University of Rochester

National Research Council Ranks 4 University PH.D. Programs Among Top 20

September 12, 1995

A comprehensive ranking of Ph.D. programs by the National Research Council (NRC) places four University of Rochester programs among the top 20 programs in those respective disciplines. Ten University of Rochester programs are listed among the top 25 percent of their disciplines.

The Eastman School of Music's Ph.D. programs (in musicology, composition, theory, and music education) were ranked eighth; political science, eleventh; economics, fourteenth; and the School of Medicine and Dentistry's pharmacology/toxicology program, tied for nineteenth.

Also within the top 25 percent of their respective disciplines were the doctoral programs in optics, physics, chemistry, history, and cell/developmental biology (microbiology/cellular/molecular biology).

"While no ranking system is perfect, the National Research Council's work on the nation's Ph.D. programs is generally recognized as unusually careful and thorough," said President Thomas H. Jackson. "Because of that, I am delighted at the substantial number of Rochester programs that are highly ranked. This is particularly the case because, as noted by the NRC, the most highly-ranked programs tend to be the larger programs and ours is a relatively small institution."

The National Research Council survey, released today, offers the most systematic and comprehensive assessments of the nation's research-doctorate programs to date. The study examines the quality and effectiveness of more than 3,600 doctoral programs in 41 fields at 274 universities across the country.

A similar study was last done in 1982 by the NRC, which is the principal operating agency of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. The results are based on faculty scholarship, faculty research productivity, the quality of program graduates, and the effectiveness on training scholars and research scientists.

This week, U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of Rochester's undergraduate program 29th among national universities, which places it among the top 25 private universities in the country. U.S. News, in its March 1995 ranking of "best graduate schools," also listed programs in business, economics, nursing, and political science as among the best in the country. The Eastman School has been tied for first place in magazine rankings.