NRC ratings of doctoral programs

The National Research Council has released its long-awaited report that measures and compares doctoral programs in a number of disciplines. Check out the interactive tool at the Chronicle of Higher Education that allows users to compare programs on a variety of the 21 criteria.

Some interesting features of the data:

1. The surveys were conducted in 2006-2007 so the information is somewhat dated. This would be particularly true in departments with productive new or departed faculty.

2. The NRC doesn’t assign ordinal ranks to schools but instead now gives ranges for each program. This seems like a sound decision that helps suggests what schools are like/near each other without having to introduce what may be artificial distinctions by saying one school is #4 while another is #6.

Just quickly looking through some of the S-rankings in sociology, some schools seem to be quite a bit off compared to other rankings over the years.