NRC’s Assessment of US Research-Doctorate Programs

This fall the National Research Council released A Data-Based assessment of research –doctorate programs in the United States. Data was collected in 2005-2006 from over 5000 programs in 62 fields from 212 universities.  The assessment was designed to help universities evaluate the relative quality of their programs and to provide prospective students with information on the country’s top doctoral programs.  The study looked at various categories such as faculty research, faculty awards, placement rates, diversity among students and faculty, program size, GRE scores, average degree completion time and degree completion rates.

The results of the study indicate the Georgia State University’s doctoral programs are growing in size and reputation.  When this report was last published in 1995 only 7 programs from GSU were ranked. This year’s study ranked 17 programs at Georgia State University.

Both departments in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies received high rankings in the study.  Economics was ranked 37 out of 117 programs in the 5th percentile of the overall survey ranking and it was 13 out of 117 in the 5th percentile of the diversity ranking.

Public Policy, which didn’t even make it into the 1995 study, was also rated very highly. The program was ranked 12 out of 54 in the 5th percentile of the overall rankings, 8 out of 54 in the 5th percentile ranking of student outcomes and 13 out of 54 in the 5th percentile of diversity rankings.

If rankings sound confusing it’s because they are. There were two different overall rankings generated through different methodologies.  You can download the report, data tables, FAQs and view demos designed to help you interpret the data from the National Academies Press.  The Chronicle of Higher Education also created an interactive tool to help interpret the NRC data (subscription required).

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