University of Rochester

Rochester Prepares The Next Generation A milestone of 7,000 Ph.D.s trained at the University will be reached Saturday

May 11, 2000

When you look at the academic positions they hold, Ph.D.s from the University of Rochester are teaching the best and brightest at America's most prestigious institutions.

A recent study of alumni with Rochester doctoral degrees and their faculty appointments shows that more than 350 graduates now teach in the country's "top 25" universities, colleges or doctoral programs. About 220 of them are full or associate professors, and 45 hold named chairs at Harvard, Yale, Stanford, MIT, Chicago, Cal Tech, and Duke, among others.

"Given the fact that half of our Ph.D.s were granted relatively recently (in the 1980s and 1990s), the presence of Rochester graduates in the higher echelons of academe is most impressive," said Bruce Jacobs, University Dean of Graduate Studies, who conducted the survey. "There is no higher compliment to our doctoral programs than the appointment of their alumni to tenured positions at top schools."

May 13 marks the awarding of the 7,000th doctorate from the University, which gave its first Ph.D. in 1925. S. Nicholas Raines, an astrophysicist from Riverton, Wyo., will receive his degree in physics and astronomy at Saturday's ceremony at 10 a.m. in the Eastman Theatre. Raines, whose research centered on a near-infrared study of features associated with the star formation region Cepheus A, has accepted a postdoctoral research position in the Department of Astronomy at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

Jacobs, professor of political science, analyzed the impact of Rochester's doctoral degrees by documenting where alumni hold positions. He said the results "collectively paint a picture of impact that is visible and substantive."

Other key findings about those with Rochester Ph.D. degrees indicate:

All research universities ranked in the top 25 either by U.S. News & World Report or by summaries of the National Research Council have University of Rochester graduate school alumni among their senior faculty.

When junior faculty at these schools, all faculty at the top 25 liberal arts colleges, and those who teach in other top 25 programs and professional schools are included, just over 350 Rochester Ph.D. alumni make the list.

All of the individual schools at the University of Rochester are represented (Arts and Sciences, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Eastman School of Music, School of Medicine and Dentistry, Simon School of Business, School of Nursing, and Warner School of Education), and more than 35 University of Rochester graduate programs are listed.

Twenty-eight in this group have the title of dean, department chair, or program director. They include the dean of Harvard Medical School, the dean of engineering at Yale, the chair of the Department of Music at Chicago, and the director of immunology at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

The two largest contingents of Rochester alumni teaching at prestigious schools are at Harvard and the University of Michigan. Other groups of 10 or more hold positions at Northwestern, the University of Pennsylvania, Penn State, Ohio State, Illinois, and Emory.