The University of Central Florida’s Counselor Education program has earned a top-10 ranking in the U.S. News & World Report Best Graduate Schools guide.

The program placed ninth in the nation in rankings released today, up two spots from last year. A second College of Education program – Special Education – ranked No. 16.

“It is gratifying to see our programs in Counselor Education and Special Education receive this recognition on a national stage,” said Dean Sandra L. Robinson of the College of Education. “Our faculty and staff bring passion and excellence to their work and that is reflected in the success of our students as well as our programs.”

Twenty-one UCF programs were ranked in U.S. News & World Report‘s top-100 list of Best Graduate Schools for 2014. Today’s rankings are available online at, and the Best Graduate Schools 2014 guidebook will be available on newsstands beginning April 9.

UCF’s College of Optics and Photonics ranked No. 13 among the nation’s atomic, molecular and optical sciences programs. The Nonprofit Management program in the College of Health and Public Affairs ranked No. 25.

Two other programs in the College of Health and Public Affairs also made the top 50 – Criminal Justice (26) and Healthcare Management (46) – along with the College of Engineering and Computer Science’s Industrial Engineering program, which moved up 13 places to No.35.

Others from UCF in the top 100 of their specific fields are: Electrical Engineering (55), Computer Engineering (58), Public Administration (59), Environmental Engineering (64), Materials Engineering (70), College of Engineering & Computer Science (72), Communication Sciences and Disorders (73), College of Nursing (79), Social Work (89), Civil Engineering (90), Computer Science (91), College of Education (91), Mechanical Engineering (93) and Physical Therapy (99).

More than 1,200 programs are reviewed nationwide for the magazine’s annual graduate-school guide. Scores are based on expert opinions about programs and statistical indicators that reflect the quality of faculty, researchers and students at each institution.

The ninth-ranked UCF Counselor Education program is designed to educate and prepare individuals interested in working as counselors and practitioners in schools, community mental health settings, institutions, hospitals, and private practice.

“This was a pretty fast progression, especially since many of the other programs in the top 10 have been there a long time,” said program director Bryce Hagedorn. “Our curriculum is designed with a heavy emphasis on experiential and clinical work for master’s students, and teaching research and supervision for doctoral students.”