St. Thomas’ efforts to make meaningful changes in K-12 classrooms across Minnesota and beyond are attracting national attention.
For the first time ever, U.S. News & World Report has listed the university’s School of Education in its annual rankings of the nation’s top graduate programs, naming it the No. 2 program in Minnesota and No. 168 overall. In the state, only the University of Minnesota is ranked higher.
St. Thomas’ Opus College of Business, School of Social Work and School of Law – which have all been ranked in previous years – are also represented on the list. Opus’ Part-time MBA program, in particular, made a significant jump on this year’s list.
“Student outcomes will always carry greater weight at St. Thomas, but it is gratifying to see St. Thomas increasingly being mentioned alongside some of the country’s most recognizable and distinguished colleges and universities,” St. Thomas Executive Vice President and Provost Eddy Rojas said. “Our St. Thomas 2025 strategic initiatives are rooted in our mission to advance the common good, and this recognition for our graduate programs reflects the opportunities we are giving students to make a true difference in society.”
The School of Education, for example, is continuing to make headway on its commitments to diversify the teaching profession by training more teachers of color. Currently, teachers of color account for less than 5% of the teaching force in Minnesota, even though students of color and Indigenous students make up 30% of the K-12 population in the state. Through its Collaborative Urban and Greater Minnesota Educators of Color (CUGMEC) scholarship program alone, St. Thomas has helped more than 500 participants of color achieve teaching licenses; they are now employed in more than 125 Minnesota schools.
Other efforts include training teachers to more effectively handle trauma in classroom settings. In 2021, for instance, the school teamed with St. Thomas’ Morrison Family College of Health to launch the Minnesota Institute for Trauma-Informed Education (MITIE).
U.S. News also gave high marks to the Opus College of Business for its Part-time MBA program, which is tied with five programs for No. 83, up from a 12-way tie at No. 115 last year. Opus remains the No. 2 part-time MBA program in the state, according to U.S. News.
“We’ve created a program designed to give students maximum flexibility,” Rojas said. “Merging the online and part-time MBA programs lets students decide the pace and format that best fits their lives: 100% online, in person or a mix of both. We know removing barriers means we can attract a diverse spectrum of students who find success in the experiences and learning we provide.”
- The School of Law is ranked No. 127 nationally. For the second time, the rankings included data on debt of graduates; Tommies incurred less debt compared to the average J.D. graduate, reflecting St. Thomas’ strategic efforts to close financial gaps for students.
- U.S. News ranks social work programs only once every four years, and once again, the Morrison Family College of Health’s School of Social Work is recognized. The school remained steady at No. 79 in the rankings, which in this category are determined by ratings from peer institutions.