A total of 1,786 degrees were awarded during the UL Lafayette’s 161st Commencement ceremonies Friday at the Cajundome and Convention Center.
Want to earn an advanced degree?
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is a good place to do it, according to U.S. News & World Report.
The publication gave high marks to five degree programs in its 2020 Best Graduate Schools national rankings released Tuesday. U.S. News & World Report researched and ranked graduate programs in business, education, engineering, law, medicine and nursing.
UL Lafayette’s B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and the College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions were each recognized.
“There are no graduate or undergraduate degree programs in law or medicine at the University, so recognition in each of the remaining programs that U.S. News & World Report considered underscores the strength of the entire graduate program,” said Dr. Mary Farmer-Kaiser, dean of the Graduate School.
U.S. News & World Report placed the University’s College of Education at No. 134, an increase of 38 spots compared to last year’s rankings.
Dr. Nathan Roberts, dean of the college, attributes its success to many factors, including instruction in traditional classroom settings, online courses, opportunities for networking with peers and faculty members, and initiatives such as lesson pacing.
“Lesson pacing allows students to complete work when it’s convenient, either at an accelerated rate or one tailored around family, work and other considerations that require a flexible routine,” Roberts explained.
The College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions master’s degree in nursing program also climbed, to No. 156 from No. 172.
The college’s doctor of nursing practice program also made the list but did not receive a numerical ranking. U.S. News & World Report often cites noteworthy programs without assigning a number.
Dr. Melinda Oberleitner, dean of the College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions, attributed the college’s strong showing to dedicated faculty members who “deliver rigorous and high-quality programs of study.”
“As national shortages of nurses with master’s and doctoral degrees – such as nurse practitioners and nurse educators – persist, the college remains committed to training graduates in a range of disciplines who are qualified to help fill workforce needs,” Oberleitner said.
UL Lafayette’s MBA program was ranked No. 178 in the “part-time MBA” category said Dr. J. Bret Becton, dean of the B.I. Moody College of Business Administration. Whether students are enrolled part-time, full-time or online, however, the curriculum is the same.
“In any format, our MBA is designed to provide students from varied educational and professional backgrounds the knowledge and tools they need to flourish in a range of careers,” Becton said.
The College of Engineering’s graduate programs were also recognized, although the publication assigned no numerical ranking.
The University offers a master’s degree in engineering and a doctoral degree in systems engineering. Each degree offers concentrations in chemical, civil, electrical, mechanical and petroleum engineering.
U.S. News & World Report’s rankings are compiled based on factors such as student engagement, faculty credentials and training, student service, and technology and peer reputation. They are based on university-reported data from the 2018-2019 academic year.
The rankings are designed to help prospective college students make decisions about where to enroll and what programs they want to pursue.
Learn more about the University's graduate programs here.
Photo: Dr. Terrence Chambers, a mechanical engineering professor and director of the University’s Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Energy Center, and graduate student Deepakjain Veerendrakumar, test the cells of a solar panel with a thermographic camera. Credit: Doug Dugas / University of Louisiana at Lafayette.