GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The College of Education at the University of Florida continues to rise as a leader among the nation’s top graduate colleges of education climbing to No. 12 among public education colleges, according to the latest U.S. News & World Report annual survey of America’s Best Graduate Education Schools, released Tuesday (March 17, 2020). 

Remaining the top-ranked education college in the state, UF advanced three spots to No.12 among the nation’s best public education colleges and rose to No. 22* among all, public and private, colleges of education. These on-campus graduate rankings follow just two months after U.S. News named the college No. 2 among America’s Best Online Graduate Education Programs. UF has remained in the top two for the past five years, securing No. 1 in 2015, 2016 and 2019. 

“We’re proud to be recognized year after year as one of the leading colleges of education in the country,” said College of Education Dean Glenn Good. “Evidenced by our continued momentum and constant progression, we remain dedicated to providing top notch educational experiences that prepare our students to tackle education’s most pressing issues.” 

Two UF academic programs gained top-five rankings Counselor Education progressed one spot to No. 2 and Special Education jumped two spots to earn No. 5. Elementary Education, Curriculum & Instruction and Higher Education Administration were also competitively ranked at No. 23*, No. 24* and No. 28.*

#2 in Counselor Education for Grad Education - U.S. News and World Report 2021 Rankings

No. 2 in Counselor Education

“Our award winning faculty provide an engaging learning environment that encompasses research-informed practice and experiential learning that goes beyond the traditional classroom. This includes program activities such as advocating at the state Capitol, and faculty and students engaging in research and presenting together at conferences. In addition, students have the opportunity to take advanced coursework in addictions, family counseling, play therapy, and other specialties. Graduates work in diverse settings including agencies, schools, private practices, and hospitals.

Faculty and students are engaging in cutting edge research to promote the mental health and growth of diverse individuals across the lifespan, families, and communities. ​In addition, faculty, students, and alumni advocate for promoting mental health education, reducing stigma, and broadening the availability of mental health resources.”

Jacqueline Swank
Associate professor of Counselor Education and Counselor Education program coordinator

#5 in Special Education for Grad Education - U.S. News and World Report 2021 Rankings

No. 5 in Special Education

Our world-class special education program faculty consistently prepare pre- and in-service professionals to ensure students with disabilities receive equitable opportunities to learn and outcomes. Graduates from our Master’s and Educational Specialist degree programs gain knowledge and skill to work collaboratively with other professionals to meet individual needs within multi-tiered systems of supports. Graduates from our doctoral programs are leaders in generating new knowledge to inform policy and practice locally in district and state agencies and globally as researchers and teacher educators.

Our faculty continue to be on the cutting edge of research, policy, and practice, which are inextricably linked. Their ongoing research on teacher development, and prevention and intervention related to literacy, social-emotional learning, and behavior inform the learning opportunities our students experience. Further, the special education faculty’s scholarship continues to inform professional standards and state-level policies guiding professional practice for a diversity of children and families.” 

Erica McCray
Director of the School of Special Education, School Psychology and Early Childhood Studies

#23 in Elementary Education for Grad Education - U.S. News and World Report 2021 Rankings
#24 in Curriculum and Instruction for Grad Education - U.S. News and World Report 2021 Rankings

No. 23 in Elementary Education and No. 24 in Curriculum and Instruction

“Our Elementary Education program is designed by leading scholars in the field of teacher education and expert discipline-based faculty. It is organized as a clinically-rich model where students have extensive and sustained opportunities to use research-based practices in a variety of school settings.  We have strong partnerships with our school districts which ensures that our students work with strong mentor teachers.  An on-going research and evaluation process engages students and faculty in a cycle of continuous improvement and contributions to the field of teacher preparation. As a result, our students are prepared to teach in and for the 21st century.

Our Curriculum and Instruction doctoral program excels in preparing our future leaders in the field of teaching and learning (broadly defined). The program enrolls students specializing in the STEM areas, Language and Literacy in Education, and Teachers, Schools, and Society. Our Curriculum & Instruction program distinguishes itself by graduating candidates prepared to make a real difference and address systemic issues in their field. Internationally renowned faculty provide mentorship and rich research experiences in their field that uniquely positions our graduates for their future careers.

In this globalized era and our knowledge-based society, our ability to problem solve, think critically, learn, and communicate across language and cultures is central to our ability to thrive. Our research helps to design programs that prepare educators who will create learning environments that help develop these skills for diverse groups of learners. It prepares the scholars who generate the knowledge needed to inform policy and practice and do so in ways that address systemic issues of inequities. Ultimately, our research thus  works toward a better informed citizenry and a more just society.”

Ester De Jong
Director of the School of Teaching and Learning

#28 in Education Administration for Grad Education - U.S. News and World Report 2021 Rankings

No. 28 in Educational Administration and Supervision

“Our programs are taught by researchers and practitioners creating partnerships and collaboration between current research and those doing the work in the field. As a result, our students are provided opportunities for experiential learning that is real, timely, and easily transferable to their future career.

Any time we can successfully bridge the gap between research and practice, to directly and immediately apply what we know about the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s students and leaders, we vastly improve the educational experiences of all of those who will become society’s leaders and ultimately make stronger our society as a whole.”

Cathy Atria
Professor of Educational Practice

To establish the rankings, U.S. News & World Report surveyed 393 schools with 253 providing the necessary data to be included. Standings were determined based on 10 weighted quality measures under four key categories: quality assessment (40 percent), research activity (30 percent), student selectivity (18 percent) and faculty resources (12 percent). 

The college demonstrated enduring momentum in several key metrics, with significant improvements in measures related to academic reputation and research endeavors:

  • Both peer assessment and expert assessment scores steadily improved. Peer assessment scores have been continually on the rise since 2016.
  • Funded research expenditures consistently soar reaching the latest record high of $33.3 million. Research funding has shown steady, substantial growth more than doubling in total value since 2012.
  • Average research expenditures per faculty also greatly improved, yet again, to $545,900 —  a $56,400 increase per faculty member since 2019.

“Our world-renowned faculty continue transforming the field of education through their research and scholarship,” Senior Associate Dean Tom Dana said. “Their steadfast commitment to the application of research will lead the way to wide-spread improvements to learning.”

UF continues to garner recognition as a top college of education in the nation and persists in pushing the boundaries of teaching and learning to equip the next generation of educational leaders — teachers, researchers, trailblazers and change makers — to make a true, measurable impact on society.