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University Ranking



Read this article to find out which universities are ranked highest in the nation. In this article on university ranking, a number of different university ranking systems are reviewed to give you a better idea of which universities consistently rank highest.

Many organizations do university ranking, including some that invite students to comment on their professors, etc. But the four most prominent are those done by Forbes.com, U.S. News and World Report, The Center for Measuring University Performance publication, “The Top American Research Universities,” and the National Research Council Assessment of Research Doctorate Programs.

U.S. News and World Report University Ranking

In the most recent ranking, posted in 2008, but referred to as “Best Colleges 2009,” U.S. News gives the following National University Rankings for institutions that have a full array of graduate and undergraduate programs, as well as a research focus. These are their top 10:

Rank

Institution

1

Harvard University

2

Princeton University

3

Yale University

4

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

4

Stanford University

6

California Institute of Technology

6

University of Pennsylvania

8

Columbia University

8

Duke University

8

University of Chicago

U.S. News also collects data from High School Counselors, whose ratings come out a bit different:

Rank

Institution

1

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

1

Princeton University

1

Harvard University

1

Yale University

5

Stanford University

5

Cornell University

5

Columbia University

5

Brown University

9

University of California - Berkeley

9

California Institute of Technology

9

Northwestern University

9

John Hopkins University

9

Duke University

9

University of Pennsylvania

9

Dartmouth College

9

Georgetown University

Forbes.com America’s Best Colleges

Explicitly in the interest of offering an alternative to U.S. News and World Report’s ranking, Forbes developed a college rating and rolled it out in August, 2008. This is their inaugural top 10 list for four-year undergraduate colleges:

Rank

Institution

1

Princeton University

2

California Institute of Technology

3

Harvard University

4

Swarthmore College

4

Williams College

6

United States Military Academy

6

Amherst College

8

Wellesley College

8

Yale University

8

Columbia University

The Center for Measuring University Performance University Ranking

In the 2007 version of their publication, “The Top American Research Universities,” the Center judges these to be the top 10 national research universities:

Rank

Institution

1

Columbia University

2

Harvard University

3

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

4

Stanford University

5

University of Pennsylvania

6

Duke University

7

University of Caifornia - Berkeley

8

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

9

John Hopkins University

10

Yale University

National Research Council Assessment of Research Doctorate Programs University Ranking

NRC’s system is very helpful because it ranks by 41 subject areas, rather than overall. This acknowledges that a school may have some programs that are stronger than others. With the depth that undergraduates attain today and the opportunities for undergraduate research, the graduate program’s standing may have impact on undergraduates as well.

NRC is, in 2008, at work on a forthcoming survey, and the most recent is 1995. Given that it is not quite up-to-date, still, listing the top 3 schools in each discipline will show that a number of schools that are listed in none of the lists above are among the top in their field in particular areas.

Rank

Art History

Classics

Comp. Lit

English

French

1

NYU

Harvard

Yale

Yale

Yale

2

Columbia

Cal - Berkeley

Duke

Harvard

Princeton

3

Cal - Berkeley

Michigan

Columbia

Cal - Berkeley

Duke

Rank

German

Linguistics

Music

Philosophy

Religion

1

Cal - Berkeley

MIT

Harvard

Princeton

Chicago

2

Princeton

Standford

Chicago

Pittsburgh

Harvard

3

Cornell

UCLA

Cal Berkeley

Harvard

Princeton

Rank

Spanish

Biochem/Molec

Cell Bio

Ecol/Evol/Beh

Molec/Genetics

1

Columbia

Cal - SF

MIT

Stanford

MIT

2

Duke

Stanford

Rockefeller

Chicago

Cal - SF

3

Brown

MIT

Cal - SF

Duke

Harvard

Rank

Neursciences

Pharmacology

Physiology

Aerospace Eng

Biomed Eng

1

Cal - SD

Yale

Yale

Cal Tech

MIT

2

Yale

Texas SW Med

Cal - SD

MIT

Cal - SD

3

Harvard

Cal - SD

Penn

Stanford

Washington

Rank

Chem Eng

Civil Eng

Elec Eng

Indust Eng

Materials Sci

1

Minnesota

MIT

Stanford

Georgia Tech

MIT

2

MIT

Cal - Berkeley

MIT

Cal - Berkeley

Northwestern

3

Cal - Berkeley

Stanford

Illinois

Purdue

Cornell

Rank

Mech Eng

Astrophys/Astr

Chemistry

Computer Sci

Geosciences

1

Stanford

Cal Tech

Cal - Berkeley

Stanford

Cal Tech

2

MIT

Princeton

Cal Tech

MIT

MIT

3

Cal - Berkeley

Cal - Berkeley

Stanford

Cal - Berkeley

Cal - Berkeley

Rank

Mathematics

Oceanography

Physics

Stat/Biostat

Anthropology

1

Princeton

Cal - SD

Harvard

Stanford

Michigan

2

Cal Berkeley

MIT

Princeton

Cal - Berkeley

Chicago

3

MIT

Washington

MIT

Cornell

Cal - Berkeley

Rank

Economics

Geography

History

Poli Sci

Psychology

1

Harvard

Penn State

Yale

Harvard

Stanford

2

Chicago

Wisconsin

Cal - Berkeley

Cal - Berkeley

Michigan

3

MIT

Minnesota

Princeton

Yale

Yale

Rank

Sociology

1

Chicago

2

Wisconsin

3

Cal - Berkeley

All of these sources also supply rankings with different goals and categories. Check the sites for further information to find about such areas as top-ranked college in the Midwest, or top schools with less than 1,000 undergrads or the school with the most beautiful campus. You may also want to examine Barron’s Profiles of American College and the 2009 edition of Princeton Review’s The Best 368 Colleges.

Sources

U.S. News.com - colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com

usnews.com

Forbes.com - forbes.com/

Texas A&M University: Summary of the NRC Rankings - stat.tamu.edu

National Academies: Board on Higher Education and Workforce: Rating and Ranking - sites.nationalacademies.org

The Journal of Nutrition: “The National Research Council's Assessment of Research Doctorate Programs Can Be Used to Strengthen Doctoral Programs in Nutrition” - jn.nutrition.org

University of California at Berkeley “Briefing/Update on NRC Assessment”- grad.berkeley.edu/

The Center for Measuring University Performance - mup.asu.edu