Irvine, Calif., March 30, 2001
The critical theory emphasis in UC Irvine's English and comparative literature graduate program, which explores theoretical aspects of such fields as history, literature, philosophy, art, anthropology and politics, has been ranked the top program in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
In its annual "America's Best Graduate Schools" edition, which will appear on newsstands Monday, April 2, the magazine ranked UCI's Department of English and Comparative Literature first in the area of literary criticism and theory. Meanwhile, U.S. News & World Report ranked the graduate program in English 15th, tied with Duke University, among the nation's top programs in English.
Each year, the magazine evaluates academic disciplines at universities throughout the country. Over the past years, UCI programs have been highly ranked by the magazine, which uses various methodologies for its ranking, including reputation, student selectivity and placement success and faculty resources, among other factors. Last year, UCI's critical theory program was ranked second in the nation, and the English graduate program was ranked 16th. "From its inception, the School of Humanities has excelled in literary criticism and critical theory," said Dean Karen R. Lawrence. "The Department of English and Comparative Literature is a stellar department, and we're delighted that this ranking will bring additional attention to what has become an internationally recognized program."
UCI's interdisciplinary critical theory emphasis takes a systematic approach to the assumptions behind literary criticism and is viewed as a necessary context for the study of any humanistic discipline. When the late Murray Krieger came to UCI in 1967, he made literary and critical theory-then a new area of study-a major focus of the Department of English and Comparative Literature. The School of Humanities soon attracted well-known theorists such as Jacques Derrida, J. Hillis Miller, Wolfgang Iser and Etienne Balibar. UCI also houses the Critical Theory Institute, a renowned research center.
U.S. News & World Report also ranked the Graduate School of Management 45th in the nation, and the school's GMAT score-an important measure of the quality of business school students - is ranked among the top 20. Also, the School of Social Ecology's psychology and social behavior program is ranked 54th in the nation.