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Penn’s graduate schools have maintained their strong performance in the annual U.S. News and World Report rankings, which were released yesterday.

The Wharton School and the Perelman School of Medicine — which are among the largest of the University’s 12 graduate and professional schools — held their rankings of third overall and second among research-oriented medical schools in the nation, respectively.

The Medical School has now reached its 15th consecutive year as one of the top five medical schools in the country.

“The Perelman School of Medicine’s outstanding ranking is a very public recognition of the commitment to excellence by our faculty, students and staff,” Medical School Dean Larry Jameson said in a statement. “We are fortunate to have so many truly exceptional people working together to ensure that we deliver compassionate care, provide outstanding educational programs and pursue pioneering biomedical research at the highest levels of excellence.”

The Law School also held its ranking as seventh in the nation. The Graduate School of Education climbed three spots to ninth, and the School of Engineering and Applied Science moved down one spot to 23rd.

“We in the Graduate School of Education are pleased to see the quality of our work being reflected in the steady year over year improvement in our rankings among our peer institutions,” GSE Dean Andrew Porter wrote in an email. “This is just another example of the GSE’s impact and success nationwide through top-notch research faculty and innovative teacher training and leadership programs.”

Top Colleges Educational Consultant Steven Goodman — a 1989 GSE alumnus — believes that this round of U.S. News rankings will be more influential than in the past.

“In general, people don’t have to go to graduate school anymore,” he said. “If they’re thinking of going to graduate school, they want to be sure that they’re going to get a strong yield on their tuition … and they are relying on these rankings to help predict that.”

While Graduate and Professional Student Assembly Chair Joseph Friedman — a third-year Penn Law student and 2009 College graduate — agreed that the rankings are growing in importance, he believes prospective graduate students should adopt a more holistic approach when evaluating schools.

“Rankings are something that I would imagine the vast majority of graduate students use for guidance,” he said. “But I still think it’s always important to do your due diligence by visiting the school … and looking at other aspects of it.”

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