Graduate programs receive recognition

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Each year, the U.S. News and World Report analyzes more than 1,200 graduate school programs to make lists detailing the top schools in the country. For the 2013 rankings, several of the graduate programs at Saint Louis University received some recognition. Among the most notable were the No. 1 ranking awarded to the Health Law program, the No. 13 ranking awarded to the Geriatrics program and a slew of awards given to several programs in the business school.

The SLU Health Law program has been recognized as the top program in the country for nine consecutive years. According to their website, Health Law prides itself on an excellent education experience both in and out of the classroom. The program offers opportunities for students to study in-depth a specialized section of Health Law, and it encourages its students to put what they learn into practice with health law placements within the St. Louis community.

U.S. News & World Report’s recognition of the Saint Louis University Center for Health Law Studies is a testament to our faculty’s strong scholarship and sought-after expertise and the combination of top-notch classroom and practical experiences we provide our law students,” Tim Greaney, co-director of the Center for Health Law Studies, said in a statement in a press release put out by the University.

John Morley, director of the Division of Geriatric Medicine, attributes the placement of SLU’s Geriatrics program in the top 15 in part to the impressive faculty who work in the program.

“We did well because the faculty here is very successful and does a lot of research,” Morley said. “We are known to provide very high quality teaching for students in geriatrics and to multiple health professionals both at the student level and beyond.”

The Geriatric Medicine program began around 23 years ago and now serves as a key component of internal medicine studies at SLU.

The program provides outpatient care in assisted living facilities and nursing homes and features opportunities for its students to work at both Des Peres Hospital and SLU Hospital in acute care and intensive care for the elderly.

The Geriatric program also notably developed tools that have become widely used in the care for the elderly.

One tool is an evaluative measure for dementia in patients, called the Saint Louis University Mental Status Examination, or SLUMS.  SLUMS and other tools created by the programs have been translated into a multitude of different languages.

Other notable accomplishments of the Geriatric program include the development of a drug to treat Alzheimer’s that is moving into clinical trials and extensive research in areas such as nutrition and muscle deterioration.

Despite the successes of the program so far, Morley would like to see more in the future.

“I’d like to be number one of course,” Morely said. “I think we’re very lucky to ranked at all, however.”

Three programs in the Graduate Business School were ranked in the top 25 in their categories.

According Ellen Harshman, dean of the John Cook School of Business, the Entrepreneurship, International Studies and Supply Chain Management programs have stayed fairly consistent in their top 25 rankings over the last few years.

The program’s ranking that surprised her the most, however, was the placement of SLU’s part-time MBA program at number 35.

“They changed the ranking process a few years ago, so this is a big deal,” Harshman said. “This ranking is a comparison with all the ACSD accredited schools that have part-time programs. SLU stood out to that degree in that process, in comparison to the bigger and better-known schools.”

Harshman attributes the success of the part-time MBA to the hard work that has been put into it in the last few years.

“For us to be 37, it amazes me. I was proud, since we’ve worked so hard. We’re getting great recognition.” Harshman said.