on March 31.

According to U.S. News & World Report, the rankings are based on "expert opinion about program quality and statistical indicators that measure the quality of a school's faculty, research and students." Magazine editors said they surveyed more than 1,200 programs and nearly 9,600 academics and professionals for the most recent rankings.

The results will appear in the 2007 edition of U.S. News & World Report's America's Best Graduate Schools, slated to reach newsstands on April 3.