USD's SOLES Ranked in Top 100

SAN DIEGO (March 14, 2017) – U.S. News & World Report has listed the University of San Diego’s School of Leadership and Education Sciences (SOLES) among the nation’s top 10% of Graduate Schools of Education for the fourth year in a row.  SOLES’ top tier ranking has continued to rise over the past several years, reaching number 89, up from last year’s 93 in the 2018 U.S. News and World “Best Graduate Education Programs” report.

“I am thrilled to see that our continued commitment to multiculturalism and social justice combined with our commitment to strengthen, develop, and grow our academic programs in SOLES has been reflected in our ranking. I fully anticipate that we will continue to see success in the future,” said Nicholas Ladany, Dean of the School of Leadership and Education Sciences for USD.


SOLES was founded in 1962 and is the second oldest academic unit at the University of San Diego. SOLES has three departments offering graduate programs: Counseling and Marital and Family Therapy, Leadership Studies, and Learning and Teaching, offering 6 M.A. specializations, 8 MEd specializations, including an online degree, and 1 Ph.D. program. The three graduate departments within SOLES are held to the highest standards, established by each of the department's accrediting bodies.


“We hold our faculty, staff, and programs to the highest standards to provide the most comprehensive and effective education for our students,” said Joi Spencer, Associate Professor and Associate Dean of SOLES.

Annually, U.S. News surveys more than 1,970 graduate programs in six different categories: education, business, law, engineering, nursing, and medicine. For the specific ranking of graduate education programs, 379 schools granting doctoral degrees were surveyed. According to U.S. News, these programs are ranked based on two key factors: expert opinions and specific academic statistical indicators.


SOLES in addition to offering innovative and responsive instruction, takes pride in upholding the three features of the school’s co-founder Mother Rosalie Hill: beauty, truth and goodness. This approach facilitates students to become leaders in their respective professions and led the school to two top 100 rankings this year. Earlier this year, the school’s online Master of Education program was ranked No. 22 in the U.S. News & World Report “Best Online Graduate Education Programs.” A top 100 ranking in Graduate Schools of Education is a major accomplishment for both SOLES and the University of San Diego.


For more information about USD’s School of Leadership and Education Sciences call (619) 260-4538 or visit

About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 8,000 students from 75 countries and 44 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. USD’s eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. In February 2016, USD launched the public phase of Leading Change: The Campaign for USD, which represents the most ambitious fundraising effort in the history of the university and builds upon the strong philanthropic momentum achieved by USD in recent years. In September 2016, USD introduced Envisioning 2024, a strategic plan that capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.


Melissa Olesen
(619) 260-4659