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Guide to the best graduate schools

Graduate schools, often colloquially known as ‘grad schools’, are higher education institutes which offer advanced academic degrees such as master degrees, PGCEs, MBAs or PhDs, although the term sometimes does not include medical schools and law schools. In this article, I detail the best graduate schools in North America (the term is more commonly used there).

Harvard

Harvard Established in 1636, Harvard is the oldest university in the states and very probably the best regarded too (it has a long-running rivalry for this accolade with nearby Yale). Prestige It is ranked 1st for graduate courses in medical areas and 2nd in a further four broad categories (business, education, law and public affairs). This is according to comprehensive lists of top grad schools compiled by the US News and World Report magazine – one of the most esteemed lists of its kind in America. Harvard Law School Harvard Law School is the oldest continually operating law school in the United States and one of the most prestigious educational establishments in the world. It comprises 246 faculty members many of whom are established legal scholars and also houses the largest academic law library in the world. Thus, unsurprisingly, it can count a large number of luminaries in the legal and political world amongst its alumni. These include American Presidents Barack Obama and Rutherford B. Hayes and President of China Ma Ying-jeou.

Yale and other graduate schools

Yale Yale is the third oldest university in the States and widely regarded, with Yale, to form a kind of Oxbridge of the states, regarded as they are as standing just above the other great Ivy League universities. It is at the top of many of the specialist graduate schools lists as compiled by the US News and World Reports magazine, including being ranked 2nd for its postgraduate university programs in fine art and top for its law school. Yale Law School Harvard Law School is only topped (as it consistently is) by Yale Law School. It offers a variety of legal graduate degrees variously leading to J.D.,LL.M, J.S.D. and M.S.L qualifications. It also hosts many visiting scholars and researchers and is home to a number of legal research centres. Unsurprisingly then, it has a very selective admissions process, indeed, regarded as the most selective of any American law school. Again, unsurprisingly, it has very notable alumni, including presidents Bill Clinton and Gerald Ford. Other notable graduate schools Stanford is very strong for areas such as statistics, informatics, maths and physics. UC Berkeley is very strong in mathematics and the sciences. And, MIT is strong for business, technology and engineering programs.

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