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SESP Ranked No. 5 by U.S. News

April 9, 2024

For the second year in a row, Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy (SESP) has been ranked among the top five graduate schools of education according to the 2024-25 U.S. News and World Report Best Education Graduate Schools rankings.

The School of Education and Social Policy and Vanderbilt University's Peabody College tied for fifth place. Among specialties, SESP's education policy program tied for the No. 11 spot with the University of Virginia, rising from No. 12 the previous year.

“SESP is a place of possibility,” said School of Education and Social Policy Dean Bryan McKinley Jones Brayboy, the Carlos Montezuma Professor. “It is also a place of the now. We will continue to raise new sets of ideas, rooted in empirical research theories of human development, and learning theories, that create the conditions for thriving futures for the peoples, places, and communities that we serve.”

Overall, Columbia University and the University of Wisconsin Madison tied for the top spot. The University of California Los Angeles and the University of Michigan were ranked third and fourth. The rest of the top 10 included: University of Pennsylvania (No. 7), and Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, New York University, Stanford University, University of Texas Austin and the University of Virginia (tied for No. 8).

The School of Education and Social Policy broke into the top ten US News rankings in 2001-02 and has remained in the top 15 every year since then. Its consistent designation as one of the top schools in the nation reflects an ambitious commitment to interdisciplinary work, research, and innovation.

annenberg-spring-social.jpgOriginally a traditional school of education, the name was changed to the School of Education and Social Policy in 1986 to emphasize that education, learning, and human thriving take place in the home, the community, and the workplace -- as well as the school.

The School’s three pioneering doctoral programs–learning sciences, human development and social policy, and the joint learning sciences + computer science program–were the first of their kind in the nation and have many imitators.

Our versatile faculty includes experts across an array of disciplines, including social science, natural science, education, psychology, sociology, economics, political science, anthropology, geography, neuroscience, history, and philosophy.

Other faculty highlights include:

  • Seventeen National Academy of Education members.
  • Thirteen American Educational Research Association Fellows
  • Early career superstars. Two-thirds of full professors ages 40-55 are National Academy of Education Members – an award that generally recognizes lifetime achievement.

U.S. News evaluated education schools on research activity, academic excellence of entering students, faculty resources, and opinions on program quality from education school deans and school hiring professionals. Read more about the methodology.