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Administrators dismissed the University's mixed showing in an annual survey of graduate programs, saying the rankings themselves have little if any bearing on schools' futures. The annual U.S. News and World Report graduate school survey ranked the University's Wharton School graduate division, Law School and Medical School in the top 10 for the second consecutive year. In the report, Wharton remained the third ranked business school with a slew of top five rankings in each concentration in the graduate program. The Medical School rose four places to a sixth place tie with Washington University in St. Louis, and the Law School fell one place to tenth. The Medical School was also ranked fourth in providing "urban care" in a survey of medical school deans across the country. Medical School Assistant Vice President John Eudef said yesterday the Med School was pleased with the U.S. News ranking, especially in urban care, because it indicated its peers thought highly of the University's medical program. But Eudef added the ranking would translate into few tangible benefits and that the survey was "not something we sit on the edge of the chair waiting for." Law School Dean Colin Diver said he "doesn't hear much" about the rankings and said the system U.S. News uses to rank schools has little continuity. "It's impossible to compare one year to another," Diver said yesterday. "Unfortunately [people] don't know that . . . and I have to say, 'Well, fire me. I obviously failed.' Last year, we increased from 10 to nine; I should have gotten a raise." "I think [the survey] is about as relevant to higher education as Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue is to sports," Diver added. However, Diver credited U.S. News with improving their criteria and said he wished other magazines would conduct law school surveys so "people could pick and choose what ranking they prefer." In a survey of business school professors and administrators, Wharton placed first in finance and real estate and in the top five in accounting, business ethics, international business, management, marketing and executive education. Additionally, chief executive officers of several corporations ranked Wharton's finance, insurance, manufacturing and public utilities programs in the nation's top five. Wharton officials were unavailable for comment. Engineering schools were also ranked in the study, but the University's Engineering School failed to place in this year's survey. Last year, the school did not place in the top 25, but its bioengineering department was ranked in the top five. While administrators criticize the U.S. News survey for radically changing the criteria they use to rank academic programs each year, this year's survey fine tunes the parameters used last year in determining top programs. While weighing information differently for each of the four surveys, U.S. News focused this year on student quality, student-faculty ratios, research volume and reputation in the academic and professional circles.

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