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Ranking for Applied Physics Program


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I have seen people asking for ranking for Applied Physics programs in the US. US News doesn't not rank applied physics. But one way to find out using US News is to look at the ranking of that school in few subareas in Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Earth and Planetary physics, namely are fields like Condensed Matter Physics, Physical Chemistry, Optical Physics, Biophysics, and Geophysics and Oceanography. These are available information on US News. These few subfields are the important parts of Applied Physics. Applied Physics shares little with Engineering or in other words uses very small part of Engineering, which is in general large department. As a result, looking at the Engineering ranking is not very reflective. But, there are currently two available ranking for Applied Physics programs, and they are very accurate program ranking. Also, Gourman Report ranked Applied Physics programs years ago. It is very old. You can also look at which program was good at that time.

First is the Chronicle ranking,


This ranking is based on productivitiy and impact factor. Therefore some rather unknown schools get ranked in also. It is very accurate but doesn't reflect the size of the programs. Another ranking which is very good and has been anticipated for a long time is the one recently issued by the National Academy of Sciences. This information is what National Academy of Science accumulate for years and came up with the ranking,


Make sure pay attention when using this ranking because this ranking ranks the Applied Physics programs with Physics programs and with Astronomy programs. So how to look at it is just see which Applied Physics programs ranking higher relative to other Applied Physics programs because it is rather unfair and not representative when ranking Applied Physics with Physics and with Astronomy. This is because Physics programs are bigger in size and all of their results and publications count towards the quality of the programs for ranking whereas Applied Physics tends to devote a lot of its efforts and committment towards applications rather than pure science, therefore it is rather meaningless to compare them together, one is pure and one is applied, with complete different nature of work.

Hope this helps.

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