High marks for NPS in annual Grad School rankings

Photo By Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Dionne | Dr. Steven Lerman, NPS Provost and Academic Dean, left, and Dr. Keith Snider, Dean of the Graduate School of Defense Management, unveil new signage for Ingersoll Hall during a brief ceremony marking the newly-renamed Graduate School of Defense Management, Oct. 1.

The Naval Postgraduate School’s (NPS) Graduate School of Defense Management (GSDM) earned high marks in the latest “U.S. News and World Report” grad school rankings, released this week.

In an evaluation of the university’s programs accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA), GSDM ranked in the top 20 percent of graduate schools across the nation for public affairs, and ranked #1 overall in a specialized category of programs specializing in Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

Along with the GSDM, engineering programs through NPS’ Graduate School of Engineering and Applied Sciences were also ranked in a five-way tie for 109th place out of 218 total schools.

“The high rankings represent one way to validate that we’re doing high quality and relevant work,” said GSDM Dean Keith Snider. “Being ranked in the top 20 percent of all U.S. schools of public affairs means that our peers in those other schools recognize us for overall disciplinary excellence.”

According to the “U.S. News and World Report” website, the general rankings of public affairs programs are based solely on peer assessment survey results. U.S. News surveyed deans, directors and department chairs from 276 master’s programs in public affairs and administration, with two surveys being sent to each school.

“Over the past few decades, our faculty have been active in conducting defense-relevant public administration and policy research, presenting and publishing their work in public affairs-related conferences and journals,” noted Snider. “In doing so, they’ve built GSDM’s reputation in the field of public affairs for intellectual leadership in the business of defense.”

The rankings of programs in public affairs specialty areas are based solely on ratings by educators at peer schools, with public affairs deans and other academics asked to nominate up to 15 programs for excellence in each of the 11 specialties.

“Being ranked as the top school in the specialized category is a sign that we’re recognized for leadership in key areas of defense management and policy, such as manpower, acquisition, logistics, and financial management,” added Snider.

Over the past several years, NPS has consistently ranked in the top 20% for its public affairs programs. Since the start of specialized category ranking, NPS has ranked at or near the top, every year.

“Clearly, these rankings speak very well of our reputation, and I’m proud that NPS and GSDM are recognized by our NASPAA peers,” said Snider. “They’re a signal that leaders in other schools recognize and highly value the faculty’s contributions.”

While the rankings are a significant honor, Snider says, GSDM’s primary focus is and will always be pursuing excellence in meeting the needs of their students, sponsors and other DON/DOD stakeholders.