The University of Chicago and Northwestern University’s business schools switched places from the previous year — with U. of C. moving ahead — in the latest U.S. News & World Report Best Graduate Schools rankings being published Tuesday.

The University of Chicago Booth School of Business ranks No. 4, moving up two places over the previous year, while Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management fell two spots to No. 6 in the 2015 standings, according to the report.

The national ranking of graduate schools lists the U. of C.’s Booth School behind three universities that tied for first place: Harvard, Stanford and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.

The Wharton School jumped from third place last year, while Harvard and Stanford’s first-place tie remained the same as last year’s standings.

Among law schools, the University of Chicago ranked No. 4, while Northwestern stood at No. 12 — both the same as last year.

The data crunchers caution that the rankings vary slightly from year to year, and that students should select graduate programs that best fit their needs.

“There are small changes in the data but their overall position is relatively similar,” said Robert Morse, director of data research for U.S. News & World Report when asked how to judge the competition between Chicago and Northwestern.

The University of Chicago didn’t fare as well with its Pritzker School of Medicine, which fell to No. 11 from No. 8. Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine remained at No. 18.

The yearly graduate-school rankings also cover part-time programs in business and law; graduate programs in education and engineering, and doctoral programs in the humanities, sciences and social sciences.

Among business programs for part-time students — primarily older people in the workforce — the University of Chicago ranked No. 2 and Northwestern ranked No. 3.

Morse noted that Chicago has one of the largest part-time MBA programs in the nation, with 1,473 students.

Among other Chicago-area universities, Loyola ranked No. 37 for its part-time MBA program.

Among graduate schools of education, Northwestern tied for No. 11 with UCLA.

In engineering, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign tied for No. 6 with the Georgia Institute of Technology, while Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering tied for No. 22 with the University of Maryland at College Park.

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